By Greg Miles published February 10, 2016

6 Website Tweaks to Give Conversions a Shove in the Right Direction

Website-tweaks-cover

You’ve developed your content marketing strategy, planned your publishing schedule and honed your writing skills. You’re cooking up hot content like Gordon Ramsay on Pancake Day, and it’s driving a ton of relevant traffic to your website.

That’s awesome.

For some reason though, conversion rates are low. You’ve been tripped at the last hurdle on your route to content marketing success.

This can be one of the most frustrating challenges content marketers face, and it’s often the last piece of the puzzle to be considered.

There are many reasons why website visitors might not be taking the actions you want them to take. There could be something fundamentally wrong (such as no demand for your product), but usually it takes just a few tweaks to give conversions a shove in the right direction.

Here are six ways you can optimize your conversion rates right now.

1. Write a compelling call to action

Perhaps the most obvious technique, it can have a substantial effect on the number of leads generated from your website.

Instead of using dull CTAs such as “sign up” and “click here,” you should opt for more creative and original choices that speak your customers’ language.

A bold CTA like this one championed by Dollar Shave Club is more stimulating than “Join Now,” while also prompting an immediate response.

Bold-CTA-Dollar-Shave-Club

It’s also a good idea to focus the CTA on the value the prospects will receive rather than the action they should take. Saying “get your free report” is more effective than asking visitors to “order your free report” because it highlights what the customer will gain, not the effort it will take.

Something as simple as the size or color of your call to action also can have a profound effect on conversions. Using a color that is different from your standard palette could do a brilliant job of drawing attention to the CTA button.

2. Add click triggers

Click triggers are bits of text that reassure visitors about their decision. It’s likely that some prospects will hesitate or doubt our offers, and click triggers could provide the little nudge they need to take the desired action.

Click triggers can generate trust in the vital moments running up to a conversion. They include:

  • Product ratings
  • Customer testimonials
  • Extra information about products such as “top seller” or “most popular”
  • Guarantees
  • Benefits, such as free shipping
  • Secure-payment icons
  • Transparency about next steps/set-up

Check out this example on Sprout Social’s home page, which reassures users about the simplicity of the process to follow:

Sprout-Social-homepage

3. Use an exit-intent pop-up

Pop-ups can be annoying. They often interrupt the natural flow of users surfing the web who close them before a single word of the message has registered.

But when used with apt timing, a pop-up can be your last-ditch effort to capture a visitor’s contact information.

Exit-intent pop-ups work by tracking the movements of users on a web page so that a special offer or opt-in form can be displayed when they show signs of leaving.

exitintent-forever-loop

This is a less interruptive and more effective way of engaging visitors with a pop-up. It can be used for any message you see fit, from discount codes to opportunities for visitors to subscribe to your blog.

4. Simplify forms

Filling out online forms can be a chore and the subsequent commands – fill out these boxes, give us your details, prove you’re not a robot – annoying.

You’ve spent so much effort attracting customers to your website and have successfully guided them to a landing page, it would be a horrific shame if they were to abandon your site at the last minute because of a time-consuming form.

You should make the process of converting as simple as possible for your customers. Using the minimum number of fields possible will increase your conversions – even though that means sacrificing some additional information about your leads.

At Bumbl we reduced our contact form from six fields to three and more than doubled our conversion rate.

Simplify-forms

With these changes we gather less information about our leads, but it’s totally worth it when you consider how many more leads we are generating.

5. Optimize for mobile

As Google research reveals, more people search on mobile devices than on laptop or desktop computers.

More people search on #mobile than laptop or desktop computers via @google #research @GregBumbl #SEO Click To Tweet

Generally speaking, you should expect around half of your website visitors to be accessing your site from a mobile device. With that said, it’s crucial that your website and the whole conversion process are optimized for these consumers.

Loading speeds need to be up to scratch. Mobile connections are usually slower than desktop, and the longer people have to wait, the more likely they are to abandon your site.

In fact, Amazon found that if its page took one second longer to load, it would cost $1.6 billion in sales each year.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

6. Remove distractions

Every option your landing page presents to visitors — other than the step you want them to take — eats away at your conversions.

Removing unnecessary links gives your users less opportunity to navigate away from your page. That includes anything from distracting images and sidebars, to unnecessary offers. HubSpot found that removing the navigation bar from landing pages can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%.

Less is more.

Remove-distractions

Final note

When making changes to the design or copy of your website, it’s important to A/B test elements to maximize conversions. That involves performing split tests to find which variation of an element yields the best results. You can use a tool such as Optimizely to run these tests. Simply:

  1. Decide what it is you want to tweak.
  2. Create two variations of it.
  3. Run both variations at the same time, distributing them evenly to visitors.
  4. Measure the results.
  5. Keep the winner and discard the loser.
  6. Repeat for new element.

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Cover image by SplitShire via pixabay.com

Please note:  All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team.  No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).

Author: Greg Miles

Greg Miles is the Founder and Managing Director of Bumbl, a digital marketing agency located in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. It specializes in social media marketing, content marketing, and SEO. You can connect with Greg and the team on Twitter or via the blog.

Other posts by Greg Miles

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  • http://hashimwarren.com/ Hashim Warren

    Nice headline, sir. You earned my click and share!

    • Greg

      Thanks Hashim!

  • http://differenthunger.com Matt Kohn

    Great post mate. Might work some of this content into my own call-to-actions / lead magnets. Cheers Greg!

    • Greg

      Thanks Matt! I also think removing distractions and using simplified design are increasingly important as our attention spans plummet.

  • http://www.writingrevolt.com Jorden Roper

    Awesome post, Greg! Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely going to consider adding an exit-intent pop-up to my site to see how it improves conversions.

    • Greg

      Thanks Jordan, drop by and let us know if it has a significant effect on your conversion rate!

  • Paul Mattioli

    Great points on embracing some more dynamic next steps from end-users. In my B2B life I think most content strategists think they have to play it safe and use sterile CTAs… It’s important to remember that conversion can often be a series of smaller conversions wherein an end-user grows into a valuable asset over as a result of multiple next steps. Thanks for this read – sharing via LinkedIn too….

    • Greg

      Great points Paul, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.globalwebforce.com/ Hitesh Parekh

    These pointers could serve as a revamp inspiration to companies looking to re-do their website and making it stronger for conversions. Also a good checklist on what could we be missing.

  • http://www.LYFsolutions.com.au LYF Solutions

    Less is definitely more these days. A/B testing is fairly new for most small business owners and marketers. Will be interesting to see this evolve over time and the results that come with it.

  • Cherie Hawkins

    Really enjoyed that article. A few of these I already do but thanks for the other useful tips. Thanks again

    • Greg

      Glad you found it useful Cherie!

  • http://hedstrominternetconsulting.com/ Steve Hedstrom

    Great tips here Greg! I really like the idea of less fields on forms and removing other options than the intended click path. Have a terrific Tuesday and sharing with my network! Cheers! :-)

    • Greg

      Our attention span is now less than that of a Goldfish (really!) so less is definitely more when it comes to UX. Thanks for sharing Steve

  • http://azsocialmediawiz.com/ Giselle M. Aguiar

    I dislike all pop-ups. The exit ones are annoying because if I want to share the page using the HootSuite Hootlet or Buffer or pin it on Pinterest with the Pin-it button, as soon as he mouse goes to the top bar, there’s the pop-up. I think they contribute to a higher bounce rate. If you use them, check your data.