Why would you want to improve conversions on your website? Well, I can think of one very good reason… to make more money. Most of us look at increasing traffic to our site as the profit panacea and don’t also look at conversion optimization. These go hand-in-hand. You actually want to do both.
Even for some of us that do look at both increasing website traffic and at conversion optimization, we leave out some important revenue drivers that, with increased traffic and increased conversions could exponentially increase our revenues. For example, with increased traffic and better conversions, a higher average sale and increased purchase frequency can push your sales dramatically.
It’s no longer a one or two trick pony approach, it’s an overall look at as many drivers you can control. Let’s take a look at how these things can really grow your business.
Here are the 4 things that can grow your business exponentially: Build Traffic, Increase Conversions, Increase Your Average Sale and Increase Purchase Frequency.
There are a number of strategies to increase your website traffic, some will give you an immediate bump, others will solidify your authority for particular keywords and will build traffic slowly over time.
This is the quickest way to build traffic. It’s immediate and targeted. Use this strategy to advertise when “the ducks are flying.” That is, if you do most of your business during the holiday season and your organic traffic is lacking, buy clicks. This will give you the highest targeted and motivated traffic.
This is also a good strategy if you are trying to determine your best landing pages and if you’re analyzing conversion rates. You want to make sure you have enough clicks for a solid statistical analysis. Making assumptions on limited data can lead you down the wrong path.
Link building isn’t the glamorous part of building traffic but fundamentally it’s what positions you for authority. We slug it out every day for our clients by doing keyword research, brainstorming and developing lists of potential websites to contact. This is hard work but the wins are enormous in moving keywords up in the rankings. Just a one or two point movement in the rankings can have an incredible impact for our client’s traffic and revenue.
Not enough can be said about this aspect of building traffic. Great content builds traffic whether that content is posted on your site or on another site with links pointing back to you. Diversified content allows you to not only target your core keywords but it also can be used to target long tail phrases that get significant search activity but are lower in their competitive nature. Make sure you have a content strategy in place.
So your traffic is increasing, now it’s time to work on your conversion optimization. Let’s look that the things that will improve your conversions. You need to begin with the end in mind. What is it you want from your user? What action(s) do you want them to take? Click your Google+ button? Buy a product? Sign up for your newsletter? Fill out a form?
Often times, conversion percentages are low because we don’t tell our users what we want them to do. There should always be a very clear objective for each page; a clear pathway to an intended action. Confusing headlines and navigation cause high bounce rates and poor performance. The clearer you are on your objective, the better you can target your strategy. If you don’t even know what you want the customer to do, you certainly can’t build a page that will be effective.
Singularity of Purpose
People come to your site for a reason. They may have found your site through a keyword search. Make sure the page you deliver for your keywords is relevant. You have great control over this with PPC but with organic it gets a bit muddy.
The more relevant your content, the lower your bounce rate and the higher your user engagement. With this in mind, keep your pages simple. They should have a singular purpose. When your customer enters your conversion funnel, you don’t want them to be distracted by unnecessary page elements. What element can you eliminate from your page? What piece of content that is competing with your goal can you design out of the page?
Faster Is Better
We are impatient by nature. Well no, we are very impatient. The user doesn’t want to be tapping their toes waiting for your page to load. What can you do to make your pages load faster? Many of us use cheap hosting solutions on shared servers and we are at the mercy of the overall traffic on the server. Are you serious about your business? Then upgrade to a server to where you are in control.
The numbers are in. Slower loading pages will cost you money. In fact, a recent survey showed that a additional second in page load time can cost you 7% in conversion. That’s real money, every second counts.
Faster is better and you also want to check for cross-browser functionality. Many of the popular browsers go through constant upgrades and can cause problems with your look and feel. Make sure you are coding to the various browsers and their most used versions.
Make It a Quick Read
Replace long text with bulleted points. The idea here is not to make your page look like homework. People scan pages for the information they want. They don’t want to have to read through 5 paragraphs to get the quick information they need. (Notice how this post is set up with bulleted points and bold paragraph headings.) If you have a complex product or concept break it up with bullets of the core points and break up topic paragraphs with bold headers for easy scanning.
What can you do with graphics to simplify your page? The definition of infographic is taking a complex idea and presenting it quickly and clearly. Can you take complex ideas and turn them into visual representations that have as much or more value than the text? I’ll bet you can and the user will breeze through the information to take action.
- Use bullets and bold paragraph headings for core concepts
- Use images to break complex ideas down for quick understanding
- Make your page a singular focus
- Tell your readers what you want them to do.
Ask for the Sale
You’ve got them. They read through your features and benefits. They like the product the price. Make sure you give them an easy way to buy. BIG buttons, directionals and bold text are essential to making it easy for the user to buy. Remember, don’t just put one button on the bottom right hand side…inject buying links, buttons and call outs throughout your pages. Some users will decide early on that they want to move forward. Don’t make them hunt or scroll down the page to get to your shopping cart or contact information. You’ll be surprised at the increase in conversions by adding more opportunities to buy.
ABC – Always Be Closing
The easiest person to sell is someone you’ve already sold. Put an action item on your thank you page. If someone has completed a sale, downloaded your white paper or filled out your form, ask them to do one more thing:
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Forward to a friend
- Tweet it
- Like it
- Post it on Pinterest.com
What? You’re Not Analyzing Your Traffic?
We just discovered that one of our clients who has had an e-commerce for years, doesn’t have analytics on his site. What?! How can you improve performance if you are not looking at your traffic and user actions on your site. If you don’t have analytics on your site, add it today. Not tomorrow, not next week, today. Analytics will help you:
- Determine actionable steps based on data.
- Determine the pages with the highest bounce rate.
- Which page(s) has the highest conversion rate.
- Which page(s) has the most user interaction.
- Which is the highest trafficked internal page.
- Of your top keywords, which has the highest conversion and the highest bounce rate.
With this information you can prioritize which pages need revision and which pages need to be improved for higher conversion. Remember, it’s not a report. It’s a roadmap to more profits, treat it that way. It’s not something you read and file away. It’s something that you create actionable steps and deadlines with.
Exponential Revenue Increases
So you’ve increased traffic, improved your conversion rates, now let’s make it fun. Let’s grow your revenue exponentially instead of incrementally. Increase your average sale and increase the frequency of purchase.
Increase Your Average Sale
Here are some ideas on how to increase your average sale. Think “super-size me” or “do you want fries with that?”
So you have a basic product. Think of ancillary, complimentary products you can offer in a package and offer the basic and the “upgrade.” Camera sellers do a great job of this. The offer a basic SLR digital camera for X-price. Then just below that offer, they have it packaged with lenses, bags, memory and other products they know the consumer will need. Make it easy, make it complimentary with the initial purchase and they will upgrade. So instead of selling just a camera, you’ll sell that and other items with a high profit margin.
Brainstorm what you can package with your best selling items. Imagine if you increase your traffic 10%, your conversions by 5% and your average sale by 50%. Do you think you’ll improve our bottom line? Absolutely!
Amazon does a great job of this. I’m sure you’ve seen the “Customers that bought this item…also bought this.” It’s a great way to increase your average sale.
Offer Free Shipping
Offer free shipping with a prescribed sales level. If you’re average sale is $75, offer free shipping with purchases over $100. Using the technique above, you should be able to easily increase your average sale with this incentive.
Buy one, get one. This strategy works as well as buy one, get one at 1/2 price. You’ll have to run the numbers to ensure profitability but these strategies work to grow your average purchase.
I used to work for an online hotel booking company. They had a list of thousands of opt-in customers and they never sent them a single email offering. I hope your company is not like that. If you have a list, use it. Customers want to hear from you, that’s why they signed up. Make sure you abide by the frequency you agreed to when they signed up and then create a content/promotions calendar to engage this audience. Again, the easiest person to sell is one that has already bought from you. They trust you and you have an ongoing relationship. This is clearly one of the best ways to increase buying frequency.
There are many other examples but you get the concept. Engage your customers on a frequent basis. Make additional offers and they will respond.
Bringing It All Together
So you’ve increased traffic, conversions, the average sale amount and the frequency of purchases, each of these will have an impact on your revenue and if you look at them holistically, you can develop a path to exponential growth.
The key is to start today. Don’t just read traffic reports, act on them. Don’t just wish you had better conversion rates. Start with understanding where you are today and set goals with actionable items to improve your profits.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 4:30 am and is filed under Content Strategy, Link Building, Measurement & Reporting, Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.