Thursday, August 31, 2006
Costly Website Mistakes That Drive Prospects Away
You have traffic coming to your website, but you notice that not enough of your traffic is converting to actual sales. What is driving this prospect away?
According to the Internet Marketing Report, 31% of Web users say the biggest obstacle when trying to make a purchase on a shopping website is insufficient or confusing info on the site. So, how do you effectively avoid the most common pit falls when converting internet traffic?
Here are some tips on how to convert more prospects into clients:
- Know your customer - Don't just think you know, do the research. It is equally important to know what your potential and existing customers DO like as it is to know what they DON'T like. When prospects can't find what they are looking for, they leave. Knowing what the customer wants and how they look for it are critical elements to any good website conversion!
- Keep it Simple - creating navigation bars with heavy menus, that are usually designed around optimization, end up confusing the potential client and make it difficult for them to find what they need. Making forms complicated with too many fields and requiring unnecessary information will turn a good prospect away. You must define the ultimate priority for the site (sales, generating leads, informational) and use that guidance to remove any obstacles that get in the way.
- Keep an eye on your competition - It can be hard to find the time to research our competitor's site on a regular basis, but your potential clients are reviewing the information daily. If you don't keep an eye on how they are attracting your potential clients, then your business will suffer the consequences.
FAQ Page - Converting Prospects through Education
FAQ's do more than just answer questions! If you can effectively help prospects find answers to the most common questions, these prospects will end up clients without having to call and get the information they need. This means you will obtain a higher number of sales that converted without the assistance of an actual employee. The fact is if a prospect finds an answer to a question on your website, they will most likely take the next step. It is when a prospect cannot find answers that they get lost to competition. Another great way to simplify the prospects visit is to provide links to areas of the website that can take an action (order form, sign-up form or contact us form).
Because the FAQ page is rich in text, using keyword phrases in this area of the website is a great way to direct targeted traffic to your site.
Shopping Cart Loss - Why They Check In and Never Check Out!
In some markets, 75% of online shoppers are abandoning the purchase before it has been completed. Here are some useful tips to help keep that customer moving through the checkout stand!
- Use large buttons for navigating the checkout area and place them in places that make sense and don't confuse the shopper. For example, don't place the "Remove Item" button any where near the "Next Step" button.
- Handle order errors with care and not confusion - If form fields are left blank, a prominent reminder should politely tell the shopper what is missing.
- Make editing your shopping list easy and don't require the customer to go back to the product page to change size, color, etc. A cart review page should offer editing options to keep the sale going smoothly.
Make contact information available to the shopper if they need assistance in finishing the shopping experience. If they are ready to check out but have a question or two before completing the sale, they should be able to reach a live person to assist them. If they can't get the answer before checking out, you are likely to lose that sale!
Landing Pages - A Way to Convert More Prospects
The theme of this newsletter is to keep the traffic you get and convert more of them into customers. The process of turning a customer into a client can happen at almost any point. As we have seen, there are many avenues that drive the prospect to your site. But, the experts say it's the landing page that will determine the prospects next step.
With landing pages being so critical to conversion, it's surprising how often they are undervalued in the marketing campaign.
A landing page should make a clear connection between the original message and the information prospects see on the landing page. Provide prospect with path to follow, don't make anything on the landing page unclear or difficult to navigate. This will ensure more conversions.
One common mistake is to make a landing page one of your existing website pages. This is a conversion killer, yet most marketers are doing just that. The best landing pages are stripped down, isolated pages from the rest of the site and focus only on a single goal.
The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Recently a company tested out its landing page campaign. One version closely resembled the website, navigation and all; while the other was a self contained page all about the offer. Through banner ads and e-mail campaigns, prospects traveled to the two landing pages. The one that was a stand alone page converted TWICE as many prospects as the one that mirrored the website!