8 website conversion principles to turn clicks into cash
Having a business website is not enough.
Business owners may think that by putting ALL the information about their business, their products, services, some pretty pictures and a buy now button on their website it will get the sales rolling in.
You have told the customer everything they need to know haven’t you?
I used to think that putting EVERYTHING the customer needed to know about my business would be enough. I could sit back and watch the cash stack up.
I launched the website………………Nothing.
It wasn’t engaging. I didn’t have an obvious call to action. There was too much text. I didn’t understand my customers and the mindset they were in when searching online.
Increasing traffic to a website with SEO and online advertising is one thing, but once they get to your website,
Website sales = Inform + Convert
The number one reason for having a website is to inform and educate visitors about what your company does, why it is better than your competitors, and how what you offer will provide your customer with what they are looking for.
The next step is guiding that online user to take the desired action you want them to take.
It doesn’t matter if you are the greatest face-to-face salesman in the world, if your customers are coming to your website and bouncing straight back off, you will never get the chance to engage and convert.
There is no magic secret to ensuring 100% conversion on your website. But there are some proven strategies and psychological brain triggers that can engage and encourage your online customers towards clicking on the “Buy now” button.
Here are 8 strategies that you can implement into your businesses website or e-commerce website to help the conversion process.
This is a bit of an obvious one to start, but I figured we might as well get it out of the way first. Everything we are talking about here is design.
Conversion is designing a webpage in such a way as to achieve a desired outcome.
Studies have shown that 94% of a users initial reaction to a companies website is design related.
In the same survey, 75% of users reported that they made judgments about a companies credibility solely based on their website design.
Having a professional looking and well designed (pretty) website is important to conversion because it impacts the perceived trustworthiness of your brand.
Don’t believe me?
Just think about what YOU do when you are searching online. If you come across a bad website, with poor colour choices, blurry small images, heaps of tiny text and it takes you 10 minutes to figure out how to get the information you want;
You going to
A) Think this website is pretty shitty, and
B) The company is pretty shitty.
Good design = Trust
Your website represents your business and brand. Make it look impressive otherwise your customer will be left thinking:
“If they aren’t going to put time and effort into their own website, are they putting time and effort into their customers?”
Design doesn’t just mean making a website look good. It is also about usability, the ease of access to information and the way the website makes the user feel.
You really need to first understand how your online customers are behaving Web users are impatient.
So give them what they want. The information they require as quickly as possible so they can get to the buying process and get on with their day.
Keeping your website simple and easy to use will result in higher conversions.
Speed is the key.
Here are a few usability principles to implement into your websites design:
Baby duck syndrome
Online users prefer the systems that they learnt on and reject the unfamiliar.
This means the customer likes what they are used to. You do not have to reinvent the wheel with your website design, because if it is too different from what is expected then users will not like it.
Resulting in fewer conversions.
For example if you have an e-commerce website, make it look like an e-commerce website. Have a look at other e-commerce websites and look for common elements. Users are used to these. The buy button is in a consistent area. The navigation bar is in the usual spot.
Am I saying to just copy what is already out there?
That would be boring.
There is still plenty of ways to make your website unique, just ensure that you are consistent with what is already out there in terms of layout so that the user doesn’t get confused.
The 2 second rule
Make it snappy.
Users hate waiting. If any part of your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, chances are you are going to lose them and the potential sale.
It is such a simple idea, but your users really are that impatient.
Make sure your website and pages are loading quickly to keep your users happy.
Happy customer = Greater chance of a sale.
7 + 2 principle
This principle has to do with navigation and short-term memory.
Our short term memory can only retain 5 – 9 things at once. This is because we have limits on our capacity to process information. To deal with complexity our brains divide information into chunks and units.
When it comes to your navigation bar, understand how your users brain is working.
Limit the number of menu options to 7 for greater and faster mental processing.
7 plus or minus 2 is 5 or 9. The number of items a person can keep in their short term memory.
Too many menu options is bad. The average brain just can’t process it quick enough.
The 3-click rule
A user will stop using a website if they can’t find the information they are looking for within 3 clicks.
Make sure your website has a logical structure and clear navigation so that the user can go backwards and forwards between pages easily. It is really important that the user always knows where they are within a website, where they can go next and how they can go backwards. Your user is in a hurry and they are scrolling or clicking through pages quickly. Don’t let them get lost.
Making the user feels as if they understand the system will result in higher conversions as they relate and associate positive emotions with your website and therefore your business.
The Paradox of Choice
Don’t bombard your user with too many options.
Barry Schwartz argues that eliminating a shoppers choices can greatly reduce anxiety.
Less Anxiety = Better Feelings = Better Experience = Conversions
Ever been to a restaurant with a huge menu and lots of options for dinner? Hard to decide what you wanted.
Compare that to a restaurant where there were only 5 choices for your main. Pretty easy to choose.
It is the same for the users on your website. The less choice the higher click through rate.
KISS and MMM = Keep it Simple Stupid and Make More Money!
Using the right images can greatly increase conversions on your website when paired with clear, informative and easily scan-able chunks of text.
Our eyes are drawn to images. So make sure that the pictures you are using on your website are high quality and look professional.
You are going to have to part with a bit of cash here unless your family friend is a photographer.
If you don’t have a good camera then stock images are great for increasing the professional and clean look of your website. They are pretty cheap if you buy a few at a time and there are plenty of websites out there with a huge catalog.
The best types of pictures for getting your users attention are pictures of people. This is where stock images are not as useful because most users can pick the staged shot. To be most effective, use real photos with real customers. It makes you look more genuine and relatable.
Hire a photographer and get some professional real life images of you, your customers and your products being used. It will make a huge difference.
Subconscious directional cues within the images on your website are great for directing an online users attention.
Use subtle visual cues, such as the direction a person is looking to guide the user towards the piece of information on the website you want them to pay the most attention to, such as your “Call to Action” button.
Make it happy
Using images of happy smiling people result in the user getting positive vibes and happy feelings. This results in higher conversion rates.
If you are an e-commerce store; make sure you have plenty of pictures of the products you are selling. Multiple angles, different colours, everything. The more a shopper can see the more comfortable they will be making their purchase.
This is where the magic happens. But it isn’t easy.
Your text-based content is going to be what gets the job done for you. The problem is you don’t have time to give a long-winded 500 word sales pitch.
You have one or two lines.
That means you need to be engaging and get to the point quickly.
Use the journalistic trick of an inverted pyramid to prioritize your content.
Use a great 1 or 2 line hook to grab your users attention followed by the essential and most important pieces of information. Then move through your content to the less vital information.
If the user is interested they will keep reading. But knowing how short their attention span is, make sure that if they stop reading halfway through, they are still going to leave knowing the most important information.
Lose the hype
Knowing the limited amount of attention you have, cut out the hype and the fluffy over the top sales language.
To help your visitors make easy purchase decisions, your text based content needs to be clear and compelling.
No beating around the bush.
This will also make it easier to break the content down into small pieces for you to share on social media.
What are the benefits?
Don’t ever underestimate how much people care first and foremost about their own problems.
Is your product going to fix someone’s problem?
Then tell them about it.
People purchase things for one of two reasons. They either want to increase pleasure or decrease pain. Clearly define the benefits or your products and services then communicate it through your website
This is basic sales 101, the only difference is that now you are using your website to do the selling.
Use your website to tell your customers exactly:
- What they are going to get
- How it is going to benefit them, and
- The results they will achieve
Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
Has a friend ever given you a hot little stock tip and immediately you wanted to invest despite not knowing anything about the company, or the stock market for that matter. If they were going to get rich, you wanted to as well.
People have an innate fear of missing out.
Talk about the drawbacks if your customers don’t take action. What will happen if they don’t purchase.
Implement a bit of FOMO into your website marketing to increase conversions.
The best way to show that your product or service works is to give examples of other happy customers.
You can rant and rave about how great your offering is all you want, but nothing promotes buyer activity more, then having some real life examples.
The easiest thing to do is to contact some of your satisfied customers and ask them to write a short testimonial for your website. Ask them to be specific about what it was that they valued most and how your offering benefited them with some clear results.
Testimonials build confidence and break down some of the hesitations that your users might be feeling.
The Call to Action
This is the money shot.
Everything we have been discussing so far has been leading us up to this point.
All this time and effort has gone into encouraging your customer to take this desired form of action.
“Fill out this form” “Click on this” “Read this post” “Sign up here”
There should be a strong call to action in every piece of content on your website.
The call to action should be clear and specific so that there is no doubt in your customers mind about what it is they should do next.
Use buttons instead of links and incorporate a bold colour that stands out from the rest of the colours on your website. This way it immediately draws the viewer’s attention.
There is no sure fire, 100%, money back guarantee on the best way to optimize your website for converting visitors into customers. The above tips for website conversion are general industry best practices. If implemented they can help you improve your online sales results.
Got some other great psychological online conversion tips to share? Tell me about them below.