Conversion Rate Optimization Made Easy

If your current conversion rate is 1% and you’re making $1000 from 100 customers, a few simple tweaks to your conversion process could make a big difference. Let’s say you manage to get your conversion rate to 5%. Now, instead of $1000, you are making $5000 from those same 100 customers. More than likely, you’ve already spent time and money designing the best site you possibly can. You’ve done everything you can think of to drive traffic to the site and keep your visitors coming back for more. However, even with due diligence on the design and copy aspects of the site, your sales may fall flat. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes into play. One of the biggest benefits of a conversion optimization campaign is that it has the quickest result to the lowest investment ratio. In other words, even on a very small advertising budget, you can generate a lot more leads in very little time. This is because you not only leverage the current traffic your site gets, but you also plug any holes in your conversion funnel process, which leads more users to the end result you are aiming for. garner statisticsAccording to Gartner’s research about digital marketing spending, digital marketing budgets are expected to rise 10% in 2014 alone. What if you could take some of that money and invest it in new product development, better content for your site or refine it a bit to reach an audience that will translate into loyal customers? Advertising costs add up quickly and the rates are rising. Even if you spend thousands placing ads on key sites to reach your target demographic, there is no guarantee those people will come to your site let alone buy something once they get there or become loyal customers. Improving your conversion rate is one of the quickest and simplest ways to improve your cash flow, and it only takes a little of your time to learn more about CRO and work on these improvements. One of the recommendations that we make at DBurns Design is to run a brand new website with a conversion optimization campaign only. This process takes a couple of months to fully ensure the conversion is optimized. Only after that is it time to start spending money on PPC and other SEM strategies. Without a strategy in place and a game plan for optimizing conversions, you can lose a lot of advertising money. small business spend online advertising Based on a work at

Call to Action Buttons

Conversion doesn’t always mean that you make a sell to that site visitor. However, it does mean that you got him to take an action that shows he is interested. That action can be anything from signing up for your newsletter to clicking on a “buy now” button. In Unbounce’s “The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Centered Design”, there are some key factors that get customers to notice your call to action buttons and to make a movement.

  • Think tunnel vision. Site visitors should have their focus drawn to what you want them to see. The effect should be as though they are looking down a tunnel at an object. This can be achieved by encapsulating the call to action inside a bold, contrasting color, for example.
  • Use color to incite emotion in your visitor. You probably already know that restaurants use the color red because it encourages hunger. However, you can use other colors to impact people emotionally as well. Color Wheel Pro has a basic chart to help you with what the different colors mean.
  • Give your visitors directions. Arrows are a great way to send visitors where you want them to go. Other direction cues include a photo of a person looking toward the call to action button, or text that looks different than the text surrounding.
  • Make the buttons large. The eye is drawn to large images.
  • Keep the page uncluttered. If you get too many things going on at once, the visitor may not know where to look. Keep things simple and remember what you want to accomplish with this page. Do you want the customer to click on the subscribe link and sign up for your newsletter? Then, everything about that particular landing page should encourage the visitor to do so.

Internet marketing guru, Seth Godin, suggests that we must grab the attention of the primate “lizard brain” in our customers. Sound a little strange? It is, but the research shows that it works. Basically, people have a primitive instinct that makes them notice anything out of the ordinary. Copyblogger recently tested this out with some A/B tests and found interesting results. In one study, there were three CTA buttons across the page for each of three plans, a free service, basic service and premium service. The third button had different words and more words than the other two and was getting more clicks. However, it was tied to the free plan and this needed to change, because it was hurting the paid conversion rate. By changing the color of the paid subscription button, they were able to increase the conversion rate by 95%. This was a simple change that equaled huge results.

color wheel
Photo Credit: Viktor Hertz via Compfight cc

A/B Testing

After seeing the difference simply switching from the color gray to orange had in the Copyblogger above where the conversion rate increased from a simple color change, you can see why it is important try different methods, test them and go with the one that gains the most conversion for your company. In his book The Slight Edge: Getting from Average to Advantage, Leo Weidner talks about the fact that you don’t have to be extremely better than your competitors. Instead, you need only a slight advantage to see big results. This means that you can make some small changes and gain an edge over your competitors. A/B testing helps you figure out what this edge is for your particular brand and goals. A/B testing is the simple act of testing model A and model B and seeing which performs better as in the example above with the orange button. So, let’s say that you have a site and your goal is to get people to sign up for a premium membership. Here is the method you might try:

  1. Set up two separate landing pages. The first landing page will be your control page. The two Call to Action buttons for each service will be identical.
  2. On the second landing page, you get to test your theory. Let’s say you just want a simple change, such as making the CTA for the premium membership button red instead of light blue. This is the page you will change each time as you go through your testing process and attempt to find the combination of factors that work best to increase your conversions.
  3. Once the two pages are set up, you must test these pages. According to Unbounce, in their guide “The Ultimate A/B Testing Guide”, you want around 1,000 site visitors to get an accurate look at how much the change impacts your visitors. While you can conduct the test with just a couple hundred, the results may not be as accurate.
  4. It is probably easiest to use a web analysis company to embed code and test the landing pages for you. While a skilled web designer or coding expert can set this up, it makes more sense to have all the statistics in one place. You’ll find out details such as who is visiting and your site and if that impacts their conversion. For example, are most of your call to actions being answered by people in the US while those from Asia are not clicking on your CTAs? If so, consider focusing more advertising dollars toward the target demographic that will net you the best results.

Studying Analytics

As you go through the testing process, remember that you can test all of the following features and more to see what works best for conversion rate:

  • Page headlines
  • Call to Action buttons
  • Page colors
  • Subheadings
  • Content
  • Adding testimonials
  • Different images
  • Prices
  • Sales
  • Promotions

And, these are just some of the things you can test with split model testing. You can certainly test anything you’d like, including your product names, descriptions and even social media buttons and what difference they make on conversion. Keep in mind that the test results should measure everything from sales to leads to clicking on ads that generate revenue for your site. What story do you want your analytics to tell? If your concern is gaining a mailing list of people who are likely to buy your product, then you’re going to track the data on who signs up for your newsletter from your different B models during the testing phase. However, you are also going to look closer at those who sign up based on the information you’ve collected or is available about their IP, such as country of origin. This information will let you know if you’re on the right track or not with your landing page. Another thing you’ll want to look at is your overall bounce rate. Does a visitor hit your page for a few seconds and then leave, never returning again? Something about that page is turning visitors off or not engaging them. You have to figure out what it is, but sometimes the only way to do that is to test everything on the page, one element at a time. For example, you might first change the wording on the page. Does anything seem insincere or too pushy? If that doesn’t fix the issue, look at images. Are they taking too long to load? Can they be optimized. Is there annoying music or videos that start to play automatically. Users who have limited data usage may leave rather than use up their data while a video streams. What else is on the page besides your CTA? Does it point to the CTA in some way? Can you get rid of anything? How can you streamline the page and make the focus better? As you start to try different models, look at the data each time. Eventually, you will find the landing page that speaks to your target demographic and gets that type of person to sign up for your newsletter. This is your successful page that will gain you more conversions of the type of customer that will buy your product most often.

The Psychology behind Converting Visitors to Customers

Would you buy a product or service from someone you didn’t trust? Those coming to your site likely don’t know you. They have no reason to trust you, so you must show that you are trust worthy. This includes:

  • Being upfront about the advantages of what you have to offer but not stretching the truth or covering up limitations.
  • Being easily accessible. Can potential customers ask questions? Do you have a strong FAQ page?
  • Including an “About Us” page to show why you’re the expert they can trust.
  • Including testimonials to show that other customers trust you.

Unbounce also suggests the three basic models that get people to take an action. These include:

  • Urgency and Scarcity – Is there a limited number? Is there a time limit to get a special deal? Are there only four premium packages left? Be honest but set limits to increase urgency.
  • Try Before You Buy – Guarantees show that you believe in your product. The customers also has the comfort of knowing that he can cancel and not be charged. A two-week trial might cost you money at first, but it may gain you a customer for life. If you can’t offer a free trial, consider a guarantee.
  • Social Proof – What are others saying? This ties back to the testimonials. Others love your product, so the visitor will, too. You can also use statistics to create a sense of urgency. 90% of all homes are at risk of _____, would be one example of using a statistic to create a sense of urgency in the site visitor.

Never Stop Testing

Don’t worry if you try out one A/B test and don’t get great results between the different models. Keep initiating new tests and trying new things. As with the slight edge theory mentioned above, it is sometimes the little things that make a difference in how well your business does over time. Testing different models give you knowledge of who your customers are, who you are and aren’t reaching and what you need to do better in the future. Having this knowledge gives you the power to make wiser decisions and convert visitors into paying customers.

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