The key to success for all eCommerce stores is being able to increase conversions. Essentially, more visitors = more money for your business. If you aren’t getting visitors to your site, chances are, you’re not making much money. With over $7.31 trillion dollars projected to be spent on e-commerce retail in the next few years, it’s becoming more important to optimize your website, increase those conversations, and make more of a profit for your business. 

You may have driven traffic through targeted ads, newsletters, or social media posts. But chances are, you still may be seeing low conversion rates. Most U.S e-commerce websites saw an average conversion rate of 2.8% in the first quarter of 2021. So how do you break the 3% conversion rate? By diving into your analytics and optimizing your CRO, or your “conversion rate optimization.” In this article, we’ll be diving deeper into what CRO is and the steps you can take to drive those conversions into leads. 

What is “conversion rate optimization?” 

CRO, or “conversion rate optimization,” is the process of optimizing your eCommerce website to convert more leads, or performing a desired action on your website such as adding a product to a cart or filling out a form. It’s common practice to place your focus on conversion percentages, averages, and benchmarks when analyzing your CRO, but it’s more effective to look at it from a holistic perspective. Instead, focus on the process that drives, stops, and persuades your users. This will help to deliver the best user experience possible and in turn, improve your website conversion rate. 

Below are some strategies you can implement to optimize your eCommerce website and drive those conversions.

Strategy #1: Improve your search engine optimization (SEO)

To ensure customers find your website, it’s important to have a strong SEO marketing strategy. You can make sure customers find your websites on search engines by:

  • Using specific keywords on your page titles, headlines, or meta descriptions
  • Internal linking to other pages on your website/blog
  • Using long-tail keywords related to your products/services

By leveraging your SEO, your website’s search engine visibility will increase, driving traffic, and in turn, driving the potential conversions made. Read our 2022 SEO Guide to learn more on optimizing your website and strengthening your SEO strategy.

Strategy #2: Maximize your sites speed

The faster your website loads, the less likely your customer will abandon it and decide to not make a purchase. When running an online business, it can be easy to forget the simple logistics such as website speed, but low website speed can frustrate potential customers and become a detriment to your conversions. Around 40% of customers will leave if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load.   

To ensure your website is up to speed, follow these three steps:

  1. Analyze your render start time

Analyzing your render start time is a great way to see how long it takes for your content to load. On average, a render start time of <1 second will have a mobile conversion rate of 10.50%, and sites with great RST will boost engagement rates among customers by up to 50%! 

2. Check your speed with PageSpeed

PageSpeed makes it easy to check your website’s speed in one click. Just enter your website URL and it will give you several metrics geared towards your website’s speed performance.

  1. Install a WordPress caching plugin

Using a WordPress caching plugin can make your website up to 5x faster. Essentially, caching plugins will store static versions of your website, allowing WordPress to skip running heavier PHP scripts every time your site loads to a customer. 

Strategy #3: Update website content regularly 

You may need to consider updating your website if you catch yourself using old blog posts, outdated landing pages, or irrelevant photos. To ensure you’re getting unique visitors while maintaining your current ones, it’s important to regularly update key aspects of your website. One way you can do this is by curating new blog content. 

Curating new blog content can help you drive conversions in multiple ways:

  • Makes it easier for customers who have never heard of your company before to get a sense of what you service or offer simply by reading past blog posts
  • Increases traffic to your website by creating text-based CTAs
  • Helps to establish your business as a thought leader within the eCommerce industry

Strategy #4: Improve your website navigation

Don’t let your visitors get lost! Making your website easier to navigate is a great way to create a strong user experience for prospective customers and improve your conversion rate. It’s important to make sure customers have an easy way of finding things on your website, whether it be locating your contact information, filling out forms, or finding certain products/services. Strong site navigation makes it easy for the customer to find what they need in a quick and convenient way. 

If you want to improve your site’s navigation, keep it consistent.  Your navigation should stay the same from page to page. Additionally, make sure categories are divided clearly. Subcategories should be visually different even if the links are different. Lastly, use accurate navigation titles. Visitors should have an idea of what they’re going to find on a page before they click on it. Misleading titles can frustrate customers and lose them within the conversion process!

Strategy #5: Streamline the checkout process 

Streamlining your checkout process is especially important, with up to 69% of e-commerce carts being abandoned at checkout. These rates are even higher among mobile devices.

To avoid losing your customer at checkout, make the checkout process quick and easy. This can mean offering a guest checkout option, clear and concise shipping information, or simple navigation links to the checkout page. Some other ways you can streamline your checkout process are:

  • Saving your customer’s billing and shipping information
  • Offering a shipping calculator to ensure clear shipping costs
  • Providing an order receipt after purchase

The easier you make the checkout process for your customer, the more likely they are to convert. 

Strategy #6: Consider providing live chat support

Software such as LiveChat or Hubspot can provide a seamless user experience by addressing customer concerns and questions in a quick and efficient way. The last thing a potential customer wants to deal with is being put on hold in customer support calls. Having live chat supports prevents that frustration and enables a faster conversion process. A helpful chat session can convince a reluctant customer to purchase your product (and potentially repurchase in the future!)

The bottom line 

Optimizing your eCommerce website is the key factor in increasing conversions and driving the growth of your business. Implementing the six strategies outlined are only some of the ways to optimize your site–don’t be afraid to try out and test new strategies. Once you have a better understanding of what is and what’s not working, you’ll be able to better optimize and drive those conversions. 

Need more tips, advice, or suggestions on how to manage your eCommerce store? Check out the 121eCommerce blog – it’s full of helpful information that can help you improve your metrics, bring in more customers, and build a better eCommerce business.

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