The data varies by industry. On Facebook, for instance, fitness ads top the charts at nearly 15 percent. You might be surprised to learn that B2B ads convert at an impressive 10.63 percent.
But what if you don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on Facebook Ads? If you’d rather increase conversion rate on your own website through organic marketing, that’s certainly possible.
By contrast to social conversions, website conversion rates lag at an average of just 2.35 percent. I’m going to provide you with some tools to help you achieve better rates like you would through social.
I’m going to cover a lot of ground in this article:
- What Is a Conversion Rate?
- How Do You Calculate Your Own Conversion Rate?
- How to Increase Your Conversion Rate on Your Website
- Start Working your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion rate is expressed in percentage form based on a ratio. It’s the portion of your website visitors who convert on an offer.
Visitors can convert on lead magnets, webinar registrations, sales, and more. You can track conversion rates for all of those actions.
However, you can’t just track the number of people who actually convert. You want to know how many people are finding your content and what percentage of them actually buy your product, sign up for your email list, or perform any other desired action.
If you think you don’t need to track these numbers, think again. Writing for Marketing Land, serial entrepreneur and consultant Jeremy Smith says, “Every aspect of marketing is entirely useless unless it produces conversions.”
If you don’t know your conversion rate now, you don’t know what elements of your website or marketing strategy you need to improve. Your conversions will likely stagnate as a result, which could result in serious lost profits.
Let’s say, for instance, that your conversion rate hovers at 1 percent. You don’t run tests or dig into the reasons behind that conversion rate. If you continue to do what you’re doing, you might stay at 1 percent or dip even lower.
What if, however, you addressed the problem head on and your conversion rate increased to 3 percent? Based on your product price and marketing costs, calculate how much profit you stand to gain as a result of your alterations.
Let’s say you have a landing page that asks people to sign up for your email list.
Out of the 3,000 people who land on the page, 150 convert into leads.
To get your conversion rate, divide the conversions by website visitors, then multiply the result by 100. In this case, you have a conversion rate of 5 percent.
You can also figure out your conversion rate by referring domain. If you’re running Facebook Ads and conducting an aggressive SEO campaign, you might compare the conversion rates for both referral sources to figure out which is performing best.
Digital strategist Dave Chaffey, the content director for Smart Insights, reveals that there’s “…wide variation within and between sectors [in lead generation conversion rates]” just like you’ll find with Facebook Ads. Since a landing page is part of lead generation, consider comparing your own statistics to the most recent data.
If you run a health and wellness blog and sell health care supplements, you don’t want to compare your conversion rate to a SaaS B2B company. The comparison won’t tell you anything you need to know.
To increase your conversion rate, you need to know what works and what doesn’t with your audience. Your prospective customers have specific expectations, wants, needs, and pain points, so you have to make them an offer they can’t — or at least won’t want to — refuse.
It’s okay if people don’t convert the first time. Maybe they don’t have the money to invest in your product or service right now, or perhaps they won’t need it until the future.
However, well-written copy, good visuals, intriguing offers, and compelling calls to action (CTAs) will stick in your visitors’ minds. They might come back later and convert.
Let’s look at 13 ways to increase your conversion rate.
1. Deploy a conversion rate optimization strategy based on data
If you already have data about your website from a tool like Google Analytics, you’re in good shape. Examine the data for patterns on which you can base a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy.
A behavior flow report can help.
You’ll see pages that encourage people to continue reading as well as pages from which people bounce quickly.
Marketers need as much “sticky” content as possible. You want people to spend plenty of time on the page or visit other pages on your site to investigate all you have to offer.
With basic information about how your website currently performs, you can identify pages that aren’t doing their jobs and optimize them.
Add fresh content, update old references and statistics, craft a better CTA, or consider a redesign. All of these updates form the foundation of basic CRO.
2. Optimize your conversion funnel
A basic conversion funnel consists of four primary segments: awareness, interest, consideration, and conversion.
From that basic formula, you can decide what exactly makes your prospects brand-aware, engages their interest, encourages them to consider your product, and convinces them to convert.
In an interview for Impact, Chris Goward said, “We listen to our gut, then test what it says. We create best practices, then test them. We listen to opinions, then we [test] them. We hear the advice of experts, then test it.”
It’s sound advice. You have to start with a working theory — your gut. Then you consider advice and expert opinions, run tests, which will get to later, and figure out exactly how to increase your conversion rate.
Testing and tweaking takes more time than simply slapping copy on the page, but it works much better.
3. Determine whether or not your offer is ideal for your audience
Never create just one lead magnet. It’s not enough. You need more than that if you want to figure out what your audience craves.
When I offered informational products on my blog, I discovered that free webinars were the best lead magnet for my audience. People loved the free content as well as the discount I offered.
But maybe your audience doesn’t have time to attend a webinar. You won’t know unless you test it against another lead magnet.
In his interview with Impact, Li Evans said, “Content doesn’t win. Optimized content wins.” You can optimize other offers, such as your sales page copy and your email CTAs, to figure out how to increase your conversion rate.
4. Test what’s working and what’s not
I test everything, from content length and publishing frequency to calls to action and lead magnets. I’ve learned that, if I leave things up to chance, I’ll leave money on the table.
Using Crazy Egg, you can run all kinds of maps on your website to figure out how users engage with your content. Heat maps, scroll maps, confetti maps, and more can show you visually where people click, stop scrolling, and spend more time.
Recordings are particularly useful when you want to see exactly how people interact with a page on your site.
You can even decide what devices you want to track traffic from.
If a page isn’t getting any engagement, consider optimizing it. Change the content, design, or format to mimic pages that perform better. If you have to remove the content entirely, consider a 301 redirect, which permanently takes the user to another page on your site, such as the homepage.
5. Optimize your pages’ design
Web design matters more than you might think.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that my audience prefers a minimalistic design. You won’t find many bells and whistles on my sites.
That doesn’t mean minimalism works for everyone, but there’s scientific evidence to suggest it’s the most preferable approach to web design.
Back in 2012, Google conducted a survey that continues to inform web design across the globe. It used several different “types” of designs to gather first impressions from viewers.
Based on the collected data, Google determined that website visitors make their first impressions of a site’s attractiveness within 1/20th of a second. Furthermore, “visually complex” sites were consistently interpreted as less beautiful.
Simplifying your design can help keep your visitor focused on the content that matters.
6. Try different form styles
Forms often become a stopping point for consumers. They don’t want to take the time to fill in the fields.
You can reduce friction by eliminating unnecessary form fields, turning fields into checkboxes or other elements, and enabling autofill. However, you also need to test.
Run a recording of a landing page with a form. Consider using a long landing page so the user has to scroll to get to the form. Do most visitors click away after reaching the form? You might have a problem.
Over on Quicksprout, we use a pretty simple form. It’s designed not only for lead generation, but also for lead qualification.
If you sell a high-priced product or service, you might want to qualify your leads, too. However, if it’s not necessary, don’t collect information about things like budget.
But test multiple versions. Try color variations and alternate CTAs. Additionally, play with form layout, such as space between elements.
7. Add different call-to-action buttons
Speaking of calls to action, there’s no one-size-fits-all CTA for any business. You have to test multiple iterations.
Sometimes, an authoritative statement makes the most sense for a call to action. The one I referenced from Quicksprout above is a good example. It says “GROW MY TRAFFIC.”
You could create a CTA that starts with the word “Yes.” It’s highly effective psychologically because it paints the offer in a positive light.
Using recordings and visual reports with Crazy Egg, you can also test different CTAs at different points on the page. See which ones get the most engagement. You want each CTA to lead to the same page, but they can have different button designs and copy.
8. Run A/B testing using the collected data
Once you’re armed with Crazy Egg recordings and visual reports, use that data to run A/B tests. Create two versions of the same landing page, for example, and alter one variable, such as the CTA.
When you present the two versions to half your audience each, you’ll figure out which one converts better. But it doesn’t stop there.
I often run 10 or more A/B tests on just one page before I decide I’m satisfied. Six months later, I might start the process over again.
9. Use testimonials to build trust
Adding testimonials to your website can build trust and loyalty. For instance, on our agency homepage, Mike Kamo and I use quotes from some of our high-profile clients to build trust.
The Crazy Egg homepage takes a different approach. Instead of using quotes from customers, we employ social proof in the form of company logos.
Social proof, including testimonials, puts consumers at ease. In an interview with ConversionXL, growth marketing expert Angie Schottmuller said, “If quality social proof buffers notable uncertainty, get ready for some remarkable conversion impact — in some cases up to 400% improvement.”
10. Offer a money-back guarantee
As marketers and business owners, we know consumers avoid risk. They don’t want to put their money at stake unless they’re reasonably sure they’ll get what they paid for.
A money-back guarantee helps assuage fears and move past objections.
If you’re worried about losing all your sales because of returns, don’t be. In this video, I explain three of my best insider tips for offering money-back guarantees.
As I mention in the video, money-back guarantees aren’t just a quick way to increase your conversion rate. They also build trust and help the consumer feel more secure.
11. Publish videos
I’ll be the first one to admit that my expertise lies in content marketing. On my personal blog, I’ve published nearly 4,000 long-form articles.
However, I also publish one video per day on YouTube and on my blog. I’ve learned that video helps expand my audience and bring in new leads.
According to a recent report, 99 percent of respondents who use video marketing plan to continue doing so in 2018. That says something about the power of video.
But you don’t have to create the same videos I do. You could make explainer videos, screencasts, product videos, or interviews. Test different formats to see how your audience responds.
12. Remove distractions
According to WordStream, removing navigation links from your landing pages can boost conversion rates by up to 40 percent.
Sounds simple, right? It is, but many businesses don’t do it.
Your landing pages are designed for one thing: conversions. If you distract the user from your desired goal, you’ll get fewer conversions.
Remove as many distractions as you can, such as confusing imagery. Test certain elements, such as testimonials and videos, to see how the impact conversion rates, then adjust your page design accordingly.
13. Speed up the website to improve user experience
Did you know that a one-second delay in page load speed can reduce your conversions by 7 percent?
That sounds crazy, but think about how consumers surf the web. They might have several browser tabs open at the same time. They’re multi-tasking as they attempt to make the most of their day.
If your site loads slowly, they’ll probably just leave. They don’t want to wait to see what you have to say.
Test your site’s speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. It will give you concrete tips on how to speed up your site.
I’ve given you some tips to help you increase conversion rate, but now it’s time to test your own site and figure out what you need to do.
Start with heat maps at Crazy Egg. They’re crazy easy to use and provide tons of valuable data.
Heat maps tell you where visitors interact with your page via mouse clicks. You can figure out where you’re attracting attention on the page.
Scroll maps are equally valuable. They tell you when people stop scrolling on the page.
I also recommend doing recordings. It’s like looking over your visitor’s shoulder as he or she navigates your page.
Apply what you’ve learned through A/B testing. Your conversion rate will go up as you test and tweak.
Learning how to increase your conversion rate actually isn’t difficult. Here’s a rundown if you need a handy checklist to follow:
- Create a conversion rate optimization strategy based on your assumptions and existing data.
- Optimize your conversion funnel based on user behavior.
- Figure out if you’re giving your audience the right offer.
- Test what’s working and what’s not.
- Optimize each page’s design for conversions.
- Test different form styles.
- Create varying CTAs and see which ones work best.
- Add calls to action on different areas of your pages.
- Run A/B tests on page variations.
- Add testimonials to your landing pages and homepage.
- Offer a money-back guarantee.
- Publish videos to increase engagement.
- Remove unnecessary distractions from the page.
- Speed up your site.
Implement these tips to boost your conversion rates by reducing friction and optimizing your conversion funnel.