11/09/2017 | Consultancy & Strategy | 15 minutes
A common complaint from new clients is that their existing website is not providing the number of leads or sales they expect. Sometimes development of a new site is the best way to address this, but often optimising their existing site can be just as effective and costs a lot less.
There are three key elements to driving more enquiries and increasing online sales:
These three elements have a lot of overlap, so it's helpful to consider them as parts of a process rather than discrete tasks. Understanding the basics of each can help you to turn your struggling website into a conversion machine.
In the real world, a great way of increasing the number of sales or enquiries is to increase footfall. Getting more customers into a shop is likely to lead to more sales.
In the digital world, increasing the visibility of your site on search engines has the same effect. By appearing in more searches and higher up in the results, you're likely to receive more visitors and by extension, more enquiries or sales.
You can find out more about improving the SEO of your website by reading some of our previous blog posts:
Making your site pleasant to use will boost enquiries and sales by making it more likely that users will stay on your pages. Creating a positive user experience (UX) can give you a real competitive edge, but it's important that your efforts are focused on what really matters to your users. Effective user research can give you insights into how people are using your site and what they are looking for. User research can be time consuming and expensive, but if you're low on time and budget you can use some of our guerilla user research techniques to improve your site.
There are a couple of UX issues that come up frequently, including:
Addressing these issues will help to give your users a better experience, keeping people on your site. This improved engagement should encourage more enquiries or sales.
As sites get more complex and image-led, the time it takes for a page to load has increased. Users on slower connections and mobile devices can find this delay frustrating, so slow page speed could be driving users away from your site.
There are a number of relatively easy ways to improve your page speed. Doing a quick audit using an online tool will point you in the right direction. The Google PageSpeed Insights tool is a good place to start.
On average, around 50% of traffic to a site comes from mobiles and tablets. This means it's essential that you make sure your website is responsive – that it works properly across all devices and screen sizes.
Understanding how people use websites differently on mobiles and tablets will influence how your site is optimised. Using this knowledge to drive the changes to your site will be more likely to deliver more enquiries and sales.
Your website should work hard for your business so that it delivers a return on investment. But trying to do too much on a single page can be really off-putting for your users. Imposing walls of text and multiple buttons and links (called 'calls to action' in the business) make it hard for users to focus.
There's often a temptation to add whizzy functionality too, in order to differentiate your site from competitors. However, doing things too differently can make it hard for people to understand how to interact with the site.
The route to simplifying your pages is to focus on the goal you want the page to deliver – for example increasing enquiries. Then think about your audience: what is it they need to know before they can make an enquiry? How can you push them towards this task?
Review the page – consider removing anything that doesn't support the main goal. Look at the content – is anything missing that users need to make their decision?
Also look at the structure of the content. Are you using subheadings and bullet points to highlight the key information to your audiences? Are images relevant to the content? Are sentences short and written using plain language?
Addressing these issues will help your users to find the information they need in order to complete their task.
Once you have the SEO and the UX of your pages sorted, you can make further tweaks to optimise it for conversion. Some of these are at the micro level – such as changing the colour of buttons to make them more noticeable – while others are larger in scale.
It's tempting to create a website that reflects your business and its structures, but this can put you at a disadvantage if this doesn't directly align with what users are looking for.
Instead, use your keyword and user research to understand what it is about your offer that prospective customers want. The next step is to ensure your headings, imagery, calls to action and other content are aligned with this. By doing so, you make it immediately obvious to users that you do what they're looking for, leading to more conversions.
As mentioned previously, users have very little patience. This means it's important to grab their attention straight away. Relevance plays a big part in this, but there are numerous ways to boost the impact of your content.
Changes to colours and fonts can help to grab attention from the second users land. Making use of icons, infographics or different images can also help to make an impression.
Making headings and subheadings stand out with keywords will also help to attract attention. You can appeal to users' needs by addressing their pain points or offering reassurance.
Once you have your users' attention, it's important that you drive users to complete the appropriate tasks that deliver on your goals.
When making significant changes to your website, it's essential that you can monitor their impact. This allows you to see which pages are now performing well and assess how well you are meeting your goals.
Google Analytics and other analytics tools are a great way to get insight into the performance of your site. It's a good idea to benchmark your site before you make any changes – making note of the key metrics and identifying some target figures. You can then see how your performance varies over time once you have implemented the changes.
A key metric is conversion rate, which can be set up to calculate the proportion of your visitors that click a button, complete a form or make a purchase. This allows you to precisely measure the number of online enquiries or sales you get as a proportion of site visits. By improving the SEO of your website, you should increase the overall number of conversions. Taking things a step further by improving the UX of your site and optimising conversions you should increase the ratio that convert.
We're able to offer a complete suite of services that can maximise traffic and increase enquiries and sales from your site. Just get in touch to discuss how we can tailor a package for your business.