The dream of every marketer is to turn minimal investment into maximum return.
At the end of the day, we’ll take results however we can find them (profit is profit), but the Holy Grail of marketing is to find a slate of techniques that turn minor efforts into massive wins.
Small changes that massively increase conversion rates are precisely what we’ll be looking at today. You may not be able to exactly replicate all of these on your website, but they should at least give you some ideas of where to focus your CRO efforts.
Many of these strategies are pulled from case studies featured in KISSmetric’s list of 100 CRO case studies.
You can also find more landing page secrets on our cheat sheet…
Let’s get started.
1) Use The Right Images
As a marketer with hands in the web and graphic design world, I’ll be the first to admit that images are an entirely different animal when compared to everything else in marketing.
Correctly utilizing images can be extremely challenging if you don’t have a natural talent for it.
If you aren’t particularly image savvy, your best strategy is to partner with or hire out someone who is. High quality graphics can substantially boost your online value over the long-haul.
If this isn’t an option, the next best strategy is to follow these rules when selecting your images:
1) Real faces are good.
2) Topically relevant images are good.
Human, non-stock-ish faces perform very well on landing pages. Here’s an example:
Highrise increased conversion by 102.5% by redesigning their landing page to feature a real, human face. This is just one of many examples, but if you spend long enough reviewing case studies, you’ll find that the edition of real faces increases conversions 9 times out of 10.
In addition to using human faces, replacing vague, generic images with relevant ones can also drastically increase your conversions.
Let’s play “spot the difference”.
As you can see, the ONLY thing that was changed was the image, and according to HawkHost, the second iteration resulted in 2-3x more conversions.
Three times more sales is pretty great for 30 seconds of work.
The key here is that the globe image had nothing to do with the value proposition, while the padlock visually illustrated the promise of “safe, secure” hosting.
Take a second and review the images on your landing pages. Are they intentional? Or did you just throw them up there because their was a spot for picture in your template?
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” so make sure every image on your site is serving a purpose.
Step 1: Review site images
Step 2: Replace site images with better ones.
2) Add A Review Or Testimonial
You’ve probably noticed that most landing pages these days have reviews or testimonials displayed somewhere on the page.
There’s a reason for this.
Testimonials build trust. In some ways, this makes zero sense to me, since anyone can post a fake testimonial, but at the end of the day, few of us ever really believe someone is faking when we read their landing page.
And regardless of how I feel, the results speak for themselves.
WikiJob increased conversions by 34% simply by moving unattributed testimonial quotes from the bottom of the page to mid-page. That’s it! They didn’t even optimize the quotes or get customer images, which would have probably performed even better.
They simply moved the quotes to a more a prominent position and walked away with 34% more conversions.
In another example, Figleaves fashion retailer increased conversions by 35% simply by allows users to leave product reviews.
In another case study, KlientBoost convinced you to contact them after displaying this testimonial from Unbounce Co-Founder Oli Gardner.
How To Display High-Value Testimonials
Not all testimonials are created equal. While most any positive testimonial is better than nothing, some testimonials can add significantly more value to your landing pages.
When determining the types of testimonials you display, look to hit on one of the following attributes:
1) Testimonials from experts or recognizable brands.
2) Testimonials from successful companies or individuals within your target industry.
3) Testimonials from Average Joes that mention specific pain points your product or service overcame.
The best testimonials you can get are the ones from names EVERYONE recognizes. If you can work with a well-known brand or individual, displaying their name on your site gives you instant credibility.
The next best option is to display a name that is well known in your primary industry. If your business only targets a single industry, this strategy can be even more effective than a more generally known brand.
Now, you might be thinking, “Well that sounds great, but if I was working with famous companies, I wouldn’t need to be fixing my landing pages in the first place.” The reality is that not everyone has recognizable clients to parade around.
If this is you, Option #3 is still fully available, and believe it or not, it can be just as effective. They key is to get your clients to mention EXACTLY what prospective clients are worried about.
For many clients, the scariest thought when searching for web services is that they will pay an agency who doesn’t deliver on their promises. They are scared that you will:
- Disappear after taking their money
- Take forever to communicate with them or finish the project
- Deliver work that doesn’t add value to their business
- Sell them on expensive stuff that doesn’t actually help them reach their goals
Testimonials are one of the best ways to assuage these very reasonable concerns.
While working with big brands helps communicate that you know what you’re doing, an Average Joe testimonial that hits on these pain points can demonstrate your legitimacy as a service-provider.
I use this strategy on my own website, with great results.
Adding a face to the name of those who give you a testimonial is great because it builds trust. Research has shown this strategy can increase empathy toward a person you have never met.
Now it’s your turn!
Step 1: Add high-value testimonials to your landing pages.
Step 2: Make sure testimonials are attributed to real people and include pictures of those people (or don’t, but it will be even better if you do).
3) Eliminate Unnecessary Form Fields
Have you ever tried to signup for an offer and got annoyed by the unnecessary information requested?
I have. To be honest, I don’t even like including my name when I give out my email for free offers. Does it really matter? No, it really doesn’t. But I have cancelled my signup on multiple occasions, simply because the request for my name made me stop and reconsider, which led me to thinking about how this download would probably be generic and pointless just like the last 4.
It could have been the greatest thing I’d ever read in my entire life. Their email marketing could have been amazing and turned me into a lifetime customer. This is a legitimate possibility, and yet they never had a 2nd chance with me, because I didn’t want to give them my name, a piece of information that would have ultimately done them no good.
While this story is extremely anecdotal, I want to illustrate the idea that asking for more information does not come without a cost.
On a less anecdotal, more scientific note, HubSpot analyzed over 40,000 landing pages and found that yes, decreasing form fields increases conversions. In fact, eliminating just one field, from 4 fields to 3, increased conversions by an average of 50%.
Every additional piece of info you ask for will increase friction and lower your conversion rate, so make ABSOLUTELY sure that every piece of info you collect is beneficial.
In Expedia’s case, the massive travel agency was able to increase profit $12 million simply by eliminating ONE form field.
In another example, when Blivakker.no, a leading online beauty shop, removed 3 fields from its extensive registration form, conversion increased by 10.84%.
This demonstrates that even within a lengthy signup process, marginal form field omissions can significantly increase results.
If you aren’t directly benefiting from a form field, eliminate it! Take out digital buzzsaw and hack away.
Step 1: Identify the purpose and performance of every form field in your registration process.
Step 2: Brutally murder those that are found lacking.
4) Remove Weak Social “Proof”
These days, many businesses seem to be forgetting that “social proof” is a two-word phrase.
We are seeing a lot of “social” with very little “proof”.
Social proof is all about demonstrating social traction. You are attempting to convince new visitors that everybody else loves you, which psychologically influences them to like you as well.
What many businesses fail to realize is that this can work both for you AND against you.
Let’s say visit a blog post and see a share total to the side. If you see “4k Shares”, you think, “Wow, a lot of people like this article. It must be decent.”
But if you see “9 Shares”, you think, “Wow, no one reads this blog.”
If you have weak social proof, the best thing you can do is eliminate the metrics being displayed. If there is not share total being shown, your weak traffic can’t be used against you. The article stands on its own merit.
When Calpont was looking to increase site engagement, they evaluated the following page:
As you can see, this page had been shared twice on Twitter, which is another way of saying it hadn’t been shared at all.
The company decided to eliminate the displayed share counts and experienced a massive increase in sales inquiries.
In a similar test by Kuno, the company found that displaying social share counts increased conversions, but only AFTER a minimum number of shares were reached.
When launching something new, keep this principle in mind. Wait until you have gathered enough proof before displaying it on your webpages.
If your posts generate tons of views but don’t tend to result in shares, you might even be better served by eliminating share bars altogether.
Test this concept out on your specific site and see what happens.
Step 1: Evaluate share counts – Do your totals prove you to be popular or unpopular?
Step 2: Remove share count displays if appropriate, OR wait until you get more shares.
Well there you have it. Those are the 4 tiny landing page hacks that scored big wins on their respective landing pages.
The obvious point here is that minor details can have a big impact, so you should really be intentional with what you are doing on your landing pages, rather than simply throwing up a template and filling in the blanks.
And then test stuff out. If you think you can increase your conversion rate, create a variant and split test it. Then do it again. And again.
P.S. Did you like what you read here? Gained some insight? Tweet and post this to your peeps to share the wealth.