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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Conversion Rate

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The end goal of your website should be to inspire conversions and gather leads. Why? Because more leads means more sales opportunities. It’s absolutely crucial to continually work at improving your conversion rate, and in today’s article, we’re going to go over the core causes for why you might not be receiving that many conversions now, and give you 5 practical strategies to fix this issue.

What is a conversion rate?

Conversion rate (abbreviated as CVR) refers to the percentage of users that have completed a desired action. The action could be anything from making an inquiry, requesting a free trial, or signing up to the email newsletter, though it typically is used when the user fills out a form and provides their personal information. Also, in the case of ecommerce sites, an actual order is also called a conversion.

If you’re receiving a lot of web traffic but the conversion rate is still low, then that likely means something is wrong in terms of your site structure, content, forms, or perhaps something else. But wherever the issue may lie, you could be missing out on a ton of new leads.

How to calculate conversion rate

The formula to find your conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the number of sessions (site visits).

For example, if you received 10 inquiries and had 1000 sessions that month, then

your conversion rate will be 10 ÷ 1000 = 0.01, which converted to a percentage, gives you a 1% conversion rate.

The difference between CVR and CTR 

Another metric called “click-through rate,” or CTR for short, often gets confused with conversion rate. After all, their abbreviations are almost exactly the same. But click-through rate tells you how many clicks you receive on an ad campaign or a link in an email, in relation to how many impressions or views it gets. To calculate CTR, divide the number of clicks by the total number of impressions.

Common causes of low conversion rates

What is the average conversion rate?

Generally-speaking, the average conversion rate for websites is just 2%. However, in the case of famous brands, it is said to be around 10%. You should note, though, that the average conversion rate really varies depending on factors like industry and whether you’re B2C or B2B, so I recommend doing a bit of research to find the figure to aim for in your field.

Still, no matter the industry, there are 3 common causes that lead to an unusually low conversion rate. 

Changes in the market

The number of companies advertising online or working on SEO is growing every year. What this means is that it’s getting steadily more competitive to steer web traffic to your site, in the midst of countless other sites with strong content or paid ads. So, if you’re not improving SEO or ads at the same rate as everyone else, then you’re bound to have less site visitors, and ultimately less conversions.

There could also be broader changes affecting your CVR, like seasonality or declining demand for your product.

Issues in the site structure

There could be a million different things wrong with a site, but it could be too cluttered, with an excess of information, or too empty, lacking the basic parts, so that it gives an untrustworthy impression. Or else, perhaps the CTA is unclear, or the pathways to get to the conversion point (like the inquiry form) are too long and difficult. Maybe you don’t even have a “contact us” button on your site or it’s in an obscure location, so people who want to make an inquiry can’t figure out how.

A site that gives the wrong impression or has a confusing structure often leads to a high bounce rate - which is exactly what we want to avoid.

Ineffective advertising

Perhaps your ad’s message isn’t resonating with your audience, it isn’t set to the right keywords, or it isn’t even targeted to the right people in the first place. If it’s targeted to an audience that doesn’t have apparent use for your products, then even if they click on the ad, they’re less likely to make the effort to fill out a form and have a conversion.

Strategies to improve your conversion rate

1. Target your ads to the right audience

To ensure that your ad campaigns show up for your exact target customers, you need to conduct keyword research to see what keywords have a high search volume in relation to low competition, in order to see the most success. I recommend looking for long tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases, so that you can target a more narrow segment of customers. In addition, Google Ads allows you to specify language and location of the ad, so you can direct it to a specific region and population. Further, Facebook ads lets you go even further and specify industry, role, gender, and interests to create hyper-targeted ads.

Related articles:

The 8 Main Types of Online Advertising

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)? Definition, Examples, and Tools

2. Rethink site structure and pathways

If you can’t make users want to see more of the website when they land on your homepage, then you’re not going to be seeing many conversions.

Consider the following:

      • Is your main CTA immediately visible when the homepage loads?
      • Is the page layout cluttered and giving too many options?
      • Is the style and branding aligned with the actual content of the site?
      • Do you have all the basic necessary components for your site? (company overview, products/services page, case studies, blog, downloadable resources, inquiry form, etc.)

These are just a few questions to go through to check that your site provides a smooth user experience, is easy-to-understand, and doesn’t prompt the user to close the tab right away.

3. Reduce the barrier to conversion

If you run an EC site and only offer online orders as your singular point of conversion, then you may be being a bit too ambitious. Often, users visiting your site for the first or second time - even if they are considering a certain product of yours - they’ll typically be comparing your product with a few others. Thus, you could offer a free sample or a free trial, and make that the main conversion to aim for. Or else, for the users that have questions about your products, you should add an inquiry form, which is also less difficult of a conversion to receive (compared with an actual purchase).

4. Create more than enough quality content

To inspire more conversions, another popular strategy is to create a content library with a variety of whitepapers, infographics, product guides, on-demand webinars, etc., that can be downloaded by filling out a form.

 In addition, the content throughout your site, from case studies and blogs to basic company information, should all be revisited to check if there are any problem areas that might cause a user to bounce. In order to guide a user all the way to conversion, you have to make sure the content along the way is also optimized to ensure the best customer experience.

5. Try optimizing your forms

As a final step, it’s important to optimize your forms to make sure they are easy to fill out for the user.  A common mistake is to set an excessive number of fields for the user to fill out, which leads the user to think that it’ll take too long to finish, or they could have reservations about sharing that much personal info for whatever you’re offering. Only include the fields to ask for the information you really need.

Summary

When it comes to web marketing, the focus is often centered around traffic and increasing the number of sessions, but increasing conversions should really be your end goal, as it's an important way to gain new leads and sales opportunities. If your conversion rate is low at the moment, then try to identify why this is the case, and then follow our simple strategies to bring it up.

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