For any business, conversions are important. Until recently, increasing your conversion rate has been a matter of trial and error. You would have to do your best to guess what will entice customers the most, implement it and hope it worked. Now, the Conversion Rate Experts have developed a scientific methodology to boost your conversion rate. It’s not trial and error. It’s not hit or miss. It’s simply a step-by-step guide that is virtually guaranteed to work. What are the steps? Here are all nine, ready for you to implement.
Step 1: Learn the Rules
You need to take some time to plan your future with this method. This means learning about your company, your customers and your goals.
Do a detailed examination of each part of your business. Find out which sections are performing well and which ones are lagging behind. Walk a mile in the shoes of your visitors. Visit your site from the eyes and minds of your potential customers and examine the conversion process from start to finish. Set aside some time to develop your long-term strategies, goals and ways to measure them both.
Step 2: Examine your Traffic
Your web traffic is critical for your conversions, but you may be surprised to find out how little you know about it. There are great tools such as KissMetrics that available to show you what your visitors are doing. Knowing what they’re doing is important. Knowing where they falter and fall away is critical.
Where are your visitors coming from? Find out what pages are linking to yours, what people search for when they find you and any other source of new web traffic. What do they do once they’re here? Tracking what pages your visitors land on, what links they click and what they search for on your website is all valuable information. You’ll be able to determine what works and what leads them astray. What entices them? What drives them away? Discover which routes through your site lead to the most conversions and which ones cause visitors to drop.
Step 3: Know your Visitors
It’s important to know what type of people convert. Knowing what audience to market towards for a higher level of success is a good idea. On the other hand, you should also learn about the customers that don’t convert. What are these visitors like? Why did they sign up, or why did they leave? Targeting people who don’t convert may seem like a waste of time and money, but when you’re looking to broaden your audience, you need to start somewhere. Knowing what people who drop are like will help you find a way to adapt yourself to their needs.
Step 4: Who else is Out There?
Unless you’re very lucky or very, very niche, you’re not alone in your field. You have competition. There are other businesses doing what you’re trying to do. Some of them may be old hands with plenty of resources to throw at any problem. Others might be newcomers trying to take your slice of the pie. No matter what their position, you can always learn from them.
Who do you compete with? Which companies are considered the industry leaders? What are your customers, potential customers and reviewers saying about them? Where can you benefit by strengthening your position against a competitor’s weakness? These are all things to look for. Monitoring trends on social media is an invaluable source of information.
Step 5: Find your Strength, Find your Wealth
Your company is doing something right. That’s why you’re successful enough to be searching for ways to increase conversion rates, not simply to stay afloat. That means some parts of your company can be leveraged for extra wealth in the field of customer attraction. Examine your assets and discover what your customers like the most. What persuades them to convert?
It is well worth the time and energy spent identifying the persuasive parts of your company. Once you know what makes your customers convert, and you know what part of the customer conversion process most ripe for the picking, you can strategically place your persuasive assets for maximum benefit.
Step 6: Put your Knowledge to Use
In the past five steps you’ve spent a lot of time gathering information. It’s time to put that information to use. You now know what the strengths and weaknesses of your company are, so use that information to grow your strengths and try to fix your weaknesses. You know what your customers do on your site, so tweak things to funnel them in the right direction. Leverage your persuasive assets to convert visitors into customers.
This step is critical. Everything you’ve done up to this point has been preparation. Now is when you get to formulate your big ideas and put them into motion. Don’t be gradual, don’t be timid. Big, bold steps will show your visitors you’re ready for something new and they should give you a second look.
Step 7: Design Experimental Websites
Web design is a long process. It can be quite expensive to implement an entire new website. What you want to work with in this step is a functional wireframe. A wireframe is little more than a skeleton of a website. There is enough there to conduct usability tests, but you haven’t yet invested everything in the design and coding of the new project.
At this point, you know what your current website does best and what is holding it back. Your new, experimental website should put effort into maximizing those strengths and minimizing those weaknesses. With an interactive wireframe, you can have several employees put their minds into the shoes of your users to explore the usability of your new site.
Step 8: A/B Testing
Now you have an experimental web page. It’s time to do some A/B testing. A/B testing is a simple concept. All you need to do is take your experimental site and run it through a tool such as Optimizely which is designed for these comparisons. In each variation, you make one minor change. You compare the original site with the changed site and see which one provides a greater benefit.
Make sure that the members of your staff participating in these tests know what is going on and what the purpose of the testing is. Your goal is to go through a series of iterations, each step determining which changes give you the greatest conversion rate. By the end of the process, you should have a site optimized for maximum conversion.
Step 9: Apply Insights
You now have a wealth of information about your conversion process, an optimized website and a marketing campaign that needs to play catch-up. It’s time to apply the insights you’ve gained to the rest of your marketing program. Here are a few ideas how.
A successful headline on a landing page can become a slogan applied to other aspects of your marketing campaign. A successful landing page can be adapted into a single static page for magazine ads or paper flyers. Some of your marketing insights might apply to your affiliates, building and strengthening your relationships.
With the amount of information you’ve obtained, you can apply dozens of improvements to all facets of your marketing and conversion process. You can even start over and go through the entire process again, streamlining the initial steps based on the information you already have.
Other Conversion Rate Optimization Articles on UsabilityGeek
After reading this article, you may also be interested in reading these great articles on Conversion Rate Optimization that have been published on this blog:
- An Introduction To Conversion Rate Optimization
- 5 Main User Experience Barriers To Sales Conversion And How To Overcome Them (Part 1)
- 5 Main User Experience Barriers To Sales Conversion And How To Overcome Them (Part 2)
- Landing Page Optimization With Google Analytics
- 5 Simple Conversion Rate Optimization Tips For Your Website
(Lead image: Depositphotos)