Conversion Rate Optimization: A Checklist

“…knowing is half the battle.” – G.I. Joe.  If you have an opportunity to build a new page from scratch, great!  If not, dig deep into your analytics data to learn what your visitors are doing.  Bounce rate, exit pages, time on site and conversion by page should be a prime focus.

    1. Examine your analytics data – if you’ve got conversion forms on multiple pages, find the page that converts most frequently and focus on it!
    2. When possible, use simple images rather than text to convey ideas.  Images are processed faster and aren’t as daunting.
    3. Research your keywords using ubersuggest and the keyword tool – use the results to help tailor your message and content.
    4. Confirm your page load speeds using analytics or independent tools.  SEM LPs should load in under 3 seconds, or you risk losing significant traffic.


Your Conversion Form

Your form is one of the most important aspects of any conversion process.  If you see obvious mistakes with your form – fix them.  After you complete basic changes, test each subsequent iteration of your form to determine if the change you made was positive.  Remember to only test one change at a time for the best results.

    1. Ideally your conversion form should contain no more than (3) fields.  Conversion rate spikes between 3-4 fields, and drops drastically after 5.
    2. Conversion form fields should request non-intrusive information such as first name and e-mail.  Asking for phone number, zip code or last name should be avoided if possible.
    3. Pre-populate non-sensitive fields: pre-populating e-mail saves time and is convenient.  Doing the same for last name is a bit creepy, so avoid it.
    4. The conversion button should be prominent and call attention to the eye: use contrasting colors to draw focus!


On Page Design

A perfect form will absolutely help your conversion rate, but keep in mind that the on-page content and layout is going to be the deciding factor in most cases. Follow the below rules and you’ll have the basics taken care of, then get to testing!

    1. Keep visual distractions to an absolute minimum, and only when required.  This includes: auto-play videos, pop in-under assistants, site surveys and moving images.
    2. The call to action for the page must be blindingly obvious: a user should be able to tell who you are, what you offer and how to get it in a glance.
    3. Keep on-page content at a basic reading level: when users don’t understand a word or piece of jargon they feel dumb – keep it at an 8th grade level.
    4. Conversion and trust are correlated strongly.  What we hear and read are only part of the puzzle – nonverbal cues are huge.  For image or video, the body language of subjects should be open and inviting.


What to Test

Alright, you’ve completed the above checklist and you still want to improve conversion, but where to start?  If you’ve got a torrential amount of traffic (and free time), you can easily test small changes and change them frequently.  If you’re hard pressed for visitors, try making a bigger change and seeing what the results look like.  Remember to make sure your results are significant!

    1. Your CTA: “Get a Quote” can become “Request a Quote”, “Get my Price!”, “Display Cost” and so on.  Test language to see what works.
    2. USPs or Unique Selling Points define what makes your product “different.”  Try focusing on different aspects and see what clicks with your audience.
    3. Content: Try replacing text with images when possible, or varying the size and content of images that already exist.
    4. Navigation: vary how many links a user has to click.  Test out pages with limited, or no navigation when appropriate.


Will Goldfarb About the author
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