Is your website getting a ton of traffic but just isn’t converting website visitors into leads? Let me guess – you’ve done SEO the right way, created some killer content and your organic rankings have been boosted as a result? On top of that you have set up and optimized a Google AdWords campaign, that is driving some great traffic to your site with all of the right keywords, but all of this traffic is proving to be just that… Traffic. If you have this problem then you need to start optimizing your landing pages so that they make it super easy for visitors to understand what you do, why they should work with you and why they should convert into a lead or a sale. Ideally when creating your landing pages you want to try to almost be psychic and give the visitor every piece of information that they are looking for.
Which will in turn allow them to convert easily as they don’t have to go looking around your site. After tapping into your “psychic super powers” you are going to want to test, test and test some more until your landing pages are primed for conversions (then test even further!). This beginner guide to conversion rate optimization from ConversionXL is a great place to start learning about CRO and the definitive guide to CRO from Quicksprout also includes some really great information. But if you are looking for some quick tips to increase your conversions, then you have come to the right place, because we asked 9 of the world’s leading Conversion Rate Optimization Experts for their top tips for increasing conversions and they didn’t disappoint!
Johnathan Dane is the Founder & CEO of Klientboost. He’s been interviewed by Google, webinared by KISSmetrics, and podcasted by Unbounce.
Multi Step Landing Pages:
If you think about it, most of what you want in life starts on a small scale.
– Want that significant other? Get their number first
– Want to lose weight? One healthier meal at a time
– Curious if that movie is good? Watch the trailer or read the reviews
Multi step landing pages are the introductory offer you see your masseuse giving away (50% off your first visit) or the Yes Ladder in sales. It’s a way of getting your prospects to take that first step into your funnel, without them being threatened.
If your landing page asks for name, email, phone number right off the bat and what your asking the visitor to do is a high ask, then test adding more fields and more steps to getting them to convert.
We’ve built our whole website around this approach with a single goal and a three step conversion funnel.
Scott Brinker is the co-founder and CTO of ion interactive, the editor of chiefmartec.com and author of Hacking Marketing. He is a passionate advocate for marketing experimentation and innovation.
After years of working in the conversion optimization space, I’m convinced that adopting agile is the single best thing a company can do to improve its results in conversion optimization. The more agile you are, the better your conversion optimization will be.
An agile marketing team can tackle a series of conversion optimization tests in short sprints, 1-4 weeks in length. They can run daily 15-minute stand-up meetings with all relevant stakeholders upstream and downstream to assure “message match” alignment and eliminate any roadblocks. At the conclusion of the experiments, they know exactly what they’ve measured and how to leverage it in production. Then they’re immediately on to brainstorm their next iteration.
Peep Laja is the founder of Conversion XL the world’s most popular conversion optimization blog, and top 1% optimization agency working with fast-growing companies
My Number One Tip – Forget Hacks!
You need to identify what actually matters. Forget “hacks”. Stop looking for shortcuts, and do the hard work that’s needed to get sustainable results. You need to do the heavy lifting and conduct user research as well as quantitative research on your website. Look at the ResearchXL framework to learn how.
Jacob Baadsgaard is a PPC & Conversion expert. He is the founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising a leading PPC agency
Build A Detailed Buyer Persona
I’ve found building a detailed buyer persona(s) is a critical element to any effective CRO effort.
Most businesses start testing for the sake of testing which rarely leads to the desired outcome. Most businesses will have 4 – 7 buyer personas which can range a great deal from gender, age, income levels, likes/dislikes, etc. The key is focusing on the perceived pain of their customer and using the personas to craft a message that is relevant and compelling.
Taking the time to build a buyer persona is what builds the human element into your test which will often lead to much higher success rates. For tests we run with well built-out buyer personas we have a significant lift in performance well over 50% of the time.
Would you create the same experience for a 57 year old woman as you would for a 22 year old man? Sounds crazy right? Unfortunately most marketers don’t realize they are doing just that especially with the targeting control they have in their PPC campaigns.
Finally, marketing is a lot funnier when it gets personal so take the time to build out your personas well and come up with the next 3-6 months of tests you plan to run for each one.
Michael St Laurent is a conversion expert and an Optimization Strategist at Wider Funnel – One of the leading Conversion Optimization Agencies in the world.
Test removing sections from your page!
That’s right. Removing entire sections of a page is one of the biggest shortcuts you can take, in order to better understand what your visitors value. One of the most important lessons in conversion optimization is to learn to let your visitors tell you what is important to them, rather than deciding for them.
Challenge the idea that you know what your users perceive as valuable.
You will be surprised at what you learn. You may find entire sections of your page that you thought were valuable are actually making no difference, and you may discover a piece of content that you didn’t know people cared about.
Remember that an experiment is exactly that: an “experiment”. Every test doesn’t have to be the next generation of your page, and every test does not always have to move the needle forward. The fastest way to learn what matters most to your users is to take things away until you see a massive reaction.
You will find that when you remove certain pieces of content, your conversion rate changes dramatically. This is what you are looking for, and it means your visitors are telling you what is important to them.
Once you know the value of each of your value propositions, it is a lot easier to focus your efforts in the right place. Happy testing!
Samantha Kerr, is the CRO Manager at Hanapin Marketing, the world leading PPC Agency behind the PPC Hero Blog and Hero Conference – the world largest All PPC Conference series
I don’t believe there is one single tip anyone can give that is sure to increase conversions. However, I will discuss one of the most important things you should keep in mind when you’re looking for something to test or assessing any type of data. Your user and their expectations. To read more on this topic, check out my blog post on PPC Hero. Your users need to be at the forefront of your mind when you’re making optimizations to your landing pages. What do they expect to see when they land on your page? What is their intent? Ensuring you understand your users and know what information they’re looking for will help you send them to the most appropriate landing pages and deliver the content they’re looking for. If their expectations are met, they’re more likely to explore your site and move further down the funnel.
Kate Wilcox, is a CRO Coordinator at Hanapin Marketing, the world leading PPC agency behind the PPC Hero blog and Hero Conference – the world’s largest all PPC Conference series:
I’m sure most CRO folks would agree that there’s no single thing you can do that will most definitely boost your conversion rate every single time. This is why we test our little hearts out! I will however give you a solid piece of advice that will greatly benefit you in a grand majority of situations you may find yourself in: Create a dedicated landing page. Dedicated landing pages address and nullify numerous major issues that can cause friction for users including too much information and stimulus presented on the page, access to too many egress points, and lack of congruency or relevancy to the user intent just to name a few. Check out my recent article on PPC Hero if you want to read more about this specific topic. Bottom line, dedicated landing pages can ensure that you’re bringing relevance to the table in a succinct fashion. Aligning relevance can greatly benefit any page
Keith Hagen, is the Director Of Conversion Services at GoInFlow.com (formerly conversion IQ), one of the leading eCommerce marketing agencies in the world. He’s been gaining insights into what is and isn’t working with websites since 2002.
I get close to prospective customers. I find out what they want and try to give it to them. The only barrier is they are on one side of a website, and I on the other. That means I have to do almost anything I can to learn about their decision making process. My hack is (get ready for it) talking to people!!!
Yes, I know GA, I have access to online user test platforms as well as qualitative polling and survey tools, heat-maps, screen recordings, feedback tools, live chat transcripts, etc, and I use ALL of them as well. But NONE of them reveal the insights that talking to people do. Here is how I do it:
1) User Interviews – Research Panels allow you to pin point a type of person and ask them questions. For a bit more money, you can often set up a web meeting, interview them and then go through the website in an assistive user testing manner.
2) User Focus Groups
3) CSR Focus Groups – Sure, the people mostly deal with post purchase issues and only hear from certain types of people otherwise, but they have nuggets, so get them together (for synergy) and start digging.
4) Sales Folks – They know and carp load and don’t want to take the time to talk to you unless you demand it while at the same time selling the benefits of your work to them. If you can’t relate to sales people, you shouldn’t be optimizing websites (psssst: Its the same thing).
5) In Store Customers – Is your site brick and mortar? Go shadow a sales person for a day, or even a week. You will see how people shop off-line, this will help you realize how the process translates online.
Once you have real insights from real people, now you can go off to the “old” CRO tool sets you are more familiar with, like Analytics and Heat-maps, to quantify, validate, prioritize etc ’til your hearts content.
The difference is that your insights will be better, your treatments will be better, and your tests will (almost) always win!
Susan Su, is a Venture Partner at 500 Startup, a leading Venture Capital seed fund and startup accelerator, an expert content marketer, you can find her on Twitter under @susanfsu
My number one conversion “hack” is about email marketing. It’s my favorite because it’s dead-simple and everyone can and should do it. Go to http://mail-tester.com and check your sender score. Make sure it’s above a 9. Make sure you’ve verified your SPF and your DKIM (google those terms, plus whatever email marketing tool you’re using), and follow the help instructions from your provider. Most people don’t know about these easy fixes that can improve your open rates by up to 10% all by themselves. Higher open rates will give you more replies and more replies will give you more conversions!
Mícheál Brennan is the Principal Consultant at SMBclix.com, a digital marketing agency based in Cork. He has generated millions in revenue for his clients through Google Adwords & SEO.
The absolute best hack that I have used to increase conversions and grow leads for my clients is by implementing live chat with a pre chat survey. It’s a phenomenal way to increase engagement and create customer delight. The ideal sequence goes as follows: The live chat prompts the website/landing page visitor with something like “Hi there! is there anything I can help you with?” if the visitor wants to engage, they will then click on the button to chat now, but after clicking chat now and before being put through to an operator they have to fill out their name, email and phone number (or just name and email in some cases, depending on the information you need).
My favourite provider to use is Live Chat Inc, because they have the capability to do the exact sequence I mentioned and they offer a 30 day free trial, so you can try it out without any additional cost. We’ve increased leads by 300-400% in some cases using this strategy. They even have a mobile app, so if you are a busy business owner who can’t sit in front of the computer all day, you can still chat with your potential customers from your phone while they are on your site.
Grant Perry is Marketing Director of Agora Integrated Marketing (AIM), the in-house agency of “The Agora” – a billion dollar a year direct responsive publisher with millions of subscribers around the world.
Use pop ups to double your conversions.
People say they hate them but they work like gangbusters. As with any marketing device they can be annoying, but used right pop ups can double your conversion rate without irritating your prospects.
Ultimately you’re ensuring you get that relevant message to the right person at the right time. Pops ups do this perfectly and allow a clear call to action.
To avoid a poor user experience you can tailor the message to both the content and the user. You can also limit to a frequency you’re comfortable with. Also consider removing pops for logged in customers or show them a targeted message, perhaps pushing to a subscriber only benefit or renewal notice. Exit intent pops (based on browser movement) can be an excellent way to only display a message as someone is leaving, therefore not disrupting their experience. They don’t work on mobile devices so you will need to use a timed pop up there. The temptation we’ve found is for people to wait too long to show the pop and miss most of your traffic seeing it. Somewhere around the 5 second mark works very well.
Since Google is trying to penalise pop ups that completely take over a mobile screen, or prevent a user from seeing content, you have to balance the risk of lower traffic with the upside of super charged conversions. In this scenario, the current best practice is to show all mobile traffic from Google search a compliant pop, while hitting mobile traffic from other sources with a higher converting interstitial.
You may also face issues with some ad platforms, especially on “squeeze” style landing pages but generally for blog or editorial content you’ll be fine to use a pop up to reinforce your offer or other compelling reason to convert.
Brad Gerlach is a Hubspot Certified inbound marketing consultant and at Pittsburgh Internet Consulting. A jack-of-all trades and master of many, his favorite focus is SEO and lead generation for B2B.
The truth is that generic offers don’t work as well as topic specific offers. Providing a Content Upgrade is my favorite conversion tactic. A CU is simply a topic specific download or offer for a specific post that provides added value, or an upgrade, on the topic of the post. This can be a checklist for a tutorial, a list of resources mentioned in the post (with a couple bonus resources that weren’t in the blog post) or in-depth guide on the topic of the post.
Bonus Tip: Get an SSL! An SSL will be much more important in when Chrome 62 update hits in October. Chrome will be showing a “Not Secure” warning on non-SSL sites when a user has to input any type of data. This includes your optin and contact forms. I am sure that warning will drive down conversions.