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Do's and Don'ts of Conversion Rate Optimization

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Let’s have a look at the number one mistake people make in their conversion rate optimization strategy.

I’ve had dozen of cases where companies were asking me how they can increase their conversion rates on particular pages. And the thing that they all had in common was that they lacked a site-wide call to action (CTA). Even though most of these businesses were from slightly different industries, they all shared this common problem, and it’s quite a serious one.

cro-mistake.jpg

There are so many companies who have  a website just for the sake of having a website, they don’t use it for anything purposeful. A website is a tool, and if it’s not used properly, if it’s not used with a certain goal in mind, then it’s simply useless. If your website isn’t making you money, if it’s not getting you leads, then you can just throw it away; that’s the reality. Luckily it doesn’t end here, we can fix any problem we encounter and it’s not even that hard to solve.

“So what’s the real problem you say?” A clear CTA or a goal-oriented website, it’s the same thing. The CTA is the action you want each of your visitors to perform. If you’re in e-commerce, you will want them to buy from your online store. If you’re a lawyer, then you’ll want them to call or email you. Now think for a second, count how many times have you  been on a website that you strongly disliked, because you didn’t find what you wanted to find; it happens to me almost every single day. Most websites are just badly optimized and their visitors can’t be bothered to dig for what they need. Unless you are in an emergency, then you’ll do whatever it takes to find the phone number on a plumbing site for you region. But in 99% of the other cases, we don’t have an emergency going on.

People love to buy. Don’t ever think that your price is too high or too low. The reason your site isn’t converting properly is just because there are a few core elements that are disturbing. The reality is, you have to take your visitors by the hand and show them exactly what they need to do.

I stumbled upon a local NGO website earlier today, and they were looking for donations and support. But their CTA was hidden away in the top right corner. The average person looks at the center of their screen and starts scrolling down, right? If I were them, I would’ve placed a button in the center saying “support our cause by signing up for free”. Or something like that; this way you get free leads, great engagement, higher CR. But most importantly, the visitors know exactly what they need to do, where they need to do it and why they need to do it. You don’t want visitors just for the sake of having same visitors.

Let me give you an example.

About 45% of the websites out there look like this: (too much going on, spammy, too many ads)

website-confusion-cro.jpg

The other 45% look like this: (boring, empty, useless):

empty-website-cro-example.jpg

To sum it up: 90% of the websites are either too messy or too empty. Your website falls more or less in one of these categories (all websites do). The real skill is to optimize your website to make it “just right”; so that it is a perfect combination of both, so that it can look something like this: (clean, smooth & professional):

perfect-cro-website-example.jpg

 

In reality, this doesn’t happen overnight. And your web designer certainly won’t be your hero, unless he / she applies CRO. It’s really an art… you need to filter out the bad performing elements, while enhancing the good ones. The only way you can do that is by testing. As you know… our opinions of what “looks” good don’t mean a damn thing, the marketplace gets to decide what looks good.

Selling is not a sin!

So many of you are too afraid to ask someone to buy. What’s wrong with just saying on your site “We have the best offer in the industry, only $999,- get it now!”, or something like that. Too many companies, especially with SaaS products, think the user will just upgrade or purchase a higher plan for no reason; or just because of the extra features. In reality however, there is always a competitor who’ll have a better deal,  better features or better pricing than you do. And if you start competing with them, then you are going to lose.

So instead of competing, start selling BETTER. You may have heard the phrase “don’t compete, but dominate”; this doesn’t mean being the first in the market on any crap like that. There is always going to be competition in one form or another. So you need to make yourself, “your company” and your products unique; the best way you can do that is by having a strong message and compelling story. Don’t fight over cost or features. Instead raise your price and improve your message/headline for instance. Use A/B testing to see what results slight changes to your copy and headlines hold in store.

Just to summarize (tl;dr)

  1. Always test your current website’s elements against new variations regularly.
  2. If it sounds pushy, then it’s probably going to sell better.
  3. Don’t expect people to just buy — “just” — isn’t going to do it.
  4. Develop your site in such a manner that you guide them through the process.
  5. You can only achieve the best conversion rate through simple A/B testing.

If you’re not testing, then you’re speculating.

 

 

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