How To Improve Your Website Conversion Rate

So you design a beautiful site, and you’re getting a lot of traffic, but you still aren’t generating the sales or leads that it takes to justify the cost of the site. If you’re wondering why your conversion rate isn’t what it needs to be it’s probably for one of two reasons: 1) Your website doesn’t have clear calls to action that make it easy for your visitors to convert or 2) You’re driving the wrong type of visitor to your website. There’s a simple test to determine which issue is probably holding your conversion rate down:

  1. If you’re talking to your website design shop, it is probably that your SEO/online marketing firm is sending you lousy traffic.
  2. If you’re talking to your SEO/online marketing agency, it’s because of your crappy website design.

Okay, still now satisfied? Take a look at Google Analytics and let’s dig in.

  1. First, stop thinking about site wide conversions. It’s not that your site converts at 1%. It’s that search converts at 4% and direct traffic at .4% and referring sites at 1.2%. Then dig in deeper. Maybe search converts at 4% but some keywords convert at a whopping 20% and some have not driven a single conversion. And, you’ll be surprised which ones convert best. Now imagine if you put all your efforts into the 20% converting keywords and keywords closely related to those terms. Then look at that referring site traffic. Does Twitter convert at 9%? Do Tweets sent on Tuesdays convert even better, say 11%? Now what about Tweets sent on Tuesdays that are about diabetes treatment? Do those convert at 14%? Start thinking about conversion at the micro level. And if your PPC traffic as a whole is only converting at .02%, don’t give up. Just trim the fat on non- converting keywords and shift budget and attention to those that do convert. You may end up with 200 keywords in your campaigns. or 2000, or 20.
  2. Next start using Google Analytics to track conversion paths.  You can set up goal funnels  and examine what pages are most likely to lead someone to convert. You may find that visitors who view your “About” page are more likely to convert than those who don’t. Or that visitors who view your testimonial page never convert. You may find that certain page combinations raise conversions. You may find that you can convert visitors with one slick page and very little copy, or that you may need five pages with a lot of copy to convert a visitor.
  3. Now look at the relationships between one and two above. Maybe people who visit your site from a keyword search on your brand name just need that flashy, simple page to convert. Maybe your Facebook fans convert without ever looking at your “About” page. But visitors from PPC may need to look at five pages and educate themselves before converting.

All this should guide your marketing activity. You may decide to target Twitter visitors at 11 am on Tuesdays and drive them to the ‘Patient Information” page. Your PPC visitors may require a very different message, at a different time and a very different landing page. Stop thinking about a single conversion rate for your site and start thinking about improving a hundred very targeted conversion paths.

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