Every business considers their conversion rate a crucial metric to determine growth. Whether you’re an e-commerce site or SAAS company, conversions play a huge role in the performance of your business. However, it’s not always easy to reach your conversion goals, even when you’re attracting a steady flow of traffic. In this article, I’ve shared 25 conversion rate optimization ideas to help you convince customers to make a purchase.
#1. Use Numbers in Your Headline
Adding numbers to your headline is one of the greatest conversion rate optimization tips. Numbers are more likely to pique your audience’s interest and get them to convert. A test run for the Highrise sign-up page revealed that placing emphasis on the 30-day trial in the headline helped improve conversions by 30%. Here’s what the headline looks like today:
#2. Test Different Forms
No list of CRO tips would be complete without A/B testing. Your current sign-up form might not be working optimally for driving conversions. Run A/B split tests on different forms comparing colors and CTAs to see which one works best.
Arenautist performed a split test on their form layouts. One was vertical, and the other was horizontal. The vertical form layout increased conversions by 52%. So you see that even just changing the layout can easily improve conversion rate. This is what the form looks like today:
#3. Create Urgency in Your CTA
Creating a sense of urgency through your CTA button could be effective in getting your customers to finalize their decision. However, it’s important to ensure that the urgency is real and relevant. In a case study found on Conversion XL, a 3.5% conversion rate increased to 10% after adding a countdown timer to the landing page.
Groupon is one of the best examples of using countdown timers. As you can see in the screenshot below, the product has a timer displayed right under the CTA button:
#4. Add FAQ’s and Statistics
Optimizing your conversion rate is all about providing more information to your audience and gaining their trust to boost conversions. When Kiva, a non-profit organization, added an information box to the bottom of their page, they experienced an 11.5% increase in donations. The box provided useful data, including social proof, FAQs, and statistics. They’ve made a few changes in the page design since then, but the FAQs and statistics are still displayed. Here’s what the homepage looks like today:
#5. Display Your Top-Sellers
Clearly displaying your top-selling products is also another form of demonstrating social proof. It’s a great way to show your audience what other people are buying. In the case of SpinLife, switching from a grid pattern to a list view enabled them to include a “Best Sellers” column. The company ended up with a 16.1% increase in conversions.
Top e-commerce stores like Amazon also display top sellers when customers visit the category page:
#6. Introduce a Live Chat Feature
What if you could provide immediate assistance to visitors on your site? Adding a live chat feature could help you convince visitors to convert, thus driving conversions higher. A study conducted by VWO found that adding a live chat widget increased sign-ups by 31%. Take a look at how the chat feature can be seen at the bottom right-hand side of the page.
#7. Improve Your CTA
Like previous tips mentioned, your call-to-action button is crucial for making more sales. Ensure the CTA is clear, direct, and eye-catching. Be clear about what you want your customers to do next. For Fab, an online retail community, spelling out “Add to Cart” helped them increase cart adds by 49%. They’ve since changed it to “Add to Bag”. Here’s what their product page looks like today:
#8. Add Social Proof
Social proof has a strong influence on consumers’ purchase decisions. Displaying information like the number of likes or followers, reviews, ratings, and testimonials is an excellent way to gain potential customers’ trust. That’s why social proof is a component of several conversion rate optimization tips. A case study on BetFair found that displaying the number of likes could beat the original variation by 96% in conversion.
Their website design has changed since then, but the social proof is still clearly displayed as you can see in the screenshot below:
#9. Enhance Your Headline
Your headline is one of the first things people notice about your landing page. Choosing the right headline can work wonders for your conversion rate. Whether you need to just add one word or alter the whole headline altogether, make these changes a priority. In the case of Movexa, adding the word “supplement” to their headline improved conversions by 89.97%. Here’s the variation:
#10. Pick the Right Colors
Colors play a pivotal role in influencing consumers’ purchase choices. Psychology of color defines which color triggers an action and you could experience higher conversions just by changing the color of your CTA button. This is perhaps the easiest of the tips mentioned here. A Visual Web Optimizer study found that switching to a red/orange button helped increase engagement by 5%.
The use of orange buttons is popular with top websites like Amazon:
#11. Optimize Your Search Bar
Improving your search bar is another way to drive more purchases. With useful features like a responsive search bar, customers will take less time to complete tasks. This might be enough to convince them to buy. In the case of Casa Mineira, a real estate company, switching from a standard search box to a drop-down search resulted in a 57.25% increase in leads. Here’s what it looks like:
#12. Add Trust/Award Badges
If your company has received awards and recognitions, it’s smart to show them off. Maybe you got great reviews on Trust Pilot or received an industry-related award. Touting these badges could help you establish trust with your audience. Otherwise, you could also add trust and guarantee badges like in the case of White Card Courses. The website was able to experience a 32% increase in conversions after adding guarantee badges and changing the CTA copy.
#13. Replace CTA Links with Buttons
When you have text links as your CTA, there’s a high chance of them being lost among the rest of the text. Make your CTA more noticeable by switching to buttons. A case study on Consolidated Label showed that adding a CTA button increased conversions by 62%. Here’s what the button looks like now:
#14. Offer Free Returns
Price is a major concern for every customer. You can capitalize on this by offering free returns. Customers will feel more at ease making a purchase if they know they can get their money back if they’re unsatisfied. Giving peace of mind is crucial with conversion rate optimization. A study by ComScore found that free returns influences customers’ decisions, with 82% respondents saying they will purchase an item if there’s an option to return it with free shipping.
BeautyBar offers free shipping on orders above $25 along with free and easy returns. On the product page, the “free shipping” text can be clearly seen:
If you click on the “Free Shipping” text, a pop-up shows the “Easy & Free Returns” option as well:
#15. Clearly Display Your Phone Number
Having your phone number prominently displayed on your homepage gives you more credibility. This is true even if customers aren’t going to call you. See how Redesign Case clearly features their phone number in the header.
#16. Use Videos
Adding videos is one of the top conversion rate optimization tips for 2016. Featuring videos relevant to your product or service will make your landing page more interesting. Perhaps add a video telling your brand story or an instructional video showing your product in action. A case study on Supercheap Storage found that adding a video to their landing page increased leads by 16.4%.
#17. Shorten Your Landing Page
Less is more when it comes to conversion rate optimization for landing page design. Switching to a minimal design for your homepage could be a good way to drive conversions. In the case of TheHOTH, eliminating everything but the sign-up form on their landing page increased signups from 1.39% to 13.13%. They have since added a video to the page, but as you can see in the screenshot, the minimalist design still pertains even today.
#18. Limited Time Offer
Another application of the scarcity principle is by having a limited time offer and displaying it clearly. You can use colors like red or orange to signify urgency. Make sure visitors can easily see the banner as soon as they enter the product page. Take a look at the example from Amazon:
#19. Add a Human Touch to Your Story
Let your customers know there are real people behind your brand. Making your “About Us” page more human is another tip. Show pictures and stories of the people who make up your company. Take a look at how Wistia has creatively implemented this technique.
#20. Display Stock Scarcity
You can implement Cialdani’s principle of scarcity by displaying limitation of stock on your product page. Displaying something like “Only five left in stock” next to your CTA button could be a great way to compel customers to take action now. However, make sure it’s genuine scarcity and avoid displaying it just for the sake of conversions. Here’s an example from Booking.com.
#21. Remove Distractions
The sole objective on your shopping cart is to get visitors to complete their purchase. Sometimes, there may be too many distractions that prevent them from taking the final action. In the case of nameOn, reducing the number of calls-to-action resulted in an 11.40% increase in completed checkouts.
As you can see in the screenshot below, this new version only has two calls-to-action: “To Checkout” and “Add to Shopping Cart”:
#22. Write a Great Copy
Emotion sells. When you capitalize on this, you’ll be able to convert more. Make your ad copy and emails more engaging by trying to evoke emotion in your audience. Tapping into emotions can be tricky, but it works. The idea is to find out your customers’ emotional needs and then address them. A case study on Piktochart found that making the landing page copy about the customers helped increase registrations by 11.4%.
The copy has changed a bit since then, but as you can see in the screenshot below, it’s still about the customers and their needs. It states how you can take “YOUR” visual communication to the next level and you won’t even need a professional designer.
#23. Emphasize Benefits on Your Landing Page
Conversion rate optimization tips only work when you get visitors interested in your product or service. Immediately highlight the benefits on your landing page. Rather than simply list features, emphasize how features can help your customers. In a case study conducted by Conversioner, an invitation company changed their landing page copy to sell an experience instead of a product. This resulted in a 65% increase in revenue.
The CrazyEgg landing page is a good example of how benefits are highlighted to help customers understand what they can gain from it:
#24. Learn from a Heat Map
A mouse-tracking tool, called a heat map, is a great way to determine where visitors are looking on your page. Analyzing this information will help you optimize your site accordingly. Place important buttons at areas where they’re most likely to get noticed. For WPMU Dev, heatmaps helped them find out that their product page had too many distractions. Here’s what their page looks like today:
#25. Remove Automatic Image Sliders
Image carousels often prevent visitors from exploring a website at their own pace. They may get distracted or frustrated, which will dissuade them from making a purchase. A study from Neilson Norman Group reveals that auto-forwarding carousels reduce visibility and annoy users.
Here’s an example from Wow Slider:
The first image switches around and now you have this:
This is just an example, but in the case of product pages, having the images automatically move around could distract or frustrate your visitors.
It takes time to optimize your conversion rate and develop an ideal business strategy regardless of your company’s size. Hopefully, these 25 conversion rate optimization tips will help you establish a plan tailored to your brand and avoid common conversion rate optimization mistakes. It’s important to continue running tests and comparing techniques regularly to improve your conversions even further. Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments section!
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!