3 Marketing Experts Tell How Simple Strategies = Big Conversion Boosts

More and more is expected out of the modern day marketer.

Running marketing campaigns and monitoring landing page conversion rates just isn’t enough anymore. You’re expected to be testing and tweaking and constantly pivoting to make each of your marketing campaigns as successful as they can be.

The thing is, conversion rate optimization is a behemoth of a topic to learn about.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when looking at the height and depth of CRO, A/B testing and all the things you can do to score more conversions. But the only way to overcome the biggest of issues is to break it into smaller bits.


I recently had the pleasure of attending the Chicago stop of Unbounce’s Conversion Road Trip, where conversion rate optimization was the big, complex marketing topic of the day that would get broken down into more digestible bits.

It was a no-nonsense event that lived up to the promise on the landing page that there’d be “no talking heads” – only “real experts who want to help you be better marketers.”

no talking heads
Uh, no, David. They said, “NO talking heads.”

The speakers broke down a variety of complex topics in a way that made everything seem, well, really easy and digestible, sharing simple tactics to help attendees improve their marketing campaigns.

I’ve compiled a few small takeaways that could lead to big boosts for your business, because, you know, it’s the little things. As attendee Sarah Gharacheh told me before the event, “even a tiny percentage increase in conversion equals a big business impact.”

Focus on… well, focus

You’re a marketer, so your job probably boils down to “get people to do a thing” at some point. You want people to open, or click, fill out a form, whatever. Whatever the goal, you need to communicate it in some way that encourages people to do that at a high rate.

Turns out we’re generally pretty bad at this. For example, what’s the goal on the page below?

Soooooo… what’s the intended action on this page? Source: The 12-Step Landing Page Rehab Program.

Okay, we’re not all as bad as that above example, but from Oli Gardner’s experience, we all struggle with trying to cram too many initiatives into one space.

And as Oli explained in his presentation, this is especially true when it comes to landing pages.

Before you set out to publish your next page, Oli encouraged the audience, stop and think about the attention ratio of that page: the ratio of links on a landing page to the number of campaign conversion goals (which should always be one).

Start by figuring out what you want people to do. If anything on the page could distract them from a path of doing what you want them to do, then get it the hell off of there.


Here’s an example from Oli’s presentation of a page that did this right:


This page has a straight-forward, focused goal and a very prominent opt-in form. Not to mention the bright orange call to action button that pops.

Fun side note: This advice was followed in the structure of the conference itself. Unbounce promised speaker decks post-event (here), and partner Moz had people taking notes of every section (here), taking away the possible distractions of having to scribble notes or take pictures of the slides to remember them.

While there was still plenty of note taking, Instagramming and tweeting happening in the audience, for the most part eyes and ears were focused on the presenters and absorbing the information they were giving us. Pretty damn smart if you ask me, which of course you did.

Put your best info in the best place

You may have heard the phrase “don’t bury the lede” before. In journalism, it refers to the failure to mention the most important, interesting or attention-grabbing elements of a story in the first paragraph of a story.

Yet, as Andy Crestodina or Orbit Media demonstrated (using a variety of cheese-related websites), we do this on a regular basis on our sites and landing pages – if not by having a poor information hierarchy on our pages, by hiding great information on pages that aren’t so great.

For example, Andy shared this page, which has so much information and so many paths that it’s hard for the user to figure out where to start or what to do:

I was trying to work on a “I don’t know where to go/gouda” joke here, but I thought I would end up being too cheesy.

Takeaway for your campaign landing pages?

Put information in a logical order (that tells a logical story). Heat maps can help tell you where people are lookin’ – stuff all the important stuff (like your UVP and your CTA) right there.

Bonus tip: There’s another way you can use data to put your best info in the best place.

A simple, yet somewhat earth-shattering revelation for me was to put testimonials on high traffic pages, rather than solely on a page dedicated to “testimonials” or “case studies.” Look into your data and figure out where people actually spend their time on your site, and find a way to use relevant testimonials on them.

Pretty sweet, right?


People aren’t gonna try that hard

Michael Aagaard, founder of Content Verve and CRO at Unbounce, provided a great presentation founded on the idea of “WYSIATI” (what you see is all there is). The jist of it? It’s not within normal human psychology to dig deeper – especially on the web.

If your landing page isn’t offering up all the information that prospects need to convert, they’re not going to go digging for it.

“But I always read the fine print!” you say? Then you’re a nerd. For the rest of us, we tend to rely simply on what’s presented to us first.

Which means what you present first needs to be really, really, ridiculously good looking.


Humans naturally move to the easiest route or path of least resistance, so it’s important to “create a conversion experience that facilitates cognitive ease” as the awesomely tattooed Aagaard put it in his awesome accent.


This can be best achieved by analysis. Read up on conversion optimization principles, look at your own data and figure out how to create the simplest experience for the visitor that also gives you a great value.

Just scratching the surface

This post didn’t nearly cover the wealth of knowledge and practical takeaways given by the road trip speakers, but hopefully what you saw here inspired you to dig deeper.

If that’s the case, check out these awesome posts from attendees who took the time to share their learnings as well!

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About Andrew J. Coate
Andrew J. Coate is a digital marketer, community builder and sorta nice guy. While he writes a lot about marketing and has worked as the voice of indie bands and corporate brands alike, his true passion is photoshopping his friends' faces onto things while listening to Miles Davis on repeat. Tweet to him at @andrewjcoate
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