3 Tiny Tweaks to Shoot Your Conversion Rate Up (a Little)

By , May 9th, 2012 in Conversion | 16 comments
Size really doesn’t matter. No, really… (Image source)

If you’re here at Unbounce reading this sexy blog, it means you’re probably already familiar with landing page optimization. Which is good, because it’s far too rich and important a topic to cover in one post. (But, just between you and me, if you’d like to know lots more about the fundamentals of making your landing pages the best they can possibly be, you could do worse than to check out 101 Landing Page Optimizations Tips.)

I want to take a few moments to discuss the little things that make your landing page sing. “The devil is in the details”, as they say, and once you’ve got your pretty little landing page up and running, and you’ve worked through some of the major improvements you needed to make, that’s what you’re left with: little details.

So what tiny tweaks can you make to your established landing page to squeeze that extra 2% out of your conversion rate? Specifically, what kinds of changes can you make in just a few minutes in order to keep your optimization and testing program moving forward?

1. Building a better headline

By tweaking the headline, you can actually see much more than a few percentage points of improvement. And it doesn’t need to be a huge headline overhaul, tweaking your headline is often enough.

Consider these theoretical examples:

Good

  • 88% of Americans Will Be Getting a Larger Tax Refund Than Usual This Year! You Could Be One of Them!

This is the current control, and it’s doing fairly well: the landing page is gathering leads for a tax preparation software company by offering a free white paper about maximizing your tax refund based on tax law updates. This page is pulling a 25% conversion rate with this headline.

Better
There are some tiny tweaks that can be made without drastically changing the headline concept or any of the landing page copy:

  • 88% of Americans Will Be Getting a Larger Tax Refund Than Usual This Year! Make Sure You’re One of Them!

The “make sure” adds urgency, and “you’re” makes it more personal.

  • Are You One of the 88% of Americans Getting a Larger Tax Refund Than Usual This Year?

By rewording it as a question, this may spark the visitor’s curiosity.

  • 12% of Americans Will Not Be Getting a Larger Tax Refund Than Usual This Year! You Could Be One of Them!

Taking the negative view of a positive statistic turns an exclamation into a warning or even an indictment.

The point is, ten minutes with a pen and paper to brainstorm different ways to phrase the headline can provide you with 20 options that might improve your landing page conversion.

Special Tip: If you’ve hired a pro to write the copy for your landing page, they’ve probably come up with far MORE than twenty headline options in the course of settling on the one you have. Why not ask for their brainstorming list?

2. Messing with colors

Your original design may or may not have taken all these factors into consideration. Studies have shown, though, that color has a powerful effect on website visitors.

For a nice overview of how various colors affect visitors, take a look at this great infographic, The Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page, from FormStack (especially the bottom portion, although the whole thing rocks.)

Based on those general guidelines, you can make large or small adjustments to the color scheme on your page.

As an example, if your product is being presented as time-sensitive, urgent information that can save a visitor a lot of money, (like our tax refund example above,) you may find that a bright red “submit” button or a red headline may convey that sense of urgency better than another color.

Then again, green is subconsciously associated with wealth and is easier for the eye to process. Maybe that’s a better choice.

It’s likely worth taking the time to test several different color variations of the background, the navigation, any call outs, and the text to make sure your landing page is not just visually appealing, but is tuned to have the greatest subliminal impact.

3. Moving things around

Assuming you’re working on a user-friendly content system (like the super-dependable Unbounce landing page software I’m recommending in a totally unbiased way…) moving elements around on your landing page should be as simple as point, click and drag.

If so, you can make these tiny tweaks very easily and quickly, and test to your heart’s content:

  • Try making your headline font a little bigger. Sometimes, especially if your landing page has several elements, a headline or Call to Action (CTA) can get be missed and lose its impact.
  • If your landing page includes video (which it should), try situating it “above the fold” by making sure the full video frame is visible above the fold.
  • Then again, if you have important call-to-action text currently below the video, it may work even better to move that above the fold and keep just a glimpse of your video at the bottom of the screen so curious video-lovers will scroll down for it, and text lovers will already have what they want.
  • Don’t ignore the captions on any pictures on your page. Decades-worth of direct mail conversion tests have proven that captions are the third-most-read portion of any sales collateral after the headline and the subheads. The Internet equivalent of the old direct mail sales letter – the landing page – is no different.
  • Keep your page as simple as possible. Some products and services require more detail, but as a rule a landing page should be as simple as possible to understand, skim through and act upon. One goal, with one link and one CTA.

Final word

The bottom line is simply this: You should never be finished testing your landing pages. As time goes on, your audience changes, the market changes, and a static landing page could lose its effectiveness. Or, there could be a better-performing variation you’ve yet to try.

– Justin P Lambert

This is a guest post, all opinions are those of the author.

Justin P Lambert is a content marketing specialist and freelance copywriter. He is also a ghostwriter, speech writer and consultant.

Comments

  1. idream says:

    Nice,

    I love kissmetrics and have the infographic section bookmarked as a hub for reference when doing CRO.

    Do you think colours on CTA’s on lets say a product page can actually install emotions in a user on the next page (basket)?

    I know the colour of the CTA button can increase the CTR but can it help get the user in a mood as well? or is this element to minor to generate feelings?

    Cheers

    • I hate to say it, but the only way we can really know is to test. I don’t have hard data to back it up, but I’ve heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that indicates slight color changes can indeed affect emotions, perhaps spurring (or destroying) a purchase. But the trouble with blanket yes and no answers is that they can’t possibly work in every circumstance because everyone’s audience and product or service intersect in a different way. Test it and let us know what you find!

  2. Lakshmi Balu says:

    I think in case of attracting customers online, the headline of the blog or the meta description will influence deeply in the branding of the business. Higher CTRs are a probable effect of having a appropriate punch lines in the blog/website.

    • Without a doubt, the headline is vitally important. And altering it can have a huge impact. After all, it’s Copywriting 101: The headline gets your reader to read the first sentence. The first sentence gets them to read the second sentence… and on down.

  3. j hook says:

    great concise article; will be reviewing my adwords landing pages based on this. tks vm

  4. [...] 3 Tiny Tweaks to Shoot Your Conversion Rate Up (a Little), unbounce.com [...]

  5. Cooper M says:

    Headlines are always the I test with any landing page optimization. When testing, I like to make 2 variations using the concept of a ‘means to an end’ – 1 headline about the means, and another about the ‘end’. For example, if you’re a bakery, test a headline about your ingredients (the means) versus a headline about the taste (the end).

  6. Ocha says:

    The choice of wording though small makes a huge difference when you read it. I’m sure the results would be the same if on your blog.

    • Agreed. Especially if the choice of words drastically affects the tone of the piece. For instance, using contractions (I’m instead of “I am”) does wonders for putting the reader at ease. Anything we can do to make our writing more like conversation is an improvement, at least in most settings. Also, using “you” and “your” far more than “me” or “my” will always win.

  7. Andrew Stark says:

    Hi Justin

    What software are you using to track the conversions and do all of this split testing? Is it built into the unbounce software, or an add-on?

    Thanks for some great advice on things to test.

    Andrew

  8. [...] Crafting Better Headlines by Justin P. Lambert [...]

  9. [...] You should never be finished testing your landing pages and to that end, Unbounce offers 3 Tiny Tweaks to Shoot Your Conversion Rate Up (a Little) designed to make your established landing page squeeze an extra 2% out of your conversion [...]

  10. I’m a strong believer in optimization without over optimizing. Testing key changes could have huge impacts while testing EVERYTHING can cause low impact changes with revenue drops during the testing process.

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