Common misconceptions around website conversions and conversion rate tracking suggest that it is a metric that is only for e-commerce businesses to use.

Although e-commerce conversion rate is a great way for a business to see how many users are making transactions on their site, a lead generation site can get just as much use out of the metric to understand how many of their total visitors they are managing to convert into leads or subscribers.

How else are you supposed to know whether your pretty site actually makes you any money or whether it’s just eating all your budget and not giving you anything back?

Why you need to consider Conversion Rate even if you’re not an e-commerce business

Even though your customers aren’t buying online, there is no getting away from the post-digital era that we now live in. Websites are no longer a valuable addition to a business, but they are a core element of a business and an essential part of the decision-making process for customers.

81% of people look for services online before contacting the business directly to purchase, so your website needs to encourage these people to want to buy in to your services. Websites set a precedent; if your website is difficult to use, it gives the impressions that your services will also be difficult to use.

For example, someone going through a divorce will be looking for a lawyer. If they go to a website that is unprofessional looking and cluttered, so much so that they cannot find out any qualifications the lawyer holds or regulations they abide by, this will reduce the credibility of the business and just lead them to the back button to look at the next website that appears on Google.

75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) effectively looks at increasing the amount of conversions occurring on your website to bring your conversion rate up and ultimately bring you more revenue.

My site is generating plenty of traffic, why do I need to know the Conversion Rate of it?

You may have just spent the last 6 – 12 months desperately raising awareness to grow or even start up your business. But what’s the point in having all of this traffic if the users coming to your site aren’t interested in doing any business with you?

The traffic alone is not going to increase your revenue. It is not about getting hundreds of leads but getting the right quality leads and a better standard of customer that is suited to your services.

So, you need to:

  1. Get the right traffic to your site in the first place.
  2. Encourage these visitors coming to your site to convert into customers.

A while ago, a service provider came to us with an aim of generating more leads. We helped generate more leads, but they still weren’t satisfied with the quality of leads the website was generating.

After conducting a website audit we found the website didn’t contain any pricing, so the site users were contacting the service provider to enquire and then turning them down as their prices were too high.

So, we suggested testing showing the prices on the site. This way they could remove the time-wasters who did convert and contact them, but then turned them down before the purchase. But they could also increase the number of high-quality leads their site was generating, as some of these high-quality potential leads may have previously clicked off the website due to not being able to find the pricing information in the first place.

And what happened?

The firm saw an increase in their conversion rate, enquires and meetings by making sure they attracted the right traffic, not just plenty of it.

I want to increase my Conversion Rate, but how do I work it out?

By working out your conversion rate (which is the number of conversions divided by the total number of sessions), or just letting Google Analytics do this for you and simply extracting the figure, you can see out of the visitors coming to your site, how many are becoming leads.

It is the actions taken to become a lead or subscriber that are the conversions you need to track to find how many website conversions you are getting.

These could be:

  • Signing up to a Newsletter
  • Filling out a Contact Form
  • Downloading an eBook

Once you know what your conversion points are, you can set these up as Goals in Google Analytics so that you can start to track how many users are completing these actions, compared to how many sessions the website generates.

What about the Optimisation part?

CRO is about optimising your website to make it as easy as possible for users to navigate to find the information, product or service they are looking for, ultimately maximising conversions, which is what every growing business wants to do (e-com or not), right?

If you can see that out of every 1000 sessions on your site only 1 user is converting, you might want to change some aspects of your website. By looking at every element of your website, you can identify what has stopped your users from converting.

This is where some other tools come in, such as heat mapping and video recording software, to let you see exactly where customers click, appear to get lost and abandon your website.

If you are getting customers through landing pages to your services pages, and even to the contact form, but you are still getting no conversions; this is where you look for problems to solve. If users are landing on your service pages and bouncing; this is where you look for problems.

Usability Issues causing Conversion Rate to decrease

What kind of problems should you be looking for?

It could be the lengthy form users are greeted with upon clicking to do something simple like sign up to your newsletter. From a UX perspective, users want to be able to complete actions on your site as quickly as possible. A detailed form asking for their address, date of birth and telephone number, will most likely cause these users to abandon. See where you can cut forms down to be as minimal and quick as possible.

Another common issue is the mobile version of your site not being optimised to appear on a mobile device. With mobile devices projected to account for 63% of all web traffic by the end of 2019, it is not surprising that this can have catastrophic consequences on your conversion rate. On desktop, your images may fit, your form fields appear large enough and your page is a decent length. But mobile is a different story; images hang half off the screen, the form fields are too small for users to press on and they have to scroll for 5 minutes to find the bottom of the page. Adapting a mobile version of your site will curb these users’ frustrations and reduce abandonment.

Site speed is now a major aspect to focus on with users abandoning sites that take longer than 2 seconds to load. Obviously, the more people that abandon your site, the less people convert. Tools like PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix can crawl your site for you and give you a breakdown of how long each element on the page takes to load as well as the overall load time. It is essential that loading speed is cut down as much as possible when trying to increase conversion rate.

You can then track whether any of these changes you implement have had an impact on your conversion rate, by jumping back into Google Analytics to see whether there has been an increase in your website’s conversion rate.

Why stop at your current Conversion Rate?

You might think your website is doing great generating 3 enquiries a month, but what if I told you, you could get 6, or even 8, without having to increase your marketing budget?

Of course you want to.

Well that’s where CRO comes in; there is always room for improvement. CRO is not just a one-off process, it is a process that should be constantly reviewed to identify further opportunities to improve.

But beware, this is where businesses fall into the trap of getting hung up on achieving a ‘good’ conversion rate or a ‘goal’ conversion rate. Is there even such a thing? Every business is different and will have a different conversion rate, but the concept is the same as offline conversions. Just because a gym hits their target number of membership sales for the month, does this mean they stop trying to sell memberships until next month?

No, so you shouldn’t stop trying to increase your website conversion rate either. As mentioned before, there is always room for improvement.

Most of this information about increasing and tracking conversion rate is applicable to e-commerce businesses, of course, but now you know why and how conversion rate can be just as beneficial to a lead generation website.