Building trust with your potential customers is the “easiest” way to increase conversions on your website. People want to buy from companies they trust and if you can gain people’s trust, you’ll see your conversion rates rise.
That’s not to say gaining people’s trust is necessarily easy, especially if you are a new player in a particular marketplace. If you consistently deliver good service and good quality, though, that trust will build and you’ll quickly be able to tap into that most lucrative of marketing tactics that no amount of money can buy: word of mouth advertising.
Get people honestly recommending your product or service to their friends and family and you’ve gotten yourself the trust that creates powerful brands.
Give it Away
People are used to getting free stuff online and they now expect it. So, anything that you can give away without losing too much in the process, you should. Obviously, this is a little easier to do if you are providing a service rather than a product, but you can also find ways to give things away if you sell physical products.
Virtually every service online has a free version. No, we’re not just talking about free trials, we’re talking about actually being able to use the service for free. You don’t have to make the entire service free, but having a free version is crucial. At least some of the people who sign up to use the free version will want the paid version. Getting them to sign up for the free version at least gets them into your system and primed for marketing to.
Products are a bit trickier, but you can always throw in some smaller item for free when people buy something from you. Even if you do sell physical products, what you give away doesn’t have to be physical. Videos on how to use the product in various ways, guides on different things you can make or do with your products or other content relating to your products are all good things to give away.
As a company that is trying to sell things, the word “free” can seem counterintuitive, but the internet has caused people to basically expect to get something for free from you, so you might as well oblige.
Funnel Your Customers
Adding to the last point, not everything you give away has to be completely free. A person’s email has a lot of potential value for a business, so make a really good offer and give that away, but only make it accessible if you get the person’s email.
What this does is bring a potential customer into your sales funnel and a sales funnel is something you absolutely must have. You need a way to contact potential customers and to build a relationship with them and that’s what a funnel is for.
Entice them in with your free stuff, get them to sign up with an amazing free offer and then gradually draw them in with superb content and automated email drip feed marketing complemented with the occasional email blast with a “can’t refuse” type offer.
Now that you have them in your funnel, you can keep building that relationship of trust with great offers and meaningful content and turn potential customers into paying customers.
Improve The User Experience on Your Site
Even people who have never studied website design instinctively know when they land on a poorly designed site. It’s fairly easy to tell because you won’t know where to find things and it won’t be clear where you are supposed to go from one page to the next.
Your site needs to be easy to navigate and it needs to be perfectly clear where a user needs to click to get from one page to another. Confusing layout, convoluted structure, distracting ads that might be mistaken for part of the site content or pages that take too long to load will all cause people to avoid your site after they’ve visited it once. Tools like Pingdom and Google’s PageSpeed Insights will help you keep your pages fast loading. As for usability, it always pays to have someone completely un-associated with your company test out your site to see how easy it is to navigate.
The area you need to concentrate on especially is the checkout and payment process. If your site is the easiest thing in the world to navigate, it will mean nothing if your payment process is confusing and difficult to get through. Keep track of how far into the purchasing process people get before abandoning their shopping carts. That might give you an indication of where your checkout process needs streamlining and improvement.
Do Your A/B Split Testing
Even websites that don’t sell anything still do A/B split testing with things like headlines. None of us know for sure what is going to work, which is why split testing is so important. It can easily tell you which offer works better for attracting people, which page design people respond to better or which email headline gets more opens and click-throughs.
You’ll need to be able to track each option, so that might mean diving into your Google analytics account, but it will be well worth it to get used to doing split testing. Knowing which of two different elements performs better will allow you to drop the under-performing one and keep the one that works better and, in turn, test that one against other variations of the element to keep constantly improving your site and offers.
Use Testimonials Correctly
While people trust those close to them, they also will put trust in your business if they see people who work with you have had positive experiences. That’s why it’s good to connect any review sites you might be on like Yelp or Angie’s List to your website through APIs or clickable badges.
If you would rather go the testimonial route because it’s more suited to your business, present them in a way that makes them look legitimate. That means having a photo and a full name with them so people know these are real clients/customers talking. Use testimonials sparingly and go for quality vs quantity. A few longer, in-depth testimonials are better than a bunch of one-liners. Ask the people who are giving you testimonials to be honest. It’s all about creating trust in potential customers.
Do these five things and you’ll see your conversion rates rise. Building trust and gently nurturing relationships with potential customers are the keys to online marketing. What ways do you increase conversions on your website? Would love to hear in the comments.