Online presence drives sales for nearly every business, but having a site, a social media page, and Yelp reviews isn’t enough. What is? Real practices that convert casual browsers to eager-to-pay customers. In this guide, we’ve pulled together some of the best-of-the-web strategies to help you increase your conversion rate.
Wait, what’s a conversion rate?
Many marketers use conversion rate to measure the number of people who take an action (such as signing up for a service or buying a product) against the total number of people who visit their site.
You can calculate this rate with the following formula:
Conversion rate = Total number of conversions / Total number of unique visitors
|You can find the total number of unique visitors to your site by setting up Google Analytics.|
This calculation can help you understand whether you’re succeeding in driving your intended action with your site’s visitors.
You might take this calculation a step further and apply it to specific actions you’re trying to drive. For instance, if you want to gauge your success in driving sales, you could track your shopper conversion rate. Here, you would divide your total number of buyers by the number of people who visited your site over a given period.
You could also track your subscriber conversion rate by dividing the number of people who signed up for your newsletter or promotional materials by the number of unique visitors to your site. Or, you could track the number of people adding items to their carts, registering for a service, signing up to learn more, or any other action that matters to your business.
Each variation of this measurement that matters to your business is important to take and track over time. Ideally, you’ll take steps, like those we mention below, to improve it.
What conversion rate should I be striving for?
Most marketers want to see a conversion rate no lower than 2-5%, though established brands with excellent market reputations often see much higher rates.
How do I increase my conversion rate?
Try experimenting with the following practices:
Work on your call to action.
Make the next step clear and compelling for your audience so they can see the benefits of moving forward. Here are some simple strategies: Experiment with the wording you use and the color of your action buttons to find what resonates most with your audience.
Experiment with the style, content, and functionality of your landing pages.
If you use landing pages to welcome visitors who click through targeted ad campaigns, improve the impression you’re making. Try simplifying your text, showing benefits, including images that matter, and removing anything that distracts your audience from seeing your value and the successes they could experience by moving forward.
Try using videos rather than text to explain features or benefits.
Studies show a shifting preference toward learning by video rather than by reading long passages of text. Capitalize on this by simplifying your long-form text and incorporating videos that help your audience connect with you and see the value of your solutions.
If possible, offer a free trial.
Many buyers are risk-averse. Help them overcome their fears by giving them a risk-free way to explore your product or service package and experience its benefits.
|If you choose this option, be sure to set up a conversion rate to measure how many unique visitors enroll in a free trial versus the number that signed up before the offer was introduced.|
If you convert more visitors with a trial than a sale, consider continuing it over the long term. But, then, be sure to track your trial-to-sale conversion rates to make certain you’re helping people see the value you offer upon enrolling.
Or, offer a money-back guarantee.
If a trial isn’t possible, consider a money-back guarantee. This guarantee can help minimize your site’s viewers’ perceptions of risk and build their confidence about moving forward.
It’s been affirmed in countless studies that people want social proof. They want to see and read others’ successes with a product to build trust and reduce their anxieties about enrollment. Show them that your solutions work for others by putting reviews and testimonials on your home page and landing pages, and you’ll likely drive more sales.
Make signing up a very simple process.
Find ways to streamline your signup process. You could do this by eliminating unnecessary fields, especially those that won’t play a critical role in your future marketing efforts.
Or, you could follow the lead of many popular sites and allow users to prepopulate their sign up by using their Google or Facebook profile. Google offers this guide to getting started. Facebook’s guide can be found here.
Use a countdown timer.
Many sites report successes with countdown timers that visually inform visitors that an offer is in the process of terminating. The countdown can create a sense of urgency and play into visitors’ fears of missing out.
|Timeanddate.com has some free countdown timers you can integrate into your site.|
Add live chat to your site.
Have a live presence on the site to answer questions, address hesitations, and talk through any concerns visitors have about moving forward. Simple discussions can have a big impact on your conversion and the confidence your prospective buyers have about taking the next steps.
How do I get started?
First, you must track your current conversion rates. You’ll want to refer back to this starting point so you have a point of comparison to gauge the success of your future efforts.
Then, select one simple change you’d like to make. Implement it, and let it sit for several weeks. Then, calculate your new conversion rate and compare your successes.
You’ll likely want to experiment with lots of changes, and that’s ok. But be methodical about the changes you introduce. If you introduce many changes at once, you’ll have no way of knowing which are boosting your sales or keeping them from climbing even higher.
|Many experts recommend A/B testing to compare call-to-action text, headlines, offers, or other details. Try applying the same strategy. Create nearly identical landing pages that feature one important difference. Then, direct equal parts of your audience to each page. You may spot differences in how your viewers engage, click through your site, and respond to your call to action.|
Would you like help maximizing your conversion rate? Work with a marketer experienced with this task. You can check out a few of our favorite marketing firms here:
Log into your owner’s portal for more articles and a customized guide to help you grow your business.