Your Conversion Rate is Low? That’s Not the Problem.
Well it is *A* problem, however you can break it down into separate, more solvable issues. If you are getting high click-through-rates, but you aren’t converting, chances are users are leaving your site because it doesn’t meet their standards, or work as well as your competitor’s website. This is more of a symptom of other problems. Breaking down why your conversions are low is crucial in determining how you are going to solve the underlying problems and get that conversion rate up.
1. Speed up your website
People don’t like to wait. The longer a page takes to load, the more likely people are to leave. A 2009 study by Forrester Research showed that a large share of users expect pages to load in at most two seconds. Most users leave the site if it doesn’t load within 3. More recently however, expectations have gotten even higher. According to engineers at google, 400 milliseconds is too long. Not only that, but people are more likely to visit a competitor’s website if it loads just 250 milliseconds faster. These exact speeds aren’t at the front of the user’s mind every time they visit a site, but a user can “feel” the difference between a faster or slower website. Oversized image files or having too many images without any kind of loading optimization will slow your site down significantly. Make sure you’re compressing any images you need, using SVG icons instead of PNGs, and embedding any videos you have rather than hosting them yourself.
2. Don't make people read
Giving people information too slowly is a huge conversion killer. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, “on the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.” If you take too long to give a user your value proposition or reasons to buy your product, they will leave. The problem is usually not the amount of information, but how you deliver it. Think about choosing between two food items at the grocery store. Most of the information a customer is looking for is in the nutrition facts. There’s usually a lot of information on any one food item’s nutrition facts, but the information is presented in an easily digestible way. Calories are on top, followed by macronutrients, then micronutrients. The information the average consumer is looking for is listed in order of importance. The trick isn’t to take away any of the information, but to better organize and present that information in a way that’s quick and easy for the user to understand. This (very conveniently) leads me to my next point.
3. Organize your website (and sales funnel)
Getting users through your sales funnel is something that really shouldn’t be overlooked. If you serve ads with CTA’s that are asking them to learn about your product, you shouldn’t push them to a PDP with no information. If the user is clicking on your ad expecting to learn about your product, but gets product shoved in their face, you’re pushing the customer away. You want to make sure that you are pushing users to the right pages, and convincing them to buy your product, not telling them to. If your ads alone are not enough to convince them, you need to make sure you are sending them to a website that is going to do the job. A site with simple to understand navigation that lets the user easily flow between pages to get information as well as lets the user get to the product when they want to buy it is more likely to convert than one that always pushes a user through the door straight to PDP. Unless your target demographic is Marie Kondo, you don’t want a mess.
Your main value props should also be in more than just one place. You want users to be able to learn about your product from anywhere on the site. This can be achieved by incorporating value prop information in multiple places. Although it may seem repetitive to you, users can get to your website from many endpoints and users are very good at skipping information they already have or don’t need, so long as it doesn’t take up too much space (see number 2).
So while a low conversion rate is a problem, you can’t solve for it without solving the real issues affecting your site.
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