From conversational forms to setting expectations, asking for smaller commitments to improving your navigation, we share six practical tactics (including evidence) for improving your website conversion rates.

Getting your website to convert traffic into potential customers is a crucial measurable goal for any website; removing barriers and making things easy and obvious to your visitors is the key. We’re sharing six simple tips to improve your website conversions and improve the success of your website.

#1 – use active language on buttons

Getting your call to action right is the most basic but important thing you can optimise on a website for quick wins. They will typically appear on most pages, and will always be a key part of the buying journey, so maximising the clicks on your main calls to action is important, but also one of the simplest and quickest ways of increasing conversion rates.

Example of active button language on the Basecamp homepage

Using active language instead of generic, passive language on buttons can greatly improve engagement rates, and lead to more sales and conversions. For example:

  • Change “Read more” to “View product details”
  • From “Store Finder” to “Where to buy”
  • “Discover more products” instead of “Product categories”
  • Avoid using generic words like “Submit’ or “Send” – try “Send my message”

By giving your user a snippet of what to expect when they click, they’re more likely to interact with a button.

In this case study of the Black & Decker ecommerce store, experimenting with the language of the primary button on the product page saw double figure increases in click rates, simply by experimenting with the language of the ‘add to cart’ button with several variants. The idea behind the experiment was that ‘Shop’ sounded less committal than ‘Buy’, and would encourage more site visitors to click through.

#2 – ask for smaller commitments

Your customer may be interested in your product, but may not be ready to buy or make a decision. Asking smaller commitments from them can be useful, especially in consultative situations – for example a service company or bigger, more expensive products that need more consideration.

When taken into account alongside using active language, you can create a less intimidating proposition for website visitors by either offering softer alternatives to a purchase, or simply asking for less commitment.

As an example, try changing “Buy now” to “Speak to an advisor” or “Speak to us about a free consultation”, which reassures the customer that the next step before a decision will be a conversation, not a transaction.

In this test by Oskar Zabik, changing the main call to action to “Contact Seller” from “Buy now” resulted in a 73% increase in conversion rates.

#3 – focus on where you convert best

Example of prominent action on Furl website header
A prominent link to the physical showroom in the header acts as a prominent primary action at all times.

In some cases, buying online is certainly possible, but sometimes the best route is to get your customer face to face, or physically in front of your product.

In one recent project for a client who manufactures high-end furniture, we identified that they had an 80% conversion rate of all customers who visited their showroom to try their products. As a result, the site’s conversion strategy focused on driving customers towards making appointments to visit the showroom, and to use contact forms as a secondary method.

This resulted in a sharp increase in visits to the showroom, which has led to a big increase in footfall to the physical store, and a higher number of sales as a direct result.

#4 – contact forms should set expectations

Contact form with promise on Hallam website

For many service businesses, the contact form is your primary route for contact. Filling out a contact form can be quite a commitment for a prospective customer, so it’s important to remove as many barriers as possible, by providing reassurance of what’s going to happen next.

One example of this is our own website – we included a promise of what will happen after you contact us: we’ll set up a friendly call with a senior member of our team. By clearly setting out expectations and describing what will happen next, we removed a potential barrier that resulted in higher quality of leads, with clearly defined messages from the enquiry. As a bonus, include a guaranteed response time, if possible.

#5 – expose your key navigation

Mobile navigation on Castle Rock Brewery website

Just like with active language on buttons, it’s important to always provide clickable options that customers can quickly and easily understand, and avoid guesswork or confusion.

For example, if your website sells products online you should display as many product categories directly in the main navigation, instead of putting in a “shop” dropdown menu. If you have key services, promote them to the main navigation and give them as much exposure as possible, as they are likely to be instantly recognisable to your target audience.

This also applies to mobile, where space is at a premium. Although it’s inevitable you’ll need to hide some navigation behind a “burger menu”, it’s good practice to expose your primary actions at all times.

In a case study for Nottingham’s Castle Rock Brewery, exposing the primary navigation items led to a big increase in engagement on mobile devices, and increased traffic to key pages.

#6 – conversational forms


Conversational form using natural language

Using natural, conversational tone in your contact forms can lead to an increase in conversion. This type of form can appear more friendly, and seems less intimidating even though it’s asking for five separate pieces of information, all of which is sensitive and private.

This approach removes some of the barriers associated with forms, and provides a different, fresh approach that can spark curiosity and interest in your potential customer. In the case above, it provides an engaging way to proceed further through the site, without committing to any specific outcome.

Be warned,  it doesn’t always work – in this test by Embrace Pet Insurance, a conversational approach led to a drop in conversions. Tread carefully!

If you need help with your Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) don't hesitate to contact us.

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