When it comes to digital marketing and online branding, there are countless platforms and strategies that you can use to get results. And while there’s nothing wrong with social media, PPC advertising, or any other off-site techniques, there’s only one element of your digital presence that you’re in complete control over: your website.
The problem is that most businesses totally neglect their websites. Or, they pay attention but prioritize the wrong aspects. As a result, their website fails to produce any noteworthy results.
If you want your website to add tangible value to your business in the form of a positive impact on your bottom line, it’s imperative that you adopt a conversion-focused approach. Doing so will ensure your website is more than a branded placeholder. In fact, with the right optimization, it could turn your website into a lean, mean, revenue-generating machine.
Understanding Website Conversion Rates
A website conversion rate is basically the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action on your website. This action could be something as simple as downloading a free PDF or as important as purchasing a $5,000 product.
It’s up to you to determine what your conversion goals are. They may be the same across the entire website, or they could vary depending on the page or traffic acquisition method.
To calculate a conversion rate, you simply take the number of conversions and divide it by the number of website sessions over that period. In other words, if you have 100 conversions out of 1,000 website sessions, your conversion rate is 10% (100/1,000=0.10).
The good news is that any basic analytics tool (including Google Analytics) will automatically calculate conversion rates for you. This is especially helpful when calculating multiple conversion goals across different periods of time.
What is a Good Website Conversion Rate?
Trying to determine an industry benchmark for conversion rates is a futile effort. It’s highly dependent on hundreds of unique variables, including branding, traffic acquisition, customer profiles, copy, design, offer price, etc. There’s no such thing as a concrete benchmark.
“Website conversion rates have quite a bit of variance depending on the industry and business model,” Geckoboard explains. “Generally though, ecommerce conversion rates are lower, coming in between 1.84 percent and 3.71 percent – while the average conversion rate across industries ranges between 2.35 percent and 5.31 percent.”
In certain industries, anything above 1 percent is great. In other industries, where the conversion goal is much simpler and carries less risk (like a free download), you might see an average conversion rate of 10 percent or more.
Use these numbers as very vague generalizations. The best thing you can do is start tracking your numbers to figure out a baseline. Then, based on the current numbers, you can set targets for where you want to be in three months, six months, or a year from now.
5 Tips for Increasing Your Website Conversion Rate
As you look for ways to boost your website conversion rate, here are a few methods that tend to work wonders. Apply them to your own site and see what happens.
1. Start With Good Website Design
A high-converting website starts with an excellent foundation. In addition to having all of the right technical aspects in place, a good website foundation also includes attractive design.
According to one study, website first impressions are 94 percent design related. So if your website design is lacking in any way, it’s dragging your conversion rate down.
While there are plenty of DIY website building options and templates available online, this isn’t something you want to address on your own. We recommend hiring a local professional. For example, if you’re in Long Island, click here to hire a Long Island web design company. This ensures you get someone who is intimately familiar with your market, target audience, and message.
2. Emphasize on Page Loading Speed
Did you know that the speed at which your website pages load has a direct impact on your conversion rate? Half of customers expect a page to load in two seconds or less. If your pages don’t meet this threshold, your conversion rate will suffer. On the flip side, improving your conversion rates to get closer to this benchmark will lift your conversion rates. (For example, Walmart found that their conversions increase by two percent for every one-second improvement in page loading speed.)
Boosting page loading speed is no small feat. But if you take it seriously, you should find some simple areas for improvement. Options include enabling compression, reducing redirects, utilizing browser caching, optimizing images, and improving server response times.
3. Keep Your Message Clear and Focused
Do website visitors know what action you want them to take? Or are they left wondering how to proceed? Having multiple calls-to-action on a single page is a major website faux pas. Always keep it to one single message. If possible, this message should be communicated in each page’s unique selling proposition (USP).
According to Single Grain, there are two critical rules that you must follow when creating a navigation structure for a website:
- It should be as easy as possible for visitors to find landing pages and other conversion-optimized destinations (such as sales and product pages).
- Minimize friction as much as possible so that visitors can swiftly move toward a conversion.
The biggest mistake you’ll see on websites is complicated navigation bars with lots of elements and dropdown menus. Every page does not need to be present in the main navigation menu. Keep it to the basics.
5. Use Short Forms
How many times have you gone to sign up for something on a website and been greeted with a form that has 10 or 12 different fields requesting specific information? Doesn’t make you want to sign up, does it?
As conversion expert Neil Patel says, “It’s important to respect the user’s time. If you’ve gotten the user as far as wanting to sign up, it’s pivotal that you don’t let them drop off because your form is too long.
Only request the bare minimum information. If you only need a first name and email address, don’t ask for a user’s last name, phone number, and mailing address. Keep it simple!
Transform Your Website
If your website is currently converting at three percent (just as an example), improving your conversion rate to six percent would effectively double your conversions. That can have a massive impact on your bottom line. And in reality, it doesn’t always take massive effort to make this sort of tweak.
By applying a few of the tips highlighted above, you can begin moving in the right direction. Good luck!