6 ways to increase your conversion rate with better website usability

Converting visitors to customers is what every online marketer dreams of, but very few get right. How can you improve the usability of your website to increase those conversions?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is converting visitors to your website to your business goals, such as sales, registrations, signups for trials, surveys, upgrades, demo requests, or outbound communication such as email newsletters.

Formstack online form building company’s research shows the biggest generator of high-volume leads is on-page website conversions (24%), followed by email marketing (18%) and pay-per-click ads (17%). It emphasizes just how important good website usability is for converting users to customers.

1. Optimize across devices

Usability testing shows that conversions increase proportionally to how well-optimised the content is for the device it’s being consumed on.

So consider what conversion optimized design looks like on a desktop and mobile site – especially since mobile e-commerce is expected to grow 300% faster than traditional e-commerce in the next year.

2. Measure your conversions and success metrics.

A good web analytics tool will tell you what your website’s conversion rate and success metric performance is.

You can see where users drop off before completing the signup or sale, allowing you to relook the design and UX of those pages.

Interrogate the data for the following important success metrics for conversion: page views per visit, bounce rate, shopping cart abandonment rate and signup form completion rate.

Employ A/B testing to back up analytics and pinpoint flaws in your messaging, design and the user journey.

If bounce rate, page views and signup completion rate are low, cart abandonment high, and A/B testing confirms these findings, your website is in dire need for conversion optimization.  

3. Fix your online form

Once you’ve lead the user to your signup page, your form is the last chance to make them a customer. Here are some tips:

  • Offer autofill from social media accounts (Formstack says it increases online form completion by up to 189%) and auto-detect city and state after ZIP code input
  • Add a live chat widget to quickly resolve problems
  • Do A/B testing to identify form field bottlenecks. Asking for a phone number is often the largest bottleneck; email the lowest.
  • Shorter forms lead to higher conversions, so consider what info you really need at signup stage.

A/B testing tool VWO.com states that poor usability is a main factor in cart abandonment, which hit an average of 68% in 2015.

Here are the top reasons: (Source: VWO Ecommerce Survey 2014) 

  • Unexpected shipping costs: 28%
  • Had to create an account: 23%
  • Just browsing: 16%
  • Card security: 13%
  • Complicated checkout: 12%
  • Couldn't find voucher: 8% 

4. How strong is your call-to-action?

Your call to action text or button – positioned above the fold and/or below relevant content - has to show users what’s in it for them if they click on it.

Transparency and honesty, good use of colours on buttons (green converts better than red), professional fonts and not link baiting, will take them there.

5. Ensure great content and headlines

If your content is outdated, web design cluttered or old, and links broken, users will lose trust in your business. Regularly update content to address the needs of your (potential) customers and subtly drive them to conversion pages.

Update your landing page copy to align with your paid ads for coherency of message.

Employ words such as: bargain, sale, discount, free shipping and returns and freebies, to encourage clicks.

Ensure your on-site search works and investigate learning search technologies to offer returning users products based on what they were previously interested in.  

Click density reports and heatmapping will show where your users click and what interests them (or not) on your website.

6. Look after reviews and comments

Considering 1 in 4 people use online reviews before paying for a service, ensure your comments and review section is managed around the clock.

Immediately address bad reviews and use your good reviews on your site, in social media and in marketing campaigns.

By addressing these touch points first you’ll set a good base for increasing conversions, but there is much more you can do and a professional web design and digital strategy company can help you get there, ultimately smiling all the way to the bank.