Thoughts + News
Why Your Website Conversions Suck (And How to Fix It)
Most people that land on your website aren’t going to buy anything.
Average website conversion rates hover around 1% for eCommerce sites (or sites that sell products and low priced services directly) and around 5% for lead generation sites (or sites that sell complex services where the transaction happens offline).
That means the majority of website visitors — the ones you worked so hard to lure, persuade, cajole or purchase to visit in the first place — will leave your site forever.
One of the biggest reasons people “Bounce” (or leave your site quickly) is because your website doesn’t match their expectations. For one reason or another, they’re receiving the wrong message, at the wrong time.
Understanding why that happens, and taking action to remove or improve these possible issues is the very first step to increasing conversions and growing revenue next month, next quarter and next year.
How to Improve Website Conversions by Understanding Visitor Intent
The quickest way to increase conversions is to understand who’s coming to your website, why they’re coming, and what they’re looking for.
You can begin to piece this information together by finding out where they’re coming from and how they got there using basic website analytics. Specifically, you want to compare the top traffic sources with the top content.
WHERE someone comes from (the channels), and WHAT they’re coming in to read gives you an idea of where this person is at in the buying cycle.
Scenario #1: Blog posts popular with people from SEO
These visitors don’t know you, and probably don’t care about what you offer.
These people are typically arriving at your website by doing some generic, information-based query search. They’re at the “top of the funnel”, and therefore also aren’t ready to be sold — because they probably don’t even know they have a problem yet.
Another huge segment of “cold traffic” like this comes from paid or social media channels. These people may or may not be problem-aware, and they’re certainly not brand-aware (otherwise they would have typed in your website URL directly).
Instead of forcing these people to immediately choose “buy” or “not buy”, you’d want to take a softer approach and get them to provide you with some basic information — like an email address — so that you’re able to begin creating and establishing NEED and TRUST which are crucial to selling.
Scenario #2: “Corporate” pages popular with people from “Direct” sources
When the majority of website visitors are from Search and Direct sources, and they start at “branded” pages (like the homepage, About page, Services, etc.), it means they’re highly brand-aware and know your company by name.
Even if they’re starting at Google, they’re most likely using some brand-name keyphrase variation (i.e. “Company XYZ Products”).
These visitors are typically lower in the buying cycle, closer to the Evaluation stage where they’re comparing alternatives and narrowing down their options.
And while they convert better than the “cold traffic” from Scenario 1, they can also be more price sensitive because they’re not brand loyal with you and they’re actively comparing you to competitors.
For these people, it’s critical that you can (a) prove your value and ROI while also (b) getting them to provide contact information so that you’re able to follow-up one-on-one and establish a relationship.
Scenario #3: Landing pages popular with people from Email
When people go straight from an email campaign to an offer or landing page, they’re typically problem-aware, brand-aware, and ready to make a commitment or new purchase.
These people probably have some degree of trust and loyalty already built up, and just need the right message at the right time to make a choice.
That means you don’t have to send them to a long, in-depth, “salesy” landing page. More often than not, you can send them a straightforward message that’s simple, logical, and to-the-point.
Most of the influence in a sale comes down to THEIR timing (not yours). So you can’t really rush them along. Instead you just need to be patient and be there when they’re ready.
5 Simple Steps to Get Started Taking Action
The first step to increasing conversions is understanding visitor intent.
Who’s coming to your website, what do they want, and why do they want it?
Once you figure this out, you can begin to adjust your website and marketing messaging to match their place in the buying cycle.
And you can adjust your own internal sales expectations for what may or may-not be appropriate based on the type of people you see coming to your website and what they want right now.
So… where do you start? Here’s are 5 simple steps:
- Open up Google Analytics, and compare the Top Acquisition Channels with the Top Content (or most popular).
- Next, check out the “User Flow” feature to see how and where people go after they enter your website.
- Now based on all of this (and your own understanding of your customers/clients and sales process), start creating some hypotheses about WHO these people are, and WHERE they’re at in the buying cycle. (You might have more than one or two segments.)
- Try to mimic the “path” or steps each of these people take through your own website and look for either new opportunities (based on your new understanding of what these people might want), or glaring issues and errors which might cause people to leave or distract them from your ultimate goal.
- While you’re going through each step, see how you can adjust your own expectations by adjusting what you’re asking people for and the level of commitment you want to where they’re at (i.e. changing a “Free Consultation” message to a simple email newsletter signup if appropriate).
Take 10 minutes to gather data from steps 1 & 2. Then pull in other department leads and organization leaders to help you with steps 3-5 over the course of a few days.
Once you all gain a better understanding of CONTEXT (who’s coming to your site and what they’re looking for), you’ll be amazed at how many issues and problems on your website become painfully obvious.
And if that doesn’t work, then you can always hire us. 🙂