Some of you may be asking ‘what is conversion, and how does it apply to me’. Simply put, a conversion is a valuable action that a user makes on your website. This can take form of a registration, a document download and viewing of multimedia, however, most commonly it takes the form of a sale.

For most businesses with any presence online, having a high conversion rate (CR) is extremely important. This is because the CR calculates how many people are providing valuable action compared to the number of visitors your website has. Shown below is how to calculate your very own conversion rate:

Clearly the purpose of a website is in the hope that a positive effect will result, therefore, we have collated ten ways in which you can improve your websites CR. Part 1 is shown below, highlighting the first 5 ways to improve your CR and Part 2, containing the second half, will be posted next week (so keep your eyes peeled).

1. Customer Research

Primarily, there is no reason to have a website if you don’t know who you are trying to sell to. Researching your market will provide you with the priceless information that will give you, not only the insights you need to develop your website, but also the opinions and advise that can help your whole business be directed to their needs. Nonetheless, your customers should be the focus of your website and ensuring their viewing experience is maximised will help you influence your customers to revisit.

This is the basis to knowing your customers and shaping other areas of your website to maximise the benefit to them.

2. Utilise the F-shape reading habits

Many of you may have already heard about the F-shape reading pattern. This was commonly known through Jakob Nielsen’s study of eye movements when using the internet. By recording the eye movement of 232 participants, Nielsen concluded that generally users read web pages in an F shape. Therefore, it’s advised to utilise this in the location of banners, images, and key text, in order to have the greatest chance of being seen.

This F-shape pattern needs to be coupled with clear call-to-actions to make sure that your customers receive your message as quick and concise as possible.

3. Breaking the norm

However, Nielson’s study was carried out in 2006, and in the 6 years that have passed, the way in which we use the internet may have changed. No doubt, the F-shape reading pattern may still be prominent in our internet usage, but now the day of attention grabbing has become extremely important. With the number of websites all structured to make reading easier, many firms have found success from breaking the norm and grabbing attention through differentiation.

This means using consumer focused imagery, aesthetically pleasing use of multimedia and content that will surprise and maybe even shock your website viewers.

4. Relevant Content

There’s nothing worse than visiting a website that is filled to the brim with irrelevant information. Always think about your customers and what they will be using your website for. With this information, create and mould your web content around this. Every customer base is different and depending on your specific product or service base, you need to find what your customers want to hear.

5. Honesty, Trustworthy and Open

According to the Guardian, Humans judge and form an opinion of a website within the first few seconds after loading. Therefore making sure you highlight that you are honest, trustworthy and open, is vital. Be open in your terms and conditions, honest in what you offer and remind customers of your returns policy and warranties. Especially for first time viewers, this will show your openness and encourage them to trust your company.

References

Nielsen, J. (2006). F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content.Available: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/. Last accessed 22/01/2013.

Spam Laws. (2007). Internet Fraud Statistics and Facts. Available: http://www.spamlaws.com/internet-fraud-stats.html. Last accessed 22/01/2013.

Arthur, C. (2006). How quickly do you judge a website?. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2006/jan/19/guardianweeklytechnologysection1. Last accessed 22/01/2013.

Final words

These are our first 5 top tips to improve your websites conversion rates…

…check back soon to see the second part of this list.