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Conversion Optimization For Small Business Websites – Key Points to Consider 

As a small business owner, you might think that investing in advertising is the key to acquiring leads quickly.

But there’s more to it than just splurging on ads.

While advertising might help you get some leads, it doesn’t guarantee a great visitor experience or build your brand reputation online. Nor does it guarantee that the ad traffic will convert. And that’s where CRO comes into the picture.

Feature Image Conversion Optimization For Small Business Websites Key Points To Consider

Why is CRO important for small businesses?

Conversion rate optimization means improving (optimizing) your website or landing pages so that more visitors do what you want them to, like buying something or signing up. We do this by understanding how your target audience uses the site and introducing changes to make it easier for them to take the desired action.

Let’s break it down and see why CRO is especially important for small businesses: 

Making the most of limited resources

Small businesses typically operate with limited resources, especially in their early stages. Conversion rate optimization ensures that every marketing dollar they spend brings returns. By focusing on converting existing website traffic into customers, small business owners can achieve greater returns on their investment without significantly increasing their marketing spend.

Illustration on limited resources

Improving visitor experiences 

Prioritizing visitor experiences is crucial for winning trust and making a positive impression. Small business websites may not match the grandeur of big brands, but if they excel in usability, functionality, and relevance, they can still leave a lasting impression and make visitors come back for more. Hence, by leveraging CRO, you optimize your website to create better visitor experiences and improve conversion rates. 

Data-driven decision-making 

With CRO, small businesses can rely on data from the start to identify areas for improvement on their websites. No guesswork, no assumptions, and only research-driven strategies – these are signs of a maturing business. By analyzing visitor behavior and customer data, you understand their preferences, pain points, and buying patterns, which you can incorporate into your growth strategies. This data-driven approach enables continuous refinement of visitor experiences.

Benefits of data driven decision making for business
Image source: Jelvix.com

What are the CRO challenges faced by small businesses?

It’s inspiring to hear about large brands nailing conversion rate optimization and innovation in digital marketing. However, small businesses need to be more careful about how they operate, given the unique challenges they face. Some of these challenges are listed below:

Budget constraints 

Small businesses face budget constraints, making it difficult to invest in the CRO tools and expertise needed for implementing CRO strategies. With funds primarily allocated to essential aspects like product development and advertising, they find it challenging to execute a comprehensive CRO plan that shows long-term benefits. This forces them to prioritize and weigh the benefits of investing in CRO against other business needs.

Lack of expertise

Running CRO programs requires a team of experts with various skills, including data analysis, A/B testing, user experience design, copywriting, and technical website development.

Small businesses may not have the resources to hire experts or maintain a full-fledged team. The absence of formal training programs further complicates matters, making it difficult for existing staff to develop CRO expertise. 

Minimal A/B testing opportunities 

Due to the limited traffic volume, small businesses often struggle to generate statistically significant results from A/B tests, which are a crucial component of website conversion rate optimization programs. Without sufficient data, it becomes challenging for them to confidently identify and implement optimization strategies to improve their conversion rates.

Lack of optimization maturity 

Even if they have enough traffic volume to test, small businesses often approach testing with a mix of fear, risk aversion, and a desire for quick results. This mindset stems from their limited expertise and resources, which lead them to prioritize short-term gains. They may want to avoid the perceived risks associated with failed tests, fearing a potential waste of resources. But in reality, learning from failed tests helps them improve and grow in the long run.

Must-implement CRO strategies for small business websites

Do the above challenges mean you can’t optimize your website for conversion? Never! Go through the strategies below and learn how you can make the most of what you have.

Zero in on visitor behavior research 

Focus on visitor behavior is to kickstart the website improvement process without needing extra resources. Color-coded heatmaps and session recordings visually display how visitors engage with your website, showing where they click, scroll, and navigate.

Analyzing this data helps pinpoint areas of confusion or obstacles for visitors. By planning website design conversion optimization based on these insights, you can enhance the usability of your website.

Illustration on visitor behavior research

Focus on customer feedback 

Surveys offer small business owners valuable feedback to drive growth. Use survey responses to identify areas where your website or offerings may fall short. Address customer concerns and make targeted improvements accordingly. By soliciting feedback and listening to your customers, you can improve overall satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty and repeat business.

Illustration on customer feedback

Gather insights from usability testing 

Usability testing allows small businesses to observe real visitor interactions with their websites. By watching participants complete tasks on the site, UX researchers or concerned professionals can find areas where visitors struggle or encounter frustration. This feedback helps prioritize improvements to enhance the website’s effectiveness and meet visitor needs. 

Usability Testing - Flow of information
Image source: Nielsen Norman Group

Leverage social proof elements 

Integrating social proof is almost always a winning move in conversion optimization for small business websites. By incorporating customer reviews, you can inspire trust in potential clients. This practice becomes even more vital for small businesses, as they rely heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations to drive growth and propel their success forward.

A case in point –

Attracting 500,000 visits a month, Wikijob decided to include social proof on one of its web pages – aptitude tests – recognizing the benefits of social proof. This change increased purchases by 34%. The team was pleasantly surprised by the substantial impact of social proof on conversions.

Screenshot 2024 04 23 At 10 14 53 Am
Image source: VWO

Show personalized pop-ups 

Personalized pop-ups are powerful tools for small businesses to gather important data directly from their website visitors. These pop-ups engage visitors with customized content and offers, encouraging them to share information like email addresses or preferences to personalize their experiences.

Here is a hypothetical scenario – 

A small online clothing store might offer a discount in exchange for signing up for their newsletter. This data helps businesses better understand their customers and reach out to them with more personalized offers through collected contact details.

Increase website load speed

This is one of the most universally applicable website conversion optimization tips you will ever find. No visitor wants to be on a slow-loading website. The faster your website’s loading speed, the more likely people are to stick around and take the desired action. It’s pretty much a no-brainer these days! Some tips to increase website load speed include compressing images, choosing a lighter image format, and reducing HTTP requests, among others. For more technical information, you can read this blog

Illustration on website load speed

Ensure mobile responsiveness

If you’re not considering a responsive website, you’re already falling behind. With the number of mobile users increasing every day, why not adapt? 

Implement responsive design methods to guarantee your website smoothly adapts to varying screen dimensions and orientations. Resize and compress images to expedite loading times and enhance functionality on mobile devices. 

Reduce unnecessary elements and scripts to optimize page load speed and enhance mobile visitor experiences. Additionally, focus on incorporating fluid grid layouts, touch-friendly buttons, collapsible menus, and crisp clear content. 

A case in point –

Safety Gear Data found that their site search function led to high conversions on their website. However, the percentage of visitors using the site search was significantly low. To improve the search experience, they made the site search bar more prominent on mobile, considering limited screen space. A test was run, and the variation resulted in an 8.33% increase in purchases. Further, they conducted an iterative test on the search bar. Read the full case study to find out the results.

Illustration on mobile responsiveness

Why is VWO a great choice for small businesses?

Leverage qualitative tools 

Qualitative visitor research has nothing to do with minimum web traffic volume. Therefore, small businesses struggling to run many tests due to low traffic should focus on behavioral analytics. 

VWO Insights brings you a collection of tools – heatmaps, recordings, surveys, and form analytics that reveal visitor behavior, guiding improvements for better visitor experiences.

Consider this scenario –

As a CRO practitioner for a small website, you notice fewer form submissions in your Google Analytics tool. You check the heatmaps and observe high engagement on the form highlighted in red. You turn to form analytics to understand why form submissions are low despite high engagement with it. Form analytics reveals that the phone number field has the highest drop-off rate. 

Additionally, upon reviewing recordings, you notice visitors pausing before filling in the phone number field and sometimes abandoning the form altogether. This indicates that even though visitors engage with the form, they don’t fill it out due to hesitation in sharing their phone numbers. Based on these insights, you can decide to streamline the number of form fields.

A case in point –

Learn how Media Contour used VWO Insights to find out what was bothering visitors on their client Life Pro Fitness’s website. They tested moving important product details and CTA buttons up higher on the page to see if it would make more people buy. This boosted their sales by 15.63% and earned an extra $0.67 per visitor.

Intuitive visual editor

Our industry-best Visual Editor is easy to use, allowing you to make changes without needing developer help. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses, as they can get many changes done despite lacking technical expertise. 

Moreover, if you want to make copy changes, you can access AI-generated copy recommendations aligned to your brand within the Visual Editor. To see how it works, take a free trial today

Roll out experiences as you wish

You don’t have to stop at just creating the winning variation. With VWO Web Rollouts, small businesses can implement the winning variation to production, whether they’re adding new page elements, making a revamp, or making simple edits. You can also decide which segment of visitors you want to roll out these changes for.

Idea and resource repository

Limited resources may restrict your ability to brainstorm and implement creative optimization ideas. Our idea and resource repository within the VWO platform enables you to find inspiration, brainstorm ideas, and seamlessly implement them on their websites.

Now, you can overcome creativity blocks by getting AI-generated personalized testing ideas based on your goals. Check out the video below.

Support and guidance 

Small businesses new to CRO often need extra hand-holding to learn how to optimize their website for more conversions. That’s why VWO is the perfect choice. We offer dedicated customer success managers who provide personalized assistance. They help you learn the tool and develop effective testing strategies tailored to the needs and constraints of your small businesses.

This ensures that you can make the most of your resources with confidence. Moreover, our support is top-notch with a 98% customer satisfaction score, and our 70% first-call resolution rate far exceeds the industry average of 40%.

Support and guidance provided by VWO

Convenient pricing and plans – start for free! 

We don’t want conversion optimization for small business websites to stall just because they lack resources. With VWO, you can start for free with our starter packs for behavior analytics and testing. As your needs grow and your business scales, you can switch to our premium pricing plans with more advanced features. 

VWO stands out from other competitors because we offer pricing based on Monthly Tracked Users – focusing on the number of visitors who actively participate in your campaigns. It’s a great bang for the buck!

Check out our blog to see what our free trial offers and how you can benefit from it. 


Ignore anyone who tells you that being a small business means you can’t benefit from conversion optimization. Instead, share this blog with them and let them know its potential. In fact, you should integrate CRO into your business to value visitors’ needs, roll out great experiences, and avoid costly mistakes from the outset. Why not give VWO a try and see where it takes your CRO strategy? Once you get started, remember that we’re always just a message away to help you, as promised. Take a free trial now!

Pratyusha Guha
Hi, I’m Pratyusha Guha, associate manager - content marketing at VWO. For the past 5 years, I've written B2B content for various brands. My entry into CRO was through writing content about eCommerce optimization. Currently, I've broadened my expertise to write about conversion optimization across various industries, including SaaS, travel, e-learning, and more. I'm fascinated by user experience, and I enjoy writing content that empathizes with readers and helps them solve challenges. If you'd like to talk about life or just need a non-judgmental ear, I'm here to listen.

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