So you’ve compiled your list of top keywords. Now what? You’ve optimized your meta titles and written keyword-friendly H1 and H2 tags. You’ve reached out to several bloggers, relevant directories, product review sites and popular local attractions to acquire inbound links and increase your referral traffic. You’ve claimed and optimized your Google Places listing. You are confident that your site’s SEO deserves an A+. You check your Google Analytics and, yep, you are truly an SEO mastermind. You’re site’s traffic is skyrocketing!
But, something’s fishy… you’re recent sales don’t seem to reflect this recent traffic growth. You shake your head in confusion—that just doesn’t make any sense! You have the keywords, you have the inbound links and you have the traffic. Hello website visitors, why are you not purchasing my awesome product!?
Here’s the catch: having a fabulously optimized website is only half the battle. Once you’ve hooked the line and feel the tug, you have less than 5 seconds reel them in.
Here are some key web design elements to help convert your website traffic:
Usability: Keep it Simple
There is no denying it; the instantaneous nature of the World Wide Web has provoked us internet-dependent creatures to become greedy. We want what we want when we want it. Nobody has the time to be bothered. Keep this in mind as you (re)design your website to maximize your conversion rate.
- Have your contact information displayed very clearly near the top of every page. As a visitor absentmindedly clicks through your pages, he or she will be more likely to call or email the company if the information is visibly displayed than if he or she has to go digging and scrolling through clutter.
- Provide a comprehensive contact form on your contact page and/or a “Get in touch” widget on your home page to collect valuable contact information from interested visitors. If you have the ability to customize the fields on your form, ask as many relevant and specific questions as possible so you can address the issue and have a well-prepared response. Make sure your site states a realistic timeframe for when you plan to get back in touch.
- Think like a customer, navigate like a customer. How does a customer search for your product or service? Do they search through various product categories? Are the searches typically brand-specific? Whether you’re B2B or B2C, keep the customer in mind as you’re creating your menu bar navigation layout. Establish your set of main categories and branch each of them off into more specific categories, ensuring there is a smooth navigational flow. If a website has poor navigation, it might as well hold a sign that reads: “get lost and don’t come back.” Your visitor will revert back to Google and find the information elsewhere.
Trust: Keep it Real
A person’s trust is hard to earn and even harder to maintain. Nobody wants to be misled. Adding some little design elements can boost your website’s credibility and ultimately improve your conversion rate.
- This may seem like an obvious one, but slap on your company logo to prove that you are a reputable and professional company or brand.
- Do you work closely with an outside vendor or partner? Do you carry or use a particular brand? Are you a member of a professional affiliation? Don’t be shy! There’s a time and a place to brag—and your website is the perfect medium. Designate a place on your website for your affiliation logos and badges to earn the trust of those cautious visitors!
Content: Keep it Fresh
- A customer clicks through your site and excitedly reads a page about the coolest new product. As his or her eyes eagerly wander to the bottom, the bold text reads: “Coming soon—July 2010!” Newsflash, it’s not 2010 and you’ve just lost a potential customer. It’s a domino effect. Once a customer finds outdated information, he or she is inevitably going to be skeptical about how recently the company updated any of the other content. Check your dates, times and facts and make sure your content is always up-to-date.
- Broken links are a dead end, and no one likes a dead end. The customer may get frustrated and click the back button a few too many times until he or she is safely out of that daunting error page and the company just lost an ideal chance to convert an interested visitor. It’s a lose-lose situation that can be easily avoided. Perform a site audit every month or so to ensure that your links are, in fact, linking.
In the digital age, people have become accustomed to performing minimal work while still expecting to receive maximum satisfaction. So, if you want your company to stay afloat in the competitive e-commerce world, your website has to provide your customers with speed, ease and trust. How long does it take you to make a first impression of a website? How do you decide if you’re going to keep clicking or find the nearest exit? Factor in how an average customer searches as you design your website to enhance your website conversion!