Part II - Triple Your Customer Conversion Rates with Proper Web Design
Lynda.com’s landing page features only a few key pieces of content, a header that includes their logo, navigation buttons, and a search bar, plus a place to become a member and to sign in; their main headline, their major graphic that includes the try it for free button, a small button to see more information; and a background image. That’s it. They clearly offer the ability to learn more for people not quite swayed, but those buttons are small and less noticeable. The buttons that stand out all involve becoming a member. With the background image and the multi-piece graphic, their page feels complex and informative, while it really is quite minimalistic.
According to kissmetrics.com, sites for the Sims 3 game and Dailyburn.com increased conversion rates by 128% and 20%, respectively, just by removing side content from the landing page and focusing the viewer’s attention. Both offered engaging additional content and graphics, but despite the additional visual interest, the extra content detracted from their main goal of increasing conversions.
Simplifying also holds true for forms, both membership forms and checkout forms. The easier people can sign up for your site, the more likely they are to take the step. When someone thinks they might try out your service, but are affronted by a page long list of questions and answer boxes, the effort to reward ratio changes and often it means they back out. Most websites only ask for an email and a password for free memberships and it greatly increases their conversion rates.
For checking out, using the information they input for the purchase to quickly create an account with your company can be a great technique, but make sure to put it at the end of the transaction. Remember that the purchase is the priority. By requiring an extra step of creating an account before they purchase, a number of people will be put off and you will lose out on what was almost a done deal.
Wording can also play a big role in how effective your website is. Kissmetrics.com features a case study of Fab.com which is an online retailer selling interior décor. Fab.com started their site initially with a purchase button that showed an icon of a shopping cart and a “+”. They wanted to improve their conversion rates, so they tested a number of options to find improvements. Making tests and paying careful attention to the results can do wonders in helping you find the best design for your website. In some of their tests they tried changing the “add to cart” button from the original icon design to a button that said “+Cart” and to a button that said specifically “Add to Cart.” While the “+Cart” button did improve conversion, the “Add to Cart” version increased conversion rates by 49%. People become accustomed to identifying things in certain ways. Because people scan webpages, rather than read every single bit of text, if their mental keywords do not pop up, they may often miss the keyword you used as a replacement. People also sometimes become confused when companies try to change things up.
Wording plays a big part in Search Engine Optimization, as well. When people search for things they tend to use certain language and keywords. Your page needs to match these keywords or else it may not come up for your potential customers. Simply filling your page with keywords, however, will deter customers and result in penalties from search engines, Google especially. To get the best SEO possible, your website needs to be connected to or contain a blog that can be consistently updated with new and relevant information.
As it is not the focus of your page, the blog should not feature on the landing page, but would do better on an additional page found through the navigation bar. This way it will help search engines boost your site to eager viewers, without detracting the viewers that find you from getting to your goal – a purchase.
The articles for your blog will provide the best SEO results when they offer new and impressive content. Information that has already been on the web for some time or articles that simply rehash or copy existing content will detract from your SEO. Google rewards websites that offer something unique to searchers and they penalize websites that try to gain rankings by using content from elsewhere. By making your content fresh and relevant, you are improving your search engine ranking for your main site while, at the same time, developing more pages and more outlets to draw in potential customers.
Articles should contain relevant keywords but they should be utilized organically, flowing easily within the text and remaining relevant to the topic. Both users and Google can pick up on cases where content took a back-seat behind an attempt to just fill a page with keywords. Neither the users nor Google will be impressed, making your company lose credibility. Instead, Koz Khosravani, recommends using the techniques he has used to get a dental client in Santa Ana, CA, to the top page of Google in just three months.
His company, Digital Fusion Business Services, writes articles for the dentist’s main site and blog that cover the latest in dental news. Often times the articles will cover a number of relevant news stories or new studies to create a useful and up-to-date compilation of happenings in the dental world. Staying true to the focus of the dental office -- to get new patients-- all articles are tailored to an audience of everyday people. Had his company been doing work for a dental technologies company, the articles may, instead, have been aimed in a more technical manner towards dental professionals. The articles aim to either address concerns of dental patients or to provide them with unexpected information to help them keep their teeth clean and healthy. By writing on relevant topics, keywords related to dentistry for the everyday person naturally come up, flowing organically through the articles. Careful content writers then occasionally add additional keywords to subtly boost SEO even more. This includes naming the city of the dentist, Santa Ana, to help the search engine direct the dentist’s page to people looking for dentists specifically in Santa Ana.
Titles of articles should also contain keywords such as your company name, short descriptive information about the article, and a location, for companies that cater mostly to a certain area. Google has available a SEO starter kit which states that titles are an important way that Google robots understand the content of your page so they can display it to the proper audiences.
Alternate text for images and naming the actual pages of your website are also listed by Google as ways to improve your SEO. Alternate text shows whenever an image cannot be displayed and is also used by programs that help blind people navigate the internet. They are a great way to add just a little bit of extra keywords to your page. The page titles help differentiate your pages and attract Google’s recognition. Unique and simplified titles can also help users be able to remember and share your page links.
With some companies increasing their online conversion rates by over 300% just by redesigning their websites, the setup of your website is not to be overlooked.