What is conversion and why should you care?
Simply put conversion is trying to invoke a visitor to take a specific desired action. On a blog it might mean enticing a visitor is subscribe to a mailing list. With an online store obviously, you would most likely want a visitor to become a buying customer.
Looking at converting a visitor to a buying customer and why you should even care to take the time has a very simple answer, you want to increase revenue. Per the usual approach when I write my thoughts down I will itemize a few points that come to mind that one should consider trying to increase conversion rates:
- Design your website/blog/e-shop with conversion in mind. What this means is that although you may have a design in mind it may not help in terms of conversion. Let’s look at a quick example. Assume you have an e-shop with a header and logo and immediately after that a list of all your products in a grid-like format. Think four products per row. If we change that design and immediately after the header we add a big sliding banner that shows that XYZ is 50% off that may or may not lead to better conversion.
- Your developer is just the developer but if he/she really wants to assist you in reaching your goal of conversion they should teach you that conversion requires that you analyze what works and what doesn’t for your visitors.
- Split Testing also know as A/B Testing is a great way to test the two kinds of designs mentioned above. I use WordPress a lot when developing websites and to be frank I use a very specific theme almost exclusively because it has many features, one of which is split testing and you have live stats on what working and what doesn’t. Split testing takes time to implement and may lead to information show that re-design may be required to increase conversion based on your defined goals.
- Conversion depends on the need for your product, the quality and obviously the price of your product in relation to your competitors. Even if you have the best designed website in terms of conversion nobody will buy anything only you think they need. This speaks more toward having a well thought out business plan than something a developer can help you with. Use analytics and other data like maybe heatmaps to figure out why people come to your site and leave without buying.
- Know that figuring out why people aren’t buying your product may take time but if you figure out why sales might just unexpectedly spike. As a simple example people might not be willing to give you a phone number when buying a piece of software. Maybe just grabbing an email to send them a download link and/or a serial number would be enough. There are laws against having unnecessary information on clients in your database, but my point here is people might just be annoyed or security conscious and not want to give out unnecessary information.
Lesson learned: If your goal is conversion then the developer can and should suggest a better design with conversion in mind if your design didn’t take it into account but, analytics and time is required to figure out why conversion may not be occurring and to be clear it’s not always the design that may be the issue.