A website conversion is the most important factor to the success of your online marketing strategy and goals. It means getting your visitors to do what you want them to do, whether that is to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, register for a webinar, download a whitepaper, or fill out a lead/contact form. Having a marketing website is a moot point if it doesn’t present the opportunity to close sales or generate leads.
Examples of Website Conversions on Real Websites
- Starting trivia – History Cooperative’s article on the History of Social Media contains a link to their Social Media Trivia quiz. Having a visitor click through to their quiz could be considered a conversion
- Clicking a link – A Platform for Good’s iPhone Unlock recommendation article contains links to unlock providers. When a person clicks from this recommendation article to the recommended provider, that could be considered a conversion
- Entering your email into an email capture form – Life Operating System’s article on how to get out of my Head contains an email optin form. When a visitor enters their email address into that form, that could be considered a conversion.
So what is a good website conversion rate?
The answer to this question can differ depending on your industry, but here are some good general numbers. Visitor-to-lead conversion rates for Business-To-Consumer websites for necessary items that we all need tend to exceed 15%, while for non-necessary items tend to be around 1-4.5%. Business-To-Business services companies can expect visitor-to-lead conversion rates between 5-8%. This is significant because it is very common for online marketing companies to brag about much higher visitor-to-lead conversion rates, but upon further investigation, we find out they are calling every phone call or web contact a “lead”. The problem with this is that a large percentage of these contacts are often solicitors and spam.
How do I measure my web site’s conversion rate?
First, you’ll need to determine the conversion point; leads, sales, etc. Second, you’ll gather data from your website analytics program like Google Analytics regarding leads and traffic. Finally, you’ll follow the formula of number of (leads collected/total traffic to the web site) x 100 = Conversion rate. Alternatively, you can use BoostSuite. BoostSuite will have you define your conversion points and then it will do the rest of the computations for you.
Many of these analytics tools actually tell you your conversion rate, but you must first set up your conversion points by adding tracking code to the pages that result post-conversion so they can register.
Tips for improving your website’s conversion rates
1. Make your calls-to-action obvious
It should be obvious what you want people to do once on your website. If you want people to call you, you shouldn’t have your phone number in 8pt font at the bottom of the page. Out of sight, out of mind. Keep things simple. You might consider a three-tiered approach – tell visitors what you’d really like them to do (call us!), give them a secondary option (email us!) and then give them an ‘out’ option (signup for our email newsletter).
2. Follow the mud-tracks and adjust your site accordingly
According to the folks over at Conversion Rate Experts, visitors to NY’s Central Park were taking shortcuts across grassy areas and in doing so, they created lots of little dirt paths in the grassy (aka mud tracks). Many cities, in an effort to discourage this type of behavior, put up fencing, tape, walls, etc. This isn’t what NY’s planners did. They actually encouraged people to take shortcuts and then they paved them!
You should do the exact same thing with your website! Instead of fighting visitor behavior, rearrange your content in a way that aligns with how visitors interact with your site. Of course, you need the right website tracking tools in place in order to see these patterns.
3. Ask your visitors what they want
Instead of guessing what people want, ask them directly! Feedback and survey tools like those offered by Kampyle and KissInsights make it cheap and easy to find out what your website visitors are looking for and what would make it easier for them to find it. Also, many younger users of the web are already very comfortable with feedback tools like these so look for an explosion in their usage rates.
Final conversion rate considerations
Some local business websites have so little traffic (less than 500 visits per month) that it can be difficult to even determine what their website’s visitor-to-lead conversion rate is. If this is the situation you’re in, you should probably make sure there are no obvious conversion rate obstacles on your website (like the phone number at the very bottom of the page when one of the most important things you want people to do is call you) and then invest in traffic, traffic, traffic. If you put the right tracking tools in place, you’ll be able to monitor (and improve) your website’s conversion rates over time and take actions to improve them.
If, on the other hand, you’re getting decent traffic to your site each month – say 1,500 visitors or more for a services company – you should probably review the conversion rate numbers above and if your website doesn’t exceed them, fix it first! Sending (more) traffic to a site that can’t close is an incredibly common situation, but it shouldn’t be.