3 Ways to Improve Conversions on Your Website Small changes to your website can make a major impact when it comes to your overall business performance

By Maggie Patterson

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The days of using your website as a brochure for your business are long gone. Now your website has to do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to connecting with your visitors and moving them into action towards becoming a client or customer. But this isn't easy.

As a copywriter who specializes in website and sales copy for entrepreneurs and startups, I've noticed too many websites simply don't deliver what they need to convert visitors into customers.

The breakdown typically comes from a lack of understanding. Every element of your site -- from the copy to the design -- should be intentional and help you reach your business goals but unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

Related: 7 Tips to Improve Your Site's Conversion Rate -- Fast

When looking at your site, you need to have clear goals, like making sales, building your email list or getting people to sign up for a trial or free demo. If you get someone to your website, you can't leave the next step to chance: getting them to take action.

Without that goal at the forefront, you're killing conversions on your website.

Determining your conversion rates

A conversion is defined as the completion of an action such as a sale or a sign up for a free demo. Each time someone completes the desired action, you can consider that a conversion.

To establish a baseline conversion rate, you can do some quick and easy math: Divide your total number of visitors by the number of sales made. So if you have 10,000 visitors a month and make 200 sales, you have a conversion rate of 2 percent.

If you're wondering how well your site is converting, figuring out your conversion rate is easy. You can get started by setting up simple conversion goals in Google Analytics, or if you want to track more sophisticated metrics, you can use your CRM or email service provider.

When it comes to improving your business results, making small changes to improve your conversion rate can make a significant impact on the bottom line. Instead of focusing on trying to get more traffic to your site, you may find that focusing on a higher conversion rate is much more effective and efficient.

To help you increase your website's conversions, here are three proven ways to get started:

1. Deliver clear website copy

When it comes to writing copy for any website, it's common for the curse of knowledge to set in. We assume that our visitors speak our language, so we use a lot of jargon or insider lingo. Instead of speaking the industry language, we need to select words that connect with their needs and address their challenges while being clear.

If you're not sure how you stack up, start by doing a quick check on your website copy. Is it easily understood? Can the average person read the copy and understand it? If not, you may need a copy refresh.

Related: 10 Tweaks That Instantly Increase Mobile Conversion Rates

2. Outline the next step with strong calls to action

Every time you make an ask on your website, that's your call to action. The action is what you want them to do next. Do you want them to buy? Subscribe? Request more information? When your call to action is unclear or hidden, it makes it hard for people to take the next step.

Take a look at your calls to action to see if they are easy to read and whether they pop on the page. Ideally, the language should be engaging, so avoid using button copy like "submit" or "buy now." Instead, create a stronger connection with more powerful phrases like "sign me up" or " I'm in.". And make sure to use high-contrasting colors on your call-to-action buttons, so they're very obvious to visitors.

3. Create trust with social proof

The fastest way to build trust is by using what's called social proof. As the name suggests, you need to use third-party proof to demonstrate that you or your organization can be trusted. Some examples of social proof include press or customer logos, case studies, counts of subscribers, customers or social followers and professional designations. Careful placement of social proof throughout your site helps to reduce friction for visitors, so they'll become more comfortable with taking the next step with you.

Small changes to your website can make a major impact when it comes to your overall business performance. By putting your customer's needs and viewpoint first with your copy, calls to action and social proof, you can work to improve your site's conversion rate and create a stronger visitor experience.

Related: 39 Quick Ways to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate

Maggie Patterson

Communications Strategist

Maggie Patterson is a communications strategist focused on storytelling as the way to make marketing meaningful. With 15 years experience, she works with entrepreneurs and corporations to help them tell the stories that matter and boost the bottom line in the process.

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