Enhanced Website Conversion Analysis Tactics
If you haven’t read our previous article on designing for improving your website conversion, we highly recommend you do so. It’s packed full of pro tips to help get your ideal prospects buying from you, and then coming back for more. If you missed it, you really should check it out. We covered such website conversion analysis gems as the importance of empathy in any sales attempt, the overlap between design layout and copy layout, and much more.
If you read it and loved it, however, we’ve got another 5 pro tactics to help you on your way to web conversion mastery. So read on!
1. Optimize Requested Customer Information
One of the biggest mistakes rookie websites do is to ask their prospects to do too much work. No one likes that person at the party who gives every excruciating detail of his day, or keeps interrupting an otherwise interesting story to insert their totally irrelevant point of view. Well, the web is a giant party, and your site is your story. Don’t be annoying.
Usually it’s in the form of asking visitors for too much information about themselves. A massive form may make sales smile, but every field reduces the chance a user will complete it. Research shows that optimizing fields to 3 or 4 increases leads by 50%. In our work, we see a 50% increase in form completions per form for every field removed.
Beware of rationalizing that your call to action approach is the only way to get good leads. We’ve seen this often, only to be completely proven wrong with a day of testing. Defensiveness often means there’s a kernel of truth. Let data drive the path forward.
Device matters as well. On desktop users are more willing to complete longer forms. But on mobile, they’d rather keep it simple, preferring smaller forms or even click to call. One size does not fit all for calls to action (CTA).
One rarely used tactic if you must gather massive amounts of form field data: break a form up. Users may become overwhelmed by needing to add in too much info, but chunked into digestible bites they may feel committed. Those that leave can still be reached out to, allowing your team to gather this data at another time. This is a simple example of how making a form more customer friendly can help you both.
Another issue is asking for info too early in the conversion cycle. If you ask a prospect for too much info, especially surrounding topics that aren’t immediately relevant, they’ll get irritated and walk away. Wait until you’ve provided value (like at the end of a blog post) to provide a relevant call to action.
Finally, many calls to action are rarely optimized, simply replaced. A/B testing allows you to dynamically try multiple solutions and let users tell you which are most effective. Are you A/B testing field length? Are you A/B testing text length? Are you A/B testing form title? Are you A/B testing button copy? Are you A/B testing different calls to action based on device? All of these are much more scientific ways then simply randomly replacing a call to action with what you like more.
You aren’t the only site on the web selling whatever it is you have to sell. If you make these rookie errors and lose a prospect to irritation of that kind, they can quickly find other companies offering similar services or products. Companies who respect their time, their personal space, and their information will win first.
2. Emphasize Your Social Proof
Great products and services don’t sell themselves. Social Proof allows customers to immediately skip verifying your brilliance because someone already did. Leading with examples of social proof reduce a customer’s apprehension in taking action.
One example of social proof is listing your past clients or customers. They speak to the level of quality and attention to detail of your work. If they’re well-known and numerous it lowers fear.
Another method of social proof is social media following or email subscriber count. Having a massive fan base must mean you’re doing something well, right? Showing off these numbers can be a way to tell users that they’re missing out on your unique perspective.
Customer quotes make an ideal form of social proof as well. They’re warm and fuzzy, yet ground your work in a way that makes it relatable.
Positive external press is an added way to showcase your industry leadership. Having a press release, an magazine interview, a newspaper article, a podcast conversation, a speaking opportunity, or a TV mention all show that your work is worth attention.
For startups, venture capital funding is the ultimate form of social proof. You may never have even come out of stealth mode, but raising a high value round will make everyone buzz with anticipation.
More and more, business directories (like Yelp) and business professional social networks (like LinkedIn) can be ideal forms of social proof. A low star rating on Google maps may scare some away. Bad employee reviews on Glassdoor may do the same. These are just as important to keep an on eye on, as they live outside of your website.
Or at the very least, do everything you possibly can to foster a vibrant “comments” section beneath your articles, if you engage in any type of content marketing or auxiliary blogging. Using Disqus or Facebook comments can help a bunch in allowing systems people already have integrated into their daily lives.
Social reinforcement is an extremely well-established fact of psychology. When your prospects realize they’re in the company of others (especially a lot of others) who find your products or services as great as they do, their connection to your brand is being strengthened at the subconscious level.
Our ninjas have found multiple social proofs of high relevance to your audience add exponential conversion value. Don’t stop with one, but layer over the external praise until a visitor moves from “Why them?” to “When can we start?”.
3. Ask the Tough Questions
Here’s an obvious conversion tip (no, we won’t charge for it): people love feeling helped. But more importantly, people love to help too.
Often if our website isn’t performing how we’d like we test a bunch of tactics, tweaking elements that may not matter. Website conversion analysis can take some time and it makes us feel good to solve this human behavior puzzle. But one quick way to see why a website isn’t working well is to simply and directly ask users what they dislike.
“We use social media!” you might say. People don’t love to provide negative feedback unless they have to. But if asked directly, they’re more than willing to do so in a constructive manner.
Having chat on your website can allow you to hear from visitors directly. Are they asking the same things? Are they confused or frustrated by your lack of [fill in the blank]? Your customers are giving you the green light to expand these areas both in content and visually.
Using a sticky feedback form will likely give more honest feedback. Labeling it, ‘What can we do better to help you?’ should provide interesting information. A/B testing this, so it only shows for a fraction of users, allows you to gather this info without destroying your beautiful web design.
Finally, really listen to their concerns. Most businesses rationalize away visitor’s challenges. While it is likely bad to take this feedback literally (“make all buttons green!”), try to look at what the true challenge is (lack of visual call to action).
Depending on the scale, scope and variety of your business, we realize this feedback may not always be practical or even actionable. But if there’s any conceivable way you can pull it off, you’ll be highly rewarded for your efforts.
4. Make Sure You Get Your Visitors’ Email Addresses
A common mistake is trying to go from first date to marriage for new website visitors.
If you haven’t already, you need to start collecting your visitors’ email addresses. Once you’ve begun doing so, you can establish a mailing list of people to send newsletters, special offers, and company updates to. This also falls in line with our above point about not being sparse among your clientele and readership. Try dating first before you pop the question.
A sense of connection matters, and this tactic is even more powerful if you send out a short weekly newsletter about a topic in your industry, signed by yours truly. Not only does this foster a regular connection with your client base, but it also establishes you as an industry authority. The boost to your credibility will show tangible results in your website conversion analysis.
And that matters greatly, because your ability to connect with your audience is the only thing of true worth you have in the world of business.
5. Fill the Vacant Spaces Your Competitors Missed
This tip builds on the point in our previous article on high-conversion sites, about empathizing with your buyers and clientele. Well, consider this last tip as Empathy 2.0, for the sophisticated and intellectually inclined business types among you.
Go beyond merely assessing what your client’s purchasing desires. Assess the surrounding marketplace, visit the sites of your competitors, get to know their companies and brands. Observe deficiencies in their approach to business, or blind spots in their industry knowledge. Then work for all you’re worth to either fill that niche in the market, or be extra sure that you’re not making the same mistake.
Website conversion analysis is often so data focused it can miss that humans are complex. They want to feel emotions. They want to learn new, unexpected things. They want to have their problems solved proactively. If you aren’t helping people feel, learn, or optimize, you’re likely not helping.
Here’s what it all comes down to: Empathy.
Empathy, at the bottom of everything, is merely about being open to experience and insight other than your own. Once you make that your modus operandi, the pieces of the puzzle tend to fall into place naturally.
However you choose to optimize your site, using website conversion analysis helps you be more intelligent about it. Whether it involves the practicalities of design and copy layout, or scoping out the surrounding business terrain, always try to look beneath the superficial and obvious. Data driven decisions are much better than random guessing. And make the most of all the tools at your disposal.
Follow the tips we’ve laid out in this and our previous website conversion tips article, apply a bit of personalized ingenuity, and you’ll see your online conversion rate rising sooner than you think!
Looking for additional website conversion analysis tips?
Check out 7 Website Don’ts to Avoid at All Costs, or review The Ultimate 9-Step Website Redesign Checklist. Or you could contact our ninja team who will provide a free website and competitive analysis for completely free.