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When it comes to building a conversion rate and search engine optimized website, speed is crucial.
If you don’t have a fast website, people will bounce faster than you can say “conversions.”
However, speeding up your website is no easy task.
Your problem could be anything from code that’s written poorly to images or large page elements.
You need to fix those issues fast, because Google will ding your website if you don’t.
The faster your site loads, the lower the bounce rate. If your site is fast, you have a better chance of ranking on Google over slow sites that drive high bounce rates.
Thankfully, Google offers the PageSpeed Insights tool to find out what you need to fix.
Unfortunately, they don’t give you the best instructions on getting your score to 100%.
Here’s how to score a perfect 100% on Google’s PageSpeed Insights and why you need to accomplish this feat.
Page speed is a critical factor in ranking your website higher on Google’s search engine results.
If your website isn’t on par with the top 10 organic pages, you won’t rank on the first page.
So focusing on page speed is paramount to having a successful company and a website that converts.
Backlinko recently conducted a study where they analyzed over eleven million search engine results pages (SERPs) on Google.
They wanted to figure out which factors were the most common among sites ranked in the top 10 results.
Surprisingly, they found page speed and ranking don’t seem to be correlated. However, the average load time of a site on the first page is 1.65 seconds, which is decently fast.
However, Google says page speed does matter. There was even an entire update about it.
That connection is backed up and supported by Google’s new PageSpeed industry benchmarks.
They found that as page load times go up, the chance of someone bouncing from your site increases dramatically:
That means that if your page takes 10 seconds to load, the likelihood of someone leaving your site before it even loads increases by more than 120 percent!
But according to a recent study of more than 5 million sites, the average website takes 10.3 seconds to load fully on desktop and 27.3 seconds to load on mobile.
This means almost all of us are missing the mark when it comes to having a fast-performing website.
In another study, BigCommerce found that conversion rates for e-commerce websites average somewhere in the one to two percent range.
Portent found page speed can increase conversion rates drastically.
Getting your speed to under two seconds can increase traffic and revenue.
So, what causes a page to load slowly?
The most common causes of slow pages are bulky images and poorly-designed coding.
If you look at any website in the modern era, it’s likely filled to the tipping point with images.
If you aren’t optimizing your images, you could have pages that take up multiple megabytes of space.
Page size and weight are often measured by page weight bytes. Simply put, page weight bytes show the total size of a web page measured in bytes.
Google’s benchmark data shows that the best practice for page size or weight is under 500KB:
But again, most of us are missing the mark here. We are vastly exceeding the recommended weight.
One of the concepts that stood out to me the most from the Google report comes from this short yet impactful quote:
“No matter what, faster is better and less is more.”
No matter how well your site is doing, there’s a good chance you have serious room for improvement.
Most sites run slowly due to large images that take up too much space.
But that’s not always the case for every website.
You need to know exactly what’s causing your slow site speeds before you can make the necessary changes to score 100% on the PageSpeed Insights tool.
To get started, open up the PageSpeed Insights tool and enter your website URL into the bar:
Click “Analyze” to have Google run a quick test on your site.
The finished report will tell you everything you need to know about your site and what might be hindering its performance.
Here’s what my report looks like:
It’s an 87/100.
It’s not great. It’s not terrible either, though.
There’s almost always have room for improvement. My goal here is to get you to 100% by the end of this article as we take this journey in page speed together.
First, let’s look at the items that I have optimized and perfected:
Now, notice how there are only a few items on this list compared to my “Possible Optimizations” list:
This information tells me that the items on “Possible Optimizations” are a little less impactful than those I have already optimized.
Obviously, you’ll need to take care of every element to hit 100% on the Page Speed Insights tool.
You’ll want to start with the top priority items (more on this later).
Next, we want to test our mobile site separately.
You can use the mobile site tester on the PageSpeed Insights tool, but Google released an updated, more accurate version of this.
Head over to Test My Site to try it. Input your website URL and hit enter:
Google will take a few minutes to run this report, but it will give you a detailed look at how your mobile site performs compared to industry standards.
It will even tell you how many visitors you could be losing because of a lower page speed.
Here’s what my data looks like:
My load time on mobile is four seconds.
Remember: The recommended load time is three seconds or less.
That means that my speed isn’t up to par with industry standards.
Due to that, I am losing up to 10 percent of my visitors simply from poor speed performance!
Here’s what my mobile test looks like when I compare it to the industry standards:
While still in the top-performing section, I am not where I should be if I want to maximize the effectiveness of my website or drive more traffic and conversions.
Scroll down even further and Google will give you an estimate on what your top fixes could do for your website:
Google says that with a few fixes I could reduce my load times by around three seconds.
That means that I could potentially get my website to load at the one-second mark!
That’s amazing. Trust me, to save 10 percent of your visitors or more, it’s something that you need to do.
Run your website through this mobile site test to get data on what fixes you need for your website.
In this next section, I’ll walk you through fixing the top page speed problems to help you score a 100% on the PageSpeed Insights tool.
Getting a perfect 100% on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is no easy task.
It’s not going to happen overnight, either. You’ll have to do some legwork and spend some hours at the grindstone.
But if you want to save traffic, drive more conversions, and bring in more revenue, you need to do it.
It may be tedious and tiresome, but you need those conversions. You can’t be lazy and risk leaving traffic and profit on the table.
Here are the top four ways you can speed up your site and score a perfect 100% with Google.
The biggest cause of slow pages and low scores is large images.
When I fixed this on my own site, I found a huge impact on speed.
One of the top optimization techniques for fixing image size is compression.
You can save an average of 50 percent or more on image size by using simple compression tools.
WP Smush has tons of awesome features for free.
You can smush images automatically by adding the plugin. It will scan your media library on WordPress and detect images that it can compress:
If you want to smush tons of new images for your site in bulk, you can upload them directly into the plugin.
You can smush up to 50 images at a single time, making it one of the fastest tools on the market:
If you head to the settings for this plugin, you can turn on the setting to automatically smush images on upload.
If you enable this setting, you’ll never have to worry about compression again. And if you compress all of the existing images on your site, then you don’t have to worry about it every time you upload.
WP Smush is an excellent, free tool for the everyday WordPress user.
But, if you don’t use WordPress, what do you do?
If you run a Shopify-based store and site, you can use Crush.pics:
Crush.pics says that you can expect a big jump in PageSpeed Insights scores using their tool:
PageSpeed score before compression: 75/100. PageSpeed score after compression: 87/100
Both are fast, free tools that allow you to compress up to 20 images in a single upload.
Check out this example image that I compressed to give you an idea of how impactful these programs can be:
I reduced the file size by 68 percent in just two seconds using Optimizilla. It reduced the size from 380KB to 120KB with almost no quality difference!
You can use all of these tools for free and you should definitely implement them if you can’t use a plugin.
Browser caching works by “remembering” the previously-loaded resources so that it doesn’t have to reload them upon every single visit.
When a website visitor travels to a new page on your site, all of your data, like logos and footers, won’t need to load again.
That will result in a big increase in speed when people land on your site.
How do you implement it? Thankfully, there’s a plugin for it. You don’t need to be a coding expert to do it.
Try using W3 Total Cache for WordPress sites. It’s got over one million active installs and is the most popular caching plugin on the market:
W3 Total Cache claims that it can give you at least a 10x improvement in overall site performance.
On top of that, they claim (and back up) that this plugin will help you achieve higher results on Google’s PageSpeed tools.
Try using W3 Total Cache today to give your website a fast, easy boost in speed even if you don’t have coding experience.
Minimizing the space your HTML coding takes up is another big factor in getting a perfect score from Google.
Minification is the process of removing or fixing unnecessary or duplicated data without impacting how a browser will process the HTML.
It involves fixing code, formatting, removing unused code, and shortening code when possible.
Once again, thanks to the awesome plugin options of WordPress, you don’t need to be a coding genius to fix this.
One of the best tools to do this is HTML Minify.
You can download this plugin for free directly from their site and install it to your WordPress account in seconds.
You can also install it directly from this plugin page.
Once you install the plugin, you only need to take a few steps before you see an instant impact on your site.
Head to the settings tab on your Minify HTML plugin and enable all of the following settings:
You can effectively kill multiple birds with one stone.
The great thing about this plugin is that it will tell you what the recommended action is under each setting.
Follow these actions if you are unfamiliar with how these settings work.
Minify your coding today and you should see an instant impact on your insights report.
AMP is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages.
It’s a project implemented by Google to help mobile pages load faster.
It works by making an open-source format that strips away tons of unnecessary content, making your mobile pages load nearly instantly.
It gives users a more streamlined experience on mobile without any clunky features that don’t work well on mobile devices.
If you browse the Internet on your mobile phone, you probably have clicked on an AMP-based article.
Here’s what they look like:
They are often relegated to the “Top Stories” section of Google search results and they load up instantly.
They don’t have much formatting, which helps them load quickly and deliver the content that the mobile user wants to see.
When a searcher on Google clicks one of these AMP articles, they see the content like this:
It’s a simplified version of the real website that allows a user to scroll between different stories without leaving the web page and clicking on the next.
This feature streamlines the user experience on mobile.
Gone are the days where you had to wait 10 seconds for a site to load, then click back to the search results page, and wait another 10 seconds for the next site to load.
Here you can access the content of multiple articles without clicking the back button once.
It’s extremely effective at speeding up your site and reducing the likelihood that someone will leave.
Tons of companies are taking advantage of AMP.
The company WIRED started implementing AMP to do a better job of reaching their customers.
They were finding that their mobile user experience was too slow. Conversions were simply not happening because of the speed issues and visitor retention problems.
Deciding to invest time into AMP made a huge impact for WIRED.
They increased their click-through rate from organic search results by 25 percent.
They found a 63 percent increase in CTRs on ads in AMP stories, too.
They also were able to add AMP stories to over 100k articles on their site.
Gizmodo also hopped on the AMP train and saw huge improvements on their mobile site.
They were getting over 100k AMP page visits every single day with load times that were 3x faster than standard mobile pages.
Conversions increased by 50 percent, too.
It’s safe to say that AMP can significantly increase conversions and mobile speed, giving you a massive opportunity to score higher on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
If you want to start using AMP on your own site, there are a few ways to do it.
If you’re familiar with HTML, you can follow AMP’s detailed tutorial here.
For those who are less technologically savvy or have no experience in HTML, try using a WordPress plugin.
One of the most popular plugins is AMP for WP.
It has over 80,000 active installs and has constant support and updates.
The plugin includes an AMP page builder that you can easily drag and drop page elements on:
It’s one of the easiest ways to create AMP-friendly content.
All you have to do is download and install the plugin on your WordPress dashboard and activate it.
From there, you can use the page builder on each new post that you upload.
These pages will then create an AMP-friendly version that will show up in mobile search results.
AMP is a proven way to speed up your mobile site and reduce your speed to under one second–and tons of companies are finding success with it.
Google uses page speed as a ranking factor because it affects user experience. It may affect your ability to rank higher in SERPs.
Studies have shown that sites that load faster have a lower bounce rate. This means the user is likely having a better experience.
On average, technology and travel sites load the slowest, where local and classified sites load the fastest.
The best practice for page speed load time is three seconds.
When you’ve spent countless days, weeks, and months building a new website, you want every image, element, and icon to be top-notch.
However, that often results in a site that is slower than Google recommends.
When it comes to driving conversions on your site, speed will always play a big role.
People don’t want to wait 10 seconds for your site to load when they can click back to Google and select the next result.
Scoring well on the PageSpeed Insights test should be one of your main priorities when trying to perfect and optimize your site.
To get started, you first need to diagnose what issues are plaguing your site.
Is it images, page elements, too much text, bad coding, or all of the above?
Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to see where the problem lies, then work through their suggestions. You’ll also want to minify code, compress images, add browser caching, and implement AMP.
These are proven steps that can have a big impact on your PageSpeed Insight score.
Scoring a perfect 100 percent on Google’s PageSpeed Insights can give your website the boost that it needs to succeed.
What are the best ways you have found to increase your site speed?
If you’ve spent any time learning about marketing analytics, you’ve probably come across the term “funnels.” What exactly are marketing funnels and why do they matter?
Marketing funnels are a useful tool to help you visualize the path customers take from first finding out about your brand to converting. Understanding them provides useful insight into why some customers convert — and some don’t.
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the steps a visitor takes from first finding out about your brand until they convert. The most common type of marketing funnel is four steps:
The action can vary based on customer and industry — maybe you want them to make a purchase, sign up, or fill out a form. When someone does something you want them to do, it’s known as a conversion. The visitor converts from browsing to taking the action you want them to take.
Think about the Amazon purchase funnel. There are several steps a visitor has to go through before they can purchase a product. Here’s how it looks:
There are additional steps/actions that can be taken in between each of these steps, but they don’t matter in the marketing funnel unless they contribute to the final action. For example, a visitor may view Amazon’s Careers page, but we don’t need to count these in the funnel because they aren’t necessary steps.
Why is the set of steps to conversion called a “funnel”? Because at the beginning of the process, there are a lot of people who take the first step.
As the people continue along and take the next steps, some of them drop out, and the size of the crowd thins or narrows. (Even further along in the process, your sales team gets involved to help close the deal.)
Losing customers might sound like a bad thing — but it’s not. The truth is, not everyone in your funnel will convert. The top of the funnel is where everyone goes in (visiting your site or viewing a marketing campaign). Only the most interested buyers will move further down your funnel.
So when you hear people say “widen the funnel,” you now know what they are referring to.
They want to cast a larger net by advertising to new audiences, increasing their brand awareness, or adding inbound marketing to drive more people to their site, thus widening their funnel. The more people there are in a funnel, the wider it is.
In this article, we’re focusing on marketing funnels, that is funnels that start with some sort of marketing campaign. That might be a PPC ad, content marketing campaign, white paper download, video ad, social media ad, or even an IRL ad. The point is the first step in the funnel is a marketing campaign of some sort.
Other types of funnels you might hear about include:
Despite the different names, these all track the same exact thing — the steps a prospective customer takes to conversion. (Sometimes they are even called conversion funnels!)
You aren’t limited to using a marketing funnel strictly for signing up and/or purchasing. You can put funnels all over your website to see how visitors move through a specific website flow.
You may want to track newsletter signup (Viewing newsletter signup form > Submitting form > Confirming email) or a simple page conversion (Viewing a signup page > Submitting signup).
Figure out what your goals are and what you want visitors to do on your site, and you can create a funnel for it.
Once you have the data, you’ll be able to see where roadblocks are and optimize your funnel. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.
Marketing funnels provide access to data, called a marketing funnel report, which lets you can see where you are losing customers. This is sometimes called a “leaky” funnel because it allows customers you want to keep to escape the funnel.
Let’s take your average SaaS business as an example. Here’s how a funnel may look for them:
Do people have to use the product before paying? They don’t, but it’s a good idea to track it so you can see if it’s a roadblock.
For example, if you are losing a lot of conversions after the trial stage, you might need to update your onboarding process so people understand how to use the tool or even adjust the top of your funnel so you aren’t attracting people outside of your target audience.
Let’s look at a funnel process for a retail store and see the corresponding steps in an e-commerce store. We’ll be tracking a purchase funnel.
The e-commerce store has the fortune of being able to see a funnel because they can track clicks, time on page, and other metrics. Their marketing would look something like this:
Okay, so now we have an understanding of what a funnel is and why it helps. Let’s take a look at a product that offers funnels – Google Analytics.
Google Analytics offers funnels, and I’ve written extensively about it in the past. This is an incredibly simple way to track the path prospects take before they convert. Sign in, then head to Admin > Goals > +New Goal > Choose a Goal to create a Google Analytics goal.
Here are a couple of things you’ll need to know when creating funnels in Google Analytics:
Overall, if you are just getting started with marketing funnels, Google Analytics is a solid place to start. Learn how to set up a conversion funnel in Google Analytics.
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the steps a visitor takes from first finding out about your brand until they convert.
Video marketing funnels
Lead magnet funnels
Home page funnels
Marketing funnels provide access to data, called a marketing funnel report, which lets you can see where you are losing customers.
Visited site > Signed up for a trial > Used product > Upgraded to paying customers
Sign in, then head to Admin > Goals > +New Goal > Choose a Goal to create a Google Analytics goal.
We’ve covered just about everything you need to know about marketing funnels. Here’s a quick recap:
Have you created a marketing funnel in Google Analytics? What did you learn?
The age of the smartphone opened up a whole new window for businesses to connect with their customers in an interactive way using apps.
Because apps allow customers to interact with businesses from anywhere at any time, apps quickly became popular.
Unfortunately, apps are not as exciting to consumers as they were in their early days. This has resulted in app retention rates declining rapidly and, for some brands, their revenue has declined with them.
That’s why progressive web apps are becoming increasingly popular.
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are regular web applications/pages designed to look and function like native mobile applications. PWAs use features of web browsers and advanced enhancement strategies to give users a native app-like experience on any device.
In short, a progressive web app fuses the look, feel, and ease of use of an app but with the easy coding of a website.
What’s the difference between native, hybrid, and progressive web apps?
Despite being limited in tapping into a device’s native capabilities, are there any advantages of using progressive web apps?
There certainly are. Here are some of the most prominent:
Another significant advantage of PWAs is users can save them on their home screens without the hassle of downloading. This allows the PWA to load faster the next time it’s used.
One reason users love apps is they generally offer better experiences than web applications. However, developing and maintaining native apps is a lot of work, not to mention the expenses involved.
If your users use different platforms (Android, iOS, etc.), you have to code your app for each platform.
PWAs, however, don’t require you to code for each platform. They were designed with the philosophy of “code once, use everywhere.” Once you code your PWA, it can be used in-browser (as a website or web app), on desktops, and on mobile devices.
This often results in better performance, improved retention rates, and, ultimately, an affordable application offering your users a positive user experience (UX).
One reason brands develop native apps is to cater to users who return to their websites to perform specific actions frequently. Apps make it easier for these functions to be performed without going to the brand’s website. They also have characteristics that make them fun to use.
You can use progressive apps in the same situations native apps are used—for applications you expect your visitors to visit frequently.
Other times you should consider using a progressive web app are when:
If you meet any of the criteria above, chances are you need a progressive app.
Now that you know what a progressive web app is, let’s look at some examples.
Uber, the ride-hailing company, saw an opportunity to expand their customer base by creating a progressive web app to make it easier and faster to request rides. The PWA works well regardless of location, network speed, or device.
For people who love keeping abreast of news and trends across the globe, Flipboard is a must-have. To increase their reach and enable users to have access to their favorite online magazine, Flipboard developed a PWA.
Reduced data usage enables users to enjoy a fast, sleek experience even in places with poor network coverage.
In a bid to drive more online orders, Starbucks invested in a progressive web app. Even when offline, customers can browse the menu and add items to their carts. Once back online, they can then place their orders.
Any industry can use progressive web apps. If you can serve your customers via a website or an app, you can also serve them using a PWA.
Thanks to the many advantages that PWAs offer, there are myriad reasons why you should use one. Let’s look at nine of the most common ones.
Because progressive web apps are easy and cheaper to develop than typical apps, you could have yours running in no time. If you’re starting from scratch, you’re probably better off starting with a progressive web app as it will get to market faster.
Since it has most of your website’s core functionalities, you’ll still be able to offer your customers good service and a positive user experience.
One of the main reasons for high bounce rates is a sluggish website or app. Users don’t want to wait long for a page to load.
That’s another great reason to use progressive web apps.
Progressive web apps help reduce bounce rates as they offer users a fast and seamless experience. Take, for example, Superbalist. By implementing a progressive web app, they reduced their bounce rate by a whopping 21 percent.
If you want to increase the time users spend on your pages, a progressive web app is one way you can do that.
Users will often abandon your page if it loads slowly. Because a progressive web app is lightweight and doesn’t put a lot of demand on a device’s resources, it loads pages fast.
Transitioning to another page is also seamless.
This can result in users spending more time on your pages. For example, Pinterest invested in a progressive web app for mobile experiences, which resulted in time spent on page increasing by 40 percent.
Because of the lack of heavy coding and service workers’ use, progressive web apps can load information faster than traditional websites. Since fast loading times can be the difference between a conversion and a drop-off, offering users a quick way to interact with your brand is essential.
Apart from speed, PWAs are generally more reliable than both traditional websites and apps. By design, there are fewer things that could go wrong. Because they’re network-independent and platform agnostic, they should work every time on any platform.
One of the main drivers of conversions in today’s highly competitive landscape is UX. Progressive web apps rank highly among platforms that offer the best UX.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the main pillars of digital marketing. Every marketer is always looking for strategies to make their brand more visible on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive organic traffic to their website.
This is one area in which progressive web apps outshine native apps.
Native apps, because they’re hosted on the users’ devices, aren’t discoverable online. However, because progressive apps are essentially websites, they’re seen by search engines.
But discoverability is not the only advantage PWAs have over native apps. Other advantages include that progressive web apps are:
If you want to boost your SEO while giving your users a native app-like experience, a progressive web app may be the solution.
Research shows that mobile devices drive 65 percent of all e-commerce traffic. If you’re in an industry that relies heavily on mobile traffic, you’ll undoubtedly want to leverage progressive web apps.
Because your users don’t have to download an app, you could enjoy better retention and engagement rates.
While progressive web apps work on any platform, they’re notably useful on mobile devices. Mobile devices have less ability to load large websites or heavy apps, which results in slow load speeds and poor UX.
Progressive web apps solve this problem by offering users the same experience without demanding their device’s resources.
App abandonment results in a huge waste of time and resources for the developers and businesses sponsoring those apps’ development.
Again, this is where progressive web apps can save the day.
A few reasons why progressive web apps help retain users more are:
Progressive web apps are an excellent way of keeping your customers engaged with your brand.
One of the most significant limitations of native apps is that Google or Apple must process all in-app financial transactions. No third parties are allowed. For some businesses, this arrangement can be limiting.
With progressive web apps, on the other hand, you’re not bound by such regulations. You can choose any payment processor of your choice, just as you would on your website. You’re also able to monetize your PWA in any way you wish.
Progressive web apps are the future of web browsing. More than that, they could be the future of customer experience in the e-commerce world.
That’s why you must invest in developing one for your businesses.
With many advantages ranging from ease of development to improved SEO to creating exceptional user experiences, investing in a progressive web app may be worth the time.
Have you developed a progressive web app for your business?
Conversion rate optimization isn’t an easy game to play, especially if you’re the new kid on the block. One of the best ways to improve CRO is by A/B testing features on your website.
The real challenge with CRO is in knowing how to start and what to test. This post covers the latter.
There is one thing to keep in mind: testing every random aspect of your website can be counter-productive. You can blow time and money on software, workers, and consultants, testing things that won’t increase your website revenue enough to justify the tests.
So before you dive in, make sure to think about what your goals are.
Then, take a look at the following tests and see which ones make sense for your specific business. If so, ahead and run it. If not, try another one.
Typography is proven to affect conversions in a major way, but casually testing each Google font won’t get you anywhere. There are a few aspects of typography you need to test first before getting specific with typefaces.
Serif typefaces are accented with various widths for each line in a character and contain flourishes (for example, Times New Roman). Sans serif typefaces are just the opposite, plain with a consistent width (like Arial).
I suggest using sans serif, but interestingly, Georgia (a serif typeface) is by far the most popular typeface on the web.
Try both varieties to see which works best for your website.
As per a WDD infographic, sans serifs are best for the web, and serifs for print.
For your blog, your long-form copy, and most of the text on your website, always go with black (dark) text on a white (light) background. It’s a traditional color scheme our eyes are accustomed to.
For your calls to action and other smaller, more impactful text elements, however, test each of the basic eight colors (or whatever colors fit with your design). Always remember this principle: what stands out gets clicked.
Tahoma tends to be the most legible at 10 px, Verdana and Courier at 12, and Arial at 14 px.
Whatever typeface you choose, make sure that you test the differences in user engagement and click-throughs according to the size of the font. These days, as mobile traffic increases, larger tends to work better — but not always.
Finally, we get to the most tedious typography test – typefaces. Take this one with a grain of salt. Don’t test each of the 700+ Google fonts available. Doing so would be very counter-productive. Only test a few of the major ones that harmonize with your design.
When testing these, you’ll also want to go with an A/B/C/D/etc. test. This will let you test multiple typefaces at a time.
Your call to action (CTA) is the most influential element on your landing page. Period.
As such, it requires a substantial amount of experimentation. Here are a few of the main call to action “ingredients” you need to test.
Too often, web designers put the call to action button in the middle of the landing page above the fold, and just leave it there, because it’s what you’re “supposed” to do.
But did you know that locating your CTA below the fold could increase your conversion rate by 304 percent? Don’t take anything for granted: test above the fold, below the fold, in the middle/left/right of the page, and relationship to text elements.
Color is a biggie in most CRO tests. Many have read this post on HubSpot about how a red CTA button beat a green one with a 21 percent increase in conversions. But a similar test in the Content Verve post (linked to in test #5 above) detailed how a green “add to cart” button got 35.81 percent more sales for an e-commerce store than a blue one.
A contrasting color that is distinct and stands out from the other elements on the page seems to work best. Experiment to see what works for your CTA. Don’t rely on other people’s tests to pick a color.
As the most crucial copy on your landing page, your call-to-action button text needs to be tested heavily. Try out various lengths, pronouns, power words, and action verbs.
Back when the 2007 U.S. election campaigns were in progress, Obama raised an extra $60 million just by changing his CTA button text from “Sign Up” to “Learn More.”
Yes, that’s a 60 million dollar test.
Don’t miss out on those potential returns.
This section encompasses more than just what price you set for your product/software. You also have to think about free trials and money back guarantees.
To allow prospects to try products (and yes, product demos are important), vendors usually offer at least one of three models: a very basic freemium product with limited features that can be used forever, a time-sensitive free trial that allows users to experience all the bells and whistles, and a time-sensitive money back guarantee.
Changing from a freemium software model to a 14-day free trial increased Acuity Scheduling’s paid signups by over 268 percent. Try each model to see which works best for your business.
If a time-sensitive free trial is what works for your website, then how long should that free trial be? 7 days? 14, 21, 30? Test it!
This post on Sixteen Ventures mentions how shortening a 30-day free trial to 14 days proved to be a profitable choice for a SaaS company.
Depending on your particular niche, the results may vary. As you can see below, for Crazy Egg, a 14-day free trial is the sweet spot.
Don’t forget to experiment with your pricing plans. Not only should you try out different prices for plans (should your price be $x9 or $x7?), but you also should play around with the features of each to make your higher-ticket plans convert better.
Oh, and don’t forget: decoy pricing models are the bomb. By offering a much higher price before a mid-tier option, users are likely to spend more without realizing why.
The art of persuasion through words on a page – copywriting – is another essential part of a landing page. Great copywriting is never great on the very first draft; it requires careful testing to ensure maximum impact.
From a philosophical point of view, short-form copy should work better than its longer rival. After all, humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish, right?
Unfortunately, that isn’t a set-in-stone rule. For example, testing on Crazy Egg found that long-form copy produced 7.6 percent more leads (and better-quality ones as well). On the other side of the spectrum, a Scandinavian gym chain got 11 percent more conversions with shorter copy.
The takeaway? TEST to discover what works for your business.
Video copy is both difficult and expensive to create; hence, the general preference for text-based copywriting. But could you be missing out on potential conversions by failing to test video copy? Maybe so.
Depending on the size and capital of your business, you’ll have to decide whether a video sales page is worth it (and don’t forget text and video combinations).
This video landing page helped Six Pack Ab Exercises improve conversions by 46.15%. What could a video do for your business?
As with typefaces, testing hundreds of different versions of your text-based copy, each with only a small change from its predecessor, can be a fruitless waste of time and money.
So, while you should continually edit and experiment with your copy, remember to look at the bigger picture. Don’t get hung up on every other word.
The following are various A/B tests that don’t fit in any of the above categories. They fall under sales funnels, website design/structure, and more.
Multiple-column landing pages definitely look a whole lot cooler than those with single columns.
But in CRO, coolness doesn’t count.
In fact, a SaaS company increased its conversion rate by 680.6 percent when it changed its two-column pricing page to a single-column page.
Your landing page background (a solid color, pattern, or image) has a very consequential subliminal effect on your readers. If you haven’t tested different background varieties yet, you’re leaving money on the table.
Spreadshirt tested their homepage images and increased clicks by 606 percent and sales by 11 percent.
Your navigational menu’s presentation affects how and if you can get visitors to your money pages (your pricing page, contact form, etc.).
Test the number of links, the color of the menu, its position, etc.
Trying to get visitors to click links from your blog post to your money page? Test the link color.
The presentation of your internal links isn’t something that most people associate with CRO right off the bat. But when you think about it, internal link color really can have a huge impact on the number of visitors that get into your sales funnel.
Take Beamax, for example, which increased link CTR by 53.13 percent by changing their link color to red from the standard blue.
If your objective is to get contact/quote requests from your website, then the format of your contact form is critical to your conversion rate.
Test the number of fields (bare minimum is usually best) and the types of fields (checkbox vs. drop-down) to elicit more form submissions.
We changed the number of contact form fields from 4 to 3 for a 26% boost in conversions.
Case study after case study has proven that single-step checkouts will almost always convert significantly better than multi-page checkouts. If you’ve never considered a single-step checkout before, it’s time to test one.
Sometimes it’s not the most obvious A/B tests that drive the most growth. Instead, it can be the unconventional tests, the ones you would have never thought would make an impact, that prove to be the most valuable. Other times, doing less can actually drive more conversions than constantly testing.
The A/B tests above should serve as a starting point. Once you see what changes impact conversions, you’ll have a better understanding of what drives your audience.
Have you had success with A/B testing your website? What change made the most difference?