Most conversion rate optimization techniques follow the same pattern: find an element, change an attribute (color, size, copy), and split test until you get positive results.
While these CRO techniques work, they can also be difficult to pull-off.
Plus, since most of your competitors are already using them, you have no real competitive advantage when you adopt them.
There are, however, some CRO tactics that don’t get much attention but can yield impressive results.
In this post, I’ll show you 6 such underrated but effective conversion rate optimization techniques you can use today.
1. Improve site speed
You might already know that there is a direct relation between site speed and search engine rankings.
As per Google itself, faster sites get a boost in the SERPs.
However, research shows that improve in site speed can increase conversions.
● A Shopzilla study found that faster loading pages increased conversions by 7-12%
● A Firefox study found that improving site speed led to a 15.4% increase in conversions.
This is why even a one second delay in loading time can cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales.
But how fast should your website be?
According to a survey done by Akamai:
● Nearly half of web users expect the site to load in 2 seconds or less
● Users tend to abandon a site that doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
● 14% of users will switch to another site and 23% will stop shopping altogether if confronted with a slow site.
This is to say: consumers prefer fast sites (which is why Google prefers them too).
Yet, most conversion rate optimization tactics tend to ignore site speed despite its obvious advantages.
Improving site speed is a whole another topic, but for starters, here are a few simple things you can do to reduce page load times:
● Switch to a faster host
● Use a content delivery network (CDN)
● Compress images and use browser caching
2. Design every page for just one purpose
This might sound like obvious advice but you’ll be surprised to see how many businesses still ignore it.
Every page of your site must have a single purpose that goes with the headline of the page.
For instance, if you are designing a page to capture emails, it should only capture emails and not get users to install apps or buy a product.
The idea here is to get the message across quickly and implement simplicity in the conversation that you’re trying to attempt with your users through the website.
For example, take a look at Shopify’s homepage
“An ecommerce platform made for you” – the sole purpose of this page is to get you sign up on their website by taking your email address.
They provide all the information to entice you. If you go at the bottom of the page, they again ask you to sign up.
Only this time they say it in a different way: “While you’ve been reading this page, people using Shopify have sold over $X”
Notice that there are no other forms on this page. They’re not asking you to contact them, send them a tweet, or get in touch with a sales rep.
The page is singularly focused on getting your email address for a free trial.
This simple technique is still largely ignored by businesses.
3. Keep your best content above the fold
“Above the fold” is the area that is immediately visible when you first land on a site without scrolling.
As any UX designer will tell you, this area is crucial for conversions.
According to research by the NNGroup:
Yet, it has now become common to use “hero images” in web design.
These full-screen images completely cover the above the fold area without doing much for your conversions.
Here is an example from the Tatamagouche Brewing Company:
While they might look nice, they push important content below the fold and take up space without doing anything to promote your product.
Notice how amazon keeps all the important information above the fold?
In this case, phone’s specs, reviews and the buy button are visible without scrolling the page:
Make sure the above the fold area of every page of your website is not filled with clutter and contains strong value proposition that explains exactly what the page can offer.
4. Use more dynamic pop-ups
I’m sure you must have seen one of these before:
While pop-ups are everywhere, most simply give you an offer and ask for your email.
Instead of asking for visitor’s email in exchange of a free ebook you can get a lot of traction from pop-ups if you focus on creating a more interactive experience.
For example, pop-ups that change over time are more effective. Groovehq, for instance, managed double their email subscribers to 50,000 in 6 months by using an interactive pop-up.
Alternatively, adding yes/no option in the popup can also do wonders for your business.
Copyhackers saw a massive increase in its sign-up rates after adding a yes/no opt-in form.
5. Reduce the number of fields in forms (especially mobile forms)
This form on Oracle’s website has 10 required fields including phone number and address.
Forms like these can easily put users off.
In most cases, less fields in forms = more conversions.
This isn’t just common sense; it’s actually backed by a considerable number of case studies.
For example, Expedia increased revenues by $12M simply by removing a field from its checkout form.
Your focus should be on minimizing friction and giving users a seamless experience by using as few fields as possible. As a general rule of thumb, anywhere between 3-5 fields is the sweet spot.
You can achieve this by removing all the optional fields and asking only information that you absolutely need.
For instance, there is no point in asking the address if you’re never going to ship anything to the prospect. In most cases you can get away with only an email address.
In case your business requires more than 5 fields, consider splitting the form into multiple steps. StartupInstitute takes advantage of this:
Always keep your end goal in mind – generate leads and convert visitors.
Codeacademy has one of the best homepage forms.
6. Make your CTAs stand out
A lot of marketers tend to underestimate the importance of CTAs.
Your call-to-action needs to be catchy and must have a well thought design. It is based on your CTA users will decide whether to sign up with your business or not.
A study found that 61% of B2B marketers struggle to generate high quality leads mainly because they fail to optimize theır CTAs.
Make sure your CTA stands out with color, button shape and button copy.
Don’t just make your CTA say ‘Submit’. The copy should tell the users what’s exactly going to happen when they click the button.
For example, VideoFruit’s homepage CTA says ‘Start Class Now’
Freshbooks does something similar – it uses strong copy (“Try it free for 30 days”) and a large, green button that stands out against the blue background.
Also notice the microcopy telling users that they won’t need a credit card to sign-up – another tactic that will boost your conversions.
There you have it. Six underrated CRO tactics that will boost your conversion rate.
As a general rule lead generation comes down to good traffic, relevance, clarity and fewer distractions. When you have these things sorted out, implement some of the tactics mentioned above to improve your conversions.