As a website site owner or blogger, I am sure you are constantly searching for ways to increase your conversions and sales.
This may have lead you to explore such things as: search engine analytics, business intelligence, market research and analysis and more.
The reports and analysis you get from such tools can help you tweak your website to get the maximum number of visits and conversions. But it is also overly complicated.
And as a business owner who is short on time, there are far easier ways to improve your business and sales.
When it comes down to it, your website’s visual appeal and usability actually play a far bigger role in conversion optimization (more sales) than you think.
So let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to influence a visitor when they are on your website, with a credit card burning a whole in their pocket!
1. Create A Simple And Engaging User Experience
Your website is not just an object meant to be viewed for pleasure.
Websites involve different areas of interaction such as:
- links to other pages
- engaging visual elements
- vertical and horizontal scrolling
- forms to fill out
- commenting on blogs, and much more.
And to let the visitors know about these possible interactions there are some globally accepted icons symbolizing various things.
- there is the magnifying glass representing search
- the hamburger (three horizontal bars) for menus on mobile
- the envelope for email or email addresses
So we all know it is safer to use these standard website icons and, so that will be understood by most of our visitors.
On top of these basic elements, using a little bit of extra creativity often wins over your customers in the end.
One of the best examples I have seen is this cruise website from the Netherlands. They manage to blend website purpose and creative appeal to produce an award winning website.
Their website impresses even those people who have never experienced cruise journeys before. So much so that it inspires them to take a boat trip across Amsterdam when they arrive!
Ultimately, a clear and easy to use website garners much more user acceptance than a content rich one, especially when it is fun to use.
Takeaway: Focus on how easy your website is to use, and how easy information is to find rather than filling it with content and fluff. And be a little playful too!
2. Use Mobile Optimized Design
Mobile is dominating the web, and has just recently overtaken desktop on search.
And if you still haven’t accepted that, you are losing potential opportunities to your competitors who have a mobile ready website.
To win over mobile savvy audiences it’s an absolute must to have mobile ready website. But for bloggers, startups and small businesses, investing in a separate mobile site is out of the question, and quite often a waste of time.
A responsive website not only saves money, but helps you to save on effort too.
Why? Because all your content is in one place. And your mobile responsive website delivers it to users, on all devices. It’s a win-win really!
With a mobile responsive website in place, you can still improve your website by:
- Minimizing the use of text, and making use of white space instead
- Avoiding large images and other media (eg. video) where possible
- Making clear use of icons to represent elements (where previously you had space for words)
One great example of this is online clothing retailer Everlane’s mobile site (as well as others you can see in this article).
Everlane has a clean navigation (note the icons), contemporary design , clear product categorization and fast load time.
Such a well thought-out website enables users to get what they want without confusing them or wasting their time.
Is your website also like that? If not, it’s time to change.
Takeaway: Make sure you have a mobile responsive website that is clearly laid out and easy to use and not overstuffed with content.
3. Write Compelling Product Descriptions
Words can make a huge difference when it comes to conversions and sales. We have all experienced that.
And even though images speak volumes, there are many areas where words are still an absolute must.
One example of this is in product descriptions. They provide essential information about your products to your visitors such as:
- size or weight
- and most importantly price
All of these details need to be displayed clearly, and be easy to read. So make sure you use a very simple font like Arial, Lato, Roboto and the like.
And because your product descriptions are sometimes the only thing that differentiates you from your competition, this is also an area where you can gain an advantage.
A compelling product description can help drive even more sales on your website. After all, it is one of the only things people have to go on when shopping online, because they certainly cannot touch your products!
J Peterman is an international apparel brand that creates some of the best product descriptions in the business (they were even referenced in many Seinfeld episodes for that very reason).
Their storied descriptions provide the customer with a clear understanding of the product’s advantage and use. Another benefit of such descriptions is that even if a consumer is only window shopping, they often end up feeling compelled to buy.
So instead of pumping your product descriptions full of useless superlatives and adjectives, why not explain to the customer what they can actually gain from it, or what problem it will solve for them.
Actions speak louder than adjectives!
Learn everything you need to know about fonts from Dre, at the Branded Solopreneur
Sujan Patel has a great article on using words (or copy) for even better conversions and sales.
4. Create Well Defined Call To Actions
As you probably know CTAs (or calls to action) are buttons that drive a visitor to take a particular action on your website.
These actions can be anything from buying your product to signing up up to your newsletter.
CTAs heavily affect a user’s behavior on your website and as a result, a CTAs location and appearance is crucial for drawing visitor’s attention and driving action.
One way of getting more clicks is to use buttons instead of simple links.
After all, having your CTA text on a button is far more noticeable than a plain link in your content, right?
And a cleverly highlighted button is all the more eye catching.
There are also many simple ways to highlight a button that can really help increase conversions:
- Make user the text and button colors contrast (light on dark, or dark on light)
- The color of the button should be vastly different to the theme/branding colors on the website
- Keep the words to a minimum
- The font should be easily readable
- CTAs should be very visible (not hidden in a corner or swallowed by text)
Below are some examples of clear and compelling CTAs from a variety of websites:
No matter where you use CTAs on your website (sales pages, product descriptions, optin forms) always test and see what works best for your audience. Conversions will certainly increase as a result!
Check out this detailed post on CTAs from Crazy Egg
What Should You Do Next?
There is a lot of information to take in in this blog post, but I want to leave you with a few clear steps to help improve your website conversions:
- Ask some friends or strangers to take a look at your site and find specific things or buy specific items (ask or watch how easy it was for them to achieve this)
- Check your website on a bunch of different devices and see if it resizes and is usable (often things need to be zoomed, or moved – which is not good)
- Take a look at all your product descriptions (or sales pages if you have them) and see how compelling the really are (are they all superlatives, or do they talk about problems and benefits)
- Check your CTAs and make sure they are clear, easy to read and find, and are blatantly obvious (if not, change and test them)
Soon enough you will find your conversions on the rise!
And of course if you need a hand with your next web design project, Ashley and his team at Mad Lemmings will certainly help you create a high converting website!