6 Little-Known Optimization Tips that can Boost Your Conversions by 33%
Conversion tips are always a hot topic in optimization circles, and it’s easy to understand why—few things can increase your website ROI quite like conversions.
But in this article, we’re going to go beyond the same, bland examples and look at some little-known tweaks and tactics you can use to get more customers to click that coveted call-to-action button and become an integral part of your sales funnel.
Go Dynamic for Big Gains
Much of the attention from conversion optimization goes toward the design and layout of your page. But don’t forget about what brought your users there in the first place—namely, your paid ads.
You’ve probably already done your homework with regard to researching your keywords, sorting them into neat, organized groups and so on. For your landing pages, you likely have one for every major keyword group.
So far, so good, right? Now, let’s get a bit more dynamic.
You can enable dynamic keyword insertion in Google Adwords, which can, by itself, improve your click-through rates and lower your costs by increasing your quality score. But don’t just stop there.
Now, make those dynamic keywords link to dynamic landing pages that fit specifically segmented groups—like this one for social media training:
Act-On’s ad for Social Media Training – which leads to…
The landing page that reiterates all the main keywords found in the ad – social media, marketing, toolkit and that you can complete it in 15 minutes
And while we’re on the topic of ads, if you have under 20,000 keywords for a given campaign, creating one ad per ad group will help boost your Quality Score right out of the gate, since you’ll have a nearly 100% match between your keyword and ad group. That’s that kind of relevancy Google loves.
The Sneaky Trick that’s Sabotaging Your Call-to-Action
When split testing things like buttons versus links and changing color and font, you may find that your initial gains start to flat-line after a few weeks. This naturally causes people to panic, thinking they need to realign their offer, adjust their paid search terms, redesign their entire site, and so on. But what’s actually happening here is plain old button fatigue.
Email marketing company AWeber did their own case study on replacing links with buttons, and presented some revealing insights, particularly with regard to their email newsletters. The fact is, people learn to recognize the placement of buttons and where they lead, especially if they interact with your site on a fairly regular basis.
Rather than declaring buttons the winner over text links and moving on, the team discovered some revealing details. Read the case study here.
Shove Everything Above the Fold?
It’s the rallying cry of conversion optimization pros everywhere: “Above the fold! Above the fold!” But trying to cram as much information as possible into the first 1/3 of a user’s screen space may have the opposite effect you’re looking for.
And while it’s true that people’s attention will primarily focus on that point, 1995 has long since passed us by. These days, people do scroll. In fact, British Airways did a heatmap eye-tracking test to determine just how much attention was being paid to the area above the fold, versus simplifying and spreading out the content a bit more.
And as it turns out, the eyes don’t lie:
When there’s less information above the fold, people feel compelled to explore the rest of the site
Give ‘em an Offer They Can’t Refuse
One of the major things that conversion optimization experts stress over is the all-important bounce rate—in most cases, the lower, the better. So when someone’s about to leave, why not tempt them into staying with an offer they can’t refuse? Like this one, from PicReel:
Known as Exit-Intent Technology, this type of method observes and analyzes mouse movements to determine if a user is going to close a tab or exit their browser, and then pops up the ad right before that action happens. Picreel claims that you can recover up to 25% of your bounces by leveraging this kind of technology.
Don’t Always Follow the Crowd…
A couple of years ago when daily deal sites were all the rage, many companies took copying Groupon a little too literally. They had assumed that Groupon had tested and determined that a simple squeeze page was the answer to getting those valuable leads. So they followed suit:
Now, on the surface this may seem like a great idea. They’re targeting a broad swatch of keywords ranging from restaurants to amusement parks, and every one of them is using that same, consistent landing page. It certainly does make it easier for them to launch new campaigns and the designers are happy because they’re just re-using the same layouts over and over.
But one company, Bloomspot, decided to try something different.
Remember the first tip about dynamic landing pages and keyword insertion? Bloomspot streamlined the process by not only creating highly targeted, visually different landing pages (to give users that jolt of instant relevance before they even read a single word), but also let them test background design, headline, offer, location and many more aspects that simply aren’t possible with a plain vanilla layout:
The end result? A 20% increase in conversion rates—an enviable number considering the stiff competition in such a market.
Remember that what works for your competitors, even if they’re in the same industry as you, may not work for you, and just because “it’s been done before” doesn’t mean “it’s finished.” Don’t be afraid to break out of the mold and experiment with your tests. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you learn about your audience in the process.
Be Careful with CAPTCHAs
If you’ve ever filled out a form online, you recognize the dreaded CAPTCHA, a string of random letters and numbers used to thwart spambots, email harvesters and other junk posters from unnecessarily cluttering up your inbox.
And while these are great at deterring spam, they may also hurt your conversion rates—with form submission failures as high as 10%. When every conversion counts, that’s not a chunk of your audience that you’re willing to lose.
You’ve probably already heard about the need to reduce the number of form fields on a sign up page, but eliminating the CAPTCHA for first-time visitors from a specific IP address can not only improve sign-up numbers, but do so with minimal spam slipping through.
Since it’s likely that a first time visitor to your page isn’t in the mood to shower you with links for fake watches and handbags, why not save them some extra trouble (and squinting) by foregoing the CAPTCHA for their first submission?
Something that Yahoo! could learn from… And this is just the form to sign up for an email account!
What are Your Little-Known Conversion Boosters?
We all have a little “grab bag” of neat tricks, tips and ideas worth testing. Why not share yours in the comments? Have you tried any of these tips and saw noticeable gains in your conversion rates? We want to hear your success stories!
Don’t miss other Crazy Egg posts by Sherice Jacob.