Businesses tend to focus on driving website traffic as the primary way to grow their online revenue. However, although visitor volume is essential to success, making minor site changes to increase conversions — the number of visitors turned into leads or buyers — can be a more effective means of boosting sales.
Here four simple ways to increase your sales, grow your customer base, and drive more revenue without having to generate any additional web traffic.
1. Establish trust and reduce risk immediately. Every new visitor is going to assess whether or not your website appears trustworthy and reputable, especially if they plan to give you their credit card number. Prominently displaying trust symbols, such as BBB or PayPal, and other payment logos can increases website sales by up to 25 percent. Note that it’s more effective to use symbols from widely recognized companies or industry-specific organizations; in this case, the BBB trumps your local chamber of commerce. Testimonials are another great method for establishing a buyer’s trust and reducing risk.
By immediately establishing trust on your home and product or service pages, you’ll not only see a jump in sales, but also reduce the number of pre-sale customer service inquiries you receive.
2. Use headlines and other text effectively. If your headlines don’t grab visitors’ attention and compel them to read the rest of your content, there’s a good chance they’ll leave your site immediately and negatively impact conversion rates. In some cases, if Google sees that you have a very high bounce rate(over 75 percent), it’s less likely to serve your website at the top of its search results.
Headlines that address visitors’ needs or ask a question work well, but make sure they are clear and concise. If your top pages contain a lot of condensed text, consider using bullets or other icons to tout key points. This makes your content easier for visitors to understand and increases conversions. That’s why Amazon uses bullet points to highlight a product’s features on every product page.
3. Make your contact information visible and accessible. Visitors browsing your website for the first time need to feel confident in their decision to make a transaction. Dispel most fears, doubts, or uncertainties by displaying your phone number prominently in your site’s header or on a contact page.
A case in point: I worked with a client who had made several web design changes that caused her sales to decline by 40 percent overnight. After reviewing what changes were made, I noticed that she changed the name of her Contact page (on the site’s main navigation bar) to Help. After changing it back, her sales returned. Letting visitors know how they can easily reach you is critical to instilling confidence in first-time buyers. If you don’t want to list your phone number and email address on the front page of your website, create a visible, dedicated contact page.
4. Offer incentives and tout your unique selling proposition. Effectively communicating to visitors that buying from you is a better option than purchasing from your competitors is important. What makes your business and buying experience unique is what compels people to purchase — and it builds customer loyalty. Displaying all the selling points that differentiate your business, brand, and website from the litany of other options communicates value and legitimacy, which can directly improve your online revenues.
When implementing any website changes, start small and try one thing at a time, so you can pinpoint exactly what does or doesn’t work. Measuring effectiveness becomes substantially easier if you don’t have to try to recall the seven or eight changes that you made last month. Most importantly, don’t stop testing new things and take time to familiarize yourself with what other businesses are doing to increase their conversions. There’s an abundance of free videos and resources, as well as a plethora of books on the topic, out there. As the internet evolves, so do markets and purchasing behavior. Your website optimization should do the same.
Are you doing something innovative to boost your website’s conversion rate? If so, share your tips in the Comments section below.