Website owners must continually strive to improve conversion rates, just as a Fortune 500 CEO strives to increase profits. In a previous post, we discussed the importance of conversion optimization. The benefits include improved bounce rates and lower cost per customer acquisition, which frees up more of your budget to spend on new marketing strategies. Plus, you’ll create more conversions from your existing traffic — saving you valuable resources.
With these 5 conversion rate optimization tips, you can expect to see conversions rates and sales improve (but don’t forget to test each change you make to see which of these work best for your site.)
1. Add Customer Testimonials to Provide Social Proof
Customer testimonials give your website visitors evidence that buying your product or service truly works. By offering logos of trusted companies, pictures of actual people reviewing the products, case studies, video interviews, or any other type of customer testimonial, you are adding authority and giving your visitors peace of mind. Optimize your customer testimonials by highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Make sure your testimonials are credible and are actually written by real customers.
Check out the way KeyScouts does it:
While customer testimonials add social credibility, there are other ways to add a sense of trustworthiness and reliability: adorn your site with seals from organizations like the Better Business Bureau, TrustE, and Verisign.
If your site has been featured in the press, add those logos as well, like Codeless does:
Logos of recognizable customers can help, too, the way they do for Marketo:
Of course, it goes without saying (but we would be remiss if we didn’t say so anyway) that you must take care to use only testimonials, logos, and other media that you have explicit written permission to use on your site.
2. Be Reachable Across Multiple Platforms
Depending on your vertical and actual product, customers often convert better when they have a sense of the actual people behind the product or website. While customer testimonials and the other credibility factors described above add to their sense of security, being reachable does wonders (even if they don’t actually need to reach you).
Make sure your phone number is displayed clearly across all pages of your site. Experiment with offering live chat and chatbots. Studies show that customers expect to be able to use live-chat messaging to get help from companies online. In this case study, live chat helped OptinMonster increase their overall sales conversion.
A great way to give customers a personal sense of accessibility is by adding photos of your company’s employees. Like your customer testimonials, these can be linked to social profiles to add even more credibility. MarketingProfs shows pictures of their team and links to each employee’s LinkedIn and Twitter:
In essence, your goal is to give your visitors a sense of confidence that there are real people behind your company and that you are available to help them.
3. Add Guarantees
Guarantees are a great way to build trust and credibility. Customers want to know that when they make a purchase, they’re getting what they paid for. If you’re confident in your service or product, then your customers will be too, so consider offering a money-back guarantee or credit if a service falls through.
Costco is hugely successful partly because their members know that they can always return any product for any reason for a full refund. How else could you buy a 20-pound bag of potato chips you have never tasted and a $10,000 jacuzzi tub you don’t know how to install?
By offering your visitors guarantees, you increase your reliability.
A great online example is Zappos. At first, it may sound preposterous to purchase shoes online. After all, you have to try them on and walk around in them, right? But Zappos brilliantly offers this guarantee that makes it a no-brainer to order from them:
4. Visually Attract Buyers
If you are selling shoes like Zappos, or virtually anything else like Amazon, provide many photos of the products. Perhaps even enable customers to add their own product photos. Also include videos if appropriate.
Some stats about videos:
- 90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process. After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.
- Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users.
- Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.
- Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.
- Of businesses that don’t currently use video, 65% plan on doing so in 2018 — and 99% of those that currently do, plan on continuing.
We have a tendency to overcomplicate things. We complicate our explanations. We lengthen our headings. We use complex designs.
As it turns out, adopting the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) is one of the most effective conversion rate optimization tips. Customers want quick, easy, and painless experiences. The principle is used by Apple product designers and partially explains their wild success. So, you should simplify everything you can (though we can’t promise you’ll be the next Steve Jobs by doing so). Some suggestions:
- Simplify site usability: Make sure your site is easy to navigate so users can quickly find what they’re looking for. Consider hiring an expert to improve site usability.
- Simplify your sales funnels: Eliminate redundant actions in your sales process and remove any obstacles that are preventing sales.
- Simplify your call to action buttons: Your CTA text should be short and direct. Choose a contrasting button color and be consistent with design throughout your site.
- Simplify your headlines: Keep your headlines short, catchy, and to the point.
- Simplify your marketing by focusing on your main referral sources: If you’re seeing success from referral sources, build on that success before branching out.
- Simplify your content by offering the kind of content your users consume: Analyze which content formats and topics your audience consumes the most. If they prefer long-form blog posts, get to writing!
- Simplify your forms (fewer fields!): Most users hate filling out forms, so only include the most relevant and crucial fields.
- Simplify your checkout process (less clicks, less pages, less hassle): Ask fewer questions and consider eliminating a sign-in process.
Test These Conversion Rate Optimization Tips
Optimizing your site’s conversion rate is an ongoing and ever-changing process, but one that is definitely worth the effort! By essentially creating more sales from the same traffic, you can grow your profits exponentially. Test these 5 conversion rate optimization tips (and the extra tips within them) and let us know which ones work for you in the comments.
Got some conversion optimization case studies to share? Waiting to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Also published on Medium.