You’ve probably already read all of the guides on how to get more conversions – so why read another one?
I believe we all know the answer to that – because the web is a living, evolving, and constantly changing ecosystem that requires constant learning to stay ahead of the pack. And even though there are lots of things to say about the color of buttons, bolding text, and stock images – there are still plenty of things to say about critical areas of optimization that are seldom discussed. Things you can apply on your site within minutes and are just about guaranteed to give you a conversion lift of one degree or another.
Here are 3 tips to get more conversions that we’d like to share today:
1. Maintain Information “Scent”
Lots of talk these days on maintaining visitor scent throughout your conversion funnel – but what the heck does that actually mean?
When a visitor clicks an ad, a link, or a search engine result and lands on our site, they’re expecting something – and we need to deliver. They clicked a link that promised to deliver the answer they were seeking. It was our promise in the ad, the link text, or in the search engine results – and when they arrive on our site – they expect that promise to be delivered on.
That promise of an answer is like a scent at the beginning of a trail, and by following that trail, the visitor believes they will find their answer. Our job is to make that answer very easy for them to find on our landing page. This is how conversion kings and queens are made by being able to deliver that promised answer in the most effective fashion.
In marketing speak, this trail is often referred to as the “information scent” and if you want to convert like crazy, you need to maintain this scent at every stage of the process – and it must be easy to follow. This is done by utilizing every element on the page – the headline, images, font, font size, layout, etc. Every element must convey the same answer to the searcher’s question. It takes work, but due diligence will pay of handsomely. It’s as simple as that – if you can effectively answer the visitors question using every element on the page – you win. You’ll get more conversions.
One of the most effective ways to maintain information scent on your landing page is by using a headline that is easy clear, easy to read, and relevant to the click that brought the visitor to that landing page in the first place.
For example, if a visitor clicks a link that says, “Buy Mellowyellow speakers for $350” and then lands on a page with a headline that says, “Buy Mellowyellow speakers for $350 today and get free shipping” – then that visitor is going to experience a very powerful and emotional connection with that page.
They clicked the link expecting to find something about Mellowyellow speakers and the page delivered on that promise. The landing page was a direct answer to the question in their mind about $350 Mellowyellow speakers. The scent from click to page was maintained perfectly.
If you take it a step further and also maintain the scent on your page by adding a high-def image of the Mellowyellow speakers, some well written and relevant content, and include a relevant call to action (Buy Mellowyellow Speakers Today) – you’ll be well on your way to converting more visitors. Always maintain the information scent.
2. Split Test Using Solid Principles and FULLY Validated Results
I’m not going to waste anybody’s time by trying to explain the importance of split testing. All of us realize that successful conversion optimization can only be found on the other side of many, many split tests. What does need to be stated here is how important it is to only rely on fully validated results.
I often work with people who have been running split tests, but can not figure out why the results do not hold up after they apply the winning page to their website. While this can be caused by a few different things (like the most dreadful “sequential test” model), one of the problems we find most often is that the site owner did not wait for results that were statistically relevant.
In other words, they stopped the test when they “thought” they knew which page would be “the obvious winner.” For example, they stopped the test after one of the pages had 20 conversions to the competing page’s 4 – or something like that. Some tools will declare winners after only 5 conversions! Beware of how to properly interpret the results of your preferred split tester.
I would say to run a test using at minimum a 95% confidence level and allowing the test to run for at least a week with 25 conversions or more. At “least” a week – no matter what happens. You want to have data from at least each day of the week in there. Two weeks is even better. If traffic is an issue, then maybe at this point, you should be working on getting more traffic instead of split testing – that’s your call.
Do not stop a test early and expect to see the same results on your page over time. “Over time” is the key phrase here. Statistics and sampling are delicate areas to begin with – they don’t need any help from our emotions or feelings.
If you do all of the hard work of expertly applying conversion optimization techniques to your site – or your client’s, then you deserve to reap the benefits of the winning page. If you apply results from winning pages that have been fully validated, you will reap the rewards of conversion champions – increased income and happier visitors.
If your tool ends a test after only 3 or 4 conversions, I’m going to ask that you get a little more data before you start playing with your bottom line. Yes, there are a lot of factors involved in statistically relevant results, but i’m going to say that
3. Make Decisions On Optimization Based On Visitor Engagement
Your analytics data is already telling you a lot about your visitors – and you need to listen. It is so much more then clicks and goals. It’s a crystal ball – and if you learn how to read it, you can look right into the mind of all of the visitors who have visited your site before. This knowledge can be used to improve the experience of both your current and future visitors.
It can show you what they were interested in (by where they went), what they came looking for (by the keywords or link anchor text they used to get there), and what they hated (the exit page). If you look and listen, you can apply hypothesis to your testing pages that have potential to get double digit gains in conversion. but you have to listen to what your visitors are telling you.
Analytics data gives us excellent information on visitor behavior. This is not only an excellent place to start getting some great ideas to begin testing with, but it continually will tell us how our testing efforts are going.
It’s nice to have a tool that will split traffic and tell us when we acquire a conversion, but even better then that – analytics tells us where they came from, if they stayed or bounced, how long they stayed, which links they clicked, and if they found what they were looking for.
It’s nice to test colors, images, buttons, and calls to action, but we also have to look closely at our analytics data to better understand visitor behavior and try to optimize our pages based on their actions during their visit to our website.
If a majority of the visitors from our ppc campaign are bouncing, then we know that we are not getting the right visitors and we need to address that issue. Do we need to fine tune the ads, better segment the traffic from the source, or improve the message on our page (the scent)?
For example, if a majority of the visitors from our ppc campaign remain on the landing page for over 2 minutes, but take no action – do we need to move the call to action? Change the wording of the content? or add text links within the copy that might hopefully move the visitor to take another step deeper into the funnel? Maybe the links are broken on the call to action or something like that.
If our visitor engagement metrics are clearly telling us that our message is broken or not resonating correctly, then we need to fix it.
Want To Get More Conversions?
We all know there is much more to the process of getting more conversions, then the 3 tips listed here, but it never hurts to keep expanding your knowledge and applying it to your site.
Every day I read about optimizing for conversions and user experience – but I also realize that if I don’t apply what I’ve learned, I’ll never learn what actually works for my site(s).
Do you have a favorite optimization tip or trick that has proven effective in your business?