So, how can you go about increasing conversions on your web site? This is the magic bullet for which so many people constantly search. Well, there isn't one thing that will solve all of your conversion ratio issues, but if you take the following 10 steps, you'll have a much better chance of reaching your goals.
If you're wondering what "conversion rate" even means, it's a measurement of how many prospects (or visitors) actually take an action on your web site that you want them to take, such as fill out a contact form, buy a product, request a quote, etc. Every company wants different types of conversions, but for the most part there are a few basic kinds of conversions.
So here are some ways to achieve that!
1. Keep it simple for customers
If your web site is complicated and hard to figure out, you will lose conversions. It's as simple as that. You only have a few seconds to make a good impression on a web site visitor. If they don't immediately see something that convinces them that your web site has what they're looking for, then they will leave. Immediately. So, keep everything simple, clear, and easy to navigate and understand.
2. Show Integrity
The worst thing you can do is mislead a customer. Once they realize they have been duped, they will hold it against you (maybe forever), so honesty pays. Be clear about your policies, your ability to serve their needs, and how reachable you truly are. Nothing irritates a customer more than thinking they understand your pricing, and then getting hit over the head with "hidden" charges and fees. Be upfront in your approach. It will increase customer loyalty, and generate repeat business and referrals.
3. Don't Be a Control Freak
Why force the customer to provide an email address in order to download a free PDF file? Why force them to create an account on your web site if they only want to buy from you once? It's better to get the single sale, than not to get any sale at all... Ask for the minimum info that won't annoy your visitors, and be generous. Your customers will be generous in referring their family and friends to you. Just let go a bit, and you'll see what a difference it can make to your bottom line.
4. Foster Trust
The Web can be a scary place, and most people are rightfully cautious when shopping online. You need to earn their trust and stick to a soft sell. Hard sales don't lend themselves well to online marketing. Show your visitors that they can trust you. Would you buy from a company that only provides an annonymous contact form without providing an email contact address, a real physical address, and a reachable phone number? Supporting SSL and showing some certification from the BBB, or SquareTrade may not hurt either. Lastly, keep your web design professional and credible. Nothing says "fly by night business" more than a poorly designed web site, so show that you're a serious contender, and invest in a decent web site design.
5. Explain Your Return Policy
Customers want to know that they are not getting ripped off. One way to show that you stand behind your products and services is to have a returns policy. If you don't have one (and not everyone can offer one), then at least explain the reason why you can't offer it, and demonstrate what you would reasonably do to accomodate them in the event they are dissatisfied with your products or services.
4. Set Reasonable Expectations
Buyers love it when a business is systemized, and everything has a process that is clear and easy to understand. Buying online can be impersonal, so your web site should try to do bridge the gap as much as possible between you (the merchant), and your consumers. It's important that buyers have a clear idea of what to expect when ordering products. When will it ship, when will it arrive, how can they track their order... systems. Use them often, and keep the customer closely informed.
3. Make It Easy for the Customer to Pay!
This is perhaps one of the more important points you should implement. When a customer is ready to pay, you need to let them pay however they want. If you force them to do business in a way that they are not able or comfortable doing business, then they will simply leave your web site and look elsewhere for a solution to their problem. Offer a wide variety of payment options. When the money is ready to flow in your direction, let it get to you in whatever way it wants to come to you.
2. Up-sell and Cross-sell
You want more transactions, more often, and at greater monetary values. The only way this can happen is if you keep the customer happy, and constantly show them more ways that you can be of service to them. That means, if they bought a printer from you, why not offer them some ink, and maybe some paper, too. They'll need it eventually, so even if they don't buy it right away, at least they'll know they can come back for it later, and you can also remind them by email over time.
1. Make a Lasting Impression
You don't want to be an online catalogue that's impersonal and boring. Your web site needs to convey good feelings to the customer that will keep them coming back for more. Engage them with useful information, and let them interact with other visitors on your web site. Sharing reviews about products, ratings, comments, and other online community features are always a good way to keep customers coming back.
Lastly, keep in mind what separates your web site from the competition. If you can't think of a reason they should come back to you instead of your competitors, then customers will probably feel the same way too. If you're not unique, then find a way to be unique... not just different from other providers, but more useful! That's ultimately what will make all the difference in the long run. Serve the customer better than anyone else, and everything else will fall into place.