In this chapter, we will go further into the optimization realm and reveal to you some time-tested conversion rate optimization tips dealing with how to improve conversions and make your efforts fruitful.
We have divided this section into two main categories: Presale and post-sale practices. Let’s begin.
Things You Can Do Presale to Boost CRO:
The efficacy of this simple hack cannot be ignored. As the Tag Man blog reports, a mere 1 second delay in page-load results in a 7% decrease in conversions.
Pay attention to your site speed to ensure your optimization efforts aren’t in vain.
Think of your site as your indefatigable salesperson. Any salesperson worth their salt always markets their most appealing attributes. Double check your site and make sure you’re clearly communicating your true value.
Here are a few routes to consider:
- Social proof. Testimonials can give users a feeling of security. If you’ve been positively reviewed by users, consider showcasing a few on your site. If you don’t have reviews, you can ask for them—especially if you have highly satisfied, big name clients—or invite users to submit them.
- Appeals to authority. Can you tie yourself to a trend, belief, or position that’s advocated by someone of stature in your community or profession? By aligning yourself with share beliefs, you can reduce the amount of second guessing done by visitors.
- Third party validation. A variant of social proof, but instead of testimonials you use the logos of trusted brands to appropriate some of their brand equity for your brand. “As featured in The New York Times” or showing prominent client logos are examples of this.
- Build a community. Give users a way to participate through comments, reviews and feedback, etc. It will strengthen your current user base by fostering a sense of belonging, in addition to foster growth among others who want to participate as well.
- Referrals. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth and friend referrals. Leveraging word of mouth is a guide in and of itself, but consider how you can incent sharing through incentives like discounts or free gifts to users who recruit others through email, social media, etc.
These are just a few free and inexpensive ways of connecting your site to more users.
Here are a few methods of increasing your AOV. You can improve your revenue even without improving your conversion rate.
- Bundling. Combine numerous complementary products, giving the user a discount for purchasing them together. This often persuades them to purchase more than they originally would have.
- Promotions. Promotions come in an array of shapes and forms— for example, free shipping on orders over $50 as a way to drive customers to spend more. Amazon’s “Free Super Saver Shipping” influences customers to not only spend over fifty dollars in a single purchase, but also to buy exclusively from Amazon dealers, as individual sellers are excluded from the promotion. Reminders that the customer is only “X” dollars away from free shipping may increase sales.
- Cause-based incentives. Tom’s Shoes, which gives a pair of shoes or glasses to a disadvantaged child with every purchase, probably comes to mind. But they aren’t the only ones who’ve successfully used this strategy to raise AOV (why buy one pair of shoes when you can buy two and do twice as much good?) Sometimes a donation to a charity is enough to persuade customers who are on the fence.
- Rewards. Loyalty programs can keep users returning. In particular, programs that reward higher levels of spending (escalating coupons are an example of this) can positively impact AOV, as well as purchase frequency.
- Gamification. Gamification is a way to incentivize users to take actions beneficial to your business. Gamification can include leaderboards, chances to win, badges for completing tasks, and collections of accomplishments. It can be leveraged for AOV too. For example, McDonald’s annual Monopoly promotion only applies to customers who purchase a larger, more expensive combo item.
- Mobile friendly? There is a good chance that some of your users will be arriving via their phones and tablets, and almost nothing is more difficult to navigate than a site thats not mobile friendly. If a user cannot navigate your site, they can’t become customers.
- Browser friendly? Not all browsers are built the same–that goes without saying, but do you know what browsers are most popular among your users? There is a chance that your site is awesome on Chrome, but a mess on Internet Explorer. Do the research. Load up the browsers and make sure a user’s arrival is always solid. Fixing any browser specific issues could result in rise in conversions.
- Language friendly? There are 50 million Spanish-language Internet users in the United States alone. That’s more than the total Internet-using population of the UK. If you’re ignoring language support, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
- User friendly? No user will ever complain that your site is too easy to use, fast or clear. A mistake free site is a credible site.
- Click friendly? How many clicks does it take for a user to get to your must have experience? Have you ever counted? Think less. Think the clearest and easiest path to revenue.
- Time friendly? Information on your landing page should be prioritized by importance. You typically have five seconds to convince a visitor to stick around. Make the most of that brief moment in time. How good is your hook, and how well do you deliver on the promise?
- Video friendly? A video on your landing page has the chance to drive conversions. Consider YouTube, or other services as long as users do not have to download additional plugins. Videos can elicit an emotional response that connects with users and drives conversion.
- Rating & review friendly? If your site has a rating system for product feedback, it is best not to be totalitarian. Erasing all negative feedback will only have uses questioning your credibility. If you allow reviews on your site, make sure the quality is high. Zappos found that correcting spelling errors in product reviews increased conversion.
Digital assets of every business make or break the user experience. Whatever the result may be, its ripple effects can be seen in profits and revenue.
Digital products such as websites, mobile apps, and web apps are pivotal for the success of any business, making it crucial for them to perform at their best.
Website page loading speed is one of the crucial indicators of how efficient and effective a website is.
Although a high loading time has uncountable cons, let’s discuss some significant blows strong enough to leave businesses in shambles.
One to three seconds delay in page load time can:
- Reduces page views by almost 11%.
- Decreases overall customer satisfaction by 16%.
- Reduces conversion rate by 7-20%.
- Increase the bounce rate to 32%, which can increase to a staggering 90% if the time increases just by a second.
- Can make businesses lose $2.5 million annually if the revenue is $100,000 per day.
All hope is not lost nonetheless. Here are some conversion tips that you can use to boost your page load time:
- Test your pages on speed testing tools like Google Page Speed Insight.
- Turn on caching. There are multiple WordPress cache plugins you can try for this purpose.
- Use adaptive images and optimize them properly.
- Optimize the third-party code.
- Try to preload fonts.
- Do not use heavy themes.
Once you take care of this problem, here are a few droplets in the ocean of good things that can come after:
The longer the checkout process, the longer the pages will take to load. Let’s have a look at the long and ideal checkout funnel.
Long checkout funnel
Create Account → Newsletter signup → Go through product details → Read policies → tedious/lacking payment method.
Ideal checkout funnel
Create account or guest checkout → Go through product details → Add to cart/Wishlist → Ask delivery info → Quick payment using multiple gateways.
The difference is evident. Put yourself in customers’ shoes and design a process living the user experience visitors will have to ensure they can make purchases in minimal steps and time.
Think of your site as your indefatigable salesperson. Any salesperson worth their salt always markets their most appealing attributes. Double-check your site and make sure you’re communicating your true value.
Here are a few routes to consider:
- Appeals to authority: Can you tie yourself to a trend, belief, or position that’s advocated by someone of stature in your community or profession? By aligning yourself with shared beliefs, you can reduce the amount of second-guessing done by visitors.
- Third-party validation: A variant of social proof, but instead of testimonials, you use the logos of trusted brands to appropriate some of their brand equity for your brand. “As featured in The New York Times” or showing prominent client logos are examples of this.
- Build a community: Give users a way to participate through comments, reviews, feedback, etc. It will strengthen your current user base by fostering a sense of belonging and growth among others who want to participate.
- Referrals: Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth and friend referrals. Leveraging word of mouth is a guide in and of itself, but consider how you can incent share through incentives like discounts or gifts to users who recruit others through email, social media, etc.
Here are a few methods of increasing your AOV. You can improve your revenue even without improving your conversion rate.
- Bundling: Combine numerous complementary products, giving the user a discount for purchasing them together. It often persuades them to purchase more than they initially would have.
- Promotions: Promotions come in various shapes and forms— for example, free shipping on orders over $50 as a way to drive customers to spend more.
- Cause-based incentives: Tom’s Shoes, which gives a pair of shoes or glasses to a disadvantaged child with every purchase, probably comes to mind.
- Rewards: Loyalty programs can keep users returning. In particular, programs that reward higher levels of spending (escalating coupons are an example of this) can positively impact AOV and purchase frequency.
- Gamification: Gamification is a way to incentivize users to take actions beneficial to your business. Gamification can include leaderboards, chances to win, badges for completing tasks, and collections of accomplishments.
Amazon’s “Free Super Saver Shipping” influences customers not only to spend over fifty dollars on a single purchase but also to buy exclusively from Amazon dealers, as individual sellers are excluded from the promotion.
Reminders that the customer is only “X” dollars away from free shipping may increase sales.
But they aren’t the only ones who’ve successfully used this strategy to raise AOV (why buy one pair of shoes when you can buy two and do twice as much good?)
Sometimes a donation to a charity is enough to persuade customers who are on the fence.
It can be leveraged for AOV too. For example, McDonald’s annual Monopoly promotion only applies to customers who purchase a larger, more expensive combo item.
Here are a few examples of what aspects of your business you need to be ‘friendly.’
- Browser friendly: Not all browsers are built the same–that goes without saying, but do you know what browsers are most popular among your users? There is a chance that your site is excellent on Chrome but a mess on Internet Explorer.
- Time friendly: Information on your landing page should be prioritized by importance. You typically have five seconds to convince a visitor to stick around. Make the most of that brief moment in time. How good is your hook, and how well do you deliver on the promise?
- Video friendly: A video on your landing page has the chance to increase conversions. Consider YouTube or other services as long as users do not have to download additional plugins. Videos can elicit an emotional response that connects with users and drives conversion.
Do the research. Load up the browsers and make sure a user’s arrival is always solid. Fixing any browser-specific issues could result in an increase in conversions.
From where we stand now, influencer marketing is still going strong more than ever. In a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 75% of brands intended to dedicate a budget for influencer marketing.
Why, you ask?
1. Content shared through influencers can increase conversion rate by 3 to 10x.
2. 47% of US readers look for trends and ideas from blogs.
3. 68% of consumers trust the opinions of other customers, including influencers and bloggers.
Social media is one of the powerful tools of marketing if utilized well.
Create media-rich, powerful, and innovative content that can be marketed on social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook through these influencers and bloggers to reach a wider audience and make more impact.
Search Engine Optimization is a process that puts your website or online store on the map for customers to see. If the customers can’t see you, how will they land on your business?
SEO ensures that you rank in Google’s search engine on prominent and relevant keywords to increase your visibility. But it only works when your website is optimized.
Here’s what you can do to make it happen:
- Do your keyword research and pick them wisely using tools like LSIGraph, KWFinder, etc.
- Create effective title tags for pages.
- Promote your products on the homepage well.
- Create URLs that are rich in keywords.
- Keep the URLs short and crisp. Here’s an example:
Ideal URL: http://www.example.com/hotels/USA/north-america/florida/orlando/
- Add relevant tags to your products
- Canonize your website pages to ensure Google doesn’t flag your website for duplicate content.
- Create skimmable content with bullet points and ordered lists that rank higher for SEO.
[BONUS READ: The Ultimate Guide to SEO for UX Designers]
For a business spread internationally or globally, it is crucial to render a personalized experience to customers from different demographics.
Since the website traffic comes from different countries, allowing customers to browse your website in their language and shop using their currency instantly boosts customer experience.
For this, you can integrate a currency switcher into your website and offer multi-language support.
Companies such as Amazon, AliExpress, and more use this practice as a part of their CRO strategy.
For your marketing efforts to bear fruit, including bloggers/influencers marketing, you need to have a robust content strategy in place.
Although it may be overused or cheesy, it’s true that ‘Content is king.’
If you can produce multimedia content that resonates with your customers, know the right time, place, and way to market it, your CRO efforts will bring positive results.
Here are some conversion tips you can use to make sure your content is capable of gaining the traction you need:
- Improve your content using multimedia which boosts engagement by 21%. Create media-rich podcasts, images, videos, blog posts, social media posts, and more.
- Drop your CTAs at multiple places throughout a content piece or website page.
- Use high-performing and relevant keywords in your content such as hashtags, posts, web pages, blogs, etc.
- Analyze the traffic on your posts and identify the peak time when most of your target audience is active and then post your content for the most engagement.
- Make one-on-one interaction with your audience, such as followers on social media. For example, brands like McDonald’s, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and many more reply to the tweets and comments under their posts.
- Resurrect your brand messaging in the content you promote.
- Create the content on social issues and how your brand is a part of the solution. For example, a clothing brand may create content on sustainability and how their products have a small carbon footprint.
Using employee-centric customer support for 24/7 services may not be the best financial decision for businesses. But customers still require assistance.
In that case, a smart blend of employee-centric support and live chat software will ensure your customers have a helping hand anytime they need assistance.
Using chatbots isn’t just beneficial for companies, it also ensures that customers are given the proper assistance and attention in the minimal time possible.
For example, live chat software such as ProProfs Live Chat reduces the wait time customers otherwise spend on calls on hold.
You can also add pop-up surveys on your live chats to get feedback on support quality offered by representatives.
One of the few prominent red flags for any customer new to a business or website is ambiguous and evasive return and exchange policies.
A customer only feels secure shopping from a website that assures customers about their return and exchange procedures and policies.
Make sure to create policies that align with customers’ expectations, i.e., make them fair and reasonable. Place these policies on every product page so customers can easily access them.
Have you visited a clothing website, and at first glance, noticed written big fonts “Make sustainable choices for sustainable future” or “100% genuine leather products”?
Well, these are what you call user selling points (USP). These brands have features that are either unique or desirable, so they market them right away on all social platforms and their websites.
It ensures that new visitors know your strength which will motivate them to purchase from you. So, do your user research and identify the best way to present your USP on the website.
Cart abandonment customers come to your website, browse for a bit, choose products to buy, add them to the cart, but instead of completing the checkout process, they leave.
A high cart abandonment rate means website visitors are not converting into customers. So, to increase conversions, you need to take care of cart abandonment.
One of the effective ways is to use exit-intent surveys asking customers why they didn't complete the checkout and if they would like help with anything.
Another way is to use exit pop-ups offering deals and discounts as an incentive to complete the purchase. Tools like Picreel are very effective for deploying such pop-ups.
You can refer to our detailed article on shopping cart abandonment to know elaborate tips on how to reduce it.
Segment your customers into demographics based on traffic source, device types, etc.
Then, create dedicated landing pages to directly target the customers and convert them using personalized conversion strategies based on their specific needs and their place in the sales funnel.
The content you add to the new landing pages should serve the purpose of why it’s created and should suit where the traffic is coming from.
For example, create the content for a landing page based on the CTA to that page.
If a customer came from a page where they were close to purchasing, the new landing page should encourage them in some way to complete the purchase.
Design is a big part of conversion optimization, so much so that only 20% of your design elements can lead to 80% of the conversions.
Since the impact is huge, you need to make sure that the UI of your websites or mobile apps is user-friendly, interactive, and engaging.
One of the best ways to ensure you render impeccable UI and UX is to ask the customers themselves. With feedback software tools like Qualaroo, you can create quick surveys to gain insights about the existing design elements and how you can make them better.
You can add open-ended follow-up questions to gain contextual insights and use AI-powered Sentiment Analysis to analyze the qualitative data.
In a way, different colors evoke different emotions in people. Big brands like Facebook, IBM, HP, PayPal, and many others understood the importance of color psychology and implemented it in design.
All these brands have one thing in common: The blue color logos.
Well, in simple words. No.
All these brands chose the color blue for their logos because it represents authority, loyalty, power, professionalism, and trust, and that’s how people feel about it.
So, pay close attention to the color palette you use on your website, content, and other digital assets. Here’s what each color signifies so you can make informed decisions.
Here are some of the common colors used by brands and what they represent:
Many big e-Commerce companies practice on-page remarketing on checkout pages, carts, and product pages.
It simply means cross-selling other products as the customers check out one product on your website.
They give recommendations of products that are bought and used together by other customers.
For example, Amazon uses cross-selling and up-selling by mentioning other products under the “Frequently bought together” section.
Doing this increases the conversion rate and the average order value, bringing in more revenue.
Customers like nothing more than multiple options. From products, services, and processes, the more businesses allow customers to choose from different options as per their own accord, the better the chances of excellent customer experience and conversion.
When customers are on the checkout stage, allow them to ‘add to cart’ and ‘buy now’ directly from the product page.
The buy now option is somewhat similar to providing guest checkout; both allow customers to purchase faster.
But the ‘add to cart’ option comes in handy when you don’t want to impose on the customers to commit to buying then and there and ticking them off.
They can simply browse through your store, add products they want to buy, and complete the process when they are ready.
If your product descriptions are not detailed and precise, customers will have a hard time trusting the quality of the product.
Unlike a physical product experience, where customers can touch the product and judge its quality, it’s not possible in the online setting. It means that they heavily rely on the information you provide in the product description.
Mentioning product specifications in pointers helps customers scan the information and make their buying decisions accordingly.
Doing this helps curb the rising cart abandonment rate and eventually improves the conversion rates.
Carrying forward the above point, since customers cannot physically assess the product, they also rely on recommendations and reviews of other customers.
A staggering 95% of customers purchase after reading reviews online. Given how powerful online word-of-mouth marketing is, it’s best to display some of it on your website and mobile app.
Customer testimonials are also a rich resource that helps establish customers’ trust.
You can ask customers to rate and share their reviews using pop-up surveys like the Customer Satisfaction Survey with an open-ended follow-up question.
Other ways to gather reviews are comments under social media posts, blog posts, etc. You can also add a product review section under each product page to encourage customers to leave their reviews.
As for the testimonials, you can again conduct pop-up surveys and use Sentiment Analysis technology to analyze open-ended responses from the surveys.
It analyzes the vocabulary used in the responses, highlights the most used words, and segregates them based on emotions each word represents using Word Cloud.
When you click on a specific word from the cloud, you can see all the responses containing it. Then you can tag and refer to them to create testimonials.
Ever since the advent of the internet and ongoing trends, businesses have adapted to use the fear of missing out (FOMO) to motivate people to buy more.
How? By creating time-restricted offers, limited stock discounts, seasonal promotions, and so on. Offers like these create urgency and motivate customers to make a purchase and convert.
Micro-conversions are small checkpoints laid out throughout the buying journey which lead towards the main goal —purchase.
You can add pop-up surveys for customers to share their shopping preferences so you can create a personalized experience, or rather, a funnel that leads to the final purchase.
You can collect such information about customers via small steps and use the data for retargeting them.
Here’s an example of micro-conversions in e-Commerce:
A/B testing is an iterative process that should be done every once in a while to ensure how you can improve the performance of your digital assets.
Because CTAs play an essential role in conversion optimization, it’s better to a/b test your CTAs and experiments to see how you can bring in more traffic to landing pages.
Check out our detailed guide on the best A/B testing tools to help you implement CTAs that convert.
What’s the point in having a website or an e-commerce store that customers don’t trust?
Customer trust is one of the hardest things to gain when running a business online because, surprise surprise, many not-so-genuine businesses are scamming users online.
That’s why it’s important for your business to take extra measures. This can be done by making your online presence and store as genuine, authentic, and safe for customers as possible.
Here are a few things that you can do to establish trust in your website visitors:
- Don’t forget to humanize the website. For this, you can post pictures of your premises and workforce. You can show your work culture that also helps establish customer trust in your business.
- You can use a knowledge base to identify the most search queries by your customers and add that information as FAQs. Doing this not only makes your website seem genuine to the customers, but it also lessens the load on customer support as they don’t repeatedly have to answer the same queries.
- Add live chat pop-ups to your website so that customers can take help from there when they land on your site.
- Add secure payment options to your website so customers feel at ease when purchasing from you or leaving their details with you.
- Specify the purpose of collecting customer information, how you’ll use it, and who will have access to it.
Generally, creating buyer personas comes in the early stages of business during the market and initial user research, whereas it should also be an iterative process.
As a business grows, it attracts different types of customers formed of entirely unanticipated demographics.
For example, you may find new user personas coming from a marketing channel you did not expect or have a unique use case for your products; the scenarios are endless.
That’s why it makes sense to keep exploring your user base and identify different ways to target audiences and turn them into leads.
One of the ways you can achieve this is by deploying surveys throughout the customer journey and asking website visitors questions like how they found out about you, why, and how they use your product.
Basically, ask anything that you think can better define your user personas and maybe help explore new ones.
Once you know about your new user persona, you can strategize your marketing, content, and targeting strategies.
Belron is a company that offers windshield services. The majority of their customers are one-time users who need a new windshield. Despite this, they had a high bounce rate on the website.
They deployed Qualaroo’s Exit-intent surveys asking customers questions like what they were looking for and did not find on the website. They discovered a new buyer persona by asking such simple questions, which they could now target.
Since businesses moved online, it has become easier to probe customers’ behavior, shopping habits, and preferences.
But why should a business track customer behavior at all, you must wonder?
Well, look at it this way — The better you know how your customers react to certain things, what they prefer, & what are their motivations, the easier it is for you to create a customer roadmap.
It should cover all these points to finally convert visitors into customers.
There are many ways to track visitor behavior.
For example, you can use heat mapping tools to find the most-clicked areas on your website, eye-tracking tools to see what website elements are more attractive for customers, etc.
This way, you can find the perfect areas on your website to place your CTAs and increase the click-through rate.
Email marketing automation is a process where businesses prepare personalized marketing copies that are sent through emails triggered by some action customers took on the website or your online store.
This process is automated so you can target your customers at different touchpoints and make sure they convert.
You can also send follow-up emails based on the responses visitors give to the surveys. Make sure to choose a feedback collecting software that offers integration with different CRM platforms.
[Check out the integrations Qualaroo offers to facilitate the lead generation and conversion process.]
If customers haven't made a purchase yet or have added new products to the cart after the purchase, it’s time to motivate them to click that ‘Pay and confirm order’ button.
Businesses create retargeting campaigns that target customers on social media platforms.
For instance, with the help of an anonymous cookie, you can launch personalized ads that customers see on any platform they use. Every time a customer sees the ads, it’s called a ‘contact point.’
The cookies record the customers’ browsing history, like what products they check out on your website, and use it to show ads to customers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
You can create as many as seven contact points which will ensure the prospects turn into your customers.
The tips to increase the conversion rate we’ve covered so far will only work if they are implemented in the right way. So do set a detailed CRO strategy in place with these CRO tips in mind.
It will help your teams work collectively towards the main goal —Turning visitors into customers. If you do it right, you will see astonishing results shortly after.
Looking for an online survey tool for boosting conversions?
Qualaroo is the world’s top user research & feedback survey tool
Whether you are developing a new product or have been selling the same one for years, you need user feedback.
With a 30% or higher response rate, every product owner should be asking their customers these questions.
The question with surveys, as with any other marketing effort, is how do you use surveys to drive the performance of your website, and ultimately, your business?