Everyone wants to know how to increase their website’s conversion rates
Any salesperson worth their salt knows that a high conversion rate is the first step to generating a high sales volume.
Before We Start: All Websites Need Goals
When you are making your website, what specific action do you want visitors to take? Do you want them to buy an item? Book a service? What do you want them to do?
If you do not have an action goal, you cannot measure your website’s success. So take a moment, look at your website, and devise a business goal if you don’t have one already.
Your business goal should be something measurable like signing up for an email list, making a purchase, clicking a link, or booking a session. A vague and/or immeasurable goal like “reading about products” are ineffective goals.
With your specific measurable business goal in mind, let’s look at some strategies for how to increase conversion rates by turning website visitors into customers.
1. Conduct An A/B Test
You want to think of yourself as a sales scientist: you always want to be testing for the optimal way to be converting prospects. An A/B test (aka a split test) is a great way to experiment.
For example, if you had two different value-driven headlines for the same landing page, an A/B test could be conducted to determine which one converts more viewers.
Simply create two different versions of the same landing page and use some A/B testing software to direct 50% of traffic to a random selection of the landing page. The A/B test will tell you which value-driven headline yields more conversions.
You ought to be running several A/B tests running concurrently on your site. Marketing is an imperfect science and consumer preferences are always changing, so you should be constantly testing to make adaptations.
2. Make A Value Proposition They Can’t Refuse
A value proposition is the main driving force behind sales conversions. You need to communicate to prospects both what you offer and why they should buy specifically from you.
Can you explain in ten words or fewer why prospects should buy from you, rather than someone else?
A lot of salespeople try to use gimmicks like different fonts and color schemes, and while graphic design is an important element of presentation, it’s the value propositions that sell.
The homepage of your website needs to address both the value proposition of the company and the value propositions of the products themselves. Explain what aspect differentiates you from competitors. You may be extremely similar to your competitors in all but one aspect, showcase what makes you different.
The best strategy for finding the optimal value proposition for converting visitors into customers is A/B testing. Create a series of different statements and conduct some tests to find the best one.
3. Create a Sales Funnel
Just like dating, you can ruin a sale by asking for too much too soon. Sometimes people just aren’t ready to commit– yet.
If your product is expensive or complex, people will need more time before they take the plunge and buy.
Many software products address this by offering free demos. If you allow prospects to get their feet wet with the product, and then asking for purchase at the end of the demo, you will likely see a significant rise in conversions.
In other instances, all you need to do is build some brand awareness and develop a professional relationship. So take your time and construct an effective sales funnel that provides prospects with lots of information and value proposition before you ever ask them to buy.
An often-quoted ballpark figure salespeople like to use is it takes at least 7 contacts with a prospect to make a sale. Even though there is no market research to back this up, it’s common sense that the longer you stay on a prospect’s radar, the more likely they are to buy from you.
4. Be Prepared to Address Pushback
In Mark Mason’s second book, he describes an alternate universe in where instead of Newton writing three laws of physics, he writes three laws of human emotion. The first one being: for every action, there is an equal and opposite emotional reaction. This is important information when it comes to increasing conversion rates.
Basically, if you ask people to buy: you will probably get pushback. You want to be ready for this.
When you are doing in-person sales, it is often easier to gather data on points of pushback because most prospects will straight up tell you why they’re not buying right away. Online, people don’t tell you why they’re clicking away, they just go. You need to be anticipating and addressing these pushback points in your sales copy.
Some of the most common points of prospect pushback are:
- Thinking you don’t understand their problem
- Not believing that you are an expert
- Thinking the product won’t work on them
- Not believing your product is worth the money or that a cheaper alternative is just as good
It is crucial that your sales copy addresses all of these general points, as well as some industry-specific points of pushback.
5. Streamline the Buying Process
Nothing loses a sale faster than an impeded buying process. Buying should be as intuitive as possible. Some tips on smoothing out the buying process:
- Instruct users every step of the way
- Limit product choices to reduce analysis paralysis
- Ask for as little information as possible
- Allow customers to buy without signing up for anything
- Waive shipping costs
There are many effective strategies when it comes to increasing your website’s conversion rates, but you never know what works best for your product until you try. The most important thing to remember is, whatever strategy you employ, make sure to run it through an A/B test. By trial and error, your website can find its optimal value proposition and buying process to turn readers into customers.