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Some steps to improve website conversions

by Chris Sutton | April 11, 2013
Some steps to improve website conversions

I’m a big fan of concise “how to” blogs and articles that provide good tips on how to achieve something without having to spend hours researching and reading. As the web gets ever more congested with competing sites, the need to stand out and be the site that converts to sales or inquiries is becoming evermore important. This blog is about how to achieve better conversions on your site.

While layout considerations are certainly important, and really a topic in itself, as I jotted down my notes about conversions, I realised that what is important for website conversions is just the same as what is considered to be best practice in web copywriting. With Google’s continuing focus on quality content as well, it’s hard to get away from the need to really focus on your website content to both rank well and to convert your site visitors to customers.

So, while we’ve covered these topics before in other ways, it’s important enough to bear repeating.

1. Write compelling copy and attention grabbing headlines

 How many sites do you visit where the home page heading is “Welcome to…..”??

Given you get so little time to grab a visitor’s attention, why waste time saying welcome when providing well written and relevant copy will make your visitors feel welcome anyway?

Your page headline is vital, it can either entice your visitors to read further or drive them away if it’s not relevant.

Once you’ve grabbed a visitor’s attention though, the next priority is to engage them with your page copy.

All the usual guidelines for writing good copy apply; write for your website visitors, keep your messages simple and focussed, make sure that you include the relevant keywords for the page  and provide clear steps and easy conversion paths.

Some of the key messages that you need to address on a landing page (depending on the outcomes you require from the page) are:

  • Tell your visitors why they’re about to read the page
  • Make it clear who the page is for (small businesses, consumer sales etc)
  • Tell your visitors what’s in it for them, what are the benefits of your product or service.
  • Tell your visitors what the steps are to get access to your products or benefits

One thing which is becoming more common is an increasing length of landing pages. While common wisdom is that website pages should be concise and not excessively long, the current trend is to have the content above the fold to be simple with clear call to action options, below the fold provides an opportunity to provide much more “in depth” copy. This doesn’t detract from the main message but for those who are interested in more information it’s an easy way to access that.

2. Write your copy with the user experience in mind.

It can be a challenge to write copy that gets your message across clearly, provides the visitor with an effective online experience and provide you with a good return on investment.

  • How do you meet those needs in your web page copy?
  • Write clearly and focus on a single key message on each page.
  • Make your call to action prominent, don’t make the visitor search for the way to buy or contact you.
  • Keep you key message separate from the product or service detail; benefits should be the primary focus on any page
  • Anytime you write copy, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and assume no prior knowledge of your products and services. Are you communicating clearly?
  • Get somebody who doesn’t know your products to proof read your copy and see if their understanding of what you’ve written matches what you are trying to communicate.


SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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