Marketing your small business can be challenging, and when visitors land on your site, but fail to convert, it can be disheartening. You spent time and effort to get them there, and more often than not, they leave before buying anything, or even signing up. Where is it all going wrong and how can you improve your online conversion rate?
Online visitors are valuable; they aren’t going to walk through the threshold of your website without at least some interest in the products or services that your small business offers. And once visitors are on your site, you have their attention. (No matter how briefly.)
Thus, boosting your online conversion rate is all about capitalizing on the visitor’s passing attention while you have it. Use these 3 simple tricks to capture consumer’s attention and maximize your website’s efficiency.
1. Organize your display
In a brick and mortar store, your small business’s products are organized by category – genre, intended user, type of product, and so on. It should be the same online. Make it obvious on your landing pages what you offer by organizing your products into categories, all of which can be easily found in a clearly labeled menu.
Be sure to avoid niche jargon where possible, so that anyone that lands on your site can navigate the pages without looking up different terms. It also helps to include a dedicated search function on your website, so that visitors looking for something specific can locate it directly.
Having a clear menu makes your products and services accessible. When visitors can easily find the products they’re most interested in, you keep their attention fixed on your site, and increase the likelihood of them finding something they want to buy.
Online, attention spans are short, and messy design and navigation won’t be given the time of day. Thus, the first step to optimizing your small business’s website and increasing your online conversion rate is by streamlining your content and display.
2. Build your trust, reduce the risks
Digital shoppers are savvy, and sceptical. Winning their trust as early as possible will boost your small business’s online conversion rates by reducing the perceived risks of buying from you. In store, customers can inspect your products, ask about your return policies, and feel reassured by other customers that are buying from you. Therefore, you need to replicate this on your website.
Start by making your return/cancellation policies easy to find and simple to understand. Prospects will be more willing to purchase if they know they can back out easily. Also, be sure to provide review sections and feedback. Case studies, third party feedback, and customer reviews act as a way for visitors to validate the information on your site. Plus, they give you valuable insight on areas that you can refine and improve further.
Another key way to building trust is to be easy to contact. Your small business’s contact information should be readily available, and the more channels through which you’re reachable, the better. Emphasize how easy it is to get support from your team, and visitors will perceive less risk in spending money with you.
Channels that can offer instant help and support are particularly effective at building a supportive online presence. In store, employees can approach customers and offer friendly, proactive customer service. Channels such as live chat software and social media provide the same opportunities online. A supporting presence tells potential customers that someone is there to listen at any moment.
3. Make buying easy
All this amounts to the third and final tip to boosting your small business’s online conversion rate: make it super easy to complete the checkout journey.
Your online visitors might have started the checkout journey, but don’t celebrate just yet, they’re still a flight risk. You need to streamline the checkout experience to involve the least amount of effort possible. That means no surplus input fields on web forms, no forcing customers to create an account (unless it’s part of the service they’re paying for), and no unnecessary steps.
So, first you must be wary of the paradox of choice. A large array of options leaves us unhappier with our eventual choices, which can lead to an increased bounce rate online. Thus, be sure not to give too many options to your nearly-converted customer.
You should also be sure to strip the checkout journey of any avoidable actions or excessive information requests. Only ask for the information you need to complete the sale. Extra steps give customers more time to change their mind, or decide that the process is more effort than it’s worth.
Converting your online window shoppers is the number one challenge facing every online small business. To boost your online conversion rate, you must prove your credibility and provide a slick customer journey from start to finish.
Too much clutter will see the visitor’s fleeting attention flicker elsewhere. Too little information and the savvy shopper will doubt your reliability. Strike the right balance between simplicity and detail; between speed and supportiveness, and you’ll strike a chord with prospective customers.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.