Step 1 – Increase your conversion rate.
A common strategy to boost internet sales is to invest in more web traffic. Although that strategy can be effective, its a one-time cost with a one-time benefit. That is, a company runs a promotion to attract more visitors and realizes a corresponding bump in web sales. However, if that company were to invest the same amount in increasing its conversion rate it would realize a one-time cost with an ongoing benefit. Consider the following table comparing the returns on investing $100,000 in each strategy.
Traffic vs Conversion
Not only is the return on investment for increased conversion four times greater than that for increased traffic, but it is also an ongoing return. To realize another return from increased traffic one must make another investment.
At this point, you may be saying, that’s all well and good, but how do I increase my conversion rate? That is where design and marketing can work together to better achieve a company’s objectives. Each web page should be designed to move visitors along to the desired call to action. They should be designed for conversion.
Designing for conversion
Let’s consider the example of a landing page. If you are doing much internet promotion, odds are most customers will arrive at your site through a landing page, not by typing in your URL. A landing page could be your home page but hopefully not. It should be a page you’ve created specifically to capture responses from your online advertising. Therefore, it should be an extension of the ad. The graphics and message should be consistent. It should confirm what the ad promised with a prominent call-to-action link. The master brand of your company’s website should be secondary. In fact, the landing page should be a streamlined version of your site. Avoid unnecessary distractions. Consider reducing or even eliminating the naviagtion. In short, the page should be designed for one thing: guiding visitors to what you want them to do, whether that be buying a product, subscribing to a newsletter, creating a member’s account or calling your sales team. Finally, make sure everything works. Test all links and pages across multiple browsers and platforms.
Before you invest in attracting more visitors to your website make sure each page is designed for conversion. Once your conversion rate is optimized, investments in more traffic will also see greater ROI. Please feel free to contribute to this topic by adding your thoughts or comments below.
The preceding principles were excerpted from Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus’ information-rich book, Web Design for ROI. You can find more information about the book as well as additional resources at their website.