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Driving traffic to your site and landing pages isn’t enough. You need to be able to convert this traffic, or you will waste loads of time and money on your digital marketing. Indeed, website conversions are crucial to digital marketing success; they are the lifeblood of an effective online strategy. Fortunately, there are many proven and actionable tactics to increase these conversions. Here are four tactics to test to increase the sales and leads generated from your website.
Small-scale fixes to immensely improve your conversion rate
1. Make your headline compelling
As a lesson, make your headlines descriptive. Be specific and emphasize value. If my goal is to drive signups for a coding course I’m launching, I’m much likelier to succeed with a headline that’s clear and benefit-oriented, like: “Learn Code In A Month With [Course Name]” It’s not a perfect headline, but it’s a decent starting point that can be tweaked and optimized to meet headline preferences, such as using numbers, questions, how-to's, and addressing the reader. For example:
  • Number headline: Learn Code In 30 Days With [Course Name]
  • Question headline: Want To Learn Code By Next Month?
  • How to headline: Learn How To Code In A Month
  • Reader addressing headline: You Can Learn Code In A Month

Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get it right away — the best headlines take time. In fact, you may have to write upwards of 60 headlines before settling on one. That’s fine. Just be sure to factor this into your CRO. Some other tips to know:
  • The 4 U’s headline formula: unique, useful, urgent, and ultra-specific.
  • 55 characters and 6 words is the optimal headline length.
  • Action verbs and negative wording (e.g., “stop” “hate”) are effective.
  • Name dropping works, but only if the subject is well known.
  • Emotional words drive action.
  • A/B testing headlines is absolutely necessary.
2. Improve the language, include your keywords
Your web pages should feature concise, targeted copy that clearly communicates your offering and describes how it solves a need. It should speak in the language of the customer and include the keywords used by the target audience. By talking like your customers and about the topics they most care about, you can better establish a connection with them. Newsletter service theSkimm does this well. Check out the copy for its app:
There is a clear target audience here: females, millennials, and those who love news and pop culture. The copy is concise, relevant, and highly targeted. (Oh, and the app made it to the number one spot in the App Store launch weekend.) If you’re unsure about the language your customers use, talk to your sales department. Ask for specifics on the language and phrases customers and prospects use, the level of formality, tone, and other phonetic indicators. If that doesn’t get you anywhere, survey some customers. Get them on the phone for more insightful responses. Log everything. Note that getting this info is significant to your SEO. Keywords drive targeted traffic to your page, and when done right, have the power to skyrocket conversions. Target the wrong ones, and you’ll attract the wrong audience. So, if you haven’t already, do some in-depth keyword research. Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and to investigate common words and phrases from your surveys. Pay attention to words with high search volume and low competition. Of course, relevancy is key. When you have a good list, be sure to include these keywords on your page. Be strategic about this; don’t just go dumping them wherever you please. This is especially crucial when talking about your product. You don’t want your copy to look like this:
This will only drive customers away. Instead, tell a story that engages your visitors and makes that connection. Get visitors thinking about their needs to increase the likelihood they’ll take action when you present the solution (i.e., your product).
One of the best ways to do this is to ask questions that get visitors thinking and reflecting. If I was promoting a dog walking service to working moms, for example, I might ask, “Is work interfering with your pups daily walks?” or, “Is your dog getting the exercise it needs?” These questions are intended to get the audience thinking and keep them around long enough to read the solution. At that point, you need to tell them how you'll resolve this need. Emphasize how you will minimize pain points and add value. Include your target keywords, and be specific. Crazy Egg exemplifies this nicely:
The website speaks directly to consumer challenges, uses clear language, and delivers on the solution, using target keywords important to this audience. Additional tips to follow when creating web page copy:
  • Keep your focus narrow and message relevant.
  • Develop copy that helps consumers align themselves with your brand.
  • Use bulleted lists to prevent copy from becoming too lengthy or overwhelming.
  • Check your stats and refine copy as you learn more about your audience.
3. Strengthen the call to action
Calls to action are commonly found in links and buttons and are used for the purpose of provoking action from site visitors. If you want to get your visitors to do something, you need a strong call to action (CTA).
A strong CTA stand outs, appears clickable, and features short, gain-focused text. It should focus on how the visitor will benefit, have clarity, and avoid vague or empty language. So instead of “Go,” that’s “Start my 14-day free trial,” and "Take the 60-second video tour," rather than “Play Video.” Take a look at the CTAs on these two aquarium sites. Which site makes you want to learn more about their services?
Are you thinking option 2? Same. By being ultra-specific and focusing on gains, option 2 is likelier to see better click-through rates. Option 1, on the other hand is likely going to struggle due to weak CTA text. In fact, a Content Verve test found that adding specifics and benefit-oriented text to button copy increased conversion by 31.03 percent for one of its clients.
Adding “& Get Started” in this case works to eliminate any uncertainty about what happens after one creates an account. The benefit here is completing two tasks at once. It’s both specific and benefit-oriented. Model your CTAs like so. In addition, see that your calls to action:
  • Are visually appealing and compelling.
  • Feature a couple of words, no more than five.
  • Align with headline copy for increased conversion.
  • Are large, but not too large as to distract from the page’s content.
  • Are in a contrasting color that stands out, but still fit with the page’s design.
  • Are placed in a sensible spot that flows with the rest of the page’s contents.
4. Simplify the sign up form
In many cases, the sign-up form is the one place where real interaction between you and your customer occurs. In all cases, it is a significant point in the brand-consumer relationship. See that the interaction is as smooth one. How many form fields do you have? Numerous studies have shown that every additional form field can decrease conversions, sometimes by 120 percent. Therefore, ask only for what is absolutely necessary. Most of the time all this requires is an email address and password. You can get the other details later on, even the password, actually, if you want to keep to just an email field. Where this is not possible, like when you’re doing lead generation and more fields is necessary, utilize drop down menus and predictive text to help move visitors through your form faster. This is commonly done in location fields, such as city, state, and country.
This is a fairly easy way to cut down the time required to fill out a form. Another great way to do this is to offer social media signups. Since nearly two-thirds of all Americans use social networking sites, providing the option to sign up using an existing account is a sensible addition. Here’s how that looks:
People still perceive filling out forms as a nuisance, so reduce some of that friction with social signup or login. For some companies, this has increased registration rates by 50 percent.
Additional tips for simple signups:
  • Make form fields large for easy input.
  • Use single-column form design to avoid confusion when tabbing.
  • Make sure visitors don’t have to delete input text before entering their information.
  • Make the signup button big and easy to hit.
  • Avoid CAPTCHAs when possible.
  • Test your signup forms!!
5. Clean up the design
Your landing page should be clean, clutter-free, and consistent with the brand. This helps convey a sense of trustworthiness and professionalism, making site visitors more likely to buy from you. Design plays a crucial role here.
But what does it mean to have “clean” design? You’ve probably heard the term before, or maybe you've said it yourself, but it's important to understand the underlying principles at play here. Clean design describes a page that's balanced, refined, simplistic, and timeless. It is conservative with resources it uses and provides an easy way for viewers to make sense of the content. Clean design ensures that:
  • There’s a logical flow of information that is easy to consume
  • Every element looks like it belongs and benefits the overall design
  • There is an appropriate amount of space that is consistent throughout
  • Lines are smooth and unbroken and lead the eye further down the page
This promotes professionalism and helps us communicate key messages clearly. Without this clarity, it'd be very difficult for visitors to read your copy, or focus on your main messaging. Focusing user attention is vital because it helps get them from point A to point B, without having to think. The less they have to think, the better the user experience and the likelier the conversion. Here’s an example to strive for:
Conversion optimization is a continuous process of adapting, monitoring, testing, and improving. Use the tactics covered in this article to start optimizing your headlines, body copy, calls to action, signup forms, and page design. Test everything. You never know what’s going to work with your audience until you AB test it.
Site 1:
Site 2:
The headline is one of the first things visitors see when they land on a web page, and you have just 10-20 seconds to make an impact. So think hard about what you’re going to say. Consider:
  • What do visitors want to know?
  • What is their context?
  • How can you hook them?
Since most people will only read the headline copy, you need to consider how you will get them to read the rest and convince them to take action. It's best to try and establish a connection with your readers. Trying to sell them just won’t work. Rather, put some time into your headline creation so that this connection is possible. Take it from conversion copywriter Joanna Wiebe. Joanna spends 90 percent of her writing time crafting strong headlines. That’s how important they are to your web pages. To further illustrate this, consider the case of Movexa. The company increased sales by 89 percent after improving the clarity of its headline (and with just one word!).
Victoria Taylo Victoria is the Content Marketing Coordinator at Readz and editor of Readz Magazine. Victoria has a background in marketing and PR, and is a Boston University College of Communication graduate. Connect with her on Twitter @VPTaylo.
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5 Small-Scale Fixes To Immensely Increase Your Conversion Rate
By Victoria Taylo
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