Understanding and Improving Your Conversion Funnel

  • The average conversion rate for all site types world-wide is 2.9%

2.9%? That’s all?

  • The average add-to-cart rate is 5.9%.

Why do some visitors come to your page and turn into customers? Why do others leave without buying a thing? And what happened to the other 3% of people who added products/services to their cart and then left the site without purchasing?

Learning From Hansel and Gretel

Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? When their no-good parents took them out to leave them in the woods all alone, Hansel took a pocketful of white pebbles and dropped them one by one as they traveled away from home.

Ignore the fact that he should have known better than to return home to parents who were trying to ditch their own children, Hansel’s naiveté is not the point.

The point is, your conversion funnel leaves a very clear trail that you can follow. And follow it you should.

What are Your Pebbles?

Each website has a logical path that customers follow from landing/home page, through the product search and information steps, to an order page, and finally to a “thanks for your order” page.

How is your site set up? Follow your pebbles carefully both backward and forward. Backward so that as the web owner you can see clearly which pages in your funnel are producing the highest returns. And forward so that you can make sure each step is logical and sequential for your customers.

Now for a Little Analysis

Now that you have seen which pages on your website have the highest conversion rates, study those pages carefully.

Look at page layout, font choices and size, colours, images…all the little details that go into a web page.

  • What is it about them that convinces people to take the next step forward?
  • Can you tweak them and make them better?
  • Can you duplicate their style to your lower producing pages?

Build for the Long Term

Here is some market research on customer retention for you to remember:

  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.
  • A 10% increase in customer retention levels result in a 30% increase in the value of the company.
  • It costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.

Now that you have digested some market statistics, take a look back at your analytics. Do you have a steady stream of returning customers as well as new ones? If not, take steps to correct that.

Regularity is the Key

Many web owners neglect to sit down and go over their analytics. In doing so, they are ignoring a gold mine of information on how their site is performing and where their strengths and weaknesses are.

Reviewing analytics daily can help you spot web site performance issues. If you know that 40% of visitors will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, seeing a sudden drop in your conversion numbers one day can lead you to check and make sure those pages are functioning well.

Monthly reviews are helpful as well. Tracking your pebbles backward, you can compare before and after performance on funnel pages that you have made adjustments to.

Take this information and hone your website a little bit. Find the angles that work for your clientele and use them, use them, use them!

Your clients will thank you by returning time and time again; and your bottom line will thank you as well.