8 Tips for Improving Conversion Optimization
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A lot of work goes into building and launching a website — defining product structure, creating the best user experiences, and building an online presence. And, after your website is up and running, it’s easy to fall into the trap of having a razor-sharp focus on driving site traffic in hopes that enough will convert into qualified leads.
But, there are smarter ways to generate high-quality online leads for your sales reps to close. One of those ways is conversion rate optimization. Marketing teams often overlook this strategy, but it creates predictable and sustainable growth when implemented. Think of it as getting the maximum value out of your existing site visitors instead of pouring money and time into getting high volumes of new, potentially unqualified traffic.
What Is a Conversion Rate?
As a quick recap, let’s go over what a conversion rate even is, so we’re all on the same page when we start discussing how to optimize these rates. A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete the desired action (also referred to as converting).
A conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors and multiplying by 100 to get your percentage.
If your conversion rates are good, that usually means your website is performing effectively and delivering value to its visitors, resulting in a higher volume of qualified leads at a lower acquisition cost. But if that’s not happening, that’s where conversion rate optimization, or CRO, comes into play. This is the process of making improvements to your website and content to boost conversions.
When Is the Best Time to Start Conversion Optimization?
The short answer is: whenever your business starts attracting traffic. You need website visitors converting into leads who will become paying customers. And everyone should be striving to accomplish this process in the most efficient and consistent way possible.
It’s easy for marketers and marketing teams to get too focused on getting more visitors to your site. But, the truth is, the volume of visitors is almost meaningless if you’re not able to convert them effectively. With conversion rate optimization, you’ll convert more of the leads you’re getting.
Eight Conversion Optimization Tips to Increase Website Conversions
Most businesses have a website, but many don’t have one that effectively converts visitors into leads. Your website is your best salesperson. It works 24/7, never calls in sick, and works through all the holidays — so it’s essential that your website is converting the traffic it’s getting. Here are eight tips that we recommend for starting a conversion rate optimization strategy.
Use Clear and Emphasized Content
Start by evaluating the conversion points on your website. While you need to give visitors a great first impression, you also need to create conversion opportunities. You can accomplish both with relevant content that your prospects find valuable. Giving your guests an easy pathway to helpful blog posts, white papers, ebooks, and more will set you up for higher conversion rates.
When analyzing the content on your website, make sure you’re mindful of your visitors. Keep yourself out of the picture. Here are some common mistakes we see marketers make on their websites when they’re not considering their audience.
Confusing Navigation Categories
It’s easy to dump everything into navigation categories that seem clear to you and your team but make absolutely no sense to website visitors. Keep your navigation clear and simple.
Irrelevant Content and Links
It can be tempting to offer every resource you’ve ever created to every person who ever visits your site, but that can be confusing and overwhelming. Be intentional about pointing prospects to targeted and helpful content.
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Too Much Focus On You
Instead of focusing on you and your products or services, help prospects feel like you understand them and their problems.
We get it. We understand why you want to use internal terminology on your website — it’s how you talk and relate to your products or services. BUT most of your website visitors don’t use or understand your jargon. You might have a solution to their problem, but unless you connect their problem to your solution in terms they know and emotions they feel, you’ll lose them.
Once visitors clearly understand who you are, what you do, and how you can help them, you can begin nurturing them through the buyer’s journey, offering more in-depth product-specific content.
As you adjust your website’s structure and content to connect to your visitors, remember, there’s so much you can do to influence your visitor’s actions. For example, you can:
- Emphasize links with bold text or color variations
- Showcase product or service pictures
- Highlight video content
- Put a call-to-action in your primary navigation
Simplify Experiences and Conversion Points
The simpler the conversion points, the more likely the conversion will happen. For example, let’s look at forms, a commonly used conversion point. A HubSpot study shows that forms with fewer fields have a good conversion rate and that simply reducing the number of fields from four to three results in 50% more form completions.
But don’t stop there. There’s so much more you can do. For instance, lead flows are another conversion optimization method you can use on your site. Lead flows are high-conversion pop-up style forms that bring attention to high-value offers.
Even if you can’t integrate lead forms into your website, consider the easiest ways you can add conversion points to your site.
Create Text-Based Calls-to-Action and Conversion Points
When working on conversion optimization, marketers often fail at enticing visitors to click on call-to-action buttons, images, and banners. And while using image calls-to-action is a best practice, banner blindness is real. Banner blindness is when visitors to a website consciously or unconsciously dismiss banner-style information. This lack of attention, coupled with site visitors not reading to the bottom of a blog post or webpage, means a different approach is required.
Where banner blindness is an issue, text-based calls to action come in handy. Instead of using image-driven CTAs or text styled as H3s or H4s, create distinction by using hyperlinked text that’s slightly different from the surrounding text. The goal isn’t to make fancy CTA buttons but ones that people will see and click.
Check Site Loading Speeds
Another critical component to conversion optimization is website page loading speed. 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Visitors will leave your site if it doesn’t load quickly, putting you in a frustrating position. After all, if you can’t retain the website traffic coming to your site, you definitely can’t increase your website conversion rate.
If your pages load quickly, it stands to reason your users will stay on your site, giving you more time and opportunities for lead generation. In 12 case studies conducted by HubSpot, they found that decreasing page load times increased conversions from 3-17%.
Use Direct Language
When looking at your conversion points, consider your call-to-action text. Often buttons include a quick, actionable phrase like “sign up,” “learn more,” “subscribe,” or “keep reading.” These are examples of clear directions that will push your website visitors toward the direction you want them to take.
Sometimes more specific wording will make a greater impact. For instance, if your company sells software that offers an introductory free trial, and you want people to sign up, you might create a call-to-action that says “Sign Up.” While that’s not wrong, there are wording alternatives that might improve your conversion rate, like “Get free trial” or “Try free software.” To add more emphasis, you might say, “Get Your FREE Trial Now.”
Provide Clear Expectations
When looking into your conversion rate, you might find that some visitors are hesitant to convert, meaning they’re not comfortable giving you their information. To remove any concerns and break down barriers that may cause hesitation, clearly communicate what they can expect in return for their information.
Here are some questions to consider. If you answer yes to all three of them, your website visitors would have peace of mind knowing that your offer is high value and worth their email address in exchange.
Do You State What the Prospect Is Getting?
Is it a spec sheet, an editable template, or a downloadable workbook? You want people to understand what they’re saying yes to — you don’t want them to be surprised, disappointed, or frustrated when they get your offer.
Do You Explain How a User’s Life Will Be Better After They Take Action?
You want people to imagine their life being better as a result of your offer. It doesn’t have to be a solution to their problem specifically. It can enlighten them or point them in the right direction.
Do Visitors Understand the Value Exchange?
Visitors need to believe that they’re getting something of equal or greater value in exchange for their email address.
Use A/B Testing Data
In conversion optimization, marketers often set up split testing or A/B testing on their site to assess variations of headlines, calls-to-action text, and button colors. Doing this should help determine which works better to convert. However, marketers often forget to make changes based on the data. Setting up the A/B tests but failing to analyze results and make changes based on user actions won’t help increase conversions.
If you find certain words resonate with your audience, then leverage that in multiple buttons or calls-to-action. If you make a color adjustment that captures the attention of website visitors, then consider making the tweak throughout your site. The key is to work smarter, not harder. By leveraging the insights you gain at multiple touchpoints throughout your site, you’re compounding the effectiveness of your conversion optimization.
Conversion rate optimization doesn’t happen overnight. It takes continuous thought, effort, and adjustments. Don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed as you review your conversion rates. Focus on improving one conversion point at a time; don’t tackle more than one at once.
On the flip side, don’t settle. Conversion optimization is a continuous process. You need to keep evolving visitor experiences on your website and determining the best way to capture their attention. By making the most of the website traffic coming into your site, you can increase leads, close more sales, and drive business growth.
Integrate Conversion Optimization Into Your Digital and Website Strategies
While these are eight conversion optimization best practices, it’s your job to figure out what your customers respond to, what words or phrases compel them, and what moves them to take action. As you learn how your website visitors think and what drives them to act, you can improve conversion points, making your conversation rate the best it can be.