Conversion optimisation is a practice in its own right. Often, paid digital campaigns fall down, not because of the campaign set up, structure, budget or message, but just because the website they are sending traffic to doesn’t and never will convert. Conversion optimisation is often misunderstood, the common understanding is that conversion optimisation is A/B testing two variants one with a green button and one with an orange and see which comes out on top. To some degree this is true, but conversion optimisation is much more than that. Instead of thinking of it as adding in extra features to make people convert into leads/sales. Think of it as removing the obstacles that currently stop them from continuing the process of making an enquiry or sale. Here are 5 top tips to optimise your website for conversions.
1. Make your website fast, like, ultra fast!
Why? Here are some quick facts…
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- If an e-commerce site is making £100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you £2.5 million in lost sales every year.
What to do?
First of all you need to test your site, there are various tests out there but I would recommend these three GTMetrix, Pingdom & Test My Site. GTMetrix is the most helpful of these tools. Once you run your site on GT Metrix it will give you your current load times, a score (%) and also a list of what is impeding your sites performance. This can then become your “must fix” list.
The SEO factors of page speed – Whilst improving your site speed will no doubt help you convert more visitors, it will also benefit your SEO efforts. Page speed is now one of Google algorithm factors when ranking sites, your website may have a great link profile, but if it’s a little sluggish then your SEO possibilities are already limited.
2. Cater to your audience
Conversion optimisation can almost be split into two parts, technical optimisation & logical optimisation. One of the main factors to aid your websites conversion rates comes down to pure logic. Cater your website to your audience, conversions are most often increased dramatically through changing your approach to meet the potential customers desire vs your own desire. Swallow your pride, stop thinking about how YOU want your website to look and what YOU want your website to say. Start thinking about what your POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS want your website to look like, what your POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS think is important, so as the content can answer their questions or inform them about what matters to them.
Marketing simplistically is about showcasing the right product to the right person at the right time with the right message and the right price. Your website showcases your products or services to potential customers with a message. Make sure its the right message that appeals to them. If your customers are known to be price sensitive and you have an affordable product vs your competitors, then this should be one of your main focusses on your landing page or website. This factor and the tone of voice you use to deliver your product with this message will be pivotal to gaining additional conversions.
Lead generation contact forms are a prime example. We have worked with many websites who sell services and rely on lead generation. These clients always want phone number, company name and email, all of course as required fields. They rarely want to hint at what their prices are before making contact with the customer. “They want to take the high ground so to speak, you give us your details and we will decide if you can afford us”. That approach is narrow minded, your thinking about what you want not what the customer wants, so how do you suppose you easily get more customers and conversions? Think of what the customer wants!
Here is the thing, price is an essential part of the decision-making process for most procurement managers. They wont hand over their details willy-nilly so you can bombard them with cold calls to sell, sell, sell. Here the service provider is thinking of themselves, they want all that information from the potential customer, they don’t want to let them know the price yet and they want the right to call them or email them to persuade them to buy their product. The CTA’s they use are generic, noninformational, they don’t really add anything to the potential customers experience. “Request more info” “download a brochure” and other such dull terms that scream don’t click me. From a conversion point of view, it’s not surprising when most B2B websites act this way that the average conversion rate is 1%.
Lets flip this round. The procurement manager wants product information, the website hopefully gives them that. They want a rough indication at prices, the website doesn’t give them that. However, the in this make believe example, lets say the contact form does suggest that should they fill in their details, they will automatically be emailed a generic pricing document with estimated prices based on criteria. Here, the procurement manager has a clear call to action, they can see a “way out”, their hand is being held to guide them further along the conversion funnel. One of their consideration points is price and they can fulfill that consideration point by completing the call to action. The service provider now also gets what they want, they have exchanged what they want, the procurement managers details for what the procurement manager wanted, rough pricing information.
Understanding your audiences wants and needs and catering your website to them is the single biggest factor you can change to increase your conversions.
3. Use clear call to actions, show them how to get to the next step in the funnel.
Problem-solving call to actions are the real winners here. People buy because they want to solve a problem nearly 100% of the time. Don’t believe me? That shirt you bought of asos, just a shirt right. Was that shirt not solving your problem of what to wear to work? Or what to wear on Saturday night? Let’s look at a B2B example, selling data. That’s solving a the buyers problem of not having the information of their potential customers.
Using clear call to actions with surrounding content that contributes to pushing the user along a linear path towards that call to action is again one of the fundamentals of conversion optimisation. At no point should the user be left thinking. “Okay that looks good, what do I do now?”.
Below are some great examples, notice how the CTAs have similar features. The content around the CTA sets the CTA up to be clicked. Think of it like throwing a ball in the air ready for someone to swing and hit it. No CTA’s use boring words like submit, download, buy etc. They user power words, claim, launch, start my, get your etc. Also note how many refer to solving problems. Is being stuck in a boring career a problem? Yes, well look at Treehouse’s CTA. Are your customers not having a memorable digital experience a problem? Yes, well look at Huemor’s CTA (I also love the launch button).
4. Remove the obstacles
As we have hinted above, the best way to optimise for conversions is to find the “drop off” points and fix them, it is all about removing the obstacles. Obstacles from a CRO point of view often come in the form of questions the user asks themselves but cannot answer.
Why do they need that information?
What is this for?
Where do I go next?
All of the above would be likely questions and obstacles people face shortly before abandoning your web page. Take a look at the below. This is a web page that had 80% abandonment, now, dont get me wrong the new page is not by any means perfect, but it did significantly increase this companies conversion rates. Let’s look a the changes and think of what obstacles were in place before, for them to make that change.
Security – This is big, the first words “Secure Instant Student Enrolment Form”. This has originated as one likely obstacle was”Who am I giving my details to?” “Is this safe?”. Also note the logos, “trustme” logo near the email address, 4 logos beneath the main green CTA, McAfee logo next to the credit card information. This all screams that one major stumbling block in people converting was the uncertainty over security.
Green Button – A much clearer CTA – Removing the obstacle “I have filled in the form what do I do now?”
Top right image of an advisor – Likely due to a live chat, giving the option to remove any further obstacles still present. As above most people have unanswered questions they ask themselves before abandoning, i.e What this for? Why do they need that? The live chat implementation gives the user someone to ask these questions.
Social Validation – Can you see the testimony just on the right-hand side. This site has added social validation. This isn’t surprising as one of the main stumbling blocks was clearly security. Secure logos, confirmation and social validation were all implemented to put the customer at ease and remove any doubt in their mind over security which may have otherwise caused them to abandon and leave the booking. Obstacle avoided.
5. Test, test & test again
This one speaks for itself. To make the decisions mentioned above you will have had to use data. To cater to your audience you need to know who they are, how do you do that? Data. To work out what CTA’s work best you need to test them and look at, you guessed it. Data. To work out which obstacles you need to remove you need to know what they are, to begin with, what do you need? Data. To keep on testing to squeeze more and more incremental performance out of your site you need as much data as possible. Create that data yourself through continuous testing, constantly refining your website to hit peak performance.
If you want any bespoke advice on conversion optimization then please do get in touch, we have helped many large named clients increase their conversion rates with staggering results in both percentages and real revenue.