Conversion rate optimization, otherwise known as CRO: You’ve heard the term thrown around and know it’s something you should be doing, but you’re not sure where to start. You’ve put plenty of effort into driving traffic to your storefront, yet those visitors aren’t converting to paying customers Fortunately, we’ve rounded up 5 easy ways for you to stop spinning your wheels and start making more money by boosting your conversion rates.
1. First Order of Business: Ramp Up Your Site Security
Security can play a big role in converting visitors to buyers, and online shoppers like to see evidence that they’re giving their credit card information to a trusted retailer, not some vagrant down the street selling people’s identities for cash.
VeriSign is one of a few security tools that give shoppers confidence.
So how can you prove your trustworthiness? There are several trust badges you can earn if your storefront meets certain criteria:
- Google Trusted Stores badge
- VeriSign Trusted badge
- McAfee Secure badge
- Trust-e badge
- PayPal Verified badge
It wouldn’t hurt to display all five, demonstrating that your site goes the extra mile to protect the personal information of its customers.
2. Tweak Your Site Design
You’d be surprised how much your storefront’s design can influence conversions. Again, it’s partially related to the trust factor: Would you purchase from a store using a shabby template that doesn’t render well in a browser or from a store with a classy, professional design that offers both visual appeal and functionality? Think the way your customers think, and offer them what you’d want to see.
Color: Color seems like a personal choice, but it can have a major impact on conversion rates through its effects on various aspects of your landing pages. For instance, colors can evoke certain emotions from visitors. It’s called color theory, and it’s a widely used psychological tactic.
ColorsOnTheWeb.com offers a free color wheel for complimentary color combinations.
Lawyerist.com recommends using two to three colors on a single Web page to avoid distraction and provides a useful list of colors and their associated emotions. Blue, for instance, is associated with trustworthiness and success, green with money and orange with creativity and affordability.
You should also pay attention to the colors you’re using to ensure your copy is readable. Combinations such as light text on a dark background are generally not as reader-friendly as more simplistic color combinations. When it comes to your call to action, make it standout with a contrasting color.
Call to action (CTA): Your Web page needs a clear call to action to convert your visitors. It’s a standard concept in sales: If you don’t ask for the sale, you won’t get it. The same holds true on the Web. Your landing pages are giving your visitors all the information they need to make an informed buying decision. Follow that up with a clear call to action letting them know what the next step is.
HubSpot is known for its great CTAs.
Just having a call to action may not be enough; your call to action can have a bigger impact based on the words used, where it’s placed (it should always be above the fold) and how well it stands out from the rest of the page. Experiment with different CTAs using A/B testing.
Copy and text placement: Much like the placement of your CTA, the placement of your other page elements can make a big difference in conversion rates. You want to incorporate ample white space so the page doesn’t seem overwhelming, use a large enough font size so that it’s easily readable but not balloon-like, use clear headlines, and use bulleted lists and other elements to draw visitors’ eyes to the most important areas of your page.
In terms of your copy, keep it clean and clear. You don’t need to persuade shoppers to buy your products, just give them the essentials and let your products sell themselves. Provide all the basic information, specifications, and important details. Ditch the hype.
Images and videos: Thanks to the many things we can do with Web pages today, users have come to expect images and videos when they’re shopping online. Who wants to buy something they’ve never seen? Use professional, high-resolution product images so shoppers can easily visualize what they’re buying. Show multiple angles for complex products, offer zooming capabilities and if it’s a product that can be demonstrated, use video to show exactly how it works.
Amazon uses product images to boost conversions.
If you’re selling digital products, images are still important. Include an attractive cover design if you’re selling an ebook, for example. Images not only serve to provide a visual cue for shoppers, but they can be used to direct visitors’ line of sight to page elements such as CTAs.
3. Make Your Products Customizable
This isn’t always possible, of course, but it can be a big selling point for shoppers, according to ConversionXL.com. If you’re able to, allowing customers to go through the various configurations of a product, selecting colors, sizes and optional features, they’ll be more likely to buy the final product when they’re finished.
Sites like CustomInk.com boost sales with customization options.
Why? They’ve just spent 30 minutes or more customizing the perfect hand bag, why throw that wasted time and effort away? At the very least, make the shopping experience customizable with customer logins and product recommendations geared to their specific interests.
4. Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping is becoming an expected benefit of online shopping. As more and more online retailers offer free shipping as a standard, shoppers tend to look for those deals and skip over those that don’t offer it, even if their prices are slightly lower.
Online shoppers want free shipping, evidenced by the rise of sites like FreeShipping.com, which provide free shipping deals to consumers.
You can thank the U.S. Postal Service for that one, as shipping prices have gone up so drastically that consumers tend to think that paying for shipping will significantly add to the cost of an item. ConversionXL.com reports that more than half of merchants are already offering free shipping. Are you losing business to big-name players who are shipping their customers’ products for free?
5. Keep It Clean
White space is very important to avoid clutter. Long blocks of text are too overwhelming for product shoppers; they want to read the essential features and benefits, have access to some user reviews and be able to make their decision without having to read a tome first.
(image placement for “boost conversion rates clean site design”)
There’s plenty of white space in this product specifications section on Overstock.com.
Too much information on a page is distracting to shoppers. Make sure there’s plenty of space between page elements and don’t use too many different colors, fonts or advertisements. You want your visitors’ attention on your products, not on the fancy banner ad at the top of your page.
When it comes to boosting conversion rates, a few simple changes can make all the difference in the world. Don’t stress yourself trying to reinvent the wheel; simply give shoppers what they want, provide the information they need to make an informed buying decision, and let your products do the dirty work.