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How to increase website conversion without violating your user experience

Increasing conversion doesn’t have to involve tricking your users

Modals and email signup banners everywhere

It’s a competitive world, and businesses are trying harder than ever to ensure visitors that reach their website become customers of their product.

The problem with increasing conversion on your website is it’s often at odds with improving the experience of your website.

Think of how many blogs and websites you’ve been to lately that are rendered unusable because of the pop-ups, slide-overs, exit-intents, and whatever-else that have punched you in the face as soon as you try to read the content you originally came for.

This is not the web we want to experience as consumers. And it’s not the web we want to provide as businesses.

So is this the only way? Or can you covert visitors into customers without committing crimes against the user experience?

What’s your end goal?

Think about the goal of your conversion

It often helps to zoom out when thinking about conversion.

Rather than trying to ensure every single website visitor becomes a paying customer, we try to think a little more high level.

Who do we want our customers to be?

What do we want them to feel when they think about GoSquared?

How do we ensure we stand out in a sea of crowded competitors?

Thinking about these higher level questions can help you realise – “no, we don’t need to convert visitors to customers straight away”. Actually, it turns out providing value, and giving a great experience at every step of the journey, and not selling too soon – those are the important things.

It’s better to build a relationship than have a one-night-stand

Relationship building is long term

As in real life, relationships take a long time to build.

Think about the bigger purchases you’ve made in the last few years – how did they come about? Was it a quick Google search, and then an insta-buy? Probably not.

Chances are the more you were spending, the more you deliberated the purchase. You likely read multiple reviews and asked other people for their opinions. You likely spent a bunch of time looking up competitors and checking out their respective websites.

It’s likely your ultimate buying decision came down to more than just cost. It probably came down to how you felt about the company that made the product. And the quality of what they do, and the trustworthiness of their organisation.

These values don’t get built overnight.

Don’t throw your brand and values away for a quick buck.

No one likes being tricked

Dont trick your users

It can be easy to underestimate the intelligence of your audience. Especially when they’re often anonymous – just represented by charts and graphs in your analytics tool of choice.

But in reality, if you produce good content – genuinely helpful content – real people will read it. Real, smart people. Don’t frustrate them and make an enemy of them by nickel and dime-ing them with short-term tactics like in-your-face modals that make you seem stupid for saying no to a newsletter.

Tricks don’t work when it comes to building a loyal customer base. Don’t start the customer journey with one.

Increase conversion without compromising user experience

increase conversion with a few tips and magic

Here’s a few techniques we’ve been using at GoSquared to increase conversion without ruining our user experience.

Engage in conversation with visitors

It’s no secret, we love to chat. We’ve seen website conversion shoot up since we started using Live Chat on our site. While not every conversation leads to a signup, the amount we learn from each and every chat leads back into the design and copy we create for every page on the site.

Make it easy to get to key info

Often, the need for horrible conversion tactics is caused by poor design and lack of information architecture.

If you make it easy for visitors to find the information they need, and reassure them of any concerns they have, then the need for cheap-shot conversion hacks is reduced.

If a visitor doesn’t have to scramble around looking for a refund policy – if it’s made clear in the place they are asking the question – then there’s less need to push them aggressively to sign up or buy in the moment.

Often these moments can only come out of extensive research. Take the time to run a user test or two to find out if there are individual weak areas of your site.

Ask for an email address – don’t force it

We truly believe that if people want to get our content or try out the GoSquared platform, they’ll find a way. Once they’re convinced, as long as we make it easy, they will give us their email address. That’s why we don’t force you to give us an email address, or take over the page with a horrible splash screen to push you over the edge.

Perhaps we could increase conversion by employing dirtier tactics, but that would simply lead to our most valued visitors – the ones who care about quality – to be sick in their mouths. And that’s the last thing we want.

Further reading

How the smartest sales teams use live chat to increase website conversion.

Why you should make it easy for your customers to talk to you.

How to focus on solutions rather than features with your marketing website.

Written by
James is CEO and one of the co-founders of GoSquared. He also likes to talk about design.

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