5 strategies for improving website conversions

Have you been working hard at optimizing your website for optimal conversions?

You’ve got streamlined navigation, impeccable copy and irresistible calls to action. Great: You’re ahead of most. But you can always do more.

When balancing where to put your focus, here are five strategies to improve conversion optimization.

1. Improve your page load speed

If you think page load speed is not a substantial place to put your focus, guess again.

Research reveals how page speeds directly affect conversion rates. For instance, the Aberdeen Research Group reports that on average, a 1 second delay translates to a 7 percent reduction in conversions. Forty percent of visitors will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, according to a report from Akamai in 2009.

If you think your site’s page load speed is slow, there are multiple tools to check page speeds. For example, to see how your site speed stacks up, Fasttimes runs a free speed test that compares your page speed against the top 1,000 sites with the most traffic.

Maxly is one of the only platforms that provides continuous page load monitoring with hourly updates on the issues that are affecting your site’s page load speed. Continuous monitoring is important because changes by your service provider or the regular addition of 3rd party codes and scripts can block other elements from loading and slow down load speeds — and not every platform is able to detect them. With a Google analytics account you can use Maxly (without hourly monitoring) to check your page load speed for free.

This sort of service will show you a breakdown of issues so you can see what needs to be fixed for the largest gain. These could be related to images, javascript, CSS and Flash. It will also identify problematic elements such as unnecessary redirects, 404’s and missing links.

Redesigns can also be dangerous. Look at this screenshot showing how Twitter’s page load speed nearly tripled after a redesign.

Page load speeds also impact search engine rankings. Google and other search engines have stated that sites with faster load speeds will earn better placement in search results.

2. Spy on your competition.

If you’re not checking out what your competition is doing then how do you expect to beat them?

To do some in-depth spying, try Kompyte. This application goes so far as to visit your competitor’s website, social profiles, advertisements, newsletters and more in real time. Notifications are immediately sent every time your competition adds a new banner, changes their prices, launches a new campaign or a new player comes onto the scene. By seeing everything they’re doing, you can beat them at it and win customers, which will help you gain more market share and possibly repeat business.

3. Create a personalized experience.

Personalization tailors visitors’ experience to each visitor’s individual needs — making it more likely to get them through your funnel. (Think: targeted message, ads and products based on a consumer’s behavior)

One company that implemented a personalization strategy was Brainshark, a company that provides sales solutions. To get freemium users to sign up for a 30-day trial, Brainshark used this approach with the goal to coordinate user behavior with personalization to educate, cross sell and upsell users.

At exactly the right time, Brainshark could present features to persuade users to sign up for the trial. They also added personalization to their website to deliver targeted messages that promoted ebooks, webinars and PowerPoint templates.

The results were impressive. Brainshark trial sign ups increased by 150 percent and webinar registrations increased by 15 percent. Sales inquiries increased nine-fold. Overall, implementing this stratey influenced more than $1.1 million in Brainshark’s sales pipeline.

4. Focus on mobile users.

According to comScore 4 out of 5 consumers shop on smart phones and 78 percent of mobile searches end in a purchase.The company also reported that in June of 2014 mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop Internet usage.

It’s vital that you support visitors while browsing your site on a mobile device.Responsive designs that adjust to every screen size and sites designed specifically for mobile devices are a start.

You can also use apps such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to market to your mobile audiences and drive them to your site. Or you can create your own.

PrivateFly, a European-based private air charter company, needed a mobile app that would help mobile users pinpoint the best private aircraft at the most competitive price. QBurst developed an app that let PrivateFly’s users choose an airport for departure and arrival along with flight dates and several other interesting features. The app detects the current location of the traveler and displays airports within a 50 kilometer radius along with pricing.

PrivateFly’s mobile strategy was a huge success.  App users now account for over 10 percent of its flight revenue and the app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

5. Go after visitors who have abandoned your site.

Baymard Institute, reports that 65 percent of all visitors abandon their shopping carts. So it’s worth going after abandoned shoppers.

Liftopia operates a technology platform servicing the mountain and ski activity industry. Providing substantial deals of up to 85 percent off, they couldn’t understand why they had such a high shopping cart abandonment rate.

After implementing the Rejoiner platform, one that implements email software to reduce cart abandmoment, analytics revealed that during their prime season Liftopia was losing nearly $1.3 million monthly due to shopping cart abandonment alone.

They created an automated email sequence sent 30 minutes and then 24 hours after visitors abandoned their carts.

Intelligent frequency capping kept from annoying prospects with too many emails.  A dynamically personalized salutation and mention of the exact tickets left behind was also included.

Once abandoned shoppers clicked the link in the email, dynamic cart regeneration recreated the users previous session so that they could quickly complete their transaction.

Using Rejoiner, Liftopia was able to add more than $700,000 to its top line revenue in just four months time recouping 17 percent of their revenue.

With these strategies in place, you should see significant growth in your bottom line.