There are now 100’s of elements to consider when improving your website conversion rate and sales.
And it’s not just about A/B testing any more, there are many newer conversion rate optimization (CRO) techniques to use like persuasion and personalization.
Which method is most effective for increasing conversion rates?
Here’s a guideline to help you see the difference. You might be surprised by some of these!
This is based on my learnings from15 years experience of improving 100’s of websites, including ManlyBands.com UnboundMerino.com and FormPros.com
Let’s get started, with rankings from least important to most important:
Conversion rate is not important
Test the colours of your CTA buttons with a variety of methods
Different CTA button colours will often only have a very limited impact on conversion rate, unless it matches other elements on your page and doesn’t stand out. They should be visible from all other elements on your website, although they can have a greater impact.
Optimize your web page load speeds
This is a controversial topic, but it’s important. The truth is that unless your pages are noticeably slow at loading (over 5 seconds) and you are in a very competitive market that visitors can easily go elsewhere to buy what you offer, then improving load times likely won’t have much impact on your conversion rates.
Personalizing your website to improve engagement
Many tools are available to help you with this trend. Although personalization can be a great way to present more relevant content to visitors, it is best to only begin personalization after your website meets a high standard of CRO. It doesn’t matter how much you personalize your website if it has poor usability and isn’t very engaging — it still won’t convert very well.
Things that you want done by your HiPPO
Your HiPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) may often want something changed or improved on the website based on their opinion or what they like. This is not always what your visitors desire. It’s the exact opposite of using conversion research as a way to improve your website.
Conversion rate has medium importance
Improve your search, filtering, and navigation menu
You will use these elements often as the primary content on your website. They should also be very easy to navigate. They will make it easier for visitors to locate what they want faster, more easily, and even convert. It’s particularly important on mobile category pages to make your filters more prominent and easy to use, ideally using sticky elements so they are always visible.
Improve the usability of your forms
The success of your website’s conversions depends on how effective you use forms. You can increase conversion rates by removing redundant fields or improving error validation, especially on signup and checkout pages.
Use website persuasive techniques such as scarcity and urgency
This can be a great way to get people to sign up for your product or to buy it. However, this technique is not as effective as social proof or other methods of persuasion.
Improving your mobile website further — not just responsive
Don’t just settle for a basic responsive website that changes the layout and sizes. To better meet the needs of your visitors, you need to adapt more. For example, make links easy to use and add sticky navigation elements. You also need to check your layout doesn’t break on smaller devices that have only 375 width.
Improve your checkout and shopping cart
You should reduce friction, such as removing header navigation, increase security perception, and clearly display risk reductions, like free shipping and returns. But don’t just focus on this — you need to optimize the whole visitor journey up to this point.
Conversion rate is of utmost importance
Highlighting unique value propositions on important entry pages
It doesn’t matter how engaging your website is if you don’t clearly show your unique value proposition — the reasons that someone should purchase from your website instead of your competitors (low price guarantee, biggest selection, highest rated etc). And don’t presume that your visitors know it already, on the contrary, they will often be doing comparison shopping. Your unique value proposition must be prominently displayed on all key entry pages.
Testing the text and placement of CTA buttons.
This is even more critical than testing CTA buttons’ colours. It is essential to use action-orientated, benefit driven words on them (like ‘Start Free Trial Now’), and to always make sure they are above the fold on desktop version of your website, and then repeated at the end of long pages.
To increase the number of visitors who buy, you need to improve social proof
This can be displayed prominently on the homepage or product pages, depending on what type of website it is. Social proof can be illustrated by adding reviews, testimonials and ratings as well as awards and logos from well-known clients.
To increase relevancy, optimize paid search ads
Paid Search is often the key source for traffic. Therefore, it is crucial to enhance the relevancy and message continuity of your ads to ensure that they are relevant to your website. Paying for paid search on specific keywords-focused landing pages will result in higher conversion rates.
The conversion rate plays a very significant role
Conversion research is a great way to get better insight
Conversion research provides valuable insight into how to boost your sales and conversion rates. This helps you discover what your user’s main problems, doubts and hesitations are so that you can improve your website to meet their needs better. Conversion research is best done using user tests. These include customer surveys and visitor surveys. Hotjar.com, Userfeel.com are great tools for conversion research.
Testing headlines and copy at the top of each page
The biggest factor in conversion rates is copywriting. This applies especially to elements such as headlines or product descriptions. That is because if you don’t engage your users with good copy when they arrive, they will not be that interested and often leave. Using benefit driven wording works well, as does using wording that solves your user’s pain points, and also wording that explains why to choose you. Test different versions of key pages.
Capturing visitors emails to do follow-up email marketing
Don’t presume your visitors will convert first time — over 95% of them will leave. Capturing email addresses by offering a good incentive (like discounts or related guides) is essential — when using a good series of automated emails, email will often become your highest converting source of traffic.
This should help you to understand what factors have the greatest impact on website sales and conversion rates.