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Seven guidelines for increasing conversions on your new site

In today’s technologically driven marketplace launching a website is easy enough for virtually any size of business. The issue remains, however; how does one attract and convert more hits into meaningful actions, most importantly, sales.

Forbes defines conversion rates as “the percentage of prospective customers who take a specific action you want. For example, the following are specific conversion rates that an organization may track:

  • The percentage of website visitors who fill out a form, call your company, or purchase something from you online;
  • The percentage of callers who are issued proposals;
  • The percentage of proposals you win.”

So essentially in ecommerce you want to secure high numbers of visits, form fill-outs, information requests and most importantly, purchases via your website. How to do that is a question many have vastly divergent opinions on. In this piece we seek to understand what ecommerce gurus are saying. We consider some of the useful insights from Shopify as well as advice from business experts like forbes.com. Here are seven useful guidelines:

  • Forbes suggests adding social proof to enhance conversions
    This involves adding customer testimonials and/or relevant case studies, to your website. Doing so has shown proven success for many prosperous enterprises in the digital space.
  • Clearly show contact information
    This includes effectively displaying phone numbers and/or live chat options. Visitors gain confidence that your company is legitimate, has appropriate support systems in place and is willing to answer any questions.
  • Credibility is another factor
    People want to see evidence of authority supporting your business. So having badges from the services bureaux, or relevant membership and validation tags clearly visible, is highly advisable.
  • Guarantees give customers more confidence in your offering
    This tends to increase conversion rates considerably. Forbes emphasises that “having a longer guarantee (e.g., 365 days vs 30 days) will generally increase conversions even more.”
  • Headlines and the general appearance
    These are typically the first things which visitors look at when landing on a page. This first impression often compels them to read more or exit your site immediately. If this is well planned and structured, you could significantly increase your conversion rates by engaging the audience more successfully.
  • The use of images with product names and descriptions
    A picture is worth a thousand words. There is plenty of research on how images and placement on a page increases the likelihood of clicking an ad. It is a good idea to display clear images when people search for products. Shopify encourages entrepreneurs to use auto-completion and make sure that suggestions include image thumbs for each product sold.
  • Ecommerce sites should also incorporate a search option
    Shopify points out that, “people have no patience and minimal attention spans. Even on a small site with a small number of products, users will simply click away if they don’t find what they want quickly – especially on mobile devices. So, for your users’ sake – if you don’t have a search for your site – get one.”

If you are aspiring to launch your online business or looking at ways of improving your site, start with these seven useful pointers above.

Proudly brought to you the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).

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