Web Design & SEO


Web Design & SEO

Does your website work?

How do you know if your website is a good website?

I don’t mean whether you think it looks good. Looking good is subjective, at least to a degree. I mean how well the website works as a marketing asset.

To strip away any artistic considerations for a moment, a website’s effectiveness can be boiled down to one number – its conversion rate.

Conversion Rate

Conversion means getting your website visitors to do what you want them to do. Like making a purchase, buying a ticket, downloading a file, signing up to an email, or whatever else.

For most service businesses the goal is to get enquiries. The ‘conversion’ is the moment when a visitor fills out your contact form and becomes a solid lead.

Conversion Rate is the number of people who enquire as a fraction of the total number of visitors. Say your website receives 100 visitors per month and you get 1 enquiry each month. Then your website has a conversion rate of 1%.

Why conversion rate matters

If your website gets 200 visitors and has a conversion rate of 1%, you will only get 2 enquiries.

But if your conversion rate was 10% you would get 20 enquiries from the same number of people.

That’s the difference between only getting a couple of enquiries each month versus 5 steady enquiries each week! That could be the difference between growing and struggling.

Think of conversion like squeezing all the juice out of an orange. It’s about getting the most value out of what you have, and wasting as little as possible.

Whatever your goals, if you want to see more results with less effort and expense, improving your website conversion is key.

And this starts with figuring out where your website stands currently.

How to work out your conversion rate

To calculate your website’s conversion rate, you just need to know two things:

  1. Your monthly website visitors
  2. Your number of enquiries each month

Let’s go in reverse order.

Number of Enquiries

Enquiries should be easy to work out. How many enquiries come through your website each month? For now, don’t overcomplicate things with phone calls, which are harder to track. How many people sent a contact form through your website?

# of Visitors

Here’s a tougher one: How many visitors does your website get per month? Most people don’t know, so if you do – well done!

NB that’s visitors, not page views. We’re counting people not pages viewed.

To get this data you will need to get some kind of statistics plugin or tracker, like Google Analytics, set up on your website. (PS We install analytics on all our web design and web hosting clients’ sites for this very reason. Just saying.)

Enquiries divided by Visitors

Now divide your monthly enquiries by your monthly visitors, and you have your conversion rate as a percent.

Here is the formula:

(Enquiries / Visitors) x 100

For example, if you get 100 visitors a month and 1 enquiry, your conversion rate is 1/100 = 1%.

If you get 100 visitors and 5 enquiries, your conversion rate is 5/100 = 5%.

If you get 600 visitors and 12 enquiries your conversion rate is 12/600 = 2%, and so on.

Now try it with your own figures. Divide enquiries by visitor numbers, and you have your conversion rate.

You now have an objective benchmark of how effective your website is at turning visitors into enquiries.

How conversion rate impacts your business

Knowing your visitor numbers and conversion rate shows you what needs improvement. It shows you where the main problem lies, so you don’t waste time and money improving the wrong things.

When you actually get the data in, you might find that your website only gets a tiny handful of visitors. You might find there isn’t enough activity to generate enquiries, or draw any conclusions. In that case, first and foremost, you need a strategy to attract more visitors.

On the other hand, you might discover your website gets a reasonable number of visitors, but people don’t take action. For some reason, people click off your site without contacting you. The digital equivalent of walking into a shop, looking around, and then leaving without buying anything. In that case your website design and content needs a review. It may need to be partially or completely overhauled and redesigned.

What is the average website conversion rate?

You’re probably wondering what a typical or good website conversion rate looks like, to have something to measure yourself against, and/or to aim for.

According to various sources online – who, admittedly, are probably all referencing the same set of figures, as I am now – the average conversion rate across all industries is 2-5%.

5-10% is above average, and above 10% is considered excellent. In real life it depends on the industry, type of page, source of the traffic and many other things. But these are the figures that are always quoted, so they’re a useful rough guideline.

This means a typical website that receives 100 visitors could expect to receive anywhere from 2 to 5 enquiries each month, or 10 or even more. But it might receive only 1. Or none. These are only averages, not guarantees. Helpful right?

The reason it’s such a huge margin is because website quality varies massively.


High converting website examples

Because we work with a lot of local businesses, we deal with a lot of local searches and that means relatively low organic search volumes. You cannot afford to waste visitors when there might only be a few hundred searches per month for your service in your specific area. For a small business website, conversion therefore has to be as high as possible.

With that in mind, I’d like to take this beyond the theoretical and show you some real life examples of websites with high conversion rates. These are all real websites/pages by The Works Web Design.

By the way – the following numbers are based on contact forms only. We don’t collect stats on phone calls by default, so the true conversion rate is likely higher.

Example #1

This is a one page website designed for Handy Ma’am Ltd, a handywoman service in Glasgow. The all-time conversion rate is 16.9%, with 80-90% of visitors come from organic Google searches. Despite the small number of searches relating to the niche, the website reliably pulls in 2 or 3 high quality ready-to-go leads per week. This is purely organic results from a single page, without any SEO or ads.

Example #2 Dreamy Electrics

This is a multi-page service website we built for Dreamy Trades Ltd, a company based in Helensburgh. The conversion rate is 17.1%, with 70% of visitors being from Google and 30% from Facebook. Dreamy Electrics run their own Google Business Profile and are the #1 local result in Helensburgh for most electrician related terms. With no SEO besides the website itself, it’s on page 1 of the organic results and the top 3 for many specific terms like rewire and EV charging. From only 120 visitors a month, this website produces an average of 5 enquiries per week.

Example #3 Bathroom Makeover

This is a landing page we built for Bathroom Makeover, a wet wall bathroom fitting company based in Hamilton. Our landing page’s conversion rate is 18.9%, with all visitors coming from a Facebook ads campaign (created and run by us). Our average cost per lead is £8.48, giving a strong return with the value of a refit being at least £3000.

Example #4 Man With The Red Suit

This is a one page showcase website we built for Tom B, ‘The Man With The Red Suit’, a professional saxophonist in Glasgow. The conversion rate is staggering – 54.9%, with almost all visitors coming from social media (Instagram and Facebook) and networking. 

I’m not going to pretend for a second this is a typical conversion rate. Tom’s service is something you don’t see every day, and his social media presence and testimonials are fantastic. Nevertheless, it’s worth including as an example of how a website can hoover up enquiries when perfectly aligned with consistent social media output.

How does your conversion stack up?

A high converting website is a must-have marketing asset for a small business or local business. It allows you to get high quality leads with minimal expense and effort, and it is the backbone of everything else you might do to generate traffic, such as social media, SEO or paid ads. Without a foundation of strong conversion, your digital marketing is doomed to be an uphill struggle.

Hopefully this article has got you thinking. So, if it has, and you are interested in getting more from your website, here’s the summary:

  1. Get analytics on your website and find out your monthly visitors
  2. Look through your email and figure out your monthly enquiries
  3. Divide your enquiries by visitors, and that’s your conversion rate

Anything below at least 5% can certainly be improved.

Got a question?

If you have a question about this topic, or anything else to do with websites, SEO and digital marketing, feel free to send us a message

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About the author

About the author

Christy Bannerman is a web designer based in Glasgow, Scotland, U.K., with a passion for helping small businesses stand out and grow their business online. He runs The Works Web Design, a company that brings premium website and marketing services to small businesses at an affordable cost.

About the author

Picture of Christy Bannerman

Christy Bannerman

Christy is a website designer based in Glasgow, Scotland, U.K. with a passion for helping small businesses stand out and grow their business online. He runs The Works Web Design, a company on a mission to bring premium web design and digital marketing to small businesses at an affordable cost.