Is Your Website Doing It's Job? Three Ways to Improve Conversions

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Josh Burrell
Josh Burrell



Truth: All websites serve the same purpose — to create conversions. Even though many website owners do not realize this, the purpose of any site should be to identify and track conversion.

It is true that conversions take on many different looks and serve many different purposes. A conversion to you may mean a purchase; to another person, it means dissemination of information and/or simply recognition.

So if your website’s job is to somehow create conversion and to turn traffic into a measurable statistic, the question you should be asking is “How do I do that better than my competitors?”

1. Define a Conversion and Know How to Track It
This seems simple, yet so many websites miss this by a mile. In order to optimize your website successfully, you must have a way to define that success. Conversions can literally be almost anything. They can be a click on a button, filling out of a contact form, downloading a file or making a purchase. It really doesn’t matter what you have defined as a conversion; you just have to know what it is, and you must have a way to track it.

We all come across websites (or maybe even own a website) that has no direction. It is simply taking up space in the digital world. It is not that websites like these have no value. Someone may come across them, see piece of information on them and take some action on the site. The problem is that there is no way to define success.

Operating a website like that would be like operating a business with no accounting system in place and no goals to meet. Sure, you may sell product here and there, but are you making a profit or heading towards bankruptcy?

The first things you must do in order to increase your online conversions is simply define what a conversion and know how to track it.

2. Implement a Concrete, Emotional Benefit Statement vs. an Abstract, Intellectual One
You have defined a conversion and know how to track it, and now you are ready to make some changes to really increase the conversion rate of your website. The first thing you need is a very short lesson in psychology: people really want to be told what to do and why.

Your website should answer these two questions: What should I do? Why should I do it? And when I say answer these questions, I mean directly on the site, in text. How you answer those questions is very, very important. Yes, people want to be told what and why, but no one wants to be told like a soldier at boot camp.

In fact, studies show that they want to be told in some very specific ways. The example below shows different benefit statements a website used and the resulting conversion rates on the site.

As you can see, a concrete, emotional benefit statement like “Create a webpage for your business” lead to much higher conversions than an abstract, intellectual one like “Businesses grow faster online.”

Your website is competing with other websites. You should include a benefit statement that concretely answers the “what” question and emotionally answers the “why” question.

3. Always Be Testing: Always be looking for changes that increase conversion
The truth is that you are never done optimizing your site for conversion. As buying habits change, the markets change, competition changes and your businesses changes, there will always be things that you can do to increase conversion on your site.

Take inventory of all the calls to actions on your site, benefit statements and conversion actions, i.e. downloads, contact forms, purchase buttons or prices. Begin working through these and testing them. You may have a great benefit statement, but that does not mean there could be one that would resonate better with customers and increase conversion even more.

The graphic below shows the conversion rate optimization process.

The biggest thing to note about this process is that it is a circle, it never ends, never stops. The companies and websites that are leading the way when it comes to conversion are continually somewhere within this cycle. They are not stopping after they find a solution. They begin again to see if there is a better solution or another area on their website that needs a solution.

Until you are converting 100 percent of visitors that come to your website, you have room for improvement. Continue to look for changes you can implement to increase conversion.

Again, all websites exist to create conversions in some way shape or form. There are a limited number of searchers on the web. Your website is competing for their conversions. Implementing the three things in this will put you on the right track to increasing conversions on your website and growing your business.


Chart courtesy of CityCliq.

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