So you are interested in running some tests to increase conversions and sales on your website but have no idea where to start? Well here are a few easy places to start that can have a big impact on user experience.
- A/B testing on headline copy
On average, eight out of ten visitors never make it past a page’s headline, so saying that the title is an important element to test is an understatement. Luckily, it is also arguably the easiest of features to experiment with.
The headline gives visitors a snapshot of what they will find on the page so it must be representative of the content and grab your customers’ attention immediately. First of all, make sure it is big and bold so that it can’t be missed.
Let’s say, for example, that your company sells software which improves productivity. You could decide to experiment with “Improve your staff productivity by x%” or “Save x% on staff cost” If you increase your staff productivity, it will lead to not having to hire as many people, hence savings, but chances are that the second headline will get a higher rate of conversion because it directly highlights a financial benefit, which everybody responds to.
- Testing on colours
It is well known that colours affect our mood and have great emotional connotations. Red is associated with danger/stop; green, all is good/earth; blues are calming and yellows invigorating. It is also important to note a colour’s cultural significance which may have influential meaning in the country you operate in. So experiment with the colours of your calls to action and your purchase buttons. It won’t work for every business, but in other cases, it may significantly impact your conversion rates.
- Testing on forms
We are so bombarded by marketing and spam mail that we have become wary of giving out our contact details, and forms can be a great source of friction for visitors. We have all had those moments of anger and frustration when a huge form is presented in front of us – why do they even need my phone number? It’s even worse when it refuses the information entered because of some minor error. Aaargh!!
Studies have shown that the less information you request, the better – visitors are simply not prepared to tell you the story of their life to get to what they are looking for. For this reason if there are any unnecessary information fields in your forms, run some tests with them removed.
You could also try several versions where you explicitly assure clients that you won’t pass their details to third parties; play with the number of fields to fill in and with their size; forms with special offers; pre-population and forms incorporating imagery. Combine this with various colour schemes and fonts until you find exactly the right formula that works for your business.
- Testing of social widgets
Social media is now cemented into society. Most businesses feel compelled to have widgets, sharing buttons and followers count on their website, but it can do you as much harm as good.
It is undeniable that a large following will give your business legitimacy and will increase visitors’ confidence, but social media widgets can also be a distraction to users on your website.
First of all, encouraging your visitors to leave your website when you have worked so hard to get them there seems counter-productive. Why would you also willingly direct them to a platform where they can so easily come across your competition?
Secondly, social numbers are often so small (especially in New Zealand) that displaying your (lack of) following is more likely to decrease your conversion rate than increase it.
Which social media button to use, their positioning, their presence and the version you use are all elements worth testing.
- Testing of carts/checkouts
You would think that once customers have gone as far as sending items to their carts, a sale is guaranteed, wouldn’t you? Well, not quite. A recent study of 19000 online shoppers by Surepayroll showed that a staggering 68% of shoppers abandon their carts before completion.
Now this may just be shoppers being indecisive and returning at a later time to buy but several factors are responsible for this drop off in the sales process. Unexpected costs sprung on customers at the last minute never make a good impression, and will systematically put a business’ honesty in question. Another mistake is to force your new customers to register to be able to complete their purchase. Some may welcome the chance to save their details for future use, but others just want to buy their items quickly and get out of there, not be forced to tell you the name of their first pet to be allowed to complete their transaction!
So, again, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and experiment on your checkout where you believe necessary. Even a mere 1% increase in conversion rate could equate to thousands of dollars in extra revenue every month so it is well worth the time and energy.
Like so many things in web development, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to A/B testing, and many other elements can be fine-tuned. CRO experiments gives businesses the chance to try out different scenarios at low cost, and find the best solutions in direct response to their customers’ reactions without the expense of full website modifications.
Sometimes your theories will be proven false, but that’s OK keep at it. The key is to be patient and persevere, and you will reap the rewards.
For more info on CRO, testing your website and generally beefing up your conversions, give the experts at This Side Up a call or send an email.