Conversion rate optimization tips for small business owners

As a small business owner, you have to make the most of the website traffic that is landing on your website. Otherwise simple mistakes may cost you money.

You could be learning how to blog or be spending money on PPC ads and driving targeted visitors to your website at the moment and like most business owners you probably want more traffic.  

Building traffic through blogging, social media or pay per click ads is either time consuming or expensive. Getting more or double the visitors is often very difficult and that’s why conversion rate optimization is important.

For example, if your website has 100 visitors a month and 1 of those visitors are buying your product you have a 1% conversion rate. In this case, you may want to turn that 100 visitors a month into 200 but doubling your traffic could mean double your blogging efforts or PPC budget.

on the other hand, your website could have problems with it leading to low conversion rates. For example, if the website is slow, doesn’t look trustworthy and hasn’t got an SSL certificate it may be driving potential customers away.

Fixing those problems could then increase your conversion rate so that out of every 100 customers now 5 of them buy for you, giving you a 5% conversion rate.  

Increasing your conversion rate to 5% will be easier in this case than getting an extra 400 visitors a month through blogging.

These small changes mean that your business is maximizing its chances of getting an ROI on your ad spend or marketing efforts. These numbers of course are not real-life numbers but you can see the potential for giving conversion rate optimization your time.

Conversion rate optimization or CRO is a way of making the best of the website traffic you have so your business can be more profitable, although you may not have the resources to test like the bigger companies you can still make small changes that could make a big difference.

Here are some tips for small business owners to improve the conversion rate of their websites.

1) Hire a professional designer

The better your website looks and performs the higher it’s going to convert. Think back to the last time you made an online purchase and the website you did it on. There is a high chance that the website looked safe, professional and loaded quickly.

Think of Amazon in this case. Amazon is easy to use, easy to find products on and trustworthy.  

2) Check your copy for spelling and grammar issues

If you can afford a copywriter for your website go ahead and hire one. Copywriters can make sure there are no spelling or grammar issues on your website and they can also structure how your products or services are worded to increase your conversion rate.

Not everyone can afford a copywriter so the next best thing is to use software such as Grammarly or the Hemingway editor to make your writing more professional.  

You can also ask friends and family to go over your content to see if you have missed anything. This can often happen when you spend too much time looking at the same content.

3) Watch your visitors actions

Big companies can hire agencies to run tests on websites to see if there are any bottlenecks in the system, but as a small business, you won’t have the budget for these services.

The best way to watch the actions of your visitors is to use software that can track their actions and see what they are clicking on. This is known as a session recording.

Software that can record user sessions is useful because you can see exactly what the user does when visiting your site and they will often find ways of using your website in ways you wouldn’t have thought about beforehand.

Heat maps are also a great way of seeing the parts of your website which are looked at the most.  

4) Use testimonials

Earlier in the article, we mentioned how Amazon uses trust to convert their website visitors into customers. You don’t have to be as big as Amazon to make your visitors trust you, and using past testimonials is a great way of giving potential buyers that trust they need to purchase from you.

If you can get video testimonials made that takes it to another level and makes your testimonials more believable. Text testimonials can, unfortunately, be faked so having someone speak to the camera can work wonders for your conversion rates. If you can’t get video testimonials made you could consider using third party reviews and integrating them into your website.

Third-party reviews are harder to fake so naturally lead to higher levels of trust.  

5) Have clear calls to action

Some websites convert horribly because they don’t have clear calls to action. You may build landing pages and drive traffic to them but when the user lands on the page you often see companies bombarding them with different things to do.  

You may have experience in this, have you ever landed on a landing page and been hit with a popup to sign up for a newsletter, then further on learning more about the team and then lower down maybe book a call in with that company.

This confuses the user and often they don’t carry out any actions.  

To avoid wasting your money have one clear call to action on a page.

If you want newsletter sign-ups, then make that landing page about the benefits of signing up for your newsletter. If you want sales you should be sending the user to a page about your product and have a call to action at the end of the landing page which will send them further down the sales process.

Some companies go a step further and don’t have any calls to action on the page. Once again you need to tell your visitors the next step you want them to take. Not everyone will take that step but more will than if you didn’t put that call to action there.

Remember this is conversion rate optimization and adding or taking away certain parts of your website is going to increase or decrease your conversion rates. All you need to do is test each of them and adjust accordingly.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.