Whether you are here to learn how to improve your ecommerce conversion rate or your lead generation conversion rate, these principles apply to both alike. In this post, we dive deep into how to optimize the first and debatably main section of your website to achieve the most conversions possible with your existing traffic. These principles will not help you increase your traffic, necessarily, but they will help you get more from your existing traffic.
Lastly, before we jump into it, it’s absolutely imperative that you understand that all of these principles have come from rigorous testing and analysis from our own clients’. However, none of these are guaranteed results whatsoever. Even though we know there’s a very, very high chance that applying these changes to a website will improve the conversions, we still don’t do it without first running a split test. When it comes to conversion rate optimization, data analysis needs to rule you and your decisions. If you take guesses, gambles or get cocky with past experiences it can prove to be a costly mistake. TEST, TEST and TEST again before making any conclusions.
Your brand name is the first thing people will see, sure, but the truth is that the headline of your website is the first impression for your visitors.
Taking serious consideration for headline copy can drastically improve your bounce rate.
Think of it like this…
You only have a few seconds to grab your new visitors attention and keep them eye-browsing.
Your headline not only introduces your brand it also is where the visitor will form their personal understanding of your business.
It is absolutely imperative that your headline peaks interest on top of telling your visitor what it is that you actually do.
Now before we analyze headlines I want you to understand that your headline has a sibling; the background image.
Sometimes your headline will grab interest and tell half the story while your image will complete the story.
This will make more sense after the first example.
*Note, they have since revamped their website*
“Time for an upgrade.“
That’s a very intriguing headline that grabs your interest.
Clearly, it implies that something will be upgraded.
Then, as you can tell – the image completes the story by ‘previewing’ a supplement.
And yes, I said ‘preview’, rather than showcases, for a reason.
Pay close attention to the image; you have to look closely to read the name.
In case you can’t read it; it says “Alpha Brain”.
With a simple, short & concise headline accompanied by this image this is what Onnit accomplishes for every user in their first 3 seconds:
- Headline hints at something everyone can get around – an upgrade
- Completes the headlines story by showcasing an image of a supplement
- Doesn’t quite show you the full supplement thus snatching your curiosity while your interest is peaked
- Pre-frames your mind for decision making by using the word “time”, rather than just simply saying upgrade
- Minimalistic yet attractive branding tunes the user into the page
- Headline & supplement location optimized for the rule of 3rds to ensure you see it immediately
Call to Action
This is probably the simplest way you can increase your conversions: by having your call to action above the fold.
“Above The Fold” simply means the viewable portion of the website upon loading, BEFORE the user has scrolled down at all. Anything that is seen once the user starts scrolling is known as “below the fold”.
Every top performing lead generation, as well as E-Commerce site out there, has a clear, concise call to action that stands out from everything else – above the fold.
I’m not talking about the “Call Now” at the top of the page on the header, that’s not enough.
Now before you go to your lead generation site and slap a “Join our Newsletter” form above the fold… you have to understand that your call to action needs to provide value.
Take some time with your copywriting and consider a better way to phrase things.
Notice above, Houzz has a headline on their call to action saying “Unlock the entire Houzz”… it’s not “See Apartment And Home Listings”. They phrased it in a way that brings more value, ‘unlock’ is an intriguing word that makes you want to see more. Notice how their call to action content box is impossible to miss. It’s only sharing space with the headline “Get Inspired. Shop Products. Find Pros.”, which both are following the rule of 3rd concept with photography.
*Side note: let me know if you’d like to see a post about the Rule Of 3rds written by a professional photographer*
Notice how Houzz does not have a form with 11 pointless fields asking everything about you. That information can be gathered later, the initial contact point is the only information needed. They even made it so easy as you can 1-click login with Facebook or Google rather than submitting your information manually.
There’s a lot of other subtle touch ups you can test that can make micro conversion rate improvements, here are a few ideas to test…
Button and Overall Color Theme
Obviously, the colors are very niche-relative. If you’re selling attorney services, you don’t want a pinked-out header. But in turn, if you’re selling Barbie dolls, you probably do want a pinked-out header.
Understanding psychology will help you to make your decision here, there’s a ton of good information behind the psychological effect of various colors, but for a rule of thumb – green and blue perform quite well across the board as they are very neutral colors, it’s one of the reasons Facebook itself is a blue dominant platform. A common alternative color used is orange, but this can quickly be used when it should not be… If your theme is blue and green and you add an orange call to action button, it will stand out, yes, but it will also look like shit. If you have a theme with reds, yellows, greys, blacks, etc. then there shouldn’t be any issue having an orange call to action button.
Pictured below is a phenomenal breakdown of how a plethora of giant brands have taken color psychology into consideration with branding – credit to Helpscout.
If you don’t have the time or desire to study the psychology – just use common sense and logic.
Form Field Copy
This is a small simple adjustment – but as we know, all improvements in conversion rates are wins, no matter how small.
I’ll focus on the email field, just for simplicities sake, and you can take that logic into any other fields you have.
Instead of “Email Address” consider testing other copy such as “Your Email”, “Your Email Address”, “Your Best Email”, “Your Active Email”, etc.
Again, small difference, but it will make a difference and you’re more likely to get a legitmate email address from the suggested copy above.
This is simple. It has to be in the users face, above the fold.
Center or Rule of 3rds.
DO NOT have your form cut off by the fold.
DO NOT have your form unnecessarily large, the size will sub-consciously intidate users the same was a form with 10 fields does.
Form Field AutoFocus
If your CTA is a 1-step lead generation form, consider adding an auto-focused blinking cursor in the forms first field. (See below)
*This is from our own home page.*
This removes the first conscious mental decision the user has to make – clicking in the box, which from our testing, leads to a higher conversion rate.
Header Image Optimization
We both know how annoying it is when you load a website and are generally interested, but you have to sit there and stay at a half-loaded page while the images inch into view because, for some illogical reason, they are 5X the necessary size. By making images the maximum size they will ever be seen as you can drastically improve your load speed, which in turn lowers your bounce rate.
There’s almost never any excuse to have any images on your site over 1280 pixels wide.
Don’t take my word.
Test everything. Never assume anything will work. Data should be your conversion rate dictator.