7 Non-Product Pages to Optimize for Higher Conversions
In the ecommerce world, we often spend most of our time optimizing product pages and checkout pages. Afterall, that is where the sale happens, right?
That is technically correct, but this hyperfocus on the product page often leads to neglecting the rest of the customer journey, including all of the steps that lead up to the purchase decision. Prior to landing on a product page, many of your customers will find themselves on non-product pages. And research shows that oftentimes, the majority of a browser’s buying decision is made there. The product page is just the last step to close the sale.
What are non-product pages?
So what are non-product pages? That should be obvious; it’s anything that isn’t a product page. Yes, but it’s important to note that there are certain pages that are most important when it comes to non-product pages. Pages like the About Us page, Customer Service page, FAQs and more are areas of huge opportunity that you can’t afford to neglect.
Why is it important to optimize non-product pages?
It’s important to optimize these non-product pages because they actually play an important role in selling your brand story and building an emotional connection with the user. That is, if they are built intentionally and optimized correctly.
In fact, we find that most brands we work with have a significantly higher conversion rate on customer paths that lead users through an “About Us” page, FAQs, etc. before heading to the product page. And that makes sense, because most visitors need proper context, peace of mind about warranties or returns, and an emotional connection in order to click “add to cart”. Your non-product pages can significantly help with all of that.
In this post, we’ll identify the core pages of a successful ecommerce site (outside of sales pages), explain what role each page plays, and what you can do to optimize them for increased conversions on your site.
What do you need to consider before optimizing any pages?
Before you begin optimizing any page, there are a few things you need to consider in order to make the most of your efforts and not waste valuable time
Is your data accurate?
We can never stress the importance of good data enough. In fact, running your company based on data is a key to success. Unless your ecommerce store data and marketing data are being properly tracked in Google Analytics, you have no way of knowing what is working and what is not. Once you have accurate, clean data to work with, you can watch the paths users take through your site and be more intentional about forming paths to guide users where you want them to go.
How are you going to optimize?
Next you’ll want to have a plan in place for how you will optimize, test, and then optimize some more. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make sure you have a good plan for testing. Even though non-product pages are not directly doing the selling, testing them still fits inside of a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy. Check out our guide to increasing purchase conversions or learn all about A/B testing in our book “Oh the Ways You’ll Grow, A Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization”.
Use the Right Tools
Dialing in your strategy is one thing. You’ll also need to make sure you have the right tools and platforms to implement your tests and measure the results. We recommend user experience testing tools like Optimizely or VWO.
Another way to test and optimize is to run content-based ads on Facebook or Instagram that lead to a non-product page. For example, the ad may share a part of your product’s story, the ad sends the user to your About Page to learn more, and then the call-to-action on the About Page leads to your product page.
Additional Pro Tip
If you’re running paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram, consider testing retargeting ads off of these non-product pages. Oftentimes brands will run a “site retargeting” for all site visitors or for those who have visited product pages or added to cart but not purchased. If you have enough traffic going to your non-product pages, you can get more specific with your site retargeting. Create custom audiences for those who have viewed these pages and serve ads relevant to content they were just reviewing on those relationship-building pages.
What are you trying to optimize for?
We all know that you’re ultimately trying to increase purchases, but when optimizing non-product pages you need to think about actions taken earlier in the customer journey. Each step in your funnel has a different primary goal which eventually leads to the sale. So when optimizing each page, you need to determine what purpose this page serves in your funnel and then how to measure it.
For instance, we’ve discussed the value of your category listing pages (or collection pages) before. When optimizing that page, you’re looking for CTR, not purchases, to determine if that page is doing its job. For non-product pages, you’ll likely want to optimize around events like clicks, time on page, low bounce rate, and add-to carts.
What are the most important non-product pages and how do you optimize them for more conversions?
Here are the most important non-product pages:
- Contact Us or Customer Service page
- About Us page
- Warranty or Guarantee page
- FAQ page
- Customer Reviews page
- Shipping page
Let’s dive into the details of each of these pages below.
7 Non-Product Pages and How to Optimize Them for More Conversions
The purpose of the homepage is to orient site visitors about who you are, what you do, and why they should care— all within 5 seconds. After that, the page’s number one job is to quickly route users where they need to go.
As the homepage routes your visitors, the page’s content should have a balance of selling and story-telling. Showcase your product, create urgency, and provide plenty of CTA buttons to click on. But you should also weave in elements of your story and purpose to start building that emotional connection right away.
When you’re optimizing the homepage, the primary metric to focus on is a low bounce rate. The homepage should be “sticky” enough and have enough CTAs to effectively route customers to a product page, or one of the other non-product pages we’ll cover below.
For more info, check out our post The Perfect Ecommerce Homepage. We’ll walk you through each element of an ideal homepage and we’ve provided a free template to use as a guide.
2. “Contact Us” or Customer Service Page
Whether it’s labeled “Contact Us” or Customer Service, the purpose of this page is to quickly get customers to the help they need. Ideally the page would help users solve problems themselves first, and provide an option to speak to your team if they need to.
Most ecommerce brands don’t give much thought to the structure of this page, but it’s actually critical to scaling your business. When it comes to creating raving brand fans, customer service is your front line. This page needs to provide access to that help quickly, but without creating unneeded work for your team. If all you have are a contact email and phone number, you will get bombarded with questions. But if all you provide are self-serve help options, people are likely to get frustrated. We find a combination of the two (self-serve options followed by contact info) are your best bet for happy customers and a manageable customer service work load.
For optimizing this page, one metric to look at would be the click through rate (CTR). Make it a rule to never have a dead end on your site, including this page. Always have a next step with an opportunity for a next step, such as a contact form, an email sign up, or a button to get back to your products.
Another way to track whether your customer service page is doing its job is by monitoring customer service activity. Are you seeing less inquiries in your customer service email inbox? Are there less people asking easy-to-self-solve questions on your site chat? A strong customer service page should help manage this kind of communication.
For more tips on customer service strategies that will grow your ecommerce business check out this post.
3. About Us Page
Most ecommerce stores put very little thought into the “About” page, or one that might also be labeled “Our Story” or “Our Mission”. More often than not, this is not out of laziness, but just because it feels like there are other more important pages to focus on. However, the reality is that this type of page is actually a foundational piece of the story-selling process (which ultimately helps sell more products).
The purpose of this page (or multiple pages) is to sell someone on the “why” behind your brand. The about page is not just for a quick synopsis of how long you’ve been in business and who your founder is. That information doesn’t contribute to the customer’s buying experience at all. Use this corner of your site to get deeper, explaining why your brand and product exists, what your values are, and what sets you apart from your competition. If you can sell your story here, appealing to the visitor’s emotions, you will be much more likely to win a purchase when the visitor gets to the product page next.
When optimizing these pages, there are a couple of metrics to consider. One is the time spent on the page. Are customers sticking around for a bit to read or are they bouncing right away? The second is the overall conversion rate for the paths that include a visit to these pages. If traffic is going to this type of page and there are CTAs present to take them to product pages next, the conversion rate should be higher after visitors see this page.
4. Warranty or Guarantee Page
Beyond outlining the warranty or guarantee for your products, the deeper purpose of this page is to eliminate any sense of risk for the customer. This is a huge part of increasing your conversion rate and should be built into your business model. [link to 3 parts of a great offer or something else that talks about eliminating risk]
Rather than just state the policy and be done, elaborate on it and give example scenarios. Make it feel like your brand, not a textbook. Make it feel engaging so visitors can interact with it, believe it, and trust it. They should leave this page feeling more confident about purchasing than when they arrived.
When optimizing this page, there are a few metrics to consider:
- Time on page: Similar to the About page, this is one that you want customers to take the time to read and interact with.
- Overall conversion rate: Customer paths including this page should have a higher conversion rate, because the information on this page is supposed to “de-risk” the sale for the customer.
- Form submissions: If you have a warranty that requires a registration or other requests on this page.
Don’t have a warranty or guarantee? Let’s fix that as a first step! A strong guarantee requires strong margins and really should be built into your business model. Read more about the importance of margins here.
5. Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Page
The purpose of this page is to satisfy your customers’ logical side of the brain. Overtime, you’ll find that different customers ask the same questions over and over, whether that’s in comments on social media or in emails and phone calls with customer service. Create a system for recording those questions and then add the ones that are repeated most to your FAQ page. This does not mean you can have 100 questions on your page. Many inquiries are variations of the same question, so try to boil those down to a top 10-15 questions to include on the page.
Having the answers to these popular questions ready for curious site visitors will improve your site’s conversion rate, and it’s also a great search engine tactic.
As you’re optimizing this page and looking at data, look at the time spent on the page. Users should be spending time there if the questions you have are relevant and the answers are helpful. Similar to other pages, you can also look at the ecommerce conversion rate when this page has been visited.
6. Reviews Page
Social proof is one of the most important factors in building trust with your customers and therefore increasing conversions. Customer reviews are the most common form of social proof. Most often these are featured on the product pages, and some may be included on the homepage. But you can also have a page specifically for customer reviews so that site visitors can take a look before digging into the actual products. Presenting all of these reviews early on in the customer journey is a great method for winning your site visitors over.
When optimizing this page, focus on metrics like time spent on page and the ecommerce conversion rate when visited for the same reasons we’ve mentioned on other pages above!
7. Shipping Page
In the ecommerce world, shipping is a necessary evil that is a big factor in making or breaking your customer’s experience. The purpose of a page dedicated to shipping is to inform the customer of shipping rates and times and to set their expectations upfront.
Amazon and other delivery services have conditioned online shoppers to expect shipping to be quick and free. That’s not always possible with smaller (or even normal sized) ecommerce companies, so it’s best to manage customer expectations up front. This is especially true around the holiday season, so make this page relatively simple for your team to update throughout the year.
For optimizing this page, you’ll look at the metrics we’ve mentioned throughout this post. One metric is time spent on the page. And the other is conversion rate when this page is in the customer path— either the site’s ecommerce conversion rate, or specifically the conversion rate at the checkout step.
*Link to post about how to make everything after the purchase a great experience and that includes shipping. See if you can weave that in.
Ready to Get Started?
Next time you’re tempted to put off non-product page updates, remember this: Most people who end up buying from you are actually “sold” prior to hitting “add to cart”. It makes a lot of sense to spend just as much time refining the steps leading up to your product page as the product page itself. When it comes to conversions, a compelling story or strong customer service will have much more pay off than the color of your add to cart button or where the product description sits.
The most important thing is just to start somewhere. Get started testing these pages along your customer journey and if you need help with that, reach out to us.
If you’re looking for more ways to increase conversions on your ecommerce site, don’t miss our info-packed mini guide Oh the Ways You’ll Grow: A Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization. We’ve condensed a complex topic into an accessible, quick read so you can learn quickly and go apply it to your business ASAP.