How to Improve the Conversion Rate of Your WordPress eCommerce Website

This is a guest post by Benjamin Wilkins.


The thought of starting a WordPress eCommerce website and raking in loads of online sales is incredible.

The journey to getting there, however, can be uber frustrating.

While starting an eCommerce store is dead easy with all the high-performing eCommerce WordPress themes online, optimizing your website for conversion has become an exceedingly challenging because of your customers’ buying habits.

For starters, their attention spans have become ridiculously short. What’s more, they know other online sellers might be selling the same product, so they procrastinate with their purchase. (And we’re just scratching the surface, here.)

Long story short, turning your web visitors into paying customers isn’t exactly easy.

In this guide, we’ll cover six tips to improve your website’s conversion rates.

1. Do not embed Youtube videos

Publishing loads of videos on Youtube is a great idea.

Embedding those videos in your eCommerce site, however, is a terrible move.

Here’s the thing about Youtube — just like any other business entity, it’s interested in growing its own user-base.

That’s understandable, of course.

After all, the more web visitors it has, the more profit it generates.

That’s all good and dandy for Youtube, but that’s bad for you if you’re embedding Youtube videos on your website because Youtube will siphon web viewers from your eCommerce store into its platform.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

Youtube Example

Notice the other stroller video suggestions? If you’re a customer looking for a good stroller, you’ll be enticed to click on them and be redirected to Youtube.

Can you imagine how damaging this can be for your conversions?

You’ve worked (and invested resources) into bringing people into your website to get them to buy your products, only for Youtube to lead them away.

What’s worse, since Youtube values relevance when sharing video suggestions, there’s a good chance they’ll suggest videos from your competitors.

With all of these going on, you’ll get abysmal conversion rates.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by embedding Youtube videos, will you?

There are reliable Youtube alternatives you can use to give Youtube’s video player a different look. Swarmify, for example, converts your Youtube videos automagically into a clean looking video interface.

You can turn a distracting video like this:

Distracting Video

To a clean and high-performing video like this…

Distraction Free Video

Because there are no distractions and links to third-party sites, your web visitors can focus on your video content, increasing their likelihood of buying your products.

2. Optimize your site’s speed

40% of consumers leave a website that loads for over three seconds. Plus, for every second of delay in page response, you reduce your conversions by 7%.

Keep your customers and conversions by speeding up your WordPress site.

To do that, measure your site speed with tools such as Uptrends. Enter your URL and location, and select if you’re measuring for desktop or mobile, along with other filters.

For example, I entered “target.com,” Los Angeles, and Google Chrome on the desktop. Uptrends yielded these results:

Site Performance Uptrends

Uptrends reveals your page loading time, Google Pagespeed score, performance improvements (and ways to fix issues), a comprehensive waterfall chart, and other details.

You should also optimize the sizes of your photos and images. They shouldn’t be too large to eat up needless space, nor too small to make them impossible to recognize.

Tools such as CompressNow help you shrink your visuals without hurting their quality.

Upload the file, adjust the compression level, and hit “Compress” to see the results and download the optimized visual.

Image Compression Results

Additionally, reduce your number of plugins if you have too many of them. Refer back to your page speed measurement tools for insights on other causes and solutions.

3. Use lead magnets for email subscriptions

On average, emails have an open rate of 21% and yield 42% of returns for every dollar spent on them. This proves you can get substantial email marketing ROI and site conversions with promotional e-newsletters.

To build your email list, get visitors to subscribe to your marketing emails with lead magnets.

Pet Plate, for instance, lures customers to sign up for exclusive access to valuable content, special offers, and others:

Lead Magnet Example

So Susan gets visitors’ attention through a live chat message, saying, “Get 20% Off Here!”

When they click it, a pop-up appears to enter their email addresses (and get the discount on all orders):

Popup Example

Everytable invites shoppers to spin the wheel and win prizes by giving their email addresses first.

Gamified Lead Magnet

Try other tactics such as inserting countdowns, evoking a sense of belongingness, and others.

Consider also these additional reminders when designing your pop-ups:

  • Emphasize your CTA buttons.
  • Use compelling button texts.
  • A/B test and improve as necessary.

4. Improve your site navigation

Optimize your navigation menu to minimize confusion and help your shoppers quickly find what they’re looking for.

To do that, you should build a logical navigation structure. Create a diagram that categorizes your main and specific topics to guide the hierarchy of your information.

Try displaying the following as well:

  • Search bar: Customers can type in the item they’re looking for.
  • Visual search: Shoppers can upload photos of an item, and your site shows pictures of similar products from your store.
  • Wishlist and cart icon: These let your customers go to their saved items more quickly.

Upon applying any navigation menu changes, monitor your performance with your business intelligence tools.

By improving your navigation, you ease your visitors’ site browsing and shopping experience, boosting your conversion chances.

5. Showcase your trustworthiness

Customers won’t decide to take your offers and invest their money if they think your product quality, payment systems, etc. are unreliable.

Make it easier for shoppers to trust you by showing off relevant certification badges and buyer testimonials.

Trust badges

Guarantee your cybersecurity by establishing the right defenses and applying for a certification seal. Do that by installing security plugins or contacting legitimate companies.

You can also get review badges to show customers the number of reviews made on your site, increasing your social proof and potential conversions.

Displaying logos of your payment gateways also shows visitors the brands you work with for receiving their money.

Once you have your badges, showcase them on relevant portions of your site, such as your checkout, the bottom part of your homepage, and others.

Tmbr shows us its badges at the bottom of its site:

Trust Badges

User reviews and testimonials

Statistics show that 72% of customers don’t take action until they’ve read reviews and that displaying this content can raise your conversions by 270%.

Showcase your customer testimonials and reviews on your web pages to boost your customers’ trust.

Highlight testimonials, stories, and mentions from regular customers, celebrities, media outfits, and niche-relevant influencers, such as life coaches, famous bloggers, and more.

For reviews, you can display both positive and negative ones. Nearly 70% of customers trust this content more when there’s a balanced mix of good and bad reviews.

Frank Body features a testimonial and a CTA button on its homepage, so shoppers can immediately check out and buy the item:

Custommer Testimonial

Lucy & Co. also shows user reviews and ratings on its product page like this:

Five Star Review

Through these elements, you can convince customers of your brand trustworthiness, improving your eventual conversion rates.

6. Design an impressive homepage

Using impressive homepage designs is one of the evergreen marketing tips to increase your customers’ trust and boost your site conversions.

Captivate your shoppers through eye-catching designs and elements, especially your header (or the space above the fold).

Below are tips and sample homepages:

Employ E/F layouts

Doing this lets you follow your visitors’ natural reading direction, helping them notice your site elements better.

For example, Helm Boots has an E-shaped layout with elements in crosswise, menus at the top, and the photo below them.

Helm Boots Homepage

Milk, on the other hand, employs the F layout, with menus taking up a small portion at the left and the banner at the right.

Milk Homepage

Use high-resolution visuals (photos, images, videos, etc.)

Wow and entice your shoppers with high-quality visuals on your homepage.

Bon bon bon publishes mouth-watering photos of its desserts on its banner:

Bon Bon Bon Homepage

Patek Philippe uses jaw-dropping product videos:

Patek Philippe Homepage

Meanwhile, Pipcorn uses cartoon-looking graphics with micro-animations to excite your eyes:

Pipcorn Homepage

Match the colors and style with your branding message and elements

Highlight your brand colors to convey your message, make your customers feel your desired vibe, and boost your memorability.

Myro presents a perfect example. It used mint green colors on its product photos and CTA buttons to complement its logo.

Myro Homepage

You can also choose minimalist appearances like that of Kate Spade:

Kate Spade

Or a colorful, creative look reflecting your brand’s aura:

Jackie Smith Homepage

Highlight your most critical CTA buttons

Finally, emphasize your CTAs by using distinct colors and putting lots of white space around them. Keep your text short and actionable also the way Cutter & Buck did:

Cutter Buck Homepage

Your Turn

With these techniques and more, you can see your WordPress conversion rates improve and skyrocket over time.

Experiment between tactics, track your performance, study your data and insights, and apply the necessary enhancements until you get your desired conversion rate results.

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Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.

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