A rocket symbolizing website conversions shooting into the atmosphere.

Website traffic isn’t everything. All those page hits are meaningless if they’re not creating new customers. The burning question for you as a marketer shouldn’t simply be how to drive more web traffic, but how to increase your website conversion rate.

Conversion Rates: A Crash Course

What is conversion rate optimization? Think of it this way. One website starts with 1,000 visits a day and converts those visits at a rate of 2%. Now it increases those daily visits by half. At the same conversion rate, it would jump from 20 sales per day to 30 — not bad. But a competitor also has 1,000 visits per day and converts at 2%, and instead of focusing on web traffic, it aims to double its conversion rate. With some updates to its existing pages, it now converts 40 sales per day without expanding its customer pool.

These goals obviously shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. A third company that did both of the above would jump from 20 sales per day to 60. But the basic tenets of marketing would tell you to grab the low-hanging fruit first. So, if you want to optimize your conversation rate, we’re going to cover 11 easy ways to do it.

A comparison chart demonstrating how an improvement in website conversions can lead to more sales.

What’s a Good Website Conversion Rate?

Before you start looking for conversion rate optimization examples, it’s helpful to know your target conversion rate. Let’s keep it nice and simple: Higher than it is now.

You can search the web for average website conversion rates, and you’ll find plenty out there. But your primary goal should be to choose a target that’s beyond where you are now, yet still attainable. Don’t stress about averages. The best results come when you feel like you’re making progress, not stifled by an unreachable goal. So, start testing your conversion rate (if you aren’t already), and set an initial target for how you’d like to see it grow.

Now, on to the tips.

1. Give Them a Reason to Subscribe to Your Newsletter

The first, and most important, conversion you want to happen on your site is the transformation of a casual visitor into an ongoing customer. And given that emails have an astounding 4,200% return on investment, getting your visitors to sign up for your newsletter is one of the best ways to do that.

There are a lot of ways to capture attention for your newsletter, but a study by Sumo found that making a compelling offer was one of the most effective. Don’t just hit your visitors with an email-capture popup. Give them a reason to sign up. Offer something that they can’t get any other way: a special discount, an exclusive e-book or a free month of membership, for instance. Remember, this might be your only chance to start a relationship.

2. Simplify Signups

That’s not to say your popups should be full of too much information — or asking for too much. The simpler, the better. The longer it takes someone to read the popup or fill out your form, the more likely you are to lose them.

Don’t make your visitors read a service contract before they sign up for a newsletter. Make a clear and compelling offer and collect their email. It’s as simple as that. You can get more information later when they have moved to a higher commitment level. If you make them give you all their personal info now, they’ll probably move on.

Look at these 2 examples:

Alt-text: Multi-field newsletter sign-up forms can frustrate users and decrease conversions.

A simple newsletter sign-up form can lead to more website conversions.

Which one are you more likely to sign up for? Four boxes of info may not seem like a lot, but every box counts when you’re trying to capture a bigger audience.

3. Create Relevant Landing Pages

It’s disorienting to click on an offer only to land on a page that feels totally unrelated — or like it’s for a different company. Instead of feeling lost, you want your visitors to feel like they landed exactly where they expected to when they clicked on that ad.

This, of course, means clearly displaying the offer details you told them about in an email or on social media. Your message should be clear and easy to find. But it also means aiming for visual consistency. Are your colors, logo, font choices and other visual elements consistent between the promo and the landing page? Take the extra time to make sure your (potential) new customers will feel at home.

4. Think Visually

Consistency isn’t the only important aspect of your site design. It should also look good. According to data from Blue Corona, 48% of people named website design as the top factor in assessing a company’s credibility. That means a cluttered or unappealing landing page or overall website could easily give someone the wrong first impression.

Aim for clean pages with high-quality images, appealing typography and a layout that’s easy to navigate. Choose colors that harmonize with your message. Don’t overload your visitors with text. Instead, look to make a lasting impression with an eye-catching design that naturally draws prospects toward the next steps you want them to take.

Look at these 2 examples for reference:

A clean page design can guide users to the intended action, resulting in a higher conversion rate.

A cluttered design can confuse users, resulting in a lower conversion rate.

These competing home security companies are taking very different approaches with their main pages. In the top example, it’s clear the company wants you to watch the video detailing its services. The rest of the page is clean with minimal text and a menu. Your eye isn’t drawn in too many directions, and it’s clear the primary aim is for you to learn more.

In the second example, however, you’re almost overloaded with information. There’s a lot of text to digest, info boxes to fill in and several CTA boxes inviting you to click them. You’re confused about what to do from the moment you arrive. That’s not the experience you want your visitors to have.

5. Use A/B Testing to Dial It In

In marketing, you don’t know what you haven’t tried. So, if you’ve only tried one landing page layout, you will never know if your results could have been better. That’s where A/B testing can help you continue to build on the methods you’re finding most successful.

Virtually anything on your page is fair game for an A/B test — from the headline to the main image to the terms of your promotion. You can experiment with a simple verb change or rearrange the layout. What’s important is that you focus on one thing at a time. If you want to see whether a long or short headline works better, then only change the headline on your 2 test pages. Change 3 other things, and you’ll never know which one made a difference.

If you find that the shorter headline worked better,  keep that strategy for the next time and see if you continue to get better conversion numbers. From there, you can A/B test other page elements or try running different types of promotions to see which work better.

6. Use Testimonials

It’s a simple fact: Consumers trust other consumers more than they trust the company that’s trying to sell them something. According to Bright Local, 91% of consumers are influenced by positive reviews of a business. So, your site and landing pages need to feature positive reviews in strategic places.

Testimonials give you a way to put some of the most positive reviews front and center on your website. Pull them in from trustworthy review sites and place them on relevant product pages where your customers are at the point of decision. They should be authentic, based on real experiences with your product, not just something you paid a celebrity to say.

7. State Your Value Plainly

Whether someone comes to your website organically or through a promotional channel, they come because they think you have something that will make their life better. But they still need to be convinced, clearly and quickly — you may have as little as 7 seconds.

What exactly does your product do? Why should someone care? When a visitor arrives at your site, they should be able to answer those questions quickly. If they’re confused, they’re not a likely conversion. Make sure you state your product’s value proposition and convey it through a unified design and message.

8. Speak to Your Audience

Besides knowing your brand and its value proposition inside and out, you need to know your audience well enough to communicate in the right way. If you don’t have a clear idea of the kind of person you’re speaking to, then your website copy may miss the mark.

Language that sounds professional and intelligent to one person, will sound stuffy and snobby to another. If you’re selling a product for doctors, you should write your web copy differently than if you were selling a dating app for college students.

Effective website prose that fits the targeted audience and helps drive more conversions.

An example of website prose that fits the targeted audience and helps drive more conversions.

You can imagine the results if you tried to mix the language on those 2 sites. Understand your audience and the ins and outs of your particular industry before you start writing for your website.

9. Write Strong Headlines

While every word on your website is important, your headlines matter the most. It’s a commonly stated fact that 80% of your readers won’t read past your headline. Why? You didn’t capture their interest. The headline is, more often than not, the only chance you have to grab a visitor’s attention long enough to tell them a little more about your product. You should labor over every word until you have it just right.

A good headline creates intrigue in the reader. It inspires enough curiosity that they feel compelled to click through or read on. It should be optimized for search engines, yes, but it shouldn’t read like it’s written by a bot. There’s a difference between:

“How to Make Great Chocolate Chip Cookies”

And

“These 3 Tips Will Take Your Chocolate Chip Cookies to Another Level”

One sounds like it’s inviting me to read a manual. The other sounds like it’s letting me in on an exciting secret.

When you’re writing your headline, read it many times over. Is the language strong and active? Is it too long? Does it make you wonder enough to read on? Is it clear or confusing? Rewrite it until it plainly states the problem you’re going to solve for the reader.

10. Call Them to Action

Now we come to the crux of the matter. You’ve executed a great design, written powerful headlines and compelling copy and your visitor has stayed with you all the way through. They read your landing page, but they’re left with one question: Now what?

When you’re aiming for a conversion — whether that’s a direct sale or just a new newsletter subscriber — the next step for your reader should always be crystal clear. You need a definitive call to action.

Having something is certainly better than nothing. So “Sign Up” or “Shop Now” are good starts. But creative CTAs don’t just explain the next step; they compel the reader toward it. For an app subscription, make a specific offer — “Claim Your Free Trial!” Or for a travel service, use adventurous language — “Let’s Go!” Engage them with a sense of urgency and immediacy.

11. Make It Easy

On average, nearly 70% of online shoppers abort their purchases after filling their carts. There are many reasons why people abandon an online experience, but some of the biggest ones have to do with cumbersome processes.

Consider your user’s experience here. How many steps does it take for them to complete an action? Do they have to click through 5 different screens? Do they have to fill in several forms? Everything should be as simple and streamlined as possible — and easy to do, whether on a desktop or a mobile device.

One way to simplify the process is to make it simple to sign up for an account. Offering the option to log in through third-party accounts such as Facebook or Google, or pay with Apple Pay or Paypal, can make the process quick and painless for your customers. Of course, offering a guest checkout option is good, too. But if you can capture a new account and make it a breeze for them, that’s even better.

Watch and Adjust

You should be watching your website conversion rates closely. Once you’ve started implementing some of these strategies, check the data with conversion rate optimization tools to see how your site’s performance is changing. As you see what’s working and make adjustments, you’ll be on your way to gaining new customers every day.

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