Technical measures that increase your conversion rate
Whether you’re running an eCommerce business or selling your services online, you’ll value a good conversion rate.
And so do we. This is why we’ve been working to analyze data collected with our partners in, among others, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the US. Together, we’ve been able to identify 5 key technical steps you can take to improve your conversion rates.
1. Fast, faster, fastest!
Let’s start with the obvious: a slow website will be the death of your business. It can never be slow.
This is not a new thing that consumers want, they’ve never had patience. But with today’s improved technology and generally faster websites, expectations have risen significantly.
They’ve risen so much in fact, that a major survey by Google showed that as many as 53% of visitors from mobile phones leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to open! Our own surveys confirm these figures. Our dropout rate was as high as 59%!
You may not think this is a challenge for your business, but beware! Your load time is not the same across all devices as phones will often be on slower and less stable networks (3G, 4G, 5G, etc.) than desktops. Therefore, it could very well be that you mistakenly think your website can keep up. You can test your mobile load time here.
Recommend Reading: Increase Conversions By Making Your Website Run Faster
2. Responsive is no longer enough
You’ve probably heard that your website needs to be responsive (that the content of your website needs to adapt to the size of the user’s screen). And that is still the case today. But to really reach a higher conversion rate, you need to go one step further.
This is because there is a massive difference in the way we interact with content depending on whether we are on mobile or in front of a larger screen. On mobile, you can only see a few products at a time. This makes it unlikely that you will show the right product to a visitor from the start.
Instead, when designing the mobile version of your site, you should prioritize navigation and product sorting so you can narrow down the number of products a visitor has to sort through. Highlight relevant categories, recommend sorting options and present these in a slider or similar element.
You also need to consider your popups. They convert amazingly well (if done correctly) for desktop users but work very poorly for mobile users as they quickly become annoying.
There are many other instances of things working well on desktop but poorly for mobile users. To make a long story short, you need to constantly think about how the features and setup of your website affect the end-user. Make sure you don’t only focus on your desktop experience. Pull out your phone and ask yourself, would this annoy me? Does it complicate the purchase flow? Then it will probably irritate the average customer as well, decreasing your conversion rate.
To get the most of your site, it makes sense to test different versions of it. Then you can see what changes work best by analyzing data in Google analytics. If you’re not any good at decoding data technically via Analytics, then you can also try out focus groups and questionnaires.
3. A little filter would be nice
Similar to large physical stores, eCommerce sites with a lot of products can be difficult to navigate. Unfortunately, you can’t have an employee showing visitors around the store, but you can provide filtering and search tools so that customers can easily find what they’re looking for (instead of becoming frustrated and leaving your website).
A good filter will allow you to sort by product name, categories, theme, size, price, color, and any other aspect that makes sense in your case. After setup, it is important that you thoroughly test the filter. Does it actually work? There is nothing more annoying than spending time setting up your filtering options but then having products that shouldn’t fit appear anyway. The same applies to a search function that sends you to the wrong place or shows you products that are not in stock, etc.
It is also important that you optimize your tools’ ease of use. Make it easy to remove or change existing filtering options, add new ones, etc. As always, try to ensure a good experience for the end-user.
4. Structured Breadcrumbs aren’t just for SEO
As you might be coming to understand, ease of use is king when it comes to conversions. Your competitor’s website is always just a few clicks away – if visitors can’t figure out how to navigate your site, they’ll just hop back over to Google and search for an alternative.
One thing that will help you tremendously in this area, is setting up well-structured breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are the links that appear under a menu at the top of the website. They show what subpages you were on before as well as which subpage you are currently on. On an eCommerce site selling clothes, breadcrumbs might look something like: Men » Clothes » Jackets » Leather Jackets.
Not only does the user get a better overview and understanding of where they are on your website, it also means they can easily jump back and forth between subpages without having to use the menu to navigate. It’s one of the few things both search engines and consumers love!
5. Data, data, data!
To get the most out of your conversions, you simply must have the right mindset. Thinking long-term is the only way to go.
Loyal and relevant leads convert better, as do visiting customers seeing relevant, unique selling points. Therefore, you need to constantly collect relevant data from your visitors and ads. This will allow give you valuable insights into your target audience and their behavior on your page.
You can then use this data as the foundation on which to optimize your ad creative, target audiences, and website design. If you have the technical know-how, you can also use this data to put together unique customer journeys so that each individual user sees the content that is most relevant to them, at the right stage of their conversion process. For example, it doesn’t make sense to show meat dishes to a vegan, nor would it make sense to advertise bike locks to someone who hasn’t yet bought a bike. This will take your conversion rates to the next level!
Even though all customers are different, there are still a lot of technical solutions you can implement to improve your conversion rate:
1. Make sure your website is fast (on all devices).
2. Tailor your design for mobile (and mobile behavior).
3. Offer good filtering (and search) options.
4. Create clear breadcrumbs with good structure.
5. Collect, analyze, and utilize data to optimize your advertising and design.
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