Many small business owners find themselves with a beautiful website chock full of valuable information and lots of visitors, yet very few of those visitors take that next step to subscribe to a newsletter, get a free quote, make a purchase, or move through the sales funnel.
Oftentimes the problem is not with the website content itself, but rather how you are guiding your visitors towards the end goal.
What is conversion rate optimization (CRO)?
Simply put, conversion rate optimization it is how you optimize your website to better convert visitors into paying customers or subscribers. Luckily, there are a number of relatively simple things you can do to increase conversion rates without the help of an in-house marketing team. (Phew, right?)
Tips for Improving Website Conversions
Here are six simple tactics you can use to improve your website conversion rates.
1. Craft Great Calls-to-Action.
A Call-to-Action (CTA) is a word or phrase that prompts the visitor to take an action, and you encounter these constantly when you are online. Highly visible images, buttons, and text links saying things like “Click Here,” “Learn More,” or “Add to Cart” all vie for your attention when navigating through a website. But how do you create a CTA that gets the results you want? Consider the following:
- Nail down your website goals. What do you want the visitor to do? Subscribe to your monthly emails? Follow you on a specific social media channel? Schedule a consultation? Visit your brick-and-mortar store? Once you have nailed down your goals, create a separate call-to-action for each one.
- Determine your target audience. Why do you think they are visiting the website? What might their goals be? For further information on your website visitors and the actions they take while on your website, set up Google Analytics to gather key audience insights.
- Create the compelling phrase you will use for your CTA based on what you think will resonate with your target audience. Need some ideas? Look at what your successful competitors are doing on their websites. Be creative—using the standard “Buy Now” or “Click Here” doesn’t always yield the best results. Crazy Egg does a good job coming up with compelling copy and CTA button text.
- Tip: One great copywriting hack is to look at customer reviews across social media channels, Google, Amazon or other shopping sites. Use words and phrases reviewers have used as a powerful way to connect with prospective customers.
- Craft a highly visible CTA. Once you have decided on messaging, make it stand out so that visitors can’t miss it (but in a balanced way that isn’t an assault on the eyes). Whether it is a button, text link, or image, use eye-catching colors and place it conspicuously on your website. And don’t be afraid to use a combination of the three within your website to see which resonates best. Here are some great examples from Basecamp and CXL:
2. Start a Blog (and keep it fresh).
It is no secret that blog posts are a great way to bring traffic to your website. Oftentimes you will find that your blog posts bring in more traffic than any other page on your website.
Capitalize on the effectiveness of your blogging efforts by including text link CTAs within your post content as well as a button or image call-to-action in the sidebar. Why text links? Aren’t they boring compared to their more eye-catching counterparts? Recent research shows that visitors have developed “banner blindness,” meaning they have learned to automatically ignore banner-like website elements. Check out an example of how we use text links within our blog:
Click here to find out more about the benefits of business blogging.
3. Create Focused Landing Pages.
So you’ve created a great CTA and people start clicking on it. Where do they go? Your landing page. In general, landing pages should be hyper-focused on getting your visitors to take that next step. Here are some tips for creating landing pages that convert:
- Create a dedicated landing page for each marketing campaign you implement. Not only does that help keep visitors hyper-focused on your offer, it helps with analytics.
- Remove navigation and other website elements (like those found in a sidebar) to eliminate opportunities for the visitor to click away from the action you want them to take.
- When you want to have the user fill out a form, require only the minimum amount of information necessary.
- Pay careful attention to your website copy and images. Provide just enough information to reinforce the offer and prompt the visitor to take action—nothing more. One image is usually sufficient.
Learn more about creating great landing pages here.
4. Analyze Your Homepage.
Take a long, hard look at the most important page on your website–your homepage. Do you have a clear call-to-action? Is it placed in a prominent position above “the fold?” Check your analytics to see what visitors are doing after landing on your homepage. Here is an example of how you can see the behavior flow for a particular page using Google Analytics:
Image Source: Google Analytics
Troubleshooting Home Page Conversion Issues
If you are experiencing low traffic to your homepage, make sure the necessary search engine optimization has been done so search engines can properly index the page.
If your CTA isn’t getting much attention, try a different placement or modify the CTA with updated copy or design. Perform some A/B testing to see what resonates best with your audience.
5. Add a Video to Your Homepage or a Product/Service Page.
Data across the web shows that companies see a significant uptick in conversions with the use of a product, explainer, whiteboard, testimonial, and other types of videos. Think about creating a video to highlight your products, services, before/afters, or testimonials from happy customers. It is the closest thing your audience will get to your product or service without experiencing it personally.
This doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. There are several companies that will create a video quickly and for a reasonable price, including Explendid Videos.
You can even create your own video very economically using sites like Animoto or GoAnimate.
For great tips on creating explainer videos, as well as examples of very popular videos, check out this post by WordStream.
6. Refresh Stale Web Page Content.
Start with under-performing pages and consider reworking the text. Here are some tips to write killer website copy that’s optimized for search engines. You might also want to update your image(s) if it has been a couple of years.
While there are countless ways to improve your conversion rate optimization, these six tactics will get you off to a good start.
Need help converting visitors to customers? We offer a variety of services, including blogging, copywriting, video creation, landing page creation, and more to help small businesses improve their conversion rates. LEARN MORE or GET A FREE SERVICES QUOTE today!
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