If your website isn’t converting, it can be easy to start pointing fingers at all the possible culprits. Maybe the listing isn’t strong enough, the pictures are not enticing enough, or the advertising just isn’t funneling people to the right place.
Or, it could simply be that people are never getting to the product page in the first place. If that’s the case, then it’s a problem with your website itself, not the products.
Fortunately, that’s a simple fix. While there are no guarantees in business (or in life), implementing a few minor tweaks should get the ball rolling in a cash-flow-positive type of direction.
1. Your Website Isn’t Optimized for Mobile
Mobile website viewing is the way of the future, and depending on where you live, your potential customers could be spending anywhere from 61-91% of all online time on their mobile devices instead of a desktop or laptop (for Americans, the number is 71%), according to Smart Insights. Although desktop is still the platform of choice for people who buy items online, tablet and smartphone conversions are not far behind, and are slowly but surely increasing.
The fix is simple: make your website more responsive to mobile users overall, and you should start to see the bounce rate decrease and the time spent on your website increase.
2. Your Website Is Painfully Slow
Sure, it could be their internet, but users who report a significantly slower experience with your website will almost always choose someone else’s business to make their purchase instead of your own. You can check the speed of your website with a tool like this one from Google, and then once you’ve identified the errors, take steps to fix them.
3. Your Website Is Unclear
When a user visits your website, they need to know within seconds what the purpose of them being there is, especially if they came to your site through a backlink or some other secondary source. Make your homepage appealing with headers and engaging images, but don’t forget about simplicity as well. Testing various versions of your website will help you know what needs to be tweaked and what doesn’t.
As a side note, there should also be a strong call to action (CTA) on the website as well. Once they’ve read the text, should the next step be signing up for your newsletter? Buying a product? Calling for a consultation? Whatever action you want your customers to take, make it clear and say it a few times to make sure they know what the goal is.
4. Your Website Doesn’t Have the Option to Subscribe
While your SEO brought them to your page, there needs to be a reciprocating action on your end to make sure you can stay engaged with them. Regular emails, newsletters, coupons, product promotions go a long way in helping people make that ever-so-important repetitive contact that can lead to sales.
Fortunately, most website hosting providers allow you to simply add a field on to the sidebar of your website, or create a popup that will allow users to input a few simple forms. Creating a “lead magnet” – something the customer gets in exchange for their email – will help increase signups, but so will limiting the number of forms they’re required to fill out. Keep it to around 2-3 at most, two of which need to be their name and email address.
5. Your Website Has Too Many Barriers to Purchase
The goal for any website is to shuttle possible customers from introduction to purchase as quickly as possible (but not so quick that it feels forced). You don’t want any barriers to that process at all, or else the slowness will be perceived as poor quality and will kill conversions.
One of the biggest barriers that businesses put in front of their customers is in requiring them to create an account with the business before they’re able to complete their purchase. Customers are naturally reluctant to share too much of their personal information and creating an account is a more formal and serious commitment than simply inputting an email address for a coupon, so they’ll most likely shy away. In reality, just about anything that you can do with an account can be completed with their email address on a signup form.
If you are insistent on having customers make an account to buy something, you don’t have to remove the option completely, but at least provide an optional “guest” form for people who simply want to buy and go. Repeat customers will most likely make an account to take advantage of offers, but the casual buyers will be better able to purchase from you.
6. You’re Not Measuring What’s Working (and What Isn’t)
The old saying rings true: “that which gets measured gets managed,” and when it comes to understanding your website, the data doesn’t lie.
For instance, are people making it past your home page and to the product page, but no further? Are they abandoning the cart before inputting their payment information? How long are they spending on the homepage in the first place?
The answers to this question will help you better know how to serve your market, and using tools like Google Analytics will help you break this process down. It’s also free, so there’s no reason to not implement it on your site.
One of the best assets you have at your disposal is your email list (if you have one). Send out a survey to those who have already subscribed to your website and ask them what they like about your site and what they don’t. Take that feedback with a grain of salt, but if you start to see the same thing mentioned multiple times, take action.
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