Like any other digital marketing strategy, conversion rate optimization strategy, too, needs to be planned carefully. We definitely cannot adopt “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to improving conversion rates for websites. According “Quarterly Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2013”, a report from Econsultancy and Adobe, around 39 per cent marketers placed importance to conversion rate optimization after content marketing in 2013.
Image Source: emarketer
Like other marketing strategies, conversion rate optimization techniques may also differ for different industries which have different sets of visitors.
The prime objective of any brand is to increase conversions on the website. All our marketing efforts may go futile if we ignore this aspect of conversions.
Now many brands seek to attain this by the way of improving the design and few elements which might not work for others. As I said, the same tactic does not apply to all brands.
However, there are few best practices which you may follow in 2014 to get the desired results. But again, these practices must be backed by A/B testing in order to track their success for your website’s audience.
So here is the list that I have compiled based on various studies on best practices on conversion rate optimization:
1. Simplify Contact Form: Make sure that you place a simple form for your visitors to fill. We don’t really like to fill each and every detail like our company name, zip code, etc. This may push our visitors to leave page and move on. I was amazed to read about Imagescape which increased its conversion from 5.4% to 11.9%, a 120% increase in conversions, by reducing 7 fields from their contact form.
Here is an infographic released by Quicksprout on how to optimize contact forms for conversions.
2. Make Sign Ups Easy: Ensure that the sign up or log in button is placed on the page where the user is at. They would definitely not want to leave the current page in order to sign up or log in.
3. Add Strong Call-to-Action: Your Call-To-Action (CTA) tab must not merge with the rest of the text on the page. In fact, it must stand out in a different color. Performing a simple A/B test on your website can help you choose the right color. The developers of Performable did an A/B test on the website and concluded that red button generated 21% more conversions than green one.
Image Credit: Hubspot
4. Remove Image Sliders or Carousels: Different studies and conversion experts have pointed out how conversions are badly affected because of image sliders or carousels. They do not allow visitors to explore website at their own comfort. According to a usability study by Jakob Neilson, users are hit by banner blindness and thus, the sliders are ignored.
5. Use Bigger and Real Images: Studies have shown that using bigger images on the website drives more conversions. Econsultancy cited few examples as to how placing a bigger image improved conversion rates. One such example was of Skinner Auctions, which ran A/B test on images larger by 28%. As a result of this change, the bigger image scored 63% more visitors, and improved online form completion by a whopping number of 329%.
Another very important trend that is being observed is the use of images of real people. Yes, that’s true! Using images of real people drives more engagement that’s because visitors can connect with real images better. This case study by Marketing Experiments gives details about how a company replaced stock photo of a lady on their website with that of their Founder. And the result was that the visitors were 35% more likely to sign up. Now that’s the power of real images!
Image Credit: Marketing Experiments
6. Add Videos: If you have not yet explored this option, then certainly, you are losing large chunk of your visitors. StacksAndStacks.com reported that after seeing a video their visitors were 144% more likely to purchase. Another example is of Vidyard, which added a video on their landing page which gave them a 100% conversion lift.
Image Credit: Unbounce
7. Use Remarketing or Retargeting Strategy: According to research from Forrester, , 96% of the people who visit a website will leave without ever converting to a lead or sale. This is where remarketing can be used by marketers to get in front of those people while they perform other activities on the web.
Search Engine Journal posted a case study of Tirendo, a European online tire retailer, which saw a whopping 161% increase in conversion rate using remarketing. The average cost per dropped by 43% and sales increased by 22 %.
Conversion optimization, like other marketing strategies, needs to be defined and customized according to the target audience. All you need is to keep a check on your audience type and analyze their online behavior which will help you get a better idea about their preferences.