That’s right, we are talking about conversion rate optimizations tips today. If you have an awesome design and good traffic for your website, what are you missing? If you haven’t focused on your conversion rate, you are missing out something huge. Like an 800-pound gorilla huge.
I don’t want to just share our own competency in getting users to click through. That’s why I’ve tapped eight industry leaders. These gurus focus on conversion rate optimization a great deal in their respective professions. I respect each of these people and have used their tips for success.
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #1.
“Remove the clutter.” – Oli Gardner
When it comes to conversion rate optimization tips, this one is an unsung hero. So many people get hung up on colors, text, and bigger buttons. But, right away, clear the clutter. The focus of a web page (and even more so a landing page) is to get the user to perform an action.
Oli always drops knowledge bombs, including this epic post about conversion rate optimization. I’d like to point out one specific part of this post, involving a service we use.
We use RightSignature for our digital contracts. They have a landing page that they created on Unbounce. At first glance, this seems easy to find the call to action. What is going on in this picture?
While you can find the CTA right away, you can get lost in the content below. The page flat out isn’t succinct. What is a good solution here?
We’ve gotta get rid of those features. Pronto. But what is a good way to hide information, but still make it available upon request? A lightbox or modal should do the trick.
By eliminating clutter and making the page succinct, users can focus on pertinent information. Like your call to action!
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #2.
“Go Macro, not Micro.” – Neil Patel
This seems so commonsense. But let’s be honest, how many times do marketing agencies focus too much on the little things? Heck, we’ve been guilty of that.
Neil himself says, “It doesn’t matter if you increase click-through from one step to another. All that matters is if more people buy from you.”.
What does this mean? If you tweak your pages and content to lead you from step to step, okay, that’s great. But that’s not enough. If you have no substance behind what you’re doing, in the end, few people will buy from you.
We can use our site for an example. At the end of this post, there is a link to look at our portfolio. At the end of any portfolio piece, there is a link to start a project with us. That part works. But, if we had no testimonials, that would detract from a macro conversion. If we had a crappy mobile design, that would detract from a macro conversion. If we had a slow loading site, that would detract from a macro conversion.
What Neil is saying here is while making people steer through your site is great, make them want to do business. It is that macro conversion that is most important anyways. Neil is dead on with this one.
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #3.
“Stop moving chairs around.” – Larry Kim
When you read the words “conversion rate optimization” you more often think landing pages. Heck, that even applies to just your website in general. Some people look further than that. Larry focuses on conversions and how they affect PPC.
When it comes to PPC knowledge, no one swings a bigger sword than Larry Kim.
The premise of this conversion tip is stunningly simple. Larry says it best:
“You can stay really busy doing small things that have little impact. It’s like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We need to move past this mentality to big tactics and optimizations that will dramatically change your performance and fortune.”
What is a practical example of this? While changing button colors and text is important, the big picture is more important. If you are tweaking away at a crappy site, you will have a well tweaked crappy site. More or less, you will have a Titanic with chairs that are arranged nicely on it.
Focus on bigger tactics such as your website’s user experience, your credibility, and your mobile tactics. Once your branding, message, and delivery is fine tuned, that’s when you can “re-arrange your chairs”.
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #4.
“Speedier websites always win” – Peep Laja
When people think conversions, they think “How can I make this user more likely to click or call?”. The first inclination tends to be around wording, colors and immediate things surrounding CTAs. In the examples above, we’ve talked about going outside of the CTA and focusing on the bigger picture. This tip is even more abstract.
Peep founded ConversionXL – a company that revolves around conversions. He wrote a stellar post titled “11 low hanging fruits for increasing website speed and conversions”.
But does a speedier page result in more conversions? You bet your bottom dollar it does!
An Aberdeen Group study showed that a one second delay in page load time can have drastic effects. It equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.
A 1-second delay in load time can equal 11% fewer pageviews, a 16% decrease in satisfaction, & 7% loss in conversions.
If you get your site screaming fast, your conversions could come in screaming fast as well.
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #5.
“Don’t forget about your images” – VWO
We now can focus more on landing pages. Let’s look at one of the most influential factors in conversions – images.
When using images on landing pages, think of the psychology around them. What feeling would this image evoke? Is it a good compliment to the message?
I personally use Visme to create most of my images. They are stunning, help convert people and overall make your website look good. With that being said, with too many images or placed on the wrong pages, they can decrease conversions.
In one example, changing the image increased conversions 89%!
The woman in the image is in an area that says “Need help?”. This is the original image.
The woman seems fine and friendly. But, does she strike an emotion about selling a home? Nope. She just strikes the emotion that this company has helpful staff. Let’s see what image replaced it.
By replacing this image on the right, conversions skyrocketed. There’s the proof in the pudding — don’t forget about your images.
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #6.
“Be clear with your words” – AWeber
In a world where everyone seems to A/B test their wording, you’d think the word “free” is a goldmine. Think again. When used in an incorrect way, it doesn’t define your message clear enough.
A hosting company learned about this. They tried two variations:
- Free Hosting
- See Plans and Pricing
These were links in the menu. “See plans and pricing” had a 52% increase in clicks. By using just the words “Free Hosting”, they shot themselves in the foot. The lesson here, be clear with your message.
Also, find out what your audience wants to hear! This is so crucial. Otherwise, you might as well be speaking a different language. Because in a sense, you are.
How do you do this? Just flat out ask your audience. Take a poll or do a survey, if you must. But once you know what their interests are, cater your message to that.
Here’s a great example. One company researched and found out that their prospective customers wanted pricing right away. The problem, their website linked to the form fill-out page with the text “Request a quote”. By changing those words to “Request Pricing” conversions increased over 161%!
You can find a slew (well, 10) of these results on one of their blog posts, 10 Case Studies To Help You Get More Clicks.
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #7.
“Offer advanced search” – Web Design Ledger
Just when you think we’ve run the gamut on conversions… we hit you with “advanced search”. What does advanced search have to do with conversions? What is “advanced search”?
Advanced search helps users get the information they need quick and easy. Instead of just a search bar, you can let the user filter the search right away.
This type of search is crucial for e-commerce. When decreased bounce rates affect conversions, do whatever you can to decrease bounce rate. Advanced search is stellar for that.
Standard search leaves a user feeling like the search may not give him/her the optimal result. Using advanced search encourages the user to find that product they have been on a quest for.
Just think Amazon or E-Bay. They have this down. Web Design Ledger has a lot of e-commerce specific conversion rate tips here.
Conversion Rate Optimization tip #8.
“Fine. Colors Can Be Important.” – Ryan Boog
I put this last because it shouldn’t be the first thing you think about. It shouldn’t be the middle thing you think about. But you should still think about it.
Colors can affect the buying process. For you neuromarketers out there, it affects the angle part of the “persuasion slide”. You can trigger the unconscious with an effective color.
What makes an effective color? The first thing that you should look at is what I have coined, “complementary Contrast”.
Complementary contrast is when a color sticks out, yet doesn’t clash. It sounds like a self-contradiction. That’s why I love working with colors and finding that perfect complementary contrast. It can be an art to do so in an effective way.
I’ll walk you through a simple process in helping to find that. First, find the dominant color on the page. I’m not talking white or black. I’m talking about the color in the header, footer, or splattered throughout.
Take that hex value and go to Adobe’s free tool Kuler. Click on “complementary” on the left menu. Then paste in your hex value. You will find colors that are complementary, yet different. Click the Triad link on the left for more options.
Next, see if your colors align in a psychological way. Find a guide that shows what colors mean, and see if you have a match already on Kuler.
Then go back and forth between this design and Kuler. You will find the color that works for you and your conversions. The rule of thumb, make your CTA command the presence of the page. The color should assist in that.
Wrapping it all up
Keep these eight rules handy when setting your site up for conversions.
- Remove the clutter
- Go Macro, not Micro
- Stop moving chairs around
- Speedier websites always win
- Don’t forget about your images
- Be clear with your words
- Offer advanced search
- Colors Can Be Important
For the record, I didn’t even include A/B testing since that is a given.
About the Author
John Rampton , CONTRIBUTOR
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.