Ways to improve SEO conversion rate

Conversion Rate Optimization

Quite often new clients are very interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They don't think very hard about Conversion Rate. So what's the difference? SEO is simply incresing traffic to your website, or your page ranking. However if thought isn't given to Converting those searches into sales, you may be throwing your money away. I recently came across this article that has some very good tips for improving your conversion rate, additionally a supplimental article provided more. Below is a quick summary of both articles.

  1. Make Your Visitors Life Easy
    • Your site should be Accessible this applies to may things including disabled visitors and ease of use.
    • Your site should be visible in multiple browsers. Smat Web Design test sites we build are visible on multiple browsers.
    • Be Bold! Try to keep things above the fold and easy to find. Add to Cart buttons should be easy to find, as well as the Checkout button.
    • Usability, Your website should provide additional information about your products and services in a way that's easy to find.
  2. Be Clear, Open and Honest
    • If your product is out of stock, It should say so
    • Your pricing policy should be clear and users should have the option to find out how much it will cost to ship. Offering them multiple shipping options can be a plus, quite often if shipping costs as much as the product you could loose a sale!
  3. Don't Waste Time
    • Asking the customer for too much information may cause them to surf to your competitor.
    • Try not to ask for information your customer may feel is private or information they may not want to give out without good information.
  4. Help Visitors Trust You
    • Give your customers every reason to trust you
    • Brick and Mortar store front addresses make your website credible
    • A phone number with someone answering it also helps
    • A Privacy Policy and Terms of Use let users know what to expect when they do business with you
    • Clearly explain your shipping procedures/policies
    • USE SSL if you're taking Credit Card or private information from your customers
    • Professional Design and content can help build trust, photos of your products taken in  your basement showing your cluttered washing machine will send your customers packing. Spend some money on your website design and photography, a cheap design with poorly lit photography will only run visitors off.
  5. Have a Clear Returns Policy
    • Users are impressed with sites that have a good returns policy and are more likly to buy or do business with them.
    • When you buy something from a Brick and Mortar business you know where they are and can talk to someone about returning/exchaning your purchase. However with websites, this is not the case, having a clear returns policy (Especially for clothing where people can not try the items on) is important.
    • Have people call you for returns, so they can explain their issue to a real person!
    • Free returns if feasible is a great way to provide shoppers with confidence to buy.
    • Give your customers plenty of time to return the merchandise 28 days is common.
  6. Keep Users Informed
    • Let them know when the product has been shipped
    • Give them the tracking number so they know when it will be delivered
  7. Offer Different Payment Options
    • Not everyone has a credit card, or wants to use it. If you take PayPal offer that as an option.
    • Offer multiple types of credit cards
  8. Improve the Value of Visitors
    • People will buy from you if they like what they see
    • If they add something to their basket, show them other items they might like as well or popular items.
    • Upselling or cross-selling are proven sales techniques.
  9. Be Memorable
    • A good website will include information, a poor site is just a catalog.
    • Provide Articles, Advice, Reviews all will help the user in the early buying process. Users like to research what they are buying.
    • Customer Reviews or Testimonials is a great way to increase your conversion rate.
    • Have a Unique Selling Point (see next), establish your brand, have a strong memorable logo.
    • Your website should leave an possitive impression, and help your user return. They can't do this if they forget your name!
  10. Know your Unique Selling Point
    • Most Important
    • People WILL shop, why should they buy from you? What makes you unique?
    • Family owned business, great customer service, low prices, and free shipping are all good USP's
  11. Know your Audience
    • Be aware of what your customer wants.
    • If you have a customer support line, listen to it. An alternative to this is Online Chat.
  12. Don't be afraid to make and admit to, mistakes
    • Don't be afraid to fail - This is the internet it's always changing, and doesn't have to be perfect
    • Experiment with your ideas
    • Learn from your mistakes!
  13. Track Everything
    • Look at the big picture with as much data as you can get
  14. Be smart with discount codes and coupons
    • They are a double edge sword. They can improve sales, but can also backfire.
  15. Have a clear pricing strategy
    • Offer Price Comparison or Price Matching
    • If you don't want to be the cheapest, tout your customer service or quality
    • Shipping is always an additional expense. Free shipping or flat rate shipping should be added from the start to prevent your user reconsidering their purchase during checkout.