If someone visits your website or landing page, it stands to reason that they were either tricked into going there (bad!) or had some level of interest in what it is you do (fantastic!).
Ive been helping early stage startups optimize their landing pages for conversion and have learned some easy-to-implement strategies that should help you tremendously. While this advice will have an impact, remember that the best conversion rates will only happen once you have also achieved product-market-fit.
Without further ado, here are 4 simple yet powerful ways to optimize for conversion:
1. Carefully identify your goal (define what a conversion is to you)
A conversion is when a visitor performs a desired action (not necessarily a sale). But what is your goal (desired action)? Upon visiting your site, what do you want someone to do?
Sign up for your beta waitlist?
Buy your product?
Download your app?
Create an account?
Remember: Many of these goals require money and/or time on the part of your sites visitors. Carefully consider if you should push for the main goal (a product sale, an account creation, etc) or something that is less of a commitment but gets the visitor further down the marketing funnel (joining your mailing list, getting a free download, etc).
Regardless of the specific goal, it should always enable you to give your visitor more ways to experience and interact with your company in the future.
2. Make it easy for visitors to convert
On my blog, Im all about the mailing list. If you want to optimize your page for conversion its crucial to have your email collector present at all times. I consciously set up my website using a layout that featured a side-panel that remained static while you scrolled around the page.
Now, regardless of where someone has scrolled to, the email collector is always present:
Another critical tool is the popup. Personally, I hated the idea of putting a popup on my site, but Im confident enough to admit when Im wrong. It turns out that 13.82% of my mailing list has signed up through my popup (I use the free plugin by SumoMe). Sometimes visitors just need that friendly nudge!
3. Social proof is NOT optional.
Recently Ive been helping FlashCater, a startup that organizes meal plans for fraternities and sororities, optimize their homepage. They are somewhat of a rarity amongst early-stage startups; even though they just started in the fall semester of 2013 at UVA, they already have many delighted customers and are on track to serve over 14,000 meals this year!
If you visited their homepage 6 days ago you would have known NONE of that:
I suggested a number of changes to FlashCater. Heres their updated homepage:
The biggest change to the FlashCater homepage is the addition of social proof by way of a testimonial carousel (using this code I found online as a starting point). FlashCater is a startup that has paying customers who love the service. They were doing themselves an injustice by not sharing the praise they received.
Let your happy customers convert site visitors for you!
The founders of FlashCater are smart – they send out weekly surveys to every fraternity member to collect feedback on the meals they served. This gives them exceptional insights into the experience of their customers as well as a treasure trove of positive quotes to pick from. Constantly seek feedback from whomever is using your product or service. Use the negative feedback to improve upon what you do and save the positive feedback to use as social proof!
4. Have your submit button state a more explicit action.
My rule with submit buttons? Never have them say “submit” or “sign up” unless someone is forcing you to!
“Submit” seems like a commitment. It also just doesn’t sound very fun! Make the button say something that is less formal (“Let’s do this!”) or, what I like the most, have it restate the value of clicking the button (Give me the free download!). Changing the button text can result in a massive improvement in your conversion rate.
Quick design tip: Make the button color very different compared to the other colors on the page. You want this to be where a visitors eyes go automatically!
Remember: the only way youll know what works is by monitoring your analytics.
Please tweet me at @julianweisser or email me (email@example.com) and show me before/after screenshots of your landing page along with data. Id love to include your experiences in future writings! Want to work with me? Read more about my philosophy and the kind of companies I enjoy working with.