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4 Proven CRO Strategies for Increasing e-commerce Sales

4 Proven CRO Strategies for Increasing e-commerce Sales

If you’re getting lots of traffic to your site, you’ve won half the battle. After all, promoting your online shop, ranking well in search results, and encouraging people to click and visit can take time. But have you ever stepped back and looked at your site’s conversion rates?

It won’t matter who finds you in search results, how many people subscribe to your email list, how well your pay-per-click ads perform, or how much traffic your site sees if people don’t convert. In fact, if you don’t convert people once they arrive on your site, all this hard work is really just a waste of time.

Luckily, we have some really simple conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies for getting people to convert once on your website, so you don’t have to worry that all that time, effort, and money invested has been a waste.

So, let’s get started.

Keep Loading Times Low

When it comes to marketing your brand, sometimes the easiest part is getting people to visit your site. After that, things become more challenging. Convincing people to stay on your website, read your blog content, view your online shop’s product pages, and take action (whether that be to subscribe or buy) is tough to do.

People have very short attention spans, are usually looking for something very specific, and demand that your website load instantly. In fact, 40% of people will abandon your site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds or less, no matter what you have to offer. That’s why monitoring your site’s speed and performance is crucial if you want to get people to stay on your site once they arrive and eventually convert. To do this, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to find out the speed of both your desktop and mobile site versions.

If you find that your site is loading slower than you’d like, you might want to consider using a CDN to deliver site content to visitors. A CDN is a system of servers spanning the globe that store copies of your site’s files on them. Once a site visitor clicks on your website to view its content, the server closest to the user geographically delivers your site’s content to them instantly. Using a CDN helps reduce latency, deliver site content at blazing fast speeds, and improve the user experience. But more than that, it gives you the opportunity to convert more people into paying customers or subscribers that you can later market to.

In addition, you can use a reliable web hosting provider, optimize your images, enable browser caching, and minimize CSS, JS, and HTML files to get faster loading speeds too.

It’s worth pointing out that almost all the hosting providers you’ll search online will promise you exceptional service, however, not all of them can give you just that. To figure out which hosting company can offer you the best value for your money, you can visit hosting review sites. The Hostwinds hosting reviews published by this site, for example, can give you some solid insights about whether or not the company can be trusted. You can even read what the users are saying about the hosting provider.

With the help of these insights, you can pretty much determine who among your shortlisted hosting providers will give you the quality service that you’re looking for.

Use Effective Headlines

80% of your site visitors will read your content’s headlines, but only 20% will read the actual blog post. If that’s not discouraging, I don’t know what is. While you can’t force people to read what you worked so hard to publish, there are things you can do to grab people’s attention from the start and encourage them to read on.

For example, you can:

  • Focus on creating keyword rich content that displays in relevant search results
  • Add optimized imagery to your text to break things up and spark interest
  • Structure your content for easy scanning
  • Address pain points and promise to show how you can help

If you really want to capture people’s attention and get them to read your content, however, you need to make the first thing they see (the headline) the most exciting part. For help with creating killer headlines, use CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer tool.

With an analysis, you’ll learn about your headline’s:

  • Word balance
  • Length, including characters and words
  • First and last words
  • Keywords
  • Search preview
  • Email subject line preview

Whether people see your headlines and links to your content on your social media accounts, in email campaigns, or search results, you want to convince them to click and actually read your content. This all starts with an epic headline.

Optimize for Mobile

Mobile site visitors want the same great user experience desktop users get when they visit your website, especially if you run frequent sales promotions for your loyal customers. And the truth is, if it’s hard to navigate your site on a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, people are not going to convert. So, if you really want to boost your site’s conversion rates, start by optimizing for mobile devices.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use responsive design
  • Make navigation menus simple
  • Use medium size fonts (not too small and not too large to avoid pinching or zooming issues)
  • Always test for functionality
  • Compress elements to minimize whitespace and increase loading times

If you’re curious to know how your site looks on mobile devices, enter your URL into the Responsive Checker tool. Not only will you be able to see how your site displays for users on multiple device types, this tool is interactive, so you can make sure navigating your site is easy too.

Add Social Proof

Did you know that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as their friends? Well, they do. And this means having social proof such as reviews and testimonials on your website is the perfect opportunity for you to convince someone to make a purchase.

If you use an email service provider such as MailChimp for your email marketing campaigns you can easily ask existing customers for testimonials to add to your website for others to see. Just use the pre-designed template and send an automated follow-up email anytime someone makes a purchase on your site asking them if they’ll review their purchase.

You can also customize your emails to include elements like your business logo, color schemes, product recommendations, and links to exclusive deals, new content, or best-selling products. Using the follow-up email as a way to get testimonials is a great way to convince new site visitors to convert once on your site. At the same time, the follow-up email is a great way to get existing customers to come back, buy again, and turn into longtime, loyal customers.

Final Thoughts

Launching an online business is relatively easy to do. And if you follow some easy steps, driving traffic to your site can be easy too. But getting people to convert once they’re on your site can be more challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why you need to invest some time and effort into finding out what it takes to get your site visitors to convert. Is it a well-written headline followed by killer content? Maybe it’s positive testimonials by satisfied customers. Or perhaps it’s just a fast loading website and exceptional user experience.

Whatever the case may be, you need to tap into what your target audience wants and what makes them want to convert so you can continue to grow your business into a success.

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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.