4 Steps to Conversion Optimization

SEO is good. It ranks your website at the top of the search engines. Conversion optimization is better. It influences visitors to buy. Follow these four steps to optimize your website not only for rankings, but for sales too.

Step 1: Evaluate your website analytics and statistics

Through your site host or a program like Google Analytics, you have access to everything visitor behavior-related. What page they land on, what page they leave from and how long they stay. This information tells exactly where to begin your conversion optimization strategy.

For example, a PPC ad delivers visitors to a landing page for a newsletter subscription. If the ad brings 100 visitors, 5 sign up and 95 click off in less than 2 seconds, you know exactly where to start- beef up the copywriting on the landing page. Bailing on the order form? Functionality is the issue.

Step 2: Think like a visitor, be the visitor

To optimize your site for conversions, you must see its usability from a visitor’s perspective and improve the functionality while streamlining the action process.

  • Improve the navigation. The fewer clicks to get to the desired action, the better.
  • Streamline the action process. Navigate the process regularly to check for error messages or snags.
  • Test and double test the e-commerce system. Use a system that doesn’t bog down or scare away the buyer. Again, the fewer steps the better. And offer help along the way.

Step 3: Earn trust to earn business

Along with web site copy that doesn’t read like infomercial regurgitation, add other elements that promote and build trust.

  • Use the latest secure encryption system and make certain your customers know you use it. Ordering pages must have https, not http. Simple icons and verbiage go a long way.
  • Keep security certificates current. Many browsers display invalid/expired certificate warnings.
  • Emphasize service guarantees and product warranties. Consider offering an extra protection layer that competitors don’t. Advertise this in PPC ads too.
  • Review your content. Answer questions on-site that your CSRs typically field. FAQs work well for services. Offer spec sheets for products.

Step 4: Don’t ignore human nature

Impulse buys occur online just as they do in physical stores. Make it easy for customers to add on to a purchase. Amazon offers free shipping on orders over $25.00. Do people add an item to a $19.99 purchase to receive free shipping? You bet they do.

  • Highlight other popular products, best sellers or “others who bought this product also purchased…”
  • Introduce new products/services alongside established ones. “If you like this, you’ll love this.”
  • Enhancements and other complementary products/services like batteries, cables, etc.

Conversion optimization is a journey, not a destination

Your site is consistently ranking in the top 10, sales are up 34% and your site is converting four out of every ten visitors into customers. Now that’s something to brag about.

Invest in a conversion optimization plan BEFORE an SEO strategy so that ranking at the top actually means something quantifiable to your business. Like SEO, conversion optimization is a continual process. Buyer behavior changes and web functionality evolves. All significantly impact your bottom line.

By Brenda Galloway