Source: Adobe Stock
Remember designing your current website?
The design process, picking the colours, arranging the home page, writing the page copy for every page on the damn thing.
It launches, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. You can sit back with your cup of (now Irish) coffee and celebrate the launch of your site.
Sales come in, revenue picks up and life is looking pretty good from where you’re sitting. It could be the “coffee”, but it’s probably the sales coming in.
Now imagine being told you are missing out on potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales, simply because people don’t “get” your homepage.
You’d feel a bit silly, wouldn’t you?
But what to do about it?
Don’t get into a tail-spin. Take ten and read through this article to learn how you can increase your sales and convert more customers.
1. Measure your website using Hotjar & Google Analytics to identify areas of weakness
This is the first thing you need to do (if you aren’t doing it already).
It’s not a sexy tool and there’s nothing glamorous about it, but if you aren’t measuring how many people are coming to your site and what they’re doing on it, you’re losing out on some really valuable knowledge.
Google Analytics can tell you how many people are coming to your site, which pages they’re looking at and where they’re leaving. It can tell you how much money you’re making, which products are the bestsellers, and whether your visitors are visiting from their mobile device or a desktop.
You can use this tool to find out where the sticky points are on your website, and you can use this information to make changes. It might be as simple as adding some internal links to key category pages (if you’re selling sheets, this may mean adding links to your pillowcase and sheet size pages). But you’ll never know this if you don’t have the tools in place to measure the data!
Hotjar is another really valuable tool you can use to see the heatmaps of people using your website. This tool is free, and you can use it to track the scroll depth of your site, how people are interacting with your checkout pages, and actually record site visitors.
Learn how to use these two tools and you’ll be able to spot the weaknesses in your site in no time at all.
Step one of increasing sales – complete.
2. Perfect your homepage with your key value proposition
Take a second to remind yourself you too are a consumer. Every day you are looking at websites, judging them within milliseconds and deciding whether they answer the questions that lead you to their site in the first place.
Now think about someone in your target demographic visiting your website for the first time.
They know vaguely what they need, and they found your website. Now it’s up to you to tell them they’re in the right place, and you can help them.
Look at your homepage with fresh eyes, and see if you can answer the following three questions:
- Does this site sell/offer what you’re after in three seconds or less?
- Do you know why you’d pick this brand over another?
- Is it clear what the next step is for you? Do you know where to go from the homepage?
If you’re selling sheets, for example, your key value proposition might be “super silky sheets that are made to last”. You would want to have this be the primary element your audience sees the moment they reach your website. This tells them A. Exactly what you sell and B. Why your product is different from the rest of the sheets on the market.
- You sell silky sheets
- They’re designed to last.
Other things you need to consider reviewing and improving on your homepage to increase the conversion rate of your customers:
- Adding beautiful, crisp imagery that sells your product. It doesn’t matter if what you sell is boring or ugly, you need to sell the story that your product will solve your customer’s problems.
- Use feedback and reviews from your customers to help write page copy. Your customers use turns of phrase that you’d never dream of – use their insights as inspiration to create some converting copy to drive traffic to your other key pages.
Use the data from Google Analytics to influence your homepage design. Take a look at your most popular pages and search query report (if you have a search functionality on the site) and add these as key elements to your refreshed homepage design.
Now don’t forget – use Google Analytics data to actually see if these tweaks have impacted your conversion rate. If the average order value and sales have increased, you’re onto a winner. Give it a while to test before you go changing back to the old homepage – you want to collect enough data to make an informed decision.
3. Add a search functionality to your website to help your customers find what they need
We briefly mentioned this earlier, but if you don’t have a search bar on your website, please do your customers a favour and implement one.
There are megabucks to be made (or saved) from doing this, trust us. The benefits?
You can’t argue with numbers like those.
There are other benefits, of course:
- You can understand what your customers are searching for. If there is a gap between your products and your customer’s search terms – now you know what products you desperately need to be selling.
- Your customers can find what they want, when they want it, instantly
Implement and optimise your search bar so your customers can easily find what they’re after (bonus points if your search functionality allows for semantic search and shows product images in the results panel).
Not sure where to start? Here’s a guide to save for later!
Now on we progress to the product pages!
4. Invest in your product pages to push people over the line
By the time your customers have made it to a product page, they’re relatively ready to make the next step.
- They know you have what they need
- They have begun to trust your site with their time and attention
- Now it’s time to let your products do the rest.
You need to treat your product pages like a blind date.
It’s the first time you’ve laid eyes on the product. It needs to woo you. You need to learn all about it, see it from every angle and decide whether it fits in with what you were after in the first place.
Nonetheless, you need to put as much energy into your product pages as you would into your hair before that first date.
You will need:
- Product images (preferably high quality with the ability to zoom in and out)
- Product copy that informs the customer of the key benefits & details
- Reviews to push the customer further down the funnel
- Shipping information so your customer knows how quickly they can get their hands on the goods
Take the time and invest in these pages – otherwise, you’ll see your customers slipping through your fingers quicker than you can say “my place, or yours?”
5. Reduce friction and barriers to spending their hard-earned dollars
Customers are fickle creatures.
They’re needy and have a much shorter attention span than you think.
And you just can’t live without them.
The best way to keep them engaged?
Keep things simple.
If your checkout process takes longer than it takes for the kettle to boil – you have a serious ecommerce dilemma.
Here’s a quick summary from Click Z on reducing checkout process friction:
Helpful time-saving features:
- Address lookup or predictive entry tools
- Copying shipping address to billing address to save time
- Making account creation a part of the process i.e asking for this at the end rather than the beginning
- Guest checkout
- Clear error messages which help users to solve issues.
Sources of friction:
- Forced registration before checkout
- Too many steps
- Unnecessary form fields
- Unclear error messages
- Problems with form validation, such as strict rules on the format required for data entry.
Enabling payment methods like Afterpay and Zippay are another wonderful way to reduce checkout friction. The more friction you can reduce, the easier it will be to increase sales and capture more of those customers.
So there we have it folks – five easy tips to help you get the most bang for your conversion buck!
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