Businesses spend a great deal of time concentrating on driving a high number of visitors to their websites, and often forget the most important thing — the need to drive targeted visitors to a website. This article focuses on four areas that can improve the performance of your website. The underlying assumption is that you have optimised your site to least at a basic level, using the right keywords related to your product or service.

How do I improve my conversion rate?

Once your initial SEO campaign setup has been completed, much of the focus needs to be on what visitors do when they get to your site. Unless you know what visitors do when they come to your site, you could be wasting money on your search optimisation campaign. If you haven't already done so, I recommend you setup Google Analytics or something comparable on your website, and make sure you set some conversion goals to track the number of sales or leads you are receiving. Once you know how your website is performing, you will have a good basis for where you need to focus your SEO efforts, thus improving your conversion rates and ultimately your bottom line. Click here to read more on Google Analytics in a previous article I have written. Now that you have an idea of what is, and isn't converting well for you, what should be your next step?

Analysis of your conversion rate

If your website is not purely an online selling tool, then at a basic level there are two issues you need to consider in determining your conversion rate.

  • Number of sales or leads you have received through the site
  • Providing you have the ability to accurately track leads (i.e. you have some sort of ‘thank you' page that shows up when a sale or lead has been submitted) then this is very easy to track as Google Analytics will provide the total number of conversions for you, and you simply divide this by the total number of visitors to your site.
  • Number of phone calls you have received from the website.
  • It often surprises me how many people are scared to ask enquirers how they heard about their business. As long as you keep it simple, most people don't mind being asked this question. Simply ask "Would you mind telling me how you heard about us?" Without this information, you won't have a clear understanding where your marketing efforts are working (through internet marketing, or ?), and essentially, you could be wasting money on ineffective marketing. Alternately you can setup a special phone number that is only used on the website and get a phone company report showing how many calls you receive for that number.
  • Make sure that you collate this information and provide it to the person who tracks the website statistics. This should then be compiled to work out the conversion rate. If your site is for lead generation, then to work out your conversion rate, it would be ‘total number of web generated conversions' + total number of phone enquiries', divided by the total website visitors.

If you find you are getting a high number of phone calls to your business when the site should be more geared towards receiving online enquiries, then it is time to examine your content and to look at how you can make your site more enticing to receiving these enquiries through your website.

Improving your Conversion rate

Now that you have a good understanding of your conversion rate, it is time to look at what you can do to increase it. In order to do this, you need to find which pages are either ineffective, or have room for improvement, and these are usually the pages with the highest number of exits. Note: An exit is defined as the last page a website visitor views, before they leave the website.

Analysing Exit Pages

If you have a very low number of visitors leaving your site, without contacting you, then congratulations! However in most cases, improvement can be made. Focus on the most important pages on your site that have the highest number of exits. This is of vital importance. Take a look at these pages and see if the answer to why you are losing clients is immediately obvious.

  • Does this page quickly tell your visitor what this product or service is about?
  • Is your message clear?
  • Are you using a whole lot of technical jargon to a market that doesn't understand it or is only interested in what the product or service can do for them?
  • Are you connecting with your target market's wants or needs?
  • Does your page have a 'call-to-action'?

If you are really unsure, start asking co-workers, business partners or even your customers for their feedback on what they think could be done to improve your page(s). Alternately, hire a professional company whose expertise is in improving conversion rates.

Testing your changes

Once you have improved your page, it is time to start testing. The great thing about measuring the performance of a website is that once you have made changes, you can easily measure how effective, or ineffective they have been. If your web analytics tool has the ability to provide you with data comparisons, don't forget to compare the new data against comparable historical data; allow for such things as seasonal factors, if they apply. If your changes don't bring you any improvement, then follow the steps above and keep testing until you achieve the results you desire. If you are still not seeing the improvement you want, then it is time to get a professional involved.

Entry (Landing) Pages

An entry page is defined as the first page someone comes to when they find your site. One of the great things about organic search is that if your site is properly structured, people are more likely to land on the most relevant page associated with the keyword that you used in your search. However if you have a Pay-per-click campaign, it is a different matter. If your Pay-Per-Click campaign is setup to target a specific product or service, then you will have specific ads for each of these. To this end, it is important that when a website visitor clicks on your ad from their keyword search, the landing page they come to immediately gives them the information they are looking for. Some companies make the mistake of advertising a specific service or product, then providing a link to their home page because they want to show their website visitors everything they offer. The harder it is for a website visitor to get to the information they want on your website, the less likely they will stay long enough to become your customer. This article is really only touching on how to go about improving your conversion rate, but I hope it has helped lead you in the right direction. There are many more important elements you can focus on to make sure your website is successful, and I will cover these in future articles in this series. About the Author Andrew Seidel is the managing director of Quantum Web Solutions. The team at Quantum Web Solutions specialise in increasing traffic as well as conversion rates for our customers. If your serious about making your website work for you, contact us today to find out how we can help. This article may be republished providing it remains intact including the author bio.