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5 Step Guide To Converting Website Visitors Into Leads (and Customers)

Your website should be your most important digital marketing channel because it is one of the rare channels you have complete control over. And, irrespective if your website is built on top of WordPress, Drupal, or enterprise-level content management systems like Adobe and Sitecore, you have everything you need to make a great website.

However, a great website doesn’t come out of the box. And when we say “great,” we don’t mean beautiful or feature-rich. We mean, great at converting visitors into leads. At the end of the day, how many website visitors you convert into leads (and then customers) is all that matters.

To help you do just that, we created this 5 step guide to convert more website visitors into leads and customers. 

Step 1: Set A Baseline 

Before we go any further, you need to establish a baseline because without it, its almost impossible to tell if your website changes are helping or hurting your conversion rate(s).

What percentage of visitors completed a contact form? What percentage of visitors sign up for your newsletter? These are all essential baseline numbers.

“If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It.”

Peter Drucker

Let’s use a contact form as an example. If a website attracts 10,000 visitors a month and out of 10,000 visitors 100 complete a contact form, then the conversion rate is 1% – an example of a conversion rate baseline.

Step 2: Set Website Conversion Goals

You probably have concrete goals for your sales team, but they don’t have any goals for your website – as if the website doesn’t have a direct impact on sales.

Your website’s job is to convert visitors into leads, leads your sales team will then turn into customers. Or, if you have an e-commerce site, then your website’s job is to convert visitors into customers.

Conversion Goal Example: If our business goal is to double your online leads in 12 months, then your website goal could look like this “Improve the contact form conversion rate from 1% to 2%” – doubling the conversion rate will double your leads. 

Your conversion goals should be optimistic but not impossible to achieve. It is relatively easy to find industry-specific conversion rate numbers, so educate yourself on what the average conversion rate is in your industry, and then try to beat it. 

Related: How To Set Website Goals (Includes An Example)

Step 3: Review Your CTAs

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are arguably why your conversion rate is low or why it is high. In other words, if your CTAs are poor, then your visitor-to-lead conversion rate will be poor as well. And, if your CTAs are great, then your conversion rate is probably great as well. 

CTAs You Need To Review And Optimize:

  • Contact Us
  • Register
  • Download
  • Schedule an appointment
  • Sign up
  • Add-to-cart
  • Buy

CTAs are so crucial that many successful businesses spend thousands of dollars every month to improve and optimize them. Why? Because for numerous companies, improving a CTA conversion rate from 1% to 2% means doubling their revenue. 

Related: 7 Call-To-Action (CTA) Tips

Step 4: Timing And Personalization Are Essential 

Your website visitors are in different phases of the buying cycle. For example, some of your visitors will be at the beginning of the buying cycle (e.g., awareness); hence, not ready to commit. On the other hand, some visitors will be toward the end of the cycle (e.g., decision) and ready to buy. 

The point being, don’t put all website visitors in the same basket. For example, if someone is early in the buying cycle, you should start with an easy call-to-action (e.g., ask for an email address). Don’t immediately push them towards a CTA which requires more effort (e.g., complete a long contact form, attend a webinar, etc.).

Adding some level of personalization to your website is one of the best ways to improve the conversion rate because it allows you to serve different website content to different visitors. For example, the content you place in front of first-time visitors should be different to the content you put in front of returning visitor or someone that exhibited willingness to buy (e.g., signed up for a free trial).

Painting all website visitors with the same brush is a recipe for a mediocre conversion rate. 

Related: The Power Of A “Free-trial” And How It Can Help You Sell More

Step 5: Optimize, Optimize, and Optimize

Your website conversion rates can always be improved, so optimize, optimize, and optimize. Keep experimenting with different promo messages, headlines, images, colors, and call-to-actions.

Even small website improvements can have a significant impact. As previously mentioned, improving a conversion rate from 1% to 2% can double your leads/sales/revenue.

Related: How to turn your website into a marketing machine


The ability to convert a high percentage of website visitors into leads can be your competitive advantage because most companies don’t take this essential process seriously. 

If you can improve your visitor-to-lead conversion rate from the industry average (e.g., 2%) to above-average at 2.5%, overnight, your website will become your competitive advantage, because your website is now a lot more effective at producing leads (when compared to your competition).

Related: Website Optimization (How To)

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