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best practices for conversion rate optimization being discussed by business leaders

Website Conversion Rate Optimization:  Best Practices Anyone Can Implement

Picture this: you've worked incredibly hard to bring people to your website, but for some reason, they simply aren't converting into customers. Whether you're selling products, offering services, or building an email list, it's frustrating when the results don't match your effort. The good news is, there are simple changes you can make to improve your conversion rate – that's the percentage of people who take the action you want them to.

In this blog post, we'll dive into easy strategies to boost your conversions without complicated tactics or confusing marketing terms.


What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Before we dive into the tips, let's quickly define Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Put simply, CRO is the process of making changes to your website to encourage more visitors to take your desired action. This could mean buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, filling out a form, or anything else that moves them closer to becoming a customer.


Simple CRO Techniques to Boost Your Conversions

Let's break down some actionable ways to improve your website's conversion rate:


1. Limit Industry Jargon

It's easy to slip into using industry-specific words and phrases. However, it's important to remember that potential customers might not understand them. Make sure your language is clear and easy for anyone to grasp.

  • Bad example: "Our CRM solution seamlessly integrates with your existing sales automation suite."
  • Good example: "Our software helps you manage customer relationships and track sales activity in one place."

2. Prioritize a Single Call to Action (CTA)

Your CTA or call to action is the button or link that tells visitors what to do. Don't overwhelm them with too many options! Focus on one clear action you want them to take per page.

  • Bad example: A cluttered landing page with buttons for "Buy Now," "Learn More," "Sign Up for Newsletter," and "Free Demo."
  • Good example: A focused landing page with a single prominent "Buy Now" button.

3. Make the CTA Stand Out

Your CTA should be visually striking and easy to spot. Here's how:

  • Color: Use a contrasting color that stands out against the rest of your page.
  • Size: Make sure the button is large enough to be noticeable.
  • Wording: Use strong, action-oriented words like "Start Now" or "Get Your Free Trial."

4. Make it Easy to Convert

The conversion process should be simple and frictionless. Here's how to make it painless:

  • Short Forms: If you have forms, keep them as short as possible. Only ask for essential information.
  • Streamlined Checkout: Make the checkout process seamless, with minimal steps needed.
  • Multiple Payment Options: Offer different payment options (credit cards, PayPal, etc.) to cater to customer preferences.

You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to move through the conversion process with minimal friction.


5. Clearly State What You Want Users to Do

Don't leave visitors guessing what they should do next. Your instructions should be crystal-clear. Here's how:

  • Clear Headlines: Use headlines that directly tell visitors what the page is about and what they can expect.
  • Actionable Language: Use verbs that guide visitors to your desired action. (ex: "Download Now," "Subscribe Today")
  • Step-by-Step Instructions: If the conversion process includes multiple steps, clearly outline them.

6. Leverage Social Proof

People trust recommendations from others. Use social proof to build credibility and encourage conversions. This can include:

  • Testimonials: Display glowing reviews from satisfied customers.
  • Case Studies: Share success stories of how your product or service helped others.
  • Trust Seals: Include trust badges or seals from security companies or review sites.

7. Create a Sense of Urgency

Sometimes, people need a gentle push to convert. Creating a sense of urgency can motivate action:

  • Limited-Time Offers: Offer special discounts or promotions for a limited time.
  • Countdown Timers: Add a timer to create a sense of scarcity. ("Offer Ends in 24 hours!")
  • Low Stock Indicators: Display "Only a few left in stock" messages to encourage faster decisions.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that the sense of urgency has to be plausible. In other words, avoid overusing this tactic. If customers feel like you are being misleading it can create a sense of distrust or that "something is off" which can have the opposite effect on your conversion rate.


8. Optimize for Mobile Devices

With more people browsing the web on smartphones, your website must be mobile-friendly:

  • Responsive Design: Ensure the layout adjusts smoothly to different screen sizes.
  • Fast Loading Speed: People expect pages to load quickly on mobile.
  • Easy Navigation: Make navigation intuitive on smaller touchscreens.

Even if most of your customers do not purchase on mobile, the site still needs to meet the expectation of a modern day website - meaning it has to look good on mobile.


9. Test, Test, and Test Again

The key to CRO is experimentation. Use A/B testing tools to try different variations of your headlines, CTAs, images, and layouts to see which ones perform best. Here are some things to test:

  • CTA Button Color: Does a red or blue button get more clicks?
  • Form Length: Does a shorter form improve submission rates?
  • Social Proof Placement: Are testimonials more effective at the top or bottom of your page?

Don't have access to A/B testing tools, work with what you have. Make small changes and then monitor their impact. While you have to keep in mind that other factors may play a role without the right controls, this can still be a good way to see if any minor changes have a big impact.


10. Use Eye-Catching Visuals

Images and videos can greatly enhance your website's appeal and convey your message effectively.

  • High-Quality Images: Use professional photos or illustrations that showcase your product or service in the best light. This can go a long way toward making your business appear "legit".
  • Video Demonstrations: Create short videos that explain how your product works or provide a walkthrough of your service. Adding a face to an online product can be a great way to establish trust as an unknown brand.


11. Reducing Risk: The Power of Free Trials and Freemiums

Offering generous return policies alongside free trials and freemiums can be powerful ways to reduce perceived risk and boost conversions.

  • Free Trials: Allow people to try your product for a limited time (usually 7-30 days) without any financial commitment. This hands-on experience gives them a chance to see the value before they buy.
  • Freemium: Offer a basic version of your product or service for free indefinitely. Users can try it out and upgrade to a paid plan if they need more features or functionality.

Finding the right offer here will depend on your business and it's corresponding feature set.


Putting Conversion Rate Best Practices Into Action

Let's take a hypothetical online store selling fitness equipment as an example:

Problem: The store has a decent amount of traffic but low conversion rates.

Initial Solutions might look something like:

  • Replacing industry terms like "resistance bands" with "exercise bands."
  • Streamlining the checkout process by reducing the number of form fields.
  • Adding customer testimonials and a "Frequently Asked Questions" section to address common concerns.
  • Offer a limited-time discount with a countdown timer to create urgency.
  • Testing different colors and wording for the "Add to Cart" CTA.
  • Adding a satisfaction guarantee or 60 day no questions asked return policy.

Remember: CRO is an Ongoing Process

Conversion rate optimization isn't about a one-time fix. It's a continuous process of making small, data-driven improvements to your website. Be patient, keep testing, and you'll see your results improve over time.

Improving your conversion rate takes effort, but even small changes can make a big difference. By implementing the tips outlined in this blog post, you can make your website more persuasive and user-friendly, leading to higher conversions and business success.

Don't be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your website and audience. Continuously track your results, make adjustments, and celebrate those conversion wins!