There are many helpful tips, hacks and tools that are designed to help you boost the almighty “conversion.” Conversions come in many forms: They can be defined as any action that you want your target audience or user to make. For example, perhaps you’d like them to join your newsletter, download your ebook, sign your petition, or, of course, complete a purchase. When a user successfully completes this action, they have “converted.”

But, in order to get users to convert, you need to make it easy and enticing for them. Strategically driving conversions isn’t always obvious. In fact, many business owners are guilty of making common mistakes that hurt conversions.

The good news is that these mistakes are easy to fix once you are aware of them. So, without further ado, here are the “Dos” and “Don’ts” for boosting conversions.

1.  DON’T use a “welcome mat” on your website

The “welcome mat” is something that appears when you first visit a website’s homepage or a landing page. It fills the whole screen—covering all content—and prompts you to take an action (like enter your email, for example). The point of the “welcome mat” is to increase conversions, and marketers say it performs better than most other tactics. However, it comes at the expense of user experience. When a user visits your site for content and then is forced to interact with a “welcome mat,” it can leave a bad impression. Welcome mats aren’t a conversion killer. But, they can affect bounce rates, site load time and overall user experience.

DO Use smart web design

Instead of forcing your website visitors to interact with a welcome mat, direct them to a CTA on your homepage by using the right design elements. One effective element is the the popular photography principle called the “rule of thirds.” This technique visually divides your page into nine squares. Arranging your CTA in the middle-left of the screen often results in a higher conversion rate as long as you keep the visual elements simple and do not add other content. A great example is the KissMetrics example below.

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2. DON’T make the CTA Complicated

If you want to get users to do something, you need to explain it as clearly, precisely and concisely as possible in your call-to-action. If your wording is vague, lengthy or over-complicated, users will not understand the value or sense of urgency you wish to communicate. For example, if you are running a newsletter campaign for subscribers, write a clear headline on your main page landing page and a simple call-to-action button.

DO: Test What Works Best

There are many different approaches for writing simple, concise and direct copy for your CTA buttons. In order to find out which is the best for your goal, it’s important to test them. Here is a list of possible styles you should test for your CTA:

Urgency: “Download NOW!”  vs. “Download”

Verb: “Sign me up” vs.  “Join now” vs. “Add me”

Voice (active/passive): “I want it” vs. “Get it now”

3. DON’T: Keep Users Waiting

If you want users to take specific actions on your website—like completing a purchase—you can’t slow them down by making them wait for your webpages to load. One of the top reasons for high bounce rates from a website is due to slow load time. This goes for desktop and mobile visits.

DO: Optimize Your Site Speed

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, a mere one second delay in page load time results in a 7% reduction in conversions!

So when it comes to page loading speed, every second counts. To check your page speed and troubleshoot any issues, run your site through a free tool like Google PageSpeed Insights.

The Takeaway:

It’s easy to overlook common mistakes when it comes to optimizing your digital marketing assets, but don’t let it cost you conversions. Always test and tweak your messaging and features to make sure you are driving your audience to take the actions you value most, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, joining a webinar, or completing a purchase.

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