What is conversion optimization?
Conversion optimization is essentially the art of optimizing the structure and content of a web page to make it as simple and attractive as possible for visitors to your website perform a desired action – ranging from calling your company for a quote to purchasing an item from your eCommerce store.
Achieving this goal requires taking various elements of page structure, content, and design into account and strategically using these to increase the number of conversions generated by a website.
Conversion optimization basics
- Think clearly through content before creating a page. Use Google’s Adwords tool to research the most searched keywords for the item or service you’re selling. Use these keywords to optimize your page for search engines. Also ensure that the content on your page meets the expectations created by the page title and description displayed in PPC campaigns and search results.
- Make it work above the fold. The area of the page that is immediately visible to a visitor to your site is essential to retaining and converting traffic. Use this area to assure visitors that they have found what they are looking for, use quality, persuasive copy to tell them what you have to offer for them, and have at least one prominent route to conversion in this area – be it a contact number or an ad banner. As a rule of thumb the most important conversion elements should be placed in the top of the page as well as the top-left or right area of the page.
- Avoid clutter. Bright flashy banner ads that are not relevant to your content or services are distracting and annoying, and tend to be subconsciously screened out by the majority of web users. Ensure that any advertising on your page is content or product-relevant, and don’t go wild with fancy page elements and widgets. The less your visitors have to sort through to find what they want, the less likely they are to leave your site without converting.
- Keep converting easy. Site visitors shouldn’t have to dig around your site to discover how to convert. If you want them to contact you put your contact number in a clearly visible position above the fold. If you’re looking for bookings put a booking form on the page. If you’d like your visitors to click through to an affiliate, pepper your content liberally with affiliate links and showcase affiliate banner ads where suitable.
- Calls to action and benefit statements. You can be virtually certain that you’re not the only website that sells the services or products that your visitors are looking for. You need to reassure them that you’re their best option – therefore make sure your page contains benefit statements that tell visitors why they should use your product or services. Then round off your content with a call to action – a short phrase that functions as a nudge towards converting as soon as possible.
Conversion Optimization Case Study
Here’s an example of a conversion optimized page created by Gnu World for a 2011 Six Nations Championship microsite created for our client, Gambling Guru. This website is designed to facilitate online betting for sports fans who follow the Six Nations tournament – the goal of the site is therefore to direct site users to trusted British bookmakers. The image below is a screenshot taken of the home page of the Six Nations site, displaying content above the fold.
Note the following:
- The top banner ad is content specific, showcasing the odds for a forthcoming Six Nations match.
- The center of the page features a bright, attractive image that links off to a tournament preview where visitors will find a pre-tournament analysis, along with betting tips and the latest odds.
- The page features both a fixture list and the points table for the tournament – relevant, topical information that provides the site with authority.
- The right hand side of the page features a Paddy Power ad with a prominent call to action and powerful benefit statements – directing users to a bookmaker that will offer maximum benefits for their rugby bets.
- The site is uncluttered, with all content and links featured above the fold directing visitors to relevant, useful, topical pages – which are, in turn, conversion optimized.
- There are two prominent conversion opportunities above the fold.
- In addition the page has been optimized for the keyword “2011 Six Nations Betting”, with this keyword included in the page title, header text on the featured image, and in copy located below the fold. At the time of posting, the Gambling Guru Six Nations site ranked #2 on Google.co.uk for searches of “2011 Six Nations Betting”