As a marketer, you spend a lot of time thinking about how to bring traffic to your website through different channels. Equally as important, but something you may not spend as much time on, is ensuring your site is set up to help your traffic convert.
Once a visitor lands on your site, is it clear what you want them to do next?
Whether you’re collecting leads for your B2B product, selling products on your eCommerce site, or building a list for your editorial publication, each additional conversion action contributes to the value your website brings.
In this blog post, we’ll review five common conversion rate optimization mistakes we’ve seen and share solutions to help you avoid them. No matter what industry you’re in, this checklist can be used to help ensure that you aren’t costing your site valuable conversions.
Five Common Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Mistakes & Solutions to Avoid Them
1. Mistake: Using ‘Click Here’ as your only call-to-action.
Solution: Make your call-to-actions descriptive.
This mistake is an easy fix, but one that I still see far too often. There’s almost never a case where I would recommend using ‘click here’ over a descriptive call-to-action, specifically because it tells the user exactly what they’ll be getting when clicking a certain link or button.
For example ‘Click here to subscribe to our newsletter’ can be easily shortened to just ‘Subscribe to our newsletter.’ With the appropriate link or button styling, users will understand exactly where to click and what will happen when they do. This keeps your call-to-actions succinct and clear.
Additionally, if you are using phrases such as, ‘To see more, click here’, replace the click here text with exactly what they will be seeing. On its own, ‘click here’ doesn’t give users (or search bots) any indication about where they are going, which can delay them from taking the next step.
2. Mistake: Using too many call-to-actions.
Solution: Focus on the most important action you want your users to take.
Call-to-actions are necessary for conversion rates, but having too many call-to-actions can actually hurt your overall conversions. If you have multiple call-to-action buttons in your site’s hero, for example, you may be giving your users too many choices, which can cause them to take no action at all.
Rather than offering multiple call-to-actions, place the focus on the most important action that a user can take. For example, if your ultimate goal is to get a user to book a demo for your product, make this the primary call to action on your product page.
This is all about clearly featuring the call-to-action that is most relevant to your audience in that moment – one that they are prepared to take the next step for, and one that you know will lead them successfully through your conversion funnel.
3. Mistake: Applying ‘best’ practices that may not be ‘best’ for your audience.
Solution: Use data to get to know your audience.
There are a lot of marketing and website best practices that you can apply on your site, including the ones I am sharing here. These best practices are a great start for your site, but they should not take the place of getting to know your audience.
Getting to know your audience is essential to the continual improvement of your site’s CRO strategy. There are a lot of quantitative tools that can be used for this. I recommend starting with your Google Analytics data. Looking at demographics data in Google Analytics can tell you the age and gender breakdown of your site visitors. Engagement metrics, like bounce rate and time on site, can help you understand how users are interacting with your site.
There are also tools like Hotjar which generate click maps and scroll maps of how users are moving around your pages. Finally, running A/B tests in tools like Google Optimize will provide insights and data specific to your audience. Qualitative research, like surveys and user testing, can be very helpful in understanding your audience and ensuring you’re building an experience suited for their needs.
It’s important to keep taking the pulse of your audience and continue collecting and reviewing this data that can help keep your CRO strategy informed and fresh.
4. Mistake: Forgetting EAT (expertise, authority, trust).
Solution: Keep your trust signals top of mind.
Anytime you are asking for someone’s personal information, which is the case for most conversion actions, establishing expertise, authority, and trust is incredibly important.
If you’re asking for someone’s credit card information, you want to make sure that you’ve provided details on how the transaction will be encrypted and secured. If you’re asking for someone’s email address, they’ll want to understand who they are giving this information to and what you plan to do with it.
In addition to providing very specific details at the time of conversion, keeping trust signals top of mind across your site will help provide users with an understanding of your organization that can lead to trust and confidence when they’re taking the next step. These trust signals could include things like awards you’ve won, organizations you are affiliated with, partnerships, or testimonials. If you don’t have these items present on your site, adding them to your homepage or within your footer is a great place to start. You want to show off these great accomplishments and they can have an important impact on your site’s value!
5. Mistake: Leaving human behavior out of the equation.
Solution: Leverage behavioral tactics in your offers and copy.
Using behavioral insights to understand how certain messaging and tactics can influence decision making is very important as you are developing conversion offers and actions for your site. Behavioral tactics I’ve seen used effectively include messaging around urgency, scarcity, loss aversion, and social proof. Here are some examples of messaging that target each of these tactics. These can all be mixed, matched, and customized based on your offer.
- Scarcity: “Only X spots left”
- Urgency: “Sign-ups close in X days”
- Loss aversion: “Save $X if you sign up today”
- Social proof: “XX members have already reserved their spot”
Always keep your user’s best interests in mind when leveraging these behavioral insights. When used effectively, they can lead to impactful and improved conversion rates.
Check Your Top Landing Pages for These Common CRO Mistakes
Are you guilty of making any of these five mistakes on your site? As a next step, I recommend opening your site’s homepage or top landing page to identify how many of these mistakes may be present. If you do notice any, brainstorm how you can apply the solutions I outlined above effectively to your page. You’re spending the time and money to get traffic to your site, so be sure that it’s converting once it’s there!
Does your company need help with their conversion rates? If so, feel free to reach out today to learn how we can help!