October 3, 2007
Many entrepreneurs spend time and money increasing their website traffic or search engine ranking, yet pay little or no attention to how many of these visitors actually buy their product or service. Improving your website’s conversion rate is more time and cost effective than trying to bring in new traffic. In this article, I’ll show you the nine adjustments I make to help websites improve their conversion rates.
Before you begin, you must know your numbers. Tracking key metrics of your website’s performance will enable you to make educated marketing decisions. What is measured gets improved. Some benchmarks to start with include:
- Number of visitors
- Number of sales
- Average order amount
- Cost per visit
- Profit per visit
- Customer lifetime value
Once you begin tracking these numbers in Excel or a similar program, you can see the improvement caused by the changes you make.
Step #1: Add Rapport
Trying to sell a visitor on a first visit is like asking someone to marry you the first time you meet. Build relationships by sharing knowledge and giving away value before you try to close the sale.
Step #2: Remove Distractions
Anything that does not directly contribute to making a sale should be removed from your webpage. Reduce the number of clicks it takes to go from the landing page to the sale receipt page.
Step #3: Add Your Unique Selling Point
Explain why a visitor should buy from you. What makes your product or service better than the competition?
Step #4: Add Trust
Build credibility by displaying awards, recommendations, and testimonials. Prove you’re legitimate by providing a phone number and mailing address.
Step #5: Add an Irresistible Offer
Develop such an incredible package that the visitor cannot leave without buying. Create so much value that your asking price seems like a bargain.
Step #6: Remove Risk
Create a guarantee that removes all fear from the prospect’s mind. Go the extra mile, like offering a 110% money back refund and free shipping both ways.
Step #7: Add Payment Options
Allow your customers to order with the payment method they prefer to use. One website I worked with increased sales dramatically by adding PayPal as a payment option. Another found it profitable to accept phone orders. It goes without saying that you need to accept every major credit card.
Step #8: Remove Checkout Hassle
Make your ordering process as simple as possible. Get rid of all barriers that could discourage a purchase, such as requiring account registration.
Step #9: Add Follow Up
Are you losing a lot of visitors once they get to your order page? Create exit pop-up boxes with a discount coupon. Setup a script that sends the visitor an email if the order page is abandoned. If people are not going to buy your product at its existing price, offering them a coupon for a 30% discount will not hurt your profit levels.
If my advice could be summed up in one sentence, it would be this: build a relationship, develop a powerful offer, then remove all hesitations and hassles that would prevent an order.
Author: Josiah Mackenzie: To see what increased conversion would do for your sales, try the free calculators here: http://www.theprofitfactory.com/sales-conversion