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Does Your Website Convert?

It’s a common scenario. The clicks are rolling into your business website! Traffic is increasing! But…where are the conversions? It’s frustrating to watch positive engagement with your site and not receive a single customer. The problem? Chances are that your website needs a refresh.

Maybe you haven’t updated your website since its inception. But the days of just “having a website” to check off a box as a business owner are long gone. Potential customers expect you to not only have a website but a modern one that immediately answers their questions and solves their problems.

If your website can’t do that, your competitor’s site certainly will.

It’s time to troubleshoot your website for conversion issues. Let’s figure out what’s preventing your customers from converting and optimize your website for your customers.

 What Is Your Website’s Objective?

When you initially launched your website, did you have a goal in mind for it? Of course, you wanted conversions. But now you need to ask yourself, is your website designed with this objective in mind? You may want to generate leads, but after some time, you may realize that your website only builds awareness of your brand. If your website doesn’t have a clear call to action and long load times, you’re not exactly setting up your customers to convert.

So go back to square one. Ask yourself what concrete goals you want out of your website. Loosely optimizing for “conversions” isn’t very specific. It’s all too easy to get lost without defining what you want your customers to do. If you want to generate more leads and revenue, set a SMART goal as to how your website can achieve it.

For example, you may want to increase your monthly sales for your product by 30%. Or if your business offers a service, maybe you want to generate more form fills every month. Make a goal to increase form fills by 10% next month.

You’ll want to figure out what your current conversion rate is. To calculate your conversion rate on your website, divide the number of conversions you received by the total number of sessions on your website. You can obtain this information from Google Analytics.

Conversion rates may vary by industry, but overwhelmingly the top websites have an 11.45% or higher conversion rate. If that’s your goal, optimize for it!

What is a “Conversion” Anyway?

We’ve talked about conversions a lot, but how you define them matters. Let’s go back to the basics. Conversions are defined as the completion of a goal on your website. This goal will be relative to your company and your goals. Ecommerce companies want potential customers to purchase products. Companies that provide a service may want to collect leads through a form fill or a phone call.

Consider your Micro Conversions

We often think of conversions on a macro level, but micro-conversions also play an integral role in your conversion strategy. Micro conversions are smaller conversion actions that help users along in the sales funnel. Think along the lines of signing up for a newsletter or attending a web conference.

Maybe this customer didn’t make a purchase or call you today. But they are well on the way to becoming a customer by allowing you to continue to conversation with them. Customers who complete micro conversions are important to study. They trust your brand enough to read your newsletter and can advocate for you to other future customers.

You’ll want to track both macro and micro conversions in Google Analytics to learn more about your customers. Make sure to be descriptive when labeling your goals in Google Analytics so you can tell the difference between a macro and micro-conversion.

It’s also important to remember that not every interaction on the website is a conversion. Overinflating conversions isn’t going to bode well for your overall strategy. Your macro and micro conversions should be defined interactions that relate directly to your strategy and sales funnel.

What are Major Conversion Killers?

Once you’ve carefully defined your conversion actions, you carefully check your analytics and wait for them to roll in. You know something is wrong with your conversion strategy if they aren’t happening. Your website might be guilty of one of these common conversion killers.

The Call to Action is Muddled

The call to action is the lifeline of your website. It invites your user to clearly take a concrete step towards converting. Without an obvious signpost, users may want to make a purchase or call you but have no way to do so. Users have no idea what to do on your website after they read about you, so they leave.

All the following errors can kill your call to action:

  • You have a call to action, but it isn’t clear. You’re asking your users to read a massive chunk of text to find it.
  • The call to action isn’t a bright color or a large font. It’s easy to overlook.
  • Even worse, your call to action button says to make a purchase, but the button leads the user to your newsletter.
  • Your website is asking your customer to take multiple steps at once. Sign up here, fill out this form, call us, and email us! Users have no idea what action to take, so they abandon the page entirely.


Navigation Is a Mess

Poor navigation can stem from an unfocused website without a goal. Or your web developer didn’t do their job correctly. Your website provides too much information that’s difficult to access. Some links are broken, and images don’t load. If your website takes too long to load, you’re frustrating future prospects. It’s only natural that they’ll leave the page.

Another thing to consider is if the website is mobile-friendly. More than 60% of users use mobile phones to navigate websites. If your website was only designed to work well on desktops, your website performs poorly for most of your customers! Users should be able to navigate your website using only their thumb. If users can’t finish their purchase due to poor navigation or load the page properly, you’ve lost them.

Design is Trumping Function

We’ve discussed the importance of a modern site. But letting a super-fancy design trump function will prove to be a fatal mistake. If your web designer added pretty carousels, pop-ups, and videos, that may help your brand gain some legitimacy. But if users don’t like it, it won’t help conversions.

Again, it’s important to test these features with real customers to get their feedback. Annoying popups auto-played videos, and carousels of photos can irritate potential customers. The branding feature isn’t worth it if it’s driving potential customers away.

How to Improve Conversion Rate

It may be obvious by now that you need an objective-oriented website. You need to fix technical issues that are detracting from your conversion goal. Once you’ve done so, try these additional steps to bring your conversion rate to the next level.

Fix the User Experience

If anything is broken on your website, that needs to be fixed first. Even if your website has engaging web copy, a poor user experience can kill it. Work with your web developer to fix broken links, speed up the load time, and optimize your site for mobile if you haven’t already.

Once your website is free of any errors, you still may want to change the website navigation to optimize for conversions. Make sure your calls to action are clear and properly tracked in Google Analytics.

From there, your design needs to be carefully tested. You may want to arrange for a website audit with your customers. Figure out what they like or don’t like when navigating your website. Take into consideration their feedback when redesigning your website. You may want to use User Testing to recruit a willing pool of webpage testers.

Work on Building Trust

Trust isn’t earned overnight. Especially as a new customer, it’s essential to prove your trustworthiness to your client on your website. If you haven’t already, make sure your website is on a secure server. Purchase an SSL certificate so users don’t receive the “not secure” notification in their browser.

Display your favorable ratings on Google. Ask customers to provide testimonials. Customers are certainly swayed by social proof. Their testimonials should highlight the benefits of your product or service. Testimonials should address any concerns they had and how your company alleviated them.

Recruit the Ideal Audience

No matter what you do, you’re never going to have a stellar conversion rate with your dog walking services if you’re only bringing in traffic from cat owners. You’ve done a lot of work in brainstorming your customer base and optimizing your website.

It’s not enough to think about them. You need to actively bring your audience to your website! Work on your inbound and outbound marketing strategies to bring the right people to your website.

SEO – Once you redesign your website for conversions, you’ll need to submit it to Google Console to index it. Google will crawl your website and make it available to find through the search engine.

You’ll also want to do some keyword research to find trending long-tail keywords relevant to your company. Optimize your website to rank for these keywords through your webpage copy.

Paid Channels – Supercharge your audience base by running some paid ads on platforms your customers use. Like you did for your SEO strategy, bid on some long-tail keywords using the keyword planner tool. Start with paid search like Google Ads to get an instant presence on search engines.

Complement that strategy with paid social on channels that make sense for your audience. Create engaging ads using YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram that lead directly to your website.

Owned Channels – Finally, your website and social media can help both your SEO and paid efforts. Consider adding a blog to your website to rank for long-tail keywords.

 Establish a scheduled social media strategy on major platforms your customers use. Create social media posts that are interesting or useful to your customer base. Post user-generated content that helps with user-generated content that helps with social proof. By providing valuable content, you’ll help drive relevant users to your website.

Measure Any and All Changes

At the end of the day, you can guess what your customers want all you’d like. But listening to your customers is the remedy to your conversion woes. When you make any changes, make sure to test all of them to ensure they’re working as you want them to.

The best way to test your hypotheses on your webpage is through A/B testing. A/B testing allows you to test web content changes between two audiences to see which one performs better. It’s ideal to employ this testing with subtle changes, not a drastically different landing page right away. This way, you can figure out what small changes people like best before changing everything. Try changing the placement of your call to action on the page. Or you can try switching up the web copy on the call to action such as book an appointment or contact us.

You’ll also want to keep a careful eye on Google Analytics or whatever analytics tool you feel most comfortable with. Continue to watch where most of your web traffic comes from. Analyze heat maps to see where users lose interest and bounce from your website. Keep an eye on the conversion rate. These analytics will also help inform how your search engine optimization is working and where you might want to make changes as well.

Measuring the efficacy of your website is an ongoing task. Just because something is working well now, doesn’t mean it always will. Continue to A/B test any new changes and watch your analytics in real-time. Your site will be ready to convert your next customer before the competition can!

If you need assistance in defining your company’s website objectives, contact us. We’re happy to help you start converting customers today.

author avatar
Cliff Tillery COO
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 15 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to interns and new employees, business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.
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