When working with small businesses, we find that the majority of them want to improve their conversion rate. They understand that their web presence is one of their most important, if not *the* most important, vehicle for them to drive leads.
But, many companies tell me that their website is too small for conversion rate optimization. Is it really?
In this article I’m going to review why online conversion rate matters to small businesses and some recommendations on how smaller companies can work to get their conversion rate up.
Typical Small Business Site
Let’s first start by reviewing a typical small business’s website. I’ll use my Physical Therapist’s Website as an example:
Compared to your typical small business, this is a great website. In particular, here are the pros:
- Highlights Reviews:
These are great! The doctor does a great job showing how past customers highly rate his practice, and given that customer reviews are some of the most powerful selling points, this is a great move.
- Focuses on Clean Design:
The photography on the site does a great job conveying professionalism & trust.
With that said though, there are some clear areas of improvement:
- Few CTAs:
There is only a phone number on the website. Where is the contact form?
- Few Benefit Statements:
Are there any stats on how many patients have their issue resolved? What are the main benefits of going with this chiropractic office vs somewhere else?
So, clearly this business has optimization potential.
Is It Worth It?
The reason most small businesses do not invest in their website is that they don’t believe that having a high converting website is worth the investment. In some cases this is correct – but in most situations this isn’t true.
Here are a few reasons:
1. Both prospective customers and current customers are visiting you online
No matter what your web traffic is, I guarantee you that customers are making a decision on your business based on your online presence. There are plenty of studies to prove this:
- 97% of Consumers Use Online Media to Shop Locally
- 90% of Buying Decisions Affected by Online Reviews
2. You Don’t Need a Large Amount of Traffic to Do Testing
Remember that if you can run a test showing significant results, you won’t need a large amount of traffic to get significance. Most small business owner’s websites are not close to optimized, and given that we can give them a high percentage lift, it often doesn’t take longer than 2-4 weeks to get a significant result.
Let’s look at a sample calculation from a typical small business owner’s website:
- 1,000 unique visitors
- Base conversion rate of 3%
Assume that we’re able to lift conversion rate to 5% (and in most cases, getting a lift like this for a poorly optimized site is not hard to do):
You can see that, to reach 95% significance, it would take about 4 weeks of testing.
This is not that bad!
Tell any small business owner that you could increase their online lead volume by 40% in 4 weeks – or maybe only 20% in 6-8 weeks – and they will be thrilled.
3. A Small Lift in Customers Makes a Huge Difference
Remember that small businesses are named because they are small. They are not enterprise companies who are simply going to report back to their boss that they were able to boost conversion by 10-20%.
An increase of 10-20% in online conversion rate can have a dramatic affect on the success of the business, especially businesses that are word-of-mouth driven. You can imagine that each new customer that the PT office in the above example acquires is going to bring in say another “half” of a customer on average, and thus there’s a multiplying effect. These type of word of mouth relationships are common – both in small, mid and large businesses – and getting a small lift can help kickstart this process.
4. Improved ROI is a Big Deal for SMBs
Let’s say that a business owner is getting 1,000 clicks/mo from AdWords campaigns alone, paying an average $3/click to get new customers. Also assume that their current conversion rate is again 3%:
- 1,000 clicks x $3/click = $3000
- 1,000 clicks x .03 = 30 leads
- $3000 / 30 = $100 / lead
Then, say that we’re able to improve conversion rate by 25%, up to 4%. How much would leads cost now?
- 1,000 clicks x $3/click = $3000
- 1,000 clicks x .04 = 40 leads
- $3000 / 40 = $75 / lead
You’ve improved the amount of leads that you are getting by 25%! If you are only closing 1 lead out of 10, that’s 1 extra customer/mo that you get from conversion rate optimization, PLUS marketing savings of $25/lead.
Again, for the typical bootstrapped small business owner, savings like this are extremely important.
5. Make the Most of All your Traffic, Immediately
Unlike most enterprise businesses where optimization is ongoing, most small businesses only need one optimization to get their full ROI.
That means that investing the time to optimize your site to its fullest potential is often a one-and-done job. If you choose to expand your PPC, SEO, or any other digital marketing campaigns, you’ll immediately make the most out of any traffic that you’re getting in and won’t have to worry about missed opportunities.
Conversion Rate Optimization matters as much to small business owners as it does to large business owners, and often times even more. Getting new customers fuels word of mouth, which is key to business growth, and optimizing a site ensures that a business owner is prepared for any additional traffic increases he may receive.
Have you worked with any small business owners before to optimize sites? What have been the results?
John Baron – Working with small to medium businesses on CRO is my love in life. Boosting conversions by 20% or more can dramatically alter the success of a small business owner, and in some cases change their life or the success of their business, which is why we love coming to work every day.