There aren’t many people out there that have a website for the sake of having a website. That’s not to say there’s aren’t quite enough websites out there full of emo poetry or cats dressed up and playing the piano but for the most part most websites have a goal.
You want people to come to your website because you have something to say. You might have product or service to sell, you might be making money from ad sense revenue or you could be selling on data capture information. Whether its clicks, money, phone calls or data you want, you want something so how do you get it?
The first thing you need to establish is what your end goal is, what do you want your site traffic to do? For most businesses you’re going to either want them to pick up the phone or get in touch or you’re going to want them to spend their money on your site there and then. You’ve probably spent a lot of time and effort making sure your website is appearing in the search engines for the right key phrases and getting that traffic on your site but you’d be surprised how many website don’t bother to take care of that traffic once it reaches the site.
So you’ve got your traffic and you know what you’d ideally like it to do but you’re not sure where it’s all going wrong. Check out your Analytics info. Even if you don’t think you have a specific problem it’s always good to keep a keen eye on your Analytics or other tracking reports. Make sure you don’t just check out the same old stats month in month out. Dig through and make sure you understand what people are typing in before they reach your site, what page they’re entering the site at, how long they’re spending on what pages and what pages they’re bouncing off the site from.
You have two options here, you can either start at the back and work your way forwards if you’re short on time, or you can start at the beginning and do it properly.
If time is an issue and you need to start improving your conversion rates today gather a list of your highest bounce rate pages. Look through Analytics and find the pages that have higher traffic volumes but a higher than average percentage of traffic exiting the site. You don’t need a PhD in nuclear physics to asses these pages but if you need an objective eye invest in some usability tests where real people are presented with your website and they give you productive feed back. There maybe a really obvious problem with the page, it might be taking too long to load or the navigation bar might suddenly have disappeared. It could be something like too much text on the page (this can often be enough to put people off completely) or it might just be that the content isn’t relevant enough in which case a slight re write alone could be enough to boost your conversion levels. There are bound to be several quick wins you can implement here to improve your conversion levels. If you want people to get in touch is there a prominent contract form? If you want them to spend money is everything priced clearly and competitively or can they get back to the page that’s doing the selling easily enough?
Ideally you should be looking at the path of your visitors from the beginning which can be very time consuming but will likely produce better results. Look at what keywords they’re entering the site and make sure they’re going to the most relevant page. If they’re going to the home page for a specific product you sell make sure it’s that product page that appears in the search engines for that keyword. If you don’t have a relevant landing page, build one. If doesn’t have to be the worlds most comprehensive web page but this does give you the chance to design a page specifically for your end goal of a conversion. It can take time to build pages and get them ranking well enough to draw in considerable traffic figures but once you get there you should notice a huge difference in your conversion rates.
Kate is an SEO and currently working on Schofields who provide second home insurance