Do you ever feel like getting more leads from your website is an insurmountable goal?
I can relate. Recently, I was going through our Adwords account, checking our conversion rates against the number of new leads in our CRM. I discovered all our landing pages were performing satisfactory, except for one.
, our product through Auto Search Technologies, had a total of 13 conversions from 1,399 clicks to the page. That is a .9% conversion rate, which is way below industry average. And certainly not acceptable to me. I'm looking for a 1.5% to 2.5%, at least.
Looking through the conversion path, the most likely culprit is the design of the landing page itself. I made a lot of rookie mistakes when working with our design team to create that page, and so I'm bringing in Chris (AST CEO and search optimization / conversion guru) to help me conversion-optimize this landing page.
Have you found yourself in a similar position? You’ve got a website or landing page. It looks nice, it loads fast, and you even have a CRM to collect the leads from your forms.
Except you aren’t getting many leads. Your conversion rates are below industry average, or just lower than you'd like. You wonder, Why aren’t people filling out my forms?
You head over to Google Analytics or Adwords. People ARE visiting your website. Maybe not as many as you’d like, but you’re working on creating more content and using some advertising that will hopefully increase your traffic over time.
People are coming to your website. They're just not becoming leads or customers. How do you get them to take action?
You need Conversion Optimization.
What is it?
Conversion optimization, or Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), is the practice of implementing different ways to increase the number of website visitors that “convert”, or take the desired action on your webpage.
Basically, the ways you can make your conversion rate higher.
How can you optimize your website for conversions?
I've outlined the process we take when designing a new landing page, which I neglected with our AutoSTRADA landing page in my hurry to get it set up the first time around. You can bet this time I will be much more careful when redesigning it.
4 Steps to Increase Conversions by 30% or more.
Step 1: Carefully define your audience.
The very first step in optimizing your website is having a clear understanding of the visitors that will be landing on your web page. When I set up the AutoSTRADA landing page, I was following the same formula that worked for our TitanMLM.com landing page. Obviously, car dealership owners who are looking to purchase SEO website software are NOT the same as network marketing companies that want to launch or grow their MLM business.
That was my first mistake.
Don't make my same error. Take the time to consider what things appeal to your target audience.
The more specific you can be with your audience, the better chance you’ll have of creating a page that is tailored to them. This is why a dedicated landing page for each product is beneficial. You can better target your audience if you’re only selling a single product, rather than sending them to your website where you might have a variety of products or services for different audiences.
First, create a profile for someone who is your target audience. Who are they, what are the key demographics that describe them? Think about where they hang out online, and what kind of imagery will connect with them best. What kind of devices do they use most often? Are they most likely to come to your site from a mobile app, a Facebook ad, or a Google search? Maybe they'll be coming from other media, such as TV or radio, or event flyers.
Understanding who they are and where they are coming from is the first steps in making the right kind of first impression.
Once you’ve created a persona for members of your target audience, you can now focus on designing a landing page they will be compelled to act on.
Step 2: Put your Call to Action in their face.
The action you want your visitors to take should be the first thing they see when they land on your page. That means it should be in the middle of the screen, above the fold (the place on the page that users see without scrolling).
Naturally, you’ll want to test the placement of your Call to Action (CTA). If you’ve had more luck converting visitors with a CTA NOT in the center of the page, I’d love to hear about it. But most often, you’ll find the call to action in the middle. Check out the high converting examples below, and notice the key elements of the CTA:
The button color.
Notice how each button is bright colored and distinct from the colors on the rest of the page, while still complementing the overall color scheme. You want good contrast on your CTA button to make sure visitors see it right away.
The button text.
Notice how the text is directed to the visitor, tells them what will happen next if they click, and the benefits in just a few short words. For FREE. You can start using this RIGHT NOW. TRY IT without risk. Make sure your USP (unique selling point) is communicated.
Let’s take a moment and talk about your USP.
A unique selling point, also called a unique selling proposition, is what makes your products stand out from competitors. How are you solving their problem in a way that is superior to other brands?
Why should a customer choose your company over the other options?
Some examples of a USP might include: A lower price. More features. Better support or customer care. Warranties. Money-back guarantees. Perhaps your business donates a portion of the proceeds to a cause (remember, people prefer to buy from brands that are doing good).
Whatever your business does to stand out, make sure it is clearly communicated.
The short header.
Headers are often the most looked at part of a page. Make sure your header is clear, concise, and helping to further emphasize your USP.
The CTA placement.
And, to reiterate my original point, notice how the call to actions are centrally placed so the eye can’t miss them.
That brings us to the next step in optimizing your pages for conversions:
Step 3: Remove distractions.
It is tempting to create a page that is unique, beautiful, and full of nifty widgets like sliders.
You want to get as much great information to your visitors as possible, AND keep it all above the fold. Why not use a slider to attract the eye and share extra info?
Keep things simple.
Studies have shown that visitors don’t like sliding headers. The headers are often distracting, don’t give users enough time to absorb the information, and often leave users frustrated rather than enticed to click.
When sliders are employed, nearly 90% of the time users ONLY interact with the first slider. That means the rest of your information is being ignored, AND you’re risking annoying your visitors.
If a slider is crucial to your message, then consider only using two slides, and allowing the users to manually transition the slides so they have enough time to read the information.
Use meaningful images.
It is tempting to fill all that white space with beautiful stock photos. But most people won’t look at the image unless it is furthering the message on the page. Most images are just distractions from your call to action, so choose your images carefully, and use them sparingly.
What kind of images work well? More and more businesses have been using authentic images of people in the company. This is a great way to really connect with your audience and build trust.
If you’re selling a specific product, using an image of that product being used by happy customers would be a great option. For virtual products, it might be worth using a screenshot of the product in action.
Let's take the eye-tracking heat maps on the web page below as an example. If you're read my articles before, you know how much I love eye-tracking studies.
People love to look at baby faces, as you can see by the dark red in both examples. But in the first page design, people spend more time looking at the baby than the header on the page. In the second design of the same page, the only difference is that the baby is looking at the header. We instinctively want to look where others are looking, and the visitor therefore spends more time looking at the header, and then the rest of the content on the page.
This is one great example of the power of choosing the right images.
Step 4: Try using a video.
Video is still a surprisingly underutilized marketing tool.
Video can increase conversion rates by 80% on your landing pages
, according to EyeWideDigital
. We process video over 60,000 times faster than text. Not only that, but when we watch video, our minds process more in the emotional region of the brain. When we read, we process information in the analytical part of our brain. Videos encourage emotional buying.
How can you use video to increase your conversion rates?
Use a lead capture form in your video.
Videos with a lead capture form placed in the first 10 – 20% of the video convert 38 – 43% of the time. If you’re familiar with average conversion rates, that is a huge percentage!
Wondering how to insert forms in your videos? It can be done. Video software company Wistia offers this service. I gave it a try and it is super simple to use. No video editing skills necessary! You can record a video from your computer, or upload one, and add in the lead capture feature they call Turnstile. Embed the video on your landing page, and you’re optimized!
Here is an example, using a video Dwight created. I put this together for this blog in under twenty minutes:
Use a thumbnail with a smiling human face.
Smiles are universal. Most people will prefer to watch a video with a smiling face than text or other image. Wishpond
ran a 5-week A/B split test of two individuals – one smiling and one not. The smiling image increased the software company’s profits by 10.7%. With those kind of results, you need to give smiling a try!
Keep your videos short.
Unless you’re watching a training video, no one wants to sit and watch a long video. Keep your videos short and entertaining for maximum viewing.
Load your most important info at the beginning, as people will drop off quickly (Another reason why you don’t want to wait to put your lead capture form or call to action until the end of a video).
Once the changes above have been implemented to our AutoSTRADA landing page, I'll be sure to share an update and let you know how effective they were. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please share them with me in the comments!
Want more leads from your web pages? Follow these conversion optimization steps to get the results you want.
1. Identify your audience and clearly define their key characteristics.
2. Put the Call to Action above the fold and follow CTA best practices.
3. Remove distractions like sliding headers or unnecessary images.
4. Use video with lead capture and other optimization features.
Tell me about your experiences with CRO, or ask your questions in the comments below.