While existing in a COVID-19 world, how users engage with websites is changing; more importantly, how businesses use their websites to engage with users is changing. So how can you align your website messaging with the current economic climate?  How can you ensure in a time of crisis a decline in website traffic doesn’t ultimately lead to a decline in conversions? 

Below are 3 tips on how to improve your conversion rates during COVID-19:

1. Address the Elephant in the Room 

To quote Marketing Experiment’s Managing Director, Flint McLaughlin: “People don’t buy from websites, people buy from people.” 

Whether subconsciously aware of it or not, it is in our nature to trust what we feel we can relate to – what we feel is real. From a conversion standpoint, how you communicate with your users during a dynamic situation is pivotal in both retaining current visitors, and converting new ones.  When a crisis arises, how are you proactively tackling messaging on your website? Are you acknowledging the crisis directly, or conducting business as usual? 

Transparency will be key in establishing trust with your visitors who are already grappling with anxiety and fear. Is your business taking any additional steps during this time to help out? Any initiatives tied directly to Coronavirus demonstrating your concern, care, or any additional preventative measures or efforts specifically being taken on your end? Customers may be more inclined to engage with a brand that plays to hope, reassurance, and comfort. 

It is not only key you address the elephant in the room, but that you address it early. If a user has to inadvertently stumble upon the information, you’re doing it wrong. Credibility and trust are two key elements that drive conversion, and users establish both early in their customer journey. Leveraging banners, blog posts, and specific page content geared towards the current situation helps to increase credibility through transparency and proactiveness. 

2. Test, Test, and Then Test Again

The only way to know for sure what is going to resonate with your users during a volatile time is to test it out. Leveraging a free platform such as Google Optimize, allows you to present multiple headlines, sub-headlines, Calls to Action, and additional page content. AB Testing enables you to ensure permanent changes to your website are the right changes; what resonates the strongest with users at the end of the day.

Afraid your customers have Coronavirus fatigue and presenting any form of content on it is going to drive them away? Test it. Concerned the banner your creative team pumped out is too distracting? Test it. Marketing team and product team at odds over whether to lead with the elephant in the room, or introduce it further down the page? Test it. 

AB testing is a sure-fire way to make sure you’re doing the right things without wasting money on changes that may backfire on you in the long run. AB testing gives your customer a voice, with test data providing a roadmap to creating appropriate, successful, optimized website messaging that aligns with the needs of your customers.

3. Bust Out the Microscope

Finally, with the outcome of the current crisis primarily unknown, your greatest weapon when it comes to your website and optimizing for conversions is being as proactive as possible. Don’t wave the white flag, press in. Leverage 3rd party tools such as Hotjar to gather qualitative data on those customers currently engaging with your site. This data will provide valuable information on both site performance and glaring issues that until now may have gone completely unnoticed. 

When traffic begins to decline, then comes the time to place your website under an optimization microscope. Identify usability issues, frictional elements within your checkout process, and areas of your site where both clarity and value can be increased. The more progress you make in identifying primary issues and working to remedy them, the better off you will be when traffic picks up again. 

 

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