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What To Do When Conversion Rates Drop


At the end of the day, online lead generation is all about getting more conversions, whether the goal is to get your customers to download an eBook, request a consultation, or buy your product. Imagine you have an ecommerce site that sells shoes. Visitors may come to your site because of paid search marketing or social media marketing. But what happens once they land on your page?

Not every visitor that comes to your site is going to buy a pair of shoes. As a matter of fact, most of your customers leave within the first 10 seconds of landing on your site, without buying anything. What does this mean? You have a low conversion rate and need some conversion optimization.

What is a Conversion Rate?

Website conversion rate is the percentage of people who land on your site and download, buy, or perform a desired action. For example, if you receive 100 visitors to your site on a given day, and five of those people buy a pair of shoes, then your conversion rate for that specific action is five percent. The higher your website’s conversion rate, the more leads you generate, which means higher sales.

The best way for a business owner to optimize his/her conversation rate for a given site is to make sure that page is as relevant to the visitor as possible. This can mean changes to the messaging, design, incentive and more. These conversion and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can help you maximize the chances of a visitor becoming a lead.

A landing page is the page your customers land on when searching the web for the product they want. If they click on an ad based on a search term, they will be directed to a “destination URL,” or landing page. Likewise, your organic listings should consider landing page optimization. Landing pages need to be optimized, and optimized pages need to convert customers.

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A landing page should work to address both SEO and PPC campaigns. After all, you want just as good (if not better) of a conversion rate for organic traffic as you get for paid traffic. Here is what you need:

  • Relevant and Original Content – Your web page needs to give your visitor exactly what they want when they click your listing, in a short amount of time. Since your page headline is the first thing your visitors will see, it’s a good idea to keep the same keywords and messaging as your title tag. Give the visitor a reason to stay on the page and continue engagement. You might do this by offering free downloadable resources or using informative visuals.
  • Visual Clarity – Not every visitor is an avid reader. In fact, most of your visitors won’t read more than just a couple sentences of your web page copy. Keep your landing page free from clutter and avoid distracting your visitors from completing the goal of converting. Consider the proper amount of space between visuals, copy, and your form.
  • Testing – You’re reading this article for a reason – to increase the amount of conversions your website receives. No landing page is “optimized” without proper testing. Experiment with two types of landing pages, looking at elements like design, copy, or forms with the same goal in mind. Our suggestion is to test one of these elements at a time. For example, test your call-to-actions with two landing page variants, and see what page performs better.

Landing page optimization focuses on communicating an offer and triggering a response. Increase the amount of conversions you get with the traffic you have instead of wasting more dollars on traffic that doesn’t convert.

Conversion Form Design

I’ve never met anyone who actually enjoyed filling out forms. If you’re one of these people, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below. Conversion form design makes all the difference in the world when trying to improve your lead generation efforts. Here are some things to consider

  • Right-aligned labels are great for associating between label and field. Plus, they require less vertical space on the page. Unfortunately, they are more difficult to scan because of their alignment.

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  • Left-aligned labels are best used when the data required is unfamiliar to the visitor. It enables quick scanning but negatively impacts the association between label and field.

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  • Top-aligned labels are ideal for trying to obtain data that the user is familiar with, and they usually require less time for completion.

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  • Required Form Fields – These enable users to quickly scan a form to see what forms need to be filled in, ultimately making it easier for visitors to fill out your forms. Labeling fields as optional can also be of benefit, especially when the majority of your fields are required. Most importantly, try to avoid optional fields unless most of the fields are required.
  • Help and Tips in Forms – Forms can be confusing and a hassle to complete. Using help and tips in your forms can help when users when you’re asking for unfamiliar data, when certain data requests are optional, when your visitors question the data that’s being processed, and when there are recommended ways of providing data.

Conversion Rate Metrics

We briefly mentioned how you should test the different elements of your landing page, but what should you be looking for when testing? There are a few metrics that should guide you in your landing page and conversion optimization efforts. Here they are:

  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of people who leave your website after only viewing the page that they landed on. A high bounce rate will negatively impact your conversion rate. For you science and math peeps, bounce rate equals total number of visitors recording only one hit divided by total hits to a page.
  • Exit Rate – Not to be confused with bounce rate, this statistic represents the percentage of people who left your site from a specific page. Exit rate typically reflects a visitor who has visited more than one page in a session, whereas bounce rates are always one-page sessions.
  • Avg. Time on Site – This one is pretty straightforward. The longer visitors view your site and interact with your brand, the more likely they are to convert.
  • Avg. Page Views – The more visitors engage with your site, the more likely they are to convert.

Analytics can help you track all of these metrics. If you’re already tracking these metrics, pay attention to the pages that have high bounce rate and try to improve them using the outlined tips in this article. We also encourage you to contact our search marketing team. We’d be happy to help you with your conversion optimization efforts.

2 Responses to What To Do When Conversion Rates Drop

  1. Good Morning,
    I was curious if you had any tips for why a websites conversion rates would drop so drastically and not pick back up?

  2. Great question, Erica – thanks for asking!

    Here are some ideas to explore:

    1. Check Your Conversion Codes. Ensure your conversion codes are in place in the right location within your HTML. Sometimes when websites are updated, the code can be mangled, left out or implemented back into the code in the wrong location.

    2. Seasonality. Depending how much historical data you’re working with, you may want to refer back to conversion rates/conversions and their performance a year back. Your business may be seasonal depending on user intent. An obvious example: snow blowers have less consumer demand in warmer months.

    3. Bid Strategies in AdWords. If you’re participating in pay per click advertising, like Google AdWords, some changes in bid strategies can have an impact on conversion rates. For example, changing CPA (cost per acquisition) bids from Max CPA to Target CPA can have a dramatic impact on conversion rates. Ensure any changes in bids, keywords, landing pages, etc. are accounted for and analyzed for impact to conversions.

    Hope this helps! Best of luck!

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