By Gerad Hoyt
Online merchants spend a great deal of time promoting their ecommerce sites and products with SEO, social media marketing and other advertising strategies. Often times, people tend to overlook one of the biggest factors in their sites success, conversion optimization.
Realistically, unless the visitor is converted to a customer, all promotional efforts are basically pointless. Conversion rates should be looked at and considered equally with promotion. Here is some food for thought:
Let’s say, for example, you get 10,000 visitors a month and your conversion rate is 3%, meaning you get about 300 sales per month. Now let say your goal is to increase your sales by 25% (375 sales), with your current conversion rate you’ll need another 2,500 visitors a month. Depending on your space this could be pretty hard to obtain with SEO or PPC. By focusing on conversions, and getting your rate up by only .5% to 3.5%, you’d need 10,714 visitors, which is only a 7% increase in traffic! Conversion rates make a BIG difference!
As a result, here’s some simple changes that any site can do to increase the conversion rate and improve revenue.
1.) Ensure your site is accessible
Site accessibility means that your site is available to all users. Keep in mind that you may have visitors using any number of web browsers on tablets, mobile devices, laptops, desktops and so on. Make sure that your website renders in any device that may be used to access the site. This may mean testing your site with a variety of devices, having friends test the site and possibly even hiring a web developer or consulting firm to test your site and make it accessible for all.
2.) Ensure your site appears trustworthy
You can also use services like VeriSign to securely complete transactions, be sure to show the VeriSign logo prominently on the site. Visitors need to know that their transactions will be secure and that your company is trustworthy in order to convert to customers. Additionally, make sure your side does not contain typos and mistakes. One sure way to lose customers is shoddy content on your site.
3.) Ensure that your prices are competitive
Customers who shop online are very savvy in finding the best deal. If your prices are competitive, they will know it. Additionally, offer low shipping and handling costs. One major reason online shoppers do not convert to customers is high shipping fees. Shoppers know when you are attempting to make an extra buck with your higher than normal delivery charges.
4.) Ensure your site is easy to navigate
If your site is not well organized, spend some time organizing products into easily browsable categories. Add a “Search” function, if your site does not already have one, so shoppers are able to quickly locate the product they are looking for..
5.) Offer incentives for visitors to buy
Special offers and promotions go a long way for the online shopper. Convert visitors to shoppers with a “Buy On Get One Free” offer or a promotional code for products. Online shoppers love deals and, if they feel they are getting a deal on your site, they will convert to customers.
With a few changes to your site, you will improve your conversion rate, making the online visitor a customer, and perhaps even a repeat customer.
About the author
This piece was written by Gerad Hoyt, an online marketing specialist with experience in SEO, PPC and CRO (conversion rate optimizations). Currently he is working with SatelliteBroadbandInternet.org to improve their overall marketing funnel and user experience.