How to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate

By Madison Taylor
February 3, 2023
Person working at a computer

User experience on your website or blog serves to guide your visitors to the information they need to solve their problems — it doesn’t do you any good to have the best copy in the world if no one can find it or read it.

Good UX also makes a difference in your SEO, since Google has started to tweak its algorithm to consider things like pop-ups and autoplaying videos. Here is how you can improve your conversion rates on your website.

User Experience Must-Haves

Your CTAs should be short and sweet — make clear exactly what you’re asking users to do by clicking on it. They should also stand out from the body of the text, by color or even a small graphic. Think of where to place them — usually more than halfway down the page, so you know the people seeing them are already invested in what you’re writing.

There’s an old rule in UX that users should be able to find what they want on your site in three clicks or fewer. While the “three-click rule” isn’t hard and fast, the principle stands. Don’t hide important information behind a maze of menus and hard-to-read dropdowns.

Load time is important — according to Neil Patel, 25% of users will abandon a page if it takes more than four seconds to load. Mobile users are a little more patient, waiting 6-10 seconds before bailing, but the window is short regardless. Loading your site up with too many graphics or behind-the-scenes software will drive load times up and people away.

Make sure your website is current, and updated regularly. Search engines will punish stale sites, and users will be put off by websites with outdated references. Visitors want to see that you’re actively working to publish new and useful information, and are more likely to trust you if you do.

Visitors should be able to find out how to contact you quickly and easily, whether through a Contact tab, info in the footer, a contact form, or all three. You don’t want any friction between your website and a potential lead who wants more information.

Make sure your site is mobile-optimized — mobile devices make up half of web traffic worldwide, and that number is only going up. Mobile is the way of the future, and if visitors can’t get just as much use out of your site on mobile as they can on desktop, you’re kissing customers, leads, and business goodbye.

Always Keep The Buyer’s Journey In Mind

You wouldn’t propose to someone on the first date, and you wouldn’t jump off the high dive your first time at a pool. Your visitors feel the same way.

They don’t want to feel pressured into committing their hard-earned dollars to a new purchase the moment they first hear about it — they want to come to that conclusion on their own.

Let’s say you make a premium foam mattress that costs around a thousand dollars. That’s a lot to spend, so customers need to be convinced. You’ve built your content around every phase of the buyer’s journey — awareness, consideration, and decision — and now you want to help guide your visitors through that journey to making a purchase.

If visitors are reading your article entitled “5 Reasons a Good Night’s Sleep Will Make You Happier,” they’re still in the awareness phase. They’re not sleeping well, and they’re feeling the effects and trying to learn more. They’re moving toward identifying the problem, but they haven’t settled on a solution yet. Now’s not the time to push a sale, it’s the time to guide them toward the consideration phase.

If visitors are watching video testimonials from happy mattress owners or reading “How Much Should You Spend On A Mattress,” they’re in the consideration phase. They’ve decided that a premium mattress is the solution to their problem, and they’re researching various options. At this phase, it’s your job to convince them that a foam mattress is the best solution to their problem.

Once they’re on the product page, or they’re watching videos about the proprietary layers and foam you use, they’ve decided on a foam mattress and they’re wondering if yours is the best for them. This is the point where you can start to brag about all the features you offer, free shipping, trial periods, etc. Offer them a limited time coupon or a free set of sheets if they buy right away!

The point of keeping the buyer’s journey in mind is that your visitors and leads need different levels of attention and information, depending on where they are in the process. You don’t want to come off as pushy because you couldn’t recognize that. Tune your CTAs and related links accordingly to keep people interested.

Where Are You Looking To Convert?

The stage in the buyer’s journey is important in deciding how you’re going to attempt to convert potential visitors, leads, or customers, but equally important is the context in which you’re meeting them.

Are you making first contact on social media? Make sure your links and messaging are clear, so that customers know exactly where to click and where the link will take them when they do.

Use a mixture of content to attract customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey — remember, you want your social media campaigns to have several touchpoints with the consumer along the way.

If you’re paying for ads or boosting posts, remember to segment and target accordingly. There’s no reason to show your content to people who won’t be receptive to it, and if you’ve put the work into building your buyer personas, you’ll know exactly who that is.

When visitors arrive at your website, your conversion goals will change. Depending on where they’re coming from — your analytics will help with that — they may already be educated and interested in your product, and just need a little push to turn into a paying customer.

Think about whether they’re reading your blog, arriving at your front page from search, or clicking directly through to a purchase page.

Think about your CTAs specifically. They should be visually striking, standing out from the page itself. The copy should be short and sweet, compelling you to click the offer. The language should be action-oriented — make it clear exactly what you’re asking visitors to do and what they’ll get out of it when they do.

Location is important too — CTAs should be easy to find, blending in well with the flow of the page. They should be far enough down the page that you know your reader is invested by the time they get to the CTA. Make them large enough that they’re easy to see, but not so much that they distract from the content.

When it comes to email, make sure your subject line is catchy and grabs the reader’s attention. It should be clear enough that they know what they’re opening when they click on the email, and the offer should be clear when they open the email itself.

While it’s a great idea to make the contents of the email compelling in and of themselves, don’t give away the farm! The email should encourage clicks through to your website, and your site should make the relevant offer clear and obvious when they arrive.

If visitors are coming through email, they’re almost certainly in the decision phase of the buyer’s journey. They signed up for your email newsletter because they’ve learned about your company, they like what you do, and they’re interested in knowing more. Don’t waste energy treating email subscribers like first-time visitors.

Don’t Overthink it

While optimizing a website to improve conversion rates is undoubtedly essential for business success, overthinking the process can be counterproductive. Overzealous optimization efforts can lead to analysis paralysis, wasting valuable time and resources on minor tweaks that yield diminishing returns.

Striking the right balance between optimization and actual content creation or product development is crucial. Focusing excessively on optimization can also hinder creativity and innovation, stalling progress. Instead, it’s important to adopt a data-driven approach, test, and iterate on changes, and prioritize the most impactful optimizations to maximize efficiency and ensure the effort is genuinely worth the time invested.