If you have a website it should either help you convert a sale or generate a lead. The key to both is that when a visitor comes to your site they clearly see how to find the information or take the action that brought them to in the first place. If they are confused, lost, or frustrated …all of which can take place in less than 5 seconds, they will leave the site. Here are some steps to help you optimize for conversions.
Step 1: Prioritize Your Home Page Objectives
Your home page is the doorway to your business. Its purpose is not to sell, not to impress people with a really large “hero” photo, and not to prime your ego because you have a really cool flash intro. The goal is to move people as quickly off of the front page to where they should be.
Where they should be might be to learn more about your business, it might be to learn more about your products or services, and it might be into your sales funnel. If your home page bounce rate exceeds 40% you probably need to take a look at conversion optimization your home page.
Step 2: Focus on Page Objective
Each page on your site needs to have a primary objective. Cluttering up sidebars and adding non-page specific content can detract from the page achieving its objective.
If you have several products then you need lead your customers to where they need to be. Your product page needs to do the same as your home page and move the visitor quickly off of the page to where they need to be. At some point they will have drilled down to a product page where the goal is now to move them to purchase, sign up, download, etc.
Step 3: Ensure Your Site Focuses on the Buyers Needs
There is a lot of time, money, and effort that goes into driving visitors to your website. What do you do when they get there?
Do you simply hand them a brochure or do you address the problems they are seeking to resolve? Do you start broadcasting your sales pitch or do you start engaging in a conversation?
Is your site about you or about your prospects?
For many companies, their website is designed with input from multiple departments…technology, creative, marketing, sales, human resources, each with their own wants and needs. The end result is a site that is focused internally rather than externally.
There are times when based on your strategy the goal of your site s to act as an online brochure. In most cases though, focusing on your potential buyers will lead to a lower Bounce Rate, more time spent on site, and an increase in leads.
Throughout the three steps listed above you can also test items such as:
- Adding testimonials
- Adding features
- Images used
- Page headlines
- Trust building elements such as icons
- Privacy statements
There really is an endless list of items to test. The point is, test everything and test often.