August 24, 2018
Do you want a proven website conversion rate optimization elements list that works? Here’s how we do it so you can do it, too.
I am no guru in CVR Marketing, I still learn. Every day I do. For the last 20+ years or so. Moreover, as soon as I have some fresh website conversion idea, I test the hypothesis on one of my own websites, and the outcome sometimes is a total surprise. Again and again. I think people are all different, aren’t they?
Over the past years, I’ve gathered insight into the conversion optimization topic, and I think there are some tips that I can give.
Because some things do work most of the time. These are classical elements that will make your website convert better. You will generate more sales, or generate more inquiries, or whatever your conversion goals are, you can benefit from this Article.
You probably spend a ton of time, money and chunks of effort into that search engine optimization strategy and online paid advertising campaigns. Then when you’ve managed to attract more traffic to your website, you discover the site’s bounce rate is out of normality. Alternatively, people gladly come to your web pages, consume the content and quietly leave with no action taken. So if your website as a critical component of your sales and marketing funnels (and it should!), that will hurt.
It is painful to watch helplessly as your increased website visitors leave without as much as starting a conversation with you. Paying more attention to conversion rate optimization can help you find a smarter way to turn departing visitors to your brand’s evangelist and buying customers.
I am here today to show you how most Marketing Agencies Boost Website Conversions For their Clients and Themselves (A Practical Guide, I hope…). As a practicing conversion rate optimization (CRO) professional, I’ll share with you what has worked for our clients and us.
By the end of this guide, it is my aim that you’ll be able to apply the best website conversion rate optimization techniques to your business. However, before that, maybe we ought to start with understanding conversion and why it is vital to both online and offline brands.
Website conversion is the percentage of your website visitors that complete a specific action over the total number of visitors. It’s a simple and straightforward definition.
A good example is the fraction of your visitors that subscribe to your email list. Alternatively, it can be the number of visitors that purchase your product, or order service through the website.
Calculating your website’s conversion rate can offer accurate, data-backed insight into your web pages performance, and measure whether you are accomplishing your conversion goals.
There are macro-conversion and micro-conversion goals.
Macro-conversions describe the primary goal of your website while micro-conversions are actions visitors take along your funnel before they can take the principal or primary action.
Examples of macro-conversion goals include:
Examples of micro-conversion goals include:
The specific action your visitor takes depends on the stage where your potential customer is within your funnels. For example, an e-commerce website’s primary goal is to convert visitors into buying customers. The secondary goal might be cross-selling or up-selling. These two goals are close to the bottom of the funnel. So if your visitors were too early in the funnel, they would most probably not convert. That’s important. If you are trying to close the deal too early, the conversion will suffer. So before even thinking of conversion I advise designing an excellent measurable cross-channel funnel. Then you can start thinking about CRO.
There are many ways for optimizing your web pages for higher conversions. Here is one example that I think deserves its high place.
Credit: CRO Process infographic by Paddy Moogan
Google reported in 2016 that about 76% of local smartphone searchers visit a related local business on the same day.
About 28% of those visits result in a local purchase.
Listing your business in online business directories such as Google My Business (also called Google Maps) is also a good start. Also, since around mid-2015, the online search giant showed “near me” searches increased dramatically. So, clearly, online conversion optimization also matters to offline businesses. You need to optimize the pages in such a way that the local business visitor wants to call you, send an inquiry or just come to talk to you.
Determining what a good conversion rate is and what’s not may require you compare what other businesses in your industry get. The benchmark numbers are sometimes hard to get. Here is what I often see (although we’ll discuss this in a few moments below because the average conversion rate by industry is probably not the smarter way to benchmark your website conversions): Most accounts fair between 1% and 5%, averaging out at 2.2-2.7%.
I decided to look beyond my yard and found four more compelling average conversion rate statistics. All of them emphasize what I often see:
WordStream released a report indicating the average landing page conversion rate is around 2.35% for PPC campaigns. After analyzing “thousands” of Google Ads pages for three months, the firm summarized that 3.75% was the average conversion rate in AdWords on the Search network. According to the same report, advertisers can expect a 0.77% average CVR on the Google Display Network (which covers Google’s huge network of apps, websites, videos, and more placements).
Now look closely:
You’ll notice that the top 25 advertisers hit the 5.31% threshold. Look to the far-right and the runaway, top-10% accounts hit average conversion rates of 11.45% and beyond.
The top performers not only hit the sweet 11.45% spot with just their landing pages, they also hit the double-figure across their entire accounts.
However, different industries perform differently-even dramatically so in some case as you can see here:
And it runs deeper.
See the comparison between e-commerce average conversion rate with that of finance sites to get how different the averages can ramp up:
After analyzing 64,284 landing pages it built for its customers, and which generated a total of 74.5 million visits, it found the average conversion rate for landing pages in 2018 is around 3-5.5%.
Note that the 64,000+ landing pages covered 10 different categories; real estate, consulting, vocational learning (job training), business and business services, health, credit/lending, home improvement, travel, higher education, and legal.
MarketingSherpa reported in 2014 that the average conversion rate for online retail stores hovered around 1.4%.
Here is the average conversion rate by product, according to MarketingSherpa:
In 2015, FireClick Index Data ramped up that figure to around 7.2%.
FireClick also showed that multiple-product stores converted higher than niche stores selling only one product. However, that contradicts the firm’s own data that earlier stated specialty sites (7.6%) converted better than multiple-product stores (6.7%).
Invesp awarded the best performer title to Play.google.com with 30% CVR, followed by moviemars.com (22.95%), dollarshaveclub.com (20.00%), 1800contacts.com (18.40%), and 1800flowers.com rounded up the top-5 with 16.90%.
According to Invest internal data, the average conversion rate for affiliate websites is 26% (based on 17 websites). Average lead generation website conversion rates come to around 13% based on the sample of 35 lead generation websites it used.
Wolfgang Digital also reported the average conversion rate for e-commerce websites was 1.6% in 2017. Also, that a majority of online buyers still prefer to buy from a desktop computer, with slightly more Mac users than Windows users making the online purchase decisions.
Via Wolfgang Digital
I promised we were going to come back to this, so here comes.
Average conversion rate benchmarking can be misleading.
From the actual experience of helping my clients optimize their website conversions, there is not a standard benchmark since every firm is different.
WordStream’s data also shows this, indicating dramatic differences between a top-performing industry like finance and e-commerce, the average performer according to its study.
Moreover, the number you hit will depend on several aspects:
– Type of service/product you offer
– A device used (desktop, mobile, tablet)
– Product cost or average order value
– Traffic source (social, search, referral, etc.)
– The platform used (Mac, Windows, IOS, Android, etc.), and more
So, how can you convert more browsers to buyers on your website in 2018?
Here are the techniques I use and have successfully implemented for our clients for some time now.
Not only the page load speed is a search engine ranking factor, it is also a visitor retention parameter. While most sites take up to 6 seconds to load, the best site speed is below 2 seconds. A 1-second delay in site loading hurts your opportunity to convert a visitor by 7%. Slow-loading websites perform poorly in search engine ranking pages (SERPs) too.
That extends to website responsiveness, with responsive and mobile-friendly websites taking top honors, according to my own observation and A/B tests.
How your pages look matter a whole lot. How they feel to the visitor matters even more.
Check the numbers:
An important aspect that often falls under usability is cluttering. However, reducing the number of options on a page to just a few important ones can also fire up your conversion optimization strategy in all cylinders, according to Hick’s Law.
And be sure to use the Rule of Thirds in your website design layout to attract your visitors’ attention on the primary call-to-action.
Content is still king.
Also, the content design is a thing. Not only will you benefit from producing long-form content that addresses your target audience’s pain points and offers solutions, but you’ll also want to make it scannable and easy to digest for readers.
With online attention spans plummeting meteorically, you’ll want to design content (infographics, images, video, and text posts) in ways that your target audience resonates with.
You’ll want to:
– Clearly lay out your unique selling proposition and value proposition
– Explain why the visitor should trust you
– Also, answer frequently asked questions right on the website (preferably on a dedicated page or on your homepage).
Testing. Testing. Testing.
Few companies are consistently testing their conversion optimization tools. About 61% of companies conduct less than 5 tests in a month to be precise.
A/B/X testing is so important, a throng of companies have used the trial-error-improve route to improve conversions, according to an Econsultancy finding. Hiring an A/B testing expert can go a long way in ensuring you double sales from increased website conversions.
The thing to keep in mind with contact forms is to keep them short and sweet. No one wants to fill out a full-on questionnaire in one dive. You can do better by starting with only three filling fields.
Need more information from the visitor?
Create a next-step form with another three fields, and so on. You want to make your visitors feel like less work is required from them. You want to cut the commitment to the minimum possible.
Be sure to make it easy for visitors to convert by showing call-to-action buttons on all pages. Adding one in the header and below your sales copy is especially effective.
Also, if you are in Europe or America, do place your most important forms on the top-left or in the mid-left section of your website layout, where readers are most likely to see it since most people read from left to right.
I’ve seen increased conversions when setting up a chat service on a client’s website such that it pops up almost immediately the website loads. You have only about 8 seconds to make contact before a guest likely leaves.
The video makes your business seem more human compared to blocks of plain text and static images. Using quality photos can get you 94% more views, according to SkyWord. Want shares and downloads? Provide quality infographics. Best of all, though, be sure to have smiling human faces on your website pages. People trust people, friendly people. Faces increase familiarity and a dose of human touch to the page and overall website. And nothing is as big a conversion rate optimization element than earning visitors trust. But PLEASE avoid the free lifeless business’y stock images. Will you? Pleeeeease??! … Thank you! Ok, let’s move on now.
Everyone loves a good gift. Offers giveaways that resonate with your target audience in return for their email addresses to grow your mailing list for future campaigns.
The CRO process can paint an accurate picture of how visitors move through your site, what actions they take, and what issues stop them along that funnel so you can fix them to improve your conversion rate. Improving your website conversion can help generate more sales, build a solid email list, and increase customer loyalty.
However, a pattern I notice with many businesses is they are not sure where to begin or what to do next to increase conversions. To turn that around, you can use the eight tried-and-tested conversion rate optimization techniques discussed here to make a difference.
Another thing to keep in mind is you are likely to see small but gradual improvements and not necessarily disruptive boosts at a time – unless the website is in a dire situation as it is now. The key is to consistently use A/B/X testing to find out what works best for your specific audience. Do not change more than one variable at a time though. Otherwise, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t.
Over to you now.
About the Author
Denys Dubner is the founder and CEO of a Swiss-based marketing strategy consulting firm and a digital agency SONDORA SA. He has an insatiable hunger to help businesses design and execute marketing strategies, align Marketing and Sales with sound, data-backed and actionable advise. With over 20 years of experience to boost, he continues to help businesses of all sizes improve their marketing, sales, and business development worldwide.