Conversion optimization can seem difficult at first, but once broken down it often becomes a process of addition and subtraction. Elements that increase conversions are made more prominent, while those that reduce conversions are eliminated.
While certain page elements – from testimonials to clear calls to action – can raise your landing page’s conversion rate, others can have a significant negative effect on its conversion rate and your return on investment.
In this blog post, we’ll list five frequently ignored on-site elements that can hugely reduce your website’s conversion rate. If you notice any on your landing page, run an A/B test with and without them to see if they’re affecting your conversions.
The longer and more complicated your signup form is, the fewer people will fill it out. In order to maximize your conversion rate, it’s best to keep your signup forms as short and simple as possible.
Look at the signup forms used by sites like Facebook and Instagram – they’re only just as long and detailed as they need to be. Think carefully about how much data you really need; a lot of it can be acquired after a new user has registered.
As a general rule, aim for a maximum of five fields in your signup form. Obviously checkouts and sales-focused signup forms can be more detailed. In every case, it’s best to avoid unnecessary fields that complicate your signup or registration form.
The goal of your landing page is simple: to encourage visitors to call your business, join your email list, sign up for your product or community or make a purchase. If your landing page is filled with links, achieving this goal becomes more difficult.
Why? Because as readers make their way down your landing page, they’ll be more likely to click away to read the content that you’re linking to. Because of this, it’s a good idea not to include blog-style inline links on your landing or checkout pages.
Remember that you’re creating a path for the user to follow. Links, videos and any other on-site elements that lead them off the path you’re creating all tend to have a negative effect on your total conversion rate.
‘Busy’ website design
Is your website clean and simple or cluttered and confusing? Many businesses – B2B companies, especially – use websites that haven’t been redesigned in years, built on outdated design principles.
From cluttered navigational bars to content that’s too dense to read easily, having a ‘busy’ design often reduces your conversion rate. The most effective landing pages tend to be clean, simple and designed to optimum readability and navigability.
A great rule to follow is the squint test: if your page elements aren’t clearly visible when you squint, your landing page is too cluttered. If you use Google Chrome, you can check your landing page’s design simplicity using the Squint Test extension.
If you sell a product or service and accept payments online, sending visitors off your website could be affecting your conversions. Most of the time, on-site checkouts (an order form hosted on your website) have the highest conversion rates.
Examples of off-site checkouts include the PayPal off-site interface, which redirects users to PayPal’s checkout before returning them to your website, and other third-party payment processors such as 2Checkout and Google Wallet.
Whenever possible, keep your checkout on your website in order to maximize your conversion rate and avoid lost sales. Many customers will drop out of the process if they’re sent off your website to a checkout platform that looks unfamiliar.
Generic calls to action
The best calls to action are targeted and specific, expressing everything the user is required to do in order to complete an action. Using a generic call to action – Click Here!, for example – could be hurting your conversions more than it’s helping.
Whenever possible, your call to action should directly relate to the content on your landing page or product page. Instead of “Click here to buy,” a better call to action on a product page would be something like “Check Out Now.”
Be descriptive, straightforward and action-focused. The more closely your calls to action mirror the action that the user will be taking, the more likely it is that they will increase your conversion rate.