“There are only two ways to get more customers and increase the return from your website – by increasing your website traffic, or by improving conversion rate optimisation (CRO),” says Christopher Lamotte from Real Marketing.
“Too many marketers and businesses focus on attracting more traffic to their websites but don’t pay enough attention to what really matters – converting more of the traffic that they already have into paying customers.
“Increasing conversion rates is less expensive than increasing traffic, especially if you already have a good level of website traffic.”
We can probably agree that the primary job of good web design is to get customers to convert. And to have a successful business, improving conversion rates is a good starting point.
As one conversion rate guru, Jeff Eisenberg, said:
“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.”
This article shares some suggestions on using customer psychology as well as tests to increase the conversion rates on your website.
Every aspect of your digital marketing, your website, presentation on portals, email campaigns, blog, and social media platforms, must be designed with your customers’ psychology built in so that conversion rates are optimised.
Your goal should be to get the potential customer all the way through your sales funnel, one step at a time. That means that each page should be optimized to nudge the customer to proceed to the next step.
Conversion rate optimisation is a science
One of the keys to CRO is testing. It’s essential to carry out analysis to determine what’s working and what isn’t. When you conduct tests and make changes based on the results, you increase your sales without increasing the amount of money you spend on marketing communications.
You should run tests to test only one aspect of your website at a time (but you must run the test for a long enough period of time).
To support your CRO efforts, you should have a dashboard of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your marketing’s effectiveness over time. This should include goals set up in Google Analytics.
If you’re in B:B (and your prospects are medium sized and large companies), you could use Lead Forensics to identify many of your ‘hidden’ website visitors, perhaps 98% who don’t contact you, so that your sales team can follow them up.
But improving conversion rates is not just about science, it’s also about taking your customer psychology into account.
But conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is also about psychology
We tend to think that we are highly logical creatures, and yet our decision-making process is susceptible to scores of mental shortcuts and biases.
Too many marketers and many businesses make the mistake of thinking that customers’ decisions are logical. They are not. We are not rational people who make rational decisions.
Your website and digital marketing must be geared towards persuading and engaging your customers – you need to get them to take the next step in the sales funnel.
Branding and website design are important
First impressions count. Is the design of your website appealing? What does it say about your brand and branding? What are your brand values and stories?
Building a brand and taking care of your branding is all important for SMEs. We pay more for brands so most businesses should be aiming to build a local or niche brand.
Keep your website uncluttered with plenty of white space
Every single element of your website, from the layout to the colours, to the fonts, has a psychological impact on your potential customers, so making the right web design choices can mean the difference between success and failure.
The solution is to stick to clean and simple designs. You need page designs with plenty of white space, beautiful and relevant images, easily readable content, appropriate fonts and colours, and intuitive navigation.
Any time you’re tempted to add a new design element to your website, stop a minute to ask yourself whether you really need it. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, it may be just a distraction.
Use your customers’ language
Pay close attention to the language your customers use, because it’s the language you need to use to communicate with them. What specific words and phrases do they use to explain their reasons for buying your products and how they feel about dealing with you? Use your customers’ words and phrases on your website, as well as in other areas of your marketing.
I find that the best way to understand your customers’ language is to get valuable feedback from reviews, customer case studies and customer research.
When it comes to conversion rate optimisation we need to bear in mind the ‘paradox of choice’. We tend to think that having more options is better than few options. However, research indicates that the exact opposite is true.
Research shows that the more options you give people, the more likely they are to get confused and do nothing. Having too many options has a paralyzing effect. On websites that means you need to reduce choices and distractions.
We prefer clarity over vagueness; we have a natural prejudice against uncertainty, known as the ‘Ambiguity Effect’ (Daniel Ellsberg). This shows that people tend to choose options where the probability of a result is known, even it isn’t the optimal result.
Conversion is about persuasion and it’s not a linear process
Persuasion is about meeting the needs of your prospects by delivering valuable benefits that meet their needs.
Customer journeys do not take a straight line. We live in a multi-channel world and prospects experience multiple touch points – perhaps 12 – before they convert into customers.
Good persuasive content should be at the centre of every marketing strategy. Promote the benefits of your products to your customers, don’t simply list features: what is the problem your product or service can fix for your customers? What does it mean to them? Use language that is clear and written in a conversational manner.
Other ways to increase conversion rates
There are many other specific ways to increase conversion rates such as always using high contrast, easy-to-read fonts; focusing on headlines; using reviews and testimonials; being transparent with pricing; offering a guarantee; and designing good call to action buttons.
If you have a marketing strategy that’s working and digital marketing is already driving enough traffic to your website, focus on increasing conversion rates. You’ll improve your marketing returns without increasing your marketing spend.
To increase your conversion rates, you need to measure what’s happening on your website, but you must also take customer psychology into account.
Christopher Lamotte, Real Marketing Specialists