These an eye catching image and user-friendly site will not be enough to amaze the user. Anybody can find many examples of skillfully crafted websites and copy their tricks. However the results are usually far from ideal. Conversion rate remains on the same level, and many website owners question themselves what decision was wrong or ineffective and what to do to increase conversion rates.
To find the answer, let’s determine how to measure the website effectiveness. Conversion rate is one of the most popular metrics, but what does show and how to increase it?
Project and conversion types
Let’s consider two project types:
1. Online stores: any website where the user can buy or order product and services.
A conversion here would be a purchase. Make sure to include both types of purchases – made via website and telephone, if possible.
2. Media projects: content sources, news websites, guides, etc. In this case a conversion can click on banner or number of ads views.
Media projects make money on advertisement, so the principal metrics will be time on site, number of pages which have been viewed, metrics reflecting customers’ loyalty, etc. One of the most popular goals is to find the most clickable areas and set the higher price for banner placement there.
On the Internet you can also find other types of projects, such as social networks, for example. But for now we will consider conversions only for ecommerce websites and media projects.
As we just have pointed out different website have different aims so the metrics which measure the effectiveness shouldn’t be the same too. In real life however many website owners measure only standard conversion which is not representative at all. So what should be done to improve the situation?
The first thing you need to do is to determine the key indicator of effectiveness (Key Performance Indicators — KPI). After that you should consider these indicators statistics over the time to be able to understand the weak points.
For online stores:
measure the overall conversion – number of purchases, also see how many users clicked the “Order now” button in the site header, in the shopping cart pop up, on product page, etc. Then segment the collected data by the product categories, regions, traffic source, and other parameters. According to our statistics the overall conversion rate substantially varies depending on the site thematic – from 0,23% to 4,69%.
Average conversion rate
|Electronics, household appliances, tools||
With the help of statistics, we can figure out where there is potential in website growth and what interface improvements it might need.
1. For media projects:
measure the overage time on site, bounce rate, number of pages viewed, also check the number of banner clicks and clicks on the buttons like “Read more” which lead to the related articles or articles of the same author.
According to our statistics, on average, media projects have the following indices.
Time on site
If the data you have collected shows poorer results, then it means there is plenty of room for interface improvements.
Now, when we have determined the effectiveness metrics, measured them and detected weak points, it is time to proceed to interface improvement.
General rules of effective page design still work, so let’s consider the most important of them, which are applicable to both types of websites: online stores and media projects.
1. Landing pages
You should know on what pages the users land when they come to your site or use search option inside the website. It is important to measure bounce rate on such pages.
As a result you will be hinted on what improvements your website might need. For example: there is essential traffic to the website, people can use search on the website, but nevertheless people leaving the pages (bounce rate is more than 70%). How to increase conversion and decrease bounce rate? Clearly it is the case for usability and design.
First of all, landing page should answer the question which bothers the users coming to your website and it should meet the following requirements:
– The answer is located on the first screen
– Landing page contains call to action
– Target button is prominent and stands out from the rest
– Very often there is psychological barrier in shopping online. Your task in this case should be attract the user attention, prove your credibility and give them the tool to study the website further.
Sadly, content still doesn’t receive enough attention, either in online stores or media projects.
Ecommerce websites do not have large budgets for writing content and typically they are limited to simple SEO texts.
Media projects also save money on hiring professional writers and journalists which directly affects content quality.
According to our experience, thoroughly elaborated micro-texts and prompts can lead to sales increase and better customers’ loyalty to media websites. They can increase conversion as well. We would cite the next requirements:
– Texts should be meaningful and helpful to the user, not just bunch of SEO keywords
– Text should be well-structured with clear headings, subheadings, and other elements
– Text should be comparatively short. Remember also that if the text is not interesting to the user, they won’t read it, but if it engages, then they will read it through, leave comment or feedback. So the main purpose is to interest the user, this is how quality content resources gather large audience
– You should always remember about the grammar side of the texts. This fact directly influences your brand credibility.
Images should be large and quality. In shopping one of offline store advantages is ability to feel the product. To give the user the similar kind of experience, your product should feature a great number of photos. User could be interested even in tiny details, as bar-codes, storage battery images, and so on.
Good pictures in the articles make long texts easier to read and bring the sense of quality and credible resource. User will believe more the article with photos than one without them.
2. Cross referencing
Cross referencing blocks and links help users better explore the website and visit other pages.
They increase the number of pages per visit and time on site indices.
In media projects such reference blocks could be “You can also read” or “Articles related to the topic”. To achieve this you should develop an algorithm of articles linking, so that users could see really relevant materials.
For online stores the form of such referencing could be links to the similar products, items which have been bought by users who also purchased this product, etc. Don’t be afraid to use such blocks, there is no way we can make the people to buy one particular product, but if they are already in our store, make sure to give them the widest range of choice, visually separating the most optimal options for their case.
3. Means of personalization
People like surprises. Think of how nice it is to suddenly receive a gift from the restaurant – a basket with bread or a couple of sweets. These small things can affect people’s loyalty and make them feel they are very precious customers to you.
Personalization online in possible only when you have enough information about the user. How to get it? If the users see your resource is trustworthy with the time they will provide their personal details. Besides, let’s not forget about the social networks, where you can find lots of information. Nice small things which you can do online:
– Display the delivery cost to the user door and the time of delivery, when they view the product
– Show to the customer what other users buy along with the product he bought a couple of months ago
– Inform about the materials which your customer friends have read today.
Measure, implement, test”
That is the usability specialist motto.
Try different variants and test them. This is a guaranteed way to find the most effective method to increase the conversion.