Conversion rate optimization is complex! CRO is a common practice followed by successful marketers to convert visitors into customers. It requires careful planning and applied innovation for conversion rate optimization of your web based product and/or service.
Apart from strategies to boost Conversion Rates, you need to innovate and come up with a unique idea and you can conquer the digital domain with finesse!
When you design a website the ultimate goal is conversion. We point out some barriers to CRO, how it can adversely affect the "selling potential" of your website and subtle ways in which it can be overcome!
1. Speed means Customer Satisfaction
Slow sites are a bad User Experience (UX). Period. Impatient users get irritated by a slow loading webpage.
Back in 2009, Google conducted a research which shows that slowing down a page by 100-400 milliseconds (under half a second) reduced searches by 0.2%-0.6%. This might sound like a small number but it amounts to a loss of 14,400 searches, per minute! Furthermore, if the website keeps up this trend for a considerable time, the users get detached with an accelerated pace.
According to a study by Strangeloop networks:
A mere one second delay can cause 16% decrease in UX, 11% fewer page views and 7% loss in conversion.
But it is 2016 and times have changed substantially. With a plethora of options available to users, page loading time has become more important than ever. Here is a graph which compares bounce rate with the loading time of the page.
Nowadays people expect a website to load within 3.7 seconds. Typical E-commerce websites take 4.9 seconds to become usable.
If your homepage is loading within 3 seconds you are good to go, if it is about 6-7 seconds you are doing okay (but need to improve it) but if it is more than 10 seconds, your business is suffering a significant loss.
While you're cleaning up your website design, be sure to compress and optimize images using online/offline tools and your above-the-fold information must load as quickly as possible.Load background images using unconventional methods like external CSS.
Optimize dependencies like social media plugins, CMS and a single tracking script to analyze traffic should be cleaned up too if you want to decrease your website's loading time.
- Use G-Zip encoding (just like compressing data in zip files).
- Use Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze the content of your website and generate suggestions.
- Use Google Analytics->Behaviour->Site Speed to measure real-world load times.
2. Complexity drives Customers away
DO NOT try to make all the services of your business needlessly stuffed on a single page. Your website needs to be as simple as possible. Check out some award winning websites employing minimalist design.
This case study by Gravitydept quantitatively explains the impact of the transformation of a website to a simpler interface. The revamped website was quietly launched to measure organic user’s interaction and the results were staggering.
Changes employed were subtle but profound!
Monolithic Magneto upgrade. The entire codebase was transformed for a modern foundation.
A responsive design. To adapt to different platforms, screen size and resolution.
Performance. Uncached initial load page of 210 Kb (63% lower than the previous page).
Multifaceted navigation. Structured attributes for width, length, color, fabric and pattern.
High-quality images. A dedicated shoot for beautiful, ambient photos.
Make your website simple and effective
The home page of your website must only show the most important things like name, headline, succinct text, CTA(if important). Keep it extremely simple, the user knows what they should do next. Ensure that you use predictive and intuitive features like drop down menu and easy editing.
The customer must not struggle to find the basic elements like account info, cart, and checkout. A/B testing after every significant change!
Here are a few more steps to consider:
- Employ customizable display feature taking every user’s requirement into consideration. ICustomlabel makes use of this principle neatly. They used a dedicated button to switch results in grid and list form.
- Display in List Format enhances UX for mobile and tablet users and a dedicated button for easy switching makes it very user-friendly.
- No ads on the home page! A website embedded with ads look very unprofessional. They may also ruin the look and feel of your website.
- Simplify sign-up and sign in the process. For example, a social media sign up.
- In an e-commerce website make checkout as simple as possible to reduce the drop-off. Use guest checkout option.
- Make user feel better psychologically by making the form appear smaller and simpler.
- Ensure that error messages do not contain technical language. A common user might not understand it.
3. It’s important to have a Single Focus
What is the use of being a jack of all trades but master of none?
The Goal of the website must be clear and more importantly exclusive. It must serve a unique and a single purpose in user’s life. Different type of unrelated information on a single website makes it hard to understand and in plain words unbearable.
The user gets distracted from the original goal and hence your conversion rate suffers. The simple template above describes the concept of singularity neatly. It aptly serves the purpose without any pain and suffering to the user. Instead of cluttering the page with a plethora of information, provide options when the user wants it.
Design your website to be precise and clear:
- Clearly define the goals of your website.
- Fix your target audience and design accordingly. Use RWD (Responsive Web Design) to make your website usable for a large mobile user base.
- Do not give user other actionable options apart from the one single goal.
- Use single keyword across all your PPC (pay-per-click) ad and landing page.
- Use social media buttons carefully. Sometimes they are distracting. Do A/B testing to see if it increases CTR or the other way around.
- Multiple CTA (Call-To-Action) can create confusion and subsequently less conversion. In any case use only single CTA.
4. Dullness and Redundancy feels repulsive
Remember: The first impression is the last impression.
Interesting information keeps flowing in from different mediums. A study has proven that due to wide usage of Internet human being now has an attention span of 8 seconds. Hence you need to grab user’s attention in a very short span of time.
If you fail to make an impact within the given time period, it will simply walk away from your product without a second thought.
Give your page a quirky headline- It is much more important than the content itself. To make a headline more appealing you can infuse it with the following features:
- Surprise: BEWARE! SHOCKING!
- Question: “Why does my website suck?" (because you don’t have this title!)
- Numbers: "Top 10 Reasons.." "5 Ways to.."
- Curiosity: Leave your readers hanging. “I used to be afraid of programming when I started..."
- Negatives: “Electronic waste is destroying the planet. Here's why!"
- Direct references: “HEY YOU! Have you designed the perfect website yet?”
After an interesting title, provide a relevant and interesting subheadings like below:
How to make your page more interesting and user friendly:
- Ask from user’s point of view, what will this page serve to me?
- Add videos to your page to explain your product and service.
- Use Keywords, in Title, headings and subheadings. Keep keywords limited, simple and precise.
- Include different and latest payment options like PayPal, AndroidPay, ApplePay. Ensure easy toggle between them. You lose a customer if user’s preferred payment option is not listed.
- Prompt customers to login/create an account. Use social media login.
- When a field in the form has been filled correctly, validate in real-time by visual means. Enable user to make changes right away.
- Your subheadings need to connect, intensify or increase curiosity.
- Use strong CTA copy with interesting text and visual appeal. It must sound friendly and not “pushy”.
- Write directly to your audience by using the word “you”.
5. Trust and Reliability forms the cornerstone for relations
Trust is a big deal, offline or online. It extends way beyond e-commerce.
When you are dealing with an audience you haven’t even interacted with, your website will drive customer’s trust in your business.
It is well-known that users form opinions about your website in less than a second (50 ms). Great design gets people to trust you, poor design creates mistrust and makes users bounce off.
Takeaway: So how can you build trust online?
- Show off! as shallow as it sounds, people will trust you if you LOOK GOOD. People judge the book by their cover and your website by its design.
- Show availability. it doesn’t mean to stay online 24x7 or replying to every other email. Make your address and phone number visible and show your user that you can within reach.
- Save customer’s preferred settings and make it default for him for subsequent use.
- Be upfront about the benefits of doing business with you.
- Allow customers to keep items in cart but checkout with other products. Ensure safeguard of products in the cart.
- Build trust and credibility by using symbols and testimonials.
- Get help from consumers. The best way to build trust is to get help from the people who already trust you. One very simple way is to ask for authentic user reviews and boost your ratings.
What are you working on first? Let's discuss what challenges you have faced recently!