December 1, 2009
This list is aimed towards you who work with conversion or eCommerce and need help with troubleshooting why your pages aren’t converting. These are some of the obvious reasons you might want to check out first before moving onto more advanced test and targeting.
Conversion of online traffic is and has always been a hot topic. This list aims at giving you some advice along the way.
1. You promise more on the source page than you deliver on the landing page
Regardless if you are attracting traffic through Social media or Search engines or Banners, you are in a hole world of mess if you offer something in your link or banner that is not available on the landing page you are directing your traffic to. If you write “compare your alternatives” then the alternatives should be comparable on the landing page. If you say you have the world’s best offers, then they should really be the world’s best offers. At least your page has to give the impression that they are. If you do not manage to deliver on your promise you will not convert regardless of how optimized your page is otherwise.
2. Your load time is horrible
This is not only a bounce rate inflator, but also a real conversion killer. If the load time is long, then it is quite natural to see that extreme amounts of traffic falls off at that time in the conversion process. If you want to enable people to buy stuff from you, then you shouldn’t keep them waiting. Patience is not a trait seen too often in Internet users.
3. Your haven’t optimized based on referring domain
You really have to pay notice the referrer of the traffic to your website. If your traffic comes from the search engines you can generally assume they are more purpose oriented than the research oriented traffic coming from social media. In order to convert a purpose driven visitor you have to give them exactly what they searched for and right away. In order to convert a research driven visitor you need to give them all the information available on the topic. Then they will book mark you until they want to buy what you offer. In order to be successful you need two parts in your website that takes aim at satisfying both of these needs. A good example here is Amazon.com. Easy to convert, and easy to read more about the product. Researchers scroll you you don’t have to put all the links to “read more about…” in the top of the page.
4. You run the same design and features regardless of market
If you are running the same business across several different markets, cultures and TLDs you cannot rely on tests done on one market. You cannot even rely on tests done to a sufficient significance for all markets. You have to test every market individually. This is because culture, trends and opinions differ from market to market, and although there are patterns in the way users interact with a website, regardless of culture, there will be huge gains to optimize your pages with this in mind.
5. You use distracting colors and images just cause “they look good”
I know you have them in your organization. The people who do not care how things work as long as they look good. These people should be terminated as they will cost you LOADS of money. They might be lucky a couple of times or a lot of times, but in the long run they will cost you a shit load of money. If you put something blinking on your page, it should sure as hell have a purpose.
Taste is something you cannot base your decisions on when it comes to converting traffic. Taste is highly individual and even though you take a vote in your group you are tainted by internal organizational sicknesses that makes you blind. THIS cost you money. If you want to sell more, you need to test, target and then let the data make the decisions for you.
6. You don’t take season into consideration
If it is xmas, people want to buy gifts, when it is spring people want to fall in love, in fall people want comfort and in summer people want freedom. Just generalizing, but it is important to meet the buyer where their mind is set. Prepare seasonal changes in the design of your website. Then execute them depending upon weather. You will definitively see effects in your conversion rates. Don’t try to sell sun in the desert.
7. The one mile one page one form
I have seen to many examples of long registration forms. PLEASE put your registration forms into a process of at least three steps. Write a 1 – 2- 3 in top of the registration form page. Then use Ajax to load the next section as a user completes the previous one. This way you’ll reach two extremely converting principles. First of all you will get the most important data such as e-mail address and nationality in the first stage of the sign-up. Secondly you will have nicked the user completely as they feel a sense of satisfaction from completing step one, then step two… woops they are almost done… so they better fill out the difficult stage number three. You see. When they have filled out so much info, they might as well take the extra 5 to do the last page.
If they don’t, then you can still save everything they have done up until this stage and then send them an e-mail in the evening saying, “you only have one step left to complete your order” or you can send them an e-mail saying “your super savings offer will expire in 60 minutes, return to the stage in your registration where you logged off the last time”. You will convert MAAAAD times doing the latter 🙂
8. You’ve optimized for the wrong keywords
You might be number one for a single word in a highly competitive vertical, but you still don’t convert. You ask yourself why?? Well, most commonly you have optimized your website for a word that is not a converting keyword. This happens all the time and it is generally not the words with the highest traffic volumes or the fiercest competition that converts the best. It is the action driven keywords that do. So if you are optimizing your website for the keyword “make-up” then you are probably in the wrong place. But add a brand name and a buy into that mix and perhaps you are in a better place. This one is a no brainer but sometimes corporations optimize with link spam towards words that are completely useless when it comes to sales. Think first, test some, do research, start where it is easy to end up no 1 and then move to the more narrow words. 🙂
Ok That’s it… won’t share more, but please e-mail me or add me on LinkedIn and I’m sure I’ll give you another 35 quick hints on why your page might not be converting 🙂