As a web professional I have had the luxury of being a part of hundreds of websites, whether it be involved in strategy, development, design, maintenance, marketing, or other web based projects. In doing so, I have developed a good eye for conversion optimization tactics.

One of the most frustrating things to me when suggesting conversion optimization ideas to a client or business is the failure to see the big picture. Improving your website’s conversion rate is not just about the conversion rate itself. It requires a big picture view of your website that often goes far beyond the simple conversion rate statistic.

There are many ways to increase conversions such as improving your website from a UI / UX perspective, adding new features, and much more. For instance, simply removing a slideshow and replacing it with a hero image has been shown to dramatically increase homepage conversions for many businesses.

What is often looked when implementing conversion optimization techniques, is that almost all conversion optimization tactics should actually lead to more traffic volume, not just an increase in conversion rate, if executed properly. Additionally, conversion optimization improvements could lead to many other strong business impacts such as better brand awareness and perception, more referral traffic, word of mouth business, and much more.

There are really only several major ways to improve conversions on a website. All of them, however, should lead to increased traffic.

1) Improve UI / UX

This is a broad topic that could include things like making the site fluid responsive (better for all device sizes) and improving the navigation main menu.

  • Better navigation / user flows
  • Improved responsive design
  • Intuitive page flow
  • Easy to read content
  • Can get to content quickly
  • Colors, fonts, & icons
  • Intuitive buttons, forms, modals etc…

A better user interface and user experience will lead to more traffic because users will be pleased with their experience causing them to return more frequently. Additionally, the word will spread about the great customer experience people are having at the website.

2) Improve Page Load Time

If your site takes longer than three seconds to load, you can dramatically lose user engagement and thus conversions. Getting your page load time down to as low as possible will ultimately lead to better conversions.

  • Minify JS / CSS
  • Hosting
  • DNS response time
  • Database optimization
  • Image optimization
  • Better / more efficient code

A faster site will lead to a lower bouncer rate and also a much higher rate of returning visitors. Additionally it could boost your SEO rankings.

3) Improve Content / Visual Assets

A website without quality content and visual assets simply will not convert. The content, images, and graphics are the backbone of the website and without investing into this on a continuous basis, your site will not convert as well as it should.

  • Blogging
  • Forum
  • Copy writing
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Graphics

A site that has better and more consistent content will lead to more direct, referral, social, and SEO traffic. It can also help you build a better email list for more email traffic.

4) Add New Features / Integrations

Adding new features and functionality to your website will make your website more useful to prospective and returning customers or users. Major technology sites improve rapidly, almost daily, but even making monthly or quarterly feature improvements is better than nothing.

  • Front end features (slideshow, modals, forms)
  • Backend features (user authentication, user permission levels)
  • Integrations (Facebook login,
  • Form validation
  • Shipping improvements
  • Payment gateway improvements

If you continue to invest in new features for your website there is a much better chance that users and site visitors will come back or try out the site for the first time know that it has been improved or enhanced.

5) Offer Promotions and Discounts

Promotions and discounts have been a staple of business marketing for centuries, however they are now just more online than ever before. Implementing promotions and discounts is a great way to convert more visitors to paying customers or leads.

  • Free Shipping
  • % discounts
  • Flash Sales
  • Referral discounts
  • Rewards Points

Visitors are more likely to come to a site knowing there are quality promotions and discounts in place.

6) More users / user value

This does not apply to all websites. However, if you have an aspect to your website in which more people using it will lead to more value for other users, this can improve conversions. An example would be user generated comments or user reviews.

  • User generated content
  • Comments
  • Reviews
  • More potential connections

More user value will lead to more visitors and overall traffic because of the increased usefulness of the site to new and returning users.

So Please Please stop thinking about CRO as just conversion optimization and start to think about the bigger picture of getting more visitors and building up your overall website presence and value.

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