Why isn’t my conversion rate increasing when my business is growing?
You’ve set up your brand-new e-commerce business selling outdoor wear online (not necessarily outdoor wear but stay with me).
You’ve made your all-singing-all-dancing website and you’ve launched it.
A year down the line your business has grown, you’re generating revenue and getting plenty of traffic to your site.
But your website conversion rate just is not increasing at the same pace.
Sound familiar? Read on.
When a decrease in conversion rate is ok
As your business grows and the awareness of your website increases, the conversion rate of it is likely to take a dip. This is normal and perfectly fine.
Converting website users into customers is all about getting them down the funnel. Remember the AIDA funnel from college?
First you need to raise awareness. Customers need to be aware of your brand, products or services, and website. There’s no point having a website that no one knows is out there.
Your website should then be used to spark an interest in your product or service offering by solving your customers’ problems and sending them to the right places.
Product or service pages should be paid attention to at this next stage when trying to increase user’s desires to look more into your products or services.
Finally (or hopefully, anyway), the users are right in your hands where you want them, so the call to actions need to be clear and prominent to make sure you don’t lose them at the final hurdle. Whether the CTA is “Add to Cart”, “Buy Now” or any other action you want them to perform, they need to be bright and attractive to make sure you secure that conversion.
Google Analytics can then track these conversions and compare them against your visitors to calculate your conversion rate.
But let’s not forget, conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of sessions.
So, if you’ve just implemented an awareness strategy and your site has had a sudden spike in visitors, the likelihood is that your conversion rate is going to dip. This won’t last forever though, as long as you optimise your website to accommodate these new users and focus on increasing their interest and desire in your products or services.
Traffic Vs Conversions
It’s all good constantly trying to increase traffic until you hit a ceiling.
Obviously you want to sell more products, and more visitors means more customers, right?
Not necessarily. Unfortunately (but inevitably), not everyone is going to be interested in your product or service. So, the best way to increase conversions is not always to increase traffic, but to focus on your current visitors and getting them to convert more.
Rather than having 1000 visitors a month and 7 conversions, why not optimise your site to generate 12 which will lower your cost per acquisition. No need for more traffic, you already have plenty, but they aren’t converting.
What you need to find out is why these visitors are not converting.
How do I know why my conversion rate is low?
Unfortunately, all businesses are different, so I can’t tell you in one blog post why and how to increase your conversion rate. What I can tell you, is how you can find out.
Once you have traffic to your site, you can run split tests to see where to optimise to suit what your customers are looking for.
However, you do need the right traffic, or the tests will be pointless. You don’t want to optimise your site for someone who doesn’t want to buy your product or service. You need to be attracting a standard of customer that is looking for exactly what you are selling.
By conducting a website audit, you can see which content users respond well to and which is actually putting them off converting. You can then add and remove content according to these results in order to suit your visitors. The website audit can be done through a combination of heat mapping and video recording software as well as looking in Google Analytics to see which pages have high bounce rates or are common exit pages.
How do I increase my conversion rate?
After reviewing the data collected from these sources, you can come up with recommendations for how to solve the user problems you have identified. Some of them may be more straightforward than others, however, which is where site testing comes in.
For changes that are as easy as changing some images, you can just do it (JDI). But for more complex ones, when you’re still not exactly sure why the users aren’t interacting with certain elements on your pages you may prefer to Test or run an Investigation.
AB Testing is a common method of testing two versions of your website to see which works better.
Example: users aren’t clicking on the “Download our eBook” CTA at the bottom of your blog post. You can see this from heatmaps which will show no clicks on the CTA. Backed up by Google Analytics, you know that your eBook has only been downloaded once in the last 3 months.
Obviously, you don’t want to remove the CTA completely – you still want people to download your eBook. But you need to find somewhere to move it to. This could be at the top of your post or in the middle to break up the text.
Here, you could AB test two versions of the site so that half of your visitors will see version A with the CTA at the top of the post, and the other half will see version B of your site with the CTA in the middle of the post. Track both versions and see which attracts the most attention to the CTA.
Other reasons your conversion rate is decreasing that you can fix
There are some reasons your conversion rate isn’t increasing that need to be sorted – quickly.
Simple usability issues can cause difficulty when trying to increase conversion rate. Here are a few common reasons for a low conversion rate that you may want to check now:
The first thing you should check is any on-site errors that are stopping your site from functioning and frustrating your users.
- Is there something slowing your site’s speed down?
- Is your cart functioning properly?
- Are all your links working and taking users to the right places?
If you’ve recently made any changes to your site, you should check these to make sure they aren’t causing any damage to your site.
This is why we encourage all our clients to add annotations to their Google Analytics accounts when they make changes to their site or start a new marketing campaign – you can see whether any recent changes correlate with changes in your conversion rate.
Do your CTAs match what you are trying to get the user to do?
You shouldn’t leave a user guessing what they are getting when they click “Submit” after filling out a form. Replace this with something clearer like “Download our eBook” or “Contact Us” so they know exactly what to expect.
Site speed has a massive effect on conversion rate, with users abandoning sites that don’t load in just 2 seconds. Run your site through a crawler such as GTMetrix to see which parts of your site are slowing it down the most.
Your Tracking Code
A sudden dip in conversion rate may not even be to do with your site, it may be how you are tracking it.
Double check the tracking code you have set up. This may have been set up incorrectly, it may have changed, or it may need to be reinstalled.
Did you find some errors?
They’re easy mistakes to miss but crucial for increasing conversion rate. Keep an eye on these aspects regularly to avoid unnecessary dips.
You can’t just increase traffic and expect conversion rates to follow on their own, you need to take control of these. So, if you’re not already, start tracking your site today, then you can make data-driven decisions about how to suit your customers.