Identifying exactly what’s going on with your page can be very difficult and take several months of iterations but only if you don’t have a process in place!
It doesn’t have to be that hard if you know how to consistently identify problems and/or areas of improvement to make your website convert more.
Optimization is an ongoing process and it will always take a few attempts to make the absolute most out of your website.
In this article, I will show you how I identify all the problems and growth opportunities a website has in only a few hours that set the stages to big website redesigns that take a few weeks to make.
Every time you search for any resource (article, video, book) on how you can get more customers with your website and all of them talk about conversion rates and why you should increase them.
But are conversion rates that important?
All I do is optimize websites for SaaS startups and I can tell you they are not!
A conversion rate should only be a small benchmark to how the website is converting and doesn’t tell you the full story, let me show you why.
You have probably seen a bunch articles saying “Your page should be converting at least at X %”, “The average SaaS (e-commerce and so on…) website converts at X”.
This is complete BS!
Your only benchmark should be how your website is currently performing and how much you want to improve it.
Different markets, different solutions, different revenue models, different CTA’s and hundreds of other factors will influence your conversion rate so stop comparing!
For example, high touch B2B Startup will always have bad conversion rates on paper (unless they are using very targeted paid traffic) as they require a bigger commitment from the potential customer than just a free trial or freemium low touch models but have a higher customer LTV and can still generate a ton of revenue.
It’s like looking for the perfect suit using the measurements from other people’s bodies…
Most of the time the behavior of your traffic is not as linear as you would expect so tracking exactly what they are doing can be hard to nail down to a single metric, here’s why:
Here’s what matters…
A predictable system where you know if you send X visitors to your page you will able to get X customers and you only need to double down on your marketing channels (I have a free video course on that here).
If you are able to spend $100 in ads to acquire a $200 in revenue does the conversion rate matter? No…
If you convert a lot of people ~30+% of your free trials or demos it’s because your product is great and people really want to get it but they are definitely not understanding the value you have provided otherwise they would have converted sooner.
It’s an obvious indicator you need to improve the website and the top part of the funnel to bring in more potential customers for demos or free trials because you know, once they are there you will be able to convert a good chunk of them!
I just want to create realistic expectations!
You can’t think if your website as a few magic pages that convert but instead, a system/funnel with several steps that you can test and improve in the future.
Without this perspective you wouldn’t be able to get results with the advice I gave you because you would improve one conversion rate and just create a bottleneck somewhere.
Here’s my process to identify why a page is not converting.
Hopefully you have this integrated already and we have some data to look at.
I don’t like Google Analytics that much because it’s not user friendly and it’s a bit more complex that it needs to be but if you use this process it’s actually pretty useful!
Look at the amount of visitors you have…
Setup goals so we can have a benchmark and see if we have increased any performance metrics.
Bounce rate: aka how many people leave your website without checking more pages? This can give you an indication if you are linking your pages properly so people can learn more about your product.
If you have a high bounce rate 70+% either with paid traffic (assuming your target is correct) or search traffic (where people are already searching for a solution like yours) most likely you will need to optimize some things.
Referral traffic from online communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, Indie Hackers, Medium, Twitter and so on… can also expect high bounce rates since their traffic is more generalist and people are not really aware of what your product does or have the right expectations.
If you do a lot of content marketing and a good chunk of your visitors arrive at a blog post you will also experience high bounce rates so most likely you will need a strategy to send the traffic to a homepage, lead magnet or demo just so you can capture those leads!
Here’s an article on how to manage the differences between traffic.
Landing page -> Sign up CR: if very few people even click to go to a sign up page (or whatever your main CTA leads to) then there is a good chance people don’t understand why they should signup and your Landing page needs some tweaking. Here’s a quick video on why alternative CTA are very important.
This is especially obvious if you have several CTA’s like free trials, demo’s, articles, lead magnets to attract more people but ultimately you are still not converting.
If you have a good chunk of people entering your sign up funnel but less than 10-30% sign up (depending on how big it is) then you must have a problem with your sign up process. It could be too big, asking for the wrong inputs, too slow and so on...
Landing page -> “more info” page CR: if people don’t go beyond your Landing page then it’s another strong indication you not explaining the value you provide properly!
If people were somewhat interested but not ready to convert right now they would be checking out additional information like feature pages, testimonials/case studies or frequently asked questions.
If they are checking more pages and your conversion is still not great it’s most likely because they are interested but there is some important objection keeping them from wanting to try. Asking your current customers to see why they converted is a good way to find out what additional information they might need. I have a full guide on this here.
Avg time on the page: this is usually a more reliable indicator if people understand your Landing page than the bounce rate (it can fluctuate a lot based on the traffic source).
If people are spending less than 2 minutes on your website it’s a good sign you haven’t created any interest to sign up.
If they don’t stick around for more than 1 minute (on average) than your page must be outright confusing and frustrating which probably means you need a big change.
If your average time on the page is above 2 minutes or so and you are still not converting it should be a few minor things that are confusing your visitors and some small tweaks could increase your conversion.
Most visited pages: this can give you a good idea of what people are most interested in learning more about and where you can tweak things to convert more.
For example, if you have a lot of people going from a Landing page to a features page it’s probably because they haven’t found the core benefit/reason they need to try your product. Testing out which features or benefits you should keep on the Landing page and which to keep on the page could help you with that.
Obviously if you do a lot of content marketing to get leads (like me) a good chunk of your most visited pages will be from articles. In this case, focus on how many people you can drive from a blog post to some sort of opt-in page or a page that explains how your product can help them. Content marketing will be useless if you can get people to go from a blog to a lead in any way!
Sometimes numbers are very hard to interpret and they don’t even tell the whole story.
Identifying what’s wrong but not knowing how to fix it still won’t get you anywhere!
That’s why I always recommend visitor recordings to fill in those potentially HUGE gaps in information from Google Analytics.
There are several tools that do this but the best value is definitely Hotjar! Besides the recordings, they have around 6-7 other tools that are worth paying for by themselves.
The best thing is that it’s 100% free if you have less than 2000 visits a day ;)
It only takes a quick sign up form and copy and pasting the JS code on your website header code.
It only records 100 people at the time and you will have to reactivate the recordings once you are past them but 100 recordings is a solid number to get some reference.
Pro tip #1: Don’t waste your time watching recordings from people that bounce immediately as that usually has more to do with the quality of the traffic than your page. You won’t be able to convert these people regardless of your efforts so only record visits from 30+ second sessions.
Pro tip #2: First, record the entire website and once you know some pages are performing well start limiting the recordings to particular pages and slowly narrow it down to the worst pages so you know exactly which to fix.
You already got some insights from Google Analytics so let’s use them combined with the insights you will get from your visitor recordings.
Let’s focus on the 20% of metrics that will get you 80% of the improvements:
After identifying all the problems it’s time to brainstorm things you can do to fix them.
Not all problems will give you enough of a return relative to the time you will have to put in, so we need to prioritise!
Here’s what you need to do:
Different problems will result in different solutions, below you can find a list of free resources that you can use to help you execute on those.
If you don’t know how to identify the message that will convince potential customers and convert the most, I have a guide here.
If you figured out the problems and need to come up with a great Landing page, here’s a complete guide for a conversion-driven page.
If you are having problems making the entire page come together here’s a step by step breakdown of an ideal SaaS Landing page.
If you don’t have a predictable way to turn visitors into customers you will need a proper funnel! Here’s a video of me breaking down the funnels I design for my clients
If you want my ULTIMATE 5 step guide to generate predictable revenue with your website, here’s a 100% Free Video Course.