Digital Conversion Optimization

Don't make your job more complicated than it needs to be

Is it really necessary to provide an email address and phone number, click a verification link, and create an account with an 8-character alphanumeric password before completing a transaction? No matter how you define conversion in your business, whether it be getting a visitor to call you, book an appointment, open an account, or purchase a product, once you have a customer who is ready to convert, focus on removing obstacles to ensure a smooth and painless process.

We often equate conversion with a financial transaction, but conversion optimization principles apply to many other interactions. Whether it be a form for visitors to fill out before downloading a file or subscribe to an email, all these things are areas that can provide some value to you or the visitor. However, as data and information have become increasingly more valuable, businesses have gotten into the habit of taking more than they are offering and inserting too many distractions in the experience.

Everyone has ordered takeout over the phone. Tell them what you want, specify pick up or delivery, indicate a payment method… and your done in 90 seconds. The online process should not be much more complicated. Unless you make more money with data than you do selling a product, take my money, then ask for my contact information. Landing pages and conversion funnels should be designed to be clear, concise and contain only essential information and CTAs. If a user is looking for information about shoes and clicks on a paid advertisement, a pop up on the landing page promoting t-shirts may not be the best experience. Similarly, forcing a user to create an account with a complicated password they will never remember before they can buy a simple product can be a major deterrent.

We get the need to be able to communicate and market to consumers to build relationships, however, research indicates consumers prefer smooth and simpler transaction processes. If your competitors are offering a comparable product and service with fewer steps for the consumer, they will likely gravitate towards those options. Keep these things in mind when you are deciding on features and elements you want to incorporate into your digital properties. Whether it be retargeting, upselling, or promoting and merchandising your latest and greatest, be careful as to not distract the consumer you are trying to convert. If you are offering additional products to consider or additional content for the reader, ensure they are relevant or you may risk taking the user away from their desired path.

With all the things available for marketers and business owners to implement in an attempt to enhance the experience, add value, and collect information, we must be mindful of inadvertently placing obstacles between the consumer and what they want. Sometimes the best place to start with optimization efforts is to focus on what the consumer wants and nothing else. Strip out all the extraneous content, popups, CTAs and any other potential distractions that can pull someone in other directions. Start with what is essential, and test and implement your way into a more elaborate experience.