Would it exist? The perfect website? In this blog series we are looking for that perfection! In blog 12 we focus on a hugely important aspect for web shops, namely increasing conversion. And the most important thing we need for that is focus.


For marketers, the work is overwhelming at times. We've gone from a few dozen channels to tens of thousands of possibilities in, say, 20 years. Add to that regulations on cookies and cutthroat competition and we end up somewhere between choice stress, deadlines and funnels in. We scour the internet for conversion tips we often know a long time ago, hire outside parties, or try to hire a conversion hero. Everything to get into that perfect advertising flow. We also know: it always starts with the website or web shop itself. It must be optimized. But what is optimal? 

The answer is: it must be optimal for your specific case. Tips, tricks, flow charts and the like are important in this regard, but secondary. Primary is the mindset of focus. That starts with the goal: sales, subscribers, more traffic or social media shares? Often we want all four, but practice shows that if you dare to focus on one, the other three will follow. 

The success of this focus can then be seen in your conversion rate of course. But even there you do not have to stare blindly. Because if your focus was on more traffic and you suddenly manage to double the number of visitors, while your conversion rate remains at 1%, you will still meet your KPIs. Again, focus on one goal and success will follow. 


Also part of your focus is to find a focused specialist. You don't have to hire entire teams if you know how to find someone who is dedicated. But how do you recognize one? A true specialist - whether an individual or an outside company - focuses on quality, not quantity. If you get someone in front of you who keeps going on about the numbers, we'd pause for a moment. But if you find someone who puts the brand first, who pushes for high quality video, photography and text, we'd involve them. After all, you may want more conversions, but there is still a recipient of your message. They respond best to high quality content. 

Part of that quality is the usual suspects like free shipping, a streamlined checkout or signup process, a good chat feature (and no, preferably no chatbot), safety and guarantees, reviews, constant testing... in short, what all the 'normal' tips always say. But with that twist: a customer journey with focus on the receiver, and not your sales as the sender. You will see that the friendlier this is, the higher the conversion will be. We see this happening every day: quality drives conversion. Also, think about clarity. The less distractions (the tighter and more focused the site is) the better. 


And lastly: focus on your brand. If you want to rise above the rest and be able to make higher margins, you will need to have truly unique elements in your style, message, layout and products. For people who deal with sales on a daily basis, the word "brand" is often secondary. But as conversion's leading researchers Les Binet and Peter Field tell us, after more than 20 years of continuous numerical research: Emotion drives profit


Sander Baas is boss of Baas & Baas and web construction and marketing expert. Rogier van Kralingen is a writer at The Whole Story and co-author of Media storm.

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