Introduction to Website Conversion Rates
Having an e-commerce website can be challenging. There is inventory to monitor, customers to keep happy, advertising to do, and of course security to maintain in order to protect the integrity of the site and your customers. With all of the important steps involved to make sure your business website is a success, conversion rates should be taken into account.
So what is a conversion rate? Essentially, a conversion rate is the number of visits or “hits” you receive on your website that change over, or convert to, a sale. For example, if your site were to get 100 visits in one week and one person made a sale, you’d have a 1% conversion rate.
Effective advertising is important in ensuring a higher conversion rate. Making sure your website is noticed and that the product you’re selling is very clear is essential to success. Getting the hits is important, but finalizing that sale is even more important. A good website that does a lot of business is much more involved than many people might think.
A lot of factors are involved with ensuring that visitors click on and then actually buy items they see. There are many things you can do to get the most conversion rates possible which means those website views and random clicks actually turn into cold, hard cash (otherwise known as sales).
Here are 55 helpful tips to ensure that your website’s hits and simple clicks and visits turn into actual sales.
1. Color is important. Be sure you choose an appealing color theme for your website. This should be universal throughout the site, and look appealing to the eye. Psychologically speaking, colors really do influence how people perceive things. Do a little bit of research and look for colors that will go with your overall business type and the attitude you’re trying to project. This is not limited to just the font and background colors. It also applies to graphics and wallpaper that you might use on the website. In some cases, white is better so decide which pages need extra background color and which ones do not.
2. Logos say it all. When you create your website, think about a company logo first and foremost. This logo will be an absolutely invaluable part of your conversion rates. Good company and website logos enhance the feel of your site, and create brand recognition. When people recognize the brand or product because of your logo, the odds are they will have better faith in your goods and services, which results in a sale.
3. Make the website easy to use. Be sure your website is easy to navigate, and products are clearly described and thoroughly explained. Divide the site into sections based on item type, and make each page look professional. People will want to buy your products only if they get a complete description of them. Otherwise, they may shy away and turn to another site.
4. Shopping carts should be easy to use. Choose your shopping cart software carefully. Include an area for promotional codes, sales tax, and make choosing shipping options easy. This really helps so that customers can see the total amount of their order before they check out, and can easily add or delete items from their cart as they shop around.
5. Security is number one. Ensure that your website’s SSL Certificate is up to date. The small lock at the bottom of the website ensures people that you are secure and that their information is completely safe. This will not only instill confidence in the visitors, but will protect you from liability in any potential cases of fraudulent activity.
6. Headlines, headlines, headlines. The headline of your site is usually the first thing people see when they click on the home page. You want the headline to be catchy and something they will easily pass on to other people. Make sure the headline is snappy, intelligent, and unique to your site.
7. Incentives help increase conversions. Tantalize people with free gifts, or free months’ supplies of your products can help convert that hit over to a sale. Free shipping, or a coupon code that allows for a certain percentage off of their total purchase are also both good incentives to offer. These encourage people to buy something since they get a freebie or a discount so they can save money. In today’s economy, free shipping is a huge bonus and will almost always encourage sales.
8. Affiliate programs work. Come up with a good affiliate program. Affiliate programs offer people incentives for directing visitors to your site in order to get sales. The affiliate can get revenue from the sale, free products, or other things that will get them to promote the website. A good affiliate program can help your conversion rate increase quite significantly. Remember to keep in touch with your affiliates on a regular basis and encourage them to get those sales! Affiliates can do wonders for your business, and hit the ground working for you. Come up with a good template that affiliates can use to publish on their own websites and include in their own emails.
9. Customer service can keep them coming back for more. Be sure you offer thorough and efficient customer service. People will not return and will tell others about the website if they are not receiving top notch customer service. This includes technical support as well. Make sure you are able to answer all customer questions and help people in a timely manner so they will want to buy from your website. People who get less than stellar service often never return.
10. Make your return policy clear. Customers want to know they have 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and that they can return items they are not happy with. Be sure your return policy is very clear and shown somewhere where people can easily find it. Some customers will not make an online purchase if they are not assured that it can be returned. Let people know in advance if your company will pay for the return shipping, or if they are responsible for paying to get it back to you on their own dime.
12. Having sales creates more sales. Come up with creative sales so people will want to buy something from the website. Use promotional emails, forum postings, and banner ads to attract the attention of customers who are looking for a good deal. Forum links can encourage people to check out your website.
13. Describe your products fully. Be sure every item you sell has a thorough description about it and good, clear, professional pictures. Every single thing you are selling should be easy for the customer to see and understand. This includes color, size, and detailed descriptions such as materials used (i.e. if you sell shirts, let customers know the material like 100% cotton, etc). The more description included with each item, the better. Remember, people cannot actually hold these items in their hand and look at and touch them, so they need to be able to get a sense of everything they look at on the site.
14. Enlarge the photos. As previously mentioned, good clear photos can really make a difference. Having the enlarge and zoom option make it even more appealing. If people can get a clear view of the items they might buy, they feel much more confident in making that final purchase without holding the item in their hand.
15. Add in FAQ’s. Frequently Asked Questions are a great tool to help encourage customers to get the help they need simply by clicking on your FAQ page. Come up with the most common questions people would ask, and add them on a dedicated page along with answers. Of course, people can always email or call your number, but having FAQ’s really does help.
16. Be upfront with all pricing. Don’t try to hide pricing, especially shipping. Make it easy for potential customers to know just how much their total purchase will be with shipping right from the outset. A lot of times, Internet shoppers will turn away at the last minute if the shipping cost is unexpectedly too high.
17. Live chat is effective. Include a live chat option to your site if possible. Some people prefer to just email or chat online. Adding in a live chat feature is a good way to show your business is sophisticated, and concerned about its customers’ needs. While you probably won’t have Live Chat online 100% of the time, it’s good to have operators on staff during regular business hours, or during your particular website’s peak hours.
18. Prove you’re real and physical. A real, physical address is definitely a reassurance for people when they look at the website. It also encourages them to correspond via regular mail (or snail mail) as well as email. A physical address ensures that you are legitimate and shows them that you have a business address.
19. Customer testimonials matter. Use your satisfied customers’ kind words as testimonials on the website. Put them in a prominent place so people can clearly see them. Customer testimonials make people feel better about buying from you since there has been a past history of others who are happy with your products or services.
20. Inform people about you. Include an “about us” section on the website. Give a company history, as well as more detailed information about what it is you’re selling. You can tell people the year you were founded, where you’re located, and what ideas you came up with to start the business. An “about me” section is always helpful and attracts people to your site.
21. Always check your work. Whenever you add, delete, or make any kind of changes to your website, make sure you check the spelling. Product descriptions often change, so it can be very easy to make typos. Be very careful of all text and ensure that everything is spelled properly the first time. Misspellings tend to scare people away, especially when it comes to spending money.
22. Be realistic. Use compelling text that convinces people to make a purchase, but stay away from melodramatic or overly exaggerated words. Sounding too unrealistic does not appeal to most logically thinking customers. They want the facts and want to hear or read more, but don’t need too much.
Let our team of expert copywriters take care of it for you. We are a group of professionals who can take a fresh look at your website and determine the best tone and message for your copy.
23. Display stock status. If you only have a few of each item, consider showing the number of items in stock somewhere near the product. This usually gives people the idea that the items are limited in quantity, and it may entice them to buy more than one. It also helps you to track your inventory a bit better.
24. Check on the copyright. Make sure the copyright at the bottom of every single page is up to date. If it’s 2021, you don’t want your copyright to read 2017. This makes the whole site look and feel outdated, even if you’ve just recently updated it.
25. Customize errors. If your customer happens to run across an error, you can customize your 404 error pages. If there’s a problem with the server, make it look professional and give people a secure sense that the website will be back up and running as soon as possible.
26. Sorting makes life easier. Add a sort items option to your web store. Allow people to sort by sizes, price, color, and most recently added items. This makes navigating the website much easier, and shopping a breeze. You should also allow customers to choose how many items they see per page of results, such as only 10 per page, 40 per page, or all items on each page.
27. Too many choices can be annoying. If you’re selling blue t-shirts, and blue t-shirts only, there is no need to have a color choice drop down box. This can seem misleading and make people think other colors were once available. It is also overkill, so try to only use this when there are actually multiple colors or other options to choose from.
28. Give people estimated delivery times. Although it’s impossible to predict UPS and the post office, adding an estimated delivery time for your customer is helpful. This keeps up anticipation, and encourages people to make a purchase since they have an idea when the item will arrive.
29. Showcase your best sellers. Use the home page or another main shopping page to highlight the top 5 or 10 items that sell on the website. By showing people what is selling well, they will be interested to learn more. Don’t feature more than 5 to 10 items, or else it will look cluttered and the customer may think that you’re boasting that everything is a big seller. By choosing a few select items, you’re enticing people to buy these items and to check out some other things throughout the website.
30. Make your buttons stand out. Be sure your “buy now” button and other buttons on your website look professional, colorful, and attract people to buy. Even something as small as a button can make a big difference in what people end up doing when they visit.
31. Highlight your links. Underline and highlight all clickable links. This will entice people to click on, and it lets them know that certain text can be clicked on to take them to a new page with more information.
32. Pay attention to your keywords. Implement good keywords into your website so people who search with them will stumble on your site. Be sure to use a good SEO service or program that can help you maximize your keywords effectively.
We are constantly up-to-date on industry changes and Google updates to ensure how to best position your site for changing search algorithms. When we are managing your site, we monitor for potential signs of algorithm changes and investigate possible shifts in SEO best practices.
Throughout the process, we will report to you, at least monthly, on our progress toward your unique goals.
We consider our clients as partners. We want to work together with you to build an SEO strategy plan that will help achieve long-term success for your website and your business.
33. Showcase one special deal each week. If you can, try to rotate a hot deal every week. This will keep customers coming back, and will entice new ones. This is not the same thing as the special items or best sellers, but instead one, specific item that is on sale for the week.
34. Highlight the seasons. Make a list of all seasons and holidays, and then come up with interesting graphics and promotions for each. Don’t forget to include these promos in your email newsletters or weekly mailings for those who have signed up on the sight.
35. Surveys matter. Don’t be afraid to follow up each purchase with a customer satisfaction survey. It can be completely up to the customer to fill it out, but often you will get some constructive criticism and some helpful input from others this way. The survey can be a pop up once they’ve completed an order, a link at the order confirmation page, or through an email when they are done.
36. Make it short and sweet. Don’t make the checkout process so tedious that it scares buyers away. Try to streamline your cart so that adding items, entering in billing & shipping information, and then paying with credit card is a snap.
37. Go above and beyond. Do not use a generic template to create your website. Instead, hire a web designer who will give your web page pizzazz. You don’t want to look like other sites, and you want to have a unique feel to your business that distinguishes you from the rest.
Our experts have spent years in the industry, developing a strong skillset in web design and development. Their combined experience spans just about every type of website, from home services, restaurants and e-commerce to e-learning and job boards.
38. Test, test, and test some more. Always test your site and cart to make sure it’s working properly. Feel free to make changes as you see
fit, and try to eliminate website errors. By performing frequent and thorough testing, you will ensure that your website is working the way it should be.
39. Search tools rule. Make sure your search box and tool work properly. Be sure to program this script so that it shows results to the customers in detail. A lot of people go to different sites just to search for a specific item, so you want that item to easily be displayed. Test your search tool often to ensure that the results are being displayed properly.
40. Place the cart in a good spot. Make sure the shopping cart is easy to find and easy to see. The upper right corner seems to be a popular place versus the bottom of the screen. If someone updates their cart, the pop up and cart window should show this immediately, so they can track their purchases.
41. Credit cards are not the only way for people pay. While most online shoppers use credit cards, including other payment options gives people more choices as to how they buy. Think about adding a service such as Paypal or accepting e-checks as an alternative payment. This should most likely boost your conversion rate, since the customer can pick his or her preferred payment method.
42. Speed is key. Make sure your site loads as quickly as possible. Studies have shown that most visitors who have to wait more than five seconds for a page to load will move on to another one. Having a good web host that will display your website quickly is very important.
43. Relate your products. Add suggestions for other products on your individual product landing pages. For example, if a customer buys a widget, add an application that says something like, “If you like this item, you will also like widget 2!” and include a photo. Often, people are not aware of what else you have to offer till you direct them to the right place.
44. Make sure shoppers know it’s a sale. Just lowering your prices is not enough. Be sure to put a red slash through the original price when showing the sale price. That way, customers will know how much they have saved. In addition, you can also add a special headline whenever you host a sale. This makes people look more carefully at your products to see how much they can save.
45. Discern the differences. Don’t make all of your products sound the same except for differentiating sizes and colors. Try to be as specific as you can, so people will know exactly what they’re buying.
46. Be as reassuring as you can. Include as many reassurances in regards to your website’s security, money back guarantees, and ensuring that people will have 100% satisfaction. They want to know they can trust you as a merchant before they buy.
47. Analyze the data. Use Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) to your advantage. This software allows you to test your hits, as well as track them. Getting a good tracking tool is definitely invaluable to having a better picture of where your visitors are coming from, and who is making a sale.
48. Patience is important. No website is a complete success overnight. Remember that it takes hard work and a whole lot of revamping and revising to get the “perfect” site, and even then you’ll end up making changes. It takes time to get yourself known out there in the World Wide Web.
49. Keep in mind that setbacks happen. If you have a day or two where your conversion rate is low while you’re testing something new out, don’t panic. Remember that the rate will come and go in spurts, and that things will fluctuate as you make changes.
50. The more data, the better. Be sure your testing period is long enough to get the proper data you need to make a real assessment. If it takes more than a week, then bear with it. It’s essential to get all of the needed data so you can get a big picture of what is working for the site, and what is not.
51. Find a good shipping service. Be sure you choose a shipping service that provides delivery confirmation and fast shipping. Whether it’s the US Postal Service, UPS, or Fed Ex, find the best service that will get your products to the customer quickly.
52. Use your best customers as a good gauge for your success. Don’t be afraid to ask some of your repeat or bigger customers what they think on a personal level. The loyal customers are an excellent way to see where your best assets are, and what your shortcomings might be. They are usually honest and will tell you their true opinion.
53. Don’t forget to say thank you. When someone makes a purchase, be sure there is a thank you page that people will see to show how much you appreciate them buying. It gives people a good feeling and also gives them confirmation of their order.
54. Order confirmation instills confidence. Make sure you have a good, solid order numbering system as well as a thoroughly written autoresponder. When people make a purchase, they need to not only get the thank you page and an order confirmation, but they should also receive an email confirming the same. Be sure to include their order number with the email.
55. One good purchase deserves another. If someone is a first time buyer, offer them a coupon for a percentage off of their next purchase. Include this either in their order confirmation email, or on a printed coupon code postcard you can include with your shipped items
If you even use just a few of the tips listed here, you’re well on your way to getting a higher conversion rate. No one can do every single thing on this list, and if they did, they would be the world’s most thorough Internet company. On the other hand, just a few changes can do wonders for the sales rate of your website. By trying new things, making needed changes, and testing your results, you will be on the fast track to getting sales you expect and deserve. Look at your data on a daily basis so you can get a feel for what customers are thinking. It also allows you understand the things that are working as well as the things that are not.
Never be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to having your own Internet business. New ideas are what make people successful, and what makes them stick out to customers. Know what you want, and have a goal in mind. By writing up a mission statement and creating a realistic goal, you will have a prize to keep your eyes on. This helps to encourage success, boost confidence, and help you to continue on. If you decide to hire people such as Live Chat operators or telephone customer service reps, be sure you’re using the best people possible. Using someone you know is a good idea if you’re small and starting out. If you’re a bit more established, use clients who have a good track record that hire representatives for you.
All of the elements shown here have an impact on how your conversion rate will do. By implementing a few changes, you will be amazed at how you can turn people who just click on the site for a quick look into people who actually buy the things you’re selling. A few small changes as well as constant and thorough testing should bring some awesome results, as well as the money you expect when you own your own business. Patience is the key, as well as creativity, and a great looking website.