Conversion Rate Optimization (commonly known as CRO) is a method aimed to help you improve your website’s ability to convert passive website visitors into active customers. These conversions should be occurring all over your website — from your homepage to your product pages to your landing pages. One goal of CRO is to build a site that is a lead generating machine, and in order to do so, you need to drive MORE results from your new and existing website traffic.
Where should I start?
If you are new to CRO or if you need a refresher, a good way to start optimizing your website for better conversions is to look at your homepage. Your homepage is one of the most important pages in your site, as it’s often one of the first things a potential customer might see. Therefore, you’ll want to spend a good amount of time optimizing this page to make sure new visitors have multiple opportunities to turn into great leads for your business.
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Your homepage should be responsible for at least two things — making a good first impression with a potential customer and retaining visitors to drive them further into your website. See below for seven homepage optimization tips that can help get you started.
1. Clear and Direct Value Proposition
Make sure your unique selling point (USP) is specific and that it immediately highlights the value you are providing to your customer. Utilize a bold value proposition stating what it is you do, who it is for, and the key benefits that you offer. Avoid using buzzwords and confusing terminology — always use clear language so visitors can easily understand why they should buy your products or services.
2. Easy Navigation
Your website should be easy to navigate with a well structured, focused and easy to interpret menu on both desktop and mobile. Avoid clutter and eliminate any hassles here such as multiple menu links and long drop downs. The goal is to keep it simple and obvious.
3. Clickable Phone Number
Phone calls are one of the quickest ways consumers can get a response from you. Therefore, be sure to include a click-to-call button or link at the top and/or bottom of every webpage on your site. An easy way to do this is by adding your phone number to the header navigation or footer so that you won't miss a page. Making sure your phone number is clickable allows for a seamless mobile experience so that users can simply tap the number to dial.
4. Personalized Imagery
Your homepage should always make visitors feel at ease, that’s why it’s important to use imagery a visitor can connect with or relate to. You can try experimenting with stock photography or alternate images to see which performs better. However, it’s essential to use imagery that represents the same ethnicity as your target audience. Visitors should feel like your website was created just for them.
5. Clear Calls-to-Action (CTA)
Are your buttons or desired actions on the page clear and concise? Try experimenting with different designs and colors to make your CTA buttons stand out more. One of the best ways to increase homepage conversions is to have a strong call-to-action that is extremely high in value to your visitors. Always ensure your CTA is featured prominently on the page, repeated throughout, and is clear and compelling.
6. Lead Generation Forms
It’s important to use conversion components (i.e. forms, pop-ups, signups) that allow visitors to provide contact details in exchange for a high-value offer. Lead magnets can help capture visitor information such as names, email addresses and phone numbers that you can target for future promotions. Placing a lead capture form above the fold with a high-impact call-to-action is more effective as visitors are immediately drawn to the offer before scrolling through or navigating around the site.
7. High Quality Testimonials
Testimonials are a powerful form of social proof that offers a seal of approval online consumers can take comfort in. People need to be able to trust a brand before they buy, and studies have shown that 90% of consumers — especially first-time visitors — are more likely to read reviews before making a purchase. Therefore, it’s crucial to implement trust signals on your site as often as possible to help establish credibility.
What should I do now?
While these seven tips will help get you started, the most valuable way to increase conversions is to continually test and optimize every page on your site. Make sure you have Google Analytics installed so that you can see who is coming to your site and where they are clicking. Always focus on providing value to your customers and be exceptional at delivering it on every page. You’ll want to make sure you are reducing friction by removing doubts, eliminating distractions that are causing unnecessary clicks, providing value by increasing motivation and creating content that is relevant to your visitors.
A truly optimized website should be hard at work generating leads and increasing conversions all the way from the top of your sales funnel to the bottom. When your sales team is off the clock, your website shouldn’t be.
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Nicole Clark – Senior Project Manager
Nicole lives and breathes process. Her experience includes eBay, Hertz, Apple, Lowe’s and Capital One, making her skilled in website project management, email marketing, testing and optimization. Armed with a master’s degree in advertising and a post-graduate certificate in international marketing from Boston University, Nicole keeps everyone abreast of new industry standards. The last time her ‘out of office’ sign was on, she was island-hopping across the Caribbean on a cruise with her family.