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“Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.”
A catchy phrase, no doubt used by English teachers the world over, to emphasise their comparative and superlative adjectives lesson. It just so happens that it’s a great mantra for life – and inbound marketing too!
As inbound marketers, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our conversion rates. After all, it is pointless having a flood of traffic to your website if you aren’t able to convert those visitors to leads. When we craft emails, an awesome open rate means nothing if you can’t get those readers to actually complete an action.
So how do we lift our conversion rates to see better results?
It’s called conversion rate optimisation. Simply put it is the practice of tweaking and testing elements that can improve conversion and it should be an integral element of your inbound marketing programme.
There is a common misconception that conversion rate optimisation means changing out colours of buttons or trying different copy whether that’s an alternative subject line or an entire landing page. The truth of it is that there are literally hundreds of ways you can optimise your conversion rates from technical adjustments on your website to – yes – that call-to-action button colour. Some areas have shown to move the needle more than most, and in a relatively quick timeframe, so let’s focus on those.
Testing the Design and Layout
The actual layout of your landing page, email or website can greatly impact on conversion rates. Design optimisation can include a number of elements:
- Colour adjustments
- Spacing or alignment of modules
- Placement of CTAs or forms
For example, on our landing pages, we have found that using quite a bit of white space, concise copy and supported by an appealing image and the submission form on the right renders a better conversion rate than having the form on the left where people aren’t entirely sure of what they are downloading yet. We’ve used UX (user experience) design principles to make the flow of the page as natural as possible based on how humans interact with online content. While this works well for us, you are encouraged to test out your own design and find the layout that delivers the best conversion rate for your audience.
Clearing the Conversion Path
While an element of this could be considered part of a design test, making sure that the actual conversion path is clear of obstructions is another great way to improve your conversion rates. Any aspect of the conversion that creates confusion, anxiety or distraction is going to cause conversion to drop. Some key areas to consider include:
Aligning CTA and Landing Page / Offer Copy
Make sure your core message is crystal clear from CTA through to the landing page to avoid confusion. This includes keeping headings closely matched so that visitors know they are at the right place based on where they came from.
Keep your visitor focussed on a single, desired action by removing any navigational elements that would cause distraction and send them off in another direction. Navigation can be reintroduced once the conversion has occurred which adds to the experience by showing them where they should go next.
Optimising Form Length and Fields
Often the inclusion or exclusion of a single form field can dramatically impact conversion rates, either positively or negatively. Strive to gather the bare minimum of information you need for an initial conversion to take place and rather build a profile over time by introducing additional fields at subsequent conversions. HubSpot’s smart form fields makes this process easy by changing out form fields based on the viewers profile and what you already know about them versus the information you would still like to obtain.
Providing Security or Social Proof
Offer information that proves your conversion is safe and secure, most particularly if it involves the provision of personal information such as credit card details or the like. People are cautious when it comes to putting their private information on the Internet and are fearful of fraud or spam. Trusted security seals and social proof that others have successfully engaged with you will alleviate the anxiety that they may feel about the process.
Segmenting Your Visitors
Everyone visiting your website has a different value to your business. Some may have none as they merely stumbled across your pages and don’t have any genuine interest in purchasing your product or service. Others have been more proactive in seeking you out and are keen to engage. Naturally the ‘browsers’ are of less value to your business and you would want to focus your conversion rate optimisation on those that are more likely to transact with you. Segmenting offers with the various types of visitors in mind can help you achieve better results for the groups that matter the most to you.
The most successful marketers understand that conversion rate optimisation is an ongoing process and continually strive for the best results.
Have you optimised elements of your website for better conversion? What worked for you? Share in the comments below.