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How to improve your website’s conversion rate

Last updated

10 February 2024

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

If you track the conversion rate on your website (and you should), this metric is probably amongst those you examine most.

The conversion rate calculates the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, contacting you, or requesting more information. A low conversion rate indicates your website isn’t doing its job effectively. You’ll need to work out what’s preventing website visitors from taking that desired next step so that you can unleash the website’s full potential.

The good news is that you can often boost your conversion rate without spending much money. It often takes a little time and experimentation and a whole lot of data analysis. With some tweaks and careful consideration, you could bring in more new potential customers than ever.

Learn more about why your website’s conversion rate matters and discover 15 ways to boost it.

Why do conversion rates matter?

Your website’s conversion rate is a key metric that measures its overall effectiveness.

Your website acts as the first impression of your company online. It’s a 24/7 salesperson telling potential customers about your products and services and encouraging them to take the next steps. If that’s not happening, your online presence is being wasted. Even a million website visitors are worthless if they don’t become paying customers. All you are doing is losing potential revenue and a lot of marketing return on investment (ROI).

When you carefully analyze your website’s conversion rate, you can gain insight into improving your site, attracting more customers, and, ultimately, boosting your bottom line.

What is a realistic conversion rate?

Realistically, your conversion rate should be 2–5%. Anything below that indicates your website is underperforming. You’ll want to carefully analyze why that is.

Look at how customers interact with your site and take steps to make converting easier, such as shortening forms, offering incentives, or even just updating your contact information.

Your website is converting visitors relatively effectively if your conversion rate is above the 2–5% range. Remember, though, there is always room for improvement. Bumping your conversion rate up by a percent or two could result in many new potential leads for your business.

If you have a high conversion rate, you may want to change your focus to bringing in more website traffic instead.

What decreases a website’s conversion rate?

Determining why your website conversion rate is low can be tough. It could be due to a fault in the website design, not attracting the right target audience, or not delivering a compelling enough message in your website copy.

Gathering feedback from website visitors, analyzing how they interact with your site, and running a few tests can give you insight into the problem. With the information you gain, you should be able to make your website more useful, helpful, and compelling to visitors.

Making these changes should be inexpensive and could bring in more business for your company.

15 ways to increase your website’s conversion rate

Here are 15 things you can do to help convert more of your website visitors into loyal, returning customers.

1. Talk to your customers

No one can analyze your website better than your customers. They are the ones using it, after all.

Talk to your customers about their experience on your website and why they did (or didn’t) continue their journey with you. They may be experiencing friction in an area you would never consider or have suggestions that would make those next steps in the customer journey easier.

You can talk to your customers in several ways, including in-person interviews, on-site surveys, or emailed feedback forms.

Carefully keep track of customer feedback and look for any emerging patterns or trends.

2. Define your website’s goals

If you expect your website to do it all, it probably won’t do anything very well.

Defining your website’s goals enables you to create a structure and system that aligns with those goals and encourages customers to take action toward them.

For example, you might decide that your website’s goal is to get a visitor to fill out the contact form. You should then center your website design around that goal. Perhaps you’ll make the contact form more obvious and easier to fill out.

Or, if your goal is to get the customer to buy something, you can focus on writing compelling copy and making the purchasing process as easy as possible.

Knowing your end goal can help you build a website that is well-suited to meet it.

3. Analyze your website’s data

Data rules the online world. Digging into your website’s data can help you uncover what’s preventing your visitors from converting. It can tell you whether visitors are more likely to convert from one page or another, if there’s a particular churn point, or how long they spend on your landing page.

With information like this, you can adjust your website to counteract issues and increase conversions.

If you aren’t already tracking your website data, put an analytics service like Google Analytics, SEMRush, or Adobe Analytics to work. These tools can give you a lot of information about your website you might not know and help you make better data-based decisions that lift your conversion rate.

4. Strengthen your CTA copy

Your call to action (CTA) copy should be clear and actionable. A good CTA guides the customer on their journey, informing them about their next steps.

It’s an important tool for website owners, as you can measure it to help you track your conversion rate. A weak CTA might leave customers confused. They may be unsure of what to do next, how to proceed with your services, or how to make a purchase.

Writing your CTAs to be stronger and provide clear direction can quickly boost your conversion rate and remove some confusion from the customer’s journey. Consulting a professional copywriter could help you if you’re unsure about how to write a strong CTA. They can help strengthen your website and CTA copy to make it more convertible.

5. Shorten your forms

If you ask customers to spend more than a minute filling out a contact form, you’re asking them for too much information upfront. The longer the form takes to fill out, the more likely they are to abandon the process.

Get the minimum amount of information you need to contact the customer and help them continue their journey. This might include their name, email address, and phone number.

Later, you can give the information to your sales team to convert that contact into a sale.

Too many drop downs, requesting too much information, and making the form too fiddly to use can seriously hurt your conversion rate. You can always get that information later on.

6. Include social proof

Social proof is when current customers recommend your company to others. It’s a bit like digital word-of-mouth advertising and has many of the same benefits.

Potential customers want proof that others use and love your product or service. It gives them confidence that working with or buying from you is the right decision because others are doing it, too.

Social proof on your website could be reviews from happy customers, client case studies, social media shares, or industry awards.

Gather your social proof and advertise it prominently on your website so customers know you are a trusted organization. This can help you build trust with the potential customer and make them more confident about their purchasing decision.

7. Track how people interact with your site

Tracking how people interact with your site can give you a lot of insight into its effectiveness and where customers are abandoning their journey. It can give you the insight you need to address bugs on your site or perform user interviews.

Services like Hotjar, Mouseflow, and Crazy Egg are made for this task. They can show you heat maps of where your visitors are clicking and even allow you to watch recordings of individual customer movements through your website.

By learning more about how users interact with your site, you can better understand how to build it around their needs and make it work better for them.

8. Add live chat

Is there something that helps your customers when they run into issues on your website?

When you implement a live chat service, someone is always there to assist your visitors. You can give your customers personalized support that keeps them engaged with your website and removes barriers on their journey.

Even better, you won’t require staff around the clock to answer these queries. Natural language chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can be there for your website visitors day and night. Your AI chatbot can answer their questions, help them troubleshoot, and gather visitor contact information so you can get back to them later. It’s a great way to add more customer service options without hiring more agents.

9. Test your offers

More appealing offers convert more website visitors. However, not all offers are equal in the eyes of your target audience. You’ll want to test some out and see which ones give you the best results.

Is your target audience more into product discounts, or does free shipping get their hearts racing? Do they want a free trial, or are they more concerned about a money-back guarantee?

Test some offers and track their metrics to see what appeals most to your website visitors. Don’t just make assumptions about what they want. You might be surprised at how changing your offers can also change your conversion rate.

10. Conduct A/B testing

Similarly, not all landing pages will produce the same results. Testing two versions of the same webpage, or A/B testing, can give you insight into the best landing page for your audience.

For example, they might respond better to landing pages with punchier copy and a prominent contact form. Or maybe they want a lot of detail on your services and would prefer to connect via live chat.

Experimenting with your landing pages and tracking the metrics can help you dial in the best layout, tone, and CTA for your target audience. It’s a great way to learn more about your audience’s preferences and helps you continuously refine your website.

11. Remove first-step friction

The first step your customer takes to connect with you should be the easiest. This is because, to a customer, this step is the biggest.

Carefully analyze what a customer needs to do to convert on your website, whether it’s filling out a contact form or connecting with your live chat service. Walk through the steps required to make that first contact and ensure it’s as easy as possible.

Remove friction that could slow or stop their momentum in making that first connection, such as long contact forms, incorrect contact information, or a difficult checkout process.

12. Create abandoned cart email campaigns

We’ve all done it: filled an online shopping cart only to abandon the checkout process midway through. If you run an ecommerce site, you can expect to see cart abandonment rates of around 70%.

While it’s frustrating for shop owners to see all that lost potential revenue, you can turn it into a big conversion and learning opportunity.

Create abandoned cart email campaigns that follow up with customers who leave their carts behind. Remind them that their purchase is waiting, tempt them back with offers, or ask them why they abandoned the process. You may be able to recover some of those purchases or learn what’s causing so many of your customers to walk away.

13. Offer a seamless checkout process

You can also decrease your cart abandonment rate by making the checkout process more seamless.

Try it yourself and see how many steps it takes to finish a transaction. Look at data and key metrics to see which stage of the process results in the most abandoned carts. The solution may be as simple as offering different payment options, making the next step clearer, or telling customers how much shipping will cost.

The easier the checkout process is, the more likely customers are to follow through with their purchase.

14. Provide clear contact information

This one may seem obvious, but lots of websites out there are still hiding their contact information. Even worse, some aren’t updating their contact information at all.

While you want your website to look amazing and your copy to shine, your contact information should be some of the most obvious content on your site. Clear, accurate contact information increases trust between you and your customers and makes them more likely to keep moving through your sales funnel.

If they have to leave your website to dig for your contact information, they may find your competitor first.

15. Add exit-intent pop-ups to your site

Also called an on-exit overlay, these pop-ups appear when a website visitor tries to leave your site. The intent is to persuade them to stay by giving them an incentive like a discount or signing up for an email newsletter to learn more.

The pop-up tracks the website visitor’s mouse and appears when the cursor leaves your website’s active area.

The exit-intent pop-up can be a powerful tool to help keep visitors engaged with your website, reduce customer churn, and significantly boost your conversion rate. Tools like HotJar, Wisepops, Sumo, and OptinMonster can help you add these exit-intent pop-ups to your website in a few minutes.

Some tools use exit-intent signals to show customers a short survey to ask them why they are leaving. Consider exit-intent surveys on checkout pages, for example. Using an exit-intent survey during checkout reveals why people don’t finish their purchase, giving you the insight you need to fix user experience (UX) issues.

How are you working to increase your website’s conversion rate?

Taking a deep dive into your conversion rate and how to increase it requires gathering a lot of data. Customer feedback, comments, interviews, website metrics, and other data types all play a vital role in understanding how website visitors use your site and why they convert into customers.

Create a central space where you and your team can compile, organize, and analyze all this data. By compiling the information you get, you may start to see patterns or trends emerge that clue you into why your website is underperforming.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. A/B testing, revamping your landing pages, or taking a different approach with your copy could be key to attracting new customers. Track what you try and add the information to your data collection so you can learn from your experiments and make better data-driven decisions in the future.

With time and data, you’ll be well on your way to bringing your conversion rate up and seeing more new customers than ever.

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