The conversion funnel for a website describes the steps a visitor must go through from any given page to perform a specific action. The action could be for example signing up for a newsletter, buying a product or subscribing to a blog feed. Analyzing and adjusting these steps can greatly increase (or decrease) the conversion rate of a website.
Notable for successful pages in a conversion funnel is high levels of usability combined with persuasive elements standing out from other content. Furthermore, the conversion funnel contains a minimum amount of steps to complete to finalize an action, and distractions are kept away from important action pages, while forms are continuously tested to remove any confusing and unnecessary elements.
Important drivers for converting visitors to for example long-term users or buyers include relevance, clarity of message and a sense of urgency, while elements giving anxiety and distractions will most often greatly harm your conversion rates. In other words, if you can minimize “harmful” elements and keep a clear path you have a good start.
Things to look for along your funnel steps include:
- Design – Positioning, Colors and Shapes:
- Color Psychology: Both coloring and shapes have immense impact on how a visitor perceives your website and a single page, and even a minor a change in color theme can make a substantial difference. Make a search for the psychology behind different, colors, levels of saturation etc, and compare to the image you wish to convey and where on a page you want your visitors to focus their attention.
- Shapes: Make your calls to action stand out on the page, give this important element a color and shape complementing its background. For example, you can see Amazon showing a blue background around an orange button – both contrasting the general white page background, while also complementing eachother and fitting with the general website design.
- Positioning: For any important element which you want visitors to pay extra attention to, try to put it on a location above the fold for most popular resolutions – in web terms this means a visitor should be able to see it without scrolling in the browser (compare to “above the fold” from reading newspapers)
- Form Size: Consider your own patience when doing something online – do you tend to shy away if a page takes too long to load or if a form has too many fields? If this is true for yourself, you should hold it double true for others. Make it easy to go forward in your funnel by not asking for information you don’t need. Often, you can retrieve more information at another time if you start slow. For example, many websites has a very short sign-up form (or even a one-click solution connected to Social Media services such as Facebook or Twitter) and then let you specify more about your own needs and wants when more convenient.
- Page Speed: Both Amazon and Google have made tests showing that even a millisecond increase in page loading speed can give a substantial decrease in conversion. Ten years ago, people had roughly six seconds of patience for a page to load (especially true for landing pages). Increased average connection speed combined with shorter loading times for popular websites has lead to a decrease in patience for the average visitor, and now you often only have one or two seconds to show something interesting when someone visits your website for the first time.
- Relevance: Make certain that any text, images and other elements are relevant to your strategy and the goals of your visitors. Remember the golden rule to keep online content short – write enough but not too much, make clear divisions with relevant headers between paragraphs and don’t make text and images look like advertising.
- Security & Privacy: Remember that if you need to take information or money from visitors for a conversion goal to be fulfilled, this means you need to ensure them that you care about their privacy, that you won’t sell their personal information and that they can always tell you to remove them from your system. When it comes to eCommerce websites, there are a few additional things you need to make clear, such as having secure payments, secure deliveries (if physical items are sold) and possibly that they have the option not to save payment information. Something to consider here is having genuine reviews by people who has used your services previously – even when a recommendation is coming from an unknown third party, these will be more trusted than an advertisement highlighting positive experience, and in turn make people trust you more.
- Funneling your Traffic into Conversions (searchenginewatch.com)
- How To Craft Internal and External Links For Conversion and Click-Through (searchenginejournal.com)
- Accelerate Your Startup: Develop a Repeatable Sales Model (gigaom.com)
- Focus Funnel Expert: Christopher Doran of Manticore Technology (funnelholic.com)
- 5 Tips For Looking Beyond Wins And Losses In B2B Metrics (searchengineland.com)