conversion rate optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization: 6 Simple Ways To Increase Sales

By Mark Woodcock

Getting tons of traffic to your website is something we all crave. But that traffic is redundant if it doesn’t result in a conversion, which could be an email sign-up, eBook download or, more commonly, sales. There are some exceptions to this rule, of course, if you are operating a news site or a blog getting commission from Adsense or banner ads. For the likes of most ecommerce businesses, the goal is to generate a high conversion rate.

What Is a Good Conversion Rate?

That’s the million dollar question, and the answer depends on your industry and goals. WordStream analyzed data from across 100 of their clients and found a good conversion rate to sit between 2% to 5%.

We would advise you to take this with a pinch of salt as all businesses have a unique set of goals, sources of traffic and relationships with customers. It’s hard to compare conversion rates with competitors. Perhaps the most accurate answer to this question is…

A good conversion rate is better than what you achieved the previous month.”

Focus on setting a goal for your business based on the traffic your site is currently receiving and work on improving this over a period of time.

 Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

These tips will help you optimize conversions and produce more sales.

1. Be Strategic with Your CTAs

Every page on your website has a purpose. It could be to generate a high number of sign-ups, calls or to simply direct people to your product pages. Using a call to action (CTA) will prompt the reader to take action. Using a strategic call to action that stands out on a page is more effective than hiding it away at the end of an article.

So where should you place CTAs? The most common place to find a call to action is above the fold of your homepage. This is the section of a page that appears at the top when loading a website. The user doesn’t need to scroll to find this information.

Some people would place their call to action here and call it a day. While we always recommend having a strong action point in this location, it shouldn’t be the only consideration.

Back in 2010, a study was carried out that found people spend around 80% of their time above the fold of the page. Conversion rate specialists jumped on this data and claimed that the only place to secure leads was above the fold.

But this doesn’t stand up in 2019. Times have changed; people do 70% of their online searching on a mobile device. We have become accustomed to scrolling. Note that we only scroll down if we like what we see above the fold of the page. 

The second argument for a more detailed CTA strategy is that some readers need to better understand a complex product or service. Naturally, people will scroll to find more detailed information.

It makes sense to place a call to action above the fold of a page when the product or service is relatively straight-forward, or free. People already know what to expect and are not taking any financial risks.

We’d recommend breaking your content up into bitesize chunks to retain people’s attention. For each paragraph/section on a page, include a call to action that links to a relevant page on your site. This will help people process your content and will give them the option to click through to pages that take their interest.

2. Use Effective Headings

Heading structure is everything for both SEO and sales. To secure top rankings, the structure of your headings and keyword optimization makes all the difference. For conversions, they need to grab the attention of the user and encourage them to read on. Combine the two and you have a page that ranks and secures sales.

For Conversions

Let’s start with sales because, well, that’s what you’re here for. Headlines stand out because they are bolder, bigger and often brighter than the rest of the content on your page. They set the scene for what the page is about. This is your chance to increase your conversion rate with headings that pack a punch.

For example, which of the following would encourage you to click:

  • Run an audit of your site.
  • Run a free website audit for instant results.

Of course, it’s option 2!

As you can see, small tweaks to your headings can have a huge effect on your conversion rate. Including words like ‘free’ and ‘instant results’ gives the reader another reason to click.

This is something you should be A/B testing all the time to see which headings convert the best. Sit down with your team to brainstorm the needs of your audience. Keyword research, using tools like Ahrefs, can often speed this process along. Look into the search behavior of your audience to identify what pain points they have and what words resonate with them.

Another great idea is to utilize the search bar on your website to see what people looking for. How can you be sure that it’s your headings that are resulting in conversions and not, let’s say, your testimonials, videos or images? We would recommend installing HotJar; a tool that allows you to visualize your users’ behavior on your site. It shows where they click, tap and scroll to give you a clear idea of their interests and desires.

For Rankings

The elements of a page that are most important to Google are as follows:

  1. Meta Title
  2. Body Content
  3. H1
  4. URL

I understand that this post is about conversion rate optimization. There is, however, some cross over between sales and SEO. Keyword research gives you ideas as to what your audience expects to see on a page. There is a connection here; get your keyword research nailed on and your conversion rates will improve.

For example, let’s look at the SEO industry. SEO is complicated for professionals never mind the everyday business owner. There are lots of questions people search for answers for online, which is great for customer research. You can get into the minds of your audience and find out what matters to them most.

Using Ahrefs, it’s possible to pinpoint not only some of the most searched for terms but their difficulty score. The lower the score the easier it is to rank for in the search results. For the best results, you’re looking for a keyword that matches your search intent (conversions) with a low competition score but a high search volume. Those are the terms that are going to encourage clicks and conversions.

3. Simplify the Navigation

Navigation is pivotal to a high conversion rate. You can have the most stunning site, but if no one can find what they’re looking for, it’s useless. This doesn’t just apply to your homepage. It’s the case for every page on your site. People can land anywhere based on your position in the SERPs. It’s important that every page offers clear instructions.

There are various ways you can simplify the navigation, but we’re going to discuss our top three.

Top Navigation

Firstly, use the top navigation for your most important pages. Having them at the top of your website (no matter what page you’re on!) will encourage click-throughs and showcases them as ‘important’ pages. Google will also see this and up-rank them as a result.

Common top navigation pages include a list of services/products, about us, contact us, testimonials, case studies and a blog. These pages will help build trust with your users and move them one step closer to a purchase.

Internal Linking

If you think about it, your top level pages are glorified internal links, but they are not the only links that matter on your site. Links within your content will direct users to products found elsewhere on your site. Not only does this help distribute link juice across your site (two internal links are equivalent to one backlink), but they also provide a superior user experience for the reader. Remember to keep your internal links in line with your user’s expectations or conversions rates will plummet.

Menu Styles

There are many menu styles, which include drop-down menus, text links, breadcrumbs and ones that fly out. They all have their unique benefits. Of course, you want your menu to be in keeping with the style of your website. However, you should also consider the user experience. For example, what does the menu look like on mobile? Is it hard to locate? If so, people will leave without a second thought. Test them out for yourself for the best results.

It’s common knowledge that more people are using their phones to search online. It only follows that their user experience should be seamless. A lot of online marketing is carried out on a desktop or laptop *guilty* when in fact your customers are likely to be searching on mobile.

4. Optimize for Mobile

This should go without saying, but optimizing your site for mobile search is essential. This includes tasks like making sure your site is fully-responsive, and also A/B testing pages on desktop vs mobile.

Google also prioritizes the mobile version of your site. To check if your website is mobile-friendly, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.

5. Aim for Faster Load Speeds

These days we expect things to load in the blink of an eye or we press the back button. Generally speaking, the faster your site loads, the higher your conversion rate will be. Simple tricks to help speed up your site include:

  • Resize your images to 1000 pixels and compress them using TinyJpg before uploading to your site. Big images take up lots of space.
  • Remove unnecessary plugins and add-ons.
  • Update your website theme.
  • Enable caching. Faster load speeds also help make the most of your crawl budget (the time Google’s bots have to crawl and index your content).

6. Ensure Website Security

An unprotected site is a security risk to visitors. In fact, did you know that over 82% of customers wouldn’t choose to browse an unprotected site? Google now displays a site as ‘Not Secure’ if that domain doesn’t have an SSL certificate.

You can tell if your website is secure as it will have made the switch to HTTPS from HTTP.

For more conversion, SEO and website tips, continue reading the articles below:

Subscribe to the Small Business Bonfire Newsletter
And get your free one-page marketing plan template.
Mark Woodcock on FacebookMark Woodcock on InstagramMark Woodcock on LinkedinMark Woodcock on Twitter
Mark Woodcock
Mark Woodcock has helped thousands of people use digital to build high-performing businesses. He’s the CEO of an award-winning digital agency, Bigfoot Digital, and has over 20 years’ experience in online marketing. His ecommerce website designs are geared towards delivering a strong ROI.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.