21 Tips to Increase Conversion Rate of Your Website

21 Tips to Increase Conversion Rate of Your Website

Everyone already knows that a big part of building a successful website is getting people to visit it. More traffic = a more successful site. Makes sense, right?

But here’s the thing that some people overlook:

Traffic Is Only Good When It Helps You Meet Your Goals.

And conversion rate is what helps you determine that. It’s the percentage of people who do what you want (buy a product, sign up for your email list, fill out a form…) versus the total number of visitors to your website (or landing page).

If you really want your website to be successful, that – the number of people who convert – is what matters for your bottom line at the end of the day.

But what actually makes a website generate conversions? And better yet, how can you build your website, or your client’s website, so that it gets as many conversions as possible?

In this post, we’ll share 21 tips that you can use to boost the conversion rates on the websites you build with WordPress.

1. Define Your Website’s Goal (and Make That the Focus)

If you yourself don’t know what action/benefit you’re hoping to get from driving traffic to your site, you’ll never be able to make your website conversion-friendly.

So – step #1 in the journey to improving your website or landing page’s conversion rate is to laser in and define the actual purpose and objectives for your page.

Typically, your website or page will have one of these goals:

  • Sales – getting people to buy a product from your website.
  • Brand presence – many businesses are just looking to provide information about their brand. For example, the Coca-Cola company website.
  • Lead generation – getting people to sign up for your email list or fill out a form.
  • Calls – getting people to call your business.
  • Click through – getting people to click through to another page in your funnel.

Once you know exactly what you want to accomplish, you can use the rest of these tips to help you achieve that goal.

2. Figure Out Who Your Ideal Visitor Is — and Build a Persona

Once you know your page’s purpose, the next step is to define the type of person you’re hoping to reach. This person is known as your website’s persona.

By taking the time to write down the persona(s) you want to reach, you’ll be able to design your website specifically for those people. And by making your website more relevant to the people you want to reach the most, you make it more likely that those people will convert.

So.. personas matter. But how do you create them?

Basically, you want to build out a full profile of your ideal visitor by answering questions like:

  • How old is the person?
  • What is their gender?
  • What is their education level?
  • Which industry do they work in?
  • How much work experience do they have?
  • Why are they coming to your site?
  • What are the problems they face in their life/job?
  • How technologically-savvy are they?

By the end, you can come up with a detailed profile that looks something like this:

Image of detailed profile

If you’re interested in learning more about user personas, Usability.gov has a detailed guide, which is also where the example above came from.

3. Show Some of Your Unique Personality

Image of unique personality

Some people have this idea that “you have to please everyone”, which often leads to a bland website with no personality.

Most of your site’s visitors won’t feel excited and motivated by the boring “please everyone” approach.

So – don’t be afraid to show your personality, especially if you’re a big part of your business (e.g. a freelancer).

Show your smiling face, or the smiling faces of your employees. Add a touch of your own voice. Don’t be afraid to use some slang if it’s your real personality.

Sure, there’s always the small chance that your personality turns someone off.

But guess what? That person probably isn’t your target persona, anyway!

Remember – you don’t have to please every single visitor – just focus on connecting with your target persona(s). That’s how you get a high conversion rate!

4. Your Headline Is What Makes People Stay

Image of attractive headline

Newspaper advertising guru David Ogilvy knew back in the 1960s that most people just read the headline. And while a lot’s changed since then (hello websites, goodbye newspapers!), Ogilvy’s main point still stands:

Your website’s headline is what grabs readers and makes them bother staying around.

Nielsen Norman Group does evidence-based research on how people use websites, and here’s what they found:

“Users often leave Web pages in 10–20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer. To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.”

Your headline is what lets you communicate that value proposition within 10 seconds, keep visitors on the page, and eventually get a chance at converting them.

So what makes for a good headline? Make it:

  • Clear and comprehensible. You don’t want people to have to guess what you’re trying to say. Remember – you only have 10 seconds.
  • Make your value proposition obvious. This tells visitors what’s in it for them, and why they should bother to stay around and learn more.
  • Stay customer-focused. Use wording that focuses on “you” (the visitor), rather than “we” whenever possible.

If you need some inspiration, WordStream put together some formulas that you can use and KickoffLabs has ten good examples.

5. Content Matters!

Image for content matters

If you do things right with your headline, your visitors will understand your core value proposition and stick around to learn more.

Now, the rest of your site’s content needs to deliver on the promise from the headline.

Spend the time to create content that keeps people reading and explains more about your business/product/offer.

This is also where you can show your personality and give readers all the information they need to make their decision.

If you’re not sure what makes for good copy, Henneke, a successful copywriter, has great tips at Copyblogger and her Enchanting Marketing site.

6. Use One Clear Call To Action for Your Goal

Once you’ve hit your visitors with the clear headline and quality content, your call to action (CTA) is what guides them to the next step.

For most websites, the CTA takes the form of a button. This button should be the step you want your visitors to take.

For example, on the Astra theme homepage, the CTA is “Download Now” because we want our visitors to download the theme:

Use of CTA image

You always want to have one, and only one, primary CTA. You will see some sites successfully include a second CTA, but this CTA almost always employs a less attention grabbing design.

If you browse the starter templates for the Astra theme, you’ll notice that most of them have a single, clear CTA already in place so that they’re conversion-ready from day one. You should follow a similar approach no matter how you’re building your site.

Beyond design, the text on your CTA button matters, too. To create a great CTA:

  • Use a command verb to imply action. For example, “Get…”, “Download…”, “Start…”
  • Add urgency with words like “Now”, “Today” etc.
  • Appeal to deal-seekers with words like “Free” (if applicable)

If you need more inspiration, WordStream has another good article on CTAs and AdEspresso put together a great list of 31 examples.

7. Build Credibility and Trust

Image for build trust

You’re more likely to interact with someone you trust, right?

Well, it’s no different for your readers. They want to buy from, sign up to, and just generally use credible websites that they trust.

So how do you create that trust and credibility?

It all starts with your site’s design. While people say you should never judge a book by its cover…well, people will definitely judge your website by its cover.

That is, if your website just plain doesn’t look professional, people won’t trust it. And people form their impressions remarkably quickly – even before reading a single line of text.

In a study from Behaviour & Information Technology, researchers found that people make a decision about a website’s visual appeal in as little as 50 ms.

Once you ensure you have a professional design, you can use other tactics and features to further build trust and credibility:

  • Logos – logos of places you’ve worked with or been featured by help build credibility by association.
  • Testimonials – authentic testimonials show that other people trust you, which builds trust by itself (more on this below).
  • Security badges – using trust badges or seals builds trust. ConversionXL has good research on the most effective trust badges.
  • HTTPS/Green Padlock 90% of surveyed users were “more likely to leave details or purchase when they know that their data is sent over a secure connection”.

8. Show Social Proof To Harness the Wisdom of the Crowds

Image for social proof

Social proof is a well-studied psychological phenomenon where people base their own actions on the actions they see from others.

While it’s by no means limited to websites, it’s one of the most effective elements to further build trust and convince people to convert. So much so, in fact, that most conversion optimization experts say it’s an element that your site can’t afford to be without.

You can implement social proof in several different ways, some of which you’ve seen before:

  • Social follower counts from your profiles
  • Numbers – for example, “Join 30,000 other subscribers”, “Over 40,000 happy customers”, etc.)
  • Testimonials/reviews
  • Places you’ve been featured
  • Friendship – for example, use the Facebook like button to show people some of their friends who have liked your site.
  • Credible certifications – for example, “USDA Certified Organic”

9. Harness the Power of Scarcity To Spur Action

All of the other tips on this page encourage people to act…but none of them specifically encourage people to act now. And you definitely want people to act right away. Otherwise, they might forget about you and all that work you’ve done on conversion optimization goes to waste!

Scarcity is how you add urgency to your site. And once you understand what scarcity is, you’ll start seeing it everywhere.

For example, Amazon shows how many items are remaining, as well as how long you have to order to get it delivered by a certain date. And every hotel booking site in existence will tell you how many rooms are left and how many other people are looking.

Image for sense of urgency

So what are some ways that you can add urgency to your website?

  • Use a special time-limited offer or coupon.
  • Highlight a limited number of spots, or otherwise restricted availability.
  • Add a countdown timer.

Even if you can’t use real urgency, you can still add something called implied urgency by incorporating words like “now”, “today”, “soon”, etc.

10. K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple image

Since you have established the urgency to your website, don’t make it hard for your clients to see what to do next, where and how to do it. Keep things as simple as possible. It can be tempting to add heaps of images, effects, and text, especially now that drag-and-drop editor tools have made it possible to add new elements with just a few clicks.

Resist the urge, though!

When you build a website, you’re not trying to win a design award – you’re trying to meet specific business objectives.

Eliminate elements that are just there to look “nice” and focus on the elements that will get results (like all the stuff we talked about above!).

11. Keep Them Focused on Your Call To Action and Avoid Distractions

Keep the focus

Another way of keeping things simple is by eliminating distractions in your website. Don’t pull your clients in too many different directions. Instead, focus on what we have discussed earlier which is a single clear call to action and talk only about things that they need to know.

Stick to your goal and focus only on the following:

  • Your Headline and its subheadings
  • The features of your products or services and its benefits
  • Reviews and testimonials
  • Clear context with visuals

If you want to know where your customers are looking at your website, try using a heatmap analyzing tools to track clicks on your website. Website heatmap is an analytical tool that can help you understand the behavior of your website visitors by showing which part of your website they are clicking on.

If your clients are clicking on unnecessary product options, links and excessive information, it will decrease the conversion rate for your website. Try to minimize or totally do away with these elements that may distract your prospective clients and keep them focussed on thinking about what they need to do now.

12. Use Pop-up Properly

Pop-ups can be a little bit annoying and/or distracting for your site visitors, but if you learn how and when to use pop-up properly, it can generate a high conversion rate for your website.

Image for use of popup

Sometimes, clients are undecided and are still looking for more specific features or products from your listing. You can use pop-up to offer premium contents, other similar products, freebies, and other offers until your customer is satisfied with what you have to offer.

Keep your pop-up timely and related to the clients’ current interests. A slight delay in your pop-up will make it irrelevant and annoying to the client. To avoid this negative impression, make it easier for your site visitors to close your pop-up. You can also use a cookie to make sure that your pop-up appears only once for every visitor.

13. When Needed, Keep a Simple Form Fields

Image for simple form fields

Another annoying part of a website is filling-up some form fields. If you really need to include form fields in your website keep only the fields essential to achieve your goal and remove unnecessary form fields.

Clients won’t mind signing-up if there are only few form fields to fill. But if your form fields are lengthy clients will start to think if he/she really needs to fill-out all the fields, is he/she giving too much information, or make them feel that you think they are not trustworthy clients by asking detailed information.

14. Make the First Step Easy for Your Clients

The hardest part for most people, especially in going for what they really want, is taking the first step. But it boosts their confidence to finish what they have started if the first step is very easy for them.

Make it easy image

People will immediately close your website if from the very start they already have to fill-up lengthy form fields. You can start by only asking for their complete name or their email address. Later on you can ask for other information that you need. If you didn’t get the chance to ask for further details of your clients, you already have their email addresses where you can communicate with them to send them offers or remind them of their recent visit to your site.

15. Add Live Chat and Talk To Your Customers

Add live chat feature image

Another effective way of encouraging your visitors to take the steps in availing your products and services is by eliminating their doubts by offering a venue where they can ask you directly specific details about what you are offering and what benefits they can get from it.

A Live Chat feature in your website creates an impression to the visitors that you are confident with your products that you can talk about it and address any concerns your client has in mind.

This also helps in what we have discussed in item number 7 for building credibility and trust.

Live chat tools are easy to add on your website and are very helpful in solving your clients last-minute resistance and increasing your conversion rate.

16. Give Them a Money-Back Guarantee

To completely and quickly remove their doubts if they are going to avail of your products and services, offer them a money-back guarantee.

Money-back guarantee image

Consumers avoid risks and always make sure that they get what they paid for or if not, get their money back. Offering a money-back guarantee makes your client feel more confident and secure.

Easy, secure and risk free shopping experience is the best reason for customers to not only avail of your products and services but also want to go visit your website again to avail more of your offers.

It gives you not only increased conversion rate but also repeat purchases and a very satisfied customer. And a happy customer always tells their friends about their experience.

17. Include a Countdown Timer for a Limited-Time Offer

Include countdown timer

Since what you have to offer is easy, secure and too good to resist, giving them a limited time offer will create a sense of urgency to avail of your products and services immediately or lose the chance.

Adding a countdown timer in your limiter-offer sign will quickly boost your conversion rate.

This will also give more satisfaction to your clients and make them feel lucky to be one of the few customers who have availed of your limited offer.

18. Do A/B Testing for Your Website

Perform A/B testing image

If you are already following our tips and want to know if there are some improvements or still not sure if your site really needs some boost in terms of conversion rate, the best tip we can give is to do A/B testing for your website.

A/B testing or split testing is a tool to test your website’s conversion rate. It allows you to make two versions of your website (webpage A and webpage B) with different designs. A/B testing tool will direct 50% of your site visitors to webpage A and 50% to webpage B.

This will help you decide which design is better in terms of conversion rate and how your website is performing.

19. Address Your Client’s Objections

Address to client's question image

In sales, “No” means “Not now”.

If your customer says no, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like your products and services, most of the time it only means that it is not the product they are looking for at the moment, they still have some doubts, or they are just not sure what they really want.

Potential customers will say no if your site does not offer the kind of products they are looking for. To avoid objections, you need to list down all the possible objections that your customers might have and already provide the answers to your website List down as many as you can..

20. Make It Easy for Customers To Buy From You

Make it easy for customers

After applying all our tips and finally converting site visitors to a customer, the last thing you really have to make sure is to make it easy for them to buy or avail of your products and services.

Always guide your customers on what to do next, where to proceed and how to pay for their purchases.

Upon check out ask for only few essential information

21. Give Another Offer

Image for another offer

If your website is still not generating high conversion rate, which is unlikely if you follow our tips above, may you are just giving your clients the wrong offer.

Continue to experiment on your offers and tract the results of each product or service until you find the best offer that generates a high conversion rate..

Save Time With Conversion-Ready Website Templates

Building a conversion-ready website from the ground up takes time…

But when you use the Astra theme, you don’t have to start at ground zero. We’ve baked all of these principles into the templates in our Starter Templates pack. When you use one of these templates, you’ll instantly have a conversion-ready foundation that you can adapt to your or your client’s needs.

Website templates image

Have any other questions about how you can build conversion-ready websites? Let us know in the comments and we’ll try to help out!

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  1. Namaste Sujay,

    It is very good read, I can see all of your experience in it. I am also working on my own agency website re-design. I read it on right time.
    I helps me to focus on the essential things. Soon I will be writing a small article about web design process flow, I keep these points in mind.

    Thanks for the article.
    Keep writing and inspiring us.

  2. Can’t tell you how many clients want the bling when we try and nudge them in another direction to show results.

    It’s simple things developers can do to bait the hook and have people stay.

  3. Great article! But our traffic has raised +75% and we have the same sales. After reviewing the traffic raise, the reason is because that traffic comes from international countries (where we don´t sell) and to non transactional pages. Shoul we filter this traffic from our stadistics?

  4. Hello,
    Nice article and these points are completely right. Having an optimized page and building your person is one of the most important aspects when it comes to conversions. This tutorial will help a lot of people.


  5. Helpful tips for a conversion-optimized website! It was interesting. It is comprehensive and straightforward.

    For tip #7: Build Credibility and Trust. As a visitor, I usually stay on a website with a beautiful theme or layout. Perhaps a simple, not too crowded look.

    Then, I look for the comments or testimonials of the viewers or users to make me more interested in the product and trust it. Like in the Play Store, I download apps that have more stars and downloads.

    Stars somehow look childish, but yes, it is useful.

    It works on me.

  6. Event plugins are a staple in my industry. I work in the entertainment and music inustry so having a plugin like this is really essential.

    It’s hard to keep track of attendance, and dates and such with so little to go on with WordPress alone. Speaking of which, I didn’t realize there were that many. I’ve been using WP Event Manager and it’s been great, but I might try these other ones too, just to see.

    If you recommend anything in particular, do let me know. Anyway, great job on the list. Highly appreciated.

  7. From a marketing point of view, this is all true that you need to present your proposition and make an excellent impression to your client within 10 seconds.

    So, for a website, the trick is on your headline. And you can have a good headline in 3 steps this is awesome. Thanks.

    This article is such a tremendous help.

  8. I like your tip number 3 Show some of your unique personality.

    I like the idea when you say, “you don’t have to please every single visitor – just focus on connecting with your target persona,” I love it.

    But it is a big slap because I thought many visitors equals more profit. At least you catch their attention even for a few seconds. But not all true. It makes sense now.

    Thanks for the tips

  9. Great tips!

    Good article! It was very helpful.

    The usual thing I do is not good at all. I usually get overwhelmed with a lot of images and effects. Perhaps I should stick with simplicity is beauty as long as it meets your specific business objective.

    Thanks for the tips.

  10. Helpful tips for a conversion-optimized website! It was interesting. It is comprehensive and straightforward.

    For tip #7: Build Credibility and Trust. As a visitor, I usually stay on a website with a beautiful theme or layout. Perhaps a simple, not too crowded look.

    Then, I look for the comments or testimonials of the viewers or users to make me more interested in the product and trust it. Like in the Play Store, I download apps that have more stars and downloads.

    Stars somehow look childish, but yes, it is useful.

    It works on me.

  11. Some of the plug-ins mentioned on this articles are not free. However, as I checked online those plug-ins you mentions are indeed good deals, although I am still contemplating whether I will purchase them for my own site.

    I also like that you included some free plug-ins which definitely helpful for start up online stores via woocommerce like myself. I find it very helpful and surely try to apply them to my site.

    Good article. Nice write up and very elaborate!

  12. The quality of website is key to any businesses. The website should be impressive in order to attract more number of visitors to your site. The article written is excellent and explain all the points in depth. Thank you for sharing this amazing article.

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