To improve your website visitors’ on-site experience, the most important thing to understand is that optimisation is an ongoing, iterative process. There is no magical shortcut to turn your website into a conversion generating machine, but don’t worry, it’s not an overwhelmingly complex operation either. One just has to accept and embrace the fact that this optimisation process consists of several different steps, and each aimed towards improvement.
First and foremost, before you even start thinking about increasing your conversion rates, you need to decrease your bounce rates. Your bounce rate indicates the percentage of visitors who enter a web page and then leave ("bounce") rather than continuing on to other pages on your site. Although it is good to keep an eye on every page’s bounce rate, the most important ones are your front page and possible campaign-specific pages.
The reason visitors bounce is usually related to having too many options. For example:
- maybe you lack clear CTA's,
- your site's visual hierarchy is "off",
- perhaps you simply show too much content at once.
Many online businesses try to please every visitor's needs within the same page – a practice that can only have a negative effect in the user experience. Personalising the on-site experience for visitors has to begin the moment they enter the site: instead of trying to promote every piece of content you have, focus on few, well-selected highlights, and then improve the user experience based that first choice they make.
Consumers want personalized services (see one of the more recent studies here), but remember to be open and transparent about the way you collect data about them. For example, the Cookie Law is an absolute essential to understand and follow.
While you personalise, you’re likely also segmenting your users. This is not only useful for keeping the content consistent for the given user, but also for you to understand what kind of visitors your site has and what they do on your site. You might be surprised when you get to the bottom of the data!
Instead of limiting your optimisation efforts to simple product recommendations, consider natural bundles (e.g. presenting coffee filters with coffee machines) and buying incentives (e.g. free shipping, coupons, etc); both are effective ways to increase the basket value. In the end, you want the whole experience (aka. the buyer’s journey) to be as easy and straightforward as possible. If the consumer has to think (like, really think) how to, for example add items to cart or what’s the right product category to look for a specific item, chances are you’ve lost them already. A live chat solution is an excellent way to tip the balance and keep visitors content through customer service.
After the conversion, you would probably send them a newsletter, right? That’s also part of the optimisation chain you don’t want to leave out. There are a couple tricks you can use to make your newsletter stand out from spam, but essentially the same principles go with every part of the optimisation process:
- Whatever improvement measures you make, be sure to make them fast. Learning and reacting to the data has to be as streamlined as possible – old data is becoming obsolete faster than ever, and that’s not likely to change.
- When A/B testing, whether your front page layout or your emails’ headlines, remember that you won’t always get meaningful results. Don’t be tempted to cut testing short: too small a sample size can be just as fatal a flaw as the wrong testing hypothesis.
- Keep re-running the process. Learn through iteration and listen to your customers as well as the raw data. The result should benefit both you and your site’s visitors!
About the guest author
Joel Latto is a Content Marketing Expert at Frosmo Ltd. His background was in technology, but over the years his focus somehow shifted through mobile marketing all the way to content creating. Joel enjoys reading his books in the traditional format, but otherwise he is a full-on digitalist.
Frosmo Ltd. is an online business development solution, hailing from Helsinki, Finland. Founded in 2008, Frosmo is on a mission to enable companies, across all industries in Europe and Asia, to develop their websites faster and more efficiently, and truly become customer centric.
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