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You know creating a conversion funnel is essential for your business to grow. So you’ve laid down the foundation and created a step-by-step process of attracting traffic, nurturing leads, and finally converting them into customers.
You’ve put all your time and energy into attracting high-quality leads through search and social, engaging with them and nurturing them, and then finally leading them towards your website.
Now what? Is your work done? Will the funnel work on its own moving forward?
No, now comes the most important step––calculating your funnel conversion rate and improving it. Finding out what’s generating the best results and where you’re simply wasting your time.
Testing, tweaking, retesting.
“To improve your funnel conversion rate, you want to check each part of your funnel individually, not as a whole. Gather data from each part of your funnel (Top to Bottom) and each channel. Find which channels are not performing well and start optimizing them. Once you improve that specific channel or part of the funnel, move to another one,” Jonathan Aufray, of Growth Hackers Company says.
So, in this article, we are going to learn the following things.
How to calculate your funnel conversion rate
With various different funnel paths and user journeys, it can get tricky to calculate your actual funnel conversion rate. How many cold leads are warming up in the top funnel and moving on to the middle funnel, how many middle funnel leads have successfully moved on to the bottom funnel?
The easiest way to track and calculate your funnel conversion rate is through Google analytics.
Crystal Diaz, of Air-Rite, is a big believer in utilizing the power of Google Analytics.
“To improve funnel conversion rate, I use Google Analytics and Google Search Console. I first use Google Analytics to see what is getting traffic. I use Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels>Organic>Landing Page.
What this does is tell me what page people are landing on. Then I go to Google Search Console, I find that page and search the queries that people type to get that page. This can help me figure out what people are searching for, what questions they want, and answers so we can help our customers more.” Diaz explains.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Go to Google Analytics and Click Goals.
- Click Set up goals.
- Now start creating goals and set up your funnel.
Once you’ve set your goals and funnels, and your profile has had time to collect results, Google Analytics will show you your funnel conversion analysis and conversion rate. You can then test different goals and funnels, and track your conversion rates.
What’s a good funnel conversion rate?
Once you get your hands on your funnel conversion rate, how do you find out what’s a good conversion funnel rate? Is your funnel conversion rate below average or are your leads converting nicely?
To make it easier for you, we recently conducted a survey and asked marketers what they considered a good visit to conversion rate. We asked a mix of both kinds of businesses; product-based businesses and services-based businesses.
77.8% of businesses we surveyed were service-based, and 22.2% were product-based. And here’s what they had to say about a good funnel conversion rate.
- Around 30% of our respondents agreed that 3.1% – 5% is a good funnel conversion rate.
- A small percentage of respondents, around 18% of them, think that 5.1% to 8% and 1.1% to 3% is a good funnel conversion rate.
- A small percentage of respondents believed that 11% to 20% is a good funnel conversion rate.
According to Adobe Digital Index 2020 report into consumer electronics, an overall average funnel conversion of most industries is around 3%.
According to Prana Brush Rebecca, “a good visit-to-lead conversion rate is 3.1% to 5%. Really, anything over 2% is great.”
12 tried and tested ways to drastically improve your funnel conversion rates
“Increasing the funnel conversion rate is a common goal of every business. Sometimes, they do everything, be it chalking out a proven strategy, holistic approach, use of call to action, white space, or others. But, they don’t get expected outcomes,” says Venkatesh C.R. of Dot Com Infoway.
If you’re looking to improve your conversion, and let’s face it we all are, then read on. We’ve asked marketing experts their 12 best tips for improving funnel conversion rates:
- Grow your organic search traffic
Aqsa Mirza, of Simple Fulfillment, explains that they’ve increased funnel conversion rates for Simple Fulfillment by incorporating higher buying-intent keywords in their search strategy.
“We put more focus on grabbing organic traffic through search engines as it is the most stable and most significant source of traffic. Audiences relying on the conversion phase focus on higher buying-intent keywords. So, our marketing team generates quality content after analyzing the keyword volumes and potential buyers’ intent. Focusing on money keywords could bring conversions; otherwise, informative keywords could only bring traffic to your website,” says Mirza.
- Leverage social proof
Social proof can be a huge conversion rate booster when done right.
Because as Olusola David, of TorchBankz, explains, “I need to create awareness that educates my potential customer about my product first. This will help turn them from cold to warm traffic which is very good for conversion.”
Khris Steven, of Khris Digital, also strongly believes in leveraging the power of social proof.
“One solid approach I’ve used and encountered is implementing social proof elements on my sales funnels. Adding social proof elements like testimonials, reviews, influencer endorsements, ratings and purchase notifications in your funnels are things that can explode your funnel conversion rates dramatically. Social proof has been proven to be the most powerful sources of psychological influence in the world of business. It describes a psychological and social phenomenon where people copy the actions of others in an attempt to take up a behavior in a given condition.”
Isaac Hammarburger, of SearchPros, is of the same opinion and says, “A simple way to improve conversion rate is to add testimonials, reviews, and logos. By doing so people will be at ease using your product or service since there were other people who have used it before them.”
- Conduct split tests
Test, test, and more tests.
Alistair Dodds, of Ever Increasing Circles, is a firm believer in the power of testing every part of your funnel. “Use your experience and knowledge to put your best hypotheses forward as far as ad copy, landing pages, lead magnets and so on but then ensure that you split test each element to ensure you’re following what the market responds to and not just basing it on your own hunches and subjective decisions,” Dodds explains.
A/B testing is essential for figuring out what marketing and sales efforts are converting and which ones are going down the drain.
As Jack Choros, of IronMonk Solutions, explains, “We use traditional A/B testing. We use a Facebook pixel for each step in the funnel so that we can gather information for retargeting purposes and then we can put people into separate email campaigns based on where they end up in the funnel. It’s a long term gain but it’s profitable.”
Split testing also includes testing different versions of your ad copy and other marketing copy. This is where you’re directly connecting with your audience, so you need to know what kind of copy resonates best with your audience.
“From headlines to body paragraphs, every word makes a difference. We are heavily invested in testing different headlines for above the fold to ensure that we’re able to maximize the results of our campaigns,” shares Saif Al-Janabi of BlankSpace.
Olivia Tsang, of SuperMoney, also believes split testing is an essential part of your conversion funnel process.
“Never stop split testing. There’s always one element that can be improved upon on each landing page. Be sure to always run a form of landing page testing to improve your visit-to-lead conversion rate,” affirms Tsang.
After split testing different offers, Jacob Landis Eigsti saw a whopping 75% increase in their cart value. And since then, Eigsti says, “We’re aggressively testing landing page layout and headlines since we’ve found this dramatically impacts the number of people that initiate checkout.”
And don’t forget, as Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard says, “Buyer habits can change over time, so A/B testing is something that should be continued after initial optimizations are completed.”
- Keep your forms and CTAs simple
“After you spend hours with your team crafting some creative call to action, share it with your grandmother so that you can test if it’s simple enough for someone new to understand,” advises Matt Holmes of Handshaking.
The simpler your form and CTA are, the more leads it’ll generate. No matter how invested your audience is, if they have to jump through a hundred questions, they’ll balk at your form and click the exit button on the top of your page faster than you can say STOP!
“In order to attract the user to register on your form, especially after they’ve made the decision that this is the right offer for them; it’s important to ask a few simple and non-generic questions to get them to the next step,” explains Al-Janabi.
Djordje Milicevic, at Stable WP, also believes the same and says, “Complex conversion flows, too many form fields, redirects, and even slow loading pages can increase friction, potentially diminishing your conversion rate. Use analytics to determine which elements of your opt-in forms can be optimized.
Set up goals, events, and funnel visualization in Google Analytics to observe how users move through your funnel. Pay close attention to any steps with high drop-offs to identify potentially problematic areas. For example, many users might be dropping off after a CTA redirects to a new page. In that case, you can reduce friction and increase the conversion rate by allowing users to complete all steps on a single page.”
- Create urgency
Investing in scarcity widgets for your website can be a great way to boost your funnel conversion rate and convert warm leads into hot, ready-to-buy ones.
Samikshas Rawool, of Yummy Tummy Recipes, saw an 11% increase in conversions after she implemented a countdown clock on her landing page.
As Al-Janabi says, “This method is proven to perform if it’s done authentically and transparently. If you’re selling a program with limited seats, or a product with limited inventory, or simply have a timed offer that actually expires in a given time, these tools/widgets can bring forth increased conversion.”
- Simplify pricing
To warm up your leads, you need to make them take some sort of initial action. By simplifying your pricing and encouraging them to buy a low-priced product initially, you can warm them up for more purchases later on.
Justin McGill, of CheckoutFlow, believes the same thing. McGill says, “Simplify pricing to make the initial purchase an easy one. Then, add more bonuses/features/services available to purchase through one-click upsells or downsells through the checkout process.”
Alexandra Zelenko, of DDI Developments, adds, “Providing a hassle-free payment process is a must. Offering expedited payment options such as Amazon Pay or PayPal or alternative payment methods to choose at checkout to quickly move through the checkout process – they can complete their purchase with one or two clicks. In addition to that, make it simple for customers to find your product or service and optimize your checkout page by using live chat, offer free shipping, etc.”
Referrals also work great at making people take that initial plunge.
As Steve Bourie, of American Casino Guidebook, explains, “By offering a free or discounted product or service to a returning customer if they refer a friend is a great way to increase your customer retention rate all while improving your funnel conversion rate.”
- Run personalized campaigns
Did you know, 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized? And, 88% of U.S. marketers reported seeing measurable improvements due to personalization, with more than half reporting a lift greater than 10%. These are powerful stats.
Which justifies why Casey Hill of Bonjoro is a huge advocate of personalization.
Hill believes, “more and more customers are starting to tune out automation. We build funnels as a business to help streamline processes, but customers don’t want to feel like their relationship with a company is ‘automated.’ It hurts conversions and leaves customers looking elsewhere.
People are tired of automated campaigns. They lean towards brands that offer personalized campaigns. Hill explains, “the key to improving conversions is to get personal. Send a personal handwritten note, or a personal video email, or respond back personally on social media. Show them they are valued, even though you might have tens of thousands of customers.”
Editor’s note: On the other hand, creators, ad buyers, and strategists are tired of manual reports on campaigns. Use automated reporting software to reduce time on repetitive reports and focus on quality campaign personalization instead.
- Make data-driven funnels
According to James Gardner, of Topline Partners, data-driven funnels are the way to go. Without having essential data on your various goals and funnels, you’ll never know what’s working and what isn’t.
“It’s essential to start your conversion rate optimization efforts with reliable and complete analytics data. Without a starting baseline and a means of measuring the impact of your changes, you can’t tell what’s working and you won’t learn anything for next time.
So, start by auditing your Google Analytics implementation and ensuring that it’s capturing everything big and small that you’ll need down the road. For extra insights, consider using heat maps and user exit surveys.” Gardner explains.
Alex Berkett of Omniscient Digital agrees. Having data in hand will help you diagnose the problem and figure out at what point your leads are dropping off.
Berkett says, “Blindly flying into an optimization project hoping to apply a bunch of tactics is generally going to be lucky at best, and usually a big old opportunity cost. Do the conversion research (analytics audit, qualitative surveys, and interviews, etc.) and prioritize your biggest impact areas.”
While analyzing your funnel data, involve your whole team and harmonize your data in a single platform so everything is available at a glance. As Raj Dosanjh, of Rentround, explains this helps to “avoid redundancies and target the right customer in the right place.”
Michael Alexis, of TeamBuilding, also takes a very technical approach to data and numbers and explains that this means, “for example, making sure our email deliverability rates are solid. Aspects of this rate include making sure the server is set up properly, making sure anyone we email explicitly opted-in and expects our messages, occasionally cleaning the list, being careful about not sending spammy content, and similar.”
Gathering leads data and ranking them according to their buying intent is also a great way of optimizing funnels. Anna Tatelman, of Online Optimism, says this is one of their best strategies at improving the funnel conversion rates.
“Coupling demographic information of past clients with other data, such as where those leads that led to customers originated, allows us to ‘grade’ our current leads and analyze which ones are most likely to become sales. By leveraging this type of data and subsequently tailoring our marketing efforts to focus on the highest-ranking leads, we’ve witnessed great improvements in our funnel conversion rate.” Tatelman says.
Using heatmaps is another great way to gather user data.
“Heatmaps are a great way to monitor user behaviors. If they come to your page and bounce right away (without scrolling or spending any time on the page)—you may be targeting the wrong pool of users,” shares Hung Nguyen, of SmallPDF.
One of the key areas of researching is micro-tracking conversions at every step and mapping out your buyers’ journey. This helps in finding gaps and redundancies in the funnel and then makes it easy to fix these gaps.
Tiffany Ruder does exactly this and says, “This way, I can get a sharper picture of where exactly the biggest dropoff points in the funnel are. Then I spend time looking at a large sample of individual journeys of prospects who dropped out of the funnel at specific points in their journeys, and I brainstorm a few hypotheses as to why these people might have dropped off where they did, based on persona data.
Armed with these hypotheses, that’s when the experiments can begin, with re-engagement efforts as well as creating new assets that might serve the flow of people’s journeys more effectively.”
Know your audience – buyer personas
WikiLawn’s Dan Bailey explains, “the thing that’s worked best for us is narrowing down our audience focus. On Facebook, for example, you can potentially have an audience that has millions of people. You might think that’s a good thing, but how many of those people will care about your product or service? We aggressively target our ads to reach between 100,000 to 300,000 people ideally. This number allows us to specifically target people who are most likely to convert.”
Before you start this process, you need to be crystal clear who your audience is. What their likes and dislikes are, where they hang out digitally, their demographics, and so on. Only then you can create personalized targeted campaigns that persuade cold leads to turn into hot ones. This will eventually boost your conversion funnel rate and bring in more sales.
As Carolyn Cairns, at Creation BC, says, “Knowing your clients will help you market to them better and turn them into paying customers. If you target the wrong people then you are just wasting time and money.“
And what’s an easy way to get to know your target audience? Involve your sales and customer service teams.
“A non-technical way to do this is to collaborate with your sales team, start listening to what they say. Users share the information they find most valuable, so your sales team has important information about your audience, therefore you can better understand their pain points and determine which features or products make the most impact on them.” Bernadett Dioszegi, of BannerSnack, explains.
You can also make use of social listening tools to understand what your users are talking about and what they want from you.
Chris Gadek of AdQuick also points out, “It really comes down to listening to your customers. Add on new features to services, or pay special attention to your product reviews. Nothing can increase your sales more than providing the services and products that are of most benefit to your customers.”
Retargeting campaigns work great at luring warm leads and converting them into ready-to-buy customers. Samikshas Rawool saw a whopping 23% increase in conversions after she started incorporating retargeting campaigns in her marketing mix.
Daniella Pozolungo, at Pup Digital, believes that it works especially well for e-commerce businesses and says, “if they have lots of people add to cart, but a small percentage follow through to initiate checkout, we’ll look at strategies on how to improve this. To help improve this particular part of the funnel we might engage in dynamic remarketing, standard remarketing as well as landing page optimization to help encourage the next step.”
Noelle Fauver, of Trust and Will, is also a huge advocate of retargeting campaigns and says, “Retargeting campaigns are a great way to push leads down the sales funnel. Many CRMs today can help make this incredibly simple by telling you when you should retarget by telling you which email campaign a prospect should receive. It’s also pretty effective in my experience when running a PPC or paid social campaign. It’s a great way to move prospects at the awareness and consideration stages of their buyer’s journey.”
Provide real-time engagement
Having a real-time chat window can make a substantial difference to your conversion rate. Engaging with leads as soon as they land on your website and removing whatever doubts or problems they might be having can result in higher conversion rates.
Prana Brush Rebecca is a witness to this. Their team saw a 20% increase in average page views and dwell time and a comparable increase in conversions by implementing a real-time chatbox on the website.
Prana shares, “Our comparison of the data before and after showed that being available to our readers to answer questions immediately over chat dramatically increased their willingness to browse our site (increasing average page views), increased the time they spent on our site (increasing dwell time), and increased their confidence in our brand and their willingness to make a purchase (increased conversions).”
However, she does advise companies to only incorporate a real-time chat box if they can monitor it constantly and respond to user queries in real-time.
Improving your funnel conversion rate is crucial for the success of your business. By implementing the strategies mentioned above, including growing your organic search traffic, leveraging social proof, conducting split tests, simplifying forms and CTAs, creating urgency, simplifying pricing, running personalized campaigns, making data-driven funnels, researching your audience, retargeting campaigns, and providing real-time engagement, you can optimize your conversion funnel and increase your sales. Remember to constantly analyze your data, test different strategies, and make necessary adjustments to continuously improve your funnel conversion rates.