How to increase conversion rates: 26 effective tips and strategies

Ultimately, every business wants a better conversion rate—shocking, we know, but someone had to say it.

Jokes aside, boosting landing page conversion rates is a headache every marketer has faced.

We’ve got good news, though: There’s a lot of easy stuff you can test out right now to boost your conversion rates.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Why amplifying your conversion rates matters
  2. 26 ways to increase conversion rates on your landing pages
  3. Long-term strategies to boost sales beyond the landing page
  4. How Unbounce can help boost conversion rates for your campaigns

Not convinced? Check this out:

Back in 2011, Expedia increased profits by $12 million by making one change to their checkout form. By dropping a single field, they simplified the experience.

Need a more recent example? The travel company, Going, cut one word and added two new ones from their CTA. The results? A 104% month-over-month increase in their homepage conversion rate.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • Why increasing your conversion rate matters
  • 26 things you can do right now to increase landing page conversion rate
  • Long-term strategies that’ll boost your sales beyond the landing page experience

Let’s get started.

Why amplifying your conversion rates matters

Amplifying your conversion rate is important because a higher conversion rate means more sales and more new business. Increasing your conversion rate can transform a low-performance campaign into a winner, getting better results from the traffic your landing pages already receive.

Not bad, right?

Here’s a quick example of what that looks like:

Say you’re putting $10,000 monthly into a PPC campaign at a $5 CPC. That means you’ll get 2,000 clicks every month your campaign is running.

Let’s say the landing page for this campaign has a 2% conversion rate. That’s a little below the 4.3% median average conversion rate across all industries we found in our Conversion Benchmark Report.

If we do some fast math:

  • 2,000 clicks per month nets out to 40 leads per month
  • This means a cost per lead of $250

What if you could boost your conversion rate to 5%, though? Let’s run the numbers:

  • 2,000 clicks per month become 100 leads per month
  • This means a cost per lead of $100

The only number that changes in this example is the conversion rate. You’ve got the same spend, but you’re seeing 2.5x the results you had before.

26 ways to increase conversion rates on your landing pages

Now that you see the difference a higher conversion rate can make, here are a bunch of useful ways you can make it happen.

1. Highlight your unique value proposition above the fold 

When a user loads your landing page, the first thing they’ll see is the above-the-fold section, so make sure you highlight your unique value proposition and remove anything that might distract from it. 

Your USP is the sizzle—the product or service you’re selling is the steak. The above-the-fold section lets you highlight what sets you apart from everyone else and grabs attention. 

That USP can be delivered with a punchy headline, but you should use other elements to support your message. That includes a hero image, the page layout, and supporting copy and forms.

Keep it short and sweet, and focus on your differentiators here. You’re trying to make a compelling case for why someone should click through and convert with you and not your competitors. 

2. Use compelling and clear calls to action 

Imagine a user hitting your landing page. They stick around because of a powerful above-the-fold section and love what they see about your product or service. 

But then they see a bland call to action that looks like it hasn’t been changed from placeholder text—a tired-out “Sign up” or “Get started” in a font that doesn’t match the rest of the page. 

In football terms, this is like fumbling the ball two yards from the goal line. It sucks.

Instead of relying on the same old CTAs, create something more compelling by: 

  • Grabbing attention with eye-catching CTA design
  • Zeroing in on a single, specific request
  • Telling your audience what they’ll get when they click
  • Using action-oriented language that motivates readers to click
  • Trying out different points of view (try third-person instead of first-person)

3. Establish trust through social proof and testimonials 

Social proof is the positive influence created when people use and approve of your products and services, and testimonials alone can increase conversion rates by 34% when used properly. 

Whether it’s in the form of positive reviews, testimonials, or trust seals, social proof highlights how satisfied your customers and clients are with your offerings. 

Here are three great ways you can highlight social proof on your landing pages: 

  • Highlight customer reviews and quotes: According to Northwestern University research, these can increase conversion rates by as much as 270% (see page 6). 
  • Share positive social media support: Posting praise-filled social media posts about your product is a great way to add social proof and can even earn you 34% more purchases than a similar page without them.
  • Showcase results-driven case studies: Case studies are a great way to highlight the claims you make while backing them up with concrete proof from your clients. What’s more, case studies highlight specific use cases that may resonate with your would-be customers. 

4. Keep it simple to avoid on-screen distractions 

If it doesn’t matter to the intended outcome (clicking your CTA), it doesn’t belong on the page. Every element you include on a landing page needs to guide the user towards that single outcome. 

Our Conversion Centered Design framework analyzed over 20,000 lead generation landing pages and found that conversion rate has an inverse relationship with the number of on-page links—the more links you have, the lower your conversion rate. 

Average Conversion rates

Consider everything you put on your page. If there’s another link on there, it must be worthwhile. 

5. Capture attention with standout visuals 

No matter how strong your USP and headline are, words on a screen are nowhere near as impactful as eye-catching images. 

The right hero image at the top of your landing page can capture a visitor’s attention, get them to feel something, and communicate more about your brand, product, and services—all in moments. 

There’s fascinating psychology at work in our brains when we see a picture—research shows our visual cortex has serious decision-making power when we see eye-catching images. 

Here are a few quick tips for putting standout visuals to work on your landing pages: 

Use pictures of people

Our eyes are drawn to human faces, and we naturally follow what they look at. If you’ve got a shot of a person on your LP (landing page), make sure they’re looking where you want your visitor to go next. 

Pictures of people also help visitors identify with your products and services, letting them see themselves in what you offer—and be that much more likely to convert. Oyster (an HR tool) does exactly that above the fold on their homepage, using a real photo of a seemingly happy individual:

Oyster landing page screenshot

Showcase your products and services

If you’re selling basketball shoes like Nike, throw a pair of ’em on your landing page so users can see what they’re getting. Focused on the service side of things? Not to worry—highlight those services in action.

Nike landing page screenshot

Get a little abstract

Sometimes, visuals need to play a more supporting role. Abstract designs—that is, elements that don’t feature people or products—keep things interesting while supporting your LP goals. 

You could use a colorful background that echoes the feeling you’re trying to convey or subtle lines and cues to draw the eye. This approach takes a bit more experimentation but still relies on the fundamentals of good design, so play around and test until you find the right fit

GoFundMe’s homepage uses some abstract visuals well to grab your attention:

GoFundMe landing page screenshot

PS: When in doubt, everyone loves pictures of puppies and kittens.

6. Improve page load speed to keep users engaged 

If your landing page is slow to load, then it’s more likely that a user will bounce. 

Three seconds to load?

Double that to six seconds, and that probability surges to 106%. 

increase Page load times

This translates to a 12% drop in conversion rate for every second of load time. 

You’ve got to reduce your page load times and keep them lightning-fast to ensure your conversion rates don’t suffer. 

Boost page load speed by optimizing file sizes, minifying CSS and JavaScript files, limiting external HTTP requests, and using browser HTTP caching. 

Working with Unbounce’s landing page builder automatically improves your page speed by applying best practices for web performance without having to look under the hood. 

7. Ensure a seamless experience with responsive design on all devices 

Until someone hits your landing page, you don’t know whether they’re on a laptop, desktop, or mobile device, so you have to optimize for every experience. 

The push for mobile-first design took the marketing world by storm years ago. Nowadays, well, it’s just part and parcel of the landing page design process. Be sure the experience a user has is consistent across every device they may use to access your pages. 

8. Boost mobile conversion rates by designing with mobile in mind 

Mobile-friendly and mobile-first landing pages are a great way to boost conversion rates by reaching users on a device they’re probably using daily. 

There are three key tactics you should keep in mind when designing for mobile: 

  1. Design with less space in mind: Mobile screens are smaller, so adapt your designs to fit on less real estate and prioritize the main copy, the CTA button, and a primary visual. 
  2. Pick your words carefully: Space is at a premium. Less is more. Make each word and character count. 
  3. Speed matters: Everyone’s picky about page speed, but mobile users will genuinely bail if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. You gotta be fast.

9. Align your landing page messaging with your ad copy 

Your ad copy needs to align with the copy on your landing page

That’s it, that’s the tip.

We call this “message match.”

When someone sees an ad in their Google search results, on a social platform, or on a website, the ad creates a promise. The user now expects what they’ll see when they click through. 

If the ad says, “Buy one pair of shoes and get one free,” people will expect to land on a page that will let them do exactly that. 

Make sure the language used in one message is reflected in the other and that the landing page experience delivers on the ad’s promises. 

10. Use visual hierarchy to guide the visitor’s eyes toward what matters most 

Visual hierarchy is a great way to guide users through a page. It uses the way design elements interact to signal significance.

Check it out: 

Hierarchy of key elements

Visual hierarchy exploits how the eye is naturally drawn to certain elements, then works to guide you to the next most important item, and so on. All this is to say, the placement of any element on a landing page will help determine how much attention an audience pays to it. 

Here are a few visual hierarchy tips to keep in mind when laying out your landing pages: 

  • The page’s top-left corner receives a lot of attention because we naturally scan pages in Z- or F-shaped patterns. 
  • Left-aligned copy will also likely get more attention than centered or right-aligned copy.
  • Keep CTAs on common view paths, and make CTA buttons larger than the body copy.
  • Important copy should be in a larger font size. 
  • The most important image should be the biggest one on the page. 
  • Use a different color on titles and headings to draw more attention.
  • Bold important words and phrases.

11. Enhance visitor interactions with AI chatbot technology 

Artificial intelligence tools and technology are quickly becoming game changers in marketing. AI chatbots are already common customer service tools, giving users a way to get answers to common questions and address any problems they encounter. 

When should you use AI chatbots on a landing page?

AI chatbots are a great fit for: 

  • Guiding users to convert: AI chatbots can nudge users to buy or sign up with interactive dialogue that can streamline the user journey.  
  • Increasing engagement: If users spend time on a landing page, they’re not bouncing, which gives you more opportunity to convert them. 
  • Gathering additional information: Building buyer personas can help you nail messaging, but you need a lot of data and time speaking with customers. AI chatbots are a great way to gather exactly that sort of information on a landing page.
  • Personalizing user experience: Generic experiences don’t make the sale. The more personalized the user experience on a landing page, the more likely a user is to convert. 
  • Qualifying leads: Targeted questions are a great way to assess a user’s intent, but live chat with a human might not be really practical on a landing page. Instead, get an AI chatbot to do it, and you can ensure a lead who isn’t ready to convert yet stays in your funnel for when they are ready later on.

12. Customize the journey for each visitor segment 

One of the best ways to increase conversion rates on your landing pages is to customize the journey and experience for each visitor segment. You can do this by creating a customer journey map and identifying opportunities for personalization. 

But how do you hash out a customer journey map? 

Start with these four steps:

  1. Get your customer data, and include any existing personas, feedback, and marketing you have. 
  2. Determine every step a customer takes, from awareness to brand advocacy. Use all your customer knowledge and product info, and write down every action you think of.
  3. List each touchpoint a customer has on their journey. This basically means every piece of content they interact with on the path to purchasing your product.
  4. Record any potential challenges and solutions. 

Track all this info in a spreadsheet, and you’ve got a customer journey map before you know it. Use your map to identify personalization opportunities in your marketing efforts. 

13. Continuously experiment to find winning formulas with A/B testing 

A/B testing, aka split testing, is a great way to increase your conversion rates. By running tests on different content variants to determine performance, you can figure out what messages, images, and offers perform best to really boost your conversions. 

These tests are a low-cost, high-reward way to optimize your conversion rate. 

Continuously experimenting with them can help you collect a wealth of data about what works best. All that information will let you validate your decisions and properly measure your success to get the most out of your efforts. 

14. Offer multiple payment options 

Giving customers more ways to pay is a great way to reduce friction and increase conversion rates. 

If a customer is ready to check out and buy your products or services, you want to remove as many obstacles as possible from their path. 

You don’t need to support every payment option under the sun, but make sure you’re offering a few alternatives for your customers. It’s a small detail, but it can quickly become a major obstacle if a customer can’t pay you. 

Take my money meme

15. Create a sense of (genuine) urgency to encourage action 

“Exclusive webinar—register for your spot today—don’t miss out!” 

What’s missing here? 

It’s not specific enough. 

It’s vague language that suggests that maybe, eventually, webinar spots will run out, but without any specifics, it’s not going to be a major motivator. 

Every year, Starbucks drops its buy-one-get-one-free offer on holiday drinks. It’s a hit, and Starbucks knows it—their ads for the offer are as specific as can be to make sure their customers don’t miss out: 

Starbucks landing page screenshot

If you’re promoting a sale, a limited-time offer, or another time-sensitive deal, call attention to the timeframe. Appeal to FOMO. This is a great way to motivate interested customers to act fast. 

16. Enhance the value of purchases with upsells and cross-sells 

The point of sale isn’t the end of the customer journey. Beyond retention and advocacy, you’ve also got an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. 

First, some quick definitions: 

  • Upsell: Persuading customers to buy more expensive products, such as an upgrade or premium option. Think “Do you want to upgrade to business class?”
  • Cross-sell: Persuading customers to buy additional products alongside your primary product or service. Think, “Would you like fries with that?”

These are great ways to boost your revenues and increase conversion rates, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about this. Here are a few dos and don’ts to get you started: 

  • Do focus on adding value. Whether upgrading or offering additional products, consider what will be most beneficial to your customers. 
  • Do make it easy for your customers by narrowing their options. 
  • Do personalize your offers to your customers based on their cart or shopping history.
  • Don’t be pushy. Focus on offers that suit their needs and avoid bombarding them with too many upsells and cross-sells.
  • Don’t offer too many options. Keep it focused on a few additional items to prevent decision overload. 

17. Make sure analytics are properly configured 

Measuring conversion rate is hard if your analytics aren’t properly set up.

When building conversion-centric content, take the time to ensure your analytics tools are properly configured. For example, if you’re using Google Analytics as your primary tool but data isn’t showing up there, you’re probably experiencing a hiccup with your integration. 

This is an easy fix in Unbounce—all you need to do is add your Google Analytics website tracking ID to the Unbounce Script Manager and you’re all set. 

18. Implement pop-ups (the right way) 

Popups can be a contentious topic for customers and marketers alike.

If you’re loading pages up with popups, you’re just as likely to send users running to the competition as you are to make any changes to your conversion rate. 

But when you do it right, popups can be a major source of leads and conversions—just ask Broomberg, who generated 72% more leads thanks to popups on key blogs. 

You could use popups to offer more information. This helps address one of the major issues most folks have with popups—they can come across as pushy. By focusing on education and information, you’re adding value for the customer. 

19. Leverage the psychology behind color choices and user action 

Color plays a remarkable role in landing page design and conversion optimization. Using color theory—the science and psychology behind color—on your landing pages can help guide user action and choice. 

There are two big ways this plays into conversion rate success: 

Color combinations and readability 

The color combinations you use on your landing page can greatly impact readability. As a rule of thumb, colors are more readable on a background they contrast with, like black text on a white page or vice-versa. 

Using a color wheel can help you pick colors that contrast well while still looking great. Remember, it’s not just about the contrast—you’ve got to create eye candy that’ll grab attention while you do it. 

Chart of how to use color scheme for conversion rate optimization

Color associations 

This is where more abstract psychology comes into play. Think about the colors you see on the websites you visit. What do they use? How do those colors support what those pages are trying to accomplish? 

Some color palettes appeal to our sense of fun, others to safety, while certain tones evoke passion or a sense of calm. Using these colors can help you subtly appeal to emotion and reinforce what you have to offer. 

20. Use contrasting colors for your calls to action 

When it comes to calls to action, you need a real pop of color. 

You want to keep your button colors contrasting with the overall color of your page—but as we’ve discussed elsewhere, it still needs to be a complementary color for the overall page design. 

For example, suppose you’ve got a blue-themed landing page. In that case, the natural complementary choice is a strong yellow, gold, or orange. These hues still pop off the page and draw the eye, but they’re a natural fit with a blue page. 

21. Experiment with the number of form fields 

We know how tempting it is to squeeze as much information as possible out of a form. Everyone wants as much data as they can get on customers as fast as they can get it! 

It’s completely understandable, but you must be ruthless when building landing pages and conversion forms

You’re trying to remove points of friction, after all, so making it easier for customers to punch in their details and convert is critical. In fact, long forms can be a blocker preventing you from accessing true success: 27% of users will bail on a form if it’s too long. 

Expedia experimented with their form field way back in 2011, cutting a single non-essential field: 

Form fields landing page variants for a/b testing

They increased profits by $12 million with this one change. 

Remember, your goal is to increase conversions, not to collect data—as useful as it is—so focus on user experience and get out of the way. 

22. Optimize the overall form submission experience 

Some of the best online forms use the breadcrumb technique—asking questions a bit at a time—to create a less overwhelming customer experience. 

While we’ve discussed cutting unnecessary information from your forms, the breadcrumb technique is a great way to provide a better form experience that collects additional information without pressuring or overwhelming the user. 

Keep things streamlined and consistent.

Forms should adapt based on the info users have already provided. Collecting a mailing address? If someone lists they live in a house, the form should immediately skip any apartment number questions. 

23. Showcase security and trust, especially around payment calls to action 

If you’re selling online, security is critical.

Without the right security in place, you could face payment fraud issues, non-compliance fines, and more—and that’s not even getting into lost business from users who might bounce if they think something’s sketchy. 

To help put customers at ease and make sure everything’s above the board, keep your trust badges and payment logos visible on checkout pages. Also, make sure you’ve got an SSL certificate for your store—the “s” in “https”—which is a must-have for any online store. 

24. Trigger some FOMO (aka the fear of missing out) 

When it looks like a product will go out of stock, interested buyers start to feel the FOMO—the fear of missing out. 

How do you trigger FOMO, though? 

You need to create a sense of desire that’ll eat away at someone the longer they miss out on what you’re offering. If they see everyone else having a ton of fun or getting a ton of great results with the product you’re selling—they’re going to want it too.

Urgency, which we’ve covered already, is another great way to create FOMO.

25. Test “win back” tactics like exit-intent popups 

Not every visitor to your page will want to convert right away. Sometimes, folks get distracted, or they may want to shop around to compare prices. 

Win-back tactics are designed to help you capitalize on the relationship you’ve already built with visitors to make a sale. 

One of the best ways to do this?

Exit-intent popups.

These appear to users who are done browsing and starting to leave your site. These popups are a last-chance way to entice visitors into action, whether with a sale offer or by collecting their contact info. 

26. Deliver dynamic content based on user demographics or behaviors 

Dynamic content is content that adapts based on user behavior and preferences. Think of a landing page that displays a different message or offer depending on who sees it. 

This is a great way to zero in on customer needs and concerns. Tools like Unbounce’s Dynamic Text Replacement allow you to pull ad copy directly into your landing page for a one-to-one transition between both. 

Long-term strategies to boost sales beyond the landing page 

Those are all quick and easy tips, but what about some longer-term strategies for increasing your conversion rate? 

It just so happens that we’ve got six great strategies you can start implementing that will help you expand your CRO efforts beyond the landing page. 

Don’t sleep on your “thank you” pages 

Thank you pages are an overlooked part of conversion rate optimization. 

Think about it:

If a customer is on a thank you page, they’ve already converted, and you’ve got their attention. This is a great opportunity to deliver next steps and make additional, personalized offers. 

There’s a lot you can do to enhance retention and keep driving your conversion rate: 

  • Offer additional resources.
  • Ask for a follow on social media.
  • Prompt a newsletter signup. 
  • Invite them to a webinar or event.
  • Provide a referral or promo code.

This is a great way to enhance customer retention, build social proof, and upsell or cross-sell. Don’t sleep on your thank you pages! 

Create “pipelines” for traffic acquisition (organic and paid) 

Creating pipelines for traffic acquisition is all about taking the ways you attract visitors to your pages and turning them into repeatable systems and processes. 

For organic, start by knowing your audience and developing content they’ll like. Next, publish this content using SEO and social media to help your audience find it. 

For paid pipelines, use ads to reach your audience, grab attention, and match their needs. Test and optimize your ads to improve performance, tracking results as you do so. 

For both approaches, make sure your landing pages are set up to collect as much data as possible (and are allowed to) about your customers, then feed their information into your marketing system for use in other areas. You may need to nurture leads that aren’t ready to convert. 

Nurture new leads with email marketing and automation 

So you’re generating traffic and acquiring leads with your landing pages—great! Now what? 

Once you’ve captured a lead, how do you get them to convert to a customer? 

It’s time to start a nurture campaign, which means diving into email marketing. A well-crafted nurturing email should be relevant to where a user is at in the buying process—here are a few tips to maximize your nurture email effectiveness: 

  • Tailor your lead gen emails to audience segments. This is a great way to improve your campaigns and lets you deliver personalized content.
  • Offer relevant resources to guide your customers through the conversion funnel. Remember, you’re building trust here. Focus on information to start before moving on to deeper topics when you can start bringing up sales.
  • Focus on a single CTA in your nurture emails. Whether reading a blog post or buying a product, keep the CTA front and center so it’s clear what you’re trying to do.
  • Keep it simple. If you’re going to include a form, keep it small and focus on using simple, short copy. You don’t want to bore your leads!

Build a vibrant community around your offerings 

This is a longer-term social play, but building a community around what you offer is one of the best ways to increase your conversion rates. 

Ideally, you’ll have a community content hub where your members can share what they’re working on and what they love about your products and services. If you can’t do this internally, don’t worry—you can easily create LinkedIn, Reddit, or other social media groups to create that shared space. 

Encourage users to participate in your community, highlight user-generated content, and listen to what folks say. This is a great way to develop more social proof and help your customers become advocates for your products and services. 

Unlock new opportunities through partnerships and collaborations 

Community building is also a great way to access new partnerships and collaborations. Think about other brands you can work with—what’s a natural fit, and what might surprise visitors? 

Run retargeting ad campaigns to win back visitors that don’t convert 

Are users not converting?

Don’t worry, you’ve still got a chance to win them back. That’s what retargeting ads are all about. Remember, only 4.3% of traffic converts across all industries on average, so there’s plenty of opportunity to hook those who aren’t fully convinced. 

Remember, these users have already engaged with your brand, so they’re familiar on some level. 

It’s up to you to figure out why they aren’t converting, so focus on intent and personalization to win back these visitors. Personalized calls to action are 202% more likely to convert, and by leaning on search intent, you can find excellent opportunities to message match and earn the conversion.

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How Unbounce can help boost conversion rates for your campaigns

Conversion rate optimization is a big topic, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you try to focus on one thing at a time.

Don’t worry! You don’t need to do everything all at once.

Instead, start with the basics, like building awesome landing pages, drafting up killer copy that converts, or just testing out your existing efforts.

The best thing about conversion rate optimization is you can test, experiment, and figure out what works best for your needs.

At Unbounce, we’ve got your back, too. Instead of starting from scratch every time, just pick from our collections of pre-built, pre-vetted templates proven to convert.

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