A couple of days ago, we had an amazing SEO meetup with our fellow SEO experts at the Amadeus Consulting office in Boulder, Colorado. We have these monthly meetups, and I look forward to the huge learning potential they always present for me.
This month’s meetup was actually more of a joint session with Todd Barrs of the Visitor’s Centric meetup, and we enjoyed a few hours of website reviews and informal user testing. Barrs is an expert on the many intricacies of user conversion optimization, and I wanted to share the top five tips we discussed with him and others during our sessions. Many of these we are aware of and you may be as well, but a refresher is always helpful.
Tip #1: Glance at your site for five seconds, and look away. What do you remember?
Companies can only count on five to ten seconds to make a good impression with a new user. So you better have a well-designed site that grabs a user’s attention and makes them want to know more about you in those precious few moments. It is a good thing if a user remembers your company name, and maybe has a quick idea of what you do. It is also excellent if in those five seconds they already see a call to action. Let’s say you are driving traffic to your home page (which would be especially true in the case of organic traffic, but not necessarily of paid traffic). Does your home page strike you as something interesting enough to dive deeper in a short amount of time? Are you asking users to do anything? Sign up for something, learn more, contact us, etc.? It should be immediately apparent if so. Arrows pointing the eye toward an action are especially helpful.
Tip #2: The promise in your PPC ads should continue in the content of the landing page.
If a visitor came to your site because they were interested in learning more about the coolest purple shoes in the world you mentioned in your Google ad, and the page they land on doesn’t talk about those shoes until the third paragraph down, below the fold, then you will fail to connect with this user. They want to see a continuation of the ad feel a streamlined experience. This will lead to more conversions.
Also – if your services are very complex it is OK to have content that teaches the visitor something, but it shouldn’t necessarily be the first paragraph the visitor reads. You should be able to immediately connect with a value proposition, then educate if more education is needed. A good mantra I like to use when writing web content is “Why should I care?” If I don’t care about what I am writing, why should anyone else?
Tip #3: Don’t ask people to give away information before they have a reason to trust you.
Having some sort of form on your site is pretty important if this is the type of conversion you are looking for. Whether it is a contact form or a newsletter or white paper sign up, it is an important element most of your pages should probably have. However, if you are asking users to give away personal info before you really communicate the value of your brand and why they should trust you, you might find your traffic coverts at a very low rate. Your value should be clear and relevant to the visitor. Only then should you ask them to sign up for more information. This also helps you be more efficient because you can be more assured the contacts you do receive are better qualified as they hopefully understand more about what you do and how it can benefit them.
Another way to increase trust is by sprinkling testimonials from actual clients throughout the site, and not just on a testimonial page where they all live. Especially if the testimonial pertains to a particular product or service on the page, it really builds trust that your company adds value.
Tip #4: If you are going to have pictures on your site of actual products, use a professional.
If you own a restaurant, having photos of your popular menu items on your site is actually a great idea. But not if the photos look gross. Put up photos of mouth-watering food, and you will see more people actually coming in to your restaurant. Similarly, if you are a real-estate company and have photos of the houses you are listing, they should look nice enough to entice potential house buyers to call you.
Tip #5: Use more white space.
Just because your template allows for a widget in every available space doesn’t mean you should actually fill every space. White space is so important and often underused as a way of getting the user to take an action. By filling every page with a bunch of stuff, the visitor often feels confused about where to go next, and what action to take. Make it clear and simple.
Need some help with user conversion and optimization of your website? Contact us for help!