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If you create a company website for the sole purpose of showing the world that you exist or because everyone else is doing it, then you are wasting your time and your money. If, on the other hand, you realize that a website that is properly and thoughtfully configured is your window to the world and a vital part of your business strategy – whether that be as an eCommerce portal or for any other purpose, then you have taken a big step on your way to maximizing the benefits a website can bring to your business.
Your website must be designed to maximize your return according to whatever parameters you have defined as being important to you and your business. The success in your website achieving these goals is measured with the conversion rate – a measure of the number of conversions as against the number of page views – the higher the number, the better.
Once you have attracted traffic to your website, there are a number of ways to optimize the conversion rate of your site. For starters, the site must be user friendly. By user friendly, it means that the headings, font, colors, illustrations, everything that affects how your clients or potential clients must want to use your site, to stay there, and ultimately do what you want them to do; whether it be fill in a form or buy something. That is what conversion is all about. Perhaps most important when structuring the website is making it easy to navigate so that people can find what they are looking for.
Your website must be created with your target market in mind but there are a few general rules of thumb that apply to all markets. People are highly visual. A picture does paint a thousand words. Use pictures, photos, and illustrations; just ensure that the photo highlights the actual product clearly and accurately without undue distractions from peripheral items that will detract from the focus of the shopper.
If your site is for eCommerce purposes, you must price your product competitively, even boldly offering a 110% refund if your price is beaten elsewhere on the net. Always present prices prominently and even show the discount from suggested retail price if applicable as this gives users a good feeling. It is also best if you do not request users to register should they decide to make a purchase as this is a deal breaker for many people.
And talking of getting shoppers over the line, your Call to Action must be clear, concise, and reaffirming. The Call to Action is the phrase used to induce the person who has been surfing on your site to commit to something – to convert. For example, the phrase “Add to Cart” on an eCommerce site, which gives shoppers the chance to withdraw before clicking the “Buy Now” button. It lulls them into continuing shopping before having to commit.
The Call to Action button should be boldly colored, preferably in a color not used elsewhere on the website. It should also be displayed prominently so that it will be easy to find and use.
Optimizing virtually every parameter on your website can be achieved by testing with A/B and multivariate testing tools which give real-time answers as to what works and what doesn’t on your website to increase conversion. It is definitely worth the time and money to have your website optimized by using these testing methods.
Customer reviews are an excellent way to attract buyers. People tend to trust the opinions of other people and look for vindication and comfort in their purchase decision when they have not done business with a party in the past. These human needs can be satiated with the use of customer reviews. Needless to say we are talking about positive reviews. However, if a negative review is displayed with follow up from the company addressing the concern it will add credibility to your business and its website.
Another useful tool for increasing conversion is offering Live Chat. It adds a human element to a cyber experience and gives the shopper the comfort of feeling that there is someone of blood and bone standing behind their computer screen.
Check out our previous articles:
- Not Getting the Desired Traffic? Time to Change your Web Design!
- Big Ideas Make Big Things Happen – SEO Analysis
- Doing the Internal Linking the Right Way
- Google’s Search Results Requested To Be Removed
- Apple Safari 5 – What’s in it for a Windows user?
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