Top 10 best practices to improve your conversions

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Let’s admit it; we all would love getting better conversion rates on our website. However, many organizations do not make the effort with certain practices that can seem overly common. These are, nonetheless, proven to improve the conversion rate.

For those that have a large screen or even 2 for that matter, here is a little suggestion to make this article useful: open your site and this article side by side and validate point by point if these practices are already in place…you’ll probably be surprised. Note that this TOP 10 list is specifically geared towards e-commerce websites. However, many of the proposed tactics can be applied to other type of sites as well.

10. Create a personalized 404 page

In the best of worlds, we would never have to display a 404 page to our visitors. However, it is the least damaging alternative to present a visitor if the content was not placed elsewhere (otherwise implement a redirection). You can read the blog « Faire une bonne page 404 - 10 conseils » to learn more about this practice.

9. Evaluate the delivery time and cost directly on the product page

Certain organizations still hold a mentality that is it best to hide this information and not to divulge it at the shopping cart stage or worse after filling out the 1st information form. This is a mistake. There is a risk the consumer will prefer a website where all that information is made available before completing the shopping form(s).

8. Display testimonials, certifications seals and refund guaranties

I could have added more elements to this point, but the most important thing is to demonstrate to the user they can proceed with the transaction without any hesitation. It is important to use the best “confidence generators” in functionality with your personas since each will not be convinced the same way.

7. Free delivery with a minimum purchase

A minimum purchase is of course in function of your industry and the product you are selling. However, free delivery is renowned as a tactic that generates the most increased conversions and on top this helps increase sales as consumers will need to buy more to reach the minimum amount.

6. Save the shopping cart for the user so they can find it upon return

Internet users do not shop like in traditional stores. They have the luxury to visit a dozen stores in just a few minutes which allows them to compare many sites before proceeding with a purchase. It is best to simplify their life at the moment they return to your website with the goal of making a purchase by having memorized the contents of their shopping cart.

5. Get a 1-800 number, display it and answer the telephone

A 1-800 number responds to many objectives and often is reasonably priced. It automatically increases the confidence towards the site since this type of number was only linked to big corporations before. It shows the users that might need support that there is someone on the other end of the line there to help and it will not cost anything for them to get it. It also lets you know if telephone sale came from the Web (by using a different number for example).

4. Do not hesitate to compare yourselves to your competitors

If you didn’t already know, get ready for a shock: your visitors shop on other websites besides yours and it will remain this way! How do you increase the chances that they buy at yours? By being more transparent. Instead of stopping them from comparing, offer them a comparison table or a link towards competitive solutions. They will consider that you have nothing to hide and probably will buy at your store without taking the time to look at your competitors. Be careful however, this tactic requires regular competitive analysis in order not to supply your competitors with qualified “leads”.

3. Add a "call to action” at the end of your pages

The end of the page is often the ideal place to propose complementary products, options or simply the next step for visitors to follow. Too often, they scroll to the end of the page and then must go back up to pass to the next step.

2. Create an optimized landing page for the most searched keywords for search engines

This strategy is the most useful if search engines are an important source of traffic for you…or at least should be! Whether it is a Organic SEO or Pay per click advertising strategy, by optimizing your pages for a particular search you will have more chances of converting your visitors. To help you chose pages that merit an optimized landing page, read this article How to pick keywords that merit thier own landing page.

1. Optimize your internal search engine so that is displays personalized results for the most important queries.

Many internet users first reflex is to use a search engine as a site to find what they are looking for. However, a number of sites have first generation search tools that allow with difficulty to find a precise page for a search query. Nevertheless, by analyzing the logs of your search tool, you can probably find expressions that come up frequently and that deserve to be directed towards a personalized page.

Finally, I cannot complete a top 10 like this without reminding you of the importance of testing these tactics and to use web usability best practices.

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