What if you could double your conversion rate with a couple of efficient CRO strategies? Instead of slaving over a few percentage points increase, you would change your business.
Conversion rate optimization is a hot topic. Everyone has their own opinions about it.
Some people say you should focus on the button color. Other people swear by removing image sliders or reducing form fields.
You’ll even have a few people that cite how video alone can almost double your conversion rates.
While all these things can work under specific conditions, they’re tactical ways to improve your conversions. That means they won’t work in all (or even most) situations.
In this article, I’ll focus on CRO techniques that can help any website double their conversion rate. Let’s dive in.
- Speed up your website
- Real-time social proof
- Interactive content
- Optimized website design
- AIDA copywriting
1. Speed optimization
The web should be fast. If you’re anything like a normal internet browser, you’ll abandon a website if it takes too long to load.
A study by Akami and Gomez saw that 40% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
All the optimization in the world won’t help you if your hosting is subpar. When you’re first starting out, it makes sense to use a shared host like Bluehost or SiteGround because there are a lot of uncertainties involved.
Once you’ve started to get a bit of traffic and revenue, invest in a dedicated hosting solution. This is the single most impactful thing you can do to improve your website speed.
Are they more expensive? Yes.
Is it worth it? Definitely.
Here’s a screenshot of how fast one of our heaviest pages on market segmentation with tons of rich media loads with dedicated hosting:
Here’s a screenshot from one of our websites that’s on shared hosting:
The difference is clear.
The first time someone visits your website, a lot of things need to load which slows everything down. That’s normal.
Caching allows you to store static elements (website elements that almost never change) so the next time they visit, it’s already loaded.
If you’re using WordPress, there are a lot of prebuilt plugins that’ll allow you to set up browser caching with just a few clicks.
A few of my favorites are:
- WP Fastest Cache
- W3 Cache
- WP Super Cache
C) Content delivery network
People are accessing your website from different places around the world. Depending on where your hosting company is located, it may take longer for your website to load.
For example, if your visitor is in Germany but your hosting company is in San Francisco, it’ll take longer to load your site. A content delivery network takes care of this problem.
It works by using a geographically distributed network of servers to deliver your content faster. In essence, no matter where your visitors are, your website will load quickly.
You know the best part?
It’s easy to set up.
A few CDN you can use are:
Cloudflare is free to use and will help you speed up your website. You’ll just need to make a few changes to your name servers.
2. Real time social proof
Have you ever seen a line outside a store and went over just to find out what was going on? That’s the best social proof you can get.
On the internet, we’re used to social proof that looks like this:
While this is good, it’s even more compelling to see hat someone bought a few minutes or hours ago. It gives the semblance of a bustling store.
Now, there’s software which allows you to do that. Here are a few ways to use it.
A) People that just purchased
Offline, if you see someone has just purchased an item you were interested in, it’s an extra push to go ahead and buy it. This is a psychological phenomenon known as the confirmation bias.
As individuals, we tend to favor (or give more weight) to evidence that is in line with our beliefs and conclusions. Someone buying an item you like is confirmation that it’s a good choice.
Online, use this type of social proof on specific sales pages and landing pages with a
If it’s on a product page, show notifications of people who’ve purchased the specific product or one in a similar category.
B) Number of people that purchased in the last x days
Another way to use this type of social proof is to aggregate actions over time. Let’s say you don’t have many daily sign-ups or sales. Over the course of a month or a week, it still shows up as a decent absolute number.
For example, you have five sales a day. That’s not a large number itself, but over the course of a month, that’s 150 sales.
Show that social proof in addition recent purchase notifications.
Tools to use:
People have caught on to the power of social proof so there are a lot of tools springing up to provide the service.
Here are a few of the best.
FOMO was one of the first tools to display real-time social proof. It has an open API that lets you do a lot of interesting things with the software.
3. Interactive content
Most of the web is static. You land on a page, read, scroll, and then close it. You don’t have to do much of anything to get your desired outcome.
That’s part of the reason conversion rates are low – people aren’t engaged.
Interactive content flips that dynamic on its head. Instead of consuming passively, your visitors have to actively engage with your content.
3.5x more marketers reported interactive content converts very well when compared to static content.
There are many types of interactive content but we’ll focus on two.
A) Interactive quizzes
The process for creating interactive quizzes is straightforward but the results are amazing. On average, you can convert 30% of your visitors to leads/subscribers.
When used properly, you can even secure a sale on the first interaction.
To reap the benefits of interactive quizzes, it’s important to create one that’ll appeal to a larger portion of your audience.
To do that, find your most popular blog posts or pages in Google Analytics.
Log into your account > behavior >site content > landing pages
Toggle the time to the last six months
You’ll see the most popular posts based on page views. Choose one or two (to begin with) which you can make a quiz for. After you’ve made the quiz, embed it into the page and measure the results.
There are a few tools to get this done so choose anyone you like and get to work.
The longer people stay on your website, the more likely they are to convert into a lead or become a customer. Interactive infographics don’t convert users directly, but they increase time spent on your site.
Music map showcases how different genres evolved over time. In order to access information, you’ll need to click around the graphic.
This infographic from Inequality Is Fixable, shows barely any information at first. When you click each element, it opens up on more information. It begs you to explore and find out the things you can do to make inequality a thing of the past.
In both of the examples, people stay on pages longer because they can engage with the content.
There’s an important factor to consider when you make an interactive infographic. Does the topic have wide appeal while being relevant to your business? Don’t make the mistake of choosing a popular yet irrelevant topic. Once you’ve settled on a topic, the only thing left to do is create it. If you have the talent in the house then great. If not, check out a freelancer from visual.
4. Website design and layout.
Your website layout and design is a quick win you have complete control over. It doesn’t take much time (usually) but can drastically increase conversions.
A) Easy navigation
You know what no one likes? Having to click through five pages to get the information they need. Just as bad is having too many options in the top navigation.
It causes more cognitive load than is necessary. Your header menu should have, at most, five clickable tabs. When you have to nest tabs under the main options, try to keep it at four items or less.
If it’s getting too complicated, add important items to your top-level pages. In addition to reducing the number of menu items, use simple language people will understand without a second thought.
When all else fails, put extra menu items in your footer.
B) Consistent colors
I won’t get into the psychology of color in this article. To be honest, as long as you choose colors that don’t hate each other, you should be OK.
What many websites fail to do is use colors consistently.
For example, the first call to action button is green, the second one is blue, and the last one on the page is red. It may not seem important but your visitor will register it on a subconscious level.
There are a few simple rules of thumb:
- Keep all your calls to action the same color
- Make sure your headers of the same category (h1, h2, h3) are all the same colors
- Keep textures consistent (don’t use stripes on top of circles)
- Use, at most, three major colors on your website.
C) White space
Used properly, white space (also known as negative space) is the area between and inside design elements. It helps emphasize imagery, text, and calls to action.
There are two types of white space.
Macro white space:
This is the larger space between major elements on a page and the design itself. This type of white space acts as the container of your design. It puts everything in perspective.
When there isn’t enough macro white space, the page appears wide and at times cluttered.
Properly used macro white space focuses your visitors on the most important elements of the page.
Google is one of the ultimate examples of using white space to focus users.
This is an extreme example and may not be possible for most websites.
This is a more reasonable example of how to use whitespace. Notice how the background image doesn’t take attention away from the main headline, call to action, or image.
Micro white space:
This is the area between individual elements like paragraphs, lines, and menu items. This helps with content hierarchy and readability.
Simply put, make sure there’s enough space between elements to easily differentiate them from one another.
5. AIDA Copywriting
There are many different ways to write compelling copy. I won’t presume to know the best one. What I can do is share what works for us.
AIDA is an often used copywriting framework that moves the visitor through different stages then gets them to take your desired action. In short, it helps you engage, persuade, and convert your visitors.
We’ll move through each of the stages in turn.
The first step in any interaction is to capture attention. If you don’t have that then nothing else matters.
You do this by writing a compelling headline that’s deeply relevant to their situation. If you were selling a new type of antiperspirant, you could lead with a headline like:
“Deodorant is dead, step into the new age of antiperspirants”
Of course, your headline would be better.
The thing is, people would want to know what you mean by deodorant is dead. They’ll keep reading.
You can capture attention by:
- Using curiosity in a headline “They laughed when I sat down at the piano but when I started to play….”
- Shock factors. Use a statistic or piece of information that’s not well known and that they would find interesting.
- Personalization: Call out their industry sector, personal details, or
other relevant itemto grab their attention.
Alright, you’ve gotten their attention; the next step is to keep it. Unless you’re selling something inherently cool like a pair of rocket boots, this can prove challenging.
The entire focus of interest is to show them how much you understand their challenges and the unique way you’re able to solve it.
This doesn’t have to be a sermon full of heavy text (remember micro white space). Instead, it should be something that evokes emotions, entertains, and connects on a deeper level.
For example, someone with an embarrassing health condition may not be comfortable going into the doctor’s office so they seek out help online. Your job would be to show you understand the challenges they’re experiencing while weaving a narrative that pulls them deeper into your copy.
Desire is similar to but different from interest. With interest, you care about what’s being said and how it’s being said.
With desire, you want what’s being offered.
In the example of an embarrassing health condition, the prospect is interested in the copy because it relates to what they’re experiencing. They don’t desire facts and figures about their condition.
They desire a cure that will save them from further embarrassment.
To create this desire, build the bridge between where they are now to where they want to go. How will life be different for them once they’re cured?
Will they be able to go out and enjoy themselves again?
Will they be more confident in their day to day activities?
Is it possible that they’ll be able to do more throughout the day?
It only works when you talk about it within the context of your prospect’s goals.
If you don’t know what they want then it’s impossible to create desire.
If your prospect is still here then you’ve done an amazing job. The last step (and arguably the most important) is getting people to take your desired action.
This is where you present your offer and tell people EXACTLY how to take action on it. It’s also known as a call to action.
If they need to click a button then enter their credit card details on the next page then tell them. Every page on your website should have a call to action. I mean that. Every single page – even noncommercial pages – should have a call to action.
That could be to buy, sign up, or watch a video. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re always presenting the next step for your visitors.
Of course, you can never get a 100% conversion rate but after going through your AIDA copy, people should leave with a positive impression. When they’re ready to take action, you’ll be first on their list.
Conversion rate optimization comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s more important to take a strategic approach and optimize as much as you can before you get tactical.
We’ve gone through a few of the highest impact things you can do to drive that conversion rate up:
- Speed up your website
- Real-time social proof
- Interactive content
- Optimized website design
- AIDA copywriting
These are by no means the only things you can do to increase your conversion rates. You can play with headlines, tweak button copy, match ads to landing pages, etc.
What I’ve shared are the most impactful things you should be doing to increase your conversion rates over time.
Let me know your conversion rate optimization must haves in the comments and don’t forget to share.
Daniel Ndukwu is the founder of KyLeads where he helps smart business owners and marketers understand their audience, segment their leads, and send messages that generate revenue. When he’s not working, you can catch him hopping from country to country to knock out his bucket list. You can connect with him on Twitter or Quora.