8 Ways to Boost Conversions on Your Website
When it comes to digital marketing, conversions are everything. Not only are they the key to your revenue, they’re also critical for gauging just how effective your content is.
For those new to the industry, here’s a quick refresher: a conversion refers to when someone completes a desired goal on your website. It’s often measured as a percentage, and calculated as the number of those who convert out of the total number of site visitors.
Some people tend to think of website conversions as when a user completes a purchase—but that’s not all they’re limited to. A successful conversion might also be a user:
- Leaving a review or rating
- Subscribing to a newsletter or service
- Sharing something on social media
- Submitting a form
- Adding a product to a wish list
Regardless of your exact goal, getting users to convert is the final step of your website’s sales funnel.
Why does my website have a low conversion rate?
You might be seeing a low conversion rate for a number of reasons. Perhaps your landing pages are cluttered or difficult to navigate; alternatively, perhaps it’s because your audience simply doesn’t know what you’re asking of them.
Of course, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact cause of a low conversion rate. However, you can glimpse some clues by consulting your site metrics. For instance:
- A low average session duration (time on site) might be indicative of poor, uncompelling content.
- A high number of pages per session, combined with high bounce rate and low session duration, could mean users are flipping through your web pages haphazardly.
Though they may not paint a complete picture of your website’s shortcomings, these metrics give you a foundation to work off of. And from there, you can adjust and experiment with your website accordingly.
Below are eight strategies for getting started and boosting conversions on your website.
1. Optimize your CTAs
Think of your call to action (CTA) as a way to encourage your users into taking the next step.
To inspire action (and thus, conversions), CTAs need to persuade and convince. When they’re unclear or poorly written, they fail.
To make your CTAs more effective, make sure to use one or more of the following tactics:
- Give your CTA contrast. Regardless of whether your CTA is a button or text, it should stand out from the surrounding content. For instance, it should be bolded, highlighted in another color, or written in all caps. This will draw more attention than if it were just another line of plain text.
- Place it above the fold. This means placing your CTA near the top of your webpage, where it’s immediately visible and doesn’t require site visitors to scroll down. Placing it below the fold isn’t terrible, but you need to do so strategically. On a related note…
- Place your CTA logically. That is, place your CTA when and where users would naturally expect it—after a relevant piece of text, or with directional cues guiding viewer’s eyes there.
- Repeat your CTAs. If you have particularly lengthy content, don’t be afraid to include another CTA in the middle of your page. This way, users won’t have to scroll back up to find the first one.
- Write better CTA copy. Your CTA copy doesn’t have to be boring; try using descriptive phrases or action-oriented language to liven it up. For instance, consider the difference between a button that says, “Join now” and one that says, “Join Free for a Month”—see how the latter is more appealing? Similarly, the verb “discover” can be more effective than the much simpler “find.”
2. Start a blog
If you think blogs are only for personal use, think again.
Consider the ecommerce company Motile for example.
The business specializes in payment processing—a subject the average reader likely won’t Google just for fun. However, that doesn’t stop Motile from maintaining an extensive blog.
Motile’s articles cover a wide range of business topics, including how to open a travel agency and gun store. In this way, it establishes itself as a small business resource for budding entrepreneurs. Even when payment processing isn’t their foremost concern, readers who are the slightest bit interested in entrepreneurship can find use in Motile—and may eventually convert.
A business blog thus widens a website’s target audience while also giving users a reason to return. This in turn helps shape the business’s brand and makes it more memorable, especially important when the time to purchase draws near.
Fortunately, with services like WordPress and Squarespace, blogging couldn’t be easier. A word of warning, though: running a successful blog requires considerable time and effort.
3. Improve your site’s readability
Even if your website contains beautifully written copy with perfect grammar, it may not have good readability. Good readability means content that’s easy for users to digest.
Whether it’s your landing page or blog, readability is of the utmost importance for getting users to convert. Why? If your site is unreadable or convoluted, it’ll be difficult to communicate value to your audience, and they’ll be less likely to convert.
To enhance your website’s readability, try putting these tips into practice:
- Write captivating headlines.
- Make your sentences and paragraphs short.
- Avoid using overly complicated vocabulary and technical jargon.
- Use bullet points and numbered lists to structure your content.
- Use subheadings.
- Incorporate images, charts, screenshots, and other visuals where appropriate.
- Choose sans serif fonts for longer pieces of text.
- Bold or highlight key points.
A combination of strong copywriting and neat web design will make your website easier on the eyes. Many users multitask as they consume content, after all, and the last thing they need is a web page that demands extra attention in order to understand it.
4. Limit the number of choices for customers
Psychology’s a funny thing—although intuition says we might prefer to have more choices, the truth is, we’re prone to decision paralysis when faced with too many options.
It’s a phenomenon that was documented in the widely known “jam study,” in which grocery store customers were more likely to buy jam on display when the selection of jams available was lower (6 versus 24). Faced with 24 types of jam, more customers showed interest—but they were nearly 10 times less likely to actually make a purchase.
The effect of choice overload doesn’t only play out in brick-and-mortar settings, though. Marketing guru Neil Patel noted that increasing the amount of social sharing buttons from three to five on his website Quick Sprout decreased social sharing by 29%.
You, too, can apply this principle to your own website—for instance, by reducing the number of social sharing buttons on your blog posts or grouping your products into separate categories.
See how Nikon organizes its cameras into five separate types? If they displayed all of their cameras on one page, it’d be too much for customers to take in—that’s not to mention all their other products, like lenses, flashes, and accessories.
Limiting the number of options for customers ultimately simplifies things for them, and helps to make your website appear neater and more organized.
5. Reduce the number of fields in your forms
Want users to sign up for something?
Then make it easy for them.
Whether it’s for a newsletter signup or account registration, a form with more fields than necessary will inundate your audience. On top of that, long forms also bother users who are particularly sensitive about their privacy. The shorter the form, the faster it is to fill and submit them—thereby making it easier (and thus more likely) for users to convert.
Check out the marketing automation company Marketo’s experiment with form length to see how the number of fields in a form makes a difference.
In Marketo’s test of three different lengths, reducing the number of fields boosted the form’s conversion rate while simultaneously lowering the cost per lead by as much as 25%. Though a difference of two fields between each form may not sound like much, the longest form was nearly double the shortest.
6. Create video content
If you’re selling a tangible product on your website, video marketing may be your secret weapon to upping conversions.
Consider the success of video content on Facebook for major brands like Buzzfeed Tasty, LAD Bible, and even the official Game of Thrones page. No other content format has driven as many shares or views as videos in the past few years.
And it’s not just Facebook, either. Take for example how the most successful Kickstarter campaigns tend to be those with videos.
Case in point: the HoverGlide. After its product video went viral, the anti-gravity backpack received more than three times its goal funding.
Why is video marketing so successful?
Videos add another dimension that still images and text can’t achieve. And in doing so, they attract and engage more users, help them digest information faster, and build relationships between brands and viewers.
As a result, videos enhance the probability of conversion; in fact, viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.
Compelling as they are, though, beware that video production isn’t cheap. Should you decide to invest in video marketing, be prepared to spend a substantial amount upfront for high-quality results.
7. Offer a promotional deal
Here’s a no-brainer for increasing conversions on your website: offering promotional deals.
Most customers love the feeling of getting the most value from their money—and promotional campaigns help to enhance that feeling. You can implement a deal in several ways, e.g., by offering:
- Free shipping
- A discount
- Buy-one-get-one-free deal
- A gift with purchase
- An exit offer
To further encourage buyers to act, create a time constraint—that is, make your offer limited for a set period of time.
Here’s one example of how that might look by the monthly subscription service for dog owners, BarkBox.
Copy like “Ends today” helps to incentivize prospective buyers to act quickly lest they miss out on BarkBox’s additional treats and toys for their pups.
You can create a similar sense of urgency by giving your promotions an end date. Holidays provide the perfect occasion for making these sales, but you can also celebrate your customers with annual customer anniversary discounts.
8. Include positive customer testimonials
The thriving success of review platforms like Yelp and Angie’s List provide testament to the fact that people want and trust feedback from their peers, even strangers.
Thus, it’s worth adding customer testimonials to your site—provided that they’re honest and positive, of course. Faking good reviews can lead to unhappy customers being particularly vocal about your product or service elsewhere.
Consider how people are quick to call out fake reviews on Glassdoor and other review sites.
So as not to provoke such outlashes, avoid posting false or exaggerated reviews on your website.
Instead, identify a handful of loyal, repeat customers that might have something positive to say about your business. Reach out personally and ask if they could provide a brief quote to be featured on your website. If you’re a B2B service, chances are that smaller clients may jump at the opportunity to be quoted in order to build awareness of their own brand.
There is no magic bullet for drastically improving your website’s conversion rate. Nor can you expect immediate results after implementing one or two of these changes.
Don’t be discouraged, though. The bottom line is that your website isn’t doomed to a low conversion rate. Even changes as small as modifying the color of your CTA’s button can give your conversions a boost. Bigger changes have the potential to make a greater impact—but remember that these strategies are not one-size-fits-all. That is, you’ll have to test again and again to see what works best for your website.
Have any other tips for boosting website conversions? Let us know with a comment below!