One of the most frustrating things for a marketer is seeing high volumes of traffic crossing your website, but not generating many sales. “I’m selling a great product that people need, what’s wrong with meeeee?????”
Well, start by running through this ten-point checklist, which highlights some common problems with the conversion process experienced by many sites.
Common Website Issues Affecting Conversion Rates
- Getting the right kind of visitors. Focus on your marketing strategy – are you attracting genuine buyers or simply half-interested browsers? Does your message need to be altered in some way? And make sure that message is continued into your website itself – if you are selling yourself as a fun, easy going company, don’t then have an ultra-corporate, statistic-heavy landing page.
- Design. A well-designed, professional-looking website inspires confidence in users. If your Contact Us page doesn’t feature a postal address or landline number this can put people off.
- Keep it simple. Adding loads of graphics and tables may make your site look impressive, but it can impede page-loading times, infuriating when you just want a quick purchase.
- Navigation. Make site navigation easy. Think about what customers need to inform them and persuade them to click Buy, and make sure it’s accessible. But don’t over-stuff it with information. Place calls-to-action in prominent positions to drive the process forward naturally.
- Information. Don’t try to gather too much information from customers at the sales stage. Filling in large forms takes ages and is another major turn-off. Try capturing what you need over time instead of one-go.
- Know when to upsell. Tip: it’s not directly before they hit Complete Order. A good time is when something is added to the basket. For example if they select a childrens’ toy, you can offer toys for similar ages, or batteries.
- Check-out. Make the check-out process as smooth and uncomplicated as possible. Be upfront with shipping costs, advise customers of various payment options, and if something’s out of stock, tell them early on. Highlight required fields to avoid people having to retrace their steps.
- Contact. Maintain regular contact with your customer after purchase, for example through informing them when their product has been dispatched, or to get feedback once it arrives. And if there are any problems or complaints, address them quickly and fairly. Although this doesn’t boost conversion straightaway, it should ensure both repeat business and recommendations.
- Try uninstalling Captcha. Captcha is a useful tool for blocking spam, but a lot of people, myself included, find it incredibly annoying, especially when the words in the box aren’t clearly legible. Try removing it for a week to see if it boosts your conversion rates – it may be worth a slight increase in spam.
- Your USP. Very few companies are lucky enough to have little competition. And if you’re not one of them, then you need to make sure your website stands out from the field. Great content; eye-catching design and use of images; usability; and opportunities for customers to get involved, for example by adding reviews or taking part in competitions, will help people remember your brand.