People come to your website because they like the sound of what you’re offering. Once they arrive it’s the job of your sizzling landing page to suck them into your sales funnel, expose them to your call to action, and get them to buy.
You can think of their progress like a journey. The fewer obstacles in their path, the faster they’ll reach the destination. And the smoother the ride, the happier they’ll be when they get there.
Which is very important, because the happier they are the more likely they are to convert.
That in a nutshell is all that conversion optimization is about – smoothing the path of your customers so that they speed through your sales funnel, and removing the obstacles that stop them converting.
Clear the path
So your number one strategy for improving conversions is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and see what sort of experience they’re getting. To make it easy for them to convert you need to identify and remove anything that might be annoying or distracting them.
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. At each stage of the conversion process, just ask – “If I was the customer, how would be feeling here?”
If the honest answer is that you’d be feeling frustrated, hot and bothered, you know you’ve found a source of friction.
Friction is anything your customers find annoying, or which slows them down. Having to register before you can buy is a good example. So if registration is really essential, keep the forms short and simple, and only ask for data you absolutely need. You obviously want their name and email address. But do you really need more? Get them used to the idea of dealing with you first. If their date of birth, eye color and favorite shampoo are really that important, you can always ask them later.
Think out the box
Not all obstacles are as obvious as a 100 question multi-part sign up form that few people would ever complete. So be creative, and think hard about what’s stopping people converting.
Are your graphics putting them off? Are you linking to so many products on your page that they don’t know which way to turn? Is your call to action cheesy and unappealing? Obstacles to conversion can be almost anything. A poorly developed website with broken links and dodgy copy will turn users off in droves. So will typos, and unrealistic promises that no one believes.
Trust me – I’m on the Internet!
But conversion optimization isn’t all about negatives. It’s also about taking positive steps to create the right impression to appear credible. Internet sales may be booming, but people are still wary about buying online. Understandably, they want to be sure they’re not being scammed.
You need to work hard to create the trust needed to get people to part with their credit card details and buy. If you don’t do that right, everything else on your website is wasted.
So in the next blog we’ll look at ways to build the trust that’s vital if you want to increase your conversions.