The best way to improve your conversion funnels doesn’t start with making changes: it starts with figuring out where those changes should be made. You’re in an industry where over 70% of customers will abandon their cart instead of purchasing.
How can you make sure you’re getting the most of your traffic? There’s no sense paying a fortune to attract potential customers if they’re leaving your site before making a purchase. To keep a healthy conversion rate, your site needs easy-to-follow pathways to carry these new users to the end goals you want.
A conversion funnel is a way of describing the path you design for a visitor to move through your site. It’s called a funnel because each layer gets closer to the conversion, with a smaller and smaller group. This conversion could be defined as any action you are trying to get your users to take.
Do you need to gather emails? Use a conversion funnel leading to an email address form. Do you sell products on the site? Use a conversion funnel that carries users all the way from their first point of entry to the “thanks for purchasing!” page (simple version pictured above).
Your conversion funnels can be as advanced as you’d like; your final version will likely be a lot more complex than the one pictured above.
Without clear paths to follow, your site can be a confusing mess for users to navigate. Having defined funnels allows you the opportunity to effectively test and optimize your conversion paths, leading to higher overall conversion rates.
Once you’ve decided which steps will be mapped into your conversion funnel, you can determine which of these steps are most in need of improvement. This method of breaking your customers’ paths into pieces makes it much simpler to find the problem areas.
There should be a clear path for your customers to follow – start to finish. Make sure there’s an obvious way to get to the product page, regardless of how they enter your site. Make sure that every product page highlights the shopping cart. People will abandon your conversion funnel at every stage for various reasons, so get rid of any reasons for leaving that you can control or your conversion rates will suffer.
Each step of your conversion funnel should be designed to provoke an action, be it getting an email address or getting the customer to the purchase page. Define the action you want for each step, and make sure that the rest of the page doesn’t distract from that action: everything on the page should lead toward the action you want.
Test every change you make. Push yourself to create hypotheses for other things you can test. Remember to define a global control group for your A/B tests to give yourself a baseline to compare the variations to. And just because a variation worked best in January doesn’t mean it will in March. Test again!
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