Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can give a huge boost to your conversion if your main source of making money is on the web. This is a quick and dirty guide to implement some of the most common A/B tests that performs well and will help you increase your conversion rate and in turn increasing your revenues.
I will not restrict this post purely to A/B tests and some of the points might take you to other parts of conversion rate optimization but in the end it will all be useful and actionable. There are plenty of guides, tips and books written on A/B testing which can be taken off the net to get a better understanding of how to run A/B tests by forming strategies, however this guide will not go into strategic part.
This guide is for the impatient people who are looking to get their hands dirty and increase conversions by implementing proven methods. Let’s get started.
Call To Action (CTA) Buttons
Most of the times you find buttons on the websites and emails which are hyper-linked to take you to another page where you can know more or take a specific action. These buttons vary from simple rectangular shape to fancy ones with nice hover over effects and you should definitely be trying a few variations on your website or email or anywhere else to find out which one triggers the user to take action. Colors also makes up for a factor in conversion. Here is a study that shows effect of colors on conversion. You can also get a little creative by adding graphics to these buttons as shown below.
Call To Action Copy
Copy or text of a Call To Action button is equally important. Gone are those days when default text like ‘Submit’ use to work for every form. Now is the time to use contextual text on the CTAs like ‘Get Started With A Free Trial’ or ‘Get A Tailor Made Demo’ etc. CTA’s text should tell user the consequences of clicking on it and you should experiment with it in order to understand which text works best on different CTAs present through out your website.
Pro-Tip: Personalize the text by using the words ‘My’, ‘I’, ‘I’m’, ‘Me’ etc. Take a look at the following examples.
You can also add some helpful text around the CTAs to bring more focus on it.
Landing Page With and Without Video
Not all the companies have a product video and out of all those who do have them, not everyone uses it on their website or landing pages to increase their conversion. Most of the landing pages (sometimes homepage of website) uses a mix of graphics and text to convey their product/service offering, however it has been found that users are 144% more likely to convert after watching a product video. If you do have a product video then use it on your landing pages and test how it works. It might just open the gates of conversion for you. 😉
Test Number of Form Fields
Getting information from visitors (mostly email addresses) is one of the most common method adopted by the companies to connect with them in hope of up selling them later through emails or to bring them back to the product or service. Sign up form plays a crucial role here. Due to the low attention span of user, filling up a long form creates a friction for the user and she is more likely to abandon the page and leave your website. Just think which of the following two forms you would like to fill up?
So it becomes essential to test out the number of fields in the form and try to keep it to minimum.
Pro-Tip: If you don’t want to reduce the number of fields in your form and still want to reduce your abandonment rate, test out multi-stage sign up process. Instead of showing all the fields in one go, you can show 2-3 fields at first step and when user proceeds to the next step they can fill another 2-3 fields. Though the user filled up 6 fields psychologically it makes him think he has still done a lot less work. I’ll leave it up to your creativity on how you play with it.
Play With Your Pricing Page
It’s a risky thing but if executed carefully, it can help you increase your revenues. Ramit Sethi found out that even when he charged users 6x of what he charged earlier, his conversion remained the same.
Use Live Chat On Your Website
As mentioned the attention span of visitors is very low, they want to find the solution to their problem in the least possible time. If they come to your website and don’t understand something, they can quickly talk to you via. live chat and clear their doubts. This also increases the chance of converting the visitor into a user because there is a human touch involved and if done properly you can also give your visitors an AHA moment.
Pro-Tip: Use a pro-active chat, ping you visitors and talk to them. See how Intuit increased their conversion by 211% using this tactic.
Test your images
Images add a lot of value to the content. Images can either enhance the beauty of your content or fill up the gap, but whatever be the case, the image needs to be contextual to make sense to the user. But apart from this conventional wisdom there are some other subtle factors which helps in selecting the right image. For example:
- People can’t resist following the gaze of other people: An eye tracking study showed that the visitor’s eye movement takes place according to the eye gaze of the person in the image.
- People can’t resist seeing where an arrow points: This is obvious because arrows are used to point to certain directions and your mind is programmed to follow the cue of the arrow.
- People can’t resist following the ‘line of sight’ of objects.
Sticky Navigation Bar
You must have seen sticky navigation bars on many websites which scrolls down with the page and always remains in front of you. These stick navigation are used primarily because of two reasons:
- It contains a few main Call To Actions that converts user or somehow makes it easy for them to access your service. So even if the user is at the bottom of the page it will be easy for him to sign up or sign in (most common CTAs) without scrolling back to the top. This constitutes for a good user experience but care must be taken that this navigation should’t turn into an obtrusive bar.
- To make visitors/users aware of an important message. Example: during the schedule maintenance when the website would be down or to promote a limited time offer or to showcase any recent accolade or award.There are many different plugins and applications that can be used to implement a sticky navigation bar and among the most popular ones is HelloBar. You can see this in action on QuickSprout (blog by Neil Patel) and Kikolani (blog by Kristi Hines).
Testimonials from your customers are the proof of success of your product. If I claim that my product is super useful no body will believe me because it’s my product and I’m biased, however if one of my customer explains how my product helped her, it will make a different impact altogether. Always make sure that your testimonials look genuine and original. A generic one liner like ‘XYZ product helped me a lot. Thanks XYZ’ won’t cut it. They look fake or made up. Just make sure that your testimonial has the following elements:
- Full name of your customer.
- Photo of your customer.
- 50-100 word testimonial clearly specifying how your product impacted your customer’s life.Pro Tip: Take your game to the next level by making a video testimonials. Videos have higher conversion rate and logically a person will connect better when he’ll see another person enthusiastically explaining how your product impacted his life.
Long Copy vs. Short Copy
When you design a landing page, you can either put a lot of content explaining how your product helps to do xyz or you can show a more visual centric page with less content (main points). Both of these approaches have their pros and cons and their conversion depends from product to product. So go ahead and try both the variations to see what your audience likes.
Some people think pop-up forms are obtrusive and creates bad user experience however it has been proven by many studies that pop-up forms can increase conversion by upto 1000% (yes, you read that right).Pop-up forms are generally used on blogs and content related websites and less on corporate/product websites because product websites already have embedded forms or CTAs to get people to sign up.You can read the following article by Kristi Hines to find more inspiring examples.
Pro-Tip: If you want to spend some money there is an excellent technology called Bounce Exchange which tries to convert visitors that are leaving your website by showing a pop-up box.
Different Landing Pages For Visitors From Different Sources
This is an imperative test that shouldn’t be missed. Most certainly you would be driving traffic through different sources like email, pay per click, social media, organic, display, affiliate etc. Just like having one source of traffic for your business isn’t enough similarly having one landing page for all the sources isn’t enough. Ideally every traffic source should be directed to different landing page whose content should be coherent with the content posted on the traffic source.Testing landing pages for different sources will help understand which one is performing better and what can be done to improve the under-performing traffic source.
Pro-Tip: You can try to A/B test landing pages for every source which will help you to further optimize them to get even better results.
A Word of Caution: Don’t test all of these at once or you won’t be able to understand which one worked for you. Test one at a time and see how your conversion improves and then move on to the next one.
Once you’re done with these, you can further drill down deeper into each one of these tests. For example in videos, you can try the voice over of a male and female and further test the conversion.
All in all these tests are never ending and you continuously need to test in order to refine conversion.
P.S – I would love to meet you on twitter. Drop me a line.