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5 Things Online Businesses Can Do Today to Increase Conversion Rate

Moves you can make quickly, and which will have dramatic impact.

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The average conversion rate for a website is 4.31%, though this figure varies by industry, of course. Ecommerce sites, for example, average a 2.9% conversion rate, while B2B SaaS websites average a 5% conversion rate. Such a variety of figures makes answering the seemingly simply question, "What's a good rate?" more challenging.

Let's say your site runs at a 1% rate; that means that for every 100 visitors to the site, you can expect one customer. If the traffic goes up to 1,000 visitors, you can expect ten, and so on. This conversion rate could be good or bad, depending on industry standards, but the fundamental principle must be getting more out of present traffic. You'll likely spend 10 to 15% of revenue on marketing — with the sole purpose of getting the best leads for your sales team — so increasing that conversion rate is vital.

But how?

1. Establish trust with social proof

Most customers don't want to be the first to try out a new product, and having a beautiful website with compelling copy won't take you far without customer testimonials. Recent surveys show that an average customer reads ten online reviews before making a purchase, and that 94% of such customers are likely to patronize a brand with positive reviews. Hence, including "social proof" is key. You can start by adding logos of companies you work with or have worked with before, along with their accounts of your merits, if that's possible. If you don't work with companies, including testimonials and reviews from customers. The goal is to put minds at ease, both before and after purchasing from you.

2. Communicate and simplify your unique value proposition

Too often, businesses try to entice by promising more than they can fulfill. The fact is that everyone can't be your customer, so communicating exactly what you offer to prospects will differentiate you from others they might be considering. This unique value proposition is something prospects should understand once they land on your website, and without the need to scroll. It should, with simple words, address their current problems and provide solutions. An additional tip is to focus more on the benefits your product offers rather than its features. This way, visitors can easily picture how your product will solve their problem.

Related: How to Develop a Winning Value Proposition (Infographic)

3. Remove friction in a customer's journey

One of the best ways to increase conversion rate is by making every part of a customer's journey seamless. Hurdles like multiple CTAs, long sign-up forms and frequent pop-ups contribute to reducing the rate. For example, let's discuss the impact of long sign-up forms. Hewlett Packard recently reported a 186% increase in email opt-ins after it trimmed form fields, and Neil Patel, co-founder of Neil Patel Digital, saw a 26% increase in conversions simply by removing the "Revenue" field from one form on his site. While considering the best form length, keep in mind that a Hubspot survey showed the average length is five fields long — a good figure to shoot for to produce the highest conversion rates. So, if customers at the moment have to fill out 11 fields before buying your product, cut it down to five at most.

Other methods of reducing user friction include removing distracting ads and pop-ups, speeding up website load time and reducing the website's cumulative layout shift.

Related: Video: How to Increase the Conversion Rate on Your Ads

4. Encourage small commitments

Taking a cue from the average conversion rates across industries, it's clear that a massive percentage of customers are not buying products immediately after they see them. For the most part, they are interested in buying, but are simply not ready to decide… yet. Encouraging small commitments that provide benefits influences this buying decision. Instead of using a "Place Order" link, consider changing it to "Talk to an Expert" — this way, you're positioning your business as one that helps customers make informed decisions.

5. Conduct A/B testing

There's no one fix-all when it comes to increasing conversion rates. Some methods will work for you, others won't, but you can only know the difference when you A/B test your website. Assess it first by running a heatmap tool like CrazyEgg, HotJar or Smartlook to help you see what parts are most active and which aren't. Then, you can quickly pinpoint what sections, links or pages you need to optimize for better conversions.

More broadly, once you make changes to any part of your website — whether layout, color gradients, CTA, copy, headlines, etc. — test it with your audience and compare results. This way, you can make better decisions that will have a positive impact.

Related: 5 Game-Changing Ecommerce Trends in 2022

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