Wikipedia describes ‘conversions’ as the amount of visitors on your website which take an ‘action’ on it, apart from viewing the content on your website/blog, or browsing through it.
As an example, a visitor who comes on your website and buys one of your Wordpress plugins, for instance, equals one successful conversion. Alternatively, it could also be something as simple as having visitors go to your Facebook page, in which case every visitor on your website that does go to your Facebook page equal one successful conversion.
So if, for instance, you convert 5 out of every 100 visitors on your blog, your conversion rate would come to 5%. You can easily set up goals and monitor your conversions through Google AdSense.
Through those examples, it is obvious that conversions are important for all kinds of blogs or websites out there, not just for e-commerce websites. No matter which niche your website belongs to, there will always be something that you, as the blog owner, would want your visitors to do, an action that you’d want them to take on your blog – subscribing to your list, buying a product, ‘liking’ your Facebook page, downloading your free eBook, or something else.
By now, it must be quite obvious that the higher your conversion rate, the better – as it would mean that you are successfully able to convert more visitors into taking the action that you wanted them to take.
For this purpose, it is important to know about the different factors that influence the conversion rate, and how certain tweaks can improve the conversion on your website. Here are a few things that you can do to improve and increase your conversion rate easily (in no particular order):
1. CTA, CTA, CTA!
CTA is short for a Call-to-Action, and is perhaps one of the most important things when speaking of conversions. A CTA is what attracts or forces a visitor on your website to take an action, which is why its importance is so closely associated to a good conversion rate. You need to optimize your CTA for maximum conversions – whether it’s a ‘Buy Now’ button, a Subscribe button, a link that leads visitors to another page on your website or an external link, or whatever it might be. While the topic of CTAs and conversions warrants its own separate post, I’ll leave you guys with this excellent link on examples of 10 great CTAs and how they impact conversions.
2. Design Matters, a lot.
This is especially applicable to e-commerce websites, where the conversion rate is of the utmost importance (think ecommerce checkout pages). However blogs in other niches can and will also benefit from a good design and layout. Keep it simple and attractive. Choose a color scheme/theme that’s easy on the eyes. Make sure that the checkout process doesn’t involve a lot of clicks, and that the ‘Buy Now’ button is the single-most prominent feature of the page. Instead of taking visitors to the checkout page, use a system that adds purchases to their shopping cart and allows them to continue browsing the website.
For non-ecommerce websites, I would suggest creating attractive, reader-friendly landing pages with an even balance of text and images. Group your content into different sections, which highlight the features of whatever it is that you’re offering. Apple’s product pages (such as the one here, and here) do a great job with this.
3. Make it as easy and simple as possible to take an action.
Make the process of taking an action on your website as simple and easy as possible. Make the action that you want your visitors to take as obvious as possible. Keep it above the fold, and make it prominent, so that it’s the first thing that they see when they land on your website. For instance if you want your visitors to buy your eBook, subscribe to your mailing list, or sign up for your Fantasy Football league, put up a banner in the sidebar, or use something like the HelloBar for the purpose.
4. Convince your visitors to take an action.
… through your product/service, by offering a compelling offer, a discount, special bonuses, bundles, extra features or something else. In order to convert the maximum number of visitors, you need to give them something that they want. Above all, you need to market it in a way that convinces them to take an action. The more people you successfully convince, the more you convert.
5. Work on increasing your traffic.
The equation is quite simple: more traffic gives you a higher chance of conversions (provided you are doing everything else right). Focus your efforts on getting targeted traffic – people from your niche, those who share similar interest, those who might be interested in what you have on offer, and those who will give you a better chance of ‘converting’.
6. Break your text/content/copy down into easily-digestible parts.
In order to maximize conversions, I recommend breaking your copy into shorter ‘easily-digestible’ chunks. While there are no set rules as to how you should go about doing this, a good practice is to split your copy into multiple paragraphs of 4-5 lines each. Doing so will increase the page’s scan-ability, allowing people to skim through it (which is what most people do!). It will also make your main message more prominent. Using bullet-lists for this purpose might also be a good idea. (And as always, grammar and spelling need to be correct)
7. Use a good font on your website.
This is essential, and very closely related to the design and layout of your website (see pt. 1). Avoid using fancy fonts, or fancy font colors for that matter. Use a simple, easy-to-read and highly-legible font instead. Use optimum line-spacing, and a font-size that can be easily read by different people. Embolden the important parts of your copy so that they attract attention instantly. If you want to attract people to take an action, you need to convince them to do so!
8. Use a mixture of images and text.
Use a good mixture of images and text that attracts people to what you have on offer, without overusing either one of these elements. This especially applies to your landing page. Wordpress has a large selection of great landing pages to choose from (such as these).