Check Your Website is Optimised to Convert Sales

website conversion checklistAs a business owner, website designer or marketing manager, its your job to ensure your site is doing everything it can to convert as much of your traffic into sales, right?

Refining design elements, marketing messages and sales funnels is essential for any business, so here is a list of basic conversion optimisation issues I keep coming across when A/B split testing client sites to increase online leads and sales.

Enjoy the checklist and keep an eye on future blog posts for finer details about the basic conversion rate optimisation techniques listed below...

1 - Check You Tell Visitors Exactly What To Do

Unlike real-life shops, websites do not have trained staff ready to help customers find what they need. Moreover the guidance provided by sales assistants to encourage shoppers to find, decide and purchase what they want is, unfortunately something a website cannot easily provide.

However in order to give visitors all the help they need to work out what is on offer and what it is they should do next, it is essential that your web pages spells this out clearly in a way that helps them confirm that, for example, yes, this is an online shoe shop, you can buy safely from us and this is the way to get started buying products easily.

To remedy some of the friction points of your site design and marketing messages, have a friend or family member navigate your site whilst speaking thought processes and questions out loud. Make a list of the things that you thought were obvious, but may need spelling out more clearly and implement them in your pages as soon as you can.

This can be a sure-fire way of improving visitor's experience of your brand and can help them enjoy a trouble free journey down your sales funnel.

2 - Check Your Goals Are Mapped To Page Elements

As you can tell from the homepage and all of the sub-pages of my website, I have a clear idea of what I want visitors to do when they get there. If they are a potential customer I want them to request a free consultation or a free website review.

If they are there to learn more about how to make or manage a website that needs to achieve high ranking positions and garner more leads and sales, I want them to subscribe to email updates or share the pages on the social networks.

By prioritising my website's main goals, creating a highly visible element for each one and refining the message with A/B split testing (with tools such as Optimizely), it's possible to encourage more and more visitors to take the action that I desire. Something you should do .

3 - Check Your Pages Answer Where, What, Why

Never assume that your visitors already know about your business, products of services and don't assume that they land on your homepage, read the entire page and then progress through the site in the same way that you do.

Its a fact that the majority of visitors to most websites come from Google search engine results pages and the first page they visit is not your homepage. For this reason you need to make sure that visitors can "skim read" all of your webpages, ie quickly glance at the headings, images, bullet points and main elements in order to understand what the page is about.

They need to know Where they are, What they can do on this page, and Why they should do it, in a matter of seconds - otherwise you will lose them to competitor sites which are just a back button click away. Review your webpages and make sure each one answers the Where, What, Why test.

4 - Check Your Landing Pages Pass The EEE Test

With no sales assistant ready to help explain the benefits of each offering on your site, the deal of the month or the reasons why they should stick around (rather than go find a competitor site) your webpages need to do a whole lot of work for you.

One of these jobs is to ensure your marketing messages Educate visitors about the benefits of buying from you, to install the belief that you have the Expertise to resolve their needs and to Encourage them to take a leap and make a purchase, or get in touch - do these effectively on every page and you should reduce the friction they encounter down the sales funnel.

5 - Check Your Webpage Copy Passes The AIDA Test

One of the simplest and most effective ways to encourage website vistors to build trust in your brand and take the actions you desire them to take is a tried and tested method called AIDA.

For years marketers and advertisers have benefited from the proven beneficial effects of writing sales copy that first, grabs their Attention, then keeps them Interested, builds their Desire for your products and calls them to Action.

See how often this method is used in TV or print ads, as well as professionally written online ads and sales copy on the web - and get re-writing your webpages if needed.

6 - Check Evidence of Trust, Authority and Social Proof

With countless competitor brands out there, many of which are already ingrained in the general public's mind as the leaders of their sector, it can be difficult to gain the confidence of new visitors and potential customers.

Its not enough just to explain to your market which products and services you offer, they need to know that you are an expert in your field and that they can trust that you will give them a quality service.

By displaying customer reviews, testimonials, industry awards, media coverage and a whole range of other trust elements on your website, visitors will be able to justify their reasoning of choosing you over the competition.

7 - Check You Highlight Your Unique Selling Point

The chances are that your plumbing services, your university courses, your training shoes or any other product you sell are not unique. However, despite a whole world of competitors out there, everyone can offer something that is unique. And identifying your uniqueness is essential.

By deciding which benefit points you want to focus on you can design a unique selling propositon that allows you to be the best, at something or other. And it is this message that you can confidently shout about in your web page copy, in your homepage slideshow and in your advertising campaigns in order to make you stand out from the rest.

For me, I guarantee high rankings and conversions whilst providing a truly bespoke personal service you won't get from any digital marketing agency - see, how I set myself apart from the gazillions of other marketing services out there who do the same job as me. Do it too. Find your USP and shout about it.

8 - Check Your Pages Are Designed To Convert Sales

Unless you have a well established brand that has had enough publicity to make new customers fall over themselves to buy your products, you will need to make sure your web pages are designed with best practice conversion rate optimisation in mind.

From reducing the number of fields in your contact or shopping cart forms, to designing call to action buttons to stand out from the page, and from refining your navigation menu in a way that suits their chosen path, to tweaking headings in slideshows and page copy, there are numerous ways to give new and existing customers an easier path down the slaes funnel and buy products or get in touch.

You should do be doing them all. Read more about conversion optimisation in my blog, claim a free CRO session with Conversion Rate Experts or watch these great videos of a bunch of guys slating heaps of badly designed landing pages to get started.

9 - Check You Are Tracking All Site Conversions

Product sales or leads from potential customers may be pouring in from your site every day and thats great. But do you know exactly what it was that helped those customers through your sales funnel to a conversion?

The only real way to know how many of your site visitors are taking your desired actions is to set up conversion tracking. By configuring payment pages and contact forms to redirect to specific thank you pages, once they have been filled in, you can have Google Analytics count and monitor not only your conversion goal figures but also discover which parts of your sales funnel is leaking potential sales.

Get started as soon as you can, otherwise implementing the above tips won't be much help as you won't be able to gauge which ones worked. Google Analytics conversion goal tracking provides a great insight into the steps visitors took to navigate through your sales funnel, it also provides a wealth of information about where those customers came from and where others abandoned their journey through your site. All essential things to know when improving your website.

10 - Run Conversion Goal Split Tests With Optimizely

From a Google search, to a click on your result, navigating your site, spotting the benefits of buying from you, having pain points lessened by your sales copy, finding the right product and the free shipping offer, filling out the simplest form and being confident enough to click the pay now button - its quite a journey.

However, the entire experience can be made easier by refining the visible elements on your page to suit your customer's existing behaviour patterns and each element can be refined and improved with simple conversion experiments using tools such as Unbounce or Optimizely.

Get started as soon as you can - these tools are easy enough to use as they load up your pages and allow you to tweak wording and images, then test which performs best - without you needing to change any thing in your site coding.

Summary
The fact that we are in the digital age is one of the reasons advertising and marketing don't need to be as wasteful as they used to be. To learn more about the finer details of the above checks you can perform on your website, be sure to keep an eye on my future blog posts about CRO and feel free to follow me on twitter for related resources.

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