It’s easy to get hung up on website visitor numbers.  After all, you’ve created your site with the aim of being found online, so the higher the visitor numbers, the better your business must be doing, right?

If only it were that simple!

But it’s not just visitor numbers that you need to be aware of.  The real key to success is keeping track of the number of conversions that your site generates.  A conversion could be any meaningful interaction with your company, whether that’s adding an email address to your newsletter subscriber list, downloading a white paper, asking for a quote or making a purchase.

No matter how beautiful your site is, and no matter how inventive your SEO strategy, if your visitor numbers aren’t translating into plenty of conversions, then your website simply isn’t fulfilling its potential.

Increasing conversions from your website takes time, but there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure a positive outcome.  And we’ve got a few ideas to get you started.

Does your website look professional?

Your business website acts like an always-open store, displaying your goods and services to their best advantage – or at least it should do!

But loads of businesses try to save themselves some money, opting for a cheap web design package, or even a DIY build.  Because web visitors aren’t too concerned with the overall look and design of a site, are they?  They just want the basic facts, so they can go ahead and make their purchasing choices, don’t they?

In fact, a significant proportion of web visitors expect the websites that they interact and engage with to be professional, and of the highest possible quality.  A research study conducted by Stanford University discovered that a high-quality website is of prime importance to almost half of those surveyed.

And just in case, you’re not convinced, consider this – almost 40% of web visitors will leave a website altogether, never to return, if they believe it to be unattractive. So if you think your website could do with a bit of an overhaul, check out our guide on how to plan your perfect website.

Analyse your website data

Analytical tools offer huge insights into the way your website visitors interact and engage with your site – or not, as the case may be.  So take time to study the data, finding out which pages attract interest, and which pages have the highest bounce rates.  Your aim is to increase the amount of ‘sticky content’, that visitors spend time on, as they’re then much more likely to complete your desired interaction.

Remove or update pages with high bounce rates, replacing them with fresh, relevant and engaging content.  Review your headlines and use A/B testing to trial different wording for your headings and CTAs, to find out which ones give you the best results.

Eliminate the jargon

It’s easy to get caught up in fancy semantics, when you’re preparing your website content.  You want to prove that you’re an expert in your industry, but you won’t win many new customers if you blind them with language that they don’t fully understand. In trying to prove your authority and competence, you could inadvertently be alienating the very people that you’re hoping to attract!

Have a clear idea of exactly who you’re addressing your web content to.  The aim is to speak directly to your audience, using words and images that they’ll be able to relate to.  So get rid of the fancy words and the complicated sentences, and let your core message sing out.  And if you can make your CTAs irresistible, that’s even better!

Demonstrate your trustworthiness

Anyone can put together a business website, and claim to be something they’re not, so how do you prove that you’re honest, reputable and trustworthy?  If your web visitors can’t be certain that you are who you say you are, why would they want to interact with your website at all?

There are a number of ways in which you can establish your trustworthiness. But the most essential one is to provide full contact details, so that your potential customers know exactly how and where to find you.  Your address, email and telephone number should be easily accessible, either on a dedicated Contact page, or at the top of every page across your site.

Make sure that you have appropriate SSL certification for your site.  You should also display any awards and certificates prominently, so that web visitors can see for themselves that your business is valid and reputable.

We also suggest that you Include an ‘About Us’ page, and display photos and bios of your team members.  Web visitors like to see that are real people behind your brand, and will be much more likely to go ahead with a purchase if they can see the people that they’re buying from.

Limit choices

It may seem counter-productive, but limiting the choices that a potential customer needs to make, can have a profound effect on overall conversion rates.  That’s because too much choice is overwhelming.  According to Hicks Law, the greater the number of available choices, the longer it takes to make a decision.  And too much choice can even lead to complete inaction, meaning your customers won’t make a purchase at all.

Try paring down the number of options that you provide.  And if you need to have a huge array of products, introduce a comprehensive range of filters, so that web visitors can quickly narrow down their choices.

Minimise distractions

When you’re promoting products and services that you’ve invested in, and that you’re proud of, it’s easy to go a bit over the top.  But if you want your prospective customers to complete a sale, you need to keep their minds firmly focussed on the end goal.

This is particularly true of landing pages.  When a visitor arrives on a landing page, the chances are that they’ve got the money in their pocket, and the will to buy.  All they need to do now is to navigate your checkout system.  So don’t put any distractions in their way.  Make their purchasing journey as quick, smooth and painless as you possibly can, so they don’t have time to change their mind part-way through the process.

Cut down on your input fields

Whether you want your web visitors to part with their email address, or you’re hoping to close a sale, don’t include any more input fields in your forms than you absolutely have to.  The longer you make your forms, the greater the likelihood that potential customers will lose interest, so keep them short and snappy. Try making some of your input fields optional, so that your visitors have a say in the amount of information that they give you.

Do you really need customers to register?

Loads of websites ask customers to register with an email address and password.  The aim is to make it easier for them to return to the site and make more purchases, but it can backfire. New customers may not want the commitment of registering with your site, whilst previous customers may struggle to remember their login details.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t offer a registration option, but think very carefully before implementing one, to make sure it offers your web visitors a genuine advantage.  And keep monitoring the system, to make sure that it’s not frustrating potential purchasers.

Check your website speed

If you’ve been following our blogs, you’ll already know that fast-loading pages are an absolute must, if you want to attract web visitors.  Digital technology has made us impatient, so pages that take more than three seconds to load are considered to be wasting our time, causing us to click away to alternative sites.

But did you know that every second spent waiting for a web page to load, leads to a 7% loss in conversions?  That’s even more of an incentive to ensure that every page across your site loads at lightning-fast speeds!

These are just some of the steps that you can take to encourage higher conversion rates across your website.  But here at Brookstone, we’ve got lots of other methods for persuading website visitors to engage with your site, so contact us to find out more.