Did you know that companies who own the highest profit making websites take on a structured approach towards conversion optimisation and are twice as likely to see a large increase in sales?
Given this, you’d think that more companies would test and run experiments. Yet 71% of UK companies do less than five tests per month.
My gut tells me the reason for this is that MOST companies are too caught up in the ‘business as usual syndrome’, rarely taking a moment to stop and think about why focusing on conversion optimisation is much better than holding on to the ‘if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it’ attitude that will see them get left far behind.
In this post we’re going to have a closer look at what the highest profit making websites do differently and why. But before we get into the details, we want to highlight a few points to get you thinking first:
- You have 0-8 seconds to make a compelling headline and landing page. After those precious eight seconds, the majority of visitors leave.
- Approximately 96% of visitors who come to your website are not ready to buy.
- The more landing pages you have, the more leads you are likely to get.
- Product videos can increase purchases of the product by 144%.
- A one second delay in your site speed can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- A/B testing has brought a lot of the companies the most success and is fast becoming the preferred method.
Got all that? OK, let’s get into what the most profitable do differently:
1. They make their unique value proposition(s) clear…. Crystal clear.
Visitors can clearly see on their homepage or landing page why they should do business with them and the benefits of it.
Cocomoon is a great example of this. There are plenty of introduction agencies out there, so for a company like cocomoon it’s quite difficult to stand out from the pack. We helped cocomoon to be different by focusing on making meeting someone ‘hard’.
If you think about it, most dating websites make it easy to sign up, anyone can, consequently there are lots of low quality partners? People who come to cocomoon are sick of going through hundreds of profiles of people they’d never date in a million years. Making it hard to join is really important!
And, by looking at cocomoons home page, we’ve made this very clear.
Not to mention, if you have ever used dating services you’ll know how hard it is to find the right person amongst the 1000’s profiles.
Another example is the Advanced Child Academy. They are a little more subtle about their USP, but they definitely address the all-important issue of why you should buy from them.
For example, they offer free postage and packing on all orders.
Scroll down the page a bit further and you’ll see some extra reassurances.
Having over 4500 Facebook fans doesn’t hurt their conversion rate either.
So, what are the reasons customers should buy from you? Is it a money back guarantee? Free postage and packing? Find what yours are and make them clear.
2. They test their calls-to-action
We recently worked on a company and increased their conversions 505.9% by having a clear call-to-action that leads to a free report. In this report, the company informs the visitor about their business and what they offer.
We also made a more effective headline and used meaningful graphics to help guide the user. Just implementing these three simple changes led to more than 5x their old conversion rate.
Mozilla also increased downloads of their popular Firefox browser by having a stronger call-to-action. ‘Download Now Free’ performed far better than the rather limp ‘Try Firefox’. They made it clear that Firefox cost nothing and invited the viewer to download the program.
Seranata Flowers is another site with high conversion rates of 40%. They make it really easy for customers who are in a hurry to buy flowers. Starting off by simply picking a day they need the flowers is an obvious but unique way to attract buyers pressed for time.
Seranata flowers eliminates any initial questions that the prospect may have. The prospect knows right away the answer to their (usually) most important question: ‘Can you get this to me by such-and-such date?’ They’re anticipating and helping overcome any obstacles to a purchase.
See if you can do something like Seranata flowers has done – answer one of your most popular questions in a clear, above-the-fold headline.
If some obstacles to prospects purchasing from you are:
I don’t feel comfortable purchasing from a small company like yours, then some ideas to help overcome this fear could be:
- Including a behind the scenes video of your company and how your operations work.
- Including a banner at the top with customer testimonials, each one showing for a few seconds.
- Displaying your unique value proposition right at the top. Tell everyone how long you’ve been in business, how many orders you’ve shipped, customer satisfaction rates, etc.
How do you find out what questions your customers have?
You should always be asking your customers questions to get their feedback. Understanding your customers’ pain points, confusion about what you offer and getting valuable information on what they’re really looking for can help you design a site that converts higher.
Zopim (we use zopim on all our sites and it has not failed to raise conversion) is a tool that allows you to do just that.
3. They test their headlines
The headline can make or break your website and, possibly, a sale. As mentioned above, the first impression is formed quickly and the headline is a big part of that impression. It’s important to regularly test and see what resonates most with your visitors.
There will never be a quick or magic formula but there are some good guidelines and examples that you can learn from.
Amazon improved conversions of their kindle product by 30% by having the headline ‘Easy To Read In Bright Sunlight.’ Their worst headline was ‘touch screen 3g e-reader’ which says nothing about the main benefits.
The key lesson from this is clear headlines with unique value propositions are vital. Be sure to reveal your main benefit and don’t forget to give a reasons why potential customers should sign up now. Consider having adding free trial in your headline or try ‘Save __% and start (enter the benefit of your product here).’ The important thing is to test to see what works.
One more tip: having a headline that addresses a pain point has, in one of our clients case, increased his conversions by 32%.
4. They tend to have short forms
We recommend keeping forms to only the essentials. How many times have you been ready to sign up for something, continue and see 25+ fields that you have to fill in? I have many times and often just leave the site. Users’ time and efforts need to be respected. If you’ve persuaded the user as far as wanting to sign up, don’t give them an obvious reason to drop off because your form is too long.
Take a look at Dropbox’s signup form:
Dropbox is only asking for what they need. No username, no security questions, no birth date, no verification code; no having to re-enter the password – nothing unneeded.
Seranata Flowers don’t force you to sign up before you order. If you’re a first time buyer, they’re not interrupting your buying process at all. You don’t have to create a new account; you have the option to do that after you make your purchase. They’ve removed the obstacles to ordering.
Building more concise forms is important and so is testing the number of form fields. Most conversion experts will agree that simplifying forms and making them clearer should be the direction you want to aim for when you ready to start iterating.
Yet sometimes having more fields can improve your form conversion rate, depending on your product and services but in general, fewer fields tend to produce better conversions. The main point is to stop looking for a tried-and-true formula and instead test and find out for yourself!
Other techniques to try…
– Implementing a ‘Chat Now’ button has been shown to increase free signup form fills by 31% (we recommend zopim).
– We recently boosted our conversion rate 2.7% by having a security seal on our site.
– Including discount information in the title (e.g. 15% off Product A vs Product B) increased add to cart conversions by 148.3%.
– Benefits, social proof and credibility indicators led to a 144.1% improvement on this landing page we worked on.
– Putting pictures of ‘real’ people on your homepage can have a huge impact on conversions.
– Including a pain point in a headline has been shown to increase conversions by 31%.
– Changing your call-to-action button from green to red has also been shown to increase conversions by as much as 34%.
– Moving around your Buy Now button can increase sign ups. Virgin did this (among other things) and doubled their conversion rate.
– Changing a button from ‘See Plans and Pricing’ to the more direct ‘Get Started Today’ increased conversions by 252% for one of our clients.
– Turning captcha word verification generics from internet drugstores you trust off led to no conversions lost and very little spam mail in every instance we tried it.
– Showing testimonials can (normally) drive validation.
– Using natural language on forms has been shown to increase conversions by 25-40%.
– Having a nice mobile site can double conversions see here for our mobile site options
– Segmenting your users can increase conversion rates by providing more relevant content to the user visiting your site.
The important thing is to test and experiment en route to making your website the highest profit making website it can be. Let us know in the comments field what strategies have worked for you or where you are stuck.
Too busy to do this yourself?
Then why not get us to look after this. See how we can triple your conversion here.