30 Quick Conversion Tips Every Marketer Needs to Know

ab testing for marketers

You have thousands of visitors coming to your site, but no conversions. So what do you do?

Should you change your marketing campaigns?… Maybe redo your targeting? Or even worse, pause your SEO and content marketing efforts?

Probably not. Before you modify your marketing campaigns, you should spend some time optimizing your site for conversions.

Before you go off and start running A/B tests, take a look at the 30 quick tips to help you with your conversion rates:

30 quick conversion tips

  1. Never start an A/B test without running an A/A test – don’t assume your A/B testing software is accurate. Run an A/A test to ensure the accuracy of the software solution you are using.
  2. Don’t take words for granted – one word can drastically decrease or increase your conversions. Words like “free” or “trial” can increase or decrease your conversion rate.
  3. Data, not opinions, should influence tests – never run tests based on what you want. Run tests based off what your visitors say they like or dislike. Opinions typically lead to failing tests, which means you will lose money.
  4. Patience is a virtue – even if your testing software shows statistical significance, don’t stop a test unless you have at least 100 conversions on the winning variation. When tests are under 100 conversions, the results can drastically change.
  5. Color has meaning – don’t take color for granted as different colors mean different things. Just look how one simple color affected click-through rates by 21%.
  6. Some people don’t read – text works great for some sites, while video may work better for others. You’ll have to figure out which one your audience prefers. Before you go off and create a video, however, you’ll have to create a script first.
  7. Some people love reading – short copy doesn’t always convert better. Lengthy sales pages can potentially boost your conversion rate.
  8. Don’t take your reputation for granted – some people are worried about entering their credit card online, especially with unfamiliar or brand new sites. Consider testing trust elements such as the TRUSTe badge or the BBB seal.
  9. Macro conversions are better than micro conversions – it doesn’t matter if you increase click-through from one step to another. All that matters is if more people buy from you. Focus on the big picture when testing instead of trying to maximize how many people move onto the next step.
  10. Social proof isn’t always the best proof – you would think that social proof helps boost conversion rates, but it doesn’t always work that way.
  11. Don’t assume what works for one company will work for you – just because someone like 37 Signals reveals how one change boosted their conversion rate by 200% doesn’t mean that change will work for you.
  12. Conversion optimization doesn’t stop with the front end – from upsells and downsells to even cancellations, you can use conversion optimization to increase your average sell price and decrease churn. You just have to get creative.
  13. The best increases come from drastic changes – after awhile, small tweaks won’t do much for your conversion rate. Drastic changes will move your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to get a bit creative and try something radically different.
  14. Higher conversion rates don’t mean more money – sometimes having a decrease in conversion rate can make you more money. If you double the price of your product, but your conversion rate goes down by 20%… you still make more money by roughly 60%. Optimize for revenue and not conversions.
  15. Mondays aren’t Tuesdays – your Monday visitors may not be the same as your Tuesday or even Saturday visitors. Run your tests for at least 7 days as visitor behavior can change over time.
  16. It’s all about results – you want to see the results, but your visitors want to see proof of your results too. Test adding case studies and testimonials as they can help validate your company to visitors.
  17. Don’t worry about bounce rates – when I used to do consulting on A/B testing, companies would focus on decreasing bounce rates, but sometimes they increased. It doesn’t matter what happens to your bounce rates as long as your conversion rates go up. Ignore vanity metrics like bounce rates. They may not actually affect your revenue.
  18. The best experience is a custom experience – when running A/B tests, make sure you run separate tests for your mobile and desktop visitors. The experience on a mobile device shouldn’t be the same as on a laptop.
  19. Less isn’t always better – creating the best user experience doesn’t always boost conversion rates. Adding more steps and making visitors jump through hoops can potentially boost your conversion rate. We boosted our conversion rate by 10% on Crazy Egg by adding an extra step.
  20. Don’t make people think – don’t assume your users know what they are doing or what they want. Test giving people buttons to click instead of open-ended form fields. The Obama Administration boosted conversion rates by 5% through this one simple tactic.
  21. Customize your user experience – the best call-to-action buttons aren’t generic ones like “free trial” or “buy now”; they are the ones related to your product or service.
  22. Images are powerful – a picture is worth a 1,000 conversions. Not only was Highrise able to boost conversion rate by including images of people, but they found that certain images convert better. Using a picture of someone who is too good-looking or a male versus a female may affect conversion rates.
  23. Navigation bars affect conversion rates – it’s not always wise to give people navigational menu options. Removing them can potentially increase your sales.
  24. Multivariate tests are bad luck – I’ve run dozens of multivariate tests. Every time you add up the increases of each variation, the total increase never adds up to being the same as what the multivariate test shows. For this reason, I prefer running A/B tests over multivariate tests.
  25. Clarity trumps persuasion – answering basic questions like “where am I?” or “what does this site do?” typically works better than persuasive content that sells. In an ideal world, you should be using both, but make sure you don’t trick people into converting as that causes cancellations and refunds.
  26. Focus, focus, focus – each page should have one goal in mind. Pages with one strong message typically convert better than pages that try to accomplish multiple things. For this reason, it’s worth creating landing pages.
  27. Testing shouldn’t stop with your site – you should use A/B testing principles with everything you do on the web. From testing your ad design and copy to testing which profile image on Twitter gets you more followers, everything can be tested.
  28. There is money in ugliness – just because a website is ugly, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t convert well. You can learn a lot from ugly websitesespecially the ones that make billions of dollars.
  29. A/B testing doesn’t hurt SEO – a lot of people are afraid of running A/B tests because they are worried what it will do to their rankings. As long as you follow Google’s guidelines, you will be fine.
  30. Minimize friction – don’t make users do things they don’t need to do. For example, don’t collect unnecessary form fields or ask people to verify their credit card address when processing companies don’t require it. Test a version of your site with as few friction-creating elements as possible.

Conclusion

No matter where your traffic is coming from, there is a way to make it convert. Instead of just focusing on building traffic, spend a portion of your time on converting it.

If you are continually running A/B tests, good for you! That’s the only way to maximize how many window shoppers you convert into customers.

So, what other quick conversion tips can you share?

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Comments

  1. Could I please know what do ‘conversions’ actually mean here? I have some sort of idea, still a definition would be IDEAL

    • Conversion is when your visitors take an action that go beyond the usual viewing/website visit. Examples are purchasing your product, subscribing on your blog, signing up for an event/promo/ebook, etc.

      • Thanks Venchito Tampon for doubt clearance :D

        • Conversion rate is a percentage that shows how many people take the action you want them to take (out of everyone that visited the page that displays call to action).

          For example, if you have a sales page, and out of every 100 people who visit that page, 5 people buy the product you are selling, your conversion rate is 5%.

          The reason why everyone wants to increase conversion rates is because small differences in percentage add up to massive differences in revenue if you have high traffic.

          5% conversion rate on a 100$ product means that you earn 500$ from every 100 people who you drive to that site.

          6% conversion rate on a 100$ product means that you earn 600$ from every 100 people you drive to that site.

          Now, if you can drive 1000 visitors to the first site, you will earn 5000$, but if you drive 1000 visitors to the second site, you will earn 6000$, although the difference between conversion rates is only 1%.

          Now, think about what difference will it make if you manage to increase your conversion rate by several percent, assuming you get the same amount of traffic.

          Hence the obsession with conversion rates..

      • LOL – why would you read the post!!!

    • Ishan, in a nutshell a conversion is getting a sale, or having someone complete an action you want completed.

      • Hi Neil,

        I’ve recently discovered your site and it’s kept me hooked for hours.

        Regarding this article, do you have any suggestion as to how I can calculate conversions if the completion of an action is in the form of someone downloading my app?
        How should I go about calculating conversions from my corporate website that leads to the itunes download page?

    • Great post Neil! Conversions are very important not only the number of visits to a page or a site, people are obsessed by search engine rankings for the targeted keywords and not the click throughs, conversion rate, user engagement or pages/visit etc. That’s what are the ones they should focus on rather than think only about the rankings.

    • Lord help me…

  2. Do you recommend trying Conversion rate optimization yourself, or using a company that specializes in it? Also there are many who charge significantly different prices? And recommendations for small businesses?

    Thanks

  3. 7. Some people don’t read
    8. Some people love reading

    …I like the way you put this! Well I think the bottom line is that you will never know what works so we have to keep trying. It’s a great list to start!

  4. Neil,

    I loved your point number 6 and 7 both although every point is valuable. Thank you for sharing!

    Regards,
    Kumar

  5. Neil,

    How do you explain to a client that your test totally failed? and still maintain credibility for an account?

    We went from amazing, to worse than we started a couple of years ago. I feel terrible.

    We did all the best practices / etc (which in retrospect was not a guarantee for success) – and it made it not work at all. Literally slowed down to a trickle.

    Is it normal for failure? How do you recover on the client side?

    Thanks dude.

    • Before you start a test you should let them know it is a numbers game and that some tests will work while others fail. But if you don’t run tests you will never improve your conversion rates.

      When a test fails you should let your client know that it failed and break down why you think it failed and what you learned from it.

      The way you recover is by being transparent and persistent.

  6. Test test test.. keep testing keep improving.

    Thanks for the list.

  7. Do you have any idea why i comment on your posts. Right. just to get a link from quicksprout because there is nothing to add. You write pure value. I’ll check with images post.

  8. Great article. Exactly what i’m looking at now, need to run a few tests and make a few tweeks to see what works.

  9. These are great tips Neil!

    But where do I find the TIME to do all these testing and stuff… :)

    I’ll keep your tips in mind though.. Thanks again!

  10. “Data, not opinions, should influence tests” Couldn’t have said it better.

  11. Wow!

    How do you come up with 30 brilliant points on such a niche topic like conversion optimization.

    And you pull such content off multiple times a week. Getting pointers and learning from your writing style Neil. Impressive stuff!

  12. Hi Neal, Great tips about conversion, I want to know about A/B test , i am not familiar with it , will Neal or any one explain it?

  13. Great tips man. The “Mondays aren’t Tuesdays” one is exactly what I needed to hear. Helped me a lot, thanks!

  14. Hi Neal, that is some great tips you put up there. I have a question about conversion optimization. How do you decide what to test? I mean wouldn’t a background of what my users want from my website be a basis of what I test? And also how to test for multiple funnels, have you tried it? I mean visitors from a facebook page and visitors from the company’s blog may convert and respond differently to the tests run on the site.

    Would love to hear your comments on it. Thanks.

    • It isn’t. I would first survey my audience with a solution like http://www.qualaroo.com and ask them what issues they have on pages like my checkout page. Once I have a hundred responses, I would look for the most common objections and try to answer them with an A/B test.

      I usually run tests for all channels at once. If you want to test multiple channels, an easy way to do this is through landing pages.

  15. This post couldn’t have come at a better timing! I just launched a landing page for our upcoming mobile application and was looking for ways to increase conversations. Great post Neil!

  16. Hey Neil –

    Could you shed some light on this one? I’m curious what the extra step was / why it increased conversion?

    “Less isn’t always better – creating the best user experience doesn’t always boost conversion rates. Adding more steps and making visitors jump through hoops can potentially boost your conversion rate. We boosted our conversion rate by 10% on Crazy Egg by adding an extra step.”

    • We changed our checkout page from being 1 page to two pages. The first page just collected your name and email and then the second page was the credit card page.

  17. Regarding #6…I’ve seen a lot of sites that provide both, video on top and script (article) beneath it. I like this because often I’d rather watch the video, but sometimes I don’t have time to sit through it or simply can’t stand the way the author speaks, so I’m thankful I can mute it and just continue reading. Do you think this is a good solution, or am I just an exception to the rule?

  18. Neil,

    As I was reading about the mobile experience, I questions whether or not an marketing vet like yourself would have a responsive website. I pondered it for a second, and as I went to change my window size to check, I knew what the answer would be. Way to walk the walk!

    -Ryan

  19. Great article. I learn something everytime I come to this site. Something I’ve noticed with my own site metrics is that visitor behavior changes during the course of the month. In the early days of one of my sites I noticed that the conversion rates dipped in the middle of the month…..consistently from month to month. After realizing this I started testing some page modifications during the these down times to improve conversion rates

  20. however, in fact the number of visitors that many do not always give a good conversion rate, what should be improved?

  21. I’m a huge fan of conversion optimization testing. I love seeing how even minor changes can have such huge effects on visitor behaviour.

    This article just gave me a few ideas for more tests :)

    Thanks Neil

  22. The basic question is how to make A/B test work on any site? What are tools/steps needed to get started? As I’m always doing A/B testing without any tool I want to know any free tool that can be easy to setup and running.

  23. I agree with your point, “color has meaning”. Some people are using awkward colors for their website which confuses the readers.

  24. Hi Neil!

    Another masterful post! This is an awesome example of taking existing content, adding some new and organizing it in a fresh way to give it a new purpose. Just perfect!

    I’m not sure why but the numbers are cutting off for me in Google Chrome. All of the two digit numbers are losing their first digit. Maybe the margins? So for example 10 looks like 0, 11 looks like 1…. It’s certainly very minor but wouldn’t want anything to distract from the awesome content!!

  25. Hi Neil

    I just wanted to let you know that the double-digit numbers in the list don’t display properly when using chrome + 1366×768.

  26. After reading this article i need to work on many things that i never knew before like color combination as you explained in point no. 5 and make videos in point no. 6 ,i am missing many things in my blog, need to work on it.thanks for such help it will help me to reduce my bounce rate.

  27. Neil,

    You should segment your traffic. If you are bringing people higher in the funnel you should offer them a whitepaper while traffic coming from Adwords or PPC should be offered to buy immediately.

    The main thing is not to treat all of your visitors the same!

  28. A/B testing is ok but what about Multivariate testing ? should i go for it?

  29. There are lot of visitors coming to website and some of them purchase the product that is conversion rate. your suggestion is truly invaluable.

  30. Great article as always Neil, have spotted an issue with it though in Google Chrome (latest version 27.0.1453.94 m). Double digit numbers are being cut off so it looks like the list is going from 1 to 9 (then 0) three times :)

  31. Great tips about increasing the conversions. A/B experiments need a lot of attention and tracking and sometimes when the traffic is low and we don’t have large numbers, tweaking based on our best educated guess is the way to go!

  32. Thanks for mentioning bounce rate Neil. I agree that conversions related to revenues in matter much more and are a better metric to worry about.

  33. Thanks Neil. This article has come just on opportune time for me as I have just recently hoisted my site. It is a very in-depth article.

    Thanks again.

  34. Keep tweaking, that always wins.

  35. Hi, Neil. Great tips, thanks a lot!

    I just have a question. How do you run a A/A test? How do you compare your current version with your current version?

    Thanks!

  36. Hello Neil,

    I don’t know about A/A test and A/B test so can you explain me the concept of that. .?

  37. Hey Neil,
    Great article. I have always tried to get high conversion rates or something decent but didn’t get it at all the times.
    Now trying to find a way to get working with PPC thing as I have never ever gave it a try, at this time this post can help me a lot.
    Thanks for the detailed article on conversion tips.
    Cheers :)

  38. Hello Neil !
    Great post as usual. No doubt all these tips are technically important. This is a nice list. The one thing I liked the most is that “don’t take your words for granted” . This is a heavy point. One must not forget it.
    Thanks.
    Kit

  39. Great Post Neil.
    Really these tips every marketer need to know.Very informative post.
    Thanks

  40. Hi Neal,

    Very useful content for me (as always).

    You steal my attention especially for point no. 28. There’s money in Ugliness? Worth to check the link!

  41. Even bullet list of this post is mess from no 11, still people are reading things… their eye ignores the bullets.

  42. Thanks for this extremely informative and relevant post….. Conversion is everything in marketing success…….

  43. Hi Neil,
    Awesome collection of very informative articles, I have bookmarked this page for future reference, very nice and helpful..

    Thank you

  44. Thank you Neil for this great advice. You, your article and the free stuff that you give away are awesome. It really speaks to some of the concepts I have recently been learning. I think this is a great way to change traffic into conversions.

  45. Awesome post covers every aspects of conversion optimization.

  46. Making the customer experience as easy as possible is what it’s all about, I think. It’s working well for us. Engaging with your customer son Facebook is just as important as you get the personal touch in there, as well as keeping them engaged.

    And, of course, there’s Responsive Design. Vital in 2013, I think, depending on what you’re selling. It can really boost conversion rates big time.

  47. Hi Neil,

    The images on your website (and the infographics used) are just too good. Do you create them yourself or hire any professional for this ?
    — Nina

  48. Neil, why do I have to put my email address in everywhere to access information on this site?

  49. Thanks Neil for the awesome list on conversion tips. I am going to start an online store to offer some local things. I hope these tips will help me in my venture. Otherwise, I guess you are always here ;-)

  50. All 30 tips where great , but you haven’t told people that the scrolling bar where users usually have there mouse on the right is one of the easiest ways to convert traffic. Btw what wordpress plugin is that or is it custom code?

  51. hi
    excellent post
    all the 30 tips are amazing, i will use this tips in my business

    thanks

  52. thank you for providing conversion tips.here no matter where the traffic coming from we can easily convert by A/B test.similarly by following this we can improve our SEO to site.

  53. Hey this is nice post. I really liked it. As you have said that some people love reading so write lengthy pages and all but what about those who don’t love reading, what should we do for them??

    Thanks.

  54. Thanks Neil. I appreciate all the examples you have given as it brings the ideas to life for me. I particularly like the Obama classic example. It shows that you can sometimes simplify the thought process for the visitor before asking for the detail.

    • Glad you found the article helpful. I think the easier you break it down for people the more likely they are to buy into what you are selling or offering. Thanks for reading :)

  55. Nice post and very informative content for boosting conversions. However just thought to let you know that the hubspot link on point #10 is broke and not working.

  56. Great post, nice content,
    Couldn’t have expected anything less from Neil patel

  57. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon
    your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  58. Neil, thank you very much. I haven’t heard about such good list of tips about conversion!

  59. you create great sense here !

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