McDougall Interactive Conversion Success

16 Key Items to Test to Improve Conversion Rates

McDougall Interactive Conversion Success

More conversions = more successful businesses

1. Unique value proposition 

If people don’t understand immediately why you are better than the other dozen sites they are kicking the tires of, you won’t stand a chance. Test adding mini summarizing statements that express your unique value.

2. Headlines  

Sometimes changing the wording of a heading even a tiny bit can have an incredible impact on conversions, but you won’t know unless you test. Test emotional versus logical headlines and use things like free offers, guarantees, and things that express your unique value proposition. Test headlines that express benefits instead of features.

3. Calls to action 

Try testing different button colors/sizes/text/shapes. Try different call to action copy such as “Free Quote in 1 Hour Guaranteed,” instead of “Fill out this form to get a quote.” 

4. Trust and credibility

Make sure to use things like testimonials, “in the news” mentions, company photos and bios, enhanced “about us” pages, company video, awards, affiliations, and certifications.

5. “About us” pages

Make them more personal, less “what you do,” more “who you are.”

6. Address more than one persona

Have content for different types of people. Do you address each of the four modalities’ needs and in this order down the page?

  • Competitive (Proof and business power at top, show what we can do)
  • Spontaneous (Personal attention and instant gratification, show how we are the best)
  • Humanistic (Who will be affected, reviews, testimonials, who we helped, relationships, family)
  • Methodical (Cold hard facts, specifications, features, details, documented evidence)
Snapshot of possible bank website content per persona as an example: 

Competitive: Boston’s best bank, according to industry newspaper XYZ. (PR “above the fold.”)
Interactive poll, survey, widgets, video where users are asked to comment/engage.
Video and text testimonials, more personal “about us” page.
Steps in the process of choosing a bank/checking account. Comparison chart of competitors’ options.

Ask yourself what content you like most but might be missing for people who are different from you!

7. Maintain scent

Make sure that whatever you promised the customer (often in showing them exact keywords) is consistently reinforced in text and visually, from the initial ad copy or banner to the landing page and then through the “check out” process.

8. Layout, visual clarity, and eye tracking

A high-quality look and feel can be a major contributor to your success online. Use tools like ClickTale, Feng-gui, and to see what people react to, where they click and scroll, and where their eyes are focused when they look at your web pages. Then test making changes that improve the page based on the results and run these tools again.

9. Use of color and images

Create images that connect emotionally. Be aware of what colors mean. Red is a warning sign, for example. Be careful what you do with this color and test alternatives to it unless you do want people to be warned or stop. Try making your main call to action button stick out more than others on your site through the use of contrasting colors. Orange is popular for button text because it stands out almost as much as red, but does not indicate a warning.

10. Point-of-action assurances

Place things like links to your privacy policy, security icons, and guarantees near calls to action or buy/submit buttons.

11. Persuasive copywriting

Test using more emotional copy with active verbs that entice the reader. Focus more on benefits than on features. Make it less about you and more about them. Speak in the customer’s language, such as “You are looking for xyz.”

12. Readability

Test lowering the grade level of the reading to reach more people. Average web users are said to have less than high school-level reading abilities. Reduce excess industry terminology and jargon.

13. Use reviews and test where the reviews are placed

Reviews leverage the power of the social web. Users no longer want to be bombarded with obvious marketing messages but want to engage in a dialogue about products and services.

14. Rearrange the order of your copy

Sometimes your best paragraph is your last one and it is “below the fold.” Try switching things up to put your most compelling copy first. Test adding your most factual, detailed, feature-oriented, cold hard facts information at the bottom of the page, since methodical people who will appreciate it may be the only people that scroll that far down the page.

15. Usability

Try three videos to see what issues people have with your site and test new alternative navigation and layout options.

16. Load time

How many times have you impatiently bailed out on a site when it loaded too slowly? A slow-loading site not only impacts your conversion rate, but can also impact your site’s AdWords Quality score and ranking in Google search.

10 Conversion Killers

  1. No obvious real value or relevance
  2. Tiny “call to action” buttons
  3. Small or no phone number
  4. Lack of trust—no photo of office or indication of address, no VeriSign security logo
  5. Too many form fields and poor layout
  6. Forced registration on shopping cart
  7. Complex checkout process
  8. High price not inline with competitors(unless you already have clear positioning as the leader)
  9. Lack of reviews and testimonials
  10. Too many features, not enough benefits

photo credit: seeveeaar via photopin cc

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