It’s all well and good having users visit your website and navigate around it – but if they don’t do what you want them to do, it can be wasted traffic. E-commerce specialists Kibo found in a recent analysis of market data that global conversion rate across desktop PCs is 4.14%, and on mobile devices, just 1.82% — a global conversion rate across all of 2.58%. This is startlingly unimpressive when you consider just how many people must visit a website in order to then reach a base sales or contact target. But how can businesses improve their online conversion without a whole web overhaul? It may be easier than most realise.
What Is an Online Conversion?
An Online Conversion is the conversion of a user on a website from simply browsing to completing a desired action. In most cases, the term ‘online conversion’ is used to refer to a purchase from an e-commerce shop, but it may also be the filling out of a form or signing up to an email list.
1 Demonstrate Authenticity and Legitimacy
Buying online — or indeed even browsing information online — is still considered risky by some and so anything that a business can do to demonstrate their authenticity and reliability can be hugely beneficial. Online optimisation consultant Kyleads found recently that over 61% of online consumers now read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Utilising online review software and allowing for customers to air their opinions, experiences and thoughts in a controlled space gives businesses the opportunity to best showcase and utilise positive reviews alongside gaining important business insight from those not quite so positive.
2 Remove All Distractions
The path from browsing the site to completing the desired action should be as uncluttered and easy to navigate as possible. Links and language must be clear and well signposted and any distractions from completing the goal removed. If there are forms to be filled, remove any unnecessary fields, and if a purchase is to be made, remove as many steps as possible between confirmation and the sale processing. Anything that can make customer navigation and user experience easier should be explored.
3 Incorporate Live Chat
Where a website is presenting a product, service or offering that is different to others in the field or involves a complication, the introduction of a live chat feature can be hugely valuable. Presenting users with the opportunity to ask a question or clarify a detail immediately removes the need for them to leave the site and return later – which for many reasons, may never happen at all. Live Chat can be manned by bots or by real customer service staff (or both, depending on operation timings) and can encourage users to continue on with their online experience without further delay. Live Chats should always be recorded and can be monitored to highlight any recurring issues.
4 Keep Ads Matched to Content
Online adverts and click-throughs often result in traffic to a website, but all too often the user immediately clicks away elsewhere. Adverts and links to the website should match the content on the page being linked to, so that customers are immediately aware of the relevance and understand how to progress through the online journey. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the main website content needs to be changed, but instead targeted landing pages can be created to match the traffic source, or links can be amended to be more specific. For example, if a user clicks on an advert for a specific product, they should be linked to a page detailing that product and offering it for sale. If instead the link is to the retailer’s main website or a category page containing lots of products, they are more likely to leave. Keeping external links matched to the content they lead to is another way of simplifying the user’s online journey and making it as short and sweet as possible.
Monitoring Online Conversions
Online conversions can be set and monitored in dedicated web analytics software, or for the less well-versed in technical data, Google Analytics. It is worth measuring at least a few weeks’ worth of conversion data before implementing the above steps and working to improve conversions in order to understand what works best and the effectiveness of it. A/B testing of ads and links can be helpful in identifying successful approaches and this too can be measured through freely available online monitoring software.
Online conversions have long been considered a tech-y IT responsibility, but even those without resource or staff in technical fields can easily manage it. A little experimentation and some careful monitoring, and your business can be well on its way to turning web browsing into web buying — a win!