Conversion Rate Optimization – Your Website’s Growth Engine

In our previous blog post, we highlighted the need to follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) driving organic visits to your website, with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) as a strategy to convert more of these visitors into leads. 

Here’s a primer on the subject. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) refers to the tactics, strategies and techniques used on your website for the purpose of moving your site’s visitors (converting them) — along the sales funnel by having them perform a specific task or transaction: i.e., buy a product, sign up for emails, download a brochure, schedule an appointment, visit a specific page, or whatever your goal may be. CRO encompasses not only the path your visitor needs to take to get to that end goal, but also the way in which you convince and direct them to follow that path on your website.

Calculating Your Conversion Rate

Conversion rate = (number of organic clicks ÷ by number of measurable actions)

Say you have 1,000 monthly organic visitors that click onto your website, and 10 of them convert (enter their email address in a form field, for example). Your conversion rate would then be 1%. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) elevates that conversion rate percentage without having to spend more on SEO.

Reasons for Low Conversion Rates

Start by understanding where your conversion is falling off: those sticking points that are causing your visitors to trip up and bounce from your site before they have a chance to convert and perform that transaction you want them to. 

There are a range of possible causes for low conversion rates, among them:

Trust Issues

If your visitor doesn’t trust the web page they’ve landed on or the content that’s presented there, they’re much less likely to convert. So make sure your pages look professional and credible, are clear and easy to understand, feel welcoming, and have content that matches the Google search your visitors used to find you.

What’s In It for Me

Visitors are impatient and quick to click away. So you’ll need to instantly communicate the value you deliver to make it worth their time, clicks, and conversion. 

Confusion and Barriers

If your conversion path isn’t clear, or if it’s littered with obstacles, your visitors may not understand what you want them to do next or be able to complete the transaction you want them to. Which may cause them to give up and bounce. 

Make sure you provide concise, understandable next steps, and let your visitor know what to expect when they interact with your page (i.e., “Enter your email to receive your free sample,” or “Click here to chat with a live person”). And make sure all your form fields, links, downloadable assets, etc., work properly.

One simple way to identify potential sticking points that may be slowing your conversions is by checking your Google Analytics. Those will tell you which pages have the highest bounce rates. Chances are, those pages are suffering from one of the above issues. 

Still not sure why your conversion rate is so low? You can also try pop-up polling on your website. You’d be surprised how many visitors are willing to answer a few quick survey questions about their user experience on your site, letting you know where they got tripped up and what stopped them from completing their order or taking the next step.

How to Improve Conversion Rate Optimization

Now that we’ve address some of the key causes for low conversion rates, let’s take a look at some effective conversation rate optimization tools and strategies.

Context Is Everything

CRO will turn SEO expense into measurable ROI and sales. BUT CRO doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Context is critical. And the context is the website. The website must be optimized for the customer journey. Is there a clear positioning statement and “why”? Does the site content deal with unanswered questions, clear up uncertainties, and mitigate risk by putting itself in the mind of your website’s visitors? For example, one site we reviewed as a candidate for CRO is a hair salon for high-end color treatment. But there isn’t one photo of before and after hair color results on their site. No context for believing the site and scheduling an appointment. 

Show Social Proof

Demonstrate the value of your offer by sharing data from other visitors who have already claimed it. What does this look like? It could be a few testimonial quotes from satisfied customers, a counter that shows the number of people who have received the offer, or the amount your average customer saves. These are just a few examples; there are many more where those come from.

Live Chat

If you have the resources, Live Chat is an effective tool to help guide your visitors through the lead conversion path, make sure they don’t encounter any obstacles or confusion, and get them to convert faster. Live Chat also provide a great opportunity to identify and address any issues visitors are having on your site that might be impacting conversion rates.

Urgency and Scarcity 

Airlines do a great job at creating urgency and scarcity on their websites: Only two available seats! Price is good for 20 minutes only! Creating a time or quantity limit around your offer can help motivate your visitor to convert on the spot, rather than miss out on a great deal or opportunity.


And we’re not just talking about lowering your price (this can be costly while also cheapening your brand). But finding another way to incentivize your visitor to convert is a smart play. Be creative, but offer something your visitors will want and value.

Strong Calls to Action

Go ahead, tell your visitor what to do. Give them a clear, strong, compelling call to action and a reason for doing it. And let them know what they’ll get by taking that action.

Website Heat Maps

Heat maps record all your site visitors’ mouse movements and clicks to show you the “hot” (red) zones with the highest click activity and “cool” (blue) zones with lowest click activity. This lets you know not only which pages are getting the most attention, but which sections on the page itself are seeing the greatest action. This information can help you identify which conversion tactics are working best, and which ones to abandon or tweak.

Let’s Have a Conversation about Conversion Rate Optimization

After reading this primer if you think CRO might be right for you, take a look at McAdams Group. 

We are a rare breed of branding and marketing agency that looks beyond simple SEO to help our clients identify and implement effective CRO, packed tools and strategies that guide the visitor and get results. We’d be happy to take a look at your current conversion rates, find out what’s slowing them down, and map out a plan for driving those rates up. If you’re ready to start the conversion conversation, contact us today.