Monday, July 09, 2012

Is Your Website Set Up for Conversion ?

You have 3 million unique visitors a month and a well-designed website. So why aren't people signing up for your newsletter, downloading your software, or purchasing your products? The reason could be that your website, as beautiful as it may be, isn't set up to help visitors convert.

A common visual guide that organizations use to help explain the conversion process is known as the "conversion funnel." The conversion funnel is meant to show the journey from landing on your website all the way through the purchase, download, sign-up, or any other predetermined conversion.

1. Quality Content vs. Quantity of Content

The old adage "if you build it, they will come" isn't necessarily true when it comes to websites. Just because you have a well-designed site doesn't mean people are going to find your website and sign-up for your weekly newsletter.

In order to truly be effective and have people engage with your brand online, you have to have quality content. Notice I didn't say quantity of content. Quality content is usually content geared toward a specific audience that has targeted keywords throughout and has a high chance of being shared on social channels. Having web visitors land on your site thanks to a piece a quality content usually infers that the web visitor will be interested in other aspects of your site, such as a product offering, whitepaper, blog posts, etc.. Creating quality content is the starting point to bettering your website's conversion rate.

2. Top Tier Navigation

When a new visitor lands on your website for the first time, they will interact with the website based on their past experiences on the web. It is essential that your website's navigation is clear and easy to use in order for your visitors to quickly and efficiently find relevant content.

Navigation is part of the UI/UX (user interface/user experience). If visitors on your website have a positive experience, they are likely to return. Return visitors are more likely the convert.

Navigation is the key to help a web visitor's progress through the conversion funnel.

3. Easy-to-Understand Calls to Action

Complementary calls to action are essential for increasing your conversion rate on your website. After all, it doesn't hurt to ask (subtly). For example, let's say a web visitor is on your site reading an article about the top tech trends in 2012. They happen to see a call to action on the right rail of the page that says, "For more info on tech trends, sign up here." Wouldn't it be safe to assume that the user is more likely to sign up than someone who isn't interested in tech trends ?

This goes back to the quality content point. If you are creating quality content and guiding your web visitors through the conversion funnel by top tier navigation and calls to action, you should begin to notice an increase in return visitors and a better conversion rate to boot.

4. Analytics and Tracking

The reason I left analytics at the end was to make sure it wasn't forgotten. If you aren't tracking web activity on your site and utilizing the data to make better business decisions, then your conversion rate will never reach its full potential.

Most free analytics software will give your organization the ability to track which content pages are the most popular, where exactly visitors are in the conversion funnel, and what keywords are driving traffic to your site. This knowledge should provide your organization with the insight necessary to make changes on your website and further meet the needs of your potential customers.

Technology Integration Lab
Sceda Systems

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