How to convert website visitors into leads

When we build a website our focus must be to convert website visitors into leads. 

And the only way we can convert visitors into leads is to have a plan and a clear strategy. Needless to say we need to create great content but that does not guarantee high conversion rates in itself.

Here in this article we will start by looking at what and how we measure as well as defining the conversion rate. We will then go on to look at 9 steps to help us when we feel that the conversion rate needs improving.

define desired outcome to convert Website visitors to Leads

We first need to decide what we are actually measuring. A conversion does not have to be a purchase or a signup to a newsletter. We could just as well be measuring the number of visitors that move on to our sales page.

There is no absolute truth to what should and should not be measured. My only advice is that you always make sure that you know what to do with the result.

Define what you are measuring and then have a clear idea what you will do if it comes back high, low or anything in between.

There is no reason to measure if the result you get is not actionable.

Universal Google Analytics allows you to use different views to filter visitor data in one report while still having access to the raw data in a separate report. Read more about filters and Google Analytics.

Are we analyzing a web page or a website?

Needless to say you can measure what you want. But again, make sure the results you get are actionable.

My advice? If you have enough visitors, always measure individual web pages over your entire website.

When you measure the overall conversion rate for your website you cannot see which individual web pages that are converting well vs. perform really poorly.

Calculating the conversion rate

It is easy to calculate the conversion rate when we have defined our desired outcome and what we are analyzing.

We could for example be measuring the number of visitors that signed up to our newsletter from our About us page last week.

To arrive at the conversion rate we simply divide the number of signups last week by the total number of visitors to the About us web page for the same time period.

Now that we know what and how to measure our conversion rate we will move on to our checklist of what to do when the conversion rate is simply not good enough.

9 steps to improve your conversion rate

There are no quick fixes but the following 9 tips will — when applied correctly — get you to where you need to be to succeed.

1. Are you getting lost in fonts, designs and colors?

We all want our website to have a cool and fresh design. But you must never prioritize design over well formulated goals.

Is it clear what you want the visitor to do when you look at the web page you have built?

I am not saying that all web pages should be geared towards asking for the desired outcome after every single paragraph.

What I am saying is that to convert website visitors into leads you need to have a plan for the individual web page. You need to ask for the desired outcome at the right time and place.

And yes, every individual web page you create must have a purpose and a goal.

This leads us on to point number 2.

2. Overloading pages with too many options

Web pages can of course have the same goal as other web pages on your website. 

But you need to be careful of giving your web pages too many goals.

Stay focused and think of your web site as a sales funnel that leads the visitor down a path to your ultimate desired outcome.

Your individual web pages are a part of that sales funnel and to be effective they should each have one well defined goal.

Do not give your visitors too many choices  –  be clear and purposeful and be willing to take a risk and make recommendations based on your analysis. 

After all, we are not guessing, are we? Which leads us on to point 3. 

3. Stop guessing and start measuring

The only way to make smart and deliberate decisions is to test, measure and adapt.

Use statistics programs like Google analytics or Statcounter to learn about user experience and user behaviour on your web pages.

Related resources: Learn how to work with filters in Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.

Do not be afraid to test and measure. Split testing where you randomly send visitors to different pages can yield valuable insight if you have enough visitors.

But regardless of the number of visitors to your web pages you should always measure, learn and adapt.

After a while you will be reading the numbers like a pro and even a short daily glance can alert you to problems as well as deliver insights on performance.

4. Focus on visitors to your web pages

Do not just focus on more visitors to your website. Focus on getting targeted visitors to your web pages.

Targeted visitors will by default convert better as they will find what they are looking for on your web pages.

This will also filter through to the search engines that will understand that you provide a superior user experience. And a great user experience will in turn be rewarded with more favorable rankings in the search engines. See how it all fits together.

For tips on staying focused read more about the importance of keyword research.

5. Sending visitors all over the place

You need to build web pages with purpose to convert website visitors into leads.

We are all familiar with Wikipedia and it is a great website. But you cannot design your web pages like Wikipedia if you expect your visitors to convert.

Whereas Wikipedia takes every opportunity to link to a definition of a concept you need to stay focused.

You need to focus on keeping your visitor on track and true to the original reason they landed on your web page.

Do not send you visitors all over the place. Keep the user experience focused and relevant.

Using and Online Quiz can be a great way to stay focused and offer variety in how you educate and communicate with your website visitors. And you are more likely to convert engaged website visitors to leads.

6. Are you asking the question?

You cannot expect to convert website visitors into leads if you do not ask the question.

I see it all the time. On the one hand you have the web pages where there are calls to action after every single paragraph.

And then there are the web pages that insist on only placing one button at the end of the web page – on every single web page.

Neither works very well.

You can of course have more than one call to action but gaina there needs to be a purpose behind the presentation.

Describe the problem, present the solution and offer a call to action. If visitors keep reading we could move on and list common objections with answers and follow each one with another call to action.

There is of course no ultimate format that always will work. But one thing does hold true.

You have to ask to get the order.

7. Are your web pages loading fast enough?

I cannot stress it enough. Your web pages need to load fast because there are several competitors out there with fast loading websites.

And your visitors do not want to wait around. If you expect to convert your website visitors into leads your website needs to give a great user experience. And the user experience can only be great if your web pages load fast.

8. Do you have a mobile friendly responsive web site design

If you have not already heard the web is nowadays all about mobile first.

This means several things but you need to at least take the following two points to heart.

  1. Your web pages need to load fast on mobile too
  2. Your website must have a responsive design that adapts to different screen resolutions

If you are unable to meet these two requirements you will struggle to be successful online.

9. Do not sell the visitor over and over again

Let me explain what I mean. As affiliate marketers we inform, educate and lead the visitor down the path towards a purchase.

Usually, the final decision to make the purchase is made at our merchant partners website.

Now, to convert website visitors into leads we need to recognize our role as affiliate marketers.

Do you think you will be successful if you hard sell a visitor on a particular service or product  and then link them to a partner where they have to make all the same choices again?

Of course not. Instead as affiliate marketers we inform, educate and sell the concept and the merchant to the visitor. 

We leave the actual hard selling of the product to the merchant. 

There are of course exceptions where you can link to an actual check-out page but generally, do not over-sell the product.

Summary & bonus tip for mailing list marketers

So there you have it. If we were to summarize in ten words or less I would say “focus on targeted traffic and then test, measure and adapt”.

But there is of course no quick fixes and most points above are sound guiding principles when you set out to build a website the right way.

Oh yes, I did promise a bonus tip for all you mailing list affiliate marketers.

When you have sent out your mailing to your list you will see that quite a few recipients never opened your mailing.

Now, wait a day or two and then mail these recipients that did not open your mailing the newsletter once more. But, and this is important, change the subject line.

You will be surprised what you can learn but do make sure you do not mail your entire list again by mistake.

Meet the author: Mattias (Matt) is a serial entrepreneur and travel industry expert with more than 20 years of experience in business and web development. Mattias identifies with self-starters and entrepreneurs, loves to garden, and believes everyone needs a game plan for financial independence.