Conversion optimization is a critical exercise. It requires persistence, patience, and a thorough involvement from your team up to the leadership. If you are trying to master the craft of CRO (I am part of the CXL program on conversion optimization) like me, you might be wondering where to start with.
Your website is like a running machine. You have so many moving parts that can be optimized. Knowing where to start is critical. You can optimize almost anything on your website; what you work on should be important enough to worth making great
Some of the assets you can optimize include
- Your landing pages
- Your home page
- Your email funnels
- Referral programs
- Shopping carts abandonment
- Your sales script or presentations
- Paid Channels including Google ads, display ads, and Social ads (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)
- Your product or service page copy
Knowing which asset to optimize and what you really want to optimize in it is critical to your success. Your choice and priority will decide what impact the conversion optimization exercise will have on your bottom line. Ideally, you should start with an easy win, something that has a significant impact on your business but lesser complex to optimize.
Your homepage is the first impression of your business. It’s your prime real estate and a good target for conversion optimization.
If you sell multiple products or services to multiple buyer personas you will be confused about what goes on your home page. But more isn’t always better.
Most home pages on the web are cluttered. Its often marred by confusing priorities.
Your home page goals
- Is to help your target audience get to know your business- Increase brand awareness
- Drive people to your most important product pages
- Build trust, show testimonials, social proofs, media coverage, etc
- Improve the user experience on your website
- You can also offer a lead magnet on the homepage or provide a free sign up widget.
Conversion metrics you should use on the home page-
- What percentage of visitors sign up for the newsletter or download the free lead magnet you offer?
- What percentage of visitors go to the most important page (Sales or landing page)?
- How many visitors try your lead magnet?
- How much is the bounce rate? How many visitors are exiting from the home page?
The conversion actions you can take on a home page are
The headline is the first thing your visitor will see. This is your first and perhaps the only chance to grab their attention. Create a powerful headline which talks to them in their own language.
Your most important buyer personas
The home page is where the home is! That’s where all kinds of visitors would land. It’s easier for a niche website to target small, distinct buyer personas. For a big business, it’s going to be a hard choice. Focus on one persona, one value proposition, one call to action, and one conversion metrics.
For example, check this page from Acko General insurance and contrast this with the page of Policybazzar, while Acko chose to focus on their most important target personas, Policybazaar is targeting almost everyone on the home page.
Connect with your visitors
The most important objective of your home page is not to sell. Your home page is like the front of your physical store. You want to invite people in, right? To do that people need to trust you, they need to feel valued and heard. Are you listening? Do you understand their problem? And can they trust you for the solution? Your home page must be subtle and welcoming, it should build trust.
Use proper visuals
The storefronts are beautiful and welcoming, right? So should be your home page. The choice of your visual makes all the difference. Your visitor will judge you within the first few seconds and your color choice, logo, and visuals all make the difference.
Define the most desired action -CTA
As I said, one call to action. Focus on one action you want your visitor to take and your conversion will skyrocket. Add call to action in every second line and your visitor will leave biting their nails or plucking their hairs. Keep only one call to action on your page, it should be brief and clear, should create an urgency, should be in form of a responsive button. You should be able to see the buy button in your customer’s mind.
Trust elements for the home page
if your visitors trust your brand, their chances of converting go up significantly. Some of the common trust elements used on the web are, how many people are using your product or service, testimonials from real users, media coverage you may have received.
Powerful Logos are immediate trust boosters, of course, you need to earn them before you use them.
Your performance numbers induce a sense of confidence in your capacity to deliver what you are promising.
Your home page length
As per a recent study by CXL, a smaller length of the home page converts better. A minimalist home page design will convert better than a home page with tons of information
When you focus on one persona, one proposition, and one call to action your home page is not going to be longer.
Page loading speed
A faster loading home page is important from both conversion and SEO point of view.
Sales page or the product page
If you are a B2C company, e-learning, or SAAS product, the product or sales page is the most critical element of your website. Your focus should be on getting the visitor a single action, and it could be making a purchase or signing up for a trial. Here are some important metrics you can track
- How many visitors are clicking on the signup button? (Experiment with different signup messages)
- If a customer has to fill a form to sign up for a trial, you can track the abandon rate, which forms the field is causing most abandonments.
- If it’s a long-form sales page, you can track scroll depth.
- If you offer a SAAS product, you can experiment by modifying pricing intervals (Annual subscription vs. monthly subscription)
- You can have a different level of subscriptions (Value addition on the primary product)
|Stage in buying funnel||What visitors seek?||What you should do?|
|Awareness||Trust, low on commitment,
Understand what value you provide.
|● Sense of calm and stillness in the design
● No information overload
● A single call to action
● A single call to action should get maximum visual attention
● No flashy design
● Make things easy to find
● Create a sense of hierarchy and readability.
● Create clear headlines and subheadlines
|Interest||Not a high level of commitment||● Clarity and context
● Need-based self-selection
● Offer contextual and relevant information
|Desire||More committed to what you sell
Trust and security
Transactional assurance, guarantee
|Testimonials, user success stories, social signals, brand engagement. Product reviews|
|Action||High commercial intent,||Don’t ask for unnecessary information, simplify choices, remove irrelevant information, Don’t surprise|
The landing page is meant to convert. There could be a different kind of landing page, depending on your business model. If it’s an event landing page (Like webinar, hangout), etc., how many people are signing up for the event. If it’s a resource download, what percentage of visitors are downloading the lead magnet? What fields in your form is causing maximum abandonment?
Your blog is your gateway to thought leadership in your industry. Offer evergreen content and track some of the metrics below –
- What is the scroll depth on the page?
- How many visitors are going to the sales or pricing page from the blog?
- How many visitors are signing up for the lead magnet?
- What is the percentage of repeat visitors?
- How many visitors sign up for the newsletter (If you have one!)
To conclude, its not easy to decide what to optimize, almost everything on your website can be a potential candidate for optimization. To minimize the distraction, you should always start with the low hanging fruits and then move on to more complex problems at hand.