Web traffic is great but, but are the visitors to your page converting? The big question is not just how to drive more web traffic, but in increasing how much of that traffic turns into conversion.
As marketers, our job is to remove any friction that causes a barrier to conversions. However, conversion rates can fluctuate for various reasons. A visitor may be comparison shopping but not be ready to make a purchase. You may have adjusted your marketing strategy in a way that impacts the type of traffic your site gets.
But the most common reason why a website doesn’t convert is the website itself.
Why a User Wouldn’t Convert on a Web Page
A key indication that your website may need to be optimized for conversions is an increase in qualified traffic without an increase in conversions. Technical issues such as slow load times and old or hidden landing pages with no redirects are two technical issues that can affect a site’s conversion rate. Once you’ve ruled out these issues, it’s time to look at the content and design of your website to see why it isn’t converting.
11 Ways to Boost Conversion Rates
If you’re tired of the frustrations that come from a website that isn’t converting, try these conversion rate optimization tips.
1) A/B Testing
Yes, you should test that, whatever “that” is. CTA placement, form placement, button color all can affect your conversion rate, and all should be tested. You don’t know what will work unless you try it, but what you do know is that what you’re doing now isn’t working.
If you have only ever used one web page layout, unless you try something different, you’ll never know if you could have gotten better results. That’s where A/B testing comes in. Testing can help you find what works best and increase conversions.
From the headline to the main image to the promotion you are offering, everything on your website should be tested. You can rearrange the layout, move the buy button, change a verb, anything you like to see what might boost conversions. Experiment with colors, headlines, design, copy, and CTAs to see what works best.
This is the first and possibly most important thing you can do to improve your website. The fundamental guideline is to only change one thing at a time. Otherwise, you will never know which element caused the increase, and you won’t be able to apply those learnings in the future.
2) Users Have Too Many Choices
Ever get to a website and feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff on it? Too many choices can be confusing and lead to users making no choice at all. If you want your site to convert, the Call to Action (CTA) that prompts users to take the action you want them to (fill out the form, buy the product, get in touch, etc.) should be prominent and easy to find.
Too many buttons, too many options, too many things to do can cause what is known as analysis paralysis. This means that too much thinking goes into the decision, and users become so overwhelmed that they often make no decision at all.
Review all your web pages and make sure that you have a clear call to action. More than one is okay, but too many on a page can be overwhelming. Choose one or two actions you want users to take: fill out the form or call for more info. Add to cart or buy now. Whatever action you want to be taken. And, of course, test to see how many and which options work best for your audience.
3) Fine-Tune Your CTA
Research has shown that users will often do something just because they are asked to. This is the foundation of direct response marketing and translates into web site conversions. The theory isn’t new. Direct response is defined as “marketing designed to elicit an instant response by asking prospects to take a specific action.”
What worked in print ads years ago works on websites today — the psychology is the same. The CTA is crucial for urging visitors to your website toward filling out the form, hitting the buy button, signing up for your email newsletter, or whatever you want them to do.
CTA copy is crucial, even if it is only a few words. But it doesn’t have to be, it can be a sentence. You can also have stacked CTAs, giving visitors the option to start a free trial or learn more. Buttons convert better than hyperlinked text. Use a button color that stands out, if there is a lot of one color on your web page, use a contrasting one for the button.
Make the copy personal, prioritize the customers’ needs, or use a little humor, whatever fits your brand. And since you are asking people to do something — to take some action – use action verbs.
The location of your CTA is also crucial. Three words: above the fold. It needs to be clearly visible and easy to find. If your page has several sections, consider sprinkling CTAs throughout the page so that users don’t have to scroll back up or hunt around to find it.
Eye-tracking studies show that people tend to read a webpage in an F-shaped pattern, focusing most on the top, upper left corner and the left sides of the screen. These studies indicate that placing the most important elements on the left side of the page.
4) Optimize for Mobile
Implementing responsive design used to be all you needed to optimize for mobile. But since Google implemented mobile-first indexing in 2019, the site needs to be optimized for mobile indexing as well. In addition to responsive design, optimizing for mobile includes:
- Simple, less busy design
- Big, bold buttons
- Hamburger menus
- No sidebar
- Text organized by subheadings and bulleted lists
- Compressed images that load faster
- Local SEO, if your business supports local, physical traffic
5) Consider Content Changes
Is there too much copy on the page or too little? Is the value proposition clearly communicated? Is it written for your target audience? The copy should show your audience how the product or service can solve their problem.
The headline is one of the first things visitors notice when they land on your site. A results-oriented headline will move them closer to conversion by introducing them to the product’s benefits or highlighting the offer, depending on what works best for your audience. Keep the focus on benefits, not features, in the supporting copy. People may forget the features but are more likely to remember the benefits – how they made them feel. Highlighting the benefits helps your customers imagine how these benefits will help them.
6) Include Social Proof
The majority of consumers, a whopping 95%, take customer reviews into consideration when making a purchase, and 93% are hesitant to buy if there are no customer reviews. And 73% won’t make a decision until they’ve read reviews.
Online reputation and presence are big factors for conversion rates. It never hurts to toot your own horn, and these statistics show that including social proof on your site can improve conversion rate optimization.
Adding star / number ratings helps, but linking to directory pages where customers have left reviews is even better. And, add reviews and testimonials right on your web page so that visitors don’t have to go to a third-party site. The importance of reviews cannot be stressed enough, and you want your potential customers to know that previous buyers have enjoyed or benefitted from your service or product. If you have them, use them.
7) Add Live Chat
Live chat spans the gap between old-school customer service and today’s customer expectations. Customers what answers to questions and concerns they have while on your site and live chat gives them the option to have their questions answered while they are still on your site. It’s a great way to offer your customers an enhanced experience and increase your conversion rate.
8) Exit-Intent Popups
Exit-intent popups appear when someone is about to leave your site and encourage them to reengage. They have been around for a while, and they have become increasingly sophisticated and valuable for refocusing web visitors’ attention. With the right messaging, they can create a sense of urgency and engage visitors, leading to increased conversion rates and sales and reducing bounce rates.
8) Color, Imagery, and White Space
Color can play an essential role in usability and communicating the mood of a website and the meaning of the brand. Make sure the colors on your website evoke the emotions you want your brand to convey. In addition, consider the contrast in your text, headlines, and CTA buttons.
Check the fonts used to see if they are easy to scan or skim through. Choose professional fonts with plenty of spacing between the lines. Usability tests show that people pay attention to images, so high-quality images, especially for your products, are essential. However, the other images on a website are also important. Real people get a lot of attention, while cheesy stock photos are pretty much ignored.
9) Optimize Your Form Size and Placement
The form needs to prominent, above the fold, and near the CTA that prompts users to enter their information. That is all.
The form is natural friction point in the process, and if filling out the form is too complicated or time-consuming, users will often bail. Shorter forms perform better, so check out yours and see if you have any fields you don’t need. By shortening it, you not only remove friction but also create trust with your audience and increase conversions. The sweet spot for forms is 4-7 fields. The less data required, the higher your conversion rate.
10) Implement Customer Feedback Surveys
Getting customer feedback can give insight into why your page might not be converting. One way to do this is through a survey. Online surveys can be simple multiple-choice questions or long-form formats. When you want in-depth explanations and real qualitative data, a survey can give you deep insights into why your site is not performing the way you expected it to.
11) Meet the Audience’s Expectations
When someone clicks through from an ad or after reading your meta description, your landing page or website needs to meet their expectations. You need to fulfill the promises made in the copy. If a landing page doesn’t meet the visitor’s expectations based on the copy, they will bounce right out and won’t convert. Be mindful of the entire process, from ad to landing page to offer.
Keeping everything as simple and uncomplicated as possible is key to driving conversions. Whenever you are creating a page, ask yourself how you can make it simpler. The result is almost always a more aesthetically pleasing, better-converting webpage. And remember, you can test that.