The website is the most important part of any online marketing campaign. You can have the greatest off site marketing strategy in the world, literally, but if your site is poorly put together or just not functional, chances are good that you won’t make a lot of money.
If you think of online marketing as a pyramid, the website itself is the foundation upon which everything else rests. Small business internet marketing online depends on creating a website that can sell effectively. The measure of the actual efficacy of a website is known as its conversion rate.
Conversion rates are the rate at which you turn leads into sales. You can easily measure your conversion rate using an analytics program like Google Analytics. What you need to do is look at the total number of visitors that come to your site, and then look at the number of sales you made. The percentage of sales made compared to visitors is your conversion rate. There are ways to get a more accurate measurement, such as comparing rates separately for repeat or first time customers, and eliminating bounce rates, but you get the picture of what a conversion rate is.
Knowing your conversion rate is the first step in improving your conversion rate. This is really the measure of web success. Even if you have low traffic, if you’re converting at a terrific rate your business will be profitable. Of course if you’ve got lots of traffic and you’re converting well, that’s even better!
Now it’s time to start making changes to improve your conversion rate. One of the best things that you can do is improve the process required to buy. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than having to go through a dozen screens, entering information on each, just to make a purchase. Websites that are set up like this will suffer from a high rate of shopping cart abandonment and lower conversion rates.
Improving the visibility of your call to action is another key component to boosting conversion rates. The call to action is where you actually ask your customer to do something, whether it be to ‘buy now’ or to sign up for a list (Remember – you could also be measuring conversions in terms of list signups or any other action. It does not have to be defined by sales alone). To improve your call to action, you should ensure that it is large, very clear, and, above all, completely visible. Once you alter your call to action, you can monitor the results to see if this has any appreciable effect on your conversion rates.
Next, you can start to look at tweaking and changing the design elements of your website. Many people don’t think that things like the color of the background, or the size and font of text will have an effect on the amount of sales that they make. Those who know better have found that even small changes to the design of a website can have a direct impact on conversions over time.
Another important tip for increasing website conversion: ensure that the most important elements of your site are above the fold. Don’t make users scroll down to see the most important part of your sales message, your call to action, or your sign up box. Make sure it is right where they can see it right when they first load the page.
Now the thing to do is test, test, and test. Each time you make a change, you need to let it run for a reasonable amount of time and then examine your conversion rate. Whether your pre or post change rate is better will tell you if the change was a great idea, or a bad move that you need to reverse.
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One Comment Published
Outstanding article and I couldn’t agree with you more. I was working with a client last year who had just changed a few things on their website, they made their content more appealing and they changed the color scheme and we’ve seen their web hits go up 40% as well as the time on site has increased 32%.
Its one thing to get someone to come to your website, its another thing entirely to get them to spend time, be engaged, and convert to paying customers.
Again, fantastic article!