Conversion Rate is the lifeblood of a website. A website that does not convert visitors into sales or signups is like a restaurant that does not sell food. A study by Portent revealed that sites that loaded in 1 second had a conversion rate that was 3 times better than sites that loaded in 5 seconds.
In China, some of the actions required to improve the conversion rate must be carried out using special companies and services because of the Great Firewall of China.
In this article, we will discuss conversion rate optimization, what reduces it, how to improve it, and how to optimize a website for conversions in China.
What are conversion rate and conversion rate optimization?
Conversion Rate is the rate (percentage) at which people who visit your website take some desirable and measurable action on it.
If 1,000 people visited your website and 10 of them took the action you desired, your website would have a 1% Conversion Rate. Conversion Rate Optimization is the act and process of improving conversion rate by improving whatever aspects of the website might be reducing it.
Strategies to improve conversion rate
Here are some common symptoms, causes, and remedies for conversion rate problems.
Low traffic—improve SEO and/or advertising
If your site has very little traffic, you can do the following to raise it:
- Improve SEO
- Advertise the website, offline or online
- Improve your social media campaigns to drive traffic to your website
High bounce rate
Use A/B Testing to try different designs for a site or page. A/B Testing is when you serve different versions of a page randomly to users and see which gets the best response. For example, if your bounces are mostly on mobile devices then check if the page is rendered properly on all devices. You might also be interested in Why you need to optimize for native mobile web browsers in China.
Slow websites are a huge factor contributing to poor conversion rates, especially in China, you can hardly tell if it’s slow, or it’s blocked. Their causes can also be quite numerous, and a highly-skilled technical team will need to analyze what might be the reason for the slow website.
Poor user experience
Poor website user experience is a common cause of poor conversion rates. This can be due to bugs that prevent it from:
- Loading properly
- Loading correctly on different browsers
- Loading correctly on different operating systems or devices
For this reason, cross-browser testing must be done across devices.
5 ways to optimize conversion rate and website performance in China
China’s unique ecosystem means that websites are prone to breakage and slowness if they do not adhere to the country’s requirements.
Specifically, many Western websites are blocked from inside China, such as Twitter, Google, and various CDNs, meaning that using critical resources from these sites on your web pages will result in either:
- A broken page
- An extremely slow-loading page
In either case, your conversion rate will be affected.
Specifically, optimizing a website for conversions in China can require some or all of the following actions:
1. Avoid external resources wherever possible
Many third-party hosting services and content providers such as Google Hosted Libraries, YouTube, LinkedIn, and others are blocked in China. If your website depends on links to these sites—such as for embedding a video or accessing JQuery from Google’s CDN—your webpage will fail to load the relevant content and so appear “broken”.
It is vital to use self-hosted videos, scripts, and style sheets to ensure that these load properly inside China.
2. Host on a Chinese server
Hosting the Chinese version of your website in China has multiple benefits, including being closer to your visitors, which makes the website faster to load. The website is also far less likely to get blocked at some point in the future. It is, however, not always possible for companies to apply for this license. You can learn more about how to obtain it, with step-by-step instructions, in our detailed article: Obtaining an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license in China
3. Use Chinese CDNs
Whether you host inside China or simply near it, using a Chinese-based CDN improves your content delivery to Chinese visitors immensely.
The purpose of a CDN is to provide content from a server that is closer to the requester. Doing so speeds up a website. If a CDN is located in New York, it will do little to improve your website’s speed. Many popular CDNs are located too far from China to be useful. But choosing a CDN inside of China instead of one that is merely next to it is the ideal choice because it is highly unlikely that approved CDNs inside China will land on the block list.
4. Direct peering with Tier 1 ISPs
One somewhat advanced option to gain access to the Chinese market is to host your website on a provider that peers directly with Chinese Tier 1 ISPs.
Some of the ISPs in China have peering agreements with foreign ISPs, allowing websites to bypass the many checks that normal internet traffic into China must go through. This can make your website faster in China and so increase conversion rates.
5. Constantly monitor your Chinese website for errors
Whether you host locally or outside of China, it is imperative that you constantly monitor your website’s performance.
Because the Chinese internet ecosystem is an intricate one, things can change from one moment to the next. Website testing and monitoring in China should be both automated and manually done, and it should be done regularly, especially for large businesses whose websites are business-critical.
Outsource your China website optimization needs
China hit 842 million mobile shoppers in 2021. Optimizing the conversion rate in China is a lot to do, but it’s worth it because of the size of the market.
Optimizing your conversion rate in China is not a once-off thing. It requires active monitoring and action to keep a website running.
Knowledge of the Chinese market is crucial, and this is something that GoClick China can provide.
By taking the burden off your shoulders, you are able to focus on your business processes instead, resting assured that your website remains open for business in China.