How do you know if your website is converting visitors into customers and keeping your conversion rate as high as possible?

Our goal is to be the best resource for digital marketing concepts (such as conversion optimization). Let us know if we can improve this guide in your comments at the bottom of the page. Just like Google, we are always looking to evolve and adapt as the digital world becomes more user-friendly and intuitive.

There are two main ways of improving and optimizing your conversion:

  1. Converting website visitors into leads.

  2. Converting leads into customers.

Several components will help optimize conversions, but here’s a quick list of our favorites:

  1. Funnels

  2. Lead magnets

  3. Automated marketing

  4. A/B testing

  5. User experience recording

  6. Analytics

Photo by Nídia Piza on Unsplash

Most sites are designed to sell, but they don’t always consider what happens before the sale that converts visitors into customers. Conversion funnels are crucial for any site that plans to sell a product or a service.

Conversion funnels may sound complex, but if you look at the five main buying cycle phases, they are much easier to understand.

A conversion funnel is a step-by-step process that guides a visitor through your site and towards buying your specific product or service. Each conversion funnel is different. The steps of your own conversion funnel might be all on one page, or they could be spread out on multiple web pages.

Not every visitor is going to want to buy right away. If they aren’t ready to purchase something yet, you could be missing chances to convert visitors into solid leads. To do so, you will have to take some time to understand the “buying cycle.” Every buying cycle is different. For your customer base, the buying cycle could last minutes, months, or even years.

The first step is to create content for each stage of the buying cycle. Second, you need to optimize each conversion system to turn visitors into leads. Third, you will need to grow those leads into customers.

  1. Awareness (Searchers see your organic listing or ad and compare it to other options on Google)

  2. Interest (Searchers show interest in your organic listing or ad and visit your website)

  3. Research (Visitors compare your website to other sites they found on Google)

  4. Preference (Visitors show preference towards your benefits and become a lead or prospect)

  5. Decision (Visitors purchase your product or service and become a customer)

How does your website convert visitors into leads?

Let’s say that your buying cycle has a lot of in-depth interest and research. In this case, it’s crucial that you optimize your lead generation system. The best way to generate leads is to provide valuable data for visitors. If you can add a free download, like a guide or a checklist, you will be in a great position to bring in even more leads.

Our site uses this same conversion strategy with a free guide to optimize and increase conversions (which you can download here). In fact, our conversion optimization guide can give you the chance to experience what a lead generation system looks like firsthand. With this in mind, don’t just download the guide for the sake of it -- make sure to look at each step of our lead generation system.

If you show your visitors that you can help them solve their problems, you have a good chance to convert them into leads. But how do you know what will work best to turn your visitors into leads?  To start, you need to test multiple options to see which one works the best. We call this A/B testing, split testing, or multivariate testing. It might sound technical, but the concept is very simple (more on this below).

How does A/B testing improve conversion rates, leads, and sales?

A/B testing (also called multivariate tests) can make your website smarter. With A/B testing, you will show half of your visitors (called Group A) one conversion funnel element. The other half (called Group B) will be shown a different version. This type of approach shows why A/B testing can also be called “split testing.”

What is a conversion funnel element? It could be a group of words, a headline, a pop-up, call to action buttons, or even a multi-page funnel system (we’ll dive into these later).  

The winning option will be the one that enhances the user experience by getting the highest increase in conversions. When you’re done, you don’t have to stop there—you can use the same approach to create a new A/B test and start testing again. Your conversion system will get smarter and smarter over time.

When done right, A/B testing can double, triple, or even quadruple your conversion rate. We use a couple of different tools to make our web pages and conversion systems smarter every month.  

Photo by Valerie Like on Freeimages

What can you do to convert your new leads into customers?

Your best options for lead conversion depend upon your customer's buying cycle. Short buying cycles work best with on-page elements. On the other hand, long buying cycles work best with lead magnets. Once you have a lead magnet, you can start to capture email addresses with an automated email marketing system to grow those leads.

After capturing an email address, you will need to “tag” their interests to let your system know what data to use later on. Old ways of “spammy” email marketing blasts no longer work. Today, email lists should be based on interests and behavior. This lets you create a system that sends the right message, to the right person, and at the right time.

When creating an automated marketing system to grow your leads, make sure you are not “spamming” them. Emails should have valuable data to provide an answer to a problem. This means that you will have to know what your potential customers want, and what they will need. If you can make it a habit to send send valuable data on a routine basis, you will be in a great spot when they are ready to buy something.

Your email can have clickable elements, which will help you decide if your potential customer is close to making a purchase. Once your lead is close to the “bottom of the conversion funnel,” you can include a sales page link inside your next email. This is how an automatic system can guide leads through each step of a conversion funnel.

Photo by Rainy Lake on Unsplash

Although it may take time and resources to set up, an automated system is more than worth it for any site that wants to sell. Over time, these systems become an asset that pays for itself many times over. The result is a consistent, steady source of customers and lead conversion, all without any effort from you.

If you want to optimize these systems with A/B testing, you will want to make sure that both groups are in the same lead segment. They should have the same interests and the same behaviors. Send Group A and Group B two emails. Track their progress each month and keep testing to find the email that works best. As time goes by, you will find that your system grows smarter over time and helps your site increase conversions through solid lead growth.  An automated email marketing system can be set up to automate the A/B testing process for you.

The first step to growing leads is understanding search intent. Once you know the intent of each focus keyword, you will know what lead magnets draw visitors in. As soon as you know the lead magnet, you will have all of the tools you need to start an automated marketing system.

Don’t forget that, without a clear solution to their problems, it’s likely that your leads will unsubscribe and fail to become a customer. At the same time, if you focus on value and give them the solutions that they need, people will reward you by trying your products and services.

By providing useful and relevant data in your emails, you will encourage your leads to try your products and services. At this point, you can also include “call to action” elements during the buying cycle. These come in the form of call to action buttons and links to landing pages that are designed to make the final sale.

User experience recording and Google Analytics can help you understand how effective your conversion funnels are. They will also show any problems (or “leaks”) where you are losing potential customers.

If you don't have the right analytics tracking set up, you may have leaks in your funnels. Google Analytics will not only track the number of visitors to your site (and their origin), but it will also track conversions into leads and customers. The conversion goals in Google Analytics will help you see what percent of your visitors are completing your conversion funnels. You can also track the progress of your conversion optimization over time and discover “leaks” or “drop-off points” in your funnels where you are losing customers.

You can choose to use special software to optimize conversion rates and track the ways that each visitor interacts with your site. We use a tool called Hotjar that records mouse movements and clicks. This helps us see website traffic and helps us see that conversion optimization is as high as possible for each system.

When all of the components of conversion optimization are combined, your conversion rate can double, triple, or even quadruple. This means you can improve your conversion rates, visitor engagement, and search engine ranking in one shot. As an additional bonus, you can also reduce your bounce rate.

If you don’t know if your site is optimized for conversion, or if you are losing customers, apply for a free conversion optimization audit with one of our digital marketing experts. You can also download our free conversion optimization guide to learn step-by-step how to convert more visitors into customers.