Five hard-hitting tips for boosting online conversion rates

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The web doesn’t have a traffic problem, but it does have a conversion problem.

Many people keep trying to attract traffic without really knowing what to do with it. Then they wonder why their business is not profitable after spending a lot of money on traffic generation.

According to data from Eisenberg Holdings, most businesses spend a meagre $1 to convert customers for every $92 they spend to attract customers. This explains why many businesses never turn a profit.

If you’re looking to spend more money on ads and traffic generation, perhaps you should reconsider your priorities; implementing a few changes can double or even triple your conversion rates.

You shouldn’t spend more money on ads until you’ve considered the following tips for boosting conversion rates.

1) Smart, segmented email marketing

A Monetate study found that email traffic converts 4.5X better than social traffic and 1.6X better than search traffic. The study analyzed over 500 million shopping experiences, and the results show that email converts more than both search and social media traffic combined.

monetate-historical-conversions-data

If you run an online business and do not use email, you’re throwing away your conversion rates; in fact, a Direct Marketing Association study found email to provide the best ROI of all marketing channels, establishing the fact that you can expect a ROI of $38 for every $1 you invest in email marketing.

However, the key to effective email marketing isn’t to just build a list and start sending emails; instead, it is important to gain understanding of your subscribers, segment your list according to subscriber interests and only send relevant emails to different segments of your list. A MarketingSherpa study found that this can boost your conversion rate by up to 208 percent.

2) Effective use of trust signals

Most people believe that all it takes to get people to take action on a website is to be very persuasive – that simply mastering copywriting skills, tweaking their button colors and offering a discount or money-back guarantee will solve the issues they are experiencing.

That’s just a part of the equation; research shows that most people who do not buy do not buy due to trust issues. In a world rife with hacks, phishing attempts and scams, no matter how persuasive you are, nobody will input their credit card details on your website.

macy's https

According to research from Econsultancy/Toluna, 48% of people will not buy from your website if they do not see a trust seal. Various case studies have also reported massive gains from implementing SSL on their website.

Before you start tweaking your copy, it’s a good idea to make sure people trust you first. If you can’t get them to trust you, no amount of persuasion will do the trick. Here are some tips to gain trust from your users:

  • Use security measures like SSL (this will allow you to use the “HTTPS” protocol, and it will also display a green security padlock in your users’ browsers).
  • Use recognized trust seals on key pages of your website.
  • Gather social proof that let people know that other people trust you; testimonials, user case studies and expert endorsements will help a great deal in this regard.

3) Cater to mobile users

For many people, the magic solution needed to boost (even double!) conversion rates is to optimize the mobile experience they serve their users.

Do you know that Facebook makes over 80% of its revenue from mobile users? Now it’s easy to say, “But Facebook mainly has mobile users!” or, “People mainly use social media on mobile devices!” but your business also probably has more mobile users than you know of.

Recent research shows that there are now more mobile internet users than desktop internet users. If you’re not properly catering to mobile users, then you’re most likely losing half of your sales.

Catering to mobile users go beyond just having a mobile-friendly or responsive website; your checkout page should be responsive. Your emails should be responsive too – research shows that 75% of people instantly delete emails that are not mobile responsive.

The key is to make every part of the experience your users go through seamless irrespective of what device they are using to interact with your online business.

4) Use data-informed blogging

It’s 2016, so we know that every smart business should be blogging already. However, do you just “blog”? Apparently not. If your idea of blogging is to setup a blog, add content to it and promote your content, then you’re most likely doing it wrong.

If that’s simply how you approach blogging, you’re most likely wasting your time, efforts and money invested in blogging. The key to successful blogging is to use a data-driven approach. Here are some tips:

  • Ensure your blog regularly features your products and offers: this makes it easy for blog readers to cross over to your site and is the only way to get real ROI from your blogging efforts. You can do this by linking to your blog in the sidebar, inside articles, in the navigation bar and in other key places on your blog.
  • Write quality, comprehensive content: we’ve always heard that quality trumps quantity, and research agrees; several studies, including one that analyzed over 100 million articles, found that longer content, usually of 2,000 words and above, will get more shares, backlinks and both short and long term traffic.
  • Write a LOT of content: just as quality matters, quantity does too. Available data from Hubspot show that businesses that publish 16 or more blog posts monthly get the most ROI from blogging. According to the Hubspot study, by publishing 16+ articles a month you’re likely to get 4.5X more leads and 3.5X more traffic compared to if you publish less than four articles a month.

5) Address shopping cart abandonment

According to data from Baymard, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.64%. If we’re to interpret this data literally, it means at least 68 people who get to your checkout pages – who have considered buying from you – will eventually quit.

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Now, this is very alarming because these are people who already decided to buy from you, who have expressed interest by heading over to your checkout page. Exactly why do these people quit? Well, we will have to rely on data again – research shows that:

  • People abandon a web page due to site speed issues
  • People abandon a cart due to shipping costs
  • People abandon a shopping cart due to payment processing issues
  • People abandon a shopping cart due to payment processing issues

Fix all the above issues, and you will have persuaded a major percentage of abandoners to return. Research also shows that shopping cart abandoners spend 55% more when remarketed to, so you might want to give remarketing a shot.

Robert Mening is a sales and marketing consultant who has helped thousands of people start their own blogs. He’s the creator of the Website Setup blog project.

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