A company’s website plays an important role today. Companies today have an active strategy to attract customers to their website. A company often spends vital resources to maintain a professional website. It is common for a company today spend resources to market its website. It is hence important for a company to ensure visitors remain on the website long enough to generate sales or leads for the business.
A conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors who take or complete a desired action on a company’s website. A company often uses conversion rate to measure the performance of its website. It is not standardised and it varies from company to company. It can include anything from a direct sale on website, lead, customer enquiry or online registration. Achieving a higher conversion rate is one of the key objectives of an effective website strategy. Retaining visitors on the website for longer has a direct impact on conversion rates. The longer visitors stay on the website the greater the chances of conversion.
There are a number of factors that affect conversion rate of a website. A website’s usability is important as it ensures users remain on the website and are able to find the information they are looking for. This article discusses the important factors that can improve a website’s conversion rate.
There are many ways for a company to attract visitors to its website. Studies show that a majority of the visitors will navigate away and leave the website. Retaining visitors on a website is thus crucial for a company in order to increase conversion and generate sales or leads.
Here are some essential tips a company can use to keep visitors on its website for longer:
1. Simple Professional design of the website. A simple but professionally designed website encourages visitors to stay and read its content. The trend today is for simple, appealing & minimalist designs. Attention to detail is important to build trust among customers. The design of the website should reflect the market it targets. Different designs may suit different situations and context.
2. Quality of content. A simple objective of a successful company website is to keep visitors on the website long enough to generate sales or leads for the business. The internet today is full of websites that offer poor content of little value to readers. In order to encourage users to remain on the site for longer, it is vital for the website to offer quality content that is well researched and presented.
A combination of mediums such as text, images, videos or podcasts can be useful to present content effectively and make it interesting for visitors. Simple issues such as spellings and grammar can be easily overlooked and have a negative impact on conversion.
3. Offer up to date & fresh information. Visitor loyalty is important for the success of any website. Very few websites rely solely on new visitors only. If you want your customers to visit the website again it is important to update the website frequently and offer new up to date content. After all a visitor will seldom find the reading the same content again and again of little value or interest. Adding new articles and content to your website will keep your existing users interested whilst attracting new ones.
4. Provide detailed information on products or services. Promoting products and services is one of the key objectives of a successful company website. Research suggests that offering detailed descriptions and images about a product tends to improve the chances of sale via the website. This especially important on the internet as customers have to decide based solely on the product information available to them. It is better to provide more information rather than provide only the important ones. If there is too much information it can easily be separated into brief and detailed descriptions for the products.
5. Offer free resources or benefits. Offering resources or other benefits for free on the website is another effective method to attract visitors and convert your prospects into online customers. Offering free tips and articles related to your business can make your company’s website more appealing to customers who can get additional information related to your products and services. Offering related tips and articles can supplement the information on your products.
6. Offer simple navigation. The navigation or menu on the website plays an important role in usability and ensuring visitors remain on the site and are able to find what they are looking for. Many studies have shown that poor or complex navigation drives visitors away to competing websites and thereby negatively impacts conversion rates.
Navigation should be clear and prominent. It is also important for navigation to be consistent across all pages so users do not have difficulty in finding it.
7. Provide pictures where appropriate. Pictures can speak a thousand words. From design point of view pictures make the site appealing to users and thereby encourage them to stay for longer. However graphics should not be overused as it can have a negative impact. If you are selling a product then offering product pictures is crucial to promote the product and encourage sale.
8. Add a blog. This is related to some of the points discussed earlier. Blogs can be beneficial for the website in more than one way. Blogs offer an easy way to add new content to your website and encourage participation from users. Blogs are very easy to add. A web design company can add a bespoke blog to your website quite easily or you can create one free within minutes using one of the many free blog platforms such as blogger or wordpress.
9. Provide Testimonials. Testimonials are effective in building customer confidence in the company. Confident customers are more likely to be retained or buy products or services.
10. Engage the customer. A successful website takes a number of steps to ensure visitors remain on the site and spend more time. There can be few better ways than to allow customers to interact with the website and the company. Blogs, forums and other Web2 areas have proved effective. Simple techniques such as customer feedback form or guestbook are also effective in involving visitors. If you are selling a product then allowing customers to review the products is another useful method.
11. Offer Variety of Information. It has proven effective to offer a variety of information on the website and not just information about your company. As much as you may want to promote your products and services directly; your website visitors will not remain on the website to read pages and pages of information about your company and products. If you want retain visitors for long and revisit the website again, your company’s website should offer a mix of information. It is a common approach for successful company websites to offer a range of independent information related to their market. In order for a website to be successful and build a community, a company’s website should not only offer self promoting articles but also independent well balanced information that adds value for visitors.
12. Encourage opt-in email registration. Collecting email address of your website visitors can be an effective marketing tool for your company. This can be achieved easily by offering email or newsletter registration feature on in a prominent place on the website. The list can then be used for a variety of purposes including newsletters or direct marketing.
13. Allow visitors to bookmark your website. Providing a simple link or graphic ina prominent place of the website can have a surprisingly great impact on number of visitors bookmarking the website. This is very easy to do and will promote repeat visits to your website.
14.Offer something new. An average internet user comes across a wide range of information on a day to day level. There are over 40 million websites today and new ones are launched every day. Whilst it may not be possible for every aspect of your company’s website to be completely unique and innovative, there should be something new or unique on the website. Offering something new to your users can be important for conversions as it adds interested for your users and will encourage to visit again.
The internet today is full of marketing gimmicks and piles of hyped up information content to make it attractive to users but ultimately failing to deliver something of genuine value to the end user. Offering new information or services that have genuine value for users will build confidence in your customers and prove an effective branding technique even if the information is not directly selling your product or service.
15. Provide a site map. It can be quite difficult to find information on large websites. Any website can grow large with time. Providing a sitemap clearly accessible from all pages of the website promotes usability and prevents users form getting lost. It prevents users from leaving the site due to these reasons. Sitemap also promotes better indexing of pages on search engines which can in-turn lead to improved conversion rates.
16. Respond to statistics. Many free website statistics and reporting software such as Google Analytics provide useful information on visitors but also and content on the website. This information can be used to monitor and test the effectiveness of the various website elements. The information should be used to determine what features are appealing to users and what are not.
As we have discussed in this article once our website starts receiving visitors it is important to retain visitors on the site and generate sales and leads for the business.
Remaining points to be added.