One self-evident fact is that online store, and business, owners would like customers to purchase their products and services. However, when first getting started, your emphasis should always be on the basics, which is ensuring that the product is desirable and sound, that the website is functional, and that potential customers are actually able to find you and what you have to offer.
Once the website has gone live and you are fortunate enough to have a steady stream of visitors, the next logical step for most people would be to look for ways to grow your traffic or even adding new products and services. While it isn’t a particularly bad idea, there’s still the risk of missing out on the most obvious way that you can promote growth:
Getting the existing visitors to make more purchases using conversion rate optimization (CRO). If you aren’t already properly acquainted with the underlying principles of how website design can incentivize clicks and get people to buy your services, however, this can be a rather daunting task for you.
When it comes to achieving the best results, and depending on your situation or website’s design, it may be best to seek guidance from a full service digital agency. However, in this brief guide, you will learn 5 tips for improving CRO on your webshop without blowing the bank on custom coding, analytical tools, or even specialized web developers.
Top 5 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tips for Small Online Businesses
Increasing your conversion rate or increasing your traffic are both tools capable of driving revenue.
CRO lets you grab the low-hanging fruit, which requires significantly less effort than ongoing PPC ad management or a complete website design and SEO package. In some instances, growing conversion can be easier than developing new customers.
Here, you will find 5 actionable tips to help you get started with CRO that do not require too many additional resources:
1. Conversion Funnel Optimization
The first step to increasing the conversion rate is to understand your visitors. Establishing efficient conversion funnels is the best framework for achieving this.
Conversion funnels are a set of specific pages that users are required to visit on the way to a conversion. That actually involves mapping out or creating new paths from the first interaction of your visitors to the eventual purchase.
To ger a better understanding of how you can create a conversion funnel that considers all parts of the visitor journey you can use the AIDA model.
2. Strategic Use of CTAs and Buttons
When you initially get started with CRO, it is easy to reduce it to Call-to-Actions and buttons. The reason for this is because they work and are easy to implement. However, before placing millions of buttons on all your blog posts or landing pages, you should first think strategically.
Effective CTAs or buttons require an understanding of how customers navigate the website; what they are experiencing as they click on a specific page; and thinking about when they are most motivated to click on the “buy” button.
How you style this “buy” button can depend on your brand style/identity. For instance, if you’re an Online store trying to sell a Lilac and Mila Maxi Dress, your call-to-action button will look very different to the styling used by a Smash Repairs specialist looking to obtain online enquiries.
Pairing your button with microcopy can be an excellent idea. Microcopy is the brief one-sentence paragraph that dispels your customers’ apprehensions or fears. It is actually an art in and of itself, but you can always use your Unique Selling Points (USPs) – what sets you apart from the competition- and emphasize the benefits of your product or service.
For instance, an iPhone cover may seem expensive but not in comparison to a broken screen. Especially not if it just costs as much as the band t-shirt you wore once and have never put it on again.
3. Stick to What Matters at the Top
As a rule of thumb, it is always important to concentrate on the important bits such as the CTA above the fold. It is a term used about what can be seen after loading a page without scrolling. Like a physical newspaper that places the most important news at the top so that it can be read without the need to pick up the paper at the kiosk or stand.
Heatmaps (tracking user behavior on-page) will almost always show that users generally drop off the further down a page you scroll. A good structure that’s easy to skim can help counteract some of this behavior, but you can generally expect fewer people to look at the bottom of a page than the top/
You can create what’s known as a hero banner containing visuals, a CTA, a button, and other important information. That needs to go at the very top of the landing pages.
Pictures and other visual elements are usually an excellent idea. Some websites, however, usually emphasize the use of a featured image. It isn’t necessarily a bad idea. However, if the picture is so large that people are forced to scroll to find what they seek, it can end up harming your conversion rate.
Examples of these can be seen across a wide range of websites across different industries. For instance, a Golf player offering Golf Lessons & Coaching can use these images to connect with a range of customers, from the youth to more elderly players of the game. While on the other hand, a Mechanic providing Car Service and maintenance can use these images to also connect with a range of customers, by showcasing previous examples of work and create relevance to the potential customer viewing their website.
4. Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Always strive to minimize distractions. While slide-ins and pop-ups are usually necessary tools for grabbing the attention of your visitors if you would like them to know about a limited sale or sign up for a newsletter, they can also be distracting or annoying to people.
Keep in mind, however, that there isn’t a rule that’s set in stone here. The best advice would be to split-test the page and use your understanding of the audience to help them achieve their ultimate goal, which is to buy the right product for them.
The importance of creating an intuitive user experience is emphasized in Steve Krug’s seminal book on web usability, Don’t Make Me Think. While much of website design attempts to create the fewest number of steps possible, Krug states that “Two intuitive clicks are better than one non-intuitive click.”
Understanding whether something is actually intuitive, however, can be incredibly challenging. When designing and managing a webshop yourself, you will inevitably get blind spots. You have made it yourself; you have gone through numerous iterations and have set a goal you would like to achieve.
Your users or visitors may not be anything like you. Due to this reason, you need to test your website after implementing your optimizations. That could be something as simple as user testing the people you know.
Ideally, you want people that are not your loved ones or close family since they are likely to spare your feelings as opposed to giving you an honest assessment. Still, even your friends or acquaintances can spot things that you may fail to spot.
In addition to this, you should consider using analytics to track actual visitors as they move through the website. You can use tools such as Google Analytics to set up goals and dive deeper into your statistics to learn where the vast majority of users either trip up or completely fall off the website. It can be a good idea to spend a bit more time setting up goals and tracking to have reliable data.
With the 5 tips discussed here, you are well on your way to creating a better website/ecommerce store for customers to interact with, which will also likely result in an increase in revenue.