Your business' website serves as your digital storefront and should be positioned to convert visitors into real customers. Whether you're considering a website redesign or starting from scratch, there are many tools you can use to ensure your website is equipped to engage your visitors, provide the information they're looking for and convert them into customers.
Diagnose Your Website
If you're considering making adjustments to your current website, it’s important to know how it's currently performing. Before you start implementing new conversion points, you should diagnose your current website to see what successful areas you can replicate and identify the areas you can modify or improve. You should start by looking at your website analytics. Without checking your analytics, you could be missing out on relevant insights and implement changes that are based on assumption instead of actual user data.
Through analytics, you can glean many insights about how your customers interact with your website – how they enter, what path of pages they visit and where they drop off. For example, let’s say you sell women’s athletic apparel online and your analytics show a large percentage of your web traffic drops off on your credit card and contact information page. This is clearly very alarming. It shows that there is interest in your product but that there may be a problem with the credit card page. With this information you may choose to split your credit card and contact information or reduce the number of fields on the credit card page in hopes of fewer bounces. Utilizing insights from analytics can help you better identify the best conversion opportunities.
Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a free and one of the most robust analytics tools available. It's a good start to identifying your website's strengths and weaknesses.
Leadin – A free tool from HubSpot, Leadin provides a snapshot of individual visitors' actions. Once a website visitor submits a form on your website, Leadin creates a report of the path the visitor took on your website.
Google PageSpeed - Another free tool from Google, this tool hellps identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly.
Leverage User Experience Testing
Whether you're making minor adjustments, undergoing a complete website redesign, or starting from scratch, user experience testing is one of the best ways to gain insights on your customers' expectations for your website. User experience testing comes in many varieties and is a hands-on way to understand where your website design meets your customers' needs and where it fails them.
iTracking.com – Eye tracking is a user experience method that uses a technology that follows users' actual eye movement as they interact with a website to note what elements catch their eye and which ones go ignored. This method provides powerful insight as it allows you to understand what elements the user sees – and what they may be missing – on a web page.
UserTesting.com – User testing can be conducted at any stage of the development process – current site, wireframes, concepts, demo site – and it's a hands-on way to understand where your website design meets your customers' needs and where it fails them. Participants provide feedback as they navigate across your site trying to accomplish specific tasks giving you insights into barriers that prevent users from accomplishing the most significant objectives on your site.
Be Iterative and Explorative
Website design best practices are a great place to start. However, every customer and potential customer base is different. Therefore, being iterative and explorative with content and design elements on your website can reveal some valuable insights that can help improve your customer's user experience and, in turn, your conversion rate. If you're considering a conversion-related change to your site, try using an A/B test to see if the change will actually improve your customers' experience.
Content Experiments in Google Analytics – This Google Analytics tool will allow you to test variations of the same web page to see how small to major changes affect conversion rates or bounce rates with the goal of selecting the variation that performs better
The tools mentioned above will reveal many useful insights but your best tool for your site might simply be to find a friend and ask them to do something on your site. Easy things to fix may be revealed by the questions they ask. If they say "How do I ...", you know your site might be able to do a better job on providing natural mappings or help the visitor complete an actual action.
Optimizing your website to improve your conversion rate is integral to your digital marketing strategy as well as your business overall. Download our website redesign guide to learn more about getting the most out of your website.