10 Easy Conversion Rate Tips

Conversion Rate Optimisation

Conversion Rate Optimisation

A lot of the things that digital marketers spend their time doing is conversion rate optimisation (CRO) – even when they don’t realise it.  CRO is anything that you do to drive the percentage of people who convert on your website, i.e. the effectiveness of your site – everything from small tweaks to major re-designs.

The beauty of CRO is that it doesn’t need to be complicated, and here are 10 tips to prove how simple it can be.

1) Get the Basics Right First – Before you embark on your CRO journey, make sure you get the basics right: are all of the functions of your website actually working?  Check and fix these first before fine-tuning.

2) Be Transparent – If you are running an ecommerce site, this is crucial.  Not being able to find the right information is one of the key factors for people not buying from a site: returns policy, delivery charges, reviews, etc.

3) Test Different Calls to Action – Buy Now, Add to Basket, Add to Cart, Order Now, etc.?  You should test what works best with your customers, don’t just follow your competitors.  You should also test moving the position of the call to action button.

4) Add testimonials – Happy customers, particularly if they are very close in description to the person reading the testimonial (e.g. work in the same field, have the same lifestyle) can be hugely powerful and be the deciding factor in whether to convert or not.

5) Challenge Your Copy – Your website should say everything about you – and that includes tone of voice.  Keep it appropriate to the market that you operate within, but don’t be afraid of testing your copy at key stages.  Should it be persuasive, reassuring, detailed…?

6) Have Snappy Contact Forms – I once worked with a client who had a huuuuuge contact form.  Worried that asking so many questions would put people off, I asked the client what happened to the additional info.  The answer…nothing.  So I cut the form down and saw enquiries rise three fold!  If you don’t absolutely need the info, don’t ask for it.

7) Have site search and breadcrumbs – These are pretty basic, but there are still a lot of sites which don’t have them.  Breadcrumbs ensure that the user doesn’t feel lost on the site, and site search can help where navigation can’t.  Also, you should check what people using site search for and create content to answer the most popular questions: people typically use site search out of desperation, so save them the stress.

8) Home Page Segment Your Audience – There are not too many sites which only attract one type of visitor.  So use your home page options to allow users to segment themselves.  This is pretty tricky to get right, so prepare to run a number of tests before finding a solution that works.

9) Use the right image resolution – Image resolution is a balancing act: too high and the page will take too long to load (upsetting your visitor and Google too), too small and the image will pixelate.  But there is a happy medium and you should use it more than once by having a number of images available for each product.

10) Don’t get in the way of the consumer – The best advice I have ever received about the user experience was not to get in the way of the consumer: make the conversion process that the user needs to go through as short and easy as possible.

Bonus 11) Get Close to Your Analytics – You don’t want to do all this work and not know which of your tests are working well (or if you’re making the results worse!).  The only way that you will be able to tell if all of the good stuff that you’re doing is actually working is by getting close to your analytics, setting up control metrics and having robust reports in place.

What is your favourite CRO tip?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Image via techsling.com

5 Conversion Tips

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate

One of the least discussed areas of digital marketing is how to drive up your conversion rate.  There are lots of articles on driving traffic to your site (i.e. social media, PPC and SEO), but much to help you when people actually get to your site.  Most C-Level Execs are keen to see their traffic go up because they want more conversions – but what about getting more from the traffic you are already generating?  Here are five quick tips to drive your conversion rate up.

Know the path that 90% of your visitors will take: This may require some research to be undertaken and this can cost money (an investment).  But typically, 4 or 5 key objectives will cover 90% of your visitors: for example, to find your opening hours, ask a question or find out if you sell a particular product.  It is this 90% that you need to focus your website structure around.  Forget about the remaining 10% or the edge cases as I call them, for now – they are in danger of taking your eye off the majority.

Make your visitor feel at home: You will receive traffic from a number of referrers – your analytics package will tell you from who and how many.  You should create landing pages for the major referrers to your site, and tailor it around the website that they have just come from – e.g. if YouTube is a strong referrer to your site, then your landing page should include a video: you know that they like video because they have just come from a video sharing site!  This works for other referrers too, e.g. short punchy sentences if the visitor is referred from Twitter.  I can’t believe that more people have not recognised this and focused on it as a conversion driver – intuitively, this should drive your conversions!

Vary your content: The expectation of someone on a website in 2014 has never been higher – to see a simple catalogue or pages and pages of information is no longer good enough.  Varying your content with video and ideally interactive media, which will be big in 2014, will engage the visitor and keep them interested in your proposition – and make sure that it translates to mobile too (of course!).

Write with your audience in mind: I have recently started a role in automotive, and there is a lot of terminology and acronyms – a lot. And when you are working in the industry, it is easy to use the terminology all the time, but the one place that you don’t use it is in front of the customer.  The people who buy our vehicles are regular people, not car specialists, so technical terms on the website would make the visitor feel intimidated and out of their depth during what is the second largest household purchase – not a nice feeling.  So, write with the 90% of visitors in mind, in language that they understand and meeting needs that they have.

Keep measuring: Unless you can demonstrate some progress with your conversion rate, you will not know if your efforts are having a positive or negative effect. And if you have spoken to your boss about not growing your traffic and focusing on optimising conversion rate, you need to be armed with this information!

These are just five tips, but there are thousands out there – why not leave a comment and share yours below?!

Image via barracuda-digital.com

5 Tips to Lower Your Bounce Rate

Mr Bounce Rate

Mr Bounce Rate

You may be asking ‘what are bounce rates’ and ‘are they a problem for me’?  Well, the bounce rate is the proportion of web visitors who only view a single page on the website and leave the site without visiting any other pages.  There is no benchmark for a ‘good’ bounce rate, as it will differ by industry and by the purpose of your webpage, e.g. if the user finds the info they want on the first page and calls your contact centre, this is a bounce but a positive one!

However, not all bounces are positive – more often than not, it is a result of the user getting lost / confused / irritated by a page before they exit.  Now think how much you are spending on SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing and all other referrals… a proportion of these visitors (and money!) are bouncing, so get efficient and minimise your bounce rate!  Here are my 5 tips to lower your bounce rate:

Where are users looking?  Although you can spend a lot of money on eye-tracking software, but if your budgets are tight, then you can look at where users click via Google Analytics – just go to Content => In-Page Analytics.  This should help deliver insight as to the best location for your key links.

New windows for links to other websites:  A really simple one.  If you put links to other websites on your website, the user will bounce if you don’t set up the link to open in a new window / tab.  So many big websites fall into this trap, don’t be one of them…

Specific landing pages:  Time spent in the user’s shoes is time well spent.  If you are receiving a referral from YouTube, it makes sense to put video content on that landing page.  Simple thinking like this will deliver more engaged users to your site who are less likely to bounce.

Snappy copy:  This is general website best practice, but a long and wordy page which the user is not expecting will turn them off – they can’t be bothered to read your work regardless of how beautifully worded it is!

Minimise distractions:  A lot of websites get in the way of their users by providing too many distractions.  The website which minimises distractions best is Google: very simple interface, minimal links and it lets the user get on with their objective.  Don’t offer too many options to the user, they might just click on them!

I have just scratched the surface here, but leave a comment and let me know your top bounce rate tip!

8 Conversion Rate Tips

conversion rate optimisation

conversion rate optimisation

Conversion rate is one of the few metrics which has a direct impact on your bottom line – the more users you convert, the more sales, and the more profit.  So, here are 8 tips to maximising your conversion rate:

1) First things first – Your traffic should be of a high quality and of a reasonable volume to help your conversion rate.  This is the first step.  If your traffic is poor, you won’t see the benefits of your optimisation!

2) Where is the traffic – You should spend some time knowing where your traffic comes from – if it is from a particular referrer, then your content should be tailored to the tone of that referrer.  If its too different, the user will be put off.

3) The path to conversion – Imagine that you are sat over the shoulder of the user and you are telling them where they should click.  This is the path that you want the user to take, so make navigation through the path simple (Amazon do this well) – and don’t get in their way!

4) Know the best pages – Spend some time analysing which pages people spend time on, and which are the most popular pages on your website.  If you optimise the most visited pages, the increase in your conversions will be greater.

5) Know the worst pages – Which are the pages which users dislike?  Check out the pages with the worst bounce rate and exit rates.  This is where potential customers are dropping through the net (pun intended), and often small changes can have a big impact on poorly performing pages

6) The tipping point – There will be a point where the user will want to get in contact or make a sale.  Its tough to work out which page will be the one that convinces the user to act, so give the user as many opportunities as possible to convert – e.g. put a small contact form on every page.

7) Colour Clarity – Do green buttons or red buttons work best?  I have read cases for both, but bear in mind the colour scheme of your site.  If your site is predominantly red, a red call to action may get lost – so do some testing!

8) Borrow with pride – Your competition is probably focused on improving their conversion rate too, so take a look to see what they are doing.  Their audience is likely to be similar to yours, so feel free to borrow their techniques and see if they work

There are lots of other tips, but implementing just these will put you further ahead than the vast majority of other website.  Happy optimising!

What Every Landing Pages Needs

Many organisations spent millions of pounds driving good quality traffic to their websites – investment in Pay Per Click advertising, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media referrals and affiliates is massive.  But the smart organisations realise that this is only half of the story: what about when the user is actually on our website?

It is on the site where successful and unsuccessful web strategies differentiate.  The quality of the landing page (i.e. the page which the user first lands on) will determine whether the user will continue their journey through to conversion.  So, what should your landing page say?

It’s all about ‘you’ – make your copy by using terms like ‘you’ – it’s a simple thing, but the personal touch is something that users will be looking for.  This is particularly useful for making the interaction on the internet more personal.

Mind your language – lots of companies that I have worked with require dictionaries to understand all the terminology and abbreviations that they use!  If you want to encourage people to convert, keep jargon to a level of zero.  You won’t be able to tell what your user’s knowledge is, so assume it is low.

Keep to the point – while you may think that your copy can be beautiful and moving, the landing page is not the place for artistic licence – keep to the point, keep it brief and make sure that it is laid out well.  Use bullet points to break up information and make it more readable.

Action speak louder… – always bear in mind what you want the user to do, and encourage them to do so.  Use action-rich copy (e.g. download, enquire, learn, submit), and make the call to action very clear.  The button that you want the user to click should be obvious.  Make sure you don’t get in the user’s way of converting!

Dedicated landing pages – These are pages which just contain an enquiry form and no other links, so the user either fills in the form or exits the page.  The conversion rates for this sort of page can be excellent, but you need to consider the user journey – if your product or service is a high cost / commitment offering, the user may want to do more research before making contact.

There are more tips for landing pages, but just doing this will put you ahead of most websites!  What are your landing page tips?

Conversion Rate Happiness – part 2

Sales will go this waaaaay!

Sales will go this waaaaay!

Last week we spent some time looking at 5 top tips for conversion rate happiness – here is the second part of my blog with another 5 tips. If you implement all ten, then congratulations – you are ahead of 90% of other websites on the planet!

6 – Share your success stories:
Testimonials and case studies are a great way of assuring potential clients – particularly for high cost or commitment products and services. This is important for B2B organisations, as other businesses will not want to be the guinea pigs for a new product: they will want to see that it works for other organisations, particularly if the company in the testimonial is similar to them.

7 – What do your users see:
Seeing which areas of the page that your users are drawn to will help you understand the most important areas of your page. If you think eye tracking sounds expensive, you are wrong. Google Analytics (a very useful tool for tracking your conversion rate optimisation success) has a heat-map facility which while basic can give you a good steer – go to ‘Content’ -> ‘In-Page Analytics’

8 – Test your images:
By now we should know that images are positive things – users love them! However, they need to be eye-catching, relevant and engaging (not sure the one at the top of this blog achieve that by the way!). As such, you should test your images – does an image of the product or service work better than a picture of a satisfied customer? There is one way to know for sure – test it.

9 – Change the big things:
Making very small changes to your page and expecting to see wild swings in bounce rate and page effectiveness will result in disappointment. Make bold changes (e.g. size or colour of ‘buy’ buttons) as these are the ones that will have a quick and measurable effect.

10 – Test, test, test:
One of the benefits of digital is the ability to measure almost in real time what you have changed. Check for changes in bounce rate (if it’s a landing page), time on page and exit rate – you will quickly work out if your changes have worked or not! Also, make sure that you leave enough time to give your changes a chance to shine – you should show your changes to a reasonable number of users to get representative data.

What are your top tips for conversion rate happiness? Leave a comment and let me know!