Conversion Problems with the Business Website Itself - dummies

Conversion Problems with the Business Website Itself

By Jan Zimmerman

Business website conversion problems show up in many ways. If you’re drawing the right audience (high pages per visit and time onsite) but users leave without fulfilling the objective you’ve established, you might have trouble with the site itself. Compare the lists of entry and exit pages. If they’re close to the same, your visitors might have trouble with navigation.

Ask your programmer to look at the HTTP error codes and browsers that are used to see whether you’ve designed a site that’s appropriate for users’ browsers, operating systems, monitors, and access speeds.

Check the download time on your site to ensure that entry and catalog pages load quickly. If you have added new features, such as video or animation, without assessing site performance, have your programmer run a link verification program such as Xenu’s Link Sleuth to ensure that links are working and that your site has no orphan pages (pages no one can open).

The programmer can recheck syntax, monitor the display at different resolution sizes, and check browser compatibility.

Experiment with your onsite search function to ensure that it produces complete and relevant results. Then review the checkout process to see whether the pages load quickly and determine whether the process is cumbersome or confusing. Find out whether your site requires registration before purchase or has a broken cart or faulty account login, and find out whether all payment options are working properly.

If the site is functioning correctly, take a look at your text and navigation and ask whether the landing page for a search term or ad takes people directly to the appropriate product or service or strands them on the home page and whether the content quickly answers the question, “What’s on this site for me?”

Did you include calls to action so that users know what to do? How many clicks are required to reach an offer (Buy Now) page? Are directions clear? Does the shopping process meet users’ expectation for speed and ease of use? Test, test, and retest!

Observe people who’ve never used the site as they figure out how to locate information and complete a transaction, whether it’s a sale or an inquiry. Check your onsite search function to see what people are looking for.

If they can’t find what they’re looking for (and what they want fits with what you offer), you might have navigation, content, or product issues. See what happens after you address these concerns.