Traffic, traffic, traffic.
There is so much emphasis on getting traffic to websites, yet traffic isn’t the full story.
If you can’t work out how to increase website conversion then all the traffic in the world isn’t going to do you any good.
For internet marketers, conversion means getting your website visitors to do what you want them to. Most of the time this will mean getting them to purchase a product, but sometimes it might be as simple as getting them to click on a Google AdSense ad.
Additionally, conversion relates to getting people who have purchased once to purchase again – eventually getting them to become regular purchasers.
The implications for profit are huge. For example, if you can move from a 5% conversion rate to a 10% rate (or even from 1% to 2%), you have basically doubled your profit.
Conversion optimization sounds difficult, but it really isn’t.
In fact, most ways to increase your conversion rates are common sense, but they are often overlooked.
Knowing Your Audience
There is no single approach for how to increase website conversion, and any list I give you will be incomplete.
Because conversion optimization is an ongoing process, and it is related to every aspect of your site.
The very first place to start is with your audience itself. Ask yourself questions like:
- Who are they?
- What do they want?
- What would they find valuable?
- How would they perceive my site?
Being successful at conversion really involves developing a relationship with your audience and guiding them through the purchasing process. Push them too hard to buy something, and they’ll probably go somewhere else, but be too gentle, and they won’t even realize you are trying to sell something.
Finding the balance can be tricky, but the key consideration is how your tactics would look to your audience. Put yourself in their shoes. Think about the way your site looks and what it offers.
More than anything, you need to take the time to work out exactly what your target audience needs and work to provide that information. Ideally, your site should be focused on meeting the needs of your readers, which means you need to know these needs to start off with.
This also means that you must have a consistent approach throughout your site, one that is focused on what you want to achieve and on your readers.
Is Your Site Designed Well?
Your website design is absolutely critical to conversions and website success overall.
A poorly designed website will frustrate users and make it difficult for them to find the content, all of which will decrease your sales.
Here are some of the key things to take into consideration when designing or redesigning your website.
Another important aspect to consider is navigation. Is it easy or hard for people find what they want on your site?
There are a lot of different ways to tackle navigation, but you don’t want people to struggle to find content.
For example, I have seen a lot of sites where they have a single link to all of their content – normally called ‘blog’. Once you go to this link, all you end up with is a list of all the person has posted on their blog, from most recent to oldest.
Actually finding something under this system is really difficult.
In contrast, other sites use a category-based approach, like the one in the image, where you can easily find posts on a given topic.
You can also have a menu linking to popular posts or recommended posts. This menu has the advantage of highlighting posts that you think are important, while making navigation easy.
Above all, it’s critical that any navigation you have is intuitive and easy to use. If you aren’t sure, get the opinion of some people who have never used your site before, if they can’t figure out how to use it immediately, you are doing something wrong.
Site design is much more important than most people realize. After all, you can have the best content in the world, but it isn’t really any good if no one can find it.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is to make their most important content difficult to find. Whatever your number one message is, whether it is a slogan, a link to an article or a description of a product, it needs to visible to the reader when they first land on your page.
This means it needs to be on the top part of the page – the part that people can access without scrolling. This is called ‘above the fold’.
Putting your content there means that it is immediately visible and people will notice it.
White Space versus Clutter
It’s tempting to put as much as possible on every page of a site, but please don’t.
Honestly, cluttered sites are a bad idea. They are hard to navigate, look unappealing, and people don’t have a clue where to start.
You want your website to appeal to the people reading it, and this means using white space carefully.
In fact, minimalist websites have been growing in popularity, and they can end up looking very good.
Other Aspects of Appearance
The appearance of your content is very important.
This includes all manner of things, such as the font and font size you use, your spacing, your paragraphing and the images you include.
Above everything else, be consistent. Use the same approach for all of your content, and use the same color schemes. Any inconsistency will make the site look bad, and this will have negative impacts on conversions.
The fact is, people are much more likely to purchase if the site looks good and looks professional, and they are unlikely to purchase if your site looks thrown together.
One thing to consider in relation to website appearance is the visual hierarchy.
Readers don’t read everything on a web page. Most tend to scan the page, only reading in detail the parts that look interesting. Furthermore, big blocks of text have a tendency to scare people off immediately – because reading them feels like too much work.
A visual hierarchy is where you use a combination of headings, subheadings and images to break up the article, and where the size of these headings and images provides an indication of what is important in the post.
Many people also make use of bolding or italics within their text to highlight certain key words. Doing this every so often can be very effective, as it can be used to emphasize key parts of the text – a critical approach when many users are scanning the page.
If you want to get conversions, then you really need to have people reading your content – and this means that your content has to be good.
The importance of quality content cannot be overstated.
Readers tend to be very judgmental about content and they won’t hesitate to go to another site if there is something about your content that is bothering them.
This means that you want to be very careful about making sure everything you say in your content is accurate, and that you have to make sure your spelling and grammar is correct.
If you have trouble with this, get someone to proofread your content just to be on the safe side.
Personally, I always write my content in Microsoft Word first, because the software will pick up on the majority of mistakes that I might make. This makes it much less likely that I will miss anything.
Another important thing about content is making it interesting.
Yours is unlikely to be the only article on any given topic. So, you want to make sure that your content stands out.
Don’t be afraid to make your content your own. If you have a sense of humor, make use of it. Injecting your personality into your writing is normally beneficial and it can really help you readers to connect with you as a person.
Another important tip for how to increase website conversion rate is to test and analyze what works and what does not work.
Theory is one thing, but every website is different, so you need to work out what is going to be effective for conversions for your website. When you are testing, you might want to look at changing one or a few things, and then look at how this affects conversions.
Testing is important, because it gives you a direct indication of whether a particular approach is beneficial or detrimental to your site – just make sure you leave any changes up long enough to actually get results. Taking the change down too soon might limit the data you get.
When you figure out what approaches work best for your site, it’s easy to work out ways to apply them to other parts of your site or even to different websites that you own.
Call to Action
Having a call to action is critical for your conversion rate, because it tells readers what they should be doing, and makes it easy for you to do so.
Your call to action might be a button to purchase here, or it might be a paragraph talking about what it is you are selling, and providing a link.
Whatever approach you use, your call to action should be specifically targeted at your audience, and promote the purchase of whatever you are promoting. You don’t have to have a call to action on every post you make, but you should aim to include them regularly, as these will be where most of your conversions are made.
The concepts involved in turning traffic into profit might seem complicated, but they don’t have to be.
Instead, these are simply concepts that you can learn and then apply. One of the best ways to do this is through a training site called Wealthy Affiliate.
There are a lot of sites, products and services out there that offer training in making money online, but Wealthy Affiliate is different for a few key reasons. For one thing, this is a community-based site. As a result of this, members get a large amount of personalized support and can turn to other members for feedback and advice.
At the same time, there is a large amount of training on the site, which continues to be developed and updated. So, it can be a great place to go and learn everything you want to know about websites and how to make money from them.