I often get asked what the easiest ways to increase a websites performance is. So now that I now have a shiny new outlet in my Digital Bliss blog, I’ll begin sharing them here
Before I start, I just listed in Directory World
1 – Use photos of (real) people.
I use the word real because I personally can’t stand sites that are full of stock photos bought for $2 a pop and splashed all over corporate web sites. You know the ones I am talking about. It’s no secret that people react positively to seeing photos of other people, so splash a few photos of staff or customers on your website to increase trust and social proof. Others in the industry such as Unbounce heavily support using images of people to increase conversion.
Tip 1: As I said earlier, use REAL photos. Keep the crappy stock photos away from your site. In fact, if all you have is stock photos, ignore this point and don’t use them at all.
Tip 2: Hmm how do I say this? Use photos of somewhat attractive people. I think thats all I need to say on this. People react positively to attractive people, and it is better for selling your product. A/B test what photo converts best. 37Signals did just this, and the results were quite interesting…
Tip 3: If the image of the best converting person is next to a headline or Call to Action, make them look at it. It’s been shown over and over that you will look where you see other people looking. Ever walk down a street and see two or three people looking up at the third floor of a building, and taken a quick look yourself to see what they are all looking at? I bet you have! Enough said
2 – Optimise your Call to Action (CTA) until your fingers are numb!
Every website that has a purpose has a CTA somewhere. This could be an enquiry form, and Add to Cart button on an Ecommerce site, a Call Us headline on a consultancy page, or any other snippet of text telling the customer to do something.
The CTA is often one of the first aspects of a website testing when optimising for conversions.
Tip 1: Never use a simple ‘Submit’ button. Make the CTA a bit more juicy, and make it clear what they will receive by clicking on your CTA. Click Here to receive your Free trial is much better then Click here. I on your industry, you could use any of the following:(use VWO here to change some button with text like ‘submit for your free trial’
Tip 2: Play with the colour of the button. Unbounce asks the questions “Is the CTA large enough to stand out from 6ft away”. Although it may be the case that a green button is clicked more often than a red button, the real purpose of changing a CTA buttons colour is to create contrast. If the colour jumps out from the rest of the page, your eyes are naturally more drawn to it, and you are more likely to click it. Helllllo conversions!!
Tip 3: Place the CTA button near the top of the page, in a prominent position. This is logically going to get seen more often, and clicked more often. You can always place a secondary CTA near the bottom of the page if you wish.
Tip 4: Direct the viewers eyes towards the CTA, either with a person looking towards it (see above), or an arrow directing you towards it.
3 – Build Trust and Social Proof
This mixes in with a few other points I will make, however it goes without saying that if a customer trusts your site, and sees their peers using your site, they are more likely to convert into a customer themselves.
You can build trust by showing logos of partners or customers (a Case Studies section can be good for this), or by proving the security of the website. Perhaps a Verisign logo, or similar Secure Payment logo can achieve this well for your site.
There is a few ways to build social proof into your website.
Social proof can be built and displayed through (drum roll….) social media. I have personally used Facebooks plugins such as the Facepile and Like Box to show a website has existing fans and customers. It goes without saying that if you stumble onto an online store you have never been to, and see 16,375 fans, you instantly believe it is reputable and a legitimate online business.
Product reviews work well. In fact, over 70% of Americans looks for product reviews before making a purchase online [source]. To get reviews, either blatantly ASK the customer for reviews, wrap it around a reward for doing a review, or get the ball rolling with some staff product reviews (be sure to say it is a Staff Review, or it just comes of as deceptive J )
4 – Send people to a highly targeted page
This is looked over by many websites who participate in only advertising (particularly PPC). If you sell Blue Running Shoes, and I search for Blue Running Shoes, send me direct to your landing page that sells Blue Running Shoes! All too often I see an ad for a product I am interested in, and want to know more about, and then can’t find it on their website. I saw a great broadband plan recently on a Telecom (a New Zealand based ISP) Google PPC advert and was super eager to learn more. I clicked on the advert (which cast them about $1.20) then was dumped onto their Homepage! I searched all over for the plan they were offering and couldn’t find it anywhere, so I closed the website. If they had sent me directly to a page created for that deal, I would have enquired, and their $1.50 marketing investment may have turned into a $65 per month return from me as a new customer.
Tip 1: Digital Marketing Consultants can do a few fancy tricks in regards to sending people to highly optimised pages. By knowing what words people are searching for, then dynamically inserting these into the landing page, you can increase conversions by well over 100%.
For example a website for a Lawyer is perfect for this sort of trickery. The Landing page might typically say “Contact us Now for Your Legal Needs!” Now if you use a script to detect what people are searching for, and Joe Blogs searches for ‘Bankruptcy Law”, you can change this headline, on the fly, to “Contact us Now for Your Bankruptcy Law Needs!”. I can guarantee that will increase your conversions, and the ROI from that page will skyrocket.
5 – Make the visitors’ job easy.
The less the visitor to your site has to do to become a visitor, the better. This is applicable across all sorts of websites so pick the tip below, and test it out on your website to increase conversions.
Tip 1: Provide a Guest Checkout. If I customer is faced with a time consuming checkout process they may abandon the cart. If you provide a guest checkout, with just delivery address and payment details, you will catch these lazy buggers from going else ware!
Tip 2: For lead gen or enquiry based websites, remove all unnecessary fields. If a customer is faced with a 15 point enquiry form (Name, Address, Post Code, Age, Gender, Eye Colour, Favourite Breakfast) just to make a barbers appointment, chances are they can’t be bothered (unless your CTA is really good ;). Just get the essentials; the rest can be collected via a follow up email or phone call. Or even better, get the essentials on Step 1 of the enquiry (Name, Email), then get the rest on Step 2 (Address, Preferences etc). This way, if they do bail before giving you the full details. You at least know who they are to get in touch.
So whats the final word on increasing your websites conversion rate? Either DIY with some of the tips above your self, or flick DigitalBliss an email and ask for their professional opinion on your website.
Although the above tips work much of the time, many top tips can also hurt your conversion rate if applied incorrectly or they don’t suit your website perfectly. The ebst way to find out what works for you, is A/B testing.
- 6 Apr, 2013
- Matt Giles
- 0 Comments