Before we get to the point of optimizing your website for better conversions, you need to check if your website has Google Analytics set up and if it’s connected to the Google Search Console, previously known as Google Webmaster Tools. If you’re wondering as to why this is so important, it’s because these tools will prove invaluable when you monitor and analyze everything that’s going on with your website.
Aside from Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, it’s also a good idea to implement heat map tools as well. This will allow you to track clicks and scrolls on your website, which will help you visualize user interactions on your web pages. Assuming you’ve collected enough initial information and data about your customer behavior, we can proceed with the optimization process.
Optimize page layout
Your page layout plays a vital role in your conversion rate. Designing a page accordingly can mean the difference between visitors taking the desired action and leaving your website. Based on the data you’ve managed to collect, you can create various different versions of web pages and various elements on those pages. Furthermore, you can test both the pages and the page elements via A/B/n and multivariate testing.
For example, A/B/n tests allow you to test different version of your web page, while multivariate tests allow you to test different versions of page elements. If you’ve managed to create a goal setup and event tracking in Google Analytics, you’ll have insight into how users interact with different elements on your webpage. In addition, heat map tools for scrolls and clicks will provide insight into which parts of your webpage are the most active. That way, you’ll be able to position your call to action buttons (CTA) in the right place on your webpage. For further reading, check out advice given by CRO and growth experts on how to further improve your CTR.
Optimize website performance
Your website performance affects the overall user experience and if the performance doesn’t meet or, on some occasions, even exceed user expectations, your conversion rate will be significantly lower. Websites that take too much time to load and that lack a responsive design result in high bounce rates. As a matter of fact, user experience directly affects your website’s SEO. Meaning that websites that offer bad user experience produce the pogo-stick effect (dissatisfied users move to the next search result) which, in turn, causes a huge bounce rate and affects your SERP ranking.
In addition, even a one-second delay in your page loading time will cause 7% decrease in your conversion rate and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your page load time optimization. However, there are things you can do to improve your page loading time. For instance:
● Reduce the number of plug-ins: Many plug-ins have more functionality than you need, and they will only cause a code bloat, which will increase your loading time. Also, some plug-ins are third party software, which may result in a direct conflict between two different plug-ins which will slow down your page.
● Optimize image size: Every image that’s larger than 100kb should be compressed to smaller formats such as JPG, JPEG or PNG using 60% compression, in order to speed up the page.
Optimize your content and your information architecture
Not every piece of content is meant to convert everyone. The reason behind your high bounce rate doesn’t necessarily have to be your bad page layout or poor loading time. In fact, if your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for on your website there’s little to no chance you’ll be able to convert them. Instead, they will leave and try to find what they are looking for elsewhere. That’s why content optimization and information architecture on your website are of the utmost importance. Information architecture is the part of your website design that helps visitors navigate around with ease, without getting mislead or without reaching a dead end.
Simply put, it helps your users understand their surroundings. Designing your website so that users know exactly where each page will lead them to and what kind of content you will provide for them on those pages can greatly improve your conversion rate. After all, users expect to browse through your website without interruptions or delays. You can create different versions of your web pages until you have excellent information architecture and content that will complement each page.
Test and monitor further
If you don’t have many website visitors per month, analytics tools won’t provide you with accurate information. Moreover, Google Analytics won’t give you accurate information about users and their interactions unless your page visits exceed the traffic threshold, which is around 200 visits per month. Even then, information won’t be accurate if users aren’t logged in to Google Chrome browser, because that’s how Google protects user-sensitive information. In addition, no one can guarantee that those users visited your website intentionally and not by randomly stumbling upon it. Furthermore, a lot of changes and adjustments to the website are made on production servers, which users cannot access.
The main reason is that working on the live version of the website may hurt your conversions and user experience. Nowadays, there are options for crowd sourced testing which gives you access to thousands of various independent testers around the world. You can plan out different tests and give them to the testers for further examination. These testers will test out your website and give you a clear picture of what you need to improve, to boost your conversion rate. Moreover, these testers can also act as end users and help you test load balancing, website functionality, usability and performance.
Optimizing your website for better conversions isn’t as simple as it sounds. However, with a little bit of effort and dedication, you’ll be able to optimize your website and give your conversion rate a much-needed boost.