“Herding Cattle” – Tips for a successful website conversion rates

When it comes to an eCommerce campaign, many factors decide the success or failure of the site design. We have discussed these in depth and understand that each brand will bring upon new challenges and exceptions. What works for one site may not translate to another brand or vertical. However, there are certain aspects of design that have been proven and tested. Conversion is king in my opinion. Getting customers through the process is the ultimate goal for any website. I have heard many keynote speakers refer to it as “herding cattle”, and analogy that I feel is the perfect fit. This all starts with a single or collection of landing pages – the entry point at which a visitor first experiences your site.

When designing these pages it is very important to help your visitors through the process, eliminate confusion and establish trust. Below are a few quick ideas on how you could enhance your current process.

Call to Action
Having an effective call to action is an essential part of any website.  Every successful website should have a clear objective it wants users to complete.  This is essentially providing your visitors with a direction.

Where do I click? Your users should be able to look at your website without reading it and know immediately where they need to click  to proceed.

Checkout  Skype’s homepage. Notice how they establish a clear path for the user with distinct green buttons.

skype-homepage

A call to action should not just be limited to the homepage. Every page of your site should have some form of call to action that leads the user on. If the user reaches a dead-end they will leave without responding to your call.

Maintain Design Scent
Websites should maintain a certain design throughout the entire process of on online experience.  If your call to action is green, it should remain green through the entire process. Site headers and footers should remain constant as well. This is typically managed with CSS, but is an important piece of optimizing site conversion.

Share your UVP
What is your UVP (Unique Value Proposition)? It is important to highlight what you do well and perhaps better than the competition. According to Wikipedia:

A value proposition is an offer that describes the quantifiable benefits that individuals or organizations making an offer promise to deliver. Its development is based on a review and analysis of the benefits, costs and value that an organization can deliver to its customers, prospective customers, and other constituent groups within and outside the organization. It is also a positioning of value, where Value = Benefits / Cost

This is very important information to share with your users. Your value proposition must be clear, relevant, and easy to understand. This will help build authority and trust on your product and site.

There are several strategies to optimize site conversion rates and a ton of material on the subject. If this is something you would like to pursue, I would suggest picking up a copy of Brian Eisenberg’s “Call to Action” and Robert Caldini’s “Influence: Science of Practice”. These are both great reference materials for the subject and certainly required material for any site or landing page redesign.

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