I want to clarify something real quick, just so we’re all on the same page. Whether your website already has a ton of traffic each month or perhaps you are in the beginning stages of growth, first understanding what that traffic really means is important. Any traffic can be high converting or not convert at all. This can work with or against you, it’s all about your website structure, presentation, and your engagement. If you have these things mastered, the traffic will convert (for the most part). Yes, you can be lucky enough to get traffic already “warmed up” to your offer or services (like driving traffic from social media) and are basically ready to convert before even seeing your site but this is only a small portion of what will get you high conversions on a regular basis.
With that being said, let’s look at how to create a high converting website. This way when that traffic arrives, you will have a higher chance of making a sale, or better yet, a long-term customer.
There is no one magical step to creating a high converting website, it takes multiple components working all together to achieve this. Some of the highest converting websites, like Skillshare, for example, use multiple strategies on each landing page (but not too many, we’ll get to that soon) to keep their website optimized and converting. This takes patience and testing on your part. Not all strategies that work for one site will work for another, but it’s about finding a good balance with multiple components.
If you have no idea where to start and what you should be testing, or maybe you’ve tried some things but it’s not enough. Check out below 5 things to think about when creating a high-converting website.
5 Things to Think About When Creating A High Converting Website
1. Is Your Website Design Simple And Easy to Navigate?
The second a visitor lands on your website they need to like what they see. Why?… Because you have about 15 seconds to capture their interest before they leave. First and foremost, your website should look visually appealing. White space is your friend! Don’t go filling every corner of your website with content, images, ads, and popups. It’s distracting to the user and can lead to confusion. It’s not a good first impression. Having a clean website also allows your CTA’s (call to action) to be more noticeable to the user, which allows for more conversions. We’ll talk about the importance and placement of CTA’s further below.
Your site needs to be easy to navigate and users need to get to where they want to go quickly, if not they may easily become frustrated. When we’re talking about a blog, having your website organized into categories, including a search bar, and having recommendations on “what to read next” or “most popular articles”, keeps them on your website and exploring your content with ease. If you’re selling products or services, the process to get to the checkout should be simple and clear. Include product recommendations, 35% of Amazon’s sales come from doing this!
Make sure you’re not using an illegible font or trying too hard to impress when designing your pages. You might spend hours choosing your website theme, colors, and fancy font styles, but honestly, being too fancy and too “out of the box”, often leads to the user just being overwhelmed and frustrated. Users need to be able to read everything. This doesn’t mean it needs to be boring, you want to stand out from your competitors while keeping that simplicity and clarity.
Here’s a Good Guideline to Follow When Keeping Your Website Design Simple And Easy to Navigate:
- Choose a simple, high converting, website theme like Shapeshift by Thrive Themes. Shapeshift is a conversion focus theme that’s simple for the user to navigate and appealing to the eye. Thrive themes also makes it super easy for you to make any changes you desire to your website by simply dragging and dropping elements.
- Use a basic font style like Open Sans or Playfair Display.
- Include images that resonate with your visitors. Think about the type of traffic you want to attract and what that traffic will want to see while on your site.
- It’s ok (and encouraged) to have plenty of white space on your site. Don’t over-design.
- Ensure you have a fast website speed. You can help this by doing things such as, optimizing images, not having too many (or unused) plugins installed on your site, reducing redirects, and leveraging a caching plugin.
- Make sure your website is properly optimized for both computer display and mobile/tablet displays.
2. Use Social Media To Gain High Converting Traffic
One of the best features of social media is the engagement you have with your followers. It becomes easy to build trust and having followers that are based on trust is the best type of traffic you can have! These followers usually end up being high converting traffic because of the relationship they have with you. With that being said, directing those followers to your website and offers can become a make or break it situation pretty quickly. To avoid the frustration and confusion we were talking about above, you need to direct that traffic to exactly the place they are looking to go once they leave your social media page.
For example, if you release a new blog post and advertise this to your followers when they click on the link you share they are looking to go directly to that specific blog post, not your homepage! Do Not direct traffic from your social media (or anywhere) directly to your home page. Users are going to be confused as to why they landed there and won’t likely take the time to find the article they were hoping for. The easier it is for the user, the higher your conversion rates will be. I can’t stress this enough….make things easy for the user all the time!
Methods for driving traffic from your social media accounts can vary depending on the platform. Before you think about how to do this, think about which social media platforms will give you the right type of traffic for your website. For example, if your website content is about car part reviews, you probably don’t want to advertise on Pinterest. You’re likely not going to find interested people. You’d have better luck investing your time in Youtube or Instagram. Pinterest is great for niches such as health and fitness, home design, family and lifestyle, fashion, etc. You can have multiple social media platforms (the more the merrier) but don’t waste your time attracting the wrong customers. If you see a platform that doesn’t relate don’t feel like you need to be on it just to have a social presence.
Now that we’ve determined that, as I mentioned the details in doing this can be very specific depending on the platform, however, you can take a look at this list as a general rule of thumb:
- Share your link in the appropriate locations and make it easy for your followers to find and click on the link.
- Bring them to the exact location they are looking to go whether it’s a new blog post or product sale. As a side note, if you do not have a website or you do but want to send followers directly to an offer and not a blog, always create a custom landing page for the offer(s).
- Make sure your content is easy to share
- Post when your followers are active
- Use images or videos whenever possible, people like seeing visuals
- Consistently engage with your followers
- Show how you are different from your competitors
For a more in-depth process on this visit the articles below:
3. Do You Have a Complete Sales Funnel in Place?
I want to stress the word “Complete”. Sometimes you may have a funnel in place, however, it may be lacking in an area or incomplete. The purpose of a complete funnel is to use 5 stages to funnel new, cold candidates into long-term customers. The goal isn’t to make a single sale, but to keep returning customers long-term.
You may have seen the basic 3 step sales funnel as shown below.
To take your conversions to the next level, this can be expanded even more. According to Russell Brunson, co-founder, and CEO of Clickfunnels, your funnel should involve 5 stages to properly engage with your users and create a give-and-take process throughout the entire funnel, to summarize I’ll list the 5 stages below:
Stage 1: Traffic – Attracting the Right kind of traffic from the Right places.
Stage 2: Bait – Offering something for free or at a very low cost.
Stage 3: Front End Offer – Offering a solution to their problem at a low price and low risk.
Stage 4: Middle Offer – Helping the user with a more in-depth problem with a more valuable solution. Prepares them for your product or service at a higher price point.
Stage 5: Back End Offer – Your most valuable offer at your highest price point. This can mean solving an ever-present problem.
To read his full guide on how to create a 5 stage sales funnel click Here.
Don’t Forget About Email Marketing
Email marketing is an extremely important feature in your sales funnel. It assists your users before, during, and after the buying process. It allows you to engage more with your users and when sending valuable and free information, this builds trust and long-term customers. Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your users and send new and upcoming offers, however, don’t push selling something in every email. Show your users that you share quality content, that you’re generous, and that you are willing to go above and beyond your competitors to create that relationship.
There are several email marketing services you can use to accomplish this. My favourite is GetResponse because of its simplicity but you could also use AWeber or Mailchimp among others. It’s more about personal preference.
To get an email list, make sure you are collecting emails on your website. This can be with a pop-up, in your sidebar, at your header, or anywhere else. Just make sure it is visible and clear as to what the user needs to do to sign up. For a bonus, offer something free as an incentive for signing up. Maybe it’s a free download, free trial, discount or coupons, etc. You can also advertise an offer (the bait) through a paid ad or social media and collect emails that way.
Here’s an example of how email marketing can work:
You drive traffic to an offer (the bait), a percentage of traffic opts into that offer (this is where you collect the email), that traffic is then placed into an email sequence (this sequence could be weeks or months-long), then this is where you start building a relationship with your customers offering a mix of valuable free information and upselling or down selling offers. This is an opportunity to show how you stand out from your competitors based on what you’re providing and what you’re asking for in return.
4. Placing Pop-ups And Call to Actions on Your Website
Placing pop-ups and CTA’s on your website can dramatically increase your conversion rates, however, placing too many can be annoying and distracting to the user. Follow these tips as a way to maintain a good balance:
- If using pop-ups, don’t show them on every page. Allow for only one or two pages of your website to have a pop-up and in turn only one pop-up at a time on a single page. Pop-ups can be useful to grab someone’s email, show a time-sensitive offer, or ask users to take a survey, but don’t be annoying! Users don’t want to be constantly distracted with pop-ups in their faces as they’re trying to read.
- Try using slide-ins, they’re less intrusive and don’t obstruct the user’s view as much.
- When placing CTA buttons, be clear about the action you want your users to take. Having multiple CTA buttons on your website and in your articles is ideal. Most people are immediately going to start scrolling, so place CTA buttons close to the top, randomly throughout your page spread (or within your blog post), close to the footer, and in the sidebar.
- Another option is using a floating bar horizontally across the top or bottom of your website. This is a good way to make an announcement, encourage visitors to your social media pages, highlight a sale, or simply gather emails or direct visitors to another landing page.
- This one isn’t necessarily about pop-ups or CTA’s but it’s something important to think about. As your website traffic grows, it’s tempting to add on Google AdSense or similar software to bring in some more cash. If you don’t know what Google AdSense is it’s simply allowing Google to show ads on your website and they pay you a commission based on the amount of traffic you have. For some websites, this can be beneficial, and there is a right and wrong way to go about it. I want to stress however to be careful! You don’t want your website to go from a clean and simple design to ads slaughtered all over the place. This can be distracting and annoying for the user and takes attention away from your CTA buttons
To add call-to-action buttons and pop-ups, you’ll need a plugin on your website to help you with the design and placement. If you’re searching for something, Thrive Leads is amazing, it’s simple to use and they have a ton of high converting designs to choose from. As I mentioned earlier in number one, Thrive also has great converting website themes, so if you are just starting or need a complete makeover, you can grab the whole package called Thrive Suite. This comes with Everything you are going to need now and in the future as your website grows. This includes website theme builder, landing page & content builder, quiz builder, thrive comments, thrive leads, A/B testing, and more! It’s been worth every cent to me, it makes a huge difference in conversions! It’s so much easier than buying all your website tools separately and after adding up the price I was paying yearly for all these separate tools from different companies, Thrive Suite is much cheaper grouping everything together in one package. If you want, you can check it out here!
5. Does Your Website Give Off A Trustworthy Vibe?
You can probably think of a few websites you’ve landed on and immediately felt like you shouldn’t trust them. This likely took you only a few seconds to determine before going back and choosing someone else. This is why the first impression is so important but also, as visitors scroll through your site you want to be constantly reminding them it’s a safe trustworthy place. Here are some ways of doing this:
- Display testimonials whenever possible. According to Bigcommerce, when a consumer interacts with your review they are 58% more likely to convert.
- Take the reviews seriously and engage with your users. Ask customers for feedback.
- Don’t use stock images that have watermarks. This looks like you didn’t put any time or energy into making your design original and authentic. This doesn’t mean you can only use your own photos, but take the time to edit stock photos where possible or use less common images than everyone seems to be using.
- Have a return policy clearly stated and a money-back guarantee. This eliminates a lot of risk for the buyer.
- Be clear about shipping information and charges.
- Use proper grammar. Everyone makes mistakes every once and a while but your website and articles shouldn’t be cluttered with them. You can use software to help with this like Grammarly, their free version works pretty well for most of the basic stuff. You can download it as a Google extension on your browser.
- Ensure you have a secure connection on your website, this is shown by the little lock symbol to the left of your URL. You can get more details on that Here.
That concludes the guide on how to convert website traffic into sales, or should I say creating a high converting website. It definitely takes some elbow grease but putting in the extra effort can raise your conversions dramatically! Don’t forget to track your progress and check how well you’re doing as time goes on. Use Google Analytics to help with this and perform A/B split testing to consistently improve in different areas of your site. One more tip, download a website heatmap tool to see exactly where your visitors are clicking and exploring, because honestly, how do you know where to test if you don’t know where the majority of traffic is on your site.
Drop a comment below and feel free to share some of the ways you found helpful to increase your conversions!