What Converting Websites Do Differently
Are you seeing your month-over-month traffic grow, but your on-site engagement metrics are still lacking? Countering the popular saying; it’s not them—it’s more likely to be you.
The longer this problem goes unresolved the more you risk losing visitors. Plus, these issues send a message to Google that you’re not delivering value. Over time, this will hurt your organic rankings.
But your site probably does have value. It just needs a tune up, or possibly, a face-lift.
Let’s look at what converting sites do differently, so you can join them.
Digital attention spans are ever diminishing. Even a brief bout of frustration or confusion is enough for a visitor to bounce off your page. Is your site navigation clear, or does it require a little effort to follow? Navigation should always be horizontal across the top or vertical along the side. Anything different and you’re probably going to confuse people.
Also, be sure to keep your navigation headings descriptive. Generic or unclear language will require the visitor to put effort into understanding. Drop-down menus look sloppy and can have SEO-indexing issues. You should also limit the number of items in your navigation. Would you want to choose from 40 categories?
Fluid Checkout Process
How many clicks does it take to get to the checkout on your site? Does your checkout flow make sense? Can guests buy something without registering? When something is added to the cart, is it obvious, or does the user need to click the shopping cart to confirm? Can users add to their carts directly from product pages—without having to look at the carts? People shop online because it’s convenient. If you can’t offer that convenience, you won’t be the place they shop.
Transparent and Trustworthy
Having a ‘https’ site goes without saying these days, but a secure site alone isn’t enough for visitors to deem you trustworthy. Make sure you’re doing all the little things to win shoppers’ trust: add a secure site badge, list your contact information (email contact at the least) and if you’ve had any press coverage, make sure you’re listing that too. Visitors are more inclined to buy from sites that have already been recognized by prominent publications, put site security as a top priority and are transparent about who they are.
Also put effort into your ‘About’ page. It’s a huge opportunity to share your brand’s story. How did your idea originate, why did you get into business, what do you hope to achieve through your business? There’s no set formula for nailing the ‘About’ page but focus on crafting an engaging narrative that resonates with people. Consumers don’t buy from companies they dislike.
It’s also worth noting your branding must be up to par so your credibility won’t suffer. Does your brand name relate to what you do? Is it memorable? What about your logo—does it look polished or like it was put together in clip art by an unpaid intern? If you want to experiment with some different looks, create a free logo (or several) to get an idea of what you like. Then hire a graphic designer to polish it up.
Are your photos a little grainy, improperly sized or slow-to-load? What about your category pages—does a giant list of products and photos all compete with one another for viewing attention? Image quality is one of the most important aspects to improving e-commerce conversions. A good rule of thumb per Amazon image guidelines is to have product images take up 85 percent of the image frame and to have pixel dimensions of at least 1000 or larger. If your images are slow to load, then try one of the many image compression tools around, such as TinyPNG.
Complete Product Descriptions
Are your product descriptions incomplete, dull, or worst of all, copied from the manufacturer? Product descriptions are one more detail that can motivate a customer to purchase. Imagine if you were researching sleeping bags and the site you were browsing didn’t include the bag dimensions or material type. You’d probably bounce off the site and continue searching elsewhere.
Fast Page Loading
Page speed is a key detail for any type of site. For e-commerce sites, it directly correlates with lost revenue. Over half of website visits are abandoned if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get a gauge on your store’s speediness.
These are the main things converting sites do differently. E-commerce optimization never truly ends, and new trends and preferences will always surface. When in doubt, try to provide the best shopping experience for the user and the rest should follow.