Conversion rate optimization can feel like a bit of a mystery. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve put together 10 simple tips anyone can digest that will help you boost conversion rates and turn more visitors into paying customers.
1. Give your page just ONE goal.
When it comes to driving conversions, focus is key. You shouldn’t try to use the same page to drive someone to 8 different offers – your customers will get confused, and their attention just can’t split that many ways.
Decide on what the overarching goal of the page is before you even start writing or designing – then direct every element of the page toward that goal.
2. Answer 4 questions in the first 5 seconds.
If you want to convert a lead, you need to answer three of their most pressing questions almost as soon as they enter the page:
- Who: “Who are these guys? Am I in the right place?”
Answer this by showing your logo and tagline above the fold, making it obvious that they’ve come to the right place.
- What: “What are they offering me?”
Again, it should be abundantly clear not just who you are, but what the offer on the table is. For example, if you’ve never heard of Unbounce before, you may not know that it is CRO software; that ambiguity needs to be eliminated quickly.
- Who: “Who is this for? Am I their ideal customer?”
Not every product is right for every customer; you need to make it obvious who your solution is for. This can be done by saying so (e.g. “A recruiting tool for small businesses”), or even by putting up a testimonial from a company that reflects who your ideal customers are.
- Why: “Why should I keep reading? Why should I care?”
Your unique value proposition needs to be front and center. Don’t just explain the offer literally – what’s the big benefit you’re promising back to the customer? Make it obvious.
3. Match referrer intent with landing page context.
If you’re going to be driving leads to a page through advertisements, then the context of the page should match the ad that sent them there. This sounds obvious – but it isn’t always.
For example, if your ad emphasized the importance of a key benefit or value, that value should be front and center – in your headline, in your body copy, and in your calls to action.
If you’re targeting a specific segment or audience, the language and offers on the page should be tailored to them.
Customers should feel like the page was written JUST FOR THEM based on the context of the ad that drove them there; give them that experience.
4. Eliminate unnecessary escape points.
Imagine your landing page as a Styrofoam cup. If you poke just one hole in the bottom, water will leak exactly where you intend it to.
If you poke holes all over the place, water will rush everywhere – not necessarily where you intended. Your landing page is the same way.
If you distract your visitors with too much information and give them a whole bunch of exit points – like a side bar or busy primary navigation bar – they’re going to be tempted to click all over and explore instead of continuing down the page towards a conversion.
Unless a link absolutely HAS to be there to improve the customer experience, get rid of it.
5. Color matters – but contrast does, too.
You might’ve heard all those rumors and case studies of how changing the color of a button lead to X% in conversions.
People get hung up on these stories and suddenly expect small color changes to have a HUGE impact. And while sometimes that’s the case, what’s usually more important is color’s cousin – contrast.
Contrast in visual elements makes some blend in and others pop out.
If a button is blending in – for example, if the color matches the background or if it has no color at all – then it won’t be as likely to get noticed.
Contrast also plays into usability. White text on a bright background, for example, is very frustrating to read and makes your audience less likely to invest the effort in digesting your information.
Use contrast to make the things that should stand out, stand out – and avoid color pallets that make anything difficult to process.
6. Use social proof near areas of friction.
“Social proof” is a fancy way of referring to third-party proof like testimonials, reviews, lists of your clients or examples of sites that have featured your content.
Social proof is a hugely persuasive element because it gives readers the chance to see stories and experiences of people similar to them who made a purchase decision and are happy with the outcome.
One tip you can start using immediately is to place that social proof near areas of friction – places where your reader might feel like they’re taking a risk or get apprehensive. Some examples of this are near pricing information, by a call to action button, or early up on the page where they’re figuring out if they can trust you or not.
Try to make sure that the testimonials you choose support any arguments you’ve made nearby. For example, if you’ve just written about a particular benefit or feature, a testimonial that speaks to that specific feature is more powerful than a generic, “This company is really great!”
7. Turn calls to action into calls to value.
Your “call to action” should be worded as an invitation for the lead to receive something they want instead of a demand to take action.
For example, a button that says “Submit” is not an action anyone wants to take, and it’s not an invitation to value, while a button that says “Get My Free Ebook” or “Start Saving Now” is an invitation to receive something your audience is after.
As a quick tip, your call to action should be able to complete the sentence “I Want To…” as spoken by the customer.
8. Ask only for the information you need.
When it comes time for your customer to fill out a form, keep in mind that you’re asking them to surrender something very personal – their information.
Keep forms short and to the point; don’t ask for information you don’t actually need to follow up.
- Don’t need their last name? Don’t ask!
- Don’t plan to call them? Don’t ask for their number!
- Is an address really necessary? If not… well, you get it by now.
Another tip is to break long forms into smaller, step-by-step funnels that show the customer one step at a time.
This makes the process feel much less overwhelming, making it more likely they will finish what they started.
9. Think hard about mobile customers.
One of the most common mistakes I see is designing only for desktop. But especially for local businesses, a huge portion of your customers will be coming in on mobile phones or tablets, and the experience needs to look great for them, too!
- Consider using a mobile variant of the landing page with your phone number right near the top, since local customers often want to call and need contact information quickly.
- Ensure there’s plenty of room between any buttons or interactive elements, to avoid slipped thumbs and lost conversions.
- Be careful that any graphics also look great on mobile – especially screenshots or any photos of your product/service in action!
- Don’t autoplay video or rely on video to carry the conversion load on every device. Data-sensitive mobile users probably won’t watch it (but test that assumption before doing away with it).
10. Always, always, ALWAYS test!
There are no guarantees in conversion rate optimization – no practices that aren’t subject to scrutiny and testing. You should always A/B test variants against each other, challenge assumptions and be willing to be wrong – because it’s the data that ultimately decides which variants perform best!
Never roll with just one version of a landing page, and make sure the pages you’re testing against each other start out being quite different. Small changes come with diminishing returns over time, but wildly different variants can yield unexpected (and lucrative) insights.
Take these tips, get out there and start optimizing!