The 2% conversion rate quoted around the internet isn’t going to cut it.
Most of the conversion optimization advice focuses on constant testing. I agree; you need to test what’s working and what’s not. You can’t just slap something up and be happy with the results. That strategy leaves a lot on the table.
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You don’t always have the time, the traffic, or the resources to test extensively. In those cases, you want to increase conversion rates and you want it now.
You’re going to like this post. I’ve outlined three ways to increase conversion rates without testing for years. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test. What it means is they’ll work right away.
Will they be at optimum efficiency? No. You need to test for that.
You have less than eight seconds to make your case when someone lands on your page. Sometimes, the headline is the only thing people see in their social feeds before they decide if they’ll read your content. The headline is seen, on average, by 5x as many people as the rest of the content.
Let’s do the math. If 100 people see your headline, about twenty will land on your page or continue reading. Of those twenty people, they give you less than eight seconds to grab their attention. Let’s say another 50% bounce. You’re left with ten that read the rest of the copy. Another seven aren’t interested in your offer.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot with the headline. Talk to the people you’re targeting by calling out a major pain they’re experiencing. The only way this works is if you’re solving that pain.
It wouldn’t make much sense to create a page titled “Taxes Got You Worried Mom?” when your solution for mothers doesn’t have anything to do with taxes. Of course, they’ll click through but they’ll feel betrayed and annoyed when they discover you’re selling cheap diapers.
The next time they see you your website, they’ll ignore it. The same works in email communications. I remember I was on a popular SEO guy’s email list. He’d create emails with the most spectacular headlines. The copy inside would support it.
After clicking through to his website, the link would take me to a completely unrelated page. At first, I thought it was a mistake on his part. Then he did it again, and again. I unsubscribed and reported him as spam.
In order for this to work out, you need to understand your tribes deepest pains. I assume you’ve already gone through that process. If not, pick up the phone or shoot an email to your current customers. Askk them why they bought from you. When that’s not an option, troll amazon or your favorite niche forums to get the answers you’re looking for.
Once you have them, craft headlines for your conversion pages that highlight pains. Touch on minor pains you can create a quick win for and major pains which will take more effort to solve.
CityCliq increased conversion rates 90% by changing their headline from “Businesses Grow Faster Online” to “Create a webpage for your business.
L’Axelle increased conversion rates on their hompage by almost 100% when they changed the headline to one that focused on the pain their customers were experiencing.
When you’re too close to your products and services it’s easy to mix up features and benefits. I want to make it easy on you.
A large chunk of your time is spent educating your customers, clients, and subscribers about what you’re selling and how it impacts their lives.
Let’s use the common example of weight loss. Your prospects know they need to lose weight but they may not know the best person to guide them or all the reasons it’s so important.
Take off the red rimmed glasses of the creator and look at your benefits objectively. Ask yourself “and so what?” about every benefit and feature you’ve listed. Does it stand up to scrutiny?
For example, let’s say you’re selling hair styling products. One of the features is that it’s formulated with a proprietary chemical you discovered in the lab called superepicness. It’s a feature of your product because it’s a true fact.
It’s formulated with the chemical Superepicness.
Ask yourself “and so what.”
It holds your hair in the same position for at least 24 hours.
And so what?
So that you can style your hair in the morning and forget about it knowing it looks great at all times.
You can repeat this process for any feature, for any product, in any industry to create powerful benefits that highlight the best of your offer.
The most powerful benefits mirror the wants, desires, and needs of the person viewing them. Common ones include saving time, cutting costs, more customers, more money, health, and happiness. We’re just scratching the surface here.
When you know the real desires of your customers, you can write a page full of powerful benefits that hit home every time.
When you lack the information to write engaging benefits they come off as hollow and uninspired.
Look for ways to structure your message so it taps into their deepest desires.
Perform the “and so what” test on every benefit you list in your subheadings and bullets to make sure it’s filling a real need/desire.
What’s a fake benefit you ask? It’s a statement about your product or service that seems useful on the surface but fails the “and so what” test.
“Lose weight with cardio.”
And so what?
So you can run around all day. You see, there’s no true benefit there. At least none that’ll increase conversion rates.
Clayton Makepeace — an amazing copywriter — prescribes a simple test he calls the “forehead slap” test. Have you ever stopped what you’re doing, slapped yourself on the forehead, and exclaimed “I need to lose weight with cardio!”
I’ve not and you probably won’t either.
Promoting a conversion action like a subscription, sale, or call with that benefit is going to be tough — really tough.
Nobody wants to lose weight for the sake of losing weight. It takes time, hard work, and dedication. It’s much easier to sit on your couch and eat Doritos. What compells action is what can happen if you don’t stay shape. Public ridicule, dying young, chronic diseases such as
A person whose overweight wants to lose weight because of these reasons and so many more. They don’t care if it’s with cardio or strength training. They care about results. Increase conversion rates by showing them those results.
In low risk situations, when people don’t know what to do, they tend to follow the advice of an authority. In lieu of an obvious authority figure, they follow the crowd.
For your website, the best way to use the power of the crowd is through testimonials. 92% of consumers read online reviews and 88% of them trust those reviews almost as much as a personal recommendation. The same people who read and trust reviews trust the business more.
A testimonial is, in essence, the crème de la crème of reviews. They’re hand-picked statements from your past customers telling the world how awesome you are. Place them where they can do the most work when it comes to influencing purchase decisions.
On any given page, there are multiple places to place a testimonial. Hotel Institute Montreux, a hospitality school located in Switzerland, increased conversions on their lead generation form by 50% after adding a testimonial above the form.
Testimonials don’t have to be right above the form to increase conversion rates. There are many places you can place the testimonial to get the desired results.
Try placing them on top of the page. It’s one of the first things they see that tells them the benefits they stand to gain. You show them users who’ve gotten those benefits. It reinforces the effectiveness of your solution and builds trust in one go.
Another way to go about adding testimonials is to put them at the bottom of the page. You write compelling copy that moves then through the different stages before a conversion action.
The testimonial at the bottom of your page solidifies the value you bring to the table.
ActiveCampaign does this by adding a video testimonial to the bottom of many of their pages. They get extra points for including the option for people to see all of their customer success stories.
Though they’re effective, you don’t have to use video testimonials to get your point across. In fact, there are many types of testimonials you can use which I’ll touch on in a moment.
It’s said that we need to see a message at least five to seven times before we take action on it. That’s why you’ll see the same commercial on TV for weeks and sometimes months. Yes, they want to reach a larger audience. It’s also to expose you to it enough times.
A website isn’t a TV or radio commercial. You can still expose your visitors to the same messages over and over again by placing your testimonials on every page. Every time they see it, the deeper it’s ingrained into their subconscious.
Not all testimonials are created equally. After deciding where you want to place them, you’ll have to decide what type to use.
Quotes are by far the most common type of testimonial you see on websites. They’re versatile and relatively easy to get. All you have to do is ask. The reason why they’re so versatile is because you get to use it in full or part.
Today, they’re typically used with an image of the person to increase the trustworthiness of the statement. I’ve used quotes on my pages successfully.
After implementing the quote testimonial on the above page, conversions jumped by 24%.
Social media posts
The convenience of social media has made it easier than ever to get customer testimonials. People tweet and comment on Facebook posts all the time. Are you using those interactions to their full potential?
Take a screenshot of what they say and post it on your page. Instant proof you’re your customers love you. Since most social media posts are public, all someone needs to do is look for it on the platform to confirm it’s authentic.
To get a steady stream of testimonials from your social audience, it’s important to keep them engaged. Do this by posting regularly and encouraging them to share their experiences of using your products.
These are decidedly more difficult to get. They’re worth it. There’s nothing like having your customer on camera using their own words to describe their experience with your brand and products. Viewers can see their facial expressions and relate to them on a deeper level.
Though they’re the more difficult to get than a quote or a social post, that doesn’t mean they’re unattainable. Even a smartphone video with good lighting is enough to sway your visitors and increase your conversions.
Here’s an example of a video testimonial from ChowNow that increases conversion rates.
Remember, your testimonials don’t need to be professional. There are times when the most rudimentary video has been enough to double or even triple conversion rates. What’s important is the message and authenticity.
There are countless ways to increase conversion rates on a website. You can change button colors, make the form fields shorter, or ad popups. We’ve only touched on a few of the many tactics you can employ. What’s important to note is that optimizing a website takes time and energy.
I’ve given you a starting point. You can and should continue to make the most of your website by working on conversions.
To recap, here are three things you can do to increase your conversion rates today:
Let me know some quick strategies, tips, and tactics you’ve implemented to increase conversions on your websites.