Conversion optimization takes data, time and money. Small businesses can push some proven, easy-to-implement techniques to get started at low cost and with a high return. Once you’ve got these in place, then you can build testing ideas off of them to get even better results.
Here are a few straightforward places to start when trying to optimize conversion rates.
1. Create a landing page specifically for a product or service.
This one is often overlooked, but very powerful. You probably have a page for your services, but is this page really focused on your key business line? Too often, I see “Services” pages that list everything you do, but doesn’t give much detail about any one thing.
This is also a key tip for getting higher conversions from paid search whether you’re talking text ads or display.
Talk with your sales and marketing teams, and look at your analytics to determine what the main draw is for your business. Identify the 1 or 2 services/products that generate the most leads or contact form submissions and then build pages for them with a strong CTA or embedded contact form.
This improves conversions because it lets you give more information, provides a measurable funnel start (or segmentation point) and can be used in multiple channels (organic search, social media, paid search campaigns).
Once you’ve got this setup, you can plan A/B testing of headlines, page titles, CTA buttons, bullet point order, form fields, etc until you find the right combination of elements.
2. Add an obvious CTA to high exit pages.
It’s easy to forget that visitors don’t know your site or your business as well as you do. They may get to a high value page and then be unsure where to go next. If they have to think for more than a second about what to do next, then you’ve lost them.
If you’ve looked at your stats and discovered that a few pages have high exit percentages (or above average bounce rates), then consider giving people a VERY obvious next step.
Try adding a CTA that points them to the contact form or a content offer or an email subscribe form. You might also try a pop-up when they are getting ready to exit. Last, consider something like HelloBar that gives a persistent, high-visibility nudge to anyone on the site.
BONUS: Look at offering real-time chat.
This is equally a conversion optimizer and a navigation optimizer. The point here is to keep people engaged and reduce abandonment. Greater engagement (pageviews, time on site) may not immediately lead to higher conversions, but it will give you more opportunities to convert.
Once you’ve got this setup, you can test offers to see which ones resonate. Rotate out content until you get the right match between pages and topics of interest. Using Content Groupings & Events along with Goals in Google Analytics can help you understand the connections between content and activity.
3. Create a great “Thank You page” that keeps the conversation going
This is something I’m working on right now. It may seem counterintuitive, but keeping someone on the site after they’ve subscribed, sent a contact request or bought is a great way to convert them again.
Here are a few ideas for this:
- After they subscribe to your newsletter, give them links to your top 10 posts that they can read right then. You might also have little “tweet this” buttons next to each post.
- If they contact you about a product, then share a customer testimonial on the “Thank You” page. This validates their decision and gives you more credibility.
- Add a short video introducing them to the salesperson that will be contacting them. This can make that initial conversation a lot more friendly because they’ve already got a face attached to the name.
Read this post from HubSpot for more ideas
4. Remove a field from your form OR make it optional
You want as much information about your prospect as possible, but there is a proper time and place to ask for different pieces of information. The more value you are offering, the more likely they are to fill out your 15 field form. But you have to balance the offered value against amount of information you’re requesting. Also think about where in the buyer journey they are.
A good rule is to think of your effort and match to the amount of info:
- If it took you 2 hours and isn’t unique (a list post, a short slideshow), then keep your ask short.
- If it was a big investment on your part (ebook, webinar, video), then ask for more information.
This approach can seem a little selfish, but it gives you a decent rule of thumb for deciding form fields.
Read this post from Unbounce for tips on lead capture forms.
Start looking at your forms and see if you are asking for too much for too little. It can be hard to remove fields once they’ve been approved by marketing, sales, et. al. But discuss making some things optional if they can’t be removed.
Compare conversion rates before and after changing the form fields. You might also do split testing based on New v Returning user, logged-in or not, etc. If you have the technology, then look at progressive profiling as a way to collect more data overtime without overwhelming the visitor.
Bonus: Auto-Fill as many fields as you can. This reduces the amount of work for the visitor and might make them more willing to deal with the other fields.
Most of these suggestions involve landing pages, but the ideas can be used all over the place. Start with your conversion funnels and then work backward/upward through the site to see where else you can give visitors a friendly nudge or help them understand your site better.