What Is A 'Conversion Rate'? (and 12 Ways To Increase It)

Feb 05, 2019

Written by

tom knox

Written by
Tom Knox

tom knox

Written by
Tom Knox

Conversion is the magic number when it comes to online business. It's one of the areas where we often find we can make big differences to our client's revenues. This is because when it comes to marketing and monetising a business online the conversion rate is often seen as being a result to measure, rather than something to grab hold of and make an improvement to.

The truth is that it's often easier to get an extra 100% out of your conversion rate than it is to get 100% increase of the traffic, and both can be just as transformative for your bottom line.

What is conversion rate?

The first thing to do is to make sure you understand conversion rate. This is normally represented as a percentage and represents the quantity of potential business which actually made it across the line. So depending on the kind of business you run a conversion could be 

  • A customer completing an online order on an eCommerce store
  • A visitor completing an enquiry form on an estate agent's website, or
  • A reader signing up to a newsletter on a blog

A conversion should be something of meaning to the business, it doesn't necessarily need to have a certain financial value but it should be worth something to the business as a whole. A goal should be met by a conversion or conversions happening.

An easy way to calculate conversion is divide the number of people who converted by the total number of people who possibly could have. So in terms of our online store example we would divide the number of orders placed on the site by the total number of user sessions and times by 100 to get a percentage. 

Orders placed √∑ Total unique visits √ó 100 = Conversion Rate %

For example 300 people visit the site and 15 place an order.

15 orders √∑ 300 visits √ó 100 = 5% Conversion Rate

How can it be increased?

Increasing conversion is normally a three pronged attack. Drive better quality traffic to your site, have a highly performant site and tweak on page elements to make conversion more compelling for your prospects.

Check our previous blogs for ways to boost your digital marketing in 2019 and increase technical performance.

Once everything's in a good place in those regards you can look at on-page improvements and elements to add or tweak to drive up conversion, here are a dozen real examples you can look at for inspiration. These are swipe-and-deploy ready 

  1. Communicate proof of your experience and performance. Voices.com added proof to their homepage contributing significantly to a 400% boost in their conversion rate.
  2. Be the first to initiate live chat conversations with customers on page. Intuit achieved a 211% boost using this tactic.
  3. Implement a security or guarantee seal. OrientalFurniture.com increased conversion by 7.6% by adding a seal that shows guarantees against delivery on purchases up to $500, offers of $10,000 protection if a consumer's identity is stolen via the site and assurances that if retailers lower their price they will pay the difference up to $100.
  4. Convey urgency with red Call-to-action buttons. A then leading UK airline, increased conversions by 2.5 percent by adding a red background behind their message and saying "Hurry! Only XX seats left”.
  5. Use product videos on product pages. Ice.com 4xed their conversion by implementing product videos.
  6. Emphasise discounts and anchor by comparing these to full sticker price. The Corkscrew Wine Merchants achieved a 148.3% improvement by adding a discount sticker to product pages.
  7. Use buyer personas. RightNow Technologies focused on personas in their marketing and increased their conversions 4x.
  8. Take time before you ask for a sale. One company moved the calls to action away from the top of the homepage increasing sign up by 350%.
  9. Add a real telephone number to your site. LessAccounting saw a 1.8% increase in conversions by adding a phone number on their site.
  10. Add video to your homepage. Dropbox increased conversion by more than 10% by doing that.
  11. Offer next-day shipping. SmileyCookie promoted next-day shipping on their site increasing sales by 41%.
  12. Use photos of real people (not stock photos) on your landing pages. This is a sure-fire way to boosts your conversions. People buy from people and real people will help build trust and an image of reliability in your business.

Website Success have an in-house team of Website Developers, who build modern, bespoke websites, which are built to perform, whilst also looking great!

We're always here to help, so if you have any questions about your current or even a new website, please either contact us here, give us a call on 01243 888555 or pop in to our Chichester-based office.

(P.S, we offer free website performance tests! If you'd like a breakdown of your website and how it's performing, please contact us through one of the options above).


Conversion examples courtesy of Conversion XL