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Conversion Rates Improved With Persuasive Design (Part 1)

One key element for success in online business is the conversion rate as we all know. The percentage of users who visit your Web site and take action, like buying your product, opt-in to your newsletter, request more information, etc. Let me describe, how you can improve your Web site for higher conversion rates.

People are coming to your site, because they have a certain need or a problem that needs to be addressed. If this person that just arrived at your site is a match for your business, things may work out for you. The person got the problem solved and you got a prospect on your email list or even a customer right away. This would be the ideal case, of course. But not every visitor takes action right away.

You have to help him, earn his trust, guide him, and — why not — persuade him to take the action that YOU want him to take.
After you have will have read the following recommendations, you might think, “This is common sense!” Yes, indeed, if you think about it, but unfortunately many Web sites are not following all the way to the end. Bad for the users. Good for you, who will do a better job than your competitors.

Help Your Visitor

Start off by bringing only targeted traffic to your site. Save your users time, save your advertising dollars and your bandwidth by attracting people that you can help. Know your audience and “talk” to them in their language.

Provide valuable content and products that are really useful. Present it in an easy to understand way and make it easy for the users to perform the task of solving their very own problem or fulfilling their need. Once the user has read your high quality information and learned about your offerings, he needs to trust you in order to proceed with the action that you want him to take.

Build Trust

Earn trust by proving credibility. Your Web site design can show trustworthiness in the following five (5) ways:

  1. Up-to-date comprehensive, high quality content and high quality products are a main driver for credibility. Use good photos on your Web site that show your products from various angles. Don't forget an online buyer cannot touch the product, so photos are very important for the decision process.
  2. Disclose all aspects of your terms in an easy to understand language, before the customer places an order or makes another form of commitment. Explain the order process. E.g. shipping charges, recurring fees, taxes, guarantees, ...

    How many of your clients are lawyers? Probably a few, unless your target audience are lawyers. Keep that in mind, when writing. Of course you need legal text on your pages, but the bottom line should be pointed out clearly as part of the order process. Don't hide anything in your legal text.

    Some guarantees for online purchases are not only required by law in most countries, like the USA and member states of the European Community, they are a proven key factor for increasing conversion rates.
  3. The overall design quality of your Web site, the professional appearance supports credibility. A site with clear navigation conveys respect for customers and implies promise of good quality products and customer service.
  4. Have outgoing links to related resources and references. A third-party can establish trust tremendously. On the other side an isolated site feels like there is something to hide.
  5. Respect and protect the privacy of the your user and customer. Only collect as little personal information about the user and customer as necessary for completing a transaction. Publish a detailed privacy policy. Again, this is actually required by law in the USA and the European Union anyway. If you are already making sound profits from your business, you might want to get into publishing your privacy policy in machine readable form as proposed by the W3C Standard of the Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project (↑), too. It can give you an advantage over your competitors, , if users have very strict security settings in their browsers (P3P has been rarely implemented on most sites so far). We have set it up for our site.

Guide The User

A clear, straight forward navigation through the product selection and order process with the ability to easily compare different products will let the user guide through directly to the sale. This seems to be easier for a one page sales letter or a simple opt-in or squeeze page.

So far we basically talked about usability issues. Usability improves the users ability to complete a certain transaction, like buying a product, opt-in to a newsletter, finding and reading information. Unfortunately the more competitive the market is, the more you need to give the user additional reasons and convince him to take action and actively choose your product or service. You need to put persuasive Web design and salesmanship on top of your site. For example a single page sales letter is very easy to use in fact, but the copy on this page is extremely important and determines the conversion rate enormously. This is way beyond usability issues. The fact that a user can do something easily, does not automatically mean that he will do it.

With Part II of this posting we will introduce “Persuasive Design”.


E-Biz Booster Blog on : Turn More Visitors Into Buyers - 6 Tips

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Shake Hands With Your Prospect. Getting visitors to your Web site is one ingredient for a successful Internet presence. It does not matter, if you are a “brick and mortar” type of business that wants to expand into the virtual world and reach c


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