10 Tips to Improve Your Conversion Optimization Strategy

Is your conversion optimization strategy effectively turning visitors into customers, or are you struggling to keep their interest?

If you’re finding it challenging to engage and convert your site visitors, it might be time to rethink your approach.

In this article, we’ll guide you on how to kickstart your conversion optimization efforts and provide a checklist of 10 proven tips to build a stronger, more effective CRO strategy.

Yaniv Masjedi
CMO, Nextiva

Their expertise has helped Nextiva grow its brand and overall business

Help Me Skyrocket My Conversions!

How to Create a Conversion Optimization Strategy

What is a conversion optimization strategy?

A conversion optimization strategy is a plan to improve the number of visitors to a website and get them to perform a desired action, like buying a product or signing up for a newsletter. This involves making changes to your site to make it more effective.

The effectiveness of a strategy is measured by a website’s conversion rate, and a “good” rate typically ranges between 2% and 5%. That means for every 100,000 clicks your website receives, only about 2,000 to 5,000 will result in meaningful actions such as signing up, buying something, or completing a form.

Conversions vary by industry, and if your conversion rate is lower than the industry standard, then it’s time to optimize your conversion strategy.

A good starting point is the PIE framework, which is used by companies like HubsSpot. PIE stands for Potential, Importance, and Ease. Originally designed for prioritizing areas for A/B testing, the PIE framework is versatile enough to be applied across all aspects of your conversion strategy.

Simply ask yourself:

  • What improvement can you make on a page?
  • How critical is this improvement to your goals?
  • How easy or difficult will it be to implement this change?

Evaluate and rank each element of your strategy list based on the PIE framework: its Potential to improve, Importance to your overall goals, and the Ease with which it can be implemented. Assign a score from 1 to 10 to each improvement.

Chart illustrating how to use the PIE framework

Once you’ve assigned a score to a strategy, sum up the numbers and divide the total by 3 to derive a score that indicates which project could have the most significant impact.

While not flawless, the PIE framework helps streamline your conversion optimization efforts and ensures each change is targeted and effective. It also works well as a guideline for creating a new strategy.

10 Proven Conversion Optimization Strategy Tips

There are many different ways you can improve your existing conversion optimization strategy, which is why we recommend using the PIE framework to prioritize what needs immediate attention.

If you’re having trouble deciding what to focus on or are creating a new strategy from scratch, this section is for you. We’ll go over some proven and actionable optimization tips that are broad enough to work for any industry.

1) Simplify Navigation

Studies have shown that it takes users just 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website. That means in less than a second, potential customers will decide whether or not your landing page is worth their time.

It’s crucial to have a website that makes a great first impression, and simplifying your website’s navigation is a great first step:

Example of landing page with simple navigation

Here’s how to do it:

  • Minimize the number of menu items: Stick to a few important links. This reduces clutter and focuses visitor attention on the most valuable pages.
  • Use clear labels: Each navigation link should clearly indicate what the visitor will find after clicking. Avoid vague or clever labels that might confuse users.
  • Consistent layout: Keep your navigation consistent across all pages. Changing formats can disorient visitors and lead them to leave your site.
  • Search functionality: Include a search bar to help users who want to find specific content quickly, especially on content-rich or e-commerce sites.

Simplifying your site’s navigation helps eliminate obstacles that could deter users from converting and enhances their overall experience.

2) Optimize Page Load Speed

The first 10 seconds of a page visit are critical, as they often determine whether users decide to stay or leave. Studies show that a page response delay of just a few seconds can significantly increase your bounce rate and therefore decrease your conversion rate:

Chart showing landing page bounce rate

Try the following:

  • Compress images and videos: Large media files are a big culprit. Use tools like Convertio to compress media content without losing quality and make sure all your images are in WebP format.
  • Minimize HTTP requests: Reduce the number of elements on your pages, such as scripts, images, and CSS files, to decrease the load time.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN): CDNs like Cloudflare distribute your content across multiple servers around the world so that users can quickly download its contents from the closest server.
  • Enable browser caching: When you enable caching, repeat visitors can load your website faster because their browser saves parts of your site on their local drive.

Improving your website’s load time not only enhances user experience but also helps improve your SEO rankings. Google is known to prioritize faster websites in its search results. Use tools like Lighthouse to check your site’s performance and ensure it’s up to standard.

3) Use Strong CTAs

Banner blindness is a well-documented phenomenon. It’s when users ignore banner-like information on websites. Often, they skip over these areas because they look like typical ads.

Heat map illustrating banner blindness

Keep this in mind when coming up with CTAs. Having a strong, clear CTA that stands out visually can make a big difference. It draws users’ attention and helps guide them towards desired actions like signing up or making a purchase.

To craft effective CTAs, you should:

  • Be specific: Instead of generic phrases like “CLICK HERE,” use action-oriented language that tells users exactly what they will get, such as “Download My Free eBook” or “Get 50% Off Now.”
  • Use contrasting colors: Make sure your CTA buttons stand out from the rest of the page with colors that contrast well with the background, making them easy to spot, like this Spotify CTA:
  • Place them strategically: Position CTAs both above and below the fold and within any content that logically leads to conversions.
  • Size matters: Ensure that the CTA buttons are large enough to be easily tapped on mobile devices.

You may need to perform some A/B testing to figure out what placement works best for your website, but generally try to blend your CTAs smoothly into your website’s content to prevent them from being overlooked as just another ad.

4) Employ A/B Testing

A/B testing or split testing is a powerful technique to compare two versions of a web page to see which one performs better in terms of conversions:

A/B testing illustration

By making small, controlled changes, you can scientifically determine what elements resonate best with your audience.

Implementing A/B testing is very simple:

  • Start with a hypothesis: For example, “Changing the color of the CTA button from blue to red will increase clicks.”
  • Create two versions: One with the original design (A) and one with the change (B).
  • Run the test: Use tools like  Optimizely to serve both versions to different segments of your visitors at the same time.
  • Analyze the results: Determine which version had a higher conversion rate and implement the more successful elements.

Your visitors are served either the control or variation version, and you measure their experience using a tool like Google Analytics.

A/B testing removes the guesswork from website optimization and helps you make data-driven decisions that can lead to significant improvements in conversion rates.

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5) Enhance Form Design

Poor form design can murder your conversion rates. Simplifying forms and making them user-friendly can significantly reduce user frustration and abandonment.

Example of a good form vs a bad form

Here’s how you can improve your form design:

  • Limit the number of fields: Only ask for essential information to reduce the effort required by users.
  • Group related fields: Organize information logically and group related fields together to streamline the process and make the form appear less daunting.
  • Use field labels and placeholders effectively: Ensure each field is clearly labeled and use placeholders to provide examples or further instructions.
  • Incorporate inline validation: Provide immediate feedback if a user enters incorrect information, so they can correct it without submitting the form first.

By enhancing your forms, you make the completion process smoother and less intimidating, encouraging more users to follow through and convert.

6) Leverage Social Proof

88% of shoppers prefer reviews over advertising, and more than 50% of consumers won’t buy from a business if it has less than a 4-star rating. That’s social proof in action.

5-star Single Grain review from Clutch

It’s a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.

For websites, this means that showing testimonials, reviews, user counts, and other forms of social proof can significantly boost your credibility and trustworthiness.

To add social proof to your conversion optimization strategy:

  • Showcase customer testimonials: Place genuine testimonials from satisfied customers prominently on your site, especially near CTAs.
  • Display ratings and reviews: Allow users to leave reviews and make sure to highlight positive feedback on product or service pages.
  • Include trust badges: Display trust badges like SSL certificates, payment assurance icons, or awards your business has won to build trust.
  • Highlight user statistics: Share numbers like “Over 10,000 satisfied customers” or “Join 500,000 others who have benefited.”

Integrating social proof into your site can greatly influence visitor behavior by demonstrating the trust others have in your product or service, encouraging new users to convert.

7) Implement Live Chat

Chatbots have become popular thanks to the explosion of generative AI tools, and some reports estimate the chatbot market will reach $454 billion by 2027:

Chatbot market revenue worldwide from 2018 to 2027

Adding live chat functionality to your website can enhance the user experience by providing immediate assistance to visitors. This real-time interaction helps address concerns and questions.

Here’s how live chat can be effectively used:

  • Availability: Ensure that your live chat is available during peak hours, or consider using 24/7 chat services to cover all time zones.
  • Prompt responses: Train your team to respond quickly and efficiently. Fast response times can prevent potential customers from leaving your site.
  • Use chatbots for common queries: Implement AI-driven chatbots to handle frequently asked questions, allowing human agents to focus on more complex inquiries.
  • Personalize the chat experience: Use visitor data to personalize conversations, making interactions more relevant and engaging.

By providing a direct line of communication through live chat, you can quickly resolve issues, answer questions, and guide users towards making a purchase, all of which can significantly boost your conversion rates.

8) Personalize User Experience

Personalization can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your conversion strategy by tailoring the user experience to individual preferences and behaviors:

Illustration of how Amazon Personalize works

This approach makes visitors feel valued and understood, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. In fact, research also indicates that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.

Thanks to machine learning, personalizing user experiences is easier than ever. For example, with a service like Amazon Personalize, you can:

  • Segment your audience: Use data to create different user segments based on demographics, behavior, or purchase history. Tailor content, offers, and messages to these segments.
  • Recommend products or content: Use algorithms to recommend products or content that aligns with the user’s past behavior or preferences.
  • Dynamic content: Display content that changes based on the user’s past interactions with your site. For example, show different home page banners to first-time visitors versus returning customers.
  • Email personalization: Send personalized emails based on user actions, such as abandoned cart emails with a special offer to complete the purchase.

Using personalization techniques makes your website more relevant to each visitor, greatly improving your chances of conversion.

9) Use High-Quality Product Images

Visual elements are a must-have for any online business, and it’s not enough to just use any type of image — you need multiple high-quality images that make a good impression and sell your product.

Using high-quality images on your website can significantly improve user engagement and trust. Professional and appealing visuals capture attention, convey your message, and enhance the overall aesthetic of your site:

Example of good product images vs bad product image

Here’s how to optimize the use of images:

  • Choose relevant images: Ensure that images are relevant to the content and resonate with your target audience. They should add value to the text and help illustrate points made.
  • Optimize for speed: While using high-quality images, it’s important to optimize them for fast loading. Compress images and use the correct file formats (WebP is the new standard) without compromising on quality. ShortPixel is a free online tool that does both.
  • Use alt text: Include descriptive alt text for images, which helps with SEO and accessibility, making your site friendlier to search engines and users who use screen readers.
  • Consistent style: Maintain a consistent visual style across all images to strengthen your brand identity and provide a cohesive user experience.

Incorporating high-quality, optimized images into your website design not only makes your site more attractive but also supports your conversion goals by making interactions more enjoyable and engaging.

10) Analyze User Behavior

Finally, and most importantly, you must constantly analyze how users behave on your website to identify what works, what doesn’t, and where there might be opportunities for improvement.

Google Analytics (GA4) is an incredibly valuable tool for this purpose because it can provide you with concrete data on how users interact with your website at no extra cost.

Google Analytics engagement overview

Here’s what you can do:

  • Get familiar with GA4: Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides valuable insights into user behavior, such as which pages they visit, how long they stay, and where they drop off. It has a bit of a learning curve, and it may be worthwhile to hire an expert to help you make sense of the data.
  • Heatmaps: Heatmap tools show where users click, scroll, and spend time on your pages. This information can help identify which areas are attracting the most attention and which are being ignored.
  • Session recordings: Watching recordings of user sessions can provide a deeper understanding of user interactions and pain points as they navigate through your site.
  • Feedback tools: Implement surveys or feedback pop-ups to ask users directly about their experience and gather qualitative data.

By using tools like Google Analytics to analyze user behavior, you can make informed decisions that enhance your website’s usability and effectiveness.

Last Thoughts on Conversion Optimization Strategy

Refining your conversion optimization strategy is a continuous effort. You need to understand your audience’s needs and behaviors deeply and regularly make changes to stay on top.

Start with the PIE framework to figure out what needs work, then use the tips we’ve discussed to improve your website’s ability to convert visitors into customers.

The key to successful conversion optimization is to test and refine your strategies. Use the data and feedback you gather to make informed changes, always aiming to improve the user experience and your site’s effectiveness.

If you’re ready to level up your conversion rates and boost revenue, Single Grain’s CRO experts can help!👇

Help Me Skyrocket My Conversions!

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