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How to Increase Conversion Rates — 15 Ways to Make More From Your Web Traffic

Increase conversion rates on your website to maximize the value of every visitor who lands there. Keep reading to learn how to build your conversion strategy plus take away 15 actionable tips to convert more customers.

Aug 27, 2021

9 m read

Did you know that 78% of marketers are dissatisfied with their conversion rates? If you’re already driving lots of traffic to your site, but you aren’t converting those visitors into customers, it’s time to think about how to optimize your website to make the most out of conversion opportunities.

When most people think about conversion rate optimization (CRO), they don’t immediately think of SEO. But the fact is that strategic SEO and site conversions can go hand-in-hand, and you can optimize both to grow your bottom line. 

In this article, I’ll explain the basics of conversion rates and how to develop an effective conversion strategy. Then, I’ll dive into several methods that can help improve conversion rates and increase your revenue. 

Let’s get started!

Conversion Rate, Defined

A conversion rate is defined by the percentage of website visitors who complete a predefined action that takes them to the next step in their customer journey. 

To calculate conversion rate,

1. Divide the total number of website visitors during a specified period by the number of conversions during that same timeframe.

2. Multiply that number by 100.

how to calculate conversion rates for SEO

Website Conversion Examples

Here are some common examples of online conversions:

  • Email or newsletter sign-ups
  • Blog subscribers
  • Filling out a form in exchange for a valuable offer (e.g., a PDF download)
  • Clicking on a call-to-action (CTA) button
  • Request for service
  • Purchase

Conversions are the engine that transforms web traffic into revenue for your business.

Why Does Increasing Conversion Rates Matter?

You might be surprised to find a number of marketers out there who don’t have a robust system for tracking their conversion metrics

At the heart of it, converting visitors to customers is the number one reason businesses have a website and dedicate time and resources to digital marketing. If revenue generation is a priority for your online business, then increasing your website’s conversion rate should be too.

High conversion rates can be a sign that the right people are finding your offer and are called to act by strong messaging. On the flip side, low conversion rates indicate that you’re attracting the wrong kind of traffic, lack clear calls to action, or don’t provide a clear path forward for interested visitors who land on your website. 

Conversions generate revenue

Ultimately, improving your conversion rates leads to increased sales and revenue for your business. But, of course, to attract qualified traffic to your website, you need to build a strong foundation with SEO best practices. 

What’s a Good Conversion Rate?

It’s a common question, but the truth is, it depends. What constitutes a “good” conversion rate is going to vary between industries and among marketing channels. 

Here are some conversion stats that will give you a general idea of what to aim for when setting goals.

Conversion Rate Benchmarks

By Industry

In their 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report, Unbounce aggregated median conversion rates by industry, as averaged across various marketing channels.     

IndustryConversion Rate
Finance & Insurance6.2%
Media & Entertainment7.9%
Business Services3.5%
Marketing Agencies2.4%
Medical Services3.6%
Conversion Rate Benchmarks by Industry

By Conversion Location

Here, you’ll see median conversion rates based on where they happen on a website. (Unbounce)

LocationConversion Rate
Contact Form2.2%
Landing page3.2%
Conversion Rate Benchmarks by Website Location

By Marketing Channel

And here are some average conversion rates by channel across 14 different industries as calculated by Ruler Analytics.     

Marketing ChannelConversion Rate
Organic search5.0%
Paid search3.6%
Social media1.9%
Email Marketing3.9%
Conversion Rate Benchmarks by Marketing Channel

Notice the difference between organic traffic and paid and social media sources. That’s the difference between attracting the right audience — people who already want what you’re offering — and pushing your offering on someone who may or may not be interested.

How to Develop a Strategy to Increase Conversion Rates

Follow these five steps to define your conversion strategy and take the first step toward increasing online conversions for your business.

1. Define conversions for your website.

What are the primary actions you want visitors to take?

2. Know your ideal customer.

Who are you targeting? Who’s most likely to convert?

3. Create a unique value proposition (UVP).

Why should someone choose your product or service? What sets you apart from competitors?  

4. Map out your buyer’s journey.

Look at the path that leads first-time website visitors through the sales funnel to the point of conversion. Where are the most significant points along the way that lead from one stage of their journey to the next? 

For example, visitors might move from the awareness stage to the consideration stage by signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form to download an informative guide.

5. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs).

Revisit those significant conversion points you identified in Step 4. Which metrics will you use to track conversions across your website? Click-through rate, organic clicks, and goal completions are helpful metrics to include in Google Analytics reports.

how to define a conversion strategy

How to Increase Your Website Conversion Rate

Now that you’ve set the foundation for an effective strategy, it’s time to focus on conversion tactics. 

Consider taking some of these actions to improve conversion rates on your website.

1. Publish Quality Content

Sounds simple, but how many times do you click on a search result and find poor quality content? Publishing and sharing quality content can help you not only attract your ideal audience, but also engage them and encourage them to act. 

SEO content focuses on answering specific questions that your prospects have at different stages of the customer journey. When you satisfy these users’ curiosity or address misgivings they might have at a particular stage of that journey, you increase the likelihood that they’ll transition to the next step of becoming a customer.

2. Optimize Your Website for Search

Through technical SEO improvements, you can optimize your site so search engines can find, index, and evaluate the content you provide. I’ve seen a number of cases where our customers were completely unaware of technical issues that rendered large parts of their content invisible to search engines.

If you haven’t had a full website audit done yet, the first step you’ll want to take is engaging an SEO audit service to make sure there are no undetected barriers that stand between you and your best customers. Then, these pages can be found and your conversion rates optimized.

3. Be Strategic with Popups

Popups don’t need to be obnoxious boxes that pop up at any chance they get. Remember how conversions and SEO go hand-in-hand? Search engines are looking to provide users with pages that provide a great user experience, and an abrasive popup is not that.

Add a popup on your site for specific conversions, in ways that improve the user experience, such as a simple opt-in to receive emails that casually slides in at the end of a high-quality blog post. It’s a simple way to get people’s attention and encourage them to take action.

4. Simplify Forms

Long forms create friction in the conversion process. Short forms are easier and quicker to fill in and submit. Break longer forms into two pages — two simple forms are easier to fill out than one. And remember, after you receive initial contact information from a lead, you’ll have future opportunities to market to and connect with them on a deeper level.

Reduce the information you collect to include only what you need.

5. Use Live Chat

Give people an easy way to contact to ask questions and get more information about your offering. Live chat is a responsive, high-touch tool that can alleviate customer concerns on the spot.

6. Add Reviews & Testimonials

Add social proof to your website to spotlight customer successes and help prospects envision the results they can achieve with your product or service. Reviews and testimonials build trust and offer peace of mind to potential customers. Placing social proof at conversion points will encourage prospects to take action.

7. Level-Up Your CTAs

Your calls-to-action should be clear, concise, and meaningful. Place them strategically across your website, so people know where to make a purchase, schedule an appointment, or contact you for more information.

8. Gate Valuable Content

If you have a lot of content on your blog and haven’t turned any of it into a longer form guide or ebook, think about how you could create a valuable asset to offer a visitor in exchange for their contact information. For example, you might entice prospective customers to provide their email addresses to download a step-by-step guide to creating search optimized content.

9. Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition

Creating good landing pages is tricky. Make sure your content follows the 5 second rule. Is it easy for someone to understand why your product/solution is valuable? Create landing page copy that focuses on points of differentiation between your business and your competitors.

Website visitors should understand how your offering is well-suited to help them solve a problem and why it’s different (and better) than any other solution. 

10. Analyze Interactions

Pay close attention to how users interact with your website. Understanding visitor behavior will help you optimize different elements on your site (like CTAs, messaging, and landing pages) to streamline the conversion process.

For example, if you have a free trial conversion, which landing pages are sending users on the journey to convert? Or if you have a blog subscription, what can you learn from converters’ activities across different sources of traffic?

Learn as much as you can from your audience to continue to improve your conversion rate.

11. Conduct A/B Testing

Speaking of improving your conversion rate, do so with experimentation to ensure you are systematically learning and optimizing. To measure what resonates with prospective customers, perform A/B testing on every element of your online presence — headlines, body copy, button copy, forms, colors, images, and more.

A/B testing empowers you to evolve your messaging as you garner insights from the data you collect. 

12. Match Search Intent

Utilize keyword research services to help you understand the user intent of every page and blog post on your site so you can optimize that content for long-tail (very specific) queries. 

Remember, all searches can be broken down into four categories:

  • Informational
    The searcher is looking for information, such as, “How do I ask for a raise?”
  • Transactional
    These searchers are ready to buy, and they’re looking for the best place to purchase from. For example, “best price smart desk.”
  • Commercial investigation
    These searchers are still weighing their options before they commit to a specific product or service. These queries might look like, “best desk chair.”
  • Navigational
    Someone already knows where they want to go, and they’re using the search engine to help them get there. For example, they might type in “Zappos” into the search bar, rather than put the whole URL into the browser bar.

    Take a deep dive into search intent to learn more

13. Optimize for Mobile

Google moved to mobile-first indexing in 2019, putting businesses with mobile-friendly websites at a distinct advantage in search results. By this point, if you’re not running a mobile-friendly site, you’re missing out big-time on organic traffic. 

Although traffic from mobile devices accounts for nearly half (47.7%) of US-based visits to online retailers, purchases from those visits generate only 31% of all digital ecommerce dollars. 

For ecommerce websites, the gap between visits and dollars presents a significant opportunity for optimization. For other businesses, that gap can serve as a reminder of how important it is to optimize for mobile conversions. 

Learn more about mobile-friendliness on our blog, and check your website with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. It’s good for SEO and it’s good for you, too — don’t miss out on those mobile conversions because your page only looks good on desktop.

14. Eliminate Distractions

Even if you think your website is easy to navigate, pick a conversion and go through the process yourself. Do visitors have a clear path to conversion from the moment they land on a page?

If there are too many options or pages are cluttered and confusing, your target audience won’t know how to convert even if they’re inspired to act.

15. Create Urgency 

Visitors might convert sooner rather than later if you can create the sense that the time to act is now with compelling copy or a countdown counter on a landing page. 

Done well, with legitimate reasons for the urgency, this can be an effective strategy that’s worth split-testing. For empirical evidence of how well urgency converts, look no further than the phenomenon of Black Friday sales.

Remember that urgency should be authentic — find authentic ways to create demand rather than relying on demanding sales language.

Get Started With Conversion-Focused SEO 

Used strategically, SEO can do more than just increase site sessions themselves. SEO can directly fuel website conversion. Carefully targeted keywords that match search intent can drive organic traffic straight to high conversion pages and create the most direct route from search to purchase (or sign-up).

An SEO strategy that drives ready-to-convert leads directly to the point of conversion is an efficient and effective bottom-of-the-funnel strategy.

At the top of the funnel, publishing keyword-rich content that matches your target audience’s search intent will help you reach prospects at the start of their customer journey. Then you can nurture them through your marketing funnel and bring them to conversion. 

Combining these strategies with some of the optimization techniques listed above can create a robust funnel that’s optimized to deliver conversions and drive revenue generation.

targeted keyword research delivers leads

At Victorious, our SEO agency‘s number one priority is to align your SEO strategy with your business goals. For most of our customers, that includes increasing conversions and boosting revenue generation. Not convinced SEO can increase conversion rates? 

Our customer SEO case studies demonstrate that time and time again, we’ve been able to significantly boost conversions for every type of business, including ecommerce, law firms, SaaS start-ups, and more.

Ready to add SEO to your CRO toolbox to maximize digital marketing results for the long term? Reach out to learn more and get a free SEO consultation

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