Yesterday, I told you about 13 Conversion Optimization experts you need to follow.
Today, I want to share their top tips for getting better marketing results in the new year. What do you need to pay attention to for better digital marketing? Keep reading to find out…
14 Conversion Tips that Will Matter Most in 2014
The big change I see happening in 2014 is more businesses optimizing for conversions, which will cause more data and case studies to be out there on CRO. This will help all of us come up with more testing ideas and have more data to make better educated decisions.
So my tip is this: Keep up with the case studies, and take time to test your own websites. It may seem like a lot of time invested, but in the long run, it will pay off with dividends.
One word for 2014: De-sloganize. Slogans are losing in our tests pretty regularly now.
Test unsafe words in your headlines, calls to action, and image captions. Pick up where your sloganized tag line leaves off with good a value proposition.
You may claim to be the “leader,” but is that because you are “determined,” “tenacious,” “curious,” “open,” or have an “unfair advantage?” These are words you don’t find in slogans because they are messy, unsafe and evoke emotion.
The unexpected is the squeaky wheel that gets the mental cycles of your readers.
- Get an ‘A’ in YSlow. Get your site running so fast that even YSlow, the fussiest site speed assessment around, gives you an A. Nothing boosts conversions like a fast site.
- Write at the 9th grade level. It’s not because your readers are 9th-graders. It’s because they’re really, really busy. Writing at the 9th grade level doesn’t mean small words. It means shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs and yes, simpler language where possible. Try it.
In 2014, think beyond testing. There are many instances (like when a site has serious usability issues and/or fundamental flaws in its architecture) when testing will only yield small gains.
In these cases, the big wins come from blowing up the ill-functioning site and rebuilding it from the ground up.
In 2014, it’s essential that marketers finally start to understand Attention Ratio.
Attention ratio is defined as: “The ratio of the number of interactive elements on your page (nav, promos, links etc.), to the number of conversion goals on your page.”
A typical homepage has an attention ration of 40:1 (40 links, one conversion goal), whereas a promotion-specific landing page has an attention ratio of 1:1.
One page. One Purpose. Period.
Test beyond just your landing pages and cart. By testing throughout your website on an ongoing basis, you can avoid the need for the traditional “revolutionary site redesign.”
A better way is to evolve your site design and content based on what works for your business. I call this “evolutionary site redesign” or ESR.
You don’t necessarily have to make radical changes in order to impact the decisions and actions of your prospects. Often relatively small but strategic changes to critical elements will have major impact on conversions.
Headlines, buttons and sign-up forms represent low-hanging fruits, and they are a great place to start.
Focus on giving your prospects a good reason to accept what you are offering them. Emphasize clarity over creativity, and make sure to answer the question: “If I do what you are asking me to do, what will I get in return?”
You need to become a master of analytics, or you will become obsolete. You need to measure everything – not just your end goals and revenue, but also microconversions.
90% of GA accounts I come across don’t measure important stuff on their site. The key to better conversions is better data, and relying on data to make decisions.
First step here is that you gather all the needed data (so you an never say “I don’t know” about anything on your site), and second step is learning how to interpret the data to make data-informed decisions.
You can’t rely on best case practices as those only work on half the websites (and are somebody else’s solutions to their problems, not yours). You need to gather and interpret your own data. So become a master of analytics.
In today’s increasingly mobile world, leverage social login technology for lead generation and eCommerce.
eCommerce: Have people save their mobile carts by logging in with Facebook or Twitter. They can complete their purchase by using their social login on the desktop website, and no bulky forms slow them down.
Lead generation: Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to exchange visitors’ lead information without having to complete a complex lead form.
In both cases, you make it easier for people to use your website, which will make it more likely they’ll visit your site again.
My top recommendation is for businesses to make a commitment to conversion rate optimization. A lot of companies talk about it, but not as many are doing it.
Once you commit to optimizing your site and decide not to make any changes without testing, you’ve taken the first step to realizing the full potential conversion rate optimization has to offer.
You won’t get the same results if you just plug in variations that have worked on other sites. You have to actually run your own tests to know if changes help your conversions to go up or cause them to go down.
An A/B or MVT test is the fruit of all of your preparatory labor. You must spend a significant amount of time in the research period, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data to identify trends, and then develop solid test hypotheses.
Strong hypotheses will provide insights regardless of whether they were proved right or wrong. The only true failure is ambiguity—and the best way to avoid ambiguity is to eliminate testing haphazardly.
On a separate but related note—we’ve noticed that as testing is being adopted by more organizations, there is an influx of tests being conducted that have no grounding and aren’t following standard best practices.
If you aren’t testing correctly you will be causing more harm than good.
The content bandwagon is reaching full pace. Keyboards are steaming as our marketing departments are pushing out more and more content. From a conversion perspective, don’t lose focus on keeping things simple.
Educating your audience with valuable information is critical.
Keep taking a breather and realign focus on the overall objective—to convert more business.
Keep your conversion factors succinct and to the point.
Tell me again, why should I be looking to do business with you?
Don’t just test and optimize your website. Think more outside of the traditional website box—your email marketing and social media are extensions of your website, therefore you should spend greater time in 2014 testing and optimizing these high potential sources to boost on-site conversions.
Here’s a trend too: In 2014 we’ll begin to see many more niche conversion-boosting tools related to specific parts of websites; for example, shopping carts with built-in A/B testing, and shopping cart abandonment programs. These will be become essential parts of a long-term effective conversion optimization strategy.
Short and simple: Look at your Landing Page for ONE second with your eyes slightly blurry. If your Inner Homer Simpson doesn’t “get it,” redesign the page.
What trends do you see developing for conversion rate optimization? And what would you recommend for a better performing website?