Conversion Rate Optimization: Is your website limiting your business?

Conversion Rate Optimization | |

About Sam Hanhan

Sam Hanhan began his career working with a web analytics software firm in 1999. He started designing, developing and optimizing websites in 2001 leveraging his passion for creative and his statistical knowledge in online behavior. Sam has actively participated in internet discussion panels, featured as a keynote speaker, and was a college instructor for online retail. Today, Sam is an expert in online strategy, UX design and SEO.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of implementing best-practices, and tests, in effort to achieve the highest percentage of site visitors to complete your desired action. It is important because it directly improves ROI for the long-term, and it is much more cost-effective than trying to drive and sustain additional visitors to your website. Most websites today are not strategically planned and designed for Conversion Rate Optimization. Then once a site is launched, people tend to focus on driving more traffic while CRO takes a backseat.

The impressive thing about conversion rates is even a slight increase produces rewarding outcomes. Consider an online store’s current conversion rate is 1.8% and has an average of 100,000 monthly unique visitor sessions. The average monthly online orders would be around 1800. Fast-forward, imagine a handful of CRO enhancements where implemented and increased the website’s conversion rate to a 2.0%. Not a huge jump, right? Pretty doable. But raising the conversion rate only 0.2% effectively added 200 orders per month. Over a year, that’s 2400 orders which that website was in fact losing for the business. Alternatively, to grow 200 sales per month using more traffic as a strategy would require sustaining over 11,000 additional site visitors per month. That can be a pretty substantial commitment.

An acceptable conversion rate varies from business to business. Factors such as the product line or service offered, the intensity of online competition, brand reputation, and traffic quality all impact what an optimal conversion rate may be for a website. I’ve seen a well-optimized site generate a 12% conversion rate, and another well-optimized site pushing 2.5%.

Let’s find out if your website is potentially limiting your business’ revenue potential. Below is a questionnaire you can use to assess how well-optimized your website is for conversions.

Technical Assessments

  • Do your pages load quickly and how fast is your site compared to your closest competitors?
  • Does your website work properly on major browsers used today (desktop and mobile)?
  • Is your web hosting reliable and does it perform consistently?
  • Is your site free of broken links or images?
  • Do you have a custom 404 error page?

Layout and Design Assessments

  • Is important content above-the-fold?
  • Is your site layout simple, clean and focused?
  • Is your site navigation properly tiered and easy to use?
  • Are your fonts easy to read across all devices?
  • Is your site content written and formatted to support usability?
  • Is your contact information easily accessible?
  • Are call-to-actions optimally placed across the website?
  • Does your website convey a professional appearance?
  • Are your web forms short and working properly?
  • Is your photography professional in appearance?
  • Are you delivering an equally great mobile user experience?

Communication & Content Assessments

  • Can your audience quickly identify your site offers products or services for their needs?
  • Does your site display trust graphics – such as accreditation logos and accolades?
  • Do you use well-written headlines across your website?
  • Can visitors easily find real testimonials or reviews?
  • Is your copy professionally written and proofed for grammatical errors and typos?
  • Are your call-to-actions clearly communicating what you would like your visitors to do?
  • Is there a sense of urgency created?
  • Are your strengths and differentiators clearly marketed?
  • Is the value or offer you provide clearly marketed?
  • Do you provide detailed, useful information about your products or services?
  • Does your site include an easy to find privacy policy that protects your visitors?
  • Does your site appear up-to-date and active?

eCommerce Related Assessments

  • Do you offer any shipping promotions?
  • Is your customer service information easy to find and useful?
  • Is site security clearly communicated? Such as a security policy and trust logos?
  • Are available payment methods communicated upfront?
  • Do you offer guarantees or warranties?
  • Are product reviews provided?
  • Do you have a friendly return policy that is easy to find?
  • Have you recently performed price research and testing?
  • Do you have an adequate amount of product selections and ample inventory of in stock attributes (ex: sizes, colors)?
  • Is the shopping cart or checkout page easy to find?
  • Are there incentives for repeat purchases, such as a loyalty program?

Before starting a conversion rate optimization program, it’s also important to gather and understand any data you can collect about your website. This includes web analytics, such as Google Analytics, and even surveying existing customers for feedback. The more data you have to help drive and validate your recommendations or tests, the better your results will be.

 

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