At its most basic level, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is meant to increase lead generation and sales by maximizing each visit to your website. Getting to the point where your website is a well-oiled conversion machine requires calling upon the teachings of your high school science teacher who stressed the importance of the scientific method–this process is all about testing and analysis.

1. Website Testing

Website testing is the backbone of CRO; without it any decisions you make are not easily backed up by data. Testing the performance of your website falls into two main categories: A/B split testing and multivariate testing.

  • A/B testing is the process of creating two or more variations of the same landing page (a control and test pages) for the purpose of determining which element change was the most successful. Because it involves changing the location or wording of on-page elements, this is a simple way to judge success or failure against the control. After testing, the decision to implement your tested change(s) or not should be based on which version provided the highest conversions (e.g. clicks to your contact page). Testing is a never-ending process and regardless of whether you decide to change the page or keep it the same, your next round of testing should begin right away.
  • Multivariate testing is far more complicated than manipulating a few elements. Multivariate testing is based on manipulating images and graphics to test unique page designs. For this test method you will modify the entire appearance of a webpage and track which version is most successful. Consider using this method if you’re looking for a complete website redesign as opposed to optimizing a handful of landing pages.

2. Quick Contacts

Make things easy for your visitors and take advantage of impulse decisions. If you are successfully funneling people to a landing page, don’t make them leave that page to contact you. A quick contact form placed in the sidebar of your page is a great way to present visitors with an option to contact you and find more information about your product or service. Quick contact forms remove the steps of having to seek out your contact page, fill out the form, and hopefully remember the information on the previous landing page. Remove all variables and make contacting you as simple as possible.

3. Location of Calls to Action

Put all calls to action at the top of your page or within strategic places in your body copy. If you run a heat-mapping or scroll-tracking program during your tests it will be evident that less than 20 to 30 percent of your visitors will navigate to the bottom of your page. Placing important conversion calls to action (e.g. “buy now”, “contact us”) above the fold (on the portion of the page that is initially visible on a monitor) means 100 percent of your visitors will see it.

4. Appearance of Calls to Action

Don’t be afraid to make your calls to action stand out. These elements should be large and use a color scheme that does not blend in with your site. You want your calls to action to immediately catch the eye of each visitor.

5. Element Titles

When creating titles or wording for individual elements, be very aware of the wording you use. If you want somebody to contact you, don’t try to be witty or too specific because your word choice might turn people away. “Contact Us” might sound boring, but it effectively opens the door for anyone to contact you.

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