Okay! You've got a website that has a great copy, beautiful images, and sensational visual effects. But something is missing.
Chances are you've missed that three letter acronym that is critical to your website's performance for results. CRO, or Conversion rate Optimization.
If you're in the business of creating, developing, or marketing websites, you need to be focused on results. Finally, that's what matters in the end. And, website results can be measured using analytics. Analytics tell you how many visitors land up on your website and how many convert - that takes some action on the website that you want them to take.
That is the user does something that brings them really closer to purchasing, or taking any other positive action that is expected out of them. That could be a sale, a registration at your site, a download, a subscription to the Newsletter, or a webinar.
This entire process of analyzing, determining and improving results on your website is called Conversion Rate Optimization.
At Pigtail Pundits, we obsess over results. As a marketer, you should too. Why?
Because conversion rate optimization can't wait. You're leaving money on the table if you do.
Without conversions, your website is like a shopping experience where you browse through various options but are unable to buy because of limited resources or missing price tag or a cash counter. Now that'd be a shame for any marketer. So how do you start CRO?
5 website optimization mistakes that kill your conversions
Don't Kill White Space
White space, also known as negative space, is the absence of design elements on the page.The more white space, the better.
Why? Because white space does not allow the eye to rest upon it, thus allowing what's outside it to be visible and prominent. Eg White space around your call-to-action makes it stand out from its surroundings and give your eye only one thing to focus on.
White spaces force the eye to move to another area of the page, where there are design elements.
Most people try to fill white space with stuff. Don't do that. Get rid of the clutter. Don’t add anything. White space is beautiful. White space is good. Keep the white space.
Unbounce had this to say about white space: Use areas of nothing to expose areas of something.
European heritage uses white space very wisely. It emphasizes all categories and logo. In the center of the page, there are several colored sections that lead to important pieces of information. While scrolling down, you can notice that whitespace still dominates, but the focus still is on other sections.
CTA'S that don't make you act
People are busy online. They surf your website when they're drafting emails, preparing a client report, or writing their own blogs. With all those distractions how do you get them to read your offer and act on it. The best way to do it is to create an effective call-to-action that pushes the person to do something RIGHT NOW.
The best pages accentuate only one CTA. Make sure your CTA button stands out visually, appears clickable and uses short gain-focused text. Here are some other ways to make your CTA stand out
- Visual cues, such as arrows or images of people looking at the button work best to draw the eye.
- Replace underperforming CTA [check your analytics to tell you which one] with a better performing one within the CTA group
- If you have content below the fold, repeat the CTA. Always make it easy and compelling for the visitor to take the desired action.
It could have said something bland and generic like “Submit” (which would have been borderline criminal), but instead, Solus uses friendly, approachable language that reinforces the importance of relationships. This page makes use of a muted color palette to evoke calming emotions, but the CTA is what sets this example apart.
You v/s Me
Don't assume that people come to your website to know about you. They have other things to care about than scrolling through and seeing you go on and on about yourself.
Spend more time talking about how you solve their problems, pains and needs. Spend more time explaining the benefits of your product or service. In particular, explain how your benefits are better than the competitors.
Years ago, we had a client who insisted on having this on the Home Page banner:
"We are an SEI CMM Level 5, ISO 9001 certified company with 12 offices in India and 5 internationally, working with fortune 500 companies, helping them with software re-engineering products and services."
Technically, this should have read a lot better:
Overcome competition. Re-engineer your paper-based solutions with modern software. Swift, revenue boosting, competitor-crushing.
Headlines that put you off to sleep
Statistically, 80% of visitors read headlines. 20% go on to read the actual content. You have to be strategic to overcome those odds. If a website’s landing page is the first date, the headline is, well, the first conversation.
Make it easy to understand. A headline isn't the place to be cute, clever, or loaded with innuendo. Direct, personal language works best. It establishes a personal connect with your audience. There's nothing more seductive than being direct and making it all about them. Once you have crafted those killer headlines it's time to test them.
Be prepared to swallow some pride. There's a very good chance that a few will suck, a little. A few will emerge winners by far.
Perhaps your second headline outperforms your first. The thing is, your personal opinion probably doesn’t align 100% with your readers’. That’s why testing is so important.
Head over here to read some great headlines and how to cook them: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/20-great-headline-copy/
Failing to test it
A/B testing is the most logical way to know what works for you and what doesn't, as even small changes on a landing page or website can result in significant increases in leads generated sales and revenue.
And yet A/B testing is still not as common as other Internet marketing practices such as SEO, Web analytics, and usability.
Take a closer look at it and you'll know why it's so important.
This practice creates two (or more) versions of a piece of content, such as a headline or call-to-action (CTA) button, and shows each version to a different, yet similarly sized audience to discover which test has a better response.
Test and track each and every change you make. No matter how big or small, you need to know the final result. This is the only way to tweak your site’s design to dramatically boost your conversion rates.
Check how the folks at Basecamp, test their products here: https://signalvnoise.com/posts/2977-behind-the-scenes-highrise-marketing-site-ab-testing-part-1
What are some other common Website Optimization mistakes you've made? Do share these with us in the comments.
May your garden teem and throng with customers
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We specialise in Pay-per-click advertising, Social Media Outreach, Search Engine Optimisation, Conversion Rate Optimisation, Premium websites that convert, Content Marketing that works, and Awesome Training for your In-house Teams on digital marketing.
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The Pigtail Pundits Network
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- What is conversion optimization and why is it so important?
- How to hire a StoryBrand or Any Copywriter to Sell on your Website and Landing Page.