So you’ve got a great website, lots of traffic, but you’re not converting any leads. Obtaining a strong return on investment (ROI) for your website comes down to your conversion rate – the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action. The desired action can vary. Examples include making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter or submitting a review. Conversion rates are most frequently used to discuss websites, but they also apply to pay per click ads, email marketing campaigns and other forms of Internet marketing.
What is a Good Conversion Rate?
Before you can optimize your conversion rate you need to know what it is – that means you should have some analytical tracking software in place. Google Analytics is probably the most popular one out there. Taking a look at the analytics for the landing page(s) in question is helpful, but only if you can put your conversion rate in context.
Industry experts differ in opinion on what constitutes a good conversion rate and average rates vary by industry. Research conducted by Search Engine Land “found that about a quarter of all [their] accounts are converting at less than 1 per cent. Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35 per cent, yet the top 25 per cent [of landing pages] are converting at 5.31 per cent or higher.” These numbers are great to keep in mind, but they shouldn’t carry too much weight.
The reality is that the only conversion rate that should be important to you is your own. Your goal is to consistently and steadily increase your conversion rate – you want that number to go as high as it possibly can and you should always be working on strategies to improve it. How? Here are a few tips to help.
6 Tips to Improve Your Conversion Rate
1. Include the Essentials
Every landing page must have the following basic elements (these can be applied to email marketing campaigns too):
- Images or videos – people respond to visuals
- Enticing headlines and sub headings – to draw the user in and encourage them to read more
- Strong, targeted copy outlining features and benefits – these should clearly provide a solution to the user’s pain point
- Social proof – people are always skeptical. How will you convince them?
- Overall attractive, clean design – keep your design simple, uncluttered and consistent with your brand
- Lead capture forms (if you use them) that ask only the necessary information – try to keep the form short and to the point
- A clear call to action (CTA) that is eye-catching and clickable – you must ask users to do something and you need to make it really obvious as to what that action is.
2. Don’t Ask for Too Much
If your call to action is buried at the bottom of lengthy copy, requires too much time to complete or asks for too much personal information then you’ll never be able to convert users. “We think of our emails the same way we do landing pages, one page, one purpose,” explains Georgiana Laudi, VP of Marketing at Unbounce. “As a rule, we try to provide enough information that someone would need in order to click the call to action. No more, no less. It works well for us. As a side, I’m super sensitive to lengthy emails hitting my inbox, so I imagine our subscribers are, too.”
3. Consider Multi-Step Call to Actions
Many experts suggest trying multiple-step forms. Companies like Groupon have had great success with this approach – asking for one piece of information with each step, starting with an email address. Although this approach is counter-intuitive to ‘don’t ask for too much’, studies show that “people may feel compelled to finish the process if your form is broken up into multiple steps.”
An advantage of this multi-step CTA approach is that you can see exactly when users drop off in the process. For example, you may find that users are okay with giving their email address as step one but drop off in step two when you ask for first and last name. This information may prompt you to drop your request for a last name – and in doing so you may find that more people move on to step three.
4. Target the Right People
It’s important to consider whether your website, pay per click or email marketing campaign is targeting qualified leads. In other words, are you targeting people who are looking for your product or service and who are open to completing the call to action?
Aligning the wrong keyword with a pay per click campaign or segmenting an email marketing campaign with the wrong list of recipients can negatively impact your conversion rate.
5. Build Trust
It takes trust to convert a lead, especially if you are asking for personal information like an email address. If you do, then you need to make sure that users know you will not abuse their trust.
Your content should always be written to build trust and loyalty. Provide lots of reliable information, consumer reviews and use an authoritative, friendly tone. Show users that other people are engaging in your CTAs (this can even add a sense of urgency to your CTA which will help encourage people to convert now instead of later). For example, Expedia builds urgency and shows other people are booking through them with a line under each hotel that says “Only 4 rooms left at this price.”
6. Test What Works, Track and Adjust
When it comes to how your landing page is set up, the colours you use, your language, even the shape of your CTA button, it’s hard to know what combination of principles are working. The best thing to do is to try a few combinations and test them out. This is called A/B testing. The principle is simple – you have different unique landing pages in place, each using a different version of the element you are testing and you track which one performs best.
The secret to increasing conversions through testing is that you do so as an ongoing process. This isn’t something you should do once a year – continuously try different landing pages (some experts recommend trying four at a time) to test out new design and content ideas as well as headings, user flow and conversion architecture. Record and compare your results and keep in mind that you may have different results, depending on the geographic area and demographics of each user as well as the time of day, week and year.
Simple tips like these will go a long way to help optimize your conversion rate. Whether you’re working on your website, Internet ads or email marketing campaign, don’t be afraid to try new approaches. Just remember to track and analyze your progress as you go.