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10 Ways to Shorten the Distance and Increase Conversion

Posted on 8.02.2007
First, let’s explore why visitors might tend to hop around your site. According to the Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines developed in part by the US General Services Administration, here are just some of the highly relevant parts of a site that could impact your distance to sale:

1. Understanding and meeting visitor’s expectations: Make sure your visitors get what they expect from the page to which they clicked. Target your ads to appropriate destination URLs.

2. Providing clear, intuitive navigation: Imagine how frustrating it would be if, in some cities, a red light meant “go” and a green light meant “stop.” Don’t break accepted navigation standards – for instance, be sure to have your logo in the top left part of your page with a link to your home page.

3. Provide organized and useful content: If running an e-commerce business, you’ll want to give a visitor all the information necessary to make a purchase decision in as few clicks as possible.

4. Avoid cluttered displays: Judiciously use graphics and images to support your offer, message and product. Too many images and cluttered displays distract the visitor.

5. Facilitate scanning: Web users like to scan key features of a product or service, with the ability to quickly and easily drill down to more detail.

6. Distinguish required from optional fields: Keep your forms as short as possible and make it easy for your visitors to move to the next step. Always have a link to your privacy policy on your form.

7. Provide feedback on user’s location: Use breadcrumbs so the visitor can see where they are and easily navigate back levels (Home > Turtle Products > Turtle Cages).

8. Use descriptive page headings: Make it easy for your visitors (and search spiders) to immediately know what the page is about and try to keep headings consistent with your PPC ads.

9. Provide feedback when users must wait: Any unexplained delays will increase the possibility of site abandonment. An example of great feedback is the progress bar used by travel sites while searching to find matches for your travel requirements.

10. Account for browser differences: Test your pages and cart/form functionality on all browsers
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