Taking measures to improve your website’s conversion rate is a very powerful, yet often overlooked, way to increase your revenue. Simply put, it’s easier (and more cost effective) to gain more sales from your existing traffic than it is to drive more viewers to your site. Not to mention, conversion rate optimization (or “CRO”) will only help to improve your ROI from traffic-generation investments.
Achieving even a mild conversion rate increase of a couple percentage points can have a huge impact on your bottom-line. Best of all, this one-time investment can continue to produce more sales for years to come.
Despite the benefits of conversion rate optimization, it can be difficult to know how to get started. Here are some expert tips to make sure your efforts are a success:
Tip #1: The Power of Split-Testing
For any change to be considered effective, it must be able to pass a split-test (also known as an “A/B Test”). Split-testing is the scientific method of conversion rate optimization – it’s what provides unbiased proof as to the effectiveness of any onsite change.
There are a number of solutions for the actual implementation of a split-test, but the core concept is simple enough that anyone can make use of it. You must first establish a baseline conversion rate (the rate your site is currently achieving). Then, to ensure accurate data, only one change should be made at a time. Once statistics are measured from a large enough sample, you then compare the conversion rate of the old page to the new one (containing your single alteration). All you need to get started is a way to track sales and compare them to your website traffic (installing Google Analytics will do the trick).
If the new rate represents an improvement, you keep the change. If not, you reject it. Either way, you pick the version which produced the best results, and make one change to that page to continue the process. By systematically weeding out the changes that don’t produce results (or even reduce conversions), you can make sure you are always working towards a higher figure.
This tip is number one for a reason – it’s the most important aspect of any effort to improve your conversion rates. The rest of these tips focus on specific items you can tweak, but they should coincide with thorough split-testing to achieve maximal results.
Tip #2: Build Trust With Testimonials and Guarantees
Even if your business provides a very high quality product or service, the sad reality is that new customers will always be at least somewhat skeptical until they have personally worked with you.
Raising customer trust is possibly the single fastest way to boost sales. Experiment with adding customer testimonials (video testimonials are even more effective – if you can get them), your own case studies, and adding guarantees, such as a money-back offer. Like anything else, you should split-test these additions to ensure they are helpful – but most of the time, they can produce powerful results.
Tip #3: Experiment With Colors
A simple change in the color of your on-page elements can make more of a difference than you might initially assume. For example, split-test results published by the marketing company Aweber revealed a simple change from green to red on their call-to-action nearly doubled their conversions.
As easy as this change was, they would have continued to receive half the sign-ups if they had never tested it. Playing with the color (or general design) of your call-to-actions usually produces the best results, but you can experiment with color variations of practically any element. Text and background color changes have both been known to make a surprising impact in the past.
Tip #4: Email Lists
Regardless of the industry you serve, there’s a universal truth – many potential customers who find your site simply won’t be ready to make a purchasing decision yet, no matter how effective your conversion tactics. If you don’t have a way to hook them in, you risk having those customers completely forget about your website (and your business), resulting in lost sales.
Having an opt-in email list is a great way to build rapport for long-term sales. A customer still in the decision-making stage might not be interested in your immediate buy-now pitch, but they would likely be interested in receiving a free email course to learn more information – or simply to subscribe to email updates.
By crafting a few short auto-responder messages to these customers, you can keep your brand fresh in their mind (and subsequently increase total conversions).
Tip #5: Minor Wording Changes
Another surprisingly effective area of improvement lies in the power of word selection. Try changing your content from a general focus to a user focus. For instance, you might notice a sizeable difference between “Order Our Book Today” and “Order Your Book Today”. By not overlooking the power of phrasing, you can uncover some great results.
Tip #6: An Attention-Grabbing Headline
Of all the content on your page, the headline is arguable the most crucial part to get right. Most visitors decide within a few seconds if they are going to continue reading your page or not, and the headline is the first element that influences that decision. Try to make it as captivating and attention-grabbing as possible through ongoing testing.
Tip #7: Hire an Expert
There are many areas of web marketing that you may wish to try a Do-It-Yourself approach, but conversion rate optimization isn’t an ideal task for beginners. For example, you may be able to raise your conversion rate from, say, 2% to 4% on your own – while an expert might be able to squeeze 6% instead. That may not sound like a large difference, but the expert approach represents a solid 33% increase in sales (from now into the distant future) over doing it yourself.
For expert advice, drop us a line to discover how we can help you achieve results. It won’t cost you anything to see how we can help.