September 30, 2008
Since 2001, my colleagues and I have generated tens of millions of dollars for our clients. We did this mostly by making their websites better at “converting” visitors into customers. It’s not rocket science (and I have a Ph.D. in rocket science, so I can say that with authority.)
In fact, much of our work revolves around using really-easy-to-use testing software, such as the free “Google Website Optimizer.”
Want to know how we do it?
7 Most Reliable, Easy-to-Implement Techniques For Converting Your Website’s Visitors Into Customers
1. Start By Using The Right Tools
First you’ll need something that will allow you to run “multivariate tests.” These allow you to test many individual changes on your website. You also want a tool that completes A/B tests. This is where you test just one change (often a big one) on your website.
Google Website Optimizer does all of this. And it’s free, so go sign up now.
Other tools you’ll need include:
- CrazyEgg.com and clicktale.com, which show you how visitors behave on your website.
- The Google Analytics tool, which records all the data collected from your visitors. By studying the data it collects, you can highlight the areas you need to improve.
2. Find Out Why Your Website Visitors Behave the Way They Do
Now you’ve got the tools to see what your website visitors are doing, the second step is find out why they’re doing it.
The best way to do this is to straight-out ask them. Here are 3 ways you can complete this task:
- Use a Live Chat service. These allow your visitors to “instant message” you, thereby giving you an insight into their concerns.
- Send surveys to your customers using services like Surveymonkey.com
- Add a feedback form on your website with a service like Kampyle.com
3. Know What to Test First
The first thing to test is the stuff that is “broken” or missing from your website. Fixing these major problems will quickly give you a boost in your conversion rate.
Once you’ve fixed the basics it’s time to test things that will potentially give you the biggest boost in your business.
For example, you should test the price of your products. You may find you can raise the price and still sell the same amount. This will give you an instant profit boost.
4. Turn Your Website Into Your Best Salesman
Your website is like having a salesman who never sleeps. It makes sense to make it the best salesman possible.
By far the most important aspect of any sales message is the opening line: the headline, which should:
- Grab attention
- Persuade readers to read on…
- Make strong, precise, irresistible promises
A great way to do this is to use Tip Number 2 to identify the key reasons your customers buy from you.
Once your headline is right, you need to give enough detail to fully explain your product, but without waffling. Find out how much information you need by testing different versions!
5. Make It Easy For Customers to Navigate
The biggest gains in your conversion rate can come simply by making it easier for visitors to navigate.
For example, you should put your most important information or product “above the fold” on your website so visitors can’t miss it. And remove all unnecessary links.
6. Make it Easy for Customers to Buy
Once you’ve guided your visitor to your shopping cart, you’re still not guaranteed to get the sale. Many people drop out half way through ordering. Make your shopping cart slick and persuasive to cut down on shopping cart abandonment.
Ways to do this include:
- Repeating your key benefits
- Including a picture of the product in the cart.
- Making the order process quick and easy by removing all questions and all unnecessary steps that don’t directly lead to the sale.
7. Get Visitors To Trust You
One of the most common reasons why a visitor may not buy from you is because they simply don’t trust you. If they’ve never heard of you before they’ll need reassurance you’re a trustworthy company.
There are many ways to gain your visitors’ trust. Here are just three…
- Offer a guarantee. This removes the risk of trying your product and increases your chances of making the sale.
- Add testimonials from other customers. This reassures prospects that other people have trusted you and liked your product. Plus a testimonial often does a better job of selling than you could.
- Add testimonials or reviews from trusted sources such as the media.
Again, we learned this by testing and using “Google’s Website Optimizer.”
Where to Learn More…
These tips and techniques are just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to improving your website’s profits. For more tips, read the report that made us famous: “Google Website Optimizer 101-a quick-start guide to conversion rate optimization“.
About the Author:
Dr Karl Blanks (co-founder of Conversion Rate Experts, the only European Google Partner for Website Optimizer) shows website owners how to convert their visitors into paying customers for life. Now you can discover how to get more customers without spending a penny more on advertising with his quick-start guide to conversion rate optimization at http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com