6 Ways to Drastically Improve Your Website's Conversion Rate

Get more out of your existing audience with these six tips.

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By Jonathan Long

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A lot of my online marketing consulting clients have the same dilemma when they come to me for advice -- their traffic numbers are solid, but the leads, sales and revenue just aren't there. Your conversion rate is one of the more, if not most, important metrics you should be focused on. Let me quickly explain why.

Imagine if you have a website that attracts 10,000 visitors per month, and you are converting at 1.2 percent, resulting in 120 sales -- and your competitor has lower traffic numbers, at 5,000 visitors per month, but a conversion rate of three percent. They would be generating 150 sales -- 30 more than you, but with just half of the traffic.

Website traffic is just part of the success equation -- it's useless if it isn't converting. Here are six ways to improve your website's conversion rate.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Use visuals like videos and infographics.

It's no secret that visual content outperforms traditional text-based content. Consumers would much rather watch a video or skim over an infographic rather than read a drawn-out description of a product or service.

A quick video description or demonstration right next to your call-to-action can not only effectively capture the attention of your visitors, but it can also push a higher percentage of them to convert on your offer.

The reason is simple -- when you have the full attention of a visitor, they are more likely to understand the offer, resulting in a higher percentage of them taking action. I'll give you a real-life example. I just purchased a new mattress from Purple the other day, and the company's video was what made me go with them over the competitors. I was going back and forth reading reviews and product descriptions for several brands -- but it was Purple's video that was responsible for me converting into a sale.

If your offer is not one that many would consider interesting and exciting, consider creating an animated explainer video. These can often help present a traditionally bland offer in a more entertaining manner, helping to squeeze out more conversions.

Make the conversion process as simple as possible.

Every visitor that lands on your website has a price attached to them, whether it's in terms of a cost-per-click via a paid media campaign or the time and money invested in content marketing, search engine optimization or social media. Your website traffic costs money, so it's important that you maximize your results by making it as easy as possible for your visitors to complete the conversion objective you have established.

This car accident lawyer website is a perfect example of simplified conversion processes -- they have three options. A visitor can land on their website and immediately convert one of three ways -- complete a form for a consultation, start a live chat or click-to-call and be connected to the firm to discuss his or her needs.

It's important that you remember that the majority of your traffic will be hitting your website on a mobile device -- so make it simple on all screen sizes and devices. The example above is great on desktops and laptops, but it's clear that the design was based on mobile traffic, which also offers the option to text the firm.

Related: 10 Marketing Influencers That Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From

Make guarantees, reviews and testimonials easily visible.

When purchasing online, consumers want to feel confident that they are not only dealing with a trustworthy business, but also that they are making a smart selection in terms of product or service. This is where any guarantees, reviews or testimonials can come into play and really help improve your conversion rates.

It's important that you place these in areas that are visible, but also in a way that makes it convenient for consumers to use the information to make a purchase they feel confident in. I'll give you another real-life example. I just purchased a new TV online from Best Buy, and the reviews for the particular model I selected came into play. If you look at its TV selection here, you will see that it's impossible to miss the reviews -- they are next to each item.

Make sure that any information like this that can help push visitors to convert is easily visible. You never want to make someone search for this information -- put it directly in front of them.

Place your call-to-action directly in front of your visitors.

When someone lands on your website, you literally have seconds to direct them to an action -- after a few seconds, it's likely they will bounce off the current page or click the 'back' button and find another option, which is often your competitor.

By placing your call-to-action directly in front of your visitors, where they can't miss it, will greatly improve your conversion rate. Look at the website for El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers and you will see their call-to-action right in front of your eyes on both desktop and mobile devices. It's impossible to visit the website without seeing the "GET A FREE CONSULTATION" button.

Your call-to-action also needs to make sense for the particular situation. The wrong one, even if directly in front of your visitors, will not perform well. In the example website given, their visitors are more than likely looking for help, so a call-to-action offering a free consultation makes sense. An offer to join a newsletter, for example, wouldn't makes sense, as their traffic is seeking a solution to a problem.

Related: 4 Ways to Market Your Business for Free

Be straightforward and transparent.

The average consumer is extremely savvy when it comes to ecommerce shopping and the safety of their personal information. They can smell fluff and BS a mile away -- any sense of that and they will leave your website and never return.

I'm going to use an email submit form as an example. I see so many websites with a form, asking for a name and email address, yet there is no explanation of what the consumer receives in return. Nobody, especially today, is going to blindly hand over his or her email address without knowing what they are signing up for.

If they are going to receive a weekly newsletter, let them know. If you will be sending them periodic special offers and discount codes, make that clear. When your offers are crystal clear you will not only increase your conversions, but the quality will be much higher, as the consumers know exactly what they are signing up for.

Keep your design simple and responsive.

There are two major benefits of a simple and responsive website design -- fewer distractions and/or options help to push the consumer to your desired call-to-action faster and it ensures that every visitor can easily convert, regardless of the type of device they are browsing on.

If your product or service is complicated, it's important that you simplify it, in terms of design. For example, stocks and trading is a very complex topic, but if you look at the website for Interactive Trader, an online resource for learning to invest, you see that it's a very simple design.

Years ago, companies would go over the top with flash animation and sophisticated designs. Now, simple flat designs are popular -- because they convert much better. A simple design featuring a clear conversion path wins every time. For an example of what not to do, check out this website.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

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