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Conversion: it's the holy grail of marketing. Whether you're selling software, information products, inventory, or just a newsletter subscription, improving your conversion rate is the only guaranteed way to make more sales – and it's often easier than getting more traffic! Here are 25 things to improve on your site to see your conversion rate skyrocket.
People pay money to people they trust. If your site doesn't look trustworthy to your potential customers, it's one of the quickest ways to drive them away!
1. Show that you're certified
Accreditation matters. Comforting symbols from 3rd party sites like the Better Business Bureau or a professional group help people immediately notice that you take business seriously. Even a PayPal symbol or logos linking to a Google Places, Yelp, or Yellow Pages listing help prove that you're not a shady character.
2. Post contact information
The more ways people can contact you, the better. Forms are nice, but please, please, please include an e-mail address, too. A phone number and address should be a staple. And if you have a product expensive enough to warrant staffing an onsite chat application, do that, too.
3. Secure payment options
Whether people are paying on your site or through a third-party application, it needs to look modern and trustworthy. People are looking for any excuse not to give you their credit card number – make it as smooth and easy as possible.
4. Little details
Your whole site needs to be validating the trustworthiness of your company. Pay attention to things like broken links, misspellings, and sloppiness. Your customer deserves better!
Now that people trust your website, they need to be able to trust you.
6. Tell your story
What made you go into this business? Why is it worth it? Who are you, anyway? When people visit your “About” page, that's what they want to figure out. Don't be content with a dry list of dates and a vague mission statement!
7. Show your face
Include a picture of yourself, and relevant employees. You are (or need to be) proud enough of this business to put your personal brand on the line to back it up.
8. Share information
Blogs are great for establishing expertise, because they are a way to show people you know what you are talking about. Tutorials, white papers, and videos all help people understand who you are and what you are trying to teach – and if they are interested enough to consume all the information you share, there is a better chance they will keep coming back for more.
9. Give free stuff
In the same way that you want to prove your own trustworthiness, prove the quality of your products, too. Let people see and feel the quality that you will deliver if they paid for it. Free demos, trial versions, samples – what you give will depend on your product, so let it whet their appetite for more.
10. Share testimonials and references
Let people hear how useful your product was from someone in authority and someone who is just like them.
Now that your customers trust your website and trust you, help them see what you're offering.
11. Quality writing
There are millions of ways to tweak your website copy, so we can't get into all of that here. Anything that makes the text easier to understand is important, so use headings and bullet points and any other techniques you can think of. Make sure all your descriptions are clear and useful.
12. Facts and figures
Whatever metrics you can give, give them. Size, weight, page count, amount of content – anything that might be useful to help someone make a decision.
If you are offering a physical product, do everything you can to make it real to people. Show photos of it alone, with a person, showing scale.
14. Videos and screencasts
Like photos, videos bring your product one step closer to your users. Book trailers, software screencasts, and “Will it Blend?” videos have all generated great success for their brands.
15. Call to action
If your call to action might not be immediately apparent, state it clearly. This is especially true if you are trying to get newsletter subscriptions or other actions that are not purchases.
Remove anything getting in the way of purchases or sign-ups.
16. Your website
Is your site slow? Does it work on all browsers? Is your information available both through text and multimedia? Make sure that your site is as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.
17. Check-out process
Even if your checkout process seems trustworthy, if it requires too many steps or too much information, chances are greater and greater that your customer could change their mind.
People want to spend money to solve their problems and fulfill their desires – but the majority do not want to take a gamble, even if they will be getting what they need. Let them know that you will help them if what they bought is not what they expected.
19. Shipping and delivery
Sometimes extra fees are necessary – but don't surprise people when that is the case. As early in the process as possible, notify people of average shipping costs. Or advertise free shipping and
20. Offer premium options
Some of your customers are looking for a bargain, and others are looking for the best that money can buy. Offering multiple tiers of products or services ensures that each group pays for what they want to get.
Conversion is never going to be 100% finished – so sit back and see what works and what doesn't, but don't be afraid to change it all again later!
Your conversion rate is a number – so notice how it corresponds to your other metrics, and which ones are affected by which changes you make.
22. Split test
Understand how people are looking at and clicking on things on your website. Test two different versions of a page at once with split testing and get concrete answers on what works and what doesn't.
23. Follow up
After collecting email addresses from account setups or newsletter subscriptions, follow up with the users you are reaching. Ask what they are expecting to receive, what they thought of your product, any questions they might have for you.
24. Walk through
Physically watching someone in your target demographic use your site for the first time might be disarming, but let yourself understand how to see the site through the eyes of others.
Yes, sometimes you do need to ignore what everyone else has to say. When making too many people happy makes no one happy, remember that the only thing you really need to listen to is your customers and conversions. What works for others does not always work for you – and that's okay.
There are 25 ideas – it's time to start using them! Don't forget that you can always change things back if the results are worse than you expected. Are there any major changes you have made that don't fit into these categories?