Your site is looking dapper and polished. You’ve cranked up the SEM juice and locked down referral traffic relationships. People are coming to your site in droves – but they’re not converting quite like you’d hoped.
Uh oh. Your conversion funnel sucks.
Don’t fret! Dry your eyes and think about implementing these seven things.
1. Set up funnel visualization
If you don’t have funnel visualization set up in Google Analytics, or a similar dataset being collected in another analytics package, stop reading this post right now, pause all advertising to your site, and go create one. It’ll reveal where users are dropping off and can clue you into any user experience follies you might’ve inadvertently created.
Funnel tracking will give you some clues not only around when people leave, but why they leave. Are visitors viewing other site content during the conversion process because the funnel you’ve put before them doesn’t fit their need or answer their questions? Are they simply bouncing from the site altogether at a certain point, like, for instance, when you reveal pricing to them?
If this is Greek to you, read up on creating Google Analytics conversion funnels. Below is what the Google Analytics funnel visualization report looks like.
2. Conduct the “your mom” test
No, it isn’t a middle school prank. Call up yo mama, or equivalent relative, describe what you want your site visitors to accomplish, and challenge her to find you on Google and go through the conversion process. Take careful notes on what she says and how long it takes her to finish. Ask if the messaging makes sense, ensure you’re speaking to visitors in a direct way and treating them like they’re smart. If she can’t figure it out, your conversion funnel likely needs a revamp.
3. Invest in user testing
There are many easy ways to reap the benefits of user testing and get live video of users going through your site, giving you feedback and walking you through their thought process as they consider whether or not to convert. Usertesting.com does a nice job and is very affordable at under $50 per user test – there are other options, too.
4. Scrutinize your forms
Is every field you’re asking the visitor to submit absolutely necessary? Can you trim the fat and make the process simpler? If it’s an e-commerce transaction: is your registration form and billing form on the same page, or on separate pages? Start with the basic lead form best practices, but don’t stop testing.
5. Bring visitors back
Ok, so people are dropping off. That’s okay. Most people who visit a site – any site – won’t convert. What are you doing to bring them back? Do you collect any contact information early in the process, so you can send a follow-up message encouraging them to return, enticing them with a discount code, free shipping, urgency, etc? Are you dropping a cookie when they arrive at your site so as to customize their experience on your site when and if they return? Are you retargeting them with text and display ads while they surf the web elsewhere?
6. Test different ways to build trust
There are lots of ways to build trust with your customers, but at a minimum, you should test out offering a guarantee, making customer service easily accessible to put your customer at ease, displaying the BBB logo, the Verisign logo, the TRUSTe logo, and/or a similar online verification service. Some of these companies will let you run an A/B test, putting their logo in front of half your customers and measuring the conversion rate of those customers against a control group.
7. Rule out technical issues
It seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll want to study your error logs and site load speed to make sure site performance isn’t the reason your funnel is a dud. A handy Firefox plugin to get tips on improving site speed performance is Yslow. Here’s what the Yslow “grader” looks like:
Take a look at conversions and site engagement metrics by browser in your analytics tool, too. This should help you quickly tease out browser-specific bugs.
Once you know it’s not a technical challenge that’s hurting your funnel, you can hone in on marketing and blog design.