When it comes to optimizing your website, there’s no such thing as a perfect result. After all, creating a website that converts at a rate of 100% is not only an unrealistic feat - it’s also an impossible one.
However, while the perfect result can’t be achieved, it’s crucial that you aim for it anyway. After all, the smallest of changes in conversion rate can often lead to a significant increase in revenue, cash flow and sales.
Thankfully, conversion rate optimization is not as difficult as it seems. Let’s break down the 4 easiest things you can do today to get a bit closer to that elusive 100%.
1. Test Everything
If you’re not testing and tracking the performance for every element of your website, you’re most likely missing out on some golden opportunities to improve your conversion rates. In fact, something as simple as changing the colour of your CTA button could boost your conversion rate by 21%.
And it’s not just your website that can benefit from testing. Just about anything from your email subject lines to your social media content should be tested to ensure that it’s optimized to produce the best possible results.
A/B testing is the easiest way to compare one or more variations of a webpage or element in order to determine which one performs better. Using an A/B testing tool, you can take a web page and modify it to create a second version of the page. Half the traffic you receive on that webpage will then be shown your original page, while the other half will be shown the modified version.
A/B testing helps take the guesswork out of optimisation and allows you to make the best possible decisions for your website. Don’t believe us? Read these case studies to see how companies have transformed their conversion rates with the smallest of A/B tests.
What can you A/B test?
- Content and text
- Headlines and subheadlines
- CTA buttons: Colour, placement and text
- Placement of elements
- Design and layout
Best tools for A/B testing:
- Unbounce: A world's leading landing-page builder tool that also supports A/B testing. Ideal for both individual entrepreneurs and bigger companies.
- VWO: An easy-to-use A/B testing platform that allows you to run a variety of tests. Ideal for smaller businesses with limited budgets.
- Google Analytics & Google Optimize: If you’re already using Google Analytics, Google Optimize is the easiest way to create and run A/B tests.
- Adobe Target: A more complex tool that automatically adapts your website in real-time to meet user needs. Ideal for enterprises.
Pro Tip: If you don't want to update your landing pages yourself all the time, you can delegate it to a monthly web design service like Growmodo and let professional UX designers run the tests for you.
Heat maps are another effective way to measure the performance of your webpages. Using a warm-to-cool colour spectrum, heat maps show you which elements of your webpages receive the most attention. They can also be used to analyse how far down the page visitors scroll and the elements they click on the most.
When should you use heat maps?
- Alongside A/B tests. Heat maps are extremely useful for interpreting the data you collect through A/B tests. For example, if you’re running an A/B test on the CTA button of a page, you want to make sure that people are actually viewing and interacting with the button to measure the accuracy of your results.
- When designing your website and layout. Heat maps are the perfect medium to determine where each element should be placed on your webpage for the best possible performance.
- To optimize your content. If you’re investing your time into content marketing, you want to make sure that your content is optimized to convert. Using heat maps, you can observe your visitors’ behaviours to determine how long your content should be, where headings should be placed and whether CTAs being clicked enough.
Best tools for heat mapping:
- Hotjar: Powerful behavioural analytics platform. Among its features are heatmaps, visitor recordings, conversion funnels and forms analysis.
- Lucky Orange: Allows you to follow users as they navigate your website. The tool also includes useful features like heatmap segmentation and heatmaps for each of your A/B test variations.
- Capturly: A new kid on the block of heapmapping tools, a modern and very full-featured platform with affordable plans.
- Fullstory: Offers sophisticated engagement heatmaps that allow you to watch recorded visitor sessions to understand why users clicked on particular elements (and why they didn’t).
- Heatmap.com: A simpler solution for basic heatmaps with a generous free-for-life tier.
Bonus tip: You can also use website visitor tracking to identify visitors who left your website without converting, making it easier to identify patterns of behaviour and find leads.
User testing is the best way to identify problems with your website or app. Through qualitative data, user tests provide you with answers and explanations that often complement the qualitative data gathered from A/B tests.
While A/B tests and heat maps allow you to understand a larger audience at once, user testing opens up a direct conversation with individual customers, allowing you to truly understand their concerns and identify patterns in their behaviour.
Generally, a user test involves you asking a number of people within your target audience to perform typical tasks on your website or app. While user tests are undeniably useful, they can also be the most difficult testing method to nail.
Best guides to get you started with a successful user test:
- A comprehensive guide to user testing
- User testing 101: The complete guide
- How to write effective usability testing questions
Best tools for user testing:
- UserTesting: world's leading user-testing platform.
- UsabilityTools: a simple tool for running remote, unmoderated user tests. Free trial available.
- UserFeel: one of the cheapest options available on the market, with a $39 fee for each session. It also offers tests for non-English speaking users, making it a particularly attractive tool for websites that are in different languages.
2. Optimize For Speed
Did you know that a 1 second delay in your page speed can reduce your page views by 11%? Understandably, the less visitors stay and browse through your page, the less likely they are to convert through it. And it shows, as each 1 second delay in page load speed causes a 7% drop in conversion rate.
When it comes to optimizing your website for conversions, page speed is an element you can’t afford to overlook. With most users abandoning web pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load, it’s crucial to keep your load speed down to ensure a smooth experience across your website. You can use a powerful SEO tool to identify and analyse the speed of your pages.
Not yet convinced? Keeping page speed low is also known to have a positive impact on your search engine rankings.
3 Ways To Improve Your Page Speed
- Optimize your images. Make sure your image files are as small and compressed as they can be. You can use a tool like Compressor.io to optimize your image files for faster loading.
- Choose the right hosting provider. We cannot stress this enough: It’s crucial to choose the right hosting option for your needs, and often, it’s not the cheapest one. Especially once you start receiving more traffic, it’s crucial to choose the right one to maintain a fast load speed.
Pro Tip: If you're hard pressed for time and can't invest it in learning these skills yourself, you might be better off finding a Page Speed Specialist to fix the issues for you. You can easily find some with reasonable rates on websites like UpWork.
3. Establish (& Reinforce) Credibility
Trust is one of the most crucial factors for driving conversions on your website. When it comes to filling out lead forms, visitors are much more likely to provide their information to you if they trust that your website is secure and trustworthy.
4 Ways To Establish Credibility
- Testimonials: Including testimonials from your existing customers is a quick way to establish trust with visitors. In fact, just adding 1 testimonial to your website can increase conversion rates by up to 10%. For a modern alternative, you should consider a tool like ProveSource to reinforce social proof through web notifications.
- Client logos: Client logos have a similar effect to testimonials, though they’re a more effective approach for establishing trust if you’ve worked with a number of reputable brands. Including their logos on your webpage is a more visual way to get attention from your visitors.
- Provide valuable content: The easiest way to prove yourself as a leader is to provide visitors with valuable content within your field of expertise. Whether this is through eBooks, blog posts or videos, showing your visitors that you know what you’re doing is a quick way to build trust.
- Live chat: Implementing live chat on your website can increase your conversion rate by up to 45%. Live chat has the two-pronged benefit of increasing customer satisfaction and adding a human touch to your online presence, especially if you're an eCommerce brand that collect payments online. Consider using Paldesk, an omnichannel communication platform that allows you to connect with visitors and customers in real time.
- Secure your website: Make sure to secure your website on Google against hackers. It's more common than you think and can have a damaging effect on your reputation and SEO.
One of the most important factors in establishing the credibility of your website is a clean, professional design. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a professional web designer to create a credible website - since it’s 2020, there are plenty of website builders that will do it for you. As a bonus, make sure to follow current web design trends.
Best website builders:
- Wix: Easy-to-use drag and drop editor with 500+ themes to create websites in minutes.
- Squarespace: Affordable website builder with a comprehensive collection of modern themes.
- Wordpress: Basic website builder with a free plan. Ideal for blogs or users with advanced skills who want personalized plugins.
4. Reduce Bounce Rate
Reducing the bounce rate of your web pages is understood to be a driving force for increased conversions. While bounce rate as a metric is starting to be replaced by newer metrics like scroll depth, having a high bounce rate is still one of the worst things that could happen to your conversion rate.
Generally speaking, a bounce rate over 80% should be a cause of concern.
5 Tips To Reduce Your Bounce Rate
- Use targeted landing pages: Did you know that companies with 30+ landing pages generate 7 times more leads than those with fewer than 10? Having a targeted landing page for each of your target personas allows you to tailor the user experience, copy, imagery and CTAs on your website to suit the needs and tendencies of that particular audience. The more your web page speaks to the specific needs of your visitor, the more likely they are to remain on it. Consider using an agency that offers web design services to create attractive landing pages for each of your personas.
- Add videos: It has been found that adding a video to your web page reduces bounce rate by an average of 34%. However, not just any video will do - make sure that your video is optimized to grab attention, particularly within the first 10 seconds. For example, check out how DroneDeploy are using video content on their main page.
- Optimize for mobile: While the number of users accessing the Web primarily from mobile devices continues to grow, responsive website design still continues to be an overlooked afterthought for many businesses. It’s crucial to create websites that perform just as well on mobile as they do on the web, as not having a responsive website can lead to an increased bounce rate for mobile users.
- Exit-intent popups: While popups can be annoying for some, it’s been proven that 10-15% of lost visitors can be saved by using exit-intent popups. By installing these on your website, you can target users who are about to exit your web page with an enticing, targeted offer.
Want to take your CRO efforts to the next step?
Here are some options to consider:
- Invest in professional conversion optimization services via an agency or a marketing coach.
- Keep on top of industry trends and case studies by following the best conversion rate optimisation blogs.
- Run a complete CRO audit on your website.
While a perfect conversion rate is impossible to achieve, even a small change in your conversion rate can have a significant impact on your overall revenue. If you’re receiving any kind of traffic to your website, you must make the most of it by fully optimizing your website. Luckily for you, it’s now easier than ever to do it - and consequently get your conversion rate closer to that 100%.