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3 proven strategies for service businesses to optimise their conversion rates.

We’re all aware of the importance of attracting traffic to your website: the more visitors, the more people are aware of you and your business. But with the cost of ads creeping up, more competition and content being generated than ever before, a crucial element to consider in 2018 is conversion rate optimisation (CRO).
Simply put, CRO is maximising the number of total visitors who end up ‘converting’ in some way. For a service business, that could mean a number of things: setting up a meeting, filling out a form, or simply sending off for information. The key here is them taking some sort of action: moving your business forward. At the root of any of your efforts in SEO, marketing and advertising, ultimately you need to take that interest and attention and convert it into revenue. There are practices, routines and methods that can help to skyrocket your conversion rate – we’ve gathered together three of the best ways to help turn interested visitors into paying customers:

1. Unlock the power of A/B testing.

A/B testing is a practice, sometimes known as ‘split testing’, where you compare two versions of a web page or advertisement and compare how they perform. So, for example, you have two variants of a similar web page – let’s call them A and B. On one, perhaps you want to tweak the copy, add calls to action (CTAs), experiment with video or images. You could include testimonials – a proven strategy for boosting click-through for service businesses (social proof is a powerful force). You show these pages at the same time, to visitors who share a similar profile – and let the results speak for themselves. Businesses that have implemented multivariate testing boast a conversion rate of up to 70% higher than those that don’t.
One of the advantages of A/B testing is the ability to change and tweak so many elements of your web page. These could include headlines, sub-heads, body text, the inclusion of testimonials, adding/tweaking CTAs, experimenting with media, the positioning of content, social proof – to name but a few.

2. Understanding the customer journey and improving the user experience.

Experts in web design and user experience come to a pretty solid consensus: the ‘flow’ or ‘journey’ of a visitor to your site is one of the most critical aspects of optimising your conversion rate. But what is a ‘flow’ anyway? Simply put, it’s how a potential customer navigates through your online presence: from discovery to exploring your site, and finally to the purchase or booking phase. Take a moment and look at your site: does the flow make intuitive sense? Is it easy to navigate where they need, when they need? Are calls to action clearly displayed? How about contact details? Do all your links and web pages work? Do you have a consistent visual language?
The data shows that up to 40% of users are willing to abandon a page if it takes too long to load – that can mean just a couple of seconds. So, your site must be smooth, clean, and above all fast. With increasing numbers of people using local searches, particularly for food and services, your user’s journey has never been more important. Conducting a thorough inspection of how a potential customer navigates your site, being aware at all times of the quality of their experience, and keeping a focus on how they convert should all be key parts of your CRO strategy.

3. Undertake ‘abandonment analysis’.

This can be one of the most painful areas of CRO, particularly for a local service business: you’ve successfully located a potential customer from your target audience with a combination of engaging copy, evocative imagery and social proof, after selecting the best web pages using A/B testing. The user has moved through your website with ease – and just before pulling the trigger and booking, they pull out.
It can be extremely discouraging. But there’s an old saying which applies well here: “What gets measured, gets managed.” Finding out what causes potential customers to leave with abandonment analysis can be a crucial part of updating your CRO strategy. As soon as you’ve successfully identified problem areas, you can easily rectify them, adjust (potentially even utilising A/B testing)- and relaunch with renewed focus.
Research shows that some of the most common reasons customers abandon shopping carts include ‘payment discomfort’ (E.G. not having access to a preferred or easy method of payment), procrastination (“I’ll just save my basket or bookmark the page and do it later.”) and distraction – banner ads, images or links in the wrong place at the wrong time can easily derail a successful conversion. Considering all these factors in your website design can be a key differentiator between boosting your conversion rate, or letting it stagnate.
Digital Zest are experts in the world of SEO, web design and conversion rate optimisation. We combine local knowledge with technical prowess, leveraging the latest digital trends to add massive value to your business. So, if you run a service business in the North Yorkshire area, get in touch today. We’d be happy to help.
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