January 24, 2022
Website conversion - perhaps the primary reason to have a website in the 2020's is to send traffic to one area/platform in order to make a sale. Website conversion is the process of turning a website visitor into a customer by driving them to purchase a product, register for a service, fill out a form, call your phone, etc.
You would be surprised at the sheer quantity of websites that exclusively exist, just to exist. Not to serve a function or drive sales, but instead simply exist on the internet. In fact, I would boldly guess that the grand majority of websites simply "exist".
Some websites don't convert because they're missing a few little changes that could urge your visitor to slide their mouse towards the "Go" button, while some websites are so painfully built that they introduce digital obstacles that make it difficult for a person to get in touch, even if they wanted to.
A "Call to Action" or "CTA" is a digital objective on your website that tells your customer what to do when it's time to sign up for your service. This would likely be a sign-up form, a button, or something clickable that directs your customer to make the next move. Having a clear call to action lets your visitors know what the main objective of your website is and saves them the time of looking around to figure out what's next.
You'll often find CTAs in service sections, near pricing areas, footers and especially the navigation. It's good web design practice to include a few call to actions, particularly on your home page so that if they scroll past it, they don't have to look too far to find another.
Too many CTAs is a problem. Crowding your web page with a bunch of "Click Here" buttons is the online equivalent of a pushy salesman. Don't be that guy. Let your customer know where & how to interact, but also give them space to look around.
A slow loading website in 2022 is a problem. If your website takes more than 4 seconds to load, nobody wants to buy your product unless it's your mom. Imagine your storefront had a treadmill at the entrance - no one has the stamina for that. Run your site through a website speed test to help narrow down where your pain points are. Huge, unedited images and slow third party widgets are often an issue but there's a lot to it. Tools like GT Metrix go into depth about your page issues and often offer suggestions to fix them. Or of course, reach out to to our Edmonton Web Design Company and get a free site audit.
Quick Tip: When testing with GT Metrix, keep an eye on your overall score as well as the Total Blocking Time. This metric will often point out when widgets or scripts are slowing down a visitors ability to interact with your page.
Some companies think they're composing their origin story with their website. Too much company history, too many pricing options, A 40 foot mission statement, too much everything. Focus on providing your visitors with meaningful, relevant information. Intro -> Mission -> Services -> Pricing -> Now buy our stuff. Don't get me wrong, transparency and company values are definitely important; people want to do business with people they can trust. But within reason. If a person's scrolled halfway through your webpage and all they know is that Brandon and Tammy joined forces in 2011 to start Cupcakes R Us, then you're missing the point of conversion.
If the majority of your traffic isn't organic but instead comes from either Google or social media ads, then it's possible it's not necessarily your web designer's fault, but the ad campaign isn't working well with your site. This could be for a lot of reasons but it's more than likely that there's a disconnect in relevance. Often people don't spend the time to filter their ad audience down to what their landing page actually says. If your ad reads, "Buy this kickass hockey puck" but the page the ad takes them to is for all types of sports equipment, then they will likely leave to find a different, more accurate Google listing. Make sure that your landing page acts as a funnel to direct your ad clicking customer to make a sale for that particular product or service.
This one may go without saying but if your site looks bad, people aren't going to trust your business. A lot of "stuck in the mud" businesses don't see the importance of having a website let alone one that stays up to date with trends and technology. Think of it like this, a person that finds your website from a Google search likely knows nothing about you. Their first and only impression stems directly from your website design. A bad user experience or simply an unattractive, outdated look tells your customer that you don't keep your ship in order, so why would they buy from you? Not to mention, Google is like a mall. Imagine you sell pants and your store is old and dirty, meanwhile the 12 pants stores beside you are inviting and warm. Again, why would they choose you? Simple as that.
The dangerous part of this is that people often think their website design is good, when... well... it's not. You might say, "My site's pink! I like pink!". But it's more than likely that you're seeing through your own rose coloured glasses of, "I built this myself" or "my son made this for me".
Lush, Lululemon, Apple, Starbucks - a few companies that build a brand experience. The environment they offer makes you want to be there, even if you know you don't have the cash to spend. Websites can offer a similar environment if done right. If done wrong, people can't wait to leave and can do so with a click of a button. If you're curious, ask around about your website's design. Look at your bigger competition and see what they have. Does your site stack up? An amazing website doesn't have to cost "big business money", you just have to look in the right place.
On average, 70% of website traffic is mobile customers. Companies that don't offer a fast, fluid and modern mobile website experience are shooting themselves in the foot. I'm not even going to touch on websites that don't have a mobile version at all because that would definitely be your conversion problem. Fix that a.
When dealing with mobile, load speeds are naturally worse and you're working with a much smaller screen size. Plenty of ways for things to go wrong. In fact, a good mobile experience is often where website builders like Wix and Squarespace fall short. This is why self-made sites suffer when it comes to conversion. Some forward-thinking web design companies are starting to adopt a "mobile-first" approach to their design process. (Something we've been doing for years 🙄.) Having accessible CTAs (like we talked about earlier) and a user-friendly, concise mobile scrolling experience is absolutely critical for engagement and sale conversion.
In short, there are many ways to screw up website conversion and unfortunately doing it the right way takes time, practice and a lot of design revisiting. Hopefully the biggest thing you can take away from this article is that the digital environment you create for your customers is incredibly important and can make or break whether your site serves a purpose beyond reserving online real-estate. A converting, purpose-driven website design should be fast, concise, easily accessible, accurate to your brand, and of course, mobile friendly.
If this has been helpful at all or if you have your own website conversion tips, please send us a message and let us know!