What to do if your website is failing to convert
By implementing these key steps, you can give your website the boost it needs.
Websites fail to reach their conversion goals for many different reasons. From your value proposition to your page load times, there are many diverse aspects and factors that can contribute to your website’s visitors choosing to purchase your products and/or services – or not.
Undertaking steps to improve your conversion rates is known as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what, from our experience, are some of the most effective CRO approaches for e-commerce and e-service websites.
1. Clearly identify your goals
Many companies make the mistake of assuming that their website’s goals are one and the same as their broader business strategy. However, when defining the objectives of your website, it’s important to keep the focus on how you want the web app to function.
This is a chance to create concrete and measurable objectives that your website should be reaching. Objectives can include concrete targets for:
- Form submissions
- Page visits
- Product views
- Optimized user navigation of conversion tunnels
Using your website’s current user data, market insights or business objectives, you can devise clear and quantifiable targets for these kinds of conversion actions, which you can then use as a measure of your website’s performance.
2. Collect and understand user data
The only way to adequately assess how the CRO measures you implement are meeting your website’s goals is to have reliable and understandable data insights into user/visitor behavior.
We’ve already written several articles on how Big Data is being used to enhance marketing campaigns. We’ve also previously presented the Customer Data Platform (CDP) as one of the most powerful tools for truly understanding who your target customers and site visitors are – and how to best engage them with your marketing campaigns.
Tools such as Google Analytics provide a truly expansive and comprehensive way to gain insights into how visitors behave on your website, and can be used for building user profiles based on data such as:
- Behavior on landing pages
- Sources of traffic
- Whether they are new or returning customers
- Bounce, abandonment and click-through rates (CTR)
This data can be implemented in a CDP in order to build richer customer profiles that you can fine-tune your digital marketing campaigns for.
3. Analyze (and refine) conversion tunnel
Once armed with real-world data on how visitors engage with your website, it will be time to gain an objective and critical view of your conversion tunnel.
The conversion tunnel is the pathway that leads a visitor towards becoming a customer. Its composed of all the various pathways and interactions visitors pass through on their way to purchasing your product or service.
Before embarking on a restructuring or update of your current conversion tunnel, it’s critically important – and will be very worth your while – to get a detailed picture of where visitors tend to abandon or hesitate in the conversion process.
Do your data insights indicate that visitors tend to place a product in the shopping cart, but then choose to abandon the checkout once you ask them to create an account – or perform some other action that may not be totally necessary? Or do they keep viewing a product, but end up discouraged from taking their purchase further?
Asking these questions – and investigating the answers, can tell you a great deal about what needs to be optimized, changed or fixed in your product offering and purchase processes.
4. Website Audit
Once you have built up a solid understanding of how visitors are interacting with your website – and what you would like it to better – it will be time to carry out a technical audit, in order to understand how to improve the website’s performance from a technical point of view.
By now, it should be already very clear that load page times for websites have a dramatic impact on whether visitors decide to stick around on your website, or bounce. Indeed, research has shown that 47% of web users expect a website to fully load in under two seconds.
Faster websites have better conversion rates, and Google also ranks them better in their results pages. If your website is going to have any chance of converting visitors into customers, it will need to have an optimized technical architecture to support it.
An IT specialist will be able to comb through the architecture of your website to understand what is and isn’t working, to identify and route out any bugs, and suggest ways to improve its speed and efficiency.
This will go a long way to giving your visitors the opportunity and reason to purchase from you – and not abandon your website for a competitor due to inefficient technical foundations.
5. Refine your design and marketing
Your website’s design, marketing and copy assets need to all be aligned with your value proposition. Your value proposition should be a succinct and easy-to-understand sentence (or two) describing why customers should purchase from you instead of your competitors.
Once you are confident that your value proposition is truly persuasive, it’s important to make sure that all of the visual, content and marketing-related elements of your website reflect and promote it. Your website should breathe your value proposition.
This is often very much easier said than done. However, in the absence of large budgets for marketing and design overhauls, using the value proposition to identify what might not be convincing visitors on your website from a content perspective will be a good first step.
If any content element is misaligned with your brand and value proposition – or is simply unnecessary – it will be a good idea to change it or get rid of it altogether.
Improving your website’s conversion rates may often seem like a difficult, uphill battle composed of many complex dimensions and necessary undertakings. However, with a structured and clear-eyed approach, you can implement tried and tested techniques to improve your digital offering and revenue streams.
If you’re looking for a trusted professional IT partner to help you undertake comprehensive website audits and performance improvements, look no further.
Contact us and we’ll be happy to start a conversation on how we can refine your digital offerings so that you can begin growing your conversion rates – and your business.