Saturday, September 3, 2011

Avoiding Website Mistakes Can Increase Conversion Rate

As companies attempt to increase online sales, they tend to focus on what to embrace, not what to reject. Practices, effects, and oversights exist that are toxic to a great conversion rate. If your business needs to increase its online conversion rate, avoid the mistakes below like the plague.

Distracting Website Design
For a website to increase conversion rate, its design must be customer friendly, avoiding things that serve as distractions and nothing else.

Four examples of sales killing web design are multiple frames that add needless complexity to a website; low contrast between text and background color that makes copy difficult to read; multiple continuous animations that make a website visually tiresome; and an absence of navigation structure that leaves users with no place to go.

Slow Loading Time
With the addition of Site Performance in Google Webmaster Tools, Google signaled that a web page's loading time affects its Google search results positioning. Search engines strive for fast, accurate results, hence the tendency to put slow loading sites in the basement of search results. Even when a slow loading site has a high page rank, many users abandon it for a faster site.

Liberal Use of Flash
Although Google's ability to crawl Flash is increasing, using Flash liberally can be bad for two reasons: its takes up space that could be used for content that is more search engine optimization (SEO) friendly, and it can make navigation difficult.

Worst of all is to have a full-page Flash intro that lasts for several seconds-a feature that causes many visitors to abandon a site rather than wait. If you feel like including motion content, try customer testimonial videos instead.

Weak Call-to-Action
Having a clear call-to-action is an integral lead conversion strategy. According to research, your call-to-action needs more than clarity; it also needs to be dynamic. In 2010, the call-to-action that prompted the most online conversions was one that instructed people to buy by a certain date. While a weak call-to-action tells people to buy, a dynamic one gives individuals a reason to buy.

Unremarkable Copy
Some businesses choose to write their own copy, which can be good and bad. While they know their offerings backward and forward, they often fail to convey this knowledge in language that compels sales. If your web copy sounds more like a white paper than it does advertising copy, having it rewritten by a professional copywriter is a wise choice.

Dynamic URLs
Unlike static URLs, dynamic URLs contain characters that are not SEO friendly. Although Google can read dynamic URLs, static ones can contain keyword sequences that improve SEO value. In addition, because they let people form an impression of a site by reading its URL, static URLs can increase click-through rate.


Improving online sales can be as much about avoiding bad strategies as embracing good ones. The conversion killers listed above are by no means the only six, but they are six of the most prolific ones. To give your website the improvements it needs to increase conversion, consulting with a search engine marketing (SEM) firm that develops SEO friendly websites is the best option.

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