A 3-minute guide to doubling your website conversions

Tell them what you want, what you really, really want.

In a study of small business web sites, 70% (of the 200 sites evaluated) were missing one simple thing that could have easily doubled their online conversions.

What were they missing? Clear calls-to-action linked to a conversion mechanism right on their home pages—such as special offers, e-mail newsletters, how-to guides, demos, and interactive tools. So, here are a few quick steps anyone can take to update your home page and dramatically boost conversions.

Define the most important metrics for the success of your business

Whether it’s direct sales of promoted products, downloading content and materials, or simply completing a “contact us” form so you can continue the customer conversation, you might be surprised how many websites were built without anyone addressing this basic business requirement. If you are going to take the time to build a website, it makes sense to exert your efforts in improving the type of conversions that are most likely to drive more business.

Determine what behaviors drive those metrics

There is no universally “best” conversion behavior. If your sales process is complicated and requires intensive human interaction, then perhaps your best conversion is a contact form that delivers a pre-qualified lead your sales team can follow up on, personally. Or, perhaps, your products or services are highly technical or complex? In that case, your most desired behavioral outcome may be an increase in viewing a posted demo video to help shorten the sales cycle.

Engage those behaviors early and often

Don’t bury your desired actions at the end of a multi-step user journey. Let’s look at the salesforce.com home page. While they make it easy to find contact information—phone number and email contact information front and center at the top—the design telegraphs quite clearly the conversion behavior that drives their business: getting users to try salesforce.com.

With a “free trial” button at the top in a contrasting green and two conversion items located at the center of the page, “watch demos” and “try for free”, salesforce.com overtly promotes two forms of trial, one vicarious, the other direct.

You have the room. Add the ability.

Your assignment for the last 15 seconds of this three-minute lecture is to take a screenshot of your home page, print it out and count how many places you could add suggested behaviors/conversion opportunities without compromising your design.

Class dismissed.


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