Getting traffic to your site is great, but what then?
If you aren’t converting users, all the traffic in the world is pointless.
Enter conversion rate optimisation.
You’ve heard of it before, right? Maybe you figured it was too time consuming or too complicated. Well it can be, but it can also be insanely actionable, when you’ve got the right techniques.
To get you started, we’ve put together over 90 CRO tips you can go and do right now, as part of your conversion optimization strategy.
Whether you want more people filling in a form, signing up to your email address or buying more products, there’ll be a conversion boosting technique for you.
This guide is divided up into five sections, so you can pick and choose how to improve conversion rate for:
These tips are actionable. You can go implement them right now to improve conversions on your website.
Ready for it? Let’s CRO.
1. Find out what visitors are searching for on your website.
First things first, make sure are using Google Analytics to track your visitors.
2. Discover the keywords that bring the best converting traffic
Then find out the keywords that lead them to your site and target those keywords.
3. Increase your pagespeed
Nobody's got time for a slow loading site. If your website loads slowly, you can be losing people before they ever read your content.
4. Include only essential form fields
People are busy. Save them time by not putting loads of useless form fields to fill in. Limit them to only what information you actually need.
5. Put conversion elements above the fold
Put your conversion elements (buy button, subscribe buttons or contact methods etc) above the fold so it's the first thing people see.
6. Include subscriber and/or follower counts
Show how many followers you have on social or subscribers to your email list to build social proof.
7. Use directional cues
Point your customers attention where you want it with visual cues.
8. Try a single column layout
Single column layouts make your reader focus on the content or look at your product. Test it before you implement it though to see what people prefer. Speaking of testing...
9. Do A/B testing
A/B testing is the bread and butter of CRO. You should have at least one A/B tests running on your site. When it comes to digital marketing, there's no such thing as perfect. A/B test ALL pages where conversions happen.
10. Set up a sales funnel
Sometimes you miss out on a conversion because the user isn't ready. People need time before they commit. Setup a sales funnel to lead them towards converting.
11. Address objections
Don't just address everything that is great about your offering, address what is wrong too. Potential customers are probably thinking it anyway, so you might as well address it.
12. Increase trust
Add trust signals to your site like third-party credibility, a physical address, professional design, up to date content and an error free site.
13. Offer proof
Proof is in the pudding, and who doesn't like pudding? Whatever claims you are making, back them up with testimonials, case studies or reviews.
14. Remove distraction
You want people to focus on a single action. So get rid of anything that gets in the way of this. Say bye-bye to overly large images, massive headers and sidebars.
15. Don’t forget about color theory
Colour can affect emotions, thoughts and actions. As a marketer, if you understand colour, so can you. Different colours mean different things to different people. Test and see what resonates with your customers.
16. Get feedback from your customers.
The best way to know what’s going on in a customer’s head is to (you guessed it) ask them! Web Engage is a popular tool to get on-site anonymous feedback from viewers.
17. Use high quality product images
If you are selling physical products, using a high quality images is super important. Why? Because customers want to see exactly what they are getting.
18. Give detailed product descriptions
Likewise, explain the product in detail so the customer knows exactly what they are getting. Not only will this help conversions (customers will be knowing exactly what they are getting) but there's an SEO benefit too.
19. Add incentives to take action right away
Add an incentive to speed up a user into taking an action. Use scarcity (quantity related or time related) to create urgency.
20. Use video to show your brands human side
Humans like buying from other humans, so show it. A video is a great way to show that there is a real person behind your brand.
21. Include recommend & related products
Related content or products help visitors stay engaged, so make sure they feature somewhere logically. Where? Ask your users.
22. Include a clear value proposition
What's so special about your product? Don't tell me, tell your customers.
23. Reduce or remove risk
Transactions = risk. Offer warranties and guarantees. Don't forget to A/B test what works best for your audience.
24. Offer various payment options
Being able to pay via credit card and paypal is a given fro shopping online. Although sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing…
25. Don’t offer too many options
Too much choice can be a bad thing and can lead to paralysis analysis. Be clear with your offerings and who it is for.
26. Use a live chat tool
Live chat isn't just a buzzword. If you are selling a product it's an easy way for customers to get in touch. It builds a direct communication channel with potential customers, helping to build trust as well as lifetime loyalty in the future. Well hopefully at least.
27. Offer bonus discounts at checkout
A extra discount might be the final nudge a user needs to convert.
28. Offer free shipping
Everyone likes something for free. By offering free shipping customers feel like they are getting a deal (even if they aren’t). Can't afford to offer free shipping? Increase product prices to cover shipping cost.
29. Provide coupon codes
Again, everyone likes free stuff. Create coupon codes to use at checkout for a specific amount or a percentage off the purchase.
30. Adjust product prices
Adjust your prices frequently to see what converts the best. This is especially true with brand items that are available in many stores.
31. Tweak and test your ecommerce checkout process
No one likes a checkout process that is overly long or too complicated. Make your checkout straightforward or you may lose customers right as they are about to convert. Ouch.
32. Use cart abandonment software
Abandoned carts is when someone puts an item in their cart, then leaves. You don't want this as a store owner. Get insights into why they are leaving with abandoned cart software.
33. Let customers know your online store is safe
Customers want to know that they are dealing with a legit store. How do you show this? Install SSL (https), show payment option icons and any active security badges.
34. Setup structure so visitors can easily find products
Not being able to find products in a cluttered nav is frustrating. Make sure to structure product categories logically, with as few levels as possible. You want a user to get to what they are looking for as quickly as possible.
35. Make your checkout form easy to understand
Make sure everything on your checkout form is easily understood. Pay close attention to CVV and input formats. Make it super easy for users by adding field limits.
36. Always show shopping cart contents
After a customer has added an item to the cart, make sure there is a link to get to the cart. If they can't find the cart, they might not checkout.
37. Let customers checkout as guests
Being forced to create an account is annoying. Give customers the option to checkout as a guest if they want.
38. Allow customers to review products
Can you remember the last thing you bought online? Did you read any reviews? I bet you did. Include them on your pages and let customers sell your product for you.
39. Make “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons stand out
Sometimes a button can be easily missed. Make sure they stand out so you don't miss out on any conversions.
40. Provide product testimonials if applicable
Similar to reviews, testimonials prove your product is as good as you say it is.
41. Have a great product return policy
Make returning an item easy for a customer and don't over promise. It might sound counterintuitive, but the option to returns goods is a CRO basic.
42. Optimize for mobile devices
This is a no brainer: make sure your site works on mobile devices. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to browse a site that doesn't work on your device. Bye bye conversions.
43. Display your phone number
Having a phone number helps customers to feel like they can trust you: they can call if they have an issue.
44. Provide valuable content
Bored of hearing 'content is king' yet? Well it's not going anywhere anytime soon. The more information you can give customers, the more likely they are to convert. Whilst not traditional CRO, content does help to engage an audience.
45. Try and catch customers before they leave
Everyone hates pop-ups. You probably do, and I know I do. But if a customer is going to leave (and buy from elsewhere) a pop up may be your last attempt to convert them.
46. Use CTA’s sparingly
Avoid CTA overkill. Drive users to the CTA you want them to perform on that page. Just make sure every product page (and content) has a CTA in it. You want your users to know exactly what to do next.
47. Make small changes (based on data)
When making changes to your site, do small changes, test them, then measure your results. Repeat what helped and re-test or change what didn't. Then measure it again.
48. Dare to be different
What makes your product unique? Why should someone buy from you? Explain to your customers why. Be different.
49. Spell check
Correcting misspellings is an easy-win. Spelling mistakes can make people lose confidence and trust in you.
50. Measure your ecommerce conversion rate success
It's obvious really, if you aren't measuring conversion rate, how do you know it's increasing?
51. The one thing rule
On each landing page, there should be exactly one thing that you want people to do. If there are multiple elements/actions competing for the user’s attention, you’re doing something wrong.
52. Use CTAs in long form content
If you are using long form content on your landing pages, use a CTA at the bottom of the page (or even a couple times in the middle if you have REALLY long copy).
53. And make sure your CTAs standout
What stands out gets clicked. Meaning, your call-to-action button or link shouldn’t be the same as the rest of your design.
54. Sprinkle in testimonials
Testimonials (especially from big brands and industry-leading names) boost your conversion rates. Just don’t get dishonest with them.
55. Don’t give your users banner blindness
Too much crammed into a banner could get ignored. Consider going for a single column so users can really focus on the page.
56. Create dedicated landing pages for pay-per-click ads
If you are running ads, send them to a dedicated landing page and not your homepage.
57. Grab visitors’ attention quickly
Everyone is busy. Everybody is in a rush. So it's vital you grab your customers attention before they leave your site.
58. Pay careful attention to your headline
Your headline is one of the most important elements of your landing page. Make sure it works.
59. Test out various color combinations on your landing pages
Remember colour theory? It applies to landing pages success too
60. Optimize our Landing Pages
Users don't want to spend ages looking for what they want. Make sure your landing page gives it to them, quickly and effectively.
61. Use simple web forms to capture leads
When capturing leads, make your web forms simple. Limit the amount of fields to only what is necessary.
62. Provide a offer and Call to Action
The right combo of offer and CTA (that aligns with your business )will help you stand out from the competition. Which leads us on nicely to...
63. Compare yourself with the competition before your visitors do
There are always going to be competitors. Don't shy away from them: address them. And more importantly, say why your business is better, or at least different.
64. Checkout your competitors reviews
What are they doing well and what are they doing not so well? Look to see how you can reverse engineer this for your business.
65. Check social and forums too
People use social media and forums to ask questions about product. They can also vent frustrations about businesses or praise them . This is valuable insight you can get into your audience. Use it to inform your site. Just don’t forget to...
66. Split test based on findings
Whatever changes you make, split test them. Especially with your call to actions
67. Test different value propositions
Understanding your customers will help you see what they perceive as value. Adjust accordingly to increase conversion rates.
68. Play around with pricing
Sometimes it just comes down to price. Look to see if you can offer anything to improve your value (coupons, free shipping) or just lower prices.
69. Make sure credibility is the same as competitor
Make sure you are a credible source to buy from. But more importantly, make sure your competitors aren’t more credible than you.
70. Talk to your website visitors.
Ask your website visitors about your site. Ask them if there’s anything they’d like to see. Take that data and help it improve your site. If you are getting lots of the same feedback back, consider to:
71. Build helpful FAQ content
FAQ pages help answer specific questions customers have and helps to convert them. Providing you’ve written effective content:
72. State the benefits of your product or service
Whilst listing the features of your product or service is important for customers, telling them exactly how your product will help solve their problem is arguably more so.
73. Cut the jargon
Don't try to bamboozle people with over the top language. Get to the point.
74. Use action verbs
Use action words like 'grab yours' and 'reserve your seat' to propel visitors into taking action. Remember to use the right language for your target audience though.
75. Test out various content lengths
Bigger isn't always better. Again, see what works for your audience then do more of that, which leads on nicely to...
76. Write for skimmers and scanners
Writing for the web isn't like writing a book. People generally don’t read whole articles. Make it easy for them by breaking up text with short paragraphs, headings and bullet points.
77. Pitch to subscribers during your post
If long-form content is your thing, consider putting a CTA midway through. Lots of people will skim read long content so this is perfect for catching them.
78. User numbers in headlines
You know why almost all the good blogs use numbers in headlines? Because they work. Numbers are easy for the brain to process and digest.
79. Use numbers in your CTAs too
Add credibility to your with specific numbers. “Over 87% of people agree” is better than saying just “best product”.
80. Show your friendly side in your copy
Friendly copy makes it seem like readers are having a conversation with a friend and not a faceless marketing machine.
81. Grammar and spelling
Make sure words are spelled correctly and your sentences make sense.
82. Try different blog formats
What works for one piece of content may not work for all the time. So test out different blog post formats, lengths, use of media etc. Don't forget to test it though.
83. Publish your posts at a different time
Is there an optimal time to post? There's too many factors to consider. Experiment posting at different times and see what gets the best results.
84. Test your publishing frequency
Don't be a slave to posting frequency. If your niche is full, don't add more to it unless you can add value and stand out. Think quality over quantity.
85. Place a CTA box at the end of a blog post
Put a simple CTA box at the end of your posts so you can catch readers before they leave. It doesn't have to be anything complex, a link to a related post or just an email sign up form will suffice.
86. Craft a compelling CTA in your conclusion
Following on from the previous point, get ready for some alliteration: craft a compelling conclusion with copy. Sorry not sorry.
87. Link to the previous/next post
Want readers to stay on your site for longer? Link to the next/previous post at the end of your article. The more interaction you can get, the more likely a non-paying customer becomes a paying customer.
88. Increase social shares
Make it easy for readers to share your content on social with click to tweet tools.
89. Remove the sidebar
Sometimes less is more. Instead of having a sidebar crammed full of elements, go for a single column so readers can focus on, well reading
90. Use social proof
Who here has done something because their friend has mentioned it. That's social proof. Use this in your content to convince and convert.
91. Develop a content upgrade
Go that extra mile and reward your readers with a free upgrade to keep them coming back for more.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats. You’ve just powered through over 90 CRO tactics so now you’ll know how to optimize your website for conversions. Nice.
But that was the easy part.
Now you’ve got to go actually do the tactics. Conversion rate optimisation is a marathon not a sprint, it’s something you do for the long haul.
And remember: always always be testing.
Reckon we’ve missed a tip? Let us know and we might add it to the guide.
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