The best way to increase website conversion rates is to figure out how to reduce visitor bounces and abandons. While this may seem like a tricky equation to solve, following a few basic steps can help improve your online ROI right away.
Visitors either bounce, abandon or convert
Each website has visitors. They land on a page and many leave without visiting another page of your website. Those who leave without visiting more than one page are called bounces.Visitors who move to another page are called non-bounces. Eventually, many of them will abandon the website before completing a desired action.
What is left are visitors who complete a conversion. A conversion is a desired action of some sort, depending on the website. For example, it could be a purchase, a download or a form fill.
So how do we get more people to convert? How do we decrease bounces and abandons?
Reducing bounce rates
1. Make sure visitors coming to the website are “qualified.” These are visitors that are most likely to convert on the website and that have been carefully targeted through advertising or other means. For example, imagine if you were selling dog food on your website and were advertising to cat owners? Most cat owners would most likely leave the website immediately as it does not pertain to them. If your visitors are not qualified, then it really doesn’t matter what you do to change your website, you will not get good results.
2. Increase page speed. Once they’re on your website, visitors have no time or patience to wait around. If your page takes a long time to load, then visitors will not wait to see what it looks like. Increasing your page speed will decrease the number of bounces.
3. Match landing page messaging with advertising. Make sure your landing page messaging matches up with the advertising bringing visitors there in the first place. For example, if your advertisement headline reads “Healthy, all-organic dog food” your web page better contain that messaging as well. Your website should complement the messaging contained in your advertising.
4. Design execution. The design of your page is crucial to gaining the trust of a first-time visitor and providing them with a clear pathway to converting. If they do not trust you, they will bounce and if there isn’t a clear next step on the page, they are likely to make little effort to find one and leave. That means the design of the website must be trustworthy while also providing at least one relevant, well placed, call to action.
So what’s the result of all this work? When these strategies are combined, the result is fewer bounces. That means that more visitors end up visiting another page of your website and are more likely to become conversions.
Assuming that the percentage of abandons remains the same, the decreased number of bounces will positively affect your conversions.
Reducing rate of abandonment
Now, how do we go about reducing the rate of abandonment? Once a visitor starts visiting another page of your website, how do we keep that visitor on the website to take a desired action?
1. Make your website easy to use (duh!). Usability is a crucial factor for keeping visitors engaged and moving from one page to another, on their way to a conversion. Information on pages needs to be easy to consume and your navigation must be clear.
2. Correct content. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as getting people to visit pages of your website. The content found there must also be what the visitor is looking for and match their requirements. Page content should answer important, frequently asked questions that first-time customers would typically have. That way there is little friction preventing them from converting.
3. It's important. Adding a sense of urgency - say a one day sale or decreasing availability of a product - can further cut down your abandonment rate.
These abandonment cutting tactics directly influence your conversions by keeping more visitors from leaving before taking some sort of action.
Track your results
Follow these relatively easy and basic steps and your conversion rate is likely to improve. Track your results to be sure that it is indeed the case and conduct A/B testing to ensure that the changes you assume will bring you better results will in fact do so. As with any endeavor, you'll need to practice these techniques to continually improve results.
If you have any questions, please comment below or find me on Twitter @alhankeser.