Are you getting hundreds of people to your website, but none of them turn into sales?
It’s a common problem every business owner comes across at some stage.
If that sounds like you, you’re probably already aware that you need a conversion rate optimisation (CRO) strategy.
It’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s simpler than it sounds.
It simply means using a range of tactics to help you get more out of your existing web traffic and turn more clicks into customers.
In this article, I want to give you 13 incredibly simple and easy ways to optimise your website conversion rate to improve your online sales.
Let’s get started.
1. Speed up your website
You can make the prettiest and most persuasive website in the world. But if your page takes more than 3 seconds to load, your efforts will go down the drain.
Research has shown that 42% of consumers expect two seconds or less loading speeds. Moreover, 40% of consumers will abandon the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Here are five proven methods that will improve your website’s speed instantly:
Use a speed test tool
In my opinion, these tools work better than Google’s Pagespeed testing. A quick tip: ensure you change the server settings to your closest city (or that of your target market) to get a more relevant search.
Rebuild your website… properly
I perform digital audits every day.
And 70% of the time, I see websites that have been built terribly. The images aren’t compressed.
There are too many plugins bloating the website. There are too many redundant pieces of code and bloatware (plugins).
Each of these websites loads for more than 5-8 seconds. I always recommend that the website owner rebuilds their website instead of fixing it up.
And once they do, the difference is day and night, with blazing-fast speeds. There is a misconception that rebuilding a site would be more expensive.
Still, in my experience, it saves money.
Change and upgrade your servers
There’s a nifty little metric we use by speed test professionals called Time to first byte (TTFB).
It means the time it takes for a first indication of the responsiveness of a web server.
In layman’s terms, this means how long it takes to fetch your website from its server.
The further it is away, the longer the TTFB. A general rule of thumb: upgrade your server to a location where your audience is most prominent.
For example, my servers are located in Sydney because 70% of my clients are Australian.
And for the remaining 30 per cent? CDNs like Cloudflare take care of that.
Anyhoo, my recommendation is that you upgrade your servers to ones that are more local to your target market.
You can use Cloudways (highly recommended) for this. It’s fast, and your servers are private (unlike those cheaper alternatives with crazy deals on all the time).
Minimise your image sizes
Lower image sizes mean less stress on your servers. This will mean that the person loading your website will have to wait for less time.
There is a caveat to these; you may need to manually resize your image before compressing it.
Deactivate unused plugins
Keeping plugins that you don’t use is not only a security risk but also bloats your website.
To avoid database bloat, turn off what you don’t use and remove them from your website.
2. Focus on the mobile experience
Another strategy for reducing high bounce rates is ensuring that your website is optimised for mobile users.
Due to the rise in smartphone users, in 2019, Google made mobile-first indexing default for all websites.
And in my experience, across hundreds of niches I’ve served, 70% of their target audiences were made up of mobile visitors.
That means that optimising your website for mobile is a must. Here’s what I recommend you do:
- Ensure your website is responsive: your content will scale according to the screen size (if someone’s on a tablet vs mobile vs desktop).
- Try to avoid cloaking: both desktop and mobile users must be able to see the same content.
- Add mobile-specific call-to-actions: people will leave your website when it’s too difficult to use, especially on mobile. Try adding click-to-call icons, email icons, and other intuitive CTAs throughout your website. This will improve your chances of winning the conversion.
The quick and easy way to gauge your mobile experience is to try it out yourself. Pull up your website on your mobile and explore. Take notes.
It’s perhaps the fastest way to get the answers you’re looking for. Then do the same on a laptop and a desktop.
I wouldn’t worry about tablets, as they often only make up 2-3% of the market size for any given audience.
3. Optimise your page for search intent
Search intent simply means asking yourself: what does this person intend to do/discover when they type the “X” phrase into Google?
An in-depth understanding of your target persona and how Google interprets search intent will help you create content that is more likely to convert.
There are four types of search intent:
- Informational intent is when the person is searching for an answer to their question. It’s typically top-of-funnel (ToFu) when the person isn’t ready to buy anything. For example, when someone types in: “what does conversion rate optimisation mean?”.”
- Navigational intent is when someone wants to find a particular page or website. For example, people who search “TikTok” do so with the intent to use the TikTok website.
- Commercial intent is when someone is ready to buy something but they’re not quite set on a particular provider. They’re past the problem-aware and consideration stage in their buyer’s journey and looking for the ideal supplier to solve their problem. For example, “best CRO marketing agencies”.
- Transactional intent: this is the cream of the crop – when the person intends to buy immediately and wants to get to the product or booking page immediately. For example, “emergency locksmith” or “noise cancelling headphones”.
If a search phrase has words such as “buy”, “discount”, or “deal”, you can take an educated guess and conclude that their intent is likely transactional (bottom-of-funnel).
Likewise, if their search phrase includes “how to”, “why”, or “best way to”, it’s safe to assume their intent is informational (top-of-funnel).
Adding words that have specific search intent to your website (based on proven search volume – try Semrush) will increase the chance of being seen by your target audience. This will, in turn, boost your conversion rate.
4. Use social proof to build trust
We’ve all heard the saying: “people only buy they know, like and trust”.
Your success depends on trust. Without trust, there will be no new clients, no sales, and, ultimately, no business.
One of the easiest ways to increase your credibility is to add customer reviews and case studies.
You’ve likely come across a tonne of these on other websites. But haven’t had the time or chance to reflect on it in your marketing.
My advice is to try and aim for at least three testimonials to begin with.
If you’re an eCommerce business, this shouldn’t be too difficult. For service businesses, reach out to past satisfied clients and ask for a review.
But DO NOT start by creating cookie-cutter review request templates.
People see straight through them and find no emotional incentive to invest their energy into providing you with a review.
Sometimes it helps to take the time to write the review on behalf of the client and then ask them if they agree with what’s said and make edits/changes before posting it on your reviews platform.
The easier you make it for your customer to post a review, the higher your likelihood of actually getting a review.
Research has shown that testimonials on your website can increase your revenue by up to 62%.
Yet, often testimonials are not enough. You need more firepower.
This is where case studies help. A website with displayed case studies is 58% more likely to boost conversions. And I’m a living testament to that.
Little by little, these tiny things compound, creating a snowball effect. Keep adding social proof to your website; over time, you’ll steadily increase conversions.
5. Improve your website’s user experience (UX)
The importance of a highly optimised user experience cannot be overstated.
Here are some stats that illustrate this:
- 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience.
- For every dollar you invest in UX, you could get returns of up to $100 – some seeing ROI up to 9900%.
- A high-quality UX design that creates a frictionless browsing experience can raise conversion rates up to 400%.
But how exactly do you strategise your user’s experience?
You can start by looking at the visitor’s journey, which pages they exit on, and monitor user behaviour using heatmaps and session recordings.
This will give you a good indicator of how you can improve your website’s UX.
Websites that use UX best practices tick the following boxes:
- They’re easy to use and navigate
- They have unique, valuable, and relevant content
- They’re aesthetically pleasing
- They have zero learning curve (a monkey could use it)
- There are trust signals throughout (payment methods, verified partner logos, etc)
6. Add helpful pop-ups
A lot of people hate pop-ups, myself included. They can be a hindrance and a nuisance even at the best times.
But if done correctly, they can boost conversions up to 9%.
Here are some ideas for creating high-converting pop-ups that won’t annoy your visitors:
- Add a time delay to when the pop-up will appear on the screen.
- Add a variety of offers, products, and links that guide users to premium content.
- Limit how long pop-ups are visible to visitors.
- Ensure the pop-up can be quickly closed in case the visitor is uninterested.
- Reduce the frequency of the pop-up.
- Create relevant and event-based pop-ups.
7. Implement quick social logins
If you have an app or eCommerce brand, allowing website visitors to sign in with their Facebook or Google accounts can mean a world of difference.
86% of people think creating a new login for each website is a nuisance.
Implementing this feature will allow for more sign-ups, resulting in additional top-line revenue for your business.
Here are some reasons why having a third-party sign-up feature is essential for your app or eCom brand:
- It creates an easier, more streamlined sign-up process.
- It reduces the time needed to complete a purchase (in some cases).
- It helps create trust, which leads to more sales.
- It frees the visitor from having to handle multiple passwords.
And the best thing about social logins? It ensures that you have the email address they regularly use. This will allow you to retarget them in the future.
8. Use FOMO to your advantage
Time-limited offers, discounts, scarcity, and Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)… are just some ways you can create a sense of urgency to increase your sales.
An amazing example of this is booking.com. Their FOMO strategies are incredibly effective. Here’s an example:
Of course, not everyone can be as big as Booking.com. But you can still copy their ideas and try them out to see what works for your website.
Here are five proven methods for creating fear of missing out that can be applied to any website:
- Add urgency to the headline: adding the word “today” or “now” to your headline can increase your conversion rate by up to 3.94%. I recommend using A/B testing to discover which combination of words works best for you.
- Add urgency to your CTAs: your Call-To-Action buttons are an effective tool for creating a sense of urgency. By adding “Learn More”, “Now”, or “Today” in your button copy, you could see increased conversion rates of up to 147%.
- Create urgency through real scarcity: if your product is limited by nearly being out of stock or it’s a seasonal product, use that to your advantage. Reflect this in your content throughout the website.
- Create urgency through time-limited offers: add a countdown timer next to your product, especially on the cart and checkout page. Customers will always second guess their purchase before they hit the buy button. Reinforce their confidence by nudging them to buy (delicately) by using countdown timers.
- Use psychologically-driven colours to create urgency: it’s a well-known fact that colours can affect peoples’ moods. Red is the colour that’s associated with strong emotions, such as passion, love, and excitement. Historically, colours have been strategically used by marketers to improve conversion rates.
9. Write content tailored to a single target audience (persona)
The person who tries to chase two rabbits catches neither. If you’re trying to be all things to all people, you’ll likely convert no one.
It’s a common mistake business owners make with their websites. They’ll try to accommodate every possible audience to maximise their sales.
The sad reality is that this makes their content unrelatable and ineffective.
You must consider sitting down and thinking about your target audience to fix this. Who are they specifically?
The best way to do this is to consider who makes up 80% (or most) of your customers. You’ll then realise they’re usually similar in their wants, needs, and desires.
This will give you the direction you need to write content tailored to them. It all starts by creating a buyer’s persona (customer persona).
Once you fill out the persona template, you’ll have all the information you need to write persuasive content that guides your ideal customer to a sale sooner.
This leads to increased conversions, enhanced clarity for your marketing and sales teams, and a smoother process across your organisation.
10. Split-testing regularly (A/B testing)
A/B Testing (or split testing) is an experimental process where you create two or more versions of something to test which works best.
This helps you eliminate the guesswork and make informed decisions backed by data.
It will also help you increase conversions without spending more on advertising.
Here are some ideas that you can split-test on your website:
- Website copy: try different headlines, subheadlines, and formatting styles.
- Website design & layout: test various section layouts, landing pages and product pages.
- Website navigation: try new menu structures, CTAs, and link placements.
- Long vs short-form content: for some industries, long-form content works best, short-form for others. You can test how deep you want to go with your content.
11. Optimise your checkout experience
For eCommerce sites, the checkout experience is perhaps the most crucial step in your buyer’s journey.
If not done correctly, you could leave a lot of money on the table 76% of all customers abandon their carts because of confusing and inconvenient website experiences.
Here are some tips that will improve your checkout conversion rate by up to 35%:
Use Abandoned Cart Email Reminders
Many people add items to their shopping carts, go to the checkout, are hit with a sense of buyer’s remorse and then leave.
These prospective customers are low-hanging fruit; they’ve already been through your funnel’s stages.
You can combat this by implementing a high-converting abandoned cart email sequence that will nudge customers to return their items.
You can try different things, like adding a small discount or implementing a countdown that says the items are limited because there’s a shortage of stock.
This will incentivise the person to return to the checkout and complete their purchase.
Research has shown that abandoned cart emails have an astonishing 45% open rate. 21% of that sample size returned to the checkout page to complete their purchase.
Optimise your order confirmation (thank you) emails
Thank you emails are a fantastic opportunity to offer upsells or even build your email list.
For service businesses, it’s an opportunity to offer extended support, limited offers, and cross-sells.
Get creative, and you’ll be surprised how it affects your conversion rates.
12. Enhance your call-to-actions
I’ve briefly spoken about how you can optimise your CTAs in a previous section. But what you may not have thought of yet is personalised CTAs.
Everyone has seen the “download now” or “sign-up now” buttons. And they work well.
But their efficacy can be improved by personalising and adapting them to the page’s context.
Personalised CTAs have proven to be 202% better than basic CTAs.
For example, you can use CTAs such as “Yes, I want to learn more” or “Apply my 10% coupon now”. This will leave a positive impression and make it harder for your prospects to refuse.
13. Improve your pricing page
Adjusting your pricing page can significantly increase your conversion rates.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is adding 99¢ to your prices. But typically, that’s associated with products or services that are commodities and not luxury goods.
It works well for Jetstar because it’s a budget airline, but it’s terrible for Gucci.
Use pricing strategies wisely, as not all brands and products are equal, and you need to think about how customers in your market perceive pricing.
Another strategy you can implement is anchoring. Although high-ticket service businesses commonly use anchoring, you’ll also see it in discount stores (think TK Maxx).
The idea behind anchoring is that setting a high price for a product typically makes the lower-priced product more appealing.
In most cases, you’ll see this example in Cinemas where the middle-tier product will be the most popular, as it shows the features of the top-tier product while retaining an affordable price.
Ready to soar your sales using website conversion optimisation?
Having a functional website that converts is the backbone of your online business. It deserves every ounce of effort to make it better.
Although the website CRO process can sometimes be tedious and frustrating, it is extremely rewarding in the long term.
If you’re persistent in doing it alone, follow the advice you’ve read here. You can even use this article as a resource to compare your website with industry averages.
However, some people may have trouble implementing the strategies I presented here. In that case, consider hiring a consultant experienced in navigating the murky waters of digital marketing.