Optimizing your e-commerce website's conversion rates is a delicate process, and sometimes the integral aspects of bringing customers through the checkout process can be neglected in the pursuit of reaching bigger audiences.
Having a unique product idea coupled with a precise and strategic advertizing campaign that draws in countless more visitors than you previously thought possible doesn't necessarily equal boosts in conversion rate.
There are countless factors that play a role in enticing visitors to make a purchase on your site, so we've decided to create a list of the seven deadly sins that even the best webmasters can't always steer clear of when running an online store.
1. Neglecting your website.
A key facet of conversion optimization is targetting new audiences that could be interested in visiting your website. But that's the use of increasing your traffic when your site isn't quick or usable enough to accommodate customers?
It's important to remember that poor performing pages affect your Google ranking positions, as well as putting off would-be customers - but with Go-Globe reporting that 47 percent of internet users expect the website they're visiting to load within two seconds should be enough reason to ensure that your site performing as well as possible.
You can prevent performance issues by regularly consulting tools like Pingdom and Google Page Speed Insights, as well as compressing the images that you upload to your website.
Remember to keep your website's layout simple and easy to navigate - too much clutter and complicated menus will only result in bouncebacks.
2. There’s not enough urgency.
Cart abandonment kills profit margins, and when you operate a website that doesn't reward visitors for making swift purchases, it results in a higher number of would-be customers navigating away before taking the plunge and buying a product.
By installing a sense of urgency, you can encourage visitors to buy a product there and then with a range of techniques -- like short-term offers, or a countdown timer. These inform visitors of how long they have to buy an item to ensure next day delivery.
A somewhat more grey hat technique of adding urgency into the minds of customers is by utilizing a recurring countdown timer that advertizes that there are only a few minutes left to order a certain product at a discounted rate. Usually, the timer never ends, but it's the prompt that some visitors need to spring into action and make a purchase.
3. Mandatory account creation.
Sometimes customers just want to buy something without feeling like they're signing their life away. Ditching the mandatory account creation motif may seem counterproductive -- after all, if more people create an account on your website, the more email addresses you can gather for a newsletter or mailing list. But if you want to get rid of cart abandonment, then giving customers the choice of whether or not to sign up is the way to go.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't encourage users to create an account while shopping with you, but getting visitors to jump through hoops throughout the check out process is a dangerous game to play. Being forced to provide details and think up passwords before even being able to view their shopping cart can be a major factor in putting would-be customers off.
4. Needlessly complex checkout processes.
Likewise, it's best to avoid asking customers excessive questions while they're checking out. Website optimization company, Invesp, calculates that 12 percent of cart abandonments are down to users being asked too many questions while trying to conclude a purchase -- a figure that you needn't worry about with streamlined checkout processes and contact forms.
Avoid implementing superfluous text boxes that enquire about things that aren't necessary, like "company name" and the required field of "telephone number." Get rid of these to up your sales. Sometimes people don't want to feel like they're being interviewed -- and watched -- when all they want to do is buy a product while on their morning commute. By respecting this point of view -- you limit the chances of cart abandonment. Once customers have some experience with you, they don't mind giving you this information.
5. You’re not focused on landing pages.
It's no secret that landing pages play a big role in fending off bounce backs and increasing conversions. The practice of utilizing these landing pages correctly seems to be a little more elusive.
You can vary your landing pages depending on where visitors arrive and fine tune them to focus on one specific facet of your store. There's also plenty of room to add an enticing call-to-action that's unmissable and has the power to divert attention towards signing up to mailing lists or individual promotions.
When optimizing your landing pages for conversions, be sure to make the most of relevant keywords and images -- not only will they appeal to customers, but improve your SERPs.
6. Forgetting to build trust.
Digital Commerce 360 states that 73 percent of consumers still have trust issues when it comes to making purchases anywhere online, and it's important to bear this in mind when it comes to working on your conversion rates.
Make sure that your website is kept up to date -- sites that appear to be inactive cast doubt in the minds of would-be customers. Google Adwords is also a great tool for creating trustworthy search engine profiles by including your customer ratings and testimonies next to links back to your pages.
There are plenty ways of building trust among shoppers, and perhaps none are more effective than through creating an online social presence. By setting up social media accounts for the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- you get to not only advertize your brand and interact with large-scale audiences -- but reaffirm their faith that your business is an honest, active and trustworthy entity.
7. Ignoring mobile.
Mobile browsing is taking over the world, so it's best to be prepared for it. Search Engine Watch found that 74 percent of shoppers are more likely to return to a website if it's optimized for mobile browsing. Couple this with the fact that mobile has long overtaken desktops as the world's favorite way of surfing the net and it becomes clear that your pages need to be optimized for visitors on the go.
Luckily Accelerated Mobile Pages is on hand to help. By configuring AMP for your site, you can ensure that there'll be no faults in loading times for browsers navigating on 3G or 4G signal.
Another great action to take is to remember to compress images and avoid producing content that will bulk up your pages -- it can be difficult to access hefty websites while on the morning commute to work.