The internet offers countless opportunities to connect with your target audience, but your conversion rates suffer if you aren't different from the rest of the crowd. You might offer the best products and customer experience, but no one's going to find that out if they don't make it all the way through the sales funnel.
Hopefully, you've handled all the standard strategies for increasing conversion, such as improving search engine optimization and creating a mobile-optimized experience. But you have to do more if you're trying to go beyond a standard online experience and become a standout.
Here are five creative ways to improve your website's conversion rate.
1. Color Theory
You may have heard about color theory in design or art classes. It doesn't just apply to the colors used in products and packaging; it also applies to how people react to your website. The basic concept of color theory in web design is using specific colors to invoke different reactions in readers. Certain colors put people in the mood to buy, while others may create a relaxing environment for a prospect to learn more about your services.
One way to implement color theory in your website is by using color accents on key elements in your website design. For example, using red on your call to action buttons is more likely to get a positive response out of customers. Not only does its bright color contrast with many other colors, the psychological effect of red increases the excitement of the reader and drives them to action.
Consider what your colors say to your typical visitor. If you don't have a handle on the demographic visiting your website, take a look at competitor sites and see what they're doing. The right color selection for a young professional will not get the right response when you're marketing to children. When you implement color theory in your website design, delve into the color's meanings as well as what's typically associated with your niche.
2. New gTLDs
Over the last few years, there has been a massive influx of new domain extensions. A .com domain is a standard selection for many companies, but it can fall short if you’re trying convey what type of website you're running at a glance. Plus, trying to find or acquire premium domains with a .com extension can be frustrating and quite expensive.
In contrast, searching for a gTLD that perfectly represents your business or niche lets readers get an idea of what you have to offer before they click. For example, with a new gTLD such as .condos or .realestate, your prospective customer gets a sense of what you're offering and can make a better determination about whether the site deserves a deeper look.
Depending on your domain name, you can narrow this traffic down even further. miami.condos is a great example of this strategy, as it not only talks about a specific type of real estate, it also restricts its services to a specific geographic location. This means it is more likely that the people who visit the website are actively interested and more likely to convert.
3. Usability Testing
When's the last time you purchased a product or service from a company with a nearly unusable website? How long do you stick with that company if a competitor offers a better user experience? Usability testing done by yourself or through third party services puts you in the shoes of the end user. This testing should answer questions about whether a user can easily find what they're looking for, if the content matches up with their expectations prior to clicking through, and if they are getting lost in an un-optimized website.
Start off by doing your own usability testing. Approach the site as though you're a first time customer with no idea about your company, product or services. Think about the way you navigate the sites of companies you use on a daily basis, and how your website's experience compares to those. Look at competitor sites and observe how easy or difficult it is to get around. Return to your site and keep track of every usability pain point you encounter.
You should also consider using a third party usability testing service to get truly unbiased impressions of your website. Ideally, use a testing service that allows you to specify a demographic so you see how your site is received by people who may be in your target audience. The end users go through the site, testing different website functions and giving you a usability rating and suggestions based on a rating metric.
Implement the recommended usability changes in your website and take your site through as many testing rounds as you feel necessary to truly optimize your user experience. Typically, going through a round or two gives you measurable change, especially if your website had poor navigation when you began testing.
To see the value of usability testing, look no further than eBay's navigation evolution or Amazon's development to today's design. Over the years, they have tweaked their navigation to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they need.
4. Design Flow
Your web design goes beyond how well visitors can use it, and whether the colors are pleasing to the eye. You also need to take a look at design flow, especially on your sales pages. Are readers naturally attracted to your call to actions and high converting content? Or does it blend in with the rest of the design elements and end up being passed over?
Evaluate your design flow by making a list of key conversion elements on your page, such as testimonials, call to action buttons and product benefits list. Consider how to make these design elements flow for the readers. Do they need to be rearranged or emphasized on the page?
Sometimes all it takes is an arrow pointing out a section to attract plenty of reader attention. Use split testing strategies to pit each design flow against the other to find the one readers relate to the best. Mailchimp's landing page provides a clear design flow, attention-grabbing headlines, and a way to quickly show customers what they have to offer.
5. Making Yourself Accessible
You aren't simply selling a product or service through your website; you're also selling an experience. Sometimes the biggest unique selling proposition for a website comes with its user experience. Make yourself accessible and available to potential customers, so they put a face to the website and your company. Instead of a company devoid of personality, you can create an emotional connection with your customers.
Tools such as proactive live chat prompts can let visitors know that you're conveniently available to handle any issues that arise when they're looking at your products or services. You can show customers that you care about giving them the best service possible, and you may overcome conversion pain points before they even become an issue.
For example, look at many highly rated e-commerce websites. You'll see a live chat link off to the side of the page, or they'll pop up on the page with a hello and ask if you need any help. They simulate the in-store environment where an employee greets you as you walk in the door. Clickdesk is a great live chat software that works with most website CMS' and has both free and paid plans.
Creating a website that converts visitors into customers goes beyond doing the same old thing that your competitors are. You need to think outside the box and incorporate unique ways of improving your user experience and the attractiveness of your website. Whether you're picking up a new gLTD or changing the color scheme on your website, don't be afraid to experiment with new conversion tactics.