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Author: Phillip Hoffman (Founder & CEO of HoffmanX, a marketing agency based in Tuscon Arizona.)

Picture this:

A business owner intends to take his business to the next level. He gets the services of a web designer, sets up a beautiful website for his business, and signs up on Facebook and Instagram to promote the business. Although he gets tons of visitors each day, a large percentage of these visitors never actually purchase anything from his website. Sounds familiar, right? In this article, you’ll learn what conversion rate is, and how you can improve your conversion rate.

What is an online conversion rate?

Conversion rate refers to the number of website visitors who complete a desired action on a website over a period of time. These desired actions can come in any form, provided they achieve the goal of your website. Moreover, every page on your website has a primary goal, and these goals can be used to measure the conversion rate on a site. For example, the primary goal of a “Contact Us” page would be to get visitors to fill out a contact form on the page.

Below are a few examples of “desired actions,” or conversions, you can use to measure your conversion rate:

  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Buy a product
  • Subscribe to a software
  • Hire a service
  • Download a free e-book
  • Fill out a ‘contact us’ form
  • Answer a survey
  • Give feedback or write a review

Conversion rate measurement is aimed at helping you determine if your pages effectively encourage visitors to take the desired action on those pages. Basically, a higher conversion rate means more people are spending money on your site.

Mathematically, the conversion rate is measured as (number of orders / total number of visitors) x 100. With that being said, let’s explore some more specific models for measuring conversion rate.

  1. Product pages micro conversions rate – is the total number of clicks on the ‘add to cart’ button divided by the total number of users who visited a product page.
  2. Product pages macro-conversion rate – is the total orders on the website divided by the total number of users who visited a product page.

To fully understand conversion rate optimization and how to increase the conversion rate of your Web pages. You have to calculate the total number of visitors and the desired action taken by them within a certain period. Perhaps, your e-commerce has 300,000 visitors in a period of one month and processes 30,000 orders within that period.

The conversion rate of your website for that month is 20,000/200,000 = 10%.

Furthermore, if only 50,000 visitors click on a product and make it to the product pages and of this 50,000 only 10,000 click on the ‘add to cart button’. The conversion rate on each page will be:

  1. Product pages micro conversion rate = 10,000/50,000 = 20%
  2. Product pages macro-conversion rate = 20,000/50,000 = 40%

The same concept can be applied to, say, SaaS websites. The conversion rate is the total monthly subscriptions divided by the number of monthly visitors on your website. Now, let’s talk about conversion rate optimization.

Conversion rate optimization

Conversion rate optimization is a marketing tactic that aims to increase the percentage of visitors and users who fulfill a website’s goal. In order words, it is the process of increasing the ratio of conversions from a mobile app or website. To achieve this, conversion rate optimization evaluates the behaviors of visitors and users and uses that information to make improvements to a website or app.

The key to successful conversion rate optimization is knowing where what, and who to optimize your website for. This is the cornerstone to successful strategic conversion rate optimization. To ensure your success, you have to gather data using a variety of different methods since, without data, any changes you make to your website are based on a guess; in other words, they’re meaningless. I’ve listed a few ways you can collect data about your website below:

  • Google Analytics
  • On-site survey
  • Satisfaction survey
  • User testing
  • On page analytics such as heat-maps

The Benefits

Conversion rate optimization allows you to get more value from visitors and users, thereby reducing the cost of gaining customers. CRO helps you boost your conversion rate, increasing the revenue per visitor and helping you grow your business. Additionally, conversion rate optimization has can influence ranking on search engines.

  • Better ROI – A highly converting website means that your marketing campaigns, be they social, paid, email, or whatever will generate more profit, as more people will be spending money and buying things on your site.
  • Enhanced trust – If your website doesn’t appear trustworthy, your visitors will not share personal information or credit card information, meaning you loose money. A conversion optimized website helps you build trust among your customers.
  • Personalized messages – Understanding your business audience is the key to the success of your marketing efforts. Effective CRO requires tailoring your website to your target audience, making you seem more personable, relatable, and trustworthy.


Here are ten conversion rate optimization tips that will help you maximize conversions on your website.

  1. Reduce form fields

Avoid unnecessary form fields by consolidating relevant information into one field. For example, if you’re asking for a user’s address, all you need is an “Address” field. This creates a much cleaner look then having separate fields for the user’s zip code, street, city, state, etc.

  1. Contrasting color for a call-to-action button

The color of your call-to-action button should be contrasting to your web page background. Choose a color that you haven’t used on your web page – this will make it unique and eye-catching.

  1. Remove automatic image sliders

It might look cool to you, but experts suggest reducing your conversion with these sliders. They obstruct users from exploring your website easily. Replace automatic sliders with a static offer, which are generally more effective and can make your website load faster.

  1. Use a clear headline

Your headline is one of the most important features on your website. A good headline should be clear and concise. Avoid using big words, fluff, or anything that is not immediately important to your visitors.

  1. Add a video

An instructional product video can have a huge impact on your product’s conversion rate. Keep it short – 2-3 minute and please make it interesting. If video creation isn’t your strong suit, you can hire someone on UpWork or Fiverr to make one for you.

  1. Create urgency

Give visitors a reason to take immediate action by creating a sense of urgency. For example, if you run an eCommerce website, create limited-time offers (e.x. discounts) or indicate that there is limited stock of certain items.

  1. 7. Offer something for ‘free’ and then upsell with complimentary offers

“It’s free” is a magical word that can compliment your call-to-action and dramatically increase your conversion rate. Once your customer takes the free offer, you can promote upsells via email marketing, or on the “Thank You” page of the free offer.

  1. 8. Add value to your offer

Don’t just describe your product; explain the value it provides to the customer. People are naturally inclined to ask, “what’s in it for me?” If you answer that question before your customers even ask it, they’ll be substantially more likely to buy your product/service.

  1. 9. Add testimonials

Testimonials are an extremely effective way to encourage users to perform the desired action.

  1. Test Everything

Test every element of your website, and use the data to make improvements. To do this, you can use tools like Optimizely, which allow you to A/B test specific elements of your website. While this can be somewhat difficult and time-consuming, the ROI will justify itself.

Special thanks to Phillip Hoffman for writing this article


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