11 of the Most Effective Conversion Rate Optimisation Best Practices

11 of the Most Effective Conversion Rate Optimisation Best Practices


Driving more traffic to your website is hard work, but it’s still only half the battle. 

You don’t just need to acquire new users; you need to make sure as many convert as possible to make your digital marketing efforts worthwhile.

That’s why improving your site’s conversion rate is so important. It will also help you get more value from your existing traffic source and keep you in line with your competitors. It’s also probably a lot easier than you think — especially if you adopt optimisation strategies that have been proven to be profitable time and time again. 

In this article, we’ll show some of the most powerful, innovative and tried-and-tested conversion rate optimisation strategies you can implement immediately. 

What is conversion rate optimisation?

First, let’s look at what conversion rate optimisation means. Conversion rate optimisation is the practice of improving elements of your website to increase the number of users who take a desired action and turn visitors into customers. 

Common conversion goals include:

  • Making a purchase
  • Adding an item to a shopping cart
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Registering for a free trial
  • Downloading an ebook
  • Watching a video

It doesn’t matter what your goal is. Using one of the following conversion rate optimisation best practices can send your conversions soaring.   

11 conversion rate optimisation best practices 

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work? Then use one or more of the following best practices to improve your return on investment. 

Set a clear goals and hypothesis

When running an A/B or multivariate test, you need a clear idea of what you are testing and why. 

A goal (a statement about what you want to achieve) and a hypothesis (a statement about what you expect to happen) clarify the problem you are trying to solve and give you a definitive way to judge the experiment’s results. 

Confused? Just use this template:

We aim to [insert goal] by testing [insert test] on [insert page]. We expect that [insert test] will increase [insert metric] because [insert reason].

Make sure your goals are directly related to the experiment. If you are testing your CTA button, the goal should be getting more users to click the button. It shouldn’t be a goal further down the conversion funnel, like making a purchase. 

Start with A/B tests

A/B testing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to run experiments to improve your current conversion rate. So, it’s no wonder that the A/B testing software market was expected to be worth $1.2 billion in 2023 and hit $3.6 billion by 2033. 

Also known as split testing, A/B testing allows you to directly compare the conversion performance of two elements on your page, like the colour of your CTA button or your headline copy.

A screenshot of an A/B test using Matomo

You can go even further with multivariate testing, which lets you test two or more changes against a single control. 

For example, the screenshot above shows the results of a multivariate test between a standard header, a wide header and a small header using Matomo’s A/B testing tool. As you can see, the wider header has a much higher conversion, and the increase was statistically significant. 

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Tweak your CTAs

Calls to action (CTAs) are page elements that prompt users to respond immediately. They are usually buttons but can also be images or plain text links. 

What your CTAs say, how they look, and where they are placed can greatly impact your site’s conversion rates. As such, this is one of the elements you’ll want to optimise first. 

There are several tweaks you can test, including your CTA’s:

  • Colour 
  • Length 
  • Copy
  • Placement 

You can even test the impact of removing CTA banners and using text-based CTAs on your conversion rates.

You should test out personalising CTAs, too. Research shows that personalised CTAs perform 202% better than standard calls to action. 

Revise your web copy

You can use several strategies to improve your website’s copy and generate more conversions. 

Optimising copy for search engines can increase traffic and generate more conversions, for example. But that shouldn’t make your copy any less impactful. Bear search engines in mind, by all means, but make sure you are speaking to the needs and desires of your potential customers. Your copy needs to convince users that your product can solve their problems. 

Nowhere is this more important than your headlines. These will be the first thing users read, so make sure they sell your USP and highlight pain points.

Don’t just guess at the kind of messaging that will move the needle, however. Constantly test new headlines and continue doing so even after you’ve started seeing success. The results may surprise you. TruckersReport, a site that helps people become truck drivers, boosted opt-ins by 21.7% by revising its landing page headline, among other changes. 

Make sure there are no spelling mistakes in your copy, either. Misspelt words, poor grammar and bad formatting make your website look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Even if the rest of your copy is incredibly enticing, these rookie errors can be enough to turn customers off. 

Simplify your site’s navigation

A website’s navigation is an often overlooked factor in conversion rate optimisation, but simplifying it can make it much easier for users to take action. 

If you’ve ever used a poorly designed e-commerce store, you know how confusing and overwhelming bad navigation can be. Research shows that a whopping 82% of stores don’t divide their navigation into manageable chunks. 

The trick is to simplify your navigation as much as possible. As you can see in the screenshot below, our navigation only has five headers and a call to action. It’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, and you can’t miss the big green CTA button. 

A screenshot of the navigation menu on Matomo

Alternatively, you can test what happens when you completely remove your navigation. Brands usually do this on landing pages where the only action they want the user to take is to make a purchase. 

It’s exactly the strategy we’ve used on our free trial landing page. 

Leverage heatmaps

Analytics tools — and heatmaps in particular — can help you understand user behaviour and optimise accordingly. 

Heatmaps are a visual representation of user interaction on your page. Red and yellow represent high levels of user interaction, and blue and green represent low levels of interaction.

Screenshot of Matomo heatmap feature

As you can see in the screenshot above, our CTA button has some of the highest levels of engagement on the page, telling us that it’s well-positioned. Given the focus on the site’s navigation, we can also assume we are correct to have a CTA button in there — something we can confirm using our web analytics to see how many users click on it.

Reduce load time

Speed matters when it comes to conversions. Fact. 

Research shows a huge difference in conversion rates between quick and slow sites. For example, a site that loads in one second converts three times better than a site that loads in five seconds. 

That’s why using a web analytics tool is vital to understand page load times and act accordingly if you think slow speeds are hampering your conversions.

A screenshot of page load times in Matomo

Identifying your slowest pages is easy with Matomo. Just sort your pages by the Avg. Use the page load time metric on the page performance report to identify the pages you want to drive conversions. 

Next, take steps to improve your page’s load time by:

  • Compressing images
  • Compressing code files or using a more lightweight theme
  • Removing unnecessary plugins
  • Using a content delivery network
  • Improving your hosting

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Add more trust signals

Trust is essential when you’re trying to convince customers to make a purchase. In fact, consumers rate trust as one of the top three buying factors, far above a brand’s reputation and whether they love the brand.  

Adding trust signals to your landing pages, such as customer testimonials, customer reviews, case studies, and other forms of social proof, can transform your conversion rates. If consumers see real people and businesses buy from you, they’ll feel reassured to do the same.

Trust signals on the Matomo website

It’s a strategy we use ourselves. Just look at the screenshot from our homepage above. Immediately after our free trial CTA, we display the logos of well-known brands that use our product. 

Security-focused trust signals are also powerful if you are an online store. Installing an SSL certificate, showing logos of trusted payment providers (like PayPal and Mastercard) can convince people they are spending money at a legitimate store.

Improve your site’s mobile experience

More and more people are accessing the internet via their smartphones. In 2022, for instance, there were five billion unique mobile Internet users, meaning more than 60% of the internet population used a smartphone to browse online. 

Moreover, 76% of U.S. adults make purchases using their smartphones.  

That means you need to ensure your site’s mobile experience is on-point to increase conversions. 

Your site should use a mobile-first design, meaning it works perfectly on smartphones and then scales up for desktop users. 

Trust the data

Opinions are a fantastic form of inspiration for new A/B tests. But they should never be trusted over cold, hard data. If your test shows the opposite of what you and your team thought would happen, then trust the data and not yourself.

With that in mind, ensure you collect qualitative and quantitative data during your experiments. Web analytics should always form the backbone of conversion tests, but don’t forget to also use heatmaps, screen recordings, and customer surveys. 

Keep testing

There’s no such word as “finished” in the world of A/B testing. Continual testing is key if you want to convert more website visitors. 

Make sure you aren’t stopping tests prematurely, either. Make sure every A/B and multivariate test reaches a sample size that makes the test statistically significant. 

Understand your users better with Matomo 

Whether you run an e-commerce store, a SaaS company, or a service-based business, implementing these conversion rate optimisation best practices could be an easy way to lower your bounce rate and boost your conversion rates.

But remember, best practices aren’t clear-cut rules. What works for one website may not work for yours. That’s why running your own tests and understanding your visitors’ behaviour is important. 

Matomo’s web analytics platform is the perfect tool for doing just that. Not only does it come with the tools you need to optimise your conversion rate (like an A/B testing tool, heatmaps and session recordings), but you can also trust the data. Unlike Google Analytics 4 and other tools, Matomo doesn’t use data sampling meaning you have 100% accurate data from which to make better decisions. It’s GDPR compliant and can run cookieless, so no need for cookie consent banners (excluding in the UK and Germany).

Discover how you can improve your website’s conversions with Matomo by starting a free 21-day trial, no credit card required.

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A powerful web analytics platform that gives you and your business 100% data ownership and user privacy protection.

No credit card required.

Free forever.