When you create a website for your company, do you spend enough time considering how views and experiences on your site will convert to actual sales and orders of your products or services?
You would think that after investing so much into a website, folks would know how much their sales have increased, yet in reality this is not the case. You’d think more companies would test and run experiments to know what their conversion rates are. Yet 61% of companies do less than 5 tests per month.
This post explains sales conversion using a website or digital online experience to engage customers.
- According to InteractiveMarketingInc.com, You have 0-8 seconds to get a customer or potential customer’s attention on their first visit to your home page. Use that ‘real estate’ of digital message board wisely.
- Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy yet, so you will need to convince them they need your product or services.
- Product videos can increase purchases of the product by 144%.
- Speed is so important! A 1 second delay in your site speed can result in people moving away from your site before you even have a chance to present your information.
Here are the top 6 things the best websites – meaning the ones that really generate sales – do differently:
1. Their Home Page States A Clear and Unique Value Proposition
Visitors should clearly see on your homepage or landing page why they should do business with you and the benefit of it. There are several different approaches a company can take to engage with potential customers when selling a product. The focus can be on the customer’s frustration or pain, or the focus can be on the solution – showing happy people after the problem is solved. Other components such as building trust and ensuring simplicity and ease of use must be part of the story. Use of various forms of media like visual photos, explainer videos, and storytelling content are part of the formula.
Chonotek clearly states what they provide and how it will help you with your business. They do this using images that tell the story, varying font sizes, precisely worded lines of text, carefully selected colors, and they break the story down by showing how each person in a company is helped by their product.
Having more than 1000 followers on Facebook helps – that’s not bad for a small company.
As the Chronotek story unfolds, potential customers understand that what sets their company apart is the customer service and appeal of working with a small company that really cares about their customers. Chronotek also knows it was a proven fact that money back guarantees and trials of products entice customers to buy.
2. Smart Companies Test Their Calls-to-Actions and Present Information According to What Works
Hubspot featured a company on their blog that increased their conversions 105.9% by having a clear call-to-action that leads to a whitepaper. In this whitepaper, the company informs the visitor about the company & what they offer. The company also made changes to the headline text on the home page, prompting users to click the call of action and read the whitepaper, along with simplifying the informational graphics. These changes were minor, yet thoughtful, and they more than doubled Hubspot’s conversion rate.
Mozilla also tested and tried different call to action prompts. By using a stronger call to action, they increased downloads of their popular Firefox browser. “Download Now – Free” performed better than “Try Firefox 3”. The more successful message makes it clearer that Firefox is free, and calls the viewer to immediately download the program, insinuating that the process will be effortless.
Proflowers is another great example of a company that uses effective call to action buttons. They make it really easy for customers who are in a hurry to buy flowers – they can start by simply picking the delivery date they need.
ProFlowers immediately addresses frequently asked questions that the prospect may have. They seem to know that their customers are in a hurry and have concerns about turnaround time on the floral deliveries. It is reassuring for customers to know ProFlowers is going to work with their time frame. A great approach to creating a call to action is to think of a question you know your potential customers have, and boldly answer it in a headline.
3. Successful Websites Know How to Deal With Apprehensive Customers
Successful marketers hit it head on. Go ahead and address the apprehensions or concerns customers might have when deciding to work with your company. The main concerns are 1) Will this be easy and will I understand how to use it? 2) Is this company legit, experienced enough, developed enough for me to trust? 3) Does this company have a good reputation and track record?
There are some obvious and easy ways to hit it head on and convince your customers that you’re the right one for the job. It’s all about telling your story. Be transparent, friendly, engaging, and eager to tell your story.
- Include a behind the scenes video of your company and how your operations work, or your process for working with a customer, or how to use your product.
- Include satisfied customer testimonials on your homepage.
- Display your unique value proposition right at the top. The value proposition can be about a problem you solve or the experience, operations, equipment, service level that set you apart from your competition. Tell how long you’ve been in business, how many orders you’ve shipped, customer satisfaction rate, etc. There are different techniques and approaches
How do you find out the concerns of your customers:
You should always be asking your customers questions to get their feedback. Understanding your customer’s pain points, confusion and what they are really looking for can help you design a site that converts higher. Encouraging customers to engage with you on social media or your website form are a couple of ways to get feedback.
4. They Test Their Headlines
The headline can make or break your website, and possibly a sale. As mentioned in the intro, the first impression is formed quickly, and the headline is a big part of that impression. It’s important to test and see what resonates most with your visitors. There is no magic formula – it’s a matter of trial and error in some cases, with a knowing and observation of what other successful companies are doing. Check out your competition and check out the top brands of products that sell online. Keep in mind that some of the companies you think are doing great with their content will later test and discover that they need to make adjustments.
37 signals is one of those companies. They tested and adjusted, improving conversions of their Highrise product by 30% by having the headline “30-day Free Trial on All Accounts”. Their lowest performing headline was “Start a HighRise Account”. That one was too vague. It’s important to have a clear headline with a unique value proposition. “Start a HighRise Account” doesn’t tell of any benefit. They don’t give a reason why they should sign up now.
Back to the example of our client Chronotek. They not only makes a clear headline, but reiterates the emotions and benefits of their product below the pricing presentation and free trial action button.
5. Successful Websites Address The Customer’s Pain
It’s a fact, pain motivates people to change, buy, and take action. Having a headline that addresses a pain point has in one case,increased conversions by 32%. Want to be more positive? That is fine, but addressing pain somewhere in the process is always good. Here’s how to understand your customers’ pain:
- You determine what your audience is going through, what they’re struggling with.
- You prove to them that you understand it.
- You genuinely care about their problems and want to help them.
- You start with a surface-level issue they need solving, and you ask them “Why?” five times to pull out the pain points associated with it. The five points thing can be in the form of a blog article, or it can be a list of selling points on your home page.
6. They Tend To Have Quick and Easy Forms
An article we found written by website conversion expert Tim Ash recommends keeping forms to only the essentials. How many times have you been ready to sign up for something, continue and see 25+ fields that you have to fill in? I have many times and I’ll often just leave the site. It’s important to respect the users time. ‘EASY’ is the word, nowadays. If you’ve gotten the user as far as wanting to sign up, it’s pivotal that you don’t let them drop off because your form is too long.
Dropbox uses a simple form, only asking for what they need. No username, no security questions, no birth date, no verification code, no re-enter password field, nothing unneeded. Isn’t that refreshing?!
We found this great list of conversion boosting techniques at Kissmetrics.com:
Techniques to try for boosting conversion of sales-
- Implementing a “Chat Now” button increased free signup form fills by 31%.
- Cars.com recently boosted their conversion rate 2.7% by having a security seal on their site.
- Including discount information in the title (e.g. 15% off Product A vs Product A)increased add to cart conversions by 148.3%.
- Benefits, social proof and credibility indicators led to a 144.1% improvement on landing pages.
- Putting people on your homepage can have a huge impact on conversions.
- Including a pain point in a headline increased conversions by 31%.
- Changing your call-to-action button from green to red has been shown to increase conversions by as much as 34%.
- Try moving around your Buy Now button. Appsumo did this (among other things) and doubled their conversion rate.
- Changing a button from “See Plans and Pricing” to “Get Started Today”increased conversions by 252%.
- Turning CAPTCHA off led to no conversions lost and very little spam mail in this case study.
- Showing testimonials can drive validation.
- Using natural language on forms has been shown to increase conversions by 25-40%.
- Having a nice mobile site can double conversions.
- Segmenting your users can increase conversion rates be giving more relevant content to the user.
- Putting your call-to-action button can really improve conversions.
We love helping our clients create motivating user experiences on their websites! Call Masterpiece Web Design if you are interested in having us take a look at your online marketing message and techniques. If you are going to invest in a website that presents your business and products professionally, telling your story, and requiring ongoing maintenance to keep its content fresh, you should also analyze and trace the traffic through your online marketing medias from social media platforms to your website. We get excited when we see small businesses growing as a result of creating a GREAT online experience!
Examples are examples we found online, at places we shop or discovered in our research. Chronotek is a local software company that hired us to create website and mobile app user experiences alongside of their inhouse technology team. Content for this article was inspired by the Kissmetrics article and our professional expertise.