How to increase website conversion rates

By Anthony Caruana

You've created a website and the number of visitors is rising. But customers aren't engaging with you and there hasn't been a bump in sales. Everyone is shopping online but you're not reaping the whirlwind. How can you convert site visits into sales?

It's been the challenge of sales ever since the first stores opened. You put a lot of time and effort into attracting customers but once they're in, they don't open their purses and wallets. In the online era, it's relatively easy to see what potential customers are doing once they visit your site so that you can increase your conversion rates.

Use analytics to check visitor behaviour

If your website doesn't have a tool that delivers information on who is visiting your site and what they are doing, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Both Google and Microsoft offer tools that give detailed information about what's happening with your website. As well as telling you how many visitors you're getting, you can see how they arrived at your site, which pages they visited, what they were searching for and how long they spent browsing.

You can use that data to refine the operation of your website. For example, if you're a local business but most of your site traffic is coming from overseas and you don't ship outside Australia, then perhaps it's time to reassess your strategy and start selling to overseas markets.

If many customers get all the way through to the checkout stage but then abandon their shopping carts, this is a signal that you need to address something at the last hurdle. For example, are your payment systems too complex or slow?

Using real data means that you can make informed decisions rather than hoping for the best.

Are you focused on you or the customer?

Is your website put together based on your preferences, or on what your customers want? Most of us think that we are representative of our customers and know what they want, but that's not always true.

Look at your product and service descriptions. Do they assume some level of knowledge? As an expert in your field, it's possible that you created site content that isn't simple enough for customers who are new to your products or services. Look critically at your content and refine it so that both basic and more in-depth information is available.

If you haven't set up Google Analytics and/or Bing's Webmaster tools, now is the time to get them up and running. If you have access to this data, are you acting on it?

Do you have a plan to continually improve your customers' online experiences?

 

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