Steps to Improve Conversions for a Local Business Website

As much as it’s important to generate traffic to a website, you need to also take necessary measures to ensure the visitors take action. As a marketing agency owner, what steps can you take to improve conversions for a local business website?

  • Monitor key metrics and optimize accordingly
  • Incorporate an attractive web design
  • Add local and personalized content/offers
  • Communicate your offer and services very clearly
  • Showcase and highlight reviews from past clients
  • Optimize for user-friendliness including fonts, colors and simple page layouts
  • Insert noticeable CTAs especially to make a phone call or submit an enquiry

What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

CRO refers to the process of improving the rate at which visitors take important actions on the website. These actions can vary depending on your objectives which could be a sign up, download, contact etc.

For most local businesses, there are more specific actions that they should target which include phone calls, requests for quotations, form submissions etc. 

The value you place for each type of conversion falls upon individual businesses. For instance, emergency plumbing services may value phone calls higher compared to a form submission.

In short, CRO can refer to improving the likelihood that your audience will complete any action you want them to take.

Importance of Conversion Rate Optimization for Local Businesses

All local businesses can greatly benefit from CRO. Every additional lead that you convert increases the chances of increasing revenue for the business.

Let’s illustrate with a simple example:

Month 1Month 2
Average website visitors per month (A)2,0002,000
Conversion rate (B)3%5%
Number of converted leads (A x B) = (C)600100
Average order value per lead (D)$500$500
Total Revenue (C x D)$30,000$50,000

The table above outlines that despite all other factors remaining equal, a 2% increase in conversion rate could lead to an increase in monthly revenue of $20,000.

Apart from the direct increase in revenue, there are reasons that justify the need to improve conversions for a local business website.

  • Helps improve user experience by tweaking and fine tuning different aspects of the website.
  • Provides better understanding of the visitor’s behavior.
  • Better conversions lead to better rankings on organic search results.

What is a good conversion rate for a local business?

Though there’s no blanket answer, it largely depends on the industries that you operate in. On average, the target conversion rate ranges between 2% and 5%. However, this varies on the niche and the type of services provided. 

For example, a high value service such as a large construction project can have a lower conversion rate as opposed to a clothing retail store.

Other factors that can determine a good conversion rate include the:

  • niche served
  • type of device used to access the website,
  • traffic sources (social media, organic, Google paid ads, email etc.)

How to improve the conversions for a local business

The entire process of optimizing a local business website for conversions can seem quite overwhelming. This is especially the case when you’re starting from scratch and you have no data to back your decisions. 

So how can you get started with CRO? What steps can you take to improve the conversions for a local business? How can you increase the lead conversion rate?

We outline the best practices for CRO that you can adopt to a local business website. They provide the basic steps you can take to get started and eventually improve the conversion rates.

Monitor key metrics and optimize accordingly

While setting up the website, it’s important that you track key metrics relating to your website right from the beginning. This can be done by integrating Google Analytics and related tracking tools to monitor them.

This will provide key data and insights which can help you better understand the behavior of visitors on your site.

Below are some of the metrics that you can measure to improve the conversions for a local business:

Bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors that exit the website without a single interaction. Monitoring the bounce rate helps you identify which pages the visitors are departing the site from. You can use this information to improve the contents of those pages with the highest bounce rate.

Under Google Analytics console, select Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to retrieve data on bounce rate across all pages on your website.

Exit pages

This metric measures the number of times the visitors exit the website from a specific page. If certain pages are reported to have high exits, it indicates that the content around the page needs to be fixed. 

The data on exit pages can be accessed via Google Analytics console, under Behavior > Site Pages > Exit Pages.

Cost per conversion

This is more applicable to paid marketing campaigns which allows you to determine how much each conversion costs in monetary terms. It can help you assess if your campaigns are effective or not by comparing the cost per conversion against the revenue generated for each lead that is converted.

To determine this value, you need to set up conversion tracking within Google Analytics console. 

Click-to-call ratio

This metric refers to the number of times visitors click on the button to get in touch with the local business over the phone. This metric can be measured by setting up a call tracking software on the website. This data can then be compared against the number of sessions on the website to determine the ratio or percentage.

Incorporate an attractive web design

It’s important that you follow the fundamental web design principles to ensure they convert. Below are some basic things you can consider incorporating into the website:

  • Faster page load speed: You need to choose a lightweight theme and ensure they load fast. Anything that takes more than 5 seconds to load can significantly reduce the conversion rate. In fact, around 40% of visitors leave sites that take more than 3 seconds to load. For mobile users, a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • Mobile responsiveness: The website needs to be intuitive and easy to access even on a mobile. A good responsive design will encourage visitors to take action on your website.
  • Simple navigation: If you incorporate an intuitive navigation and structure the website that allows visitors to easily find information, they are likely going to convert more.
  • Optimized layout: For high converting websites, it’s important that you follow basic design principles that use white spaces, web-safe fonts, eye-catching images, graphics and videos that are engaging.

Add local and personalized content/offers

It’s important that you provide personalized content based on the user’s location, interests and services required. The following strategies can be implemented to offer visitors a personalized experience which can help improve conversions for a local business website.

Types of local content
Types of local content. Source: Moz
  • Create dedicated service pages for all services offered by the business.
  • Create and optimize location pages for locations the business operates from.
  • Manage an online directory listing on niche-specific and location-specific sites (eg: Yelp, YellowPages etc.)
  • Track what type of content is trending and include content surrounding those topics. Use tools such as Google Trends, Reddit, Quora to get ideas.
  • Integrate a chatbot that takes visitors through a series of steps to get more personalized information.
  • Provide an interactive experience by including a quiz which will help provide personalized recommendations.

Communicate your offer and services very clearly

The website content should directly communicate the services offered by the business. There should be no room for ambiguity. The objective of the website should be to help visitors make more informed decisions, and so it’s important that you let them know about this upfront.

The website should also identify how the business and the service offers sets apart from the competitors. Here are some examples:

  • Are there any unique value propositions offered by the business? Eg: free consultation, obligation-free quotations etc.
  • Does the business offer a guarantee? If so, how many years?
  • How many years of industry experience does the business have?
  • What qualifications/certifications/accreditations does the business have?

Showcase and highlight reviews from past clients

Including case studies and a portfolio of your work with past clients is a great way to boost social proof. Did you know that 89% of consumers check online reviews before deciding a service vendor? 

There’s no question about how much your online reputation can improve conversions for a local business website. As such, it’s important that you embed reviews from various sources and display it on various pages.

You can achieve this with tools like Podium or GatherUp. 

Reputation and Reviews Management Dashboard - GatherUp
Reputation and Reviews Management Dashboard. Source: GatherUp

The objective here is to make sure the past customers enjoyed using your service and highlighting them will only positively impact your conversions.

Optimize for user-friendliness

One of the objectives of the website should also be to get the visitors to engage with the business. This way, they are likely to spend more time on the website and thereby take the desired action. 

A straightforward way to achieve this is by including plenty of internal links to relevant services and products pages. 

Additionally, you could provide an easy way for visitors to get in touch with the business for more information. This could be either by adding a click-to-call button or adding a chat widget.

Insert noticeable CTAs

Prominent CTAs on landing pages
Prominent CTAs on landing pages

The call-to-action (CTA) that you use on your website can play a huge part in improving conversions for a local business website.

Some of the most common CTAs for local businesses could include “Call Now”, “Submit Request For Quotation” etc.

These CTA’s should be easily accessible and should help visitors clearly see the action you want them to take. This is especially the case on the mobile version of the website.

Through data and testing, you would need to determine the ideal positioning of your CTAs. It’s important that they are able to access the CTA no matter where the visitors are on the page.

You could also consider using the concept of visual hierarchy to encourage visitors to click the CTA.

Will these steps guarantee a good conversion rate?

The steps mentioned above are definitely a good stepping stone to improve conversions for a local business website. However, the weightage you place on each step to optimize the conversion rate would depend on various factors such as devices used, demography of visitors, age groups, industry etc.

As such, there’s no definite answer for the optimal conversion rate and in fact, it should be a continuous process of testing with data that you collect from the interactions.

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