Are you or your client looking to increase conversions? There are a ton of case studies out there, and people do know the best practices … they just seem to have a hard time implementing them.
In my experience, conversion gets taken into consideration at one point or another, so you might as well get the jump on it early. It’s good practice to implement and always test new changes. Let’s go over some solid tips for turning that prospect on your site into a client. A lot of these ideas can be implemented in the web development phase, as well as after the site has gone live.
Add a Live Chat Feature
CompUSA found that using a live chat feature can increase conversion rates dramatically. They measured a difference for a chat session conversion rate that was 10 times higher than the average site conversion rate. Backcountry also reported a roughly 10-times increase in buy rate for all customers from adding a live chat feature.
If you are looking to sell, implementing a live chat feature to your website will definitely help boost sales.
Use a Decipherable Captcha
Spam seems to be everywhere these days. If you have a contact form on your site, or have designed one for a client, you might have added a Captcha facility to minimise spam. The problem with this is that filling out Captchas can be difficult.
We’ve all seen it: the impossible-to-decipher Captcha. If you’re going to add one, make sure you test it yourself. Go for a Captcha that is easy to decipher, as opposed to something that needs to be refreshed all the time.
Ditch Unnecessary Social Media Buttons
Social media buttons are great for boosting the visibility of your site — and Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest are just the beginning these days. But a Like or Tweet button on a contact page? It’s just not necessary.
Your call-to-action pages or checkout process pages, for instance, should be as clean as possible. Don’t clog them up with social media buttons.
Toy With Buttons
Everyone loves to talk about colors and copy for buttons. And something as simple as changing the color of the button when someone hovers using a mouseover event can really up conversion rates. There is no one color that rules them all. It depends on the existing color scheme of your site, as well as the type of people visiting.
Try toying with button colors and contrasts, hover events, button copy, and even button size.
Use Social Proofing
People may call this tip a little generic, but social proofing has been proved to work over and over again. It is the psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect the correct behavior for a given situation.
Let me give you an example. Groupon shows how many people have bought a deal, which makes it known publicly that other people have already bought the deal. This means it “must be a good deal”. In actual fact it’s social proofing at its best. Users see that others have bought a deal already, and often reflect it’s a sensible course of action.
Reduce Form Fields
Have you ever used Taleo’s system to apply for a job? You only need to fill in about a thousand different fields for a simple job application. It’s mind-bending.
Hubspot surveyed 40,000 of their customers and found that conversion rates improved by almost half when the number of form fields was reduced from four to three. That’s a 50% increase by reducing one form field.
Only ask for what you require. For a simple inquiry, you don’t need separate fields for a first and last name. You don’t need a physical address. Of course it depends on the vertical, but you could always fill in the blanks with a follow-up afterwards.
Conversion rates on some contact pages can be as low as 5%. Why would 95% of people that navigate to a contact form leave without contacting? It doesn’t make any sense. If you are designing a contact form, minimize form fills to increase conversion right now.
Provide Form Instructions
So I’ve filled in your form and it comes back at me with an error, but no instructions. It seems I have entered all the correct information, but the form just won’t submit properly. A key cause for this is having rules for the form fills, but not being clear on instruction.
A common example is phone number format. Show an example of how the form fill should be formatted so that users filling in your form can get it right the first time. You can do this with ghost text in the form fields.
Less Ways to Contact = More People Contacting
Another offence is having a contact form with three phone numbers, a fax number, a contact form and an email. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need all these elements. Think about choice architecture. More choices = choice paralysis.
Cut down on the ways you have people get in touch with you. Choose only a few options, such as a phone number and email.
Maximize on Blog Posts
Think about blog posts that add a thought-provoking question at the end. It helps drive more comments. This is because there is a clear call to action. A lot of websites do this well on main pages, but are missing out on opportunities.
A big one is the company blog. Add a compelling offer on the sidebar or at the end of blog posts. You could test strategies like adding a promotional offer at the end of a blog post, or asking the reader to head over to another page for more information after reading your post.
Show Fresh Content, Onsite and Offsite
One client I worked with who ran exclusive, high-end wine tours had created a Pinterest page of all the beautiful cellars and wineries they visited. It got a ton of interest and added to the wow factor of their service. This kept people coming back to their site as well as their Pinterest page due to the fresh content that came out frequently.
A friend of mine recently started a daycare operation and takes photos during the day and posts them directly to Facebook. Parents are able to see these pictures while they are at work — and they love it. They show their co-workers and add comments.
Utilizing extra channels and keeping things fresh on the site as well as offsite can be a big win for your business. It may not lead to direct conversions, but will lead to referrals and more conversions in the long run.
How to Test and Track All of This
So this is what you are going to do:
- Add Google Analytics account to your site (this is the easy part).
- Set up goal tracking on specific pages, such as thank-you and contact pages, to see how many people are visiting each.
- Set up event tracking to track file downloads and on-page clicks.
- You could split test pages by creating a variation of the original and setting up an experiment in Google Analytics to track which one performs the best in terms of conversions. Google Analytics has a specific experiments section that will guide you through everything to get experiments started and will tell you which one is the winner based on the parameters you provide.
All the Google Analytics stuff is actually fairly straightforward and is definitely worth learning. Check out the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test videos for help on how to do any of the above.
My challenge to you is to try just one of the above recommendations as a start. The question is: which one would you implement first?