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5 SUPER SHARP Conversion Rate Boosters for 2018 (& Beyond)

Traffic is nothing without conversion! Discover these ultra-modern techniques to increase sales while complementing the customer journey

Sam Hurley
June 24 2018

It’s often a challenge to gain relevant website traffic today.

Many online discussions revolve around this topic — with business owners and marketers evermore challenged to find the next rich source of fresh visitors.

However, while visibility and qualified traffic are undoubtedly important to business success, there is another absolutely critical partnering metric to analyze and optimize towards…

Your conversion rate is a % measurement of how many visitors to your website take actions that either directly or indirectly impact your bottom line.

That said, it’s easy to see why the practice of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has only been growing in popularity:

Yet, there is still A LOT of room for improvement!

“Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.”
(Source: Econsultancy)

Bags of money left on the table, it seems.

Why?

Let’s look at a couple of scenarios to demonstrate.

———————————————————–

SCENARIO 1:

Website ‘A’ attracts a colossal 500,000 visitors each month.

Only 0.1% of those visitors actually convert into sales = 500 visitors convert.

To make matters worse, the average order value is just $13…

So, that’s a measly ~$6,500 produced from 500,000 visitors!


———————————————————–

SCENARIO 2:

Website ‘B’ attracts what could be considered a comparatively minuscule 1,500 visitors per month.

Now, this site successfully converts at a whopping rate of 17.8% = 267 visitors convert.

In addition, the average sale amounts to $399…

Resulting in ~$106,533 generated from only 1,500 visitors!


———————————————————–

I certainly know which scenario I would prefer!

Follow a simple rule:

If you’re not making the most of your current visitors, don’t bother spending money or time acquiring more.

This would be completely counter-productive.

First and foremost, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture — are you optimizing solely for conversion (greed-driven), or optimizing the customer experience (CX = customer-centric)?

Two very different approaches!

CX is paramount — so keep visitors / customers at the heart of **everything** you do.

If they are winning, your business will also win.

As a prime example, this is exactly the mentality Zest applied when the team (open mouth in shock) terminated their newsletter!

(Graphic Source: Zest via Medium)

Traffic (via content) is queen. Conversion is king. But customer experience is godlike.

Loyalty truly drives revenue and profit growth, which is why CX sits firmly above the thrones of our digital royals…

Forget the concept of making a quick buck. Here are 5 super sharp conversion rate boosters to keep you at the very top of your game (while only delighting customers)!

Booster #1: Personalize CTAs & Content

While there are a million and one elements of a web page (and its surrounding brand) that gear it up to be conversion-optimized — it can be said that your call-to-actions (CTAs) rank very highly in the priority list.

After all, if visitors don’t know what to do next, how are they ever going to buy from you?

“In 2015, 83% of marketers tested and optimized conversion rates for call to action buttons…”
(Source: Econsultancy)

Here is an example of a green CTA button + accompanying text via Convertize:

This of course, is nothing new on the surface…

However, we’re now in 2018 — so it’s time to get clever(er) with CTAs.

Many articles out there will tell you to personalize this and personalize that. Yet, they don’t actually tell you how to do it!

So, I’ll briefly explain how complex personalization has been achieved on my own site.

[NOTE: Due to ‘the best timing ever’, there are currently technical issues which means you won’t be able to see this stuff in action on OPTIM-EYEZ for just a few days.]

Here’s my homepage CTA:

Once you sign up after clicking this CTA (and confirm your free subscription via email), the homepage changes completely — color, content, and also the buttons:

[REMEMBER: Color plays an important role in psychology!]

The whole customer journey is personalized, even on sales pages:

Aside from many happy visitors who openly share their positive feedback, here are my metrics (including mobile):

As for signups, the last 10 months have returned a conversion rate of 32%+.

It really does pay to personalize.

So, how do you achieve this?

My site uses Wishpond and its API (an Application Programming Interface) to provide website users with a tailored experience — which makes them feel part of something, rather than just a number.

It’s this positive feeling that encourages metrics like those shown above!

You can use cookies or login functions to enable personalization on your site, too — although it can get very technical, so I highly recommend hiring a specialist web developer who can carry out what you envisage…

The great opportunity is that many SaaS (Software as a Service) providers like Wishpond will work with you closely towards your goals because they naturally want to retain your loyalty; customer relationships are all part of the package.

Here’s an example of the Wishpond API showing the possibilities of customization per lead:

In other words: Providing an enjoyable customer journey that personalizes by name and any other submitted details!

But please: Don’t become too creepy!

The smile man Willem Dafoe

(Source: Reactiongif)

Only ever ask for relevant information, and don’t overuse names etc.

Here are a bunch of other content personalization tools to definitely check out!

Booster #2: Become Device Agnostic

“What the heck does this mean?”,  I hear you cry…

Here’s a simplified explanation from TechTarget:

“A device-agnostic website is designed to accommodate visitors using mobile devices, desktops or televisions to visit the site.”

This term is however, a bit of a rabbit hole — with great debate around what it truly defines.

To save you hassle: I interpret it to be a website that is completely optimized for user experience, no matter how visitors and/or searchers arrive or digest your content.

Sadly, even today I frequently encounter websites that perform dreadfully on mobile (and that means they are definitely not ready for the likes of voice optimization or performance across other IoT devices)!

We could go even further and get set for VR and AR — but right now, it’s not a requirement for most businesses.

Still, if you want to convert visitors these days, you absolutely must provide a website that looks pristine and functions perfectly (plus super quickly) across many core technologies.

Much easier said than done!

But paramount, nonetheless…

“Mobile devices are projected to reach 79% of global internet use by the end of 2018.”
(Source: Zenith)

Here’s a visual perspective:

(Infographic Source: Digital in 2018 by We Are Social & Hootsuite)

To get you started, check out up-to-date stats for the most popular screen resolutions:

(Data Source: StatCounter)

And mobile devices:

(Data Source: StatCounter)

And finally, the most popular internet browsers:

(Graph & Data Source: StatCounter)

[Here is a beginner’s overview on how to optimize for numerous screen resolutions.]

Again, it’s strictly a web developer’s / designer’s job if you want the best results!

“95% of users indicated that a positive user experience is the most important factor when they visit a website.”
(Source: Econsultancy)

“ESPN gained a 35% profit increase after updating their homepage design (based on user feedback).”
(Source: Mindtouch)

Your best data is always your own — so use secondary stats as an indicator, then dive into any user feedback and also Google Analytics to analyze how your website visitors are behaving, in order to assess priorities…

You can explore the most popular visiting devices, browsers and screen resolutions in just a few clicks:

Once you have catered for all the above, THEN focus on using structured data to enable your website to literally talk to people!

It’s the road to greater visibility in 2018+, and superb conversion rates.

Booster #3: Apply Multi-Step Forms

Along with expandable content for seamless mobile experiences, multi-step forms are considered a tabbed web design technique that has been proven to drastically improve conversion rates…

“With multi-step form designs and analytics from Leadformly, we’ve been able to increase form conversions by up to 300% for our clients.”
(Source: Venture Harbour)

(Image Source: W3 TWEAKS)

Certainly on my own list to initiate in time.

Marcus Taylor (CEO of Venture Harbour) unveiled how he and his team smartly rocketed leads for multiple businesses by utilizing this intuitive, flowing process that blows traditional lead forms out of the water…

“When we changed the consulting enquiry form on our site from a basic WordPress contact form to a multi-step form, our conversion rate went from 0.96% to 8.1% (a 743% increase in leads!).

(Source: Venture Harbour)

Marcus also discusses how he experimented by switching from a multi-step form to a standard one-page form (with all questions bundled together) — and conversion rates subsequently tumbled.

Fascinating!

So, what is it about these multi-step forms that makes them convert so well?

  • Instead of a laborious task, conversion seems more like a fun journey to the user (particularly when beautifully designed)
  • Visual steps break down a bigger task into smaller, digestible stages of progression
  • This all helps reduce psychological friction and motivates the user to complete the entire process (with a smile on their face)

If you can create a sense of enjoyment with every brand interaction (no matter how stereotypically boring these touchpoints may be), you’re onto a clear winner.


Remember that nothing is ever 100% finished where CRO is concerned; you should always analyze the performance of each tab of your multi-step forms — allowing you to continually optimize for greater conversion rates.

Here’s some handy info to pass onto your web developer, which explains how to produce responsive tabbed content (the sort that fits all screen resolutions).

You can also have your website expert apply this jQuery Step Form Wizard, if you wish to custom-build a multi-step form.

And lastly, ‘done-for-you’ tools that make multi-step forms possible in just a few clicks and content insertions:

Booster #4: Offer Conversational Engagement

This is another potential rabbit hole that can reach depths of optimization across all Internet of Things (IoT) devices — and similar to earlier limiting the scope of this guide to immediate priorities — we’ll stick to a topic that could be considered to be the biggest conversational website component in 2018:

Chatbots!

However, I’ve covered chatbots in the past — so, I’m going to provide you with a different slant on conversational UI (User Interface) — by demonstrating another couple of examples from my own website.

These methods serve two purposes:

1). They increase website engagement and keep visitors (happily) on the site for longer, without 24/7 human interaction

and

2). They weed out time-wasters, while also quickly directing visitors who may have otherwise sent an initial question to me personally (often, the type of question that would be asked repeatedly)

How?

On my homepage, you will notice a chatbot-like feature that greets you as you arrive (+ scrolling down a little):

If you click ‘Yes!’, you will see the next stage of the ‘chatbot’ with an option to ask me a question:

If you do wish to ask a question or otherwise enquire, you must ‘pass the test’ of being a nice person, and confirm you are considerate of my time:

It’s a psychological tug on emotions, and consequently — I don’t receive too many irrelevant messages (touch wood!).

This essentially aims to increase friction, because not all ‘leads’, enquiries or other communications are conducive to growth or productivity (an important point to remember).

It can be likened to attracting 1000 visitors to your landing page, who ALL sign up to win a free family bouncy castle — but what you’re actually planning to sell to these people, is life insurance…

Almost pointless!

A high conversion can be hollow and can equate to nothing.

Jumping back to my site:

If you continue to scroll past the ‘chatbot’, you will see CTAs leading to highly-descriptive service pages…

I spent a lot of time producing content on the site with a view to maximizing user interaction while minimizing my workload — most common visitor questions should be answered within your content.

It’s this self-service, conversational language and mentality that truly immerses users and encourages them to 1) Discover everything through exploration, 2) Enjoy their time doing so, and 3) Remember your brand!

So, with these fundamentals in mind — how about the tools you need to build a website chatbot / conversational interface?

Here are ‘done-for-you’ solutions:


And simple ‘do-it-yourself’ solutions to check out:


Plus, a special solution for your technical web developer:

Booster #5: Experiment (Using Innovative Tech)

It may be our final conversion booster, but it’s the most critical!

Any effort to improve your conversion rate across any website page needs thorough reasoning, planning, analysis and action.

Thankfully, you have a whole array of specialist tools at your disposal — which makes everything a whole lot easier today!

The initial question before any CRO experiment will be:

“Why are we testing?”

And the answer isn’t simply to increase conversion…

To really know your why, what, who, where and when — you need to delve deep into your website analytics / user behavior (where Google Analytics just doesn’t cut it).

Ultimately, you should be able to visualize your users’ paths through your site from start to finish, including where they left and how they return…

Don’t panic. These extremely slick SaaS products are at your service:

SENTIENT ASCEND

‘AI-Powered Website Experimentation.’

Realize the results of new website layouts, imagery and messaging faster than your competitors.

Artificial Intelligence is now everywhere — but Sentient truly got there early, delivering crazy conversion success to clients around the globe.

The awesome bonus with this particular software, is the AI engine grants you the power to try out more ideas in a shorter space of time — and most notably: requiring less traffic than traditional A/B and multivariate testing (whereby different versions of web pages are served to visitors, to analyze performance of any tweaks).

And this has often been an issue for website owners who attract little traffic, yet naturally want to optimize their website performance — it can be difficult to make the right decisions based on such small amounts of data.

AI saves the day, once more!

A/B TEST MASTER

Another fancy A/B testing piece of kit — although this one cleverly uses a blend of in-house (human) experts and machine learning (bots) to focus on personalization…

It serves optimized content to website visitors in alignment with their browsing history, favorite social media channels and historical site usage.

Such in-depth analysis is used to present a real-time tailored version of your website!

The results speak for themselves:

VISUAL WEBSITE OPTIMIZER

No CRO tools list of 2018 would be complete without VWO!

I’ve had personal experience with this one, and call tell you … It seriously ROCKS.

Using this tool means you don’t need much else, in terms of CRO.

While pricier than many (currently sitting at $3.5K+ per year for the ‘basic’ package), you get a whole lot for your money; and the conversions that will result should far outweigh any service costs.

Don’t just take it from me — peek at this eye-popping client list!

The experts behind the software also offer an additional service whereby they plan your entire conversion strategy…

Cool, huh?

If you can afford it, VWO is my pick of the bunch — although these 3 sharp CRO tools do all offer different approaches — which you may want to keenly explore when it’s raining conversions and you have tons of revenue to play with! 😀

HAPPY WEBSITE OPTIMIZING!

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Sam Hurley

Sam is a passionate 'people connector', Personal Branding expert & Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ. He has achieved success for SMEs, national and international organizations, while being ranked as the world’s #1 digital influencer by Webinale, #2 most influential digital marketer by Onalytica and world’s #3 content marketing influencer by ScribbleLive. Sam loves a high-octane action movie and his all time favorite supercar is the Lamborghini Aventador! Catch him on social for cosmic amounts of Digital Marketing tips.

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