Ten quick ways to increase your website conversion rate

By Billy Farroll, Head of Performance UX

Vertical Leap


The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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March 30, 2020 | 6 min read

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) done properly takes a lot of time. You have to set up tests, wait for them to reach statistical significance, account for variables and then hope the outcome delivers a positive result.

John Schnobric

Sure, negative results are useful, too, but it always feels like you’ve lost a bet somehow.

However, there are some quick ways to increase website conversions while you’re waiting for your tests to deliver data-driven insights. Here are ten things you can do today to increase conversion rates across your website.

Create more landing pages

The more relevant your landing pages are to user interests, the more likely they are to convert. Your target audiences have a range of needs, problems and desires, which can’t all be solved by a single message - so don’t try. With the landing page builders we have available today, it’s never been easier to create and test landing pages that address specific user needs.

Target high-intent keywords

One of the fastest ways to increase conversions is to simply target high-intent keywords that demonstrate a strong interest in buying. You may have to bid more on these keywords but you need to find the right balance between increasing conversions and return on ad spend (ROAS).

To manage costs, invest some time into researching high-intent long-tail keywords that are generally cheaper.

Create ‘dynamic’ ad campaigns

Dynamic keyword insertion is a Google Ads feature that automatically matches the text of your ads to search terms typed in by users.

Vertical Leap

Dynamic Text Replacement is an Unbounce feature that automatically matches the content of your landing pages to the search terms a user types in.

Relevance always wins.

The 5-second test

The 5-second test is a simple usability exercise where you show a web page to users for five seconds only and then ask them questions about it - eg: what was the key message. This is a great way to test the impact and memorability of your page content and primary CTAs.

Use cognitive biases to increase incentive

Cognitive biases have been used for decades by marketers to influence buying decisions.

Cognitive Bias


Here are some common biases:

Loss aversion: We fear loss more than we celebrate gain of the same value.

Anchoring bias: Placing more weight on the first piece of information.

The mere exposure effect: The more we see something, the more we associate with it.

Sunk cost bias: The desire to continue something we’ve already invested time or money into.

The halo effect: Why our first impressions influence our ongoing perception of things.

The serial position effect: The first and last pieces of information we receive are more memorable.

For example, you can use loss aversion to create a sense of scarcity and the fear of missing out. Or you can “give” users something of no genuine value (eg: a temporary discount) and trigger the instinctive fear of losing it.

Reduce the number of options

Decision fatigue explains why the more options you provide users, the less likely they are to convert.

So make sure there’s only one CTA in view at any one time and try removing the header navigation from your landing pages to reduce decision fatigue.

Give something away for free

When users convert, they instinctively compare the reward vs the investment and this is why free giveaways are so effective. Free coupons and content downloads are popular lead generation strategies, but the key is the perceived value of your giveaway.

HubSpot offers a free CRM platform to lure people into using its software and then upsells them to paid products. They also offer free heatmaps to capture email addresses and demo its software.

Reduce loading times

Google research shows how drastically conversions are hurt by slow loading times. Use the search giant’s free PageSpeed Insights tool or a paid tool like Pingdom to identify speed killers and reduce your loading times.

Add a CTA to the bottom of every page

If users aren’t buying into your primary conversion goal, don’t let them click back to search or social without a fight. Ask users to complete a less demanding action (remember reward vs investment) like signing up to your newsletter or that free giveaway we talked about.

call to action

Capture these users as soft leads and nurture them along the buying process into paying customers.

Optimise your CTAs

When it comes to the crunch, it’s your CTAs that give people that final push over the conversion line. So optimise your calls to action and make sure they’re working hard enough or all of your efforts will be undone at the final hurdle.

Billy Farroll, head of performance UX, Vertical Leap


Content by The Drum Network member:

Vertical Leap

We are an evidence-led search marketing agency that helps brands get found online, drive qualified traffic to their websites and increase conversions/sales.


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