The Internet offers countless opportunities to connect with your target audience, but your conversion rates suffer if you aren't any different from the rest of the crowd. You might offer the best products and customer experience, but no one's going to find that out if they don't make it all the way through the sales funnel.
You've handled all the standard strategies for increasing conversion, such as improving search engine optimization and creating a mobile optimized experience.
But you have to do more if you're going to go beyond the website standard and really standout in the crowd.
Here are five creative ways to improve your website's conversion rate.
Related Article: How to Convey Branding Through Web Design and Development
1. Color Theory
You may have heard about color theory in design or art classes. It doesn't just apply to the colors used in products and packaging—it also applies to how people react to your website. The basic concept of color theory in web design is using specific colors to invoke different reactions out of readers. Certain colors put readers in the mood to buy, while others may create a relaxing environment for a prospect to learn more about your services.
One way to implement color theory in your website is by using color accents on key elements in your website design. For example, using red on your call to action buttons is more likely to get a positive response out of customers. Not only does its bright color contrast with many other colors, the psychological effect of red increases the excitement of the reader and drives them to action.
Consider what your color says to your typical reader. If you don't have a handle on the demographic visiting your website, take a look at competitor sites and see what they're doing. The right color selection for a young professional does not work when you're marketing to children. When you implement color theory in your website design, delve into the color's meanings as well as what's typically associated with your niche.
2. New gTLDs
Over the last few years there has been a massive influx of new domain extensions. A .com domain is a standard selection for many companies, but it doesn't truly convey what type of website you're running at a glance. In contrast, searching for a gTLD that perfectly represents your business or niche lets readers get an idea of what you have to offer before they click.
Plus, trying to find premium domains with a .com extension is a frustrating and sometimes quite expensive experience.
For example, with a new gTLD such as .condos or .realestate, your prospective reader gets a sense of what you're offering and can self-select whether this is interesting to them.
Depending on your domain name, you can narrow this traffic down even further. Emiami.condos is a great example of this strategy, as it not only talks about a specific type of real estate, it also restricts its services to a specific geographic location. The people who visit this site are actively interested in the topic and more likely to convert.
Related Article: CRO101: Defining Conversion Rate Optimization & Its Importance
3. Usability Testing
When's the last time you purchased a product or service from a company with a nearly unusable website? How long do you stick with that company if a competitor offers a better user experience? Usability testing done by yourself or through third party services puts you in the shoes of the end user. Can they easily find what they're looking for, does the content match up with their expectations prior to clicking through, or are they getting lost in an un-optimized website?
Start off by doing your own usability testing. Approach the site as though you're a first time customer with no idea about your company, product or services. Think about the way you navigate the sites of companies you use on a daily basis, and how your website's experience compares to those. Look at competitor sites and observe how easy or difficult it is to get around. Return to your site and keep track of every usability pain point you encounter.
Consider using a third party usability testing service to get truly unbiased impressions of your website. Ideally, use a testing service that allows you to specify a demographic so you see how your site is received by people who may be in your target audience. The end users go through the site, testing different website functions and giving you a usability rating and suggestions based on a rating metric.
Implement these usability changes in your website and take your site through as many testing rounds as you feel necessary to truly optimize your user experience. Typically, going through a round or two gives you measurable change, especially if your website had poor navigation to start with.
Look at eBay's navigation evolution or Amazon's development to today's design. Over the years, they have tweaked their navigation to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they're looking for.
4. Design Flow
Your web design goes beyond how well readers can use it, and whether the colors are pleasing to the eye. You also need to take a look at design flow, especially on your sales pages. Are readers naturally attracted to your call to actions and high converting content? Or does it blend in with the rest of the design elements and end up being passed over?
Evaluate your design flow by making a list of key conversion elements on your page, such as testimonials, call to action buttons and product benefits list. Consider how to make these design elements flow for the readers. Do they need rearranged or emphasized on the page?
Sometimes all it takes is an arrow pointing out a section to attract plenty of reader attention. Use split testing strategies to pit each design flow against the other to find the one readers relate to the best. Mailchimp's landing page provides a clear design flow, attention grabbing headlines, and a way to quickly show customers what they have to offer.
5. Making Yourself Accessible
You aren't simply selling a product or service through your website, you're also selling an experience. Sometimes the biggest unique selling proposition for a website comes with its user experience. Make yourself accessible and available to potential customers so they put a face to the website and your company. Instead of a personality devoid company, you create an emotional connection with customers.
Use tools such as proactive live chat prompts to let readers know that you're conveniently available to handle any issues that arise when they're looking at your products or services. You let the readers know that you care about giving them the best service possible, and you may overcome conversion pain points before they even become an issue.
For example, look at many highly rated ecommerce websites. You'll see a live chat link off to the side of the page, or they'll pop up on the page with a hello and ask if you need any help. They simulate the in-store environment where an employee greets you as you walk in the door. Clickdesk is a great live chat software that works with most website CMS’ and has both free and paid plans.
Creating a highly converting website goes beyond doing the same old thing that your competitors are. You need to think outside the box and incorporate unique ways of improving your user experience and the attractiveness of your website. Whether you're picking up a new gLTD or changing the color scheme on your website, don't be afraid to experiment with new conversion tactics.