30 Quick Conversion Tips Every Marketer Needs to Know

Jun 04 2013

30 Quick Conversion Tips Every Marketer Needs to Know

by in Blog

ab testing for marketers

You have thousands of visitors coming to your site, but no conversions. So what do you do?

Should you change up your marketing campaigns… maybe redo your targeting? Or even worse, pause your SEO and content marketing efforts?

Probably not. Before you modify your marketing campaigns you should spend some time optimizing your site for conversions.

But before you go off and start running a few A/B tests, here are 30 quick tips for you to follow:

30 quick conversion tips

  1. Never start an A/B test without running an A/A test – don’t assume you’re A/B testing software is accurate. Run an A/A test to ensure the accuracy of the software solution you are using.
  2. Don’t take words for granted – one word can drastically decrease or increase your conversions. Words like “free” or “trial” can increase or decrease your conversion rate.
  3. Data, not opinions, should influence tests – never run tests based on what you want. Run test based off of what your visitors say they like or dislike. Opinions typically lead to failing tests, which means you will lose money.
  4. Patience is a virtue – even if your testing software shows statistically significance don’t stop a test unless you have at least 100 conversions on the winning variation. When tests are under 100 conversions, the results can drastically change.
  5. Color has meaning – don’t take color for granted as different colors mean different things. Just look how one simple color affected click through rates by 21%.
  6. Some people don’t read – text works great for some sites, while video may work better for others. You’ll have to figure out which one your audience prefers. But before you go off and create a video, you’ll have to first create a script.
  7. Some people love reading – short copy doesn’t always convert better. Lengthy pages that sell can potentially boost your conversion rate.
  8. Don’t take your reputation for granted – some people are worried about entering their credit card online, especially with brand new sites that they aren’t familiar with. Consider testing trust elements such as the TRUSTe badge or the BBB seal.
  9. Macro conversions are better than micro conversions – it doesn’t matter if you increase click through from one step to another. All that matters is if more people buy from you. Focus on the big picture when testing instead of trying to maximize how many people move onto the next step.
  10. Social proof isn’t always the best proof – you would think that social proof helps boost conversion rates, but it doesn’t always work that way.
  11. Don’t assume what works for one company will work for you – just because someone like 37 Signals reveals how one change boosted their conversion rate by 200% it doesn’t mean that change will work for you.
  12. Conversion optimization doesn’t stop with the front end – from upsells to down sells, to even cancellations, you can use conversion optimization to increase your average sell price and decrease churn. You just have to get creative.
  13. The best increases come from drastic changes – after a while small tweaks won’t do much for your conversion rate. Drastic changes are what will move your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to get a bit creative and try something radically different.
  14. Higher conversion rates doesn’t mean more money – some times having a decrease in conversion rate can make you more money. If you increase the price of your product by double, but your conversion rate goes down by 20%… you still make more money by roughly 60%. Optimize for revenue and not conversions.
  15. Mondays aren’t Tuesdays – your Monday visitors may not be the same as your Tuesday or even Saturday visitors. Run your tests for at least 7 days as visitor behavior can change over time.
  16. It’s all about results – not just with your tests, but visitors want to see results too. Test adding case studies and testimonials as they can help validate your company to visitors.
  17. Don’t worry about bounce rates – when I used to consulting on A/B testing companies would focus on decreasing bounce rates, but sometimes they increased. It doesn’t matter what happens to your bounce rates as long as your conversion rates go up. Ignore vanity metrics like bounce rates that may not affect your revenue.
  18. The best experience is a custom experience – when running A/B tests make sure you run separate tests for your mobile and desktop visitors. The experience on a mobile device shouldn’t be the same as on a laptop.
  19. Less isn’t always better – creating the best user experience doesn’t always boost conversion rates. Adding more steps and making visitors jump through hoops can potentially boost your conversion rate. We boosted our conversion rate by 10% on Crazy Egg by adding an extra step.
  20. Don’t make people think – don’t assume your users know what they are doing or what they want. Test giving people buttons to click instead of open ended form fields. The Obama Administration boosted conversion rates by 5% through this one simple tactic.
  21. Customize your user experience – the best call to action buttons aren’t generic ones like “free trial” or “buy now” they are the ones related to your product or service.
  22. Images are powerful – a picture is worth a 1000 conversions. Not only was Highrise able to boost conversion rate by including images of people, but they found that certain images convert better. Using a picture of someone who is too good looking or a male versus a female may affect conversion rates.
  23. Navigation bars affect conversion rates – it’s not always wise to give people navigational menu options. Removing them can potentially increase your sales.
  24. Multivariate tests are bad luck – I’ve run dozens of multivariate tests and every time you add up the increases of each variation, the total increase never adds up to being the same as what the multivariate test shows. For this reason I prefer running A/B tests over multivariate tests.
  25. Clarity trumps persuasion – answering basic questions like where am I, or what does this site do typically works better than persuasive content that sells. In an ideal world you should be using both, but make sure you don’t trick people into converting as that causes cancellations and chargebacks.
  26. Focus, focus, focus – each page should have one goal in mind. Pages with 1 strong message typically convert better than pages that try to accomplish multiple things. For this reason it’s worth creating landing pages.
  27. Testing shouldn’t stop with your site – you should use A/B testing principles with everything you do on the web. From testing your ad design and copy to testing which profile image on Twitter gains you more followers, everything can be tested.
  28. There is money in ugliness – just because a website it ugly, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t convert well. You can learn a lot from ugly websitesespecially the ones that make billions of dollars.
  29. A/B testing doesn’t hurt SEO – a lot of people are afraid of running A/B tests because they are worried what it will do to their rankings. As long as you follow Google’s guidelines you will be fine.
  30. Minimize friction – don’t make users do things that they don’t need to do. For example, don’t collect unnecessary form fields or ask people to verify their credit card address when processing companies don’t require it. Test a version of your site with very little friction.

Conclusion

No matter where you traffic is coming from, there is a way to make it convert. So instead of just focusing on building traffic, spend a portion of your time convert it.

If you are continually running A/B tests, good for you! That’s the only way you are going to be able to maximize how many window shoppers you convert into customers.

So what other quick conversion tips can you share?

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