Sometimes it can be hard to see past vanity metrics to what really matters for any site – final conversions. You can have all the impressions in AdWords, all the clicks in Analytics, the lowest bounce rate; but if your users aren’t converting then what is the point?
Types of Conversion
A conversion can be anything you want it to be, ideally something that can be tracked.
Aggregate conversions are those which are taken as an average across a set of users. These may include:
- Time spent on site
- Number of pages viewed
- New vs returning visitors
Final goals are those that form the last step in whatever your ultimate goal for the site is.
Some of the most common examples are:
- Form submission
- Sign up
Tip 1 – Test Your CTA
Call To Action – Split test your CTA constantly, really, you may be surprised at the difference a new CTA can make. Keep them focused on the benefits of following your conversion path and minimise distractions.
- Order now vs Order Instantly
- Test with and without exclamation marks if this fits your brand voice
- Get a quote vs Get Your Quote
- Now vs Today
- Free Download vs Download Now
- Sign Up vs Sign Up To Get Your Free [whatever it is]
- Save Money vs Start Saving Today
- Test writing in first and second person
Tip 2 – Home Page Content
Keep your content focused on the user. Too many sites babble on about things like their history, why they’re so awesome etc, before getting to the reasons the users need them and what they can gain from using the site. All that gumpf can be moved down the page, or even better, to their own specific pages.
No one has spare time any more. When a user lands on your page, tell them straight out what you do and how they can benefit. There are plenty of examples used in conference examples, most recently in my experience by Oli Gardner of Unbounce, where you can read everything above the fold on the home page of a site and still not have a clue what they do.
Tip 3 – Granular Landing Pages
Where possible don’t combine elements of your business on one landing page. If a user clicks a link for a certain product or piece of information via image search, paid, or organic, they expect to be taken straight to it.
Click minimisation is a fundamental element of CRO, and taking users to category pages to fish around in a sea of things they did not show interest in, or a different page to the one they were expecting will push them to look elsewhere.
Tip 4 – Use AdWords Scripts in Paid Search
In my opinion, one of the most useful pieces of script is the ‘Out Of Stock Items’ code that disables ads and keywords for items listed as out of stock on your site. This helps users convert by only advertising products and offers you can fulfil, therefore saving yourself from disappointing users when they realise they cannot complete a conversion, and ultimately increasing trust.
For more scripts and how to set them up read my post Top 4 Free AdWords Scripts to Simplify Your Life
Tip 5 – Use CRO Tools
While Analytics and the like can guide you to a fair degree on conversion optimisation, there is only so much they can tell you. There are so many awesome tools out there which can give you a far deeper insight into user behaviour and where you can improve CRO.
Some top tools to try include:
- Heat maps – can monitor and record clicks, mouse movement, and much more
- User testing – find out how users actually behave on your site and what stumbling blocks they come across
- Split testing tools – this is a huge subject all of its own, but you should be constantly split testing the fundamental elements of your site to improve CRO
You can read more about this and see which tools I recommend here
Tip 6 – Research Your Competitors
Obviously I am not suggesting you plagerise the opposition, but you might get a few ideas out of it which you can then test on your own site.
Tip 7 – Make Conversion as Easy as Possible
Sounds silly, but does your site really give users every opportunity to convert? Make sure they are able to start and/or move through the funnel easily and quickly with as few distractions as you can.
Tip 8 – Search Bar
In my humble opinion every website on the planet should have a well functioning search bar. This cuts both clicks and confusion for your users, saving valuable time and helping them find what they are looking for as quickly as possible.
Tip 9 – Simplify your Form
Ask for the absolute minimum information on your conversion forms to increase conversion rates. In my recent article about getting users to open your marketing emails, I found a great example of a good and bad form which you can see here:
Tip 10 – Review Your Design
It’s easy to spend so long looking at your site that you can no longer see the wood for the trees. User testing is great for this, as mentioned earlier. YOU may be able to quickly and easily navigate around your site, and find it attractive to boot, but users may not. Consider testing your design by moving elements of the site around, changing colors, fonts, text size and content. Test your navigation to see if users find it easier to move through the funnel when presented with more/less/different options.
Tip 11 – Create a Great 404 Page
Bonus tip! A lousy 404 page means less conversions. Fact. A poor 404 which makes it difficult to navigate back to other areas of the site will push users to search elsewhere. Create an attractive and effective 404 page to retain users and gain their custom. Find out how to create an effective 404 page and see some of the best examples in my post, How To Create an Effective 404 Page
There’s about a million other tips and ideas still to share but for now set aside some time to test out a few of these and good luck!