Improving Conversion Rates

A Deeper Look into Improving Conversion Rates

Conversion rate is one metric all brands and marketers should be paying attention to. If you’ve set up your website or email autoresponder, for example, and let it run, assuming everything is all good, you might want to double think that strategy.

Improving your conversion rate isn’t a set it and forget it type deal, you need to consistently be testing, tweaking, and monitoring in a structured way in order to really understand what is driving your readers and visitors to click…or leave.

Because let’s face it, the simple fact of the matter is, if you can’t get potential customers to convert on that first step you want them to take, they aren’t going to be your customers. And, with so much information and so many products out there for customers to choose from,

Getting more interested in conversion rates?

Thought you might say that. Let’s take a look at how you can start driving those conversions.

A Quick Look at The Psychology of Conversion

First things first, before you can get people to click, you want to understand the motivations behind the click. That’s where our old friend psychology comes into the equation.

Ask any behavioral marketer and they will tell you that consumers aren’t exactly the most predictable or logical people out there. Their motivations and triggers are often so deeply built into the human subconscious, they don’t even know the true “why” behind their actions.

That’s something every brand and marketer should pay more attention to. If your brand can understand the “why” behind the motivations of consumers, then you can present an overall experience that makes conversion much easier.

Here are just a few of the factors.

Make it Easy

An article called To Keep Your Customers, Keep it Simple in the Harvard Business Review based on a study of 7,000 consumers found:

The single biggest driver of stickiness, by far, was “decision simplicity”—the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options. What consumers want from marketers is, simply, simplicity.

You can translate that to your own website by keeping things simple. When you ask visitors to give you their information, use only one or two fields, not 5 or 10.

Inspire Curiosity

We’re big fans of inspiring curiosity here. And you can use the principle of triggering the ‘itch that needs to be scratched’ in the brain of your consumer on your website as well.

So how can you do this? Two approaches are through your copy and through images. You can use your copy and imagery to intrigue website visitors, giving them a taste of something interesting, but asking them to complete the action in order to find out more.

Here’s an example from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers:

Improving Conversion Rates

The image above on his blog leads directly to a quiz page. You answer a few questions (which gives Derek invaluable data about his visitors) and boom the results…

Improving Conversion Rates

Once you enter your email.

Now, this also taps right into the endowment effect as well. Because these website visitors have gone through the process and took the quiz, they feel ownership over it, so the chances that they are going to enter their information to get those results, increases.

See how it works?

These are just a few of the psychological bits that marketers can look to when it comes to conversion rate optimization.

Conversion Optimization Techniques

You’ve probably heard (and tried) many of the most common techniques to increase your conversion rates.

Things like changing the color of buttons, A/B testing headlines or copy, and testing the call to action copy, are all examples of that.

But, more advanced brands who are seeing higher conversion rates are doing so because they’ve upped the game a bit. Tapping into some of the principles behind the psychology of conversion and applying those to see bigger gains than their competitors.

Here are a few examples:

Have a Funnel Set Up

According to a study done by Marketo called The Definitive Guide to Lead Generation, “approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy — but they may be willing to provide contact information in exchange for valuable content.”

That mean’s you must have ample choices for visitors to your website to provide their contact information for you to contact them later. While you might be missing out on the first conversion, that’s not to say after a few awesome emails, they won’t be ready to buy.

Speed Test

Website speed can play an absolutely massive role in conversion rates. Yet, many marketers and brands aren’t paying attention to websites that are loading too slowly. Remember, the average attention span today is 8 seconds, if you waste most of that on your website loading, you’re sunk.

Test your own website speed by using tools like GTmetrix, Uptrends, and Pingdom. You might be surprised that an increase of even a second can actually translate into a higher conversion rate overall. Check out these stats from Kissmetrics to show you how much website speed matters:

Improving Conversion Rates

Go Responsive

In 2016 we probably shouldn’t have to remind you of this, but we’ll say it anyway: you need to have a responsive website for mobile browsing. In 2015, Google’s internal data found that more Google searches are happening on mobile than desktop in 10 countries (including the US).

While mobile conversion rates still lag slight behind desktop, they have been steadily increasing over the last few years, with one study finding that the increase in conversion rate year over year on mobile devices was up 32.6%.

Do the Heavy Lifting

As we mentioned above, the vast majority of people who land on your website aren’t ready to buy. AdWeek found that 81% of shoppers do research online before making a purchase, and a whopping 94% of B2B buyers first research online before committing.

Here’s where your site can shine by helping the process. Include the information your customers are most likely to look for; reviews, testimonials, case studies, and even competitor comparisons. Check out this comparison chart from Versatables as an example:

Improving Conversion Rates

Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

There are lots of things you can do to improve the conversion rate on your website, some of which we’ve seen above, but there are also quite a few tools out there that make the process much easier.

We covered 12 brilliant landing page optimization tools in another post, but for overall conversion tools, check out a few of these:


While small business brands will find that a tool like Unbounce is the best option for them, for larger enterprise brands, Maxymiser provides virtually everything needed from A/B testing to customer insights and personalization.


As part of Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, Omniture is trying to position itself as a better alternative to Google Analytics. It offers everything you’ll find inside Google’s tool, but takes it a step further allowing you to make and track changes.


We know how much of an impact social media is having on consumers today, so that’s why Brandwatch has been developed as a tool for brands to help optimize their social listening skills. It pulls in data to show you what is working with your brand.

Final Thoughts

Increasing the conversion rates of your site is not as difficult or complicated as you might think. There are plenty of changes you can make, both large and small, that can have an impact.

Remember, just an increase in conversion rate from something like 2% to 3% will translate into a noticeable bump onto your bottom line. So any fraction of a percentage increase you can get with optimization certainly add up over the long run.

What have you found working with your own brand? Have you been able to see a noticeable difference in conversions? Let us know in the comments!

Liz Froment

Liz is a marketing content writer for the Scratch-it team. She loves learning and writing about email marketing. You can find her tweeting about it and a lot more at @lfroment.