How to improve conversion on your web pages

Your website looks absolutely stunning, perfect for attracting and appealing to people in your target audience. You are getting an increasing number of site visitors as your pages get indexed by Google and the good word spreads. The navigation is a little slice of genius, and the entire user experience is as smooth as a smooth thing. But what about your conversion rates?

What to do if your web pages aren’t converting?

If you’re enjoying loads of traffic but none of them are buying, what’s going wrong?

Check the page content

The first thing to check is the content. If it hasn’t been written with sales conversion in mind, conversion will be a lot less likely to happen.

  • Have you ordered your message logically, driving people steadily down the sales funnel?
  • Have you addressed all the potential objections?
  • Did you include a call to action?
  • Did you follow direct marketing and direct response best practice?
  • Did you take on-page SEO into account?

If the answer to any of these is ‘no’, it’s no surprise people aren’t getting in touch or making a buying decision. And if you blinded them with science, stuffing your message full of jargon, you’ll be even less likely to attract sales.

Do AB testing

Once you’re sure your page content is up to scratch, what else can you do to improve conversion rates? If the reason isn’t obvious, it’s time to get testing. A/B testing, AKA split testing, simply means testing one approach against another to see which performs best. You create two alternative versions of your page and use AB testing software to direct incoming traffic 50/50 to each page. In the end you count how many people took action on each page.

It’s important to remember statistical validity here. If ten out of twenty people convert on one page and three out of twenty convert on the other page, it’s meaningless. You need to clock up hundreds of visitors, ideally at least 1000, for the statistics to make any sense and deliver real meaning. Once you know for sure which works best, you can tinker with it, using more AB testing to establish the optimum approach.

 What to test on an AB basis?

  • The design and layout
  • The headline
  • Page layout and navigation
  • The offer
  • The size and location of the order buttons
  • The call to action
  • The message as a whole
  • Compare two completely different approaches.

The sales funnel itself

Sometimes you kill conversion simply because you’re being too pushy, asking people to make a buying  decision, sign-up or other kind of response way too early in the process. Your prospects might be at the browsing stage, not ready to buy yet. As a rule the more complex and expensive the product or service, the more time people need to make a decision. It’s common sense. If that’s what you’re doing, slow down and re-jig your sales funnel so it develops the required levels of trust, deepens the relationship and proves you’re the experts.

How to do it? Provide loads of valuable free advice for people to check out – on your blog, video, white papers, ebooks, articles, FAQs, case studies, testimonials and so on. And provide genuine reasons why people might want to sign up to your email list. Some experts say it takes 7 contacts to drive a prospect to a buy decision, but that’s a fairly spurious number and actually depends on a person’s personality. Some people need less information and support before they buy, less of a nudge, and others need a whole lot more.

Some say there are only four reasons why a person won’t buy. They either have no need, no money, are not in a hurry or simply don’t trust you. The first three are hard to handle but trust can be nourished in various ways. What makes people trust a website?

  • The information on the site is easy to verify
  • It’s clear the organisation is genuine, with a real physical address and phone number, even a photo of the premises on site
  • You are clearly experts, evidenced by the content and proved with credentials, affiliations, qualifications, staff photos and so on
  • The content generates trust through being top quality
  • The site itself looks and feels professional
  • The site is easy to navigate and use, and it’s easy to buy
  • The content is fresh and up to date, added to regularly
  • Sales copy is free from hype, popups and flashing banners, all of which cheapen an offer and reflect badly on a site
  • The writing style is clear, direct and sincere
  • The site doesn’t have errors and broken bits

Make it easy to buy

You’d be amazed how many online businesses make life harder than necessary for potential buyers. It’s your job to make the buying process as short, sweet and simple as possible, with the fewest steps, the shortest  forms to fill in and the least personal information collected. Everything has to be both intuitive and self-evident, with as few clicks as possible. If your granny wouldn’t be able to buy in a few clicks, in a few seconds, you’re getting it wrong.

  • Tell people what they should do next, at every stage
  • Do not give people too many choices
  • Ask people to fill in as few fields as possible. Don’t ask for information unless it’s essential
  • Never force people to set up an account before they can buy. Let them check out as a guest if they want to
  • Provide free shipping, something demanded by 82% of UK consumers in a study by eConsultancy

Do all this and you should improve your sales conversion levels no end. Carry out ongoing AB testing and your tweaks should result in even more incremental improvements.

You can rely on us to take all this into account when designing your website and – if you want us to get involved – when writing your content.