The Essential Elements of Website Conversion Rates

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How are your brand’s conversion rates? Are they good or bad? Do you need to improve them, boosting the number of customers that support your brand?

These are questions that every company or marketer should be asking themselves. Conversion rates do matter, and if yours are poor, then business is likely dwindling. However, before you can improve them you need to understand what they are exactly.

 

What Are Conversion Rates?

Conversion rates signify the number of potential customers who have completed an action that you wanted them to. For example, if you run a word-of-mouth advertising campaign that focuses on social sharing, your conversion rate would include the number of customers who shared your brand, content or message. On the other hand, if you run a limited-time promotion, your conversion rate for that scenario would be the number of customers who take advantage of your deal and make a purchase. As you can see, it depends on what you want out of a particular strategy.

When customers do what you want them to it’s essentially contributing to your conversion rate. Here are some common conversion rates that a company might track:

  • The percentage of customers who subscribe to a blog or website
  • The percentage of customers who like or follow a brand on social media
  • The percentage of customers who purchase a product during a promotion
  • The percentage of callers who are given a business proposal

 

How to Increase Your Conversion Rates to Improve Business

Now that you better understand what conversion rates are, you’re probably already thinking of a few that apply to your own brand. In this context, it makes sense that higher conversion rates will help improve your business and profits. So, what are some things you can do to strengthen your customer conversions?

  • Establish Trust – Include customer testimonials, case studies or short reviews on your website, social profile or blog. Ziegler Cat does this great by offering a “customer stories” section on its website, which features real-world people using its equipment.
  • Keep Contact Information Clear – Show as much contact information as you’re willing and keep it clear for all to see. This also works to establish trust, by showing customers that you’re a real brand run by real people.
  • Always Offer Credibility – If you have been awarded trust seals from companies like the Better Business Bureau, or have Web security approval from firms like Verisign, display this information prominently.
  • Money-Back Guarantees – Guarantees show your customers that you stand by your product. Offer as long of a guarantee as you can muster, whether that be 15, 30, 90 days or more.
  • Reduce the Customer’s Risk – Similar to money-back guarantees, reduce your customer’s risk as much as possible. Try offering long-term warranties. Don’t overlook your support system, either. All those guarantees won’t matter much if your customer-service team has a bad reputation. Amazon does an excellent job of lowering risk for its customers, even if they purchase from a third-party through their storefront.
  • Write Compelling Copy and Headlines – The headlines and main content is the first thing most customers will see when they visit your site, blog or e-store. Make sure you are creating interesting copy that encourages customers to follow through.
  • Simplify the Buying Process – The easier it is to make a purchase, the more likely customers are going to follow through. Ensure that the buying process is simple, convenient and fast. Offer help guides, free shipping and require them to fill-out as few entry fields as possible. Try to avoid forcing users to sign up or subscribe before they can make a purchase, unless your conversion goal is to boost subscribers.
  • Create a Sales Funnel – This involves taking your topic or subject and offering advice, guides and information. For example, a home-improvement shop might offer DIY repair guides for customers, with links to the products, tools and supplies they’ll need to get the job done. The idea is to help your customers, but also funnel them to your goods or services in the end. Groupon has a great sales funnel setup that advertises helping customers find local deals and discounts.
  • Be Clear and Concise – Don’t fill your site, blog or brand message with a ton of business jargon. Instead keep your channels clear, concise and viable for the average person. It doesn’t matter if you’re a marketer and fellow marketers are your crowd, no one wants to read an endless swarm of industry terms and jargon.
  • Communicate Value – If you want to sell a product or service, then you need to convey its particular value. You do this by providing potential customers with as much information about the product as possible. Include all the features and specifications that you can.
  • Eliminate Distraction – Fancy sites with sidebars, visual effects and flashy menus can be a distraction for customers, turning them away from your main focus. That doesn’t mean you should offer them an ugly or bland site. It just means you can eliminate some of those distractions by removing or shrinking navigation menus, removing sidebars and large headers, and throwing away unrelated stock images.
  • Keep an Eye on Your Competition – How are your rivals increasing their own conversion rates? What kind of deals, promotions and discounts are they offering? How have they changed their website? Don’t be afraid to borrow inspiration.

These Strategies Apply to Online and Off

The general goal here is to make the process as simple for customers as possible. This goal applies to any type of conversion, whether you want to increase sales, subscribers or social shares.

If you keep these strategies in mind when you’re coming up with ways to improve your conversion rates, you should be just fine. They’ll work great no matter what your focus is, whether that be an online or offline campaign.