Really, aren’t conversions what everything comes down to? Think about it. Even your social activities on Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Google Plus and so on come down to the end sale. You’re making connections – why? To increase your business. – And what is the ultimate way to increase your business? Sales.
For online businesses, all the sales funnels end in the buying process on your website. Have you ever come across a process that’s missing a few things? I Really Want to Buy This From You… describes several situations where the shop owner has forgotten a few essential details that would greatly help the potential buyer. They’re real life situations, even though we’re sure the shop owners thought they had everything covered.
Remember, no matter how the funnels end or how good they are, there’s always room for improvement. For example, you could always:
Improve your buyer’s purchasing confidence
- How confident are your visitors with your purchasing process?
- How comfortable are your visitors with your shipping terms?
Where is the reassurance for the buyer at the point of sale? Many buyers seek additional support from independent reviews, friends, or detailed specification sheets. Can you give them that support at the product page level? Of course you can.
- Provide star rating abilities
- Provide areas to add/read reviews from other buyers
- Provide sharing buttons for people to recommend your products through social sites
Improve your product details
- Have you provided clear images of your products?
- Have you provided clear descriptions of your products?
- Have you provided clear costs for the products?
Having product detail pages is more than just showing off a picture and a buy now button (although we’ve seen some of those). For example, if you have a product with several colors, do you clearly state that there are several colors? Does the visitor have to look hard to find them? Take pride in your products and:
- Provide a good description
- Provide detailed specifications
- Provide attractive, informative pictures
- Provide clearly labeled pricing and shipping policies
- Consider offering a money-back guarantee
(Read a more in depth article about these product tips with “Presenting Your Product as a Masterpiece: You Can’t Market a Piece of Junk“.)
Improve your search functions
Your site is searchable, yes? Good. –But, how searchable is it? For instance, do you only allow your products to be filtered using various prerequisites ($5-$30, t-shirts, shoes, etc.)?
The problem with “prerequisite” search filtering is that the search engine is just a computer. It wouldn’t know, for instance, that $21 isn’t too far from $20 and could also be added to a $5-$20 filter.
When you offer search functions, make them as comprehensive and intuitive as possible. Remember that there is more than one type of search function and combine them to improve your site’s user experience.
Improve your analytics feedback
Website analytics don’t begin and end with Google (although the mega-corporation does provide a healthy dose of information to site owners). We talk about Google Analytics quite a bit here, but that’s mainly because thousands of business owners use GA.
There are many other analytics programs, such as KissMetrics and WebTrends. Bing Business Center provides analytics (although not, in our estimation, as comprehensive as Google’s). Then you have the data compilation programs, such as SEOMoz, RavenTools, SEMRush and others.
(Since analytics is such an intricate, extensive discipline, you might also want to bookmark Occam’s Razor, written by Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik. His book, Web Analytics: An Hour a Day is highly recommended.)
Tweak, Test, Track, Rinse, Repeat
Are your improvements doing any good? You can always check your bottom line as a final indicator, but wouldn’t you like to know if something’s gone wrong before your wallet gets thin? Probably.
This is why SEMs, SEOs and PPC specialists practice the three t’s of optimization: tweak, test and track. As you make changes to your conversion process, improving pages, funnels, calls to action and content, make sure you track the changes. When you pinpoint an area that makes a big difference, repeat on other pages.
Remember – no matter what you’re doing online, it all comes down to the final conversion. It comes down to one question: Will they buy? Improving your conversion process helps make the answer to that question, “yes”.
Hi gabriella, Really interesting post. Some bloggers don’t know how to make their visitors to buyers. I’m too feeling this problem. But Reviews can make visitors buyer. That’s why most of companies pay their attention to niche websites to get target traffic and increase the conversation rate. However we should balance our blog posts. No more reviews then local posts. That will survive our reader relationships and not hurt to SEO stats.
Well written article with some really great resources thrown in. All good tips for improving conversion rate. The one thing I would caution is not relying entirely on same session conversion or entirely on last touch conversions. In many instances the conversion path is longer than a single session.
Here’s an article I love that shows the benefit of tracking micro conversions (often overlooked): http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/excellent-analytics-tip-13-measure-macro-and-micro-conversions/
Thanks for the excellent post. It seems that in the SEO world, so much talk is about unique visitors, but not nearly enough about conversions. Who cares how many visitors a site has if they don’t convert to paying customers!
You have pointed out some great ideas to increase conversions, but don’t forget about strategies to increase conversions of abandoned shopping carts. Too many people add items to carts, simply to find out the total cost with shipping and they never finish the process. Reach out to those people by email and try to convert them. Many sites are having success with converting customers that have left the site with items in their cart.
Hey Jonathan, excatamundo shopping carts do get left behind. Actually, did a post a while back E-Commerce Marketing: Why Are Your Shopping Carts Being Abandoned? We probably should have linked this post somewhere in the article. Another good one was Has Your E-Commerce Shopping Cart Run Away With Your Sales?
By the way Jonathon we do accept guest blogging ;). Enjoy the rest of your week, and thanks for commenting.