Are you struggling to convert website visitors into paying customers? You're not alone. Many businesses struggle with low conversion rates, which can be frustrating and costly especially when relying on paid advertising and social media to drive customer acquisition. However, there is a solution: optimizing your website's conversion funnel. In this blog post, we'll explain what a website conversion funnel is, we’ll do a deep dive into the components of a conversion funnel and how they work, and provide actionable tips on how to optimize your conversion funnel to increase your conversion rates.
What makes up a Conversion Funnel?
Before we dive into how to optimize your website's conversion funnel, let's first define what it is. A conversion funnel is a series of steps that a visitor takes on your website to become a paying customer. The funnel typically includes the following stages:
- Awareness: The visitor becomes aware of your brand and product/service.
- Interest: The visitor shows interest in your product/service and explores your website to learn more.
- Consideration: The visitor considers purchasing your product/service.
- Conversion: The visitor becomes a paying customer.
The goal of conversion funnel optimization is to reduce customer friction points and make it as easy as possible for visitors to move through these stages and become paying customers.
What is Conversion Funnel Optimization?
Conversion funnel optimization is the practice of analyzing and improving each step of your website's conversion funnel to increase the number of visitors who become paying customers. Optimization requires understanding how visitors interact with each step of the funnel, what frustrates them, and how to improve the customer journey. This can range from making changes to the website's design and layout to testing new strategies for lead generation.
Now that you understand what a conversion funnel is, let's dive into how to optimize it to increase your conversion rates at each step in the conversion funnel.
How do I Validate my Conversion Funnel Hypotheses?
What is A/B Testing and how can I leverage it?
A/B testing is a powerful tool in the CRO arsenal, allowing businesses to test different versions of a webpage or other digital asset to see which one resonates best with their target audience. It is used as an integral part of the conversion funnel optimization process to identify which elements of a page are most effective in creating conversions, and which may need to be tweaked or removed. A/B testing works by randomly splitting traffic between different versions of a page, and then comparing the results to determine which version of the page is driving the most conversions. By testing different versions of a page and using the insights from A/B testing to inform decisions on page design, businesses can optimize their pages for maximum conversions.
"Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” - Richard Branson
Other ways to Optimize my Conversion Funnel If I’m Unable to A/B Test
If A/B testing is not possible or feasible, optimizing a website's conversion funnel may include some of the tried-and-true conversion improvement methods:
- Pre/Post Analysis: Pre/post analysis measures changes in conversion rates before and after a particular event or activity occurs. This allows for more accurate measurement of the effectiveness of the event or activity, and can be a more cost-effective and reliable alternative to a/b testing when it’s not feasible. Pre/post analysis also offers the ability to test different variables that may have affected the conversion rates in order to identify the most effective tactics and strategies.
- User Sentiment Analysis: User sentiment analysis measures changes in customer sentiment before and after a particular event or activity occurs. This allows marketers to understand how customers feel about a particular activity and measure how effective it was in influencing their decision-making. User sentiment analysis can also provide insights into what customers are looking for and what factors are motivating their decisions. By understanding customer sentiment, marketers can make more effective decisions and optimize their website strategies accordingly.
- Surveying: Surveying entails asking customers specific questions about their experience and opinions about a particular event or activity, marketers can gain valuable insights into how effective it was. Surveys can also be used to identify customer needs and how they may have been influenced by the event or activity. This can help marketers better understand customer preferences and create or adjust strategies to meet those needs.
- User Research: User research is accomplished by conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups, and other forms of research. Through these activities, marketers can gain insight into customers’ attitudes, values, and motivations. This can help marketers better understand customer needs and identify what factors motivated their decision-making. This information can then be used to identify the most effective tactics and strategies for a particular event or activity.
Having learned how to validate the effectiveness of our changes, let's explore the types of changes that can be A/B tested, which typically impact our website's conversion rate.
Top of the Funnel - Common Website Conversion Funnel Entry Points:
Homepage Conversion Optimization
Your homepage is often the first impression that a visitor has of your brand. It's crucial to make a good impression and guide the visitor towards the next step in the funnel. Here are some key elements of a high-converting homepage:
- Clear and concise messaging: Your messaging should clearly communicate what your brand does and how it can benefit the visitor.
- Strong call-to-action (CTA): Your CTA should be prominently displayed and encourage the visitor to take the next step in the funnel.
- Social proof: Including customer testimonials, reviews, and trust badges can help build trust with the visitor and increase the likelihood of conversion.
- Pro Tip - Segmentation: One way to improve the conversion rate of a homepage is to use user segmentation. By understanding who the website's visitors are – such as new versus returning users – marketers can adjust their strategies accordingly. For example, returning users may be offered a personalized experience on the homepage tailored to their interests and browsing history. On the other hand, new users may be offered a more generic homepage with an introduction to the website and its features. By creating different experiences for different types of users, marketers can increase the likelihood of website conversion.
Marketing Landing Page Conversion Optimization
Top-of-funnel marketing landing pages are key entry points in the conversion funnel and can be optimized for conversion rate in a number of ways. For example, marketers can use A/B testing to identify the most effective messaging, design, and CTA language for their landing pages. Additionally, user segmentation can be used to tailor landing page content for different types of users. This can be used to provide a more relevant and personalized experience for each user, which can increase the likelihood of successful conversion. Other optimization tactics may include leveraging data from previous campaigns, optimizing the page for mobile devices, and using persuasive design principles. By leveraging the right tactics, marketers can improve the conversion rate of their top-of-funnel landing pages.
Consider Me Interested - Common eCommerce Website Conversion Funnel Interest and Consideration Pages:
Product Listing Pages and Category Pages
Product listing and category pages are where visitors go to learn more about your products/services. Here are some key elements of effective product listing/category pages:
- Product Cards: Make sure your product card / listings within site search results or category pages are optimized for images, product title, ratings and influence users to travel further down the conversion funnel, typically to view the product detail page.
- High-quality images and videos: Including high-quality images and videos can help the visitor visualize the product and increase the likelihood of conversion.
- Related products: Including related products can encourage the visitor to explore more of your offerings and increase the likelihood of conversion.
- Pro Tip - Badging: eCommerce badging can help to call attention to a key feature or selling point of a product that influences users and drives a higher conversion rate. Badges such as "New", "Sale", "Best Seller", "Free Shipping", "Clearance", "Top Rated", "Organic", "Vegan" and "Non-GMO" can be used to highlight certain benefits or advantages of a given product, which can make it more attractive to potential buyers. By leveraging these badges strategically, marketers/merchants can draw more attention to important features of their products, which can ultimately help to increase their conversion rate.
Product Detail Pages (PDPs)
Product detail pages (PDPs) are where visitors go to make a purchasing decision. Here are some key elements of effective PDPs:
- Clear pricing and shipping information: Your pricing and shipping information should be clearly displayed and easy to understand.
- Strong call-to-action (CTA): Your CTA should be prominently displayed and encourage the visitor to make a purchase.
- Reviews and ratings: Including reviews and ratings can help build trust with the visitor and increase the likelihood of conversion.
- Pro tip - Ensure your “sales pitch” is above the fold: An effective “sales pitch” should be prominently featured on the page and above the fold. If a potential customer has to scroll down your website in order to see the sales pitch, then they are likely to lose interest before they even get that far. Sharing important technical differentiators, showcasing a video that brings your product to life, or sharing endorsements and/or media publicity about your product are all viable “sales pitches” that can aid your customers make their final decision. By optimizing these elements of your website above the fold, you can significantly increase the conversion rate of your eCommerce pages.
“Remember, people make a purchase emotionally and defend the purchase rationally. You must create the emotions necessary to close the sale backed up with the logic of the decision to defend it.”― Chris Goward, You Should Test That: Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit or The Art and Science of Optimized Marketing
Consider Me Interested - Common B2B Services & SaaS Website Conversion Funnel Interest and Consideration Pages:
Features and Capabilities Statements
Features and capabilities statements are important for B2B services and SAAS websites as they provide an overview of what the company can offer. These statements should be clear and concise, and they should be prominently displayed on the homepage and other key pages. Additionally, features and capabilities should be backed up by customer testimonials, reviews, and trust badges to help build trust with the visitor and increase the likelihood of conversion. It's also important to include clear pricing and CTA information so that the visitor can easily understand what they are getting and how to purchase.
Competitor comparisons can be a powerful tool for B2B services and SaaS companies striving to increase conversions. By outlining the differences between their offering and the competition, customers can quickly compare the options and make an informed decision. Additionally, including competitor comparisons provides an opportunity to highlight the unique features and benefits of a company's offering, as well as to highlight any awards and recognitions they have received. This can help to build trust with the visitor and ultimately lead to increased conversions.
Pricing structures are an important aspect of any B2B services or SaaS website conversion funnel. Displaying a clear and compelling pricing model helps customers quickly understand what they are getting and how much it will cost. Additionally, it can help customers make an informed decision and encourage them to make a purchase. It's important to create pricing structures that are easy to understand, with clearly defined features and levels. Additionally, companies should include discounts and promotions to help entice customers to convert. By offering value for money and providing a transparent pricing model, B2B services and SaaS companies can increase customer trust and ultimately lead to increased conversions.
Emptying the Funnel - Optimizing Your Cart and Checkout Flows
Cart and checkout flows are where visitors complete their purchase. Here are some key elements of effective cart and checkout flows:
- Simple and intuitive design: Your cart and checkout flows should be easy to navigate and understand.
- Clear and concise form fields: Your form fields should be clear and concise, making it easy for the visitor to enter their information.
- Multiple payment options: Offering multiple payment options can increase the likelihood of conversion.
- Pro tip - Decrease any “unnecessary barriers” to conversion: It can be tempting to leverage the checkout process to capture valuable customer data such as email address and phone number or to push customers into creating an account to better track future behavior, but capturing a transaction should be your top priority. Reducing any steps in the checkout process that are not absolutely necessary will lead to improvements in conversion and less friction for your customers. In short, when the customer is ready to pay you for your product or service the best thing you can do is make it easy for them!
Optimizing your website's conversion funnel is crucial for increasing your conversion rates and driving revenue. By focusing on key elements of each stage in the funnel, such as your homepage, product pages, and checkout flows, you can make it as easy as possible for visitors to become paying customers. Remember to track and analyze your conversion rate to identify areas for improvement and continue to optimize your funnel over time.
Next time we’ll cover Homepage Conversion Optimization techniques and tactics for all types of websites.
Contact WellMet to unlock incremental revenue in your website conversion funnel!