How to Optimize Your Website’s Conversion Rate (Online Marketing)

You have launched your new website. Great! Now what? Just hoping that people will come back and make a purchase or sign up for your email list isn’t going to cut it. You need a solid strategy to establish yourself as a go-to source for your industry. You also need traffic. Now, here’s where things can get tricky. You could hire someone to build you a site with a high conversion rate for marketing purposes. But, you might be better served by taking the time to learn from more experienced marketers.

The Differences In Conversion Rates

The first and most important thing to understand about conversion rates is that they can vary widely from website to website. In fact, it is not uncommon for the conversion rates of two similar websites to vary by as much as threefold. To give you an example, let’s take a look at Google and Bing.

“The keyword rankings for these two search engines are fairly similar,” HubSpot’s Senior Manager of Growth Emily DeMarco notes. “But the cost-per-click (CPC) for ads on Bing is significantly higher than on Google.”

As a result, DeMarco explains that if you’re running ads on Bing, you’re likely to see much higher conversion rates than if you’re running ads on Google. The reason behind this is that advertisers on Bing can choose the search engine’s target market more carefully, and they have more control over the types of ads they appear to have on their site.

The Importance Of Conversion Tracking

Another critical factor that influences a website’s conversion rate is conversion tracking. Websites that track their users’ behavior enable marketers to get a much better understanding of what is and isn’t working on their site. Because web browsers are always logged into an account when they’re on a website, it’s relatively easy for a marketing agency or business owner to track the actions of individual users on a website.

This kind of analysis can tell you a lot about your target audience and guide your decisions about future product offerings or website redesigns. For example, you might find that almost all of your site’s visitors are browsing around the corner of your site or close to the bottom of the page, but that only about 10% are making a purchase — perhaps because they’re not quite clear on what you offer or because your prices are higher than the competition. You might want to consider lowering your prices to boost your sales.

What To Look For

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to increasing a website’s conversion rate, there are a few tried and tested tips that can help you get the best from your online marketing efforts. First of all, research suggests that adding a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of a web page can boost sales by as much as 30%.

A CTA is an acronym for a call-to-action, which simply means that the action you want the viewer to take is provided at the very end of the webpage. This could be something as simple as subscribing to a mailing list or buying a product (or visiting a website).

Adding a CTA to your site can be done using a range of tools, including but not limited to:

  • Contact form
  • Button
  • Image and badge
  • Honeycomb button
  • Navigation bar
  • Footer
  • Sidebar
  • Call-to-action box

As a general rule, make sure that your call-to-action is relevant to the content that you’re presenting. It’s easy for an online marketer to slip into the role of a salesperson and end up over-selling or upselling a product that they think a customer will be interested in. Keep your CTA consistent throughout your site and avoid overusing it in order not to dilute its effectiveness.

How Long Should A Call-To-Action Last?

One of the first things that you should do when you implement a call-to-action onto your site is to determine how long it should last. This, of course, will be dependent on the action that you’ve promoted — whether it’s buying a product, signing up for a service, or requesting a call back. Longer duration = more consideration.

It’s also worth considering how often people scan a page when they’re on the move. We’re always on the move these days, constantly checking our phones for messages, notifications, and emails. As a result, we might not have the time to stop and read the entirety of a website’s content before acting.

According to HubSpot’s research, a scroll bar that appears to contain useful information or a call to action is 8% more likely to be clicked on than a scroll bar that doesn’t contain any information. When it comes to encouraging users to act, it’s vital to keep your calls to action concise yet informative.

Make Sure Your Calls To Action Work

Calls to action do not work unless the viewer takes the desired action — and not just any action but the right action based on what’s important to you as a business owner or marketer. For example, if the goal is to drive traffic to a specific landing page, then make sure that the call-to-action provides quick and easy access to that page.

Sometimes, a call to action can also lead to an error message or 404 page. Because these are unhelpful and potentially distracting, it’s important to test calls to action thoroughly before rolling them out on your site. In some cases, this can mean rewriting entire sections of a website to better connect the action a user takes with the goal that you’ve set for them.

If you want to see how a call to action is performing on a website, simply look at the bottom of the page — right next to the URL — for the words “CTA”. This will show you the results of the action that was taken, whether the action was submitted by the visitor or automatically by the website.

Where Should I Place My Call-To-Action?

When you’ve determined the length of your desired CTA and you know which one you’ll use, it’s time to figure out where you’ll place it on your site. Keep in mind that the placement of your CTA will greatly impact the way that users experience your site. So, if you’re looking for an optimization win, put your CTA at the top of the page — but only if you can comfortably accommodate it.

However, if your CTA is at the top of the page, you’re going to want to consider what’s below it. A study from HubSpot found that the ideal location for a CTA is between the fifth and eighth paragraph of a web page. Beyond that, people start to tune out.

As a general rule, place your CTA as close to the end of a web page as possible.

Make Sure Your Calls To Action Stand Out

In addition to working, your call to action needs to stand out. To do this, you need to do two things:

  • Make sure that it’s easy to find
  • Make sure that it’s easy to understand

Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.

First of all, make sure that your CTA is easy to find. Use a color that is easily distinguishable from the background and ensure that it’s large enough for the viewer to easily understand.

As a rule of thumb, make sure that your CTA is somewhere towards the top of a page — preferably, at the end — to ensure that it gets the attention of the viewer. Alternatively, you can use an eye-catching graphic to draw attention to the CTA and keep it at the top of the page. Just make sure that the graphic isn’t so large that it overpowers the content on the page.

The second thing that you need to do in order to make sure that your CTA stands out is to make sure that it’s easy for the viewer to understand. You do this by making sure that it’s short and simple. In the example that we mentioned above, the CTA provided users with quick, easy access to a specific product or service. To make sure that they don’t get distracted by details on the page, keep the CTA short and sweet.