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First of all, define a conversion. Can you do this off the top of your head? Because conversions don’t only relate to a purchase, they relate to any interaction that you deem valuable to your business, whether this be: a newsletter sign up, a Facebook like or share, even a PDF download. Having these values clear in you head will make your digital strategy much easier to follow.

So what importance does SEO have when it comes to onsite conversions?

The point of SEO is to increase ranking, traffic and generally the authority a website has online. This is all done in a hope to increase visibility and gain more traffic. If you want to increase conversions, you need to optimise for your users and for Google, luckily there are some overlaps:

  • Page speed and relevant landing pages – these are signals that Google takes into account, and that your users will like too!
  • Content quality – this will be slightly dictated by your users, but good quality content will get read and potentially shared, indicating to Google that it is relevant content.
  • Tags – optimising for Google largely means optimising any tag that you can, meta, header and alt tags are the most common, these will also help your users find your content.

Aside from gaining traffic and visibility for your website, have you decided what you want your user to do when they reach your website, or what information can you gain from a user being on your website?

Once you have decided what are the most valuable interactions for each website visit, you can begin optimising to lead the user to your goals. This could be any of the following:

  • A purchase
  • Contact form completion
  • Social follow
  • Newsletter sign up
  • A review
  • Another form of interaction e.g. like live chat

Create a checklist of each goal you want your user to visit, and then test, test, test! Find weaknesses that might be preventing people from converting, you might be surprised at what you find. Read on for some tips on what to look out for.

Optimise your product pages for conversions

Look at your content objectively, think like a consumer. Does the content really tell you about the product? Does it contain all the information about the product that the user will receive, do the pictures represent the full potential of the product?

According to research completed by Econsultancy the best product pages need these 5 essentials:

  • Delivery timescales and charges
  • Information on returns policies
  • Multiple images of products
  • Reviews from other shoppers
  • Detailed product information

User testing is one of the most valuable tools you can use, thinking like one of your users will give you insight into where you are going wrong and and how you are missing out on potential conversions.

Go shopping – test your own payment process

During your user testing choose to purchase a product, using your own payment process is essential. Checkout pages are where a high level of drop outs are found. Page load time, long process, security doubts and long forms can all contribute to checkout abandonment.

  • 70% of consumers say they would be more likely to abandon the checkout process if there were ‘hidden charges’.
  • 58% of consumers say that concerns about payment security would deter them from purchase.

Statistics from Econsultancy.

Security concerns and technical problems, as well as what can be perceived as ‘hidden charges’ (more likely to annoy the customer than encourage them to continue to purchase) are the most common reasons for checkout process abandonment.

Test your contact forms

For a non ecommerce site, the contact form is likely the next step for customers to come closer to a purchase. This might include submitting an email address, telephone number etc. Make sure your contact forms are optimised.

Find out what does and what doesn’t work for your customers. Often, a user will be put off a contact form if it is too long or they have to submit details like a telephone number. Split testing is a way to find out more about your customers and what sort of form layout works for them.

Optimise for more newsletter sign ups and social shares

Newsletter sign ups and social shares are also well worth tracking as a conversion as these are ways of your business having repeat contact with its users. Although a newsletter sign up or twitter follow initially won’t lead to a conversion, at a later point in time, given the right outreach, this might eventually bring additional conversions.

Make sure that at key points in your customer’s journey they are given the option to share, or sign up for more info. Classically a lot of drop out can happen at information pages, blog pages and FAQ pages. This is because the user journey has naturally come to a close as the user has found what they are looking for. By giving the user an option to sign up to a newsletter or share what they have found, your website gains conversions as users have become followers of your brand.

Give live chat a chance

Is live chat a rising star? Although studies have shown that only 24% of people have used live chat in the past year, it has the highest satisfaction rate at 73% of people being happy with their experience, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.

Info from Econsultancy.

By using a service like live chat your users have the chance to convert and a opportunity to seek help and further information about your product, where they will be more likely to move on to convert or pass on information that allows for contact to be made.

Once you’ve established your goals and done a whole lot of user testing, you can move on to tracking your conversions, or making sure your tracking is set up properly. However, that is another blog entirely, so stay tuned! In fact, why not follow us or sign up to our newsletter for our latest content?