How to increase website conversion rates (examples and guide)

You have a website -- and it’s generating leads and making sales.  You've run online ads, PPC, banner ads, maybe even newspapers, trade journals, and radio.

Your blog and email marketing keep your subscribers in touch.

You even have Google Analytics installed.

But you know deep down you can do more, much more -- realizing growth to a new level.

And you want to increase your conversion rates because this will help you improve sales, right?

  • So now what?
  • Are you simply going to "do social media" because the cost is low?
  • What if one online key word is responsible for 90% of your sales -- how do you make more?

Before we go any further, the first step is to actually identify what your website conversion rate is right now.

This source of information may come from Google Analytics or your hosting provider, and the first important metric is identifying how many people are visiting your site, usually called “visitors” or “users”.

How to increase website conversion rates

For this example we will say:

# of Visitors = Website traffic

This number of visitors might be 1,000 visitors, 10,000 visitors or much more.

What’s Your Conversion rate?

The next important number we need to define is how your website converts visitors into taking an action.

Your website conversion rate is defined as:

# of actions (sales, leads, etc) / Visitors

Let’s assume that for every 1,000 visitors, your website makes 40 actions.

This would give you a 4% conversion rate.

This very simple equation is the heart of any business.

It’s the number of sales divided by the number of visitors and it equals the website conversion rate:

40 sales / 1,000 visitors = 4.0% website conversion rate

400 sales / 10,000 visitors = 4.0% website conversion rate

So now we have two important metrics in order to develop the next phase of our website marketing plan.

  1. Total website traffic
  2. Total conversion rates

How to increase website conversion rates
For a simple website with one basic traffic source, in order to increase your website conversion rate, focus on making changes to your website starting with; increasing the speed of the load time including optimizing images or choosing a better hosting provider, making a better mobile user experience and ensuring your website is in a secure environment. 

This itself could positively impact your conversion rates. Now, here’s some more ways to boost sales, leads and conversions.

Ways to increase website conversion rates
Additionally, ways to increase your conversion rates are to make the website more interesting with better images, more developed text descriptions, better use of headlines and explanation of the product and service benefits. Also, you can increase the conversion rates by providing a guarantee, clearly explaining product shipping procedures, using social proof such as testimonials and integrating social media. 

Finally, and most importantly, you can also increase website conversion rates by carefully choosing your ideal customer profile and target your marketing and online advertising. This is best done through data driven marketing techniques.

With that, let’s now review additional traffic sources from a website so we can increase our website conversion rate by actually doing more of what works, and less of what doesn't.

How to increase conversion rate to boost website sales

We are now going to increase sales conversion rates by implementing a winning marketing strategy, backed by data driven marketing techniques supported by modern scientific advertising strategies.

Our very first step in this marketing plan is to look at the facts.

And regardless of your goal, the first step is to dig into your marketing data to guide our marketing strategy.

What we are looking for is to narrow in on the best converting sources of traffic and do more of that. At this time, if there are any traffic sources that are costing too much money compared to profitable sources, we can investigate those sources, too. But that is another tutorial.

Right now, we are going to look at the sources that have produced the best results. Here’s an example:

increase conversion rate to boost website sales

From this example, you can see we have 5 paid traffic sources. One produces a conversion rate at over 10%, while 3 produce conversion rates between 1 and 3%, and we have our 4% producer as discussed above. This results in an average of a 4% website conversion rate.

This is where more information is needed in order to increase conversion rates to boost sales.

  • Is the goal to boost the total average conversion rate from a total of 4% to 5%, or more?
  • Is the goal to increase sales?
  • Is the goal to ramp up the advertising budget to $20k or more, up from $10,552 in this example, and thereby assuming we will realize an increase in sales?
  • Or is the goal to increase sales while improving net income?

As you can see in this example, there are many decisions to make in order to increase website conversion rates to boost sales.

In marketing, everything is a trade off.

Most likely, the accountant will want you to reduce the highest cost and least productive sales sources.

The Director of Sales will want you to increase sales overall, not caring too much about budget or net income to the company's financial statements.

And the CEO will want to find the optimal balance between marketing spend and acquiring more happy, repeat customers.

What does a marketing professional do?

Ultimately it depends upon what the CEO wants.

And, as a marketing pro, we are going to stick to the basics.

  1. Gain a customer.
  2. Keep a customer.
  3. Optimize the customer experience from each traffic source and
  4. Stick to the budget.

This will require you to constantly adjust messages, create new landing pages and stay in regular communication with each department.

You see, as your website grows and you have more pages and more traffic sources, it's not always a black and white case of simply increasing your conversion rate.

In most cases, the question is:

What are the optimal pages and messages that are efficiently bringing in new customers and sales?  And how do we make each of these pages continually reach new conversion rates as measured against each other.

 What is a good conversion rate?

Of course a higher conversion rate is ideal.

And better yet, an optimal conversion rate that brings the most sales revenue and net income to the business is the best case scenario.

What if you had a 100% conversion rate?

That is, 100% of all visitors that landed on your website decided to buy or become a lead?

Sounds pretty good, right? …Sign me up for that 100% conversion rate!

Conversely, what if you had a 0% conversion rate?

That is, 0% of people that land on your website decide to purchase or become a lead.

Well, that doesn’t sound so good, does it? …I’ll pass on this option.

But seriously, either of these two scenarios; a 100% conversion rate or a 0% conversion rate, represent business problems.

Let me explain.

If you were lucky enough to have every visitor turn into a buyer or become a lead and enter your business’s sales pipeline, this means something is wrong and you are leaving huge sales revenue on the table for your competition to scoop up.

Chances are probable that you need to optimize your business and sales systems.

You see, if everyone that visits your site becomes a buyer, then this means at least three things:

  1. Your message is tightly focused on a very small, limited market.
  2. Your prices may be too low and you are not making the amount of money you could be, and
  3. Your total sales are limited because you are only targeting a small pool of potential buyers, with a message tightly focused on a limited market.

But on the flip side, if you are converting no one, the opposite is true:

  1. Your message is not focused on a properly identified market.
  2. Your price may be too high and no one is interested, and
  3. Your sales are limited because you are targeting too big a pool of potential buyers, with no message-market fit.

So, the best conversion rate is somewhere between 0% and 100%. That’s obvious. But more specifically, the best conversion rate is the one that brings the most sales revenue while delivering a profit to the company.

eCommerce experts report the average website conversion rate to be about 2%.

But as you can see, this number is basically meaningless. Similar to saying the average direct mail marketing return is 2%.

It means nothing as it relates to your unique message-market-media fit.

But what does matter is your total website conversion rate of 4%. And then the specific conversion rates of each traffic source.

What is a good conversion rate?
A good website conversion rate is the rate that is profitable. That is, if it costs you $1,200 to drive 1,000 visitors to your website and you make 40 sales, then you have a 4% conversion rate. The cost of each sale (CPS) in this case is $30 ($1,200 / 40 sales = $30).  If you make more than $30 (after expenses) from each sale, a 4% conversion rate is a good conversion rate. And any conversion rate that further decreases your CPS is a good, and maybe even better, website conversion rate.

Let’s dig deeper into this and review a Website Marketing and Online Advertising plan.

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner in Arizona. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not your typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants who tell you there is a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” Your Strategic Marketing Partner knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit



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