Conversion Optimization

71014_moneyhappiness_vl-verticalQuestion: So, you’ve optimized your website and you’re getting plenty of traffic, but your conversions are still lacking, what can you do now?

Answer: Conversion Optimization. What’s the use of getting loads of traffic to your site, if it doesn’t improve the bottom line? That would be a giant waste of time, money and other resources. Conversions are the ultimate goal in search marketing efforts.

What Exactly Is Conversion Optimization?

Conversion Optimization is the process of making it easier for users to buy from you (or whatever other conversion goal you have). If it sounds too hard or ambiguous don’t worry; improving the conversion-ability of your site is easier than you think. Below are some conversion-optimization steps that are useful and can be easily integrated with your search marketing campaigns and strategy.

Step 1: Strengthen Usability

Before anyone will buy from you, they need to feel comfortable with your site. The following tips can help increase the usability of your site.

  • Think like a user. Try navigating through your site like an average Joe. How would a new user rate your site navigation? Useful? Useless? Easy? Hard? Navigation is one of the most basic elements of usability, so spend some time making it simple and effective. Can a new user get where they want to go in three clicks or less?
  • Remove barriers so users can find what they need. Is there anything in your site that is awkward or complicated for a user? Fix it.
  • Is the overall design eye-appealing and professional? If not, fix it.
  • After looking at your competitors sites, determine if there is anything you should add or omit.
  • Use Search Engine Friendly and User Friendly URLs so visitors can bookmark pages and come back easily.

Example of a Friendly URL:

http://www.mysite.com/this-is-a-friendly-url

Example of an Unfriendly URL:

http://www.mysite.com/page.php?section=goodideas/=3201!%!@$!@&!@*!/@*&^!@(&^!@(*%^!@(&*!*@!@HG!G@/((!H@JH!@JHKH!L@JLJ!(!@@}}{++!+!++!++P_+_++P:++=/==/==/=&q=7583

Step 2: Strengthen User Confidence

Most people won’t spend money until they trust you. To increase trust, check the following on your site:

  • Do you have secure lock icons and “secure ordering” verbiage on your shopping cart pages?
  • It’s important to make sure your site uses standard e-commerce security features such as SSL encryption for processing orders, and/or other appropriate security certificates that are current and work on all browsers. A common mistake made by ecommerce sites is allowing certificates to expire unknowingly.
  • Is there warranty or product guarantee information that users need to know about? Do you have features or services that make you stand out among your competitors? Make sure potential customers/clients know about these services, not only on your site, but in your paid ads. For example, if you have an industry-leading warranty, make sure that it’s shown prominently (and tastefully) on your site, and also in your paid ads.

Step 3: Make It Easy For Users To Spend Their Money

Have you ever scanned the “impulse-buy” sections at the grocery store near the checkout counter while waiting? Chances are you discovered something you forgot or didn’t know you needed and bought it! Modules that show other items the user can purchase once they’ve added products to the cart can increase sales.

This could include:

  • Popular products/top sellers
  • Featured products you want customers to be aware of
  • Items purchased by those who bought that particular item (similar interests)
  • Accessories that complement the product

Having A Hard Time Determining Where To Start?

Remember that marketing is about communication. If you’re stumped on where to begin, ask customers or clients for feedback. If you’re really motivated, hold focus groups. Obtain customer suggestions for making your site better, easier to use, and building more trust. You can gather some extremely important data by just talking to your target audience. Have fun with it and learn to delight in discovering what you can do better.

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2 Comments

  1. Toni Anicic says

    You should also consider the us eof Google’s Website optimizer for split testing. Split testing can make miracles, especially with ecommerce sites. It’s unbelievable how small changes can make drastic differences in conversion rates.

  2. Patrick Wiscombe says

    I was glad to see this article on the SEO site. It seems as though we concentrate so much on choosing keywords to attract traffic (undoubtedly important) that we forget all too often that the traffic needs to be converted into real world dollars. This was good reminder of the things all website owners need to do to close the sale.

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