If you are running a business that relies on online sales, understanding your conversion rate and being able to maximize it are some of the most critical steps you can take for success. In this article, I will share with you an easy-to-understand breakdown of what your conversion rate is, how to calculate it, and plenty of conversion optimization tips (proven to work) that you can use on your site.
Table of Contents
- How to measure conversion rates (& why it matters).
- The best conversion optimization tips to increase your conversion rates.
- Choose just one of these conversion optimization tips to begin.
How to measure conversion rates (& why it matters).
Before I go into detail on the strategies that will most effectively increase your conversion, it is important to understand what a conversion rate is, and how to measure it. Put simply, a conversion rate is the number of sales (or other specified actions) that visitors to your site make, divided by the number of visitors in total.
That means if your website makes a total of 250 sales a month, and has 1000 visitors the conversion rate would be 100/2000 = .25 or 25%. That is 25% of the people visiting your site to make a purchase or perform some other desired action.
Of course, the higher you can get your conversion rate the better because it means you will have to do less work in drawing people to your site to maintain a high level of sales, which can help you save money and time.
With that in mind, let’s talk about how you can increase your conversion rate.
The best conversion optimization tips to increase your conversion rates.
1. A/B Testing
One of the best conversion optimization tips you can use in your business is A/B testing.
A/B testing is the practice of showing two different versions of a webpage or ad to separate groups, and then analyzing which one performs better. This can be incredibly useful in finding out what layout or language is most effective in driving conversions on your site, allowing you to switch to the one that performs the best.
One of the best examples of how A/B testing can make a huge difference in conversion rates is the ExpressWatches case study.
ExpressWatches sells Seiko watches online. To do this more effectively, they A/B tested two different landing pages. One had a 100% price guarantee, while the other displayed a trust symbol that proved the watches they sell are genuine Seiko.
The results were that the trust symbol page increased conversions by a massive 107%!
This shows that by making even a small change and testing it via this method, you can achieve some remarkable conversion results.
Another conversion optimization tip worth considering is adding to your conversion strategy is a level of personalization to your website. This refers to tailoring the experience for each user on your site, taking into account their past interactions and preferences.
This can include offering them personalized product recommendations or displaying different content based on their previous choices. Utilizing personalization can make users feel understood and valued, leading them to be more likely to convert.
One example of a successful conversion optimization strategy used by a well-known company is Amazon’s personalized recommendations.
By analyzing customer behavior and purchasing patterns, Amazon can suggest products that individual customers might be interested in, leading to an increase in sales and conversions.
These recommendations can also be tailored based on the customer’s past purchases or even their specific search history, making the suggestions even more likely to result in a conversion.
This strategy has proven successful for Amazon and can also be applied to smaller businesses by utilizing customer data and creating personalized recommendations or suggestions.
3. Mobile Optimization
With the increasing number of people using their mobile devices to browse and shop online, your website must be optimized for mobile use. This means having a user-friendly layout and design on smaller screens, as well as making sure that all functionalities work seamlessly across different devices. Failing to have a properly optimized mobile site can lead to a poor user experience and ultimately result in lost conversions.
A case study example of mobile optimization boosting conversion is Walmart.ca’s website redesign. Indeed, Walmart.ca achieved a conversion increase of 20% overall, and by 98% on mobile devices by optimizing its website for mobile devices and reducing its loading time.
4. High-Quality Product Images
I would say that this is one of the easiest conversion optimization tips to implement, and it can have a huge impact on your business perception from potential customers.
The visuals on your site, particularly for products being sold, can have a big impact on conversions. Using high-quality images that accurately represent the product can instill trust in potential customers and make them more likely to make a purchase. Poor quality or misleading images can turn customers away and result in lost conversions.
You can see this tactic at work in practice in this ASOS case study, which is particularly insightful because it used an AI plug-in known as VisualEyes. VisualEyes is programmed to replicate human eye-tracking behavior and could predict where viewers would first look on a page.
This information can then be used to optimize the types and arrangement of images on a page for maximum conversion, something that the case study researcher points out is about how the viewer emotionally connects to the product being shown, as well as the flow page format.
In essence, what this case study shows is that it optimizing images can be an effective way of increasing conversions because it ‘hacks the buying decision process of the customer.
TIP: If you are selling a software, make sure you have clear images of the more interesting pages of your product and animations.
5. Clear and compelling call-to-action buttons
One key aspect of conversion optimization is having clear and compelling call-to-action buttons. These buttons should stand out on the page and communicate what action the user should take, such as “Buy Now” or “Sign Up.” Testing is vital since different wording and colors to see which ones result in the highest conversion rates.
One example of how changing your call-to-action buttons can positively impact conversion is the case of the airline BMI. They saw a 2.5% increase in conversions from just changing the background color of their CTA button to red!
Although, it is worth noting that this could be because of the contrast the red provided to the rest of their monotone site, and does not mean that red CTA buttons will inherently create higher conversion rates.
Similar to all the strategies mentioned in this article, testing them out (using A/B testing) is the best way to see what best appeals to your target customers.
6. User-Friendly Website Navigation
One of the most important conversion optimization tips you should not ignore is making sure that your website navigation is user-friendly.
This means having a clear and logical menu structure, as well as providing search functionality and internal linking to relevant pages. By making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for, you can improve the overall user experience and increase the chances of conversions.
An example of this in practice is when Yuppiechef ( a South African kitchenware shop) removed navigation menus from their gift registry landing pages altogether. The result was an increase in conversions (sign-ups) by 100%, which clearly shows that while good navigation is important, it isn’t vital on every page.
7. Fast Website Loading Speed
It may be the simplest of all conversion optimization tips, but a fast website loading speed is also incredibly effective. This is because a slow site will lead to frustrated users and higher bounce rates. Make sure to regularly check your website’s loading speed and optimize images, reduce redirects, and use a reliable web hosting provider to improve performance. These efforts can result in improved user experience and, ultimately, conversions.
You can see this principle in practice with the 2021 Vodafone case study, where conversions (sales) were increased by 8% and pages have a 31% improvement in LCP score.
TIP: If you are using WordPress, Rocket.net is the best hosting provider for quick loading pages. It’s what we use for GapScout!
8. Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Including customer reviews and testimonials on your website can be a great way to increase conversions. Not only do they provide social proof for potential customers, but they also give them an idea of the quality and value of your product or service.
Displaying customer reviews and testimonials prominently on your website can also increase trust and credibility in the eyes of potential customers. Of course, make sure to carefully curate these reviews, as including negative ones can harm conversions.
Another way to incorporate customer reviews and testimonials into your conversion optimization strategy is through targeted email campaigns. Sending personalized emails to previous customers asking for a review or testimonial, then featuring these on your website, can be a great way to increase conversions.
Overall, incorporating customer reviews and testimonials into your conversion optimization strategy can lead to a boost in conversions and an increase in trust and credibility among potential customers. Spiegals research has shown that a product with just 5 or more reviews is 270% more likely to be bought than one with zero reviews!
Reviews have a direct effect on conversion rates and that using independent review sites can make the world of difference when it comes to your offering.
TIP: Reviews are also a great way to understand your market.
9. Limited-Time Offers
Including limited-time offers on your website can be a great way to increase conversions and drive sales. This tactic creates a sense of urgency for potential customers, encouraging them to purchase before the offer expires.
When implementing limited-time offers, make sure to display the expiration date and any necessary terms and conditions. These kinds of flash-sales are a great way to attract new customers, especially if it means a discounted first purchase price.
In practice, limited-time offers can work particularly well when you provide a visual reminder to your customers. Specifically, a countdown timer that can be displayed on your site and show how the time they have left to take advantage of your offer is running out.
This type of strategy works well because people hate to miss out on a good deal, and helps to convey that sense of urgency that can tip visitors into making a purchase.
TIP: OptinMonster is a great tool for adding countdown timers.
10. Cart Recovery
Abandoned carts occur when a visitor goes all the way through the process of selecting items and adding them to their basket, only to bail out and navigate away at the last moment without going through with their purchase.
The sad truth of the matter is that the typical abandoned cart rate is incredibly high, usually at around 70% which means many potential conversions are being missed.
The good news is there are some easy ways to rectify this. In particular, sending customers an email with a link to their abandoned cart just as they left it, along with a prompt can help them to be re-engaged, and after they have had some time to consider their purchase, choose to go through with it.
Of course, for this strategy to be as effective the reminder needs to be gentle, as any pressure can be viewed negatively by the potential customer. Some businesses even choose to add additional special offers to sweeten the deal, such as a percentage discount.
One example of the effectiveness of an abandoned cart email for boosting conversions is the lighting start-up Nanoleaf. By using a cleverly worded email that humanized the product left in a potential customer’s cart, they were able to increase their conversion rates by 30%!
Choose just one of these conversion optimization tips to begin.
If you are selling online, your conversion rate is your most important metric because it ultimately indicates the success of your marketing and sales efforts. A low conversion rate means that not enough people are taking the desired action, which means you will struggle to sell your product.
There are many conversion optimization tips you can use to increase your conversion rate effectively, from abandoned cart email prompts, to A/B testing.
My advice is to choose just one and measure the impact before adding more. You will always need to test and measure what works best with your customers to achieve maximum conversation optimization.
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