The never ending story of website optimization has a starting point – the critical moment when you realize that the website is receiving large amounts of traffic, but it doesn’t support your business objectives. It doesn’t help you sell more. This becomes a big problem if either procrastination or confusion kills any new attempt to increase sales.
Very often, the focus on the wrong target drives to leakages in the website’s sales. The hero of this story is no one else but conversion rate optimization. Increasing conversion rate from 1% to 2% means doubling sales.
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desirable task created by marketers (e.g.: purchase an item, subscribe to an email list etc.). To get familiar with the various approaches to optimize a website, I have put together 30 conversion rate optimization tactics. They are divided into five sections: Copywriting, Conversion Funnels and Landing Pages, A/B testing, Colors and General Optimization.
#1. Work with hypotheses. Instead of trying to write copy and guessing that it will convert, use the visitors’ words from a survey’s answers. For instance, you could create an open question survey to find suggestions for a headline.
#3. Before writing anything, take a look again at the benefits of using your products or services.
#4. Gather your colleagues in a short meeting to discuss your USP. Use a worksheet – like the one we have used from one of the Copyhackers ebooks – and decide on 2-3 versions. Then test them to figure which one to implement.
#5. All your website’s content should revolve around the USP – only if you have tested it before.
#6. Create surveys to get feedback from customers. They can tell you what convinced them to close and give insights about what type of people you want to have as customers. Find out their age, gender, location and how they spend time online. Also, do not forget to treat them like VIPs.
#7. Write content for people who scan. On average, 8 out of 10 people read the title, and only 2 out of 10 read the full content.
#8. Be congruent. Use the same tone of voice on every marketing channel: email, social media, blog, the website’s copy. In the early stages of growing your online business, you will have to sacrifice conversions to building a trustworthy brand. Therefore, don’t try to optimize pages, but the whole website.
#9. Tell a story. It’s a proven fact that stories have impact on the human’s brain.
Conversion Funnel and Landing Pages
Improving conversion rates on landing pages and funnels has to start with the value proposition. Without knowing what’s the promised value that will be delivered to customers, marketers will hardly manage to have positive results with conversion rate optimization tactics.
#10. Know your numbers. Measure how you do against your objectives now, not tomorrow. If you’re not sure where you want to get, decide what are your goals and set up target metrics to track and measure.
#11. Be realistic about goals. I use the SMART methodology, and it’s helpful. You should try using it too.
#12. Align the landing page copy with the email, social media, PPC campaigns and any other channel that requires content to drive traffic to the website.
#13. Measure conversion rate for every landing page. Once you find out that the page is not converting according to the plan, you have to figure the reasons. An exit survey could help you with accomplishing this task.
#14. Test lead generation forms. You could test practices that worked for others to find out if your website’s visitors react in a positive way to the changes. Best practices don’t work for everybody, and you should always test them.
#15. Measure email conversion rate. Email has a good ROI – $44 is the return on investment for every $1 spent. (according to Experian) Consider focusing on this marketing channel if you’re not using it yet at its full potential.
#16. Consider having a dedicated page for people to subscribe who want to subscribe to your newsletter or to download something for free. In the case your content wizards are guest posting on other websites you should encourage them to create dedicated landing pages for the traffic coming from those sites.
#17. Any landing page that you create should include a clear Call to Action, aligned with the landing page copy and design. Congruency will help with eliminating anxiety, one of the most powerful conversion barriers faced by people on the internet.
#18. Offer freebies on the Thank You Page. The surprise effect will place you as a nice guy in the consumers’ mind. Sympathy is a persuasion principle that could generate unexpected conversions.
#19. Have informed hypotheses based on either the conclusions of data analysis or the answers from a survey.
#20. Test best practices. It’s clear that they have worked for many companies, and they could guide you to look in the right direction
#21. Collect feedback from customers to figure why they did what they did. Test these findings on the 20% percent of the website’s traffic that is generating the greatest revenue.
#22. Include in the A/B tests pages that are important for your business. Choose them based on how they perform in terms of traffic, current conversion rate and revenue.
#23. Select hypotheses for the A/B testing Plan based on potential, importance and relevancy.
#24. Test the pricing page when you decide to cut down prices or change the duration of the free trial (30 vs. 14 days). A/B testing can validate not only the website’s design and copy, but also help with deciding on the pricing policy or other business related aspects.
#25. Test Call To Actions. They are telling people what to do or what to expect next. Besides copy, you should also test positioning: left, right or middle.
#26. Never stop testing. Split testing is a never-ending process that helps with adjusting the website to the ever changing behavior of online consumers.
- Black – it’s the color of power
- White – if “safe” and “clear” would wear a color, white is the way to go
- Blue – it suggests calm and serenity.
- Green – it’s an engaging color. There is a dispute between green and red call to action buttons, but you should always test.
- Red – it encourages taking action
- Yellow – it’s the color of optimism and creativity
- Orange – it’s a joyful color. It suggests happiness.
- Purple – is an intense color with a mystery component.
Once established which colors or combination of colors fit well with the brand values, start testing them on your website.
General Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics
#27. Find out how people search on your website. In e-commerce, for example, we discovered that visits with site search convert 6x higher than those without site search. We have analyzed five e-commerce stores from Europe in the fashion and electronics industry.
#28. Identify the website’s pages with the highest amount of traffic and include them in the optimization plan.
#29. Follow the 20-80 rule. You can use this rule to optimize:
– the website’s design elements that drive to 80% of conversions;
– the 20% of traffic that is generating 80% of revenue;
– the pages that convert 80% of the website’s traffic.
#30. Focus on improving the quality of your traffic and measure the effectiveness of your CRO efforts. Instead of trying to increase the website’s traffic overall, focus on segments and have in mind the ideal customer to target him with CRO efforts.
[Tweet “Companies typically spend $92 to bring customers to their site, but only $1 to convert them. (Source: Eisenberg Holdings)”]
BONUS: Make a keyword research, see which ones perform the best and include them in the website’s Call To Actions. You could also elaborate the topics in blog posts.
As I’ve said in the first paragraph of this post, website optimization is a never ending process. I’m sure that conversion rate optimization will remain old in time, but there is still time to use its tactics to grow an online business. It’s also cheaper than a few years ago when marketers had to work with developers and web designers teams to accomplish their goals. As one of our guests answered in an interview, nowadays, conversion optimization has a fairly low barrier to entry.
Put these tactics to work with Omniconvert.