Website visitors are seriously tricky beings and the challenge that lies in converting them to fully fledged and paid up customers is not one to be underestimated!
For anyone less than an IT expert, understanding how the tiniest of web design elements can be the difference between making a sale, and a potential customer lost forever, can prove an intimidating (and confusing) task. Darryl Britton of WiserWeb offers some advice that will help you to cut through the complexity and to fill you in on five ways that your website is almost certainly killing your conversions.
- You’re using an image slider
Yup, that’s right. The most common web design tactic of all, is a conversion killer. Sure, they look great and make a visual impact, however there are key factors that mean many sliders are failing the websites that they’re splashed across. So terrible are the results reaped from many sliders, that research has found as few as 1% of visitors click through and convert.
The problem with many sliders includes: the creation of confusion through images and text that change too fast to be read and digested; as well as the mortal sin of presenting too many products, services, or messages, when really you should be focusing on a clear cut USP.
So, exactly what difference can replacing your slider make? Well one company replaced their slider (the first image below) with an image that addressed various market segments (based on the animal they owned). The result? Well that would be an increase in conversions from 1.96%, to a rate of 43.03% (which is pretty staggering stuff, actually). So it’s not necessarily the ‘actual’ slider that’s at fault, in terms of design concept, but the messages the slider delivers and the number of them.
- Your testimonials are doing more harm than good
Testimonials can be excellent for gaining visitor trust (which is a task in itself, given that you may be a relatively faceless business amongst a digital sea of similar websites). However there are instances where some testimonials can actually dent conversions – namely when they don’t come across as genuine.
A simple fix for this is to add photos of the actual client, as well as including a link through to their website (don’t forget to ensure this link opens in a new window however!).
- Your cluttered web space is leading to cliff diving conversions
The web is an altogether sparser place today than it was some years ago – and by now you should well and truly be working white space to your advantage. So, exactly what is deemed as clutter? Quite simply, that would be anything that isn’t absolutely necessary (such as Social feeds, social profile icons, badges and similar elements). Just, get rid of them. They confuse the visitor and ultimately make the calls-to-action that you do have a whole lot less effective. The only place where these may remain might be in a footer, as the visitor has reached the end of their journey at this point, and a catch all for further contact should they exit could well rely on a Like or a Follow achieved here. Small icons in the header are acceptable, where the over-riding intention is to increase traffic to your social media pages.
- Slooooow load times
A seriously slow page load time is a sure fire way to kill conversions before you even begin. Today, 47% of online visitors expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less – and after 3 seconds waiting as many as 40% of your visitors will have abandoned the site altogether.
You can use a free tool such as Pingdom to run a website speed test painlessly.
- The most important point of all – you’re not spending any time analysing your visitor behaviour
We have some bad news, crafting, tweaking and perfecting your website isn’t a goal that can be achieved. Rather than being able to hit sky high conversions week in, week out (and being able to pop the champagne corks) this process is a gradual, ongoing one. You must set aside some time to get to grips with what a programme such as Google Analytics can tell you – and how you can use it to continue to improve the conversion rates of the pages on your website.