Every marketer wants higher conversion rates, but conventional wisdom on how to achieve them is divided.

Some argue for small, incremental adjustments, whereas others advocate for grand, show-stopping changes that transform your campaigns completely.

Paid search and email marketing are similar in that getting someone to notice your creative and click through the landing page is only half the battle. The real test of your campaigns is how many people follow through to sign up for your offer or buy what you’re selling.

However you choose to move the needle in your own campaigns, here are four proven strategies for increasing your conversion rates and maximizing your return on investment.

(These are our favorite conversion rate optimization tips for pay per click (PPC,) but they may inspire you to optimize your other marketing campaigns too.)

1. Use Call-Only Campaigns Instead of Landing Pages

Landing pages, no matter how well-designed or optimized, are one of the biggest holes in your conversion funnel. Most marketers know that the more steps you add between your prospect and their end goal, the more likely they are to abandon the process — yet so many marketers cling to the “traditional” funnel approach, even when it may not be completely necessary.

One of the best ways to drive higher conversion rates is by skipping the landing page altogether, and Call-Only campaigns make this easy.

Call Out Campaign

Image via Google

Call-Only campaigns are a campaign type in AdWords that allow you to direct the user to call your business, straight from the ad, rather than redirecting them to a traditional landing page. Given that even the most highly optimized landing pages are the leakiest stage of the funnel, removing them from the process altogether by implementing Call-Only campaigns can have a dramatic impact on your conversion rates.

Another benefit of Call-Only campaigns is that they allow the prospect to connect with your business at the precise moment they’re searching for something. This allows for a more immediate experience for the consumer, and could also boost your conversion rates significantly as it means you can capture time-sensitive leads that may otherwise have been lost by sending them to a landing page.

Obviously Call-Only campaigns won’t be suitable for every business or campaign type, but if your company relies on phone calls to drive business, it’s definitely worth testing.

2. Use Mobile-Friendly Landing Pages

If your campaigns demand landing pages, make them mobile friendly. This year will (finally) be the year that mobile traffic surpasses desktop traffic, so failing to make your landing pages viewable on mobile devices is setting yourself up to fail.

However, it’s not enough to just use responsive templates in your landing pages — you have to consider user behavior on mobile devices. Lengthy web forms are a risk even on desktop, but on mobile, people simply will not complete them, and you’ll miss out on countless potential opportunities if you design your pages this way. You must think about how people interact with web pages on mobile when designing your landing pages.

Image via Google

Image via Google

There are a couple of approaches you can take. One is to design your landing pages to ask for the absolute bare minimum of information possible to qualify the visitor as a potential lead. Yes, you’ll miss out on some information, but it’s better to have less information than no information.

Another technique you can use is leveraging cross-device behavior. Many people begin a search on their mobile device before actually completing it on another. This behavior, sometimes referred to as cross-platform browsing or “multiscreening,” can and should factor into your landing page designs (and marketing campaigns generally).

Admittedly, this does make attribution modeling and conversion tracking more challenging, but given the increasing popularity in this behavior, Google Analytics and other tools are shifting toward more complete modeling functionality to provide marketers with the information they need.

3. Change the offer

You might think that whatever you’re offering is simply irresistible — but that doesn’t mean it actually is. And if it’s not, all the landing page optimizations in the world aren’t going to save you. Sometimes, changing the offer can have the biggest impact on your conversion rates. This technique can be particularly effective if you’ve fallen into something of a rut when it comes to your offer.

One consideration worth thinking about is whether your offer is truly valuable to your prospects. Low conversion rates may not necessarily indicate a problem with your forms or button colors, but simply that your offer may not be as compelling as you thought. Radically changing the offer can breathe new life into existing campaigns and entice hesitant prospects that you have thus far been unable to tempt with your wares.

The perfect offer will determine on what your audience finds valuable. Test out a few different ideas to see what works best for your audience. We’ve found that our AdWords Performance Grader, which grades Google AdWord performance, has delivered consistently great results.

The WordStream AdWords Performance Grader – a consistently high-performing offer that provides genuine value to the prospect.

The WordStream AdWords Performance Grader – a consistently high-performing offer that provides genuine value to the prospect.

If you’re considering rethinking your offer, one place to start is to come up with an offer that seems almost too good to be true — an offer that your boss would get mad at you for giving away. The more valuable it is to you as an organization, the more valuable it will be to your prospects. Be bold, and offer something truly remarkable.

4. Start remarketing — right now

Think of all the time, effort, and work that goes into even the simplest digital marketing campaign. Why would you go to all that trouble, only to have just one chance to convert your visitors?

Simply put, if you’re not using remarketing, you’re literally throwing money away. Many consumers won’t convert right away, but this doesn’t mean they won’t ever convert at all.

In case you’re not familiar with this technique, remarketing is the process by which you “tag” visitors to your site using cookies so that you can get your message in front of them again later when they’re already at least somewhat familiar with your brand. This not only strengthens brand awareness of your company or product, but also creates numerous opportunities for potential customers to convert beyond that initial point of contact.

Image via Digital Reach Agency

Image via Digital Reach Agency

Contrary to common misconception, most consumers don’t mind remarketing. In fact, many don’t even realize that’s what’s going on. Granted, ad fatigue is something of a risk, especially if you don’t manage your remarketing parameters carefully, but generally speaking, remarketing is a win-win.

Convert and Conquer

So there you have it — four proven strategies for increasing your conversion rates. It’s important to approach each of these techniques from an analytical perspective. Never base major decisions on assumptions, and be sure to test each strategy independently before taking your campaigns in another direction.

About the author: Dan Shewan is a content marketing specialist at WordStream Inc., a provider of search marketing tools and services and a Constant Contact partner. To learn more about search marketing, visit PPC University.