5 Crucial Tips To Add To Your Conversion Rate Optimization Toolbox

Posted on May 2, 2014

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) analyses exactly how well your incoming web traffic converts into your desired action. This desired action may be a purchase, email newsletter sign up, completing a contact form, registering for a course etc.

Squeezing the most out of your web traffic means you need to pay attention to exactly how you can increase your conversion rate.

Here are some of my best tips:


1. Your Gut Instinct Is Often Wrong


Testing out different variations of colors, text, images and flow is the first step most marketers take when attempting to optimize. This of course, can be very effective, however, don’t be tempted to skimp on the testing and go with your gut instinct!

Real data overrules instinct and has proven that what actually increases conversions are what we least think will work.

Let the numbers be your guide.


2. Pay Close Attention To Your Competition And Analyze Their CRO Strategy


Fortunately, we’re not the only ones who know about the importance of optimizing conversion rates. Your competitors will surely be doing their own conversion testing and this gives you an opportunity to gain an often overlooked insight as to what works and what doesn’t.

Every time you visit your competitor’s website, make a note of what is different. This may be easier by taking screen shots and comparing them over time.

Note that I am not suggesting you copy or steal your competitor’s layout or ideas, but gain inspiration and rough guidance for your own. What works for one website/company won’t necessarily work for another and innovation is always the key to exceptional results.


3. Create A Sense Of Urgency


Have you ever wanted to buy a product but put it off in your mind until one day you receive an email from the company that has the following call to action: “Buy now for $39.99, the price goes up to $70 in 2 days 10 hours and 48 mins” – with a timer counting down to the dreaded price hike doomsday?

Of course you have, and what did you do? If you’re like me, you probably made the purchase right then and there.

There’s nothing that gets people pumped to hit a “buy now” button than the mention of scarcity and will make your conversion rate soar through the roof.


4. Examine Your Sign Up or CheckOut Process


Abandoned shopping cart syndrome is real.

Is your check out process causing you to lose clients? Most people expect between 3 – 4 steps when checking out, any more than that and you will lose customers. Less steps? Even better!

People purchase online because they desire ease and simplicity – don’t make it more difficult for potential customers to do business with you.

Logical, no?


Other CheckOut Optimization Tips To Keep In Mind:


- Keep the “Back” Button functional during your checkout process. People often need to make adjustments and you don’t want to add frustration or lose customers by having them start all over from the beginning.

- Have a Progress bar indicator. This gives your customer a sense of control and shows them how many steps they have completed and how many more remain.

- Make it easy for your customers to modify their order during the checkout process. Have “remove” links and editable “quantity” fields.

- Offer real time support – either through chat or telephone assistance.

As for sign up forms, reducing the number of fields to complete will also reduce abandonment rates. Be sure to give examples of what customers should write in the text fields – this small change has a surprising effect on sign up form completion.


5. Kick CAPTCHA To The Curve


This seems like dubious advice, however, the truth is, CAPTCHAs have become a huge pain in the rear. Have you noticed how difficult they‘ve become to decipher? Well, that frustration does not bode well for your conversion rate.

Many businesses have revealed that their conversions increased after removing CAPTCHA altogether; up to 3.2%! Even Paypal doesn’t use it on their signup form.

Despite these statistics, the use of CAPTCHA has been steadily increasing over the years. Don’t be another sheep in the crowd – decide for yourself if you can handle a little spam and significantly increase your profits or not.

Do you have any additional killer tips for conversation rate optimization? Share them below!


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