Convert Website Visitors to Paying Customers

Nine tips to boost your conversion rate

Woman shopping online with credit card
••• David Lees / Getty Images

If you operate a website to market your home business, to conduct an online business to generate revenues from affiliates or ad programs like Google AdSense, to sell eBooks, or to sell other merchandise through an online store, you've probably already discovered that there are search engine marketing techniques, such as SEO and pay per click advertising like Google AdWords as well as other website promotion techniques to drive traffic to your website.

But what happens once the traffic starts building and people come to your website? Are you converting them to paying customers? It's one thing to get traffic coming to your site, but if no one wants to buy what you're selling, your business isn't going to get anywhere.

The Other Success Factor: Conversion Optimization

Conversion optimization is the process of maximizing the percentage of website visitors who complete the desired action (this percentage is known as your conversion rate). If you're not doing so already, you should be tracking your conversion rates. For pay per click advertisers, this is the percentage of people who clicked your ad and went to your website and then took an additional action, such as completed and submitted a contact form, an estimate request, or took some other action that you can measure to see if your ads are successful.

Calculating Your Conversion Rate

For pay per click ads, you can calculate your conversion rate as follows:

Number of people taking the desired action / Number of people clicking your ad x 100 = Conversion Rate Percent

For online store merchants, a simplified calculation for your conversion rate might be:

Number of orders / Number of visitors x 100 = Conversion Rate Percent

The reason that improving your conversion rate is so important is that you can increase your sales with the same amount of traffic just by boosting your conversion rate. As you traffic grows, and it should grow naturally over time provided you manage your website properly, your earnings will multiply so that if you can double your conversion rate and double your traffic, your earnings should increase four-fold, all other things being equal.

9 Tips for Increasing Your Conversion Rates

Following are nine tips you can use to start improving your conversion rates and converting Web site visitors to cash. These tips are ideal for online stores, but most will also be quite useful for other types of websites for improving conversions. Most are very inexpensive ideas, especially compared to the cost of driving additional traffic to your site or paying for advertising. Keep in mind, too, that increasing your conversion rate will result in a greater return on investment (ROI) for your website promotion expenses you use to increase your traffic.

  1. Conversion Tip 1: Use your return policies to convert visitors to customers
  2. Conversion Tip 2: Offer multiple payment options to attract more buyers
  3. Conversion Tip 3: Provide easy access to customer service
  4. Conversion Tip 4: Offer a toll-free number and make it visible
  5. Conversion Tip 5: Be your own mystery shopper
  6. Conversion Tip 6: Make your site secure and make it known
  7. Conversion Tip 7: Visit your competitor's sites often
  8. Conversion Tip 8: Solicit and welcome feedback
  9. Conversion Tip 9: Offer special discounts and promote them heavily

    It's not enough for online businesses to just think about getting their site noticed. They also need to get visitors to take the desired action once they arrive. Set up tracking mechanisms, calculate your conversion rates and then use these conversion optimization tips to maximize revenue from your website and you'll be well on your way to online success.