In the previous blog post, What is YOUR #1 Conversion Optimization Opportunity?, we looked at working out what your biggest constraint might be. Once you’ve worked this then you can begin to address your conversion rate.

So here are some broad ideas that you can apply to your list of things to test, in order to improve your conversions on your website and in your sales copy. This post is available in text, audio and video format below.

Prefer audio? Here is the audio recording of this post conversion rate optimization mp3 podcast

General website ideas

tick Where are your website visitors looking? The most valuable content, such as marketing copy and calls to action, should be located in places where visitors will see them. For some lessons learned from eye tracking studies, Kissmetrics Blog have an informative article. If you stand away from your website and blur your eyes, what stands out the most? Is it your call to action? Well, it should be!
tick Remove clutter. Too many elements on a page decrease the visibility of a call to action because it is less likely to stand out amid everything else. The homepage should display the broad categories of what visitors are searching for, rather than all the minutiae.
tick Test navigation and layout on your website. Your current navigation headings might not make sense to visitors, or your layout might prevent visitors from finding the content where they expect it to be.
Ensure that there are no broken links. You can use a tool like Broken Link Checking Tool to test your website.
tick Test different images throughout your website. Product sales pictures should be high quality, and general pictures should enhance the call to action on the page, rather than being a distraction.
tick The same call to action can be placed in multiple locations on a page, especially if the page is long.
tick Test different versions of your “About Us” page if it gets traffic before a conversion.
tick If you have entry and exit pop-ups, test whether these are effective or not.
tick Test whether reducing your website loading times has an effect on conversions. You can check your site with Pingdom Website Speed Test
tick Test whether your website conversions increase when your pages are optimized for different browsers and screen resolutions (eg. desktop vs mobile).
tick Test changes to your ‘site search’ feature.
tick Test sizes, shapes, positions, and the type of any third-party ads on the website.
tick Test your positioning or unique selling proposition. Perhaps there is a different positioning that would better differentiate and highlight your company with your visitors. Similarly, any taglines under your website heading or logo can be tested.

Do you know where your online leads are coming from? Take our quiz to find out!

Ideas for websites selling different products via a shopping cart

Ideas for websites selling different products via a shopping cart

tick Identify which products bring you the most overall profit, and make these products the easiest to find on your website.
tick Test adding different product lines including affiliate products, or surveying visitors directly to find out whether they are looking for different products to those that you sell.
tick Test displaying a list of your top-selling items. These lists may increase conversions when visitors are looking for social validation.
tick Try making product pictures re-sizable, or alternatively provide a zoom feature.
tick Test any captions and product descriptions for products.
tick Test product images in the shopping cart.
tick Try calling the shopping cart something different, eg. shopping bag, shopping trolley, etc. Different customer demographics may have a preference for a different term.
tick Try some auto-suggestion elements on the website, or in the shopping cart.
tick Does making your telephone number more prominent increase your conversion rate? (This might reassure customers that you’re a ‘real’ company and provide customer service if they need it).
tick Test whether coupon codes and the coupon code entry box are helping or hurting your shopping cart conversions.
tick Test different logos that may reassure the customer, such as credit card providers or logos relating to how secure your website is.
tick Do you upsell and/or cross-sell during your sales process? Test whether these approaches could be implemented in a more effective way, or test adding them if they are not currently implemented.
tick Test a refer-a-friend program.

Ideas for websites selling single products via a squeeze page

Ideas for websites selling single products via a squeeze page

tick Try different variations of your main pictures on the squeeze page. If you display a person using the product, would it be better to use someone of a different gender or age? Are the pictures compelling, and do they highlight the benefits of the product well? Do the pictures add credibility and professionalism to your page?
tick Test the copy on the page. If it is currently short, try making it longer and vice versa. Visitors may require more tailored wording and/or ordering of the information in order for them to understand the product, overcome any objections, and feel compelled to buy.
tick Consider whether your product or service can have different features separated so that the same product can be sold in low, medium and high-priced versions. If so, try displaying the products and prices in this tiered pricing structure to see if there are more conversions as a result.
tick Test different prices. Note: you need to be careful here if using A/B testing. If a visitor is using a mobile phone, and then later logs in with a desktop to buy, or if the user clears their cookies, then the same user may be shown two different prices, which could turn them off the purchase altogether.
tick Test whether your visitors respond better to prices that end in an odd number.
tick Test adding more or fewer steps in your sales process. In general, the more expensive the purchase, the greater the number of steps will be required.
tick Test any bonuses that are included with the product or service, including content and physical goods. You can test both the copy relating to these bonuses, and the bonuses themselves.
tick Guarantees generally increase conversion rates. Test adding one if you don’t have one already, or making an existing guarantee stronger.

Ideas for boosting an email sign-up or survey

Ideas for boosting an email sign-up or survey

tick Test different form lengths. For cold leads, you will want to minimize the amount of fields that visitors are required to complete. However, if you have a particularly strong need for data, try testing several versions of the form until you settle on the one with the best data-to-lead ratio for your business.
tick Test single sign-up vs confirmation required settings on your email list. Confirmation required will result in some drop-outs, but will result in a higher quality email list.
tick Test any reassurances you make with regards to privacy policy, spam, use of email, frequency of email etc. A positive spin to the reassurance might work better than negating a negative. For example, “we’ll keep your email address confidential” might be more effective than “we won’t spam you” (negating a negative) because the latter has emphasis on the word ‘spam’ which might frighten visitors away.

General sales and advertising copy ideas

General sales and advertising copy ideas

tick Test several different headlines or email subject headings. Headlines are extremely important. Websites that have a very high traffic content strategy, such as news sites, will often test and implement several headings rapidly in real time using a testing framework that redirects the majority of traffic to the ‘winning’ test as soon as data becomes available. Content that has lower traffic can have headlines tested over time if it is expected to be an evergreen blog post, but if it has a time-limited offer then it may be more effective to perform some quick tests using a portion of your email list, or using social media such as Twitter.
tick Test different offers for a product or service. Some examples might be:

  • A one-month free trial
  • Buy one, get one free
  • Pay in installments
  • A discount for not paying in installments
  • A longer commitment
  • A shorter commitment
  • Buy now, pay later
  • First one free
  • Automatic renewal
  • Upsize, buy more of the same for a discount, or buy different products for a combined price
tick Test different testimonials from happy customers. In general, a video testimonial or a testimonial with a photo of the person’s face will be most effective. The demographics of, and the transformation experienced by, the person providing the testimonial can also be tested in line with your majority audience.
tick Test the addition of PR news to your sales copy by sourcing testimonials, reviews and interviews from the media, or people that your audience will consider to be celebrities.
tick If your call to action is a button containing text, test different text inside the button.
tick Test changes that might increase the prominence of a call to action button.
tick If you are making a limited offer, test ways to describe the scarcity of either the time available to purchase or the number of products on offer.
tick Try different typography and formatting styles to make important parts of your sales copy more visible. This can also include the font size and/or color, and inclusion of bullet points vs paragraphs.
tick Test different ways to control the order and flow of information so that the copy provides a consistent and ordered sales message, and that any little details that might disrupt the flow for readers are moved into tool tips, links, or further down the page.
tick Try removing any distractions such as sidebars, navigation bars, alternative offerings and links from your copy.
tick Test different ways to bridge any disconnect between the headline and the body copy in order to entice readers to move from the heading to the text.
tick Try changing the tone of ‘voice’ of the sales copy to use different phrases, language choices, humor and nostalgic memories in line with what your visitors like best.
tick Try different ways to highlight the benefits of your products or services.
tick Try different ways of addressing the common objections to your products or services.
tick Test the use of subheadings to appeal to visitors who prefer to skim.
tick Test the use of video or audio to share the message, rather than written copy, or including both a video/audio component and text, as well such as a transcript.
Prefer video? Here is the video version of this post

 

So there are plenty of ideas there for you to try out. It’s important to explore every possible angle in your quest to test your website and marketing conversions, if you are to achieve the sort of conversion rate that your eCommerce store deserves.

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