There are currently over 1.5 billion websites on the internet. A business’ online presence is both necessary and expected.  A website can be so much more than a virtual business card – it can be a lead generation tool.  However, across all industries, the average website conversion rate is just 2.35 %. That means that for every 100 visitors that land on your site, only 2-3 will go onto inquire.  If you want to find out how you can boost your own conversion rate, read on as we list our three fundamental tips for improving website conversion.

1. Drive traffic and increase brand awareness

If you have little or no traffic on your website, it makes sense that it wouldn’t generate many inquiries. But you could have thousands of visits a day, and still not be converting any leads. Not only do you need to drive traffic, but you also need to drive the right traffic.

Focus your marketing and outreach efforts on your target audience. You need to know this audience inside-out.  What services are the most needed?  Which products are the most popular? What content does your audience want to see? After all, there’s no point marketing to accountants if you sell farming machinery. By knowing your audience and what you can do for them, you can focus on attracting the most relevant traffic.

There are a whole host of marketing automation tools that can help you step-up your email campaign game.  Gone are the days of impersonal, bulk email campaigns.  Mailshots can now be sent out to your target list of prospects en masse with a personal touch in each.  You can tailor this outreach to businesses in a specific industry, to prospects in a specific job role, or in specific locations.  Take this a step further and set up landing pages that contain the content the visitor is there to see.  You’ve got them this far, don’t lose them now!  Landing page optimization will keep those visitors engaged.  Personalizing their experience and making them feel noticed will increase the likelihood that they will convert.

And don’t neglect any offline outreach that you are making.  Industry events, word of mouth referrals and printed collateral are all great examples of ways that new business can be generated offline. Meeting face-to-face or having something tangible to engage with can leave a lasting impression and increase brand loyalty.  But whilst the initial interactions take place offline, don’t underestimate how many of these leads will go on to check out your website.

2. Improve customer experience

Increased traffic may boost your website conversion, but for most, this isn’t (and shouldn’t be) the end goal.  What do you do with all these visitors now they’re on your site? Make sure their experience is a good one.

Give your visitors the best first (second, third…) impression you can. Page design and content need to be relevant, engaging and functional.  It only takes a quick Google search to swot up on industry statistics surrounding user engagement on websites.  As an example, 38% of web users will disengage with a website if they don’t like its design.

Portray a clear message of what you are offering. If it’s not clear what product or service you are offering, the visitor will likely be confused – and not many will get in touch with you for clarification.  Web users are accustomed to their information being readily available and there is often a reluctance to interact with a person.  Keeping the UI streamlined and easy to navigate will keep your visitors interested for long enough that they will engage with your content.  Again, you need to know what your audience wants.  Using website analytic tools can be a great way to measure what works and what doesn’t.  Bounce rates can highlight which areas of your site are engaging and which are less so.  If they don’t pick up the phone or send an email to ask for more information, they will leave your site and potentially speak with a competitor that does provide them with the information they were looking for.

3. Provide clear calls-to-action

So, you’ve driven the relevant traffic to your site and you’ve directed them to the relevant content.  If they’re interested they’ll inquire, right?

This is a surprisingly common misconception.  There are many reasons why a visitor doesn’t inquire with your business.  Maybe you don’t offer what they need.  Maybe they can’t afford your prices.  Or maybe they just weren’t convinced by your website.  To increase your conversion rate, you need to bridge the gap between your website and the anonymous visitor.  Today’s web users expect to have all the information they need at their fingertips, and as such you need to provide effective calls-to-action (CTA)  You can’t expect any visitors to inquire if they have no way to contact you.  A contact page is a good start, but there are proactive ways to capture a visitor’s contact details.

Your CTA could take the form of a button or pop-up contact form.  Focus on collecting the most important information you need from this visitor, don’t overwhelm them with a form that asks unnecessary questions.  The jury still appears to be out on whether short or long forms work best, so see what works for your audience and work with this data.

Another great way to capture a visitor’s details is through downloadable content and subscription lists.  These forms are normally shorter and will, therefore, capture less information about your visitor.  But you gain an insight on what they are interested in and you have the opportunity now to nurture this lead through re-marketing.  This visitor may not be ready to convert today, but they may be in the future.  You want to be the first brand they think of when they are looking for a solution you can provide.  CTAs allow you to capture their details and send them further information.

Don’t bombard your visitors with information and pop-ups, and make sure your CTAs don’t demand too much – your visitors can be scared off by CTAs that ask for commitment or payment.  There’s a fine line between getting noticed and spamming!

Your website needs to grow and adapt along with your business.  What worked yesterday may not work today.  Your website is as much a tool for your prospects and customers as it is for you.  Be prepared to make changes to your marketing campaign, to your page design, or to your content strategy.  Investing time and money in the right areas will improve your conversions – and ROI!

You need to direct your leads into your sales funnel, they won’t put themselves there.