How to Optimize Conversions for Your Online Store

The average conversion rate at most ecommerce sites is just 3% or less – which is quite abysmal, considering that media sites have a conversion rate of 10%, software sites 7% and financial services just over 10%. So as the owner of an online store, you will, no doubt, wish for a better conversion rate than just 3%. Let’s find out how you can get that.

Content Management – Create a Story Behind Your Product

What customers look for, more than anything is for a story behind a product. So, what makes your products so unique? What’s so interesting about them? For example, if you sell green tea, you should have information about the product – what are its health benefits, what is the scientific basis behind green tea, how it helps you lose weight, where is it from and so on.

The important thing is to present your personal take on each product, add much more than just the product description given by the manufacturer. Your perspective, personal opinion and expert opinion on the product makes the difference between it getting sold or not.

You must understand there are several online stores out there that stock the same product. Who gets the most sales depends largely on how the product is presented. That’s why great content can help you so much here.

Optimize the Page Load Speed

Many online sellers really understand how important site speed is, but this is something that cannot be emphasized enough. Your site speed or page load speed makes the greatest difference to your conversion rate. According to a study, if your page load time is delayed by 1 second, you will have 11% lower page views, your customer satisfaction goes down by 16% and conversions drop by 7%. Amazon claims to get a 1% increase in revenue for just a 100 millisecond jump in site speed. For Wal-Mart, a 1 second increase in site speed meant a 2 % increase in conversions.

So how can you increase your site speed? There is a lot you can do.

  1. Hire a more efficient web hosting service. This makes a great difference for your site speed.
  2. Optimize your images automatically using special plugins.
  3. Use a fast caching plugin. There are many great WordPress plugins you may choose from.
  4. Use a Content Delivery Network or CDN that stores static files on your site and serves them up faster to people browsing it.
  5. Optimize the database.
  6. Get rid of the trackbacks and Pingbacks
  7. Rather than using PHP everywhere, use static HTML wherever it is feasible to do so without affecting the character of the site.

Optimize the Landing Page Design

For a high online conversion rate, it is important to have a great landing page design. Your landing page is what someone sees first upon visiting your site. It should be interesting enough because making the first impression counts, more than anything. If you don’t catch a visitor’s attention within the first 2 or 3 seconds of landing on your site, you’ll just lose him forever as he will simply hit the back button and leave – which increases your bounce rate and hurts your SEO. So work on the landing page design for a superior conversion rate. To know more about this, do read Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions by Tim Ash and Maura Ginty – you can get the book from Amazon. As well you can read more about it here: http://www.aberdeen.com/research/5136/ra-performance-web-application/content.aspx

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