28

The Prospect Awareness Pyramid

Do you know the awareness levels of your prospects? Are they just orientating – or ready to buy?

Before you can sell your product to anyone, your prospects need to know:

1) that they are experiencing a problem;
2) that there is a solution;
3) and that you are offering the product that solves their problem.

You do this by raising their awareness with content, customised pricing and tailor-made product offerings. But how?

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Conversion tip from:

Nico Oud

Nico Oud

Marketing and business coach

27

Don’t Use Cheesy Stock Photos

Research by MDG Advertising reveals that 67% of online shoppers rated high quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision. This is slightly more than “product specific information”, “long descriptions”, and “reviews & ratings”. Using ‘real’ photos often gets better results than using cheesy stock photos. Try using real photos on your landing page instead of stock photos as another way to increase your conversions.

Using ‘real’ photos often gets better results than using cheesy stock photos. Try using real photos on your landing page instead of stock photos as another way to increase your conversions.

stock photos

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

26

Brew a Good Testimonial With These Three Ingredients

You’ll create more trust on your page by adding testimonials of happy clients. But what does a good testimonial look like? They often consist of three things. A unique benefit your product offers, the proof of a claim you’ve made, and a positive comparison of your product to a competitor.

We’re not saying to write fake testimonials (please don’t), let that be clear. People will instantly notice fake testimonials, often because they are too positive. Always use real customers and real testimonials. When you ask for a testimonial, you can use these three ingredients as a hint.

testimonials

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

25

Keep Your Confirmation Bias Under Control

“I know this’ll work because I made it!” Let’s not forget what’s arguably the most dangerous one: the confirmation bias.

This one is quite simple: you are typically more likely to like your own design. After all, you put a lot of work in it, it’s your vision, it’s very possible you may be a bit biased towards it. That may cause you to not look at it with a clear vision.

This doesn’t have to be just because you like your design either. Designing takes a lot of time. Simply looking at your design for so long can cause you to miss small mistakes, which could end up costing you a lot of conversions. Always keep an open mind and ask feedback from other designers.

confirmation bias

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

24

Start Your Headlines with the Most Important Message

Your value proposition (or headline) can make or break your page. Within a split-second people decide if they stay or leave. Having a clear headline is super important.

Starting your headline with the most important message will help to create this clarity. The headline “An Enterprise-Level WordPress Appointment Booking Plugin” doesn’t start with the most important thing, which is booking appointments with WordPress site. We would suggest testing if flipping the headline would perform better “WordPress Appointment Booking Plugin on An Enterprise-Level”.

headline value proposition most important first

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

23

Improve Readability With Bullet Points

People don’t really read your page. They quickly scan it, and if they like it, they might read.

Your page should be easy to scan. You can do this by using a clear headline, clear subheadings and bullet points. If someone only reads the titles and bullet, they should get the whole picture of your offering.

improve readability

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

22

Ask Your Customers Why They Bought

You can gain a lot of very valuable insights from your existing customers when you want to optimise your site. After all, if there’s anyone who knows what the main reason is people are buying from you, it’s the people who are buying from you.

The actual reason why people buy can be very different then you might assume.

An example:

A newspaper thought that most people signed up because they inform people about the news. When I asked customers why they actually bought, they all said one thing…

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Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

21

Emphasize the Pain Your Customers Have, Before Presenting Your Solution

If you are solving a problem of your customers, such as back pain, it’s sometimes very effective to emphasize the pain – before presenting your solution. 

So, how does it work?  

You begin by stating the pain on your page “Do you have back pain? Then, before showing the solution, you should stick a knife in their pain, and keep twisting the knife until they scream…. well, figuratively speaking 🙂 

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emphasize pain

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

20

Phrase Your USP’s as Gain or Loss, Depending on the Risk

People are risk-averse when they have something to gain. When people have something to lose, they take more risks. People won’t take a lot of risks when they could win $100, but will definitely take more risk when about to lose $100. People are willing to take more risk to minimize the chance of losing it.

This effect is known as the reflection effect and was discovered by Nobel-prize winner Kahneman. When you want customers to make a risk-averse choice (such as buying from you), test by phrasing your USPs as gains. When you want customers to make a risk-seeking choice (such as switching to you), phrase your USPs as losses.

usp as gain or loss depending on risk

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

19

People Are More Afraid Of Losing Than Winning (Loss-Aversion)

The pain of losing is psychologically about twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining, known as the Loss Aversion principle.

When people win 100k they feel happy, but the emotional pain experienced when losing 100k is much stronger. This technique is widely used in marketing by offering a free trial and eliminating access so it feels like a loss.

On your site, you can apply this principle in many ways. Many sites use it to frame a headline from a loss aversion point of view. Instead of saying “receive weekly updates” you could say “don’t miss any updates”, which implies people will lose something.

loss aversion

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

18

Your Page Has Only One Job

When creating a page, think about the main thing you want it to achieve. For a lead-gen page, it’s capturing people’s details. For a click-through page is getting people to, well, click through. The goal of a product page is to make people buy.

Each page should only have one goal. Not two, not three. Just one. Marketers sometimes squeeze several goals on one page, with the thought of “But if people don’t want to sign up, perhaps we can let them download a whitepaper as an alternative”. Nope! If that’s the case, your ads suck because you’re targeting the wrong audience. Please don’t go down that route. The whitepaper download will distract your users from what they should do: sign up.

Always have clarity about what the job of a page is. All other things you add will create friction and distraction.

job of a page

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

17

Find out Which Form Fields Cause Drop-outs

You know that people abandon your forms. But, do you know which form fields are causing people to stop and leave your site? Is it your password field, address field or perhaps the name field?

In a form analysis you can see the exact fields people are having trouble with. You can see which field take longer to complete, how many times people have to re-fill the field and even the drop-out rate per field. If your forms consist of two fields or more, then a form analysis is a must-have for collecting insights and improving conversion rates. A great tool for this is Hotjar.

On one site, I found that just the password field alone caused an 80% drop-out in the sign-up process. A huge conversion leak. On average it took people 69 seconds to complete the password field, with a refill rate of 87%. When I viewed the field it quickly became clear to me why this happened. The requirements were so insane, your password needed to look like a nuclear launch code. And they didn’t mention the requirements in the error message…

check form field dropout

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

16

Add User Testimonials

Does your page contain testimonials? What would a landing page be without testimonials?

Visitors won’t trust your product if no one recommends it. You need customer testimonials on your landing page to win their trust. There are many methods to feature testimonials, or customer reviews, on your landing page.

There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you could shows logos of your clients. Another way is showing screenshots of social media responses or Twitter cards. But the plain old customer review quotes works great as well.

user testimonials

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

15

Decrease Your Loading Time To Increase Conversions

Seconds and mini-seconds matter. Your website’s speed might have a bigger impact on your conversion rates than you might expect.

People will leave your site when it loads slowly. Most people are not patient at all when it comes to site speed. Three seconds, that’s all you have. According to a Google study in 2018, 53% of people expect your mobile site to load within 3 seconds. If that’s not the case, they leave. Every mini-second delay in your page response can result in a reduction in conversions. Instead of performing fancy experiments or running personalisations, make sure the site speed of your site is superb. It’s often overlooked.

The good news: it’s fairly easy to improve your site speed. So how can you improve your site speed? Run the Google Speedtest. It will give you a list of suggestions of what to improve, such as leveraging browser caching, reducing image sizes and bundling scripts.

speed site loading time

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

14

Make Your Form Stand Out From the Rest of the Page

It should be super clear what you want your visitors to do. If you look at your page through your eyelashes, is your form visible? Is it standing out from the crowd? You can make your sign up form ‘pop’ by using a good visual hierarchy: add a background color or apply a nice shadow effect. There should just be one primary action with a nice contrasting color.

contrasting cta

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

13

Ask Something Small Before Asking Something Bigger

The foot-in-the-door technique is a widely used method in door-to-door sales. Someone who complies with a small initial request will be more likely to agree to a later, bigger, request. If the request had been asked outright, they would not have agreed. Humans want to stay consistent, so a small yes often leads to a bigger yes.

If you ask someone to bake a cake for you, most people would say no. If you first ask if they know which ingredients you’ll need, they will probably help you. If you ask a few more questions (“WIll you help me buy the ingredients?”) building up to the final question, people are more likely to say yes.

You can apply this principle by changing the order of your form fields. If you are collecting leads for solar panels, ask a few small questions first (roof size, material, e.g.), before asking personal details (bigger request).

consistency principle

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

12

Figure Out Where People Click With Heatmaps

Analytics software will tell you what links people clicked, but not where exactly. With a click map (or heatmap) you can exactly see where people clicked. It will reveal the things that are getting clicks, and sometimes elements that are not clickable, such as images. You will also see which links get the most clicks. Most tools generate scroll maps as well, so you can see how far people scroll down on your page.

You could use different tools for this, such as CrazyEgg or ClickTale, but my favorite is Hotjar.

heatmaps

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

11

Reframe ‘We’ and ‘Our’ Sentences With a ‘You’ and ‘Your’ Focus

Your visitors don’t care about you, frankly put. They quickly want to know what’s in it for them. Many websites are using an inside-out approach in their copywriting style. It’s all about the company itself, not about the customer.

What’s the most powerful word of the English language? It’s you. Try reframing all we-focussed sentences with you-focussed sentences. Make it about them and remove the words we, ours, me, and I. For instance, “We do X” would become something like “You can get X” and “We will review your landing page” would become “Get your landing page reviewed”.

You Versus We

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

10

Run a Survey on Your Thank You Page Asking If People Had Any Issues

This is probably not the first thing you’ll think of when running surveys on your page, but you’ll be surprised how many insights you can get from this.

Try adding a survey to your confirmation (or thank you) page and ask “Did you face any difficulties during the sign-up process”?

For instance, with this survey, we found out that the text message verification didn’t work for one of our clients, an issue we wouldn’t have found ourselves. On a different site, we found out that people couldn’t enter their postal code, only because the field was set to ‘text-only’. Ouch! A great tool for adding surveys is Hotjar.

survey thank you page

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

9

Make Sure Your Unique Selling Points Are Actually Unique

I see this very often. A business writes down their unique selling points (USP’s), but doesn’t compare them with the competition.

When you offer free shipping, and your competitors do as well, your free shipping is not unique.

Your visitors will compare you with your competitors. If you offer the same benefits, you’re not really unique. Emphasize your unique differentiators, those that others don’t mention and, ideally, something they can’t compete with.

Don’t have a unique USP? Well, a great way is introducing a new benefit others don’t mention. For example, if you sell toothpaste you could say ‘It won’t hurt your gums’. Of course, other kinds of toothpaste won’t hurt gums either, otherwise, they won’t be legal to sell. But by saying this you are subtle implying that other brands might hurt someone’s gums, which makes you unique.

usp that are unique

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

8

Use Visual Cues to Guide Visitor Attention to Your Call to Action

If someone points their finger to the left, you’ll probably look to the left as well. Humans are wired to follow visual and directional cues. Imagine an airport without cues… you’d be lost within seconds!

You can apply the same principle on your landing page. You can draw someone’s attention to your main CTA by adding (subtle!) visual cues. A very popular way is using arrows in your design. Another way is creating a tunnel vision by making elements point to each other.

visual guides to draw attention

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

7

Be Careful When Showing Faces, They Might Be Distracting

Humans can’t resist looking at faces. When we notice a face, we have a tendency to first scan those faces, before looking at anything else. When you show a face on your landing page it will (very likely) be the first thing people (subconsciously) look at.

This principle is called facial-distraction. Faces attract attention instantly, but because of this, they can distract attention from your content and offer. If you do use faces on your pages (that rhymes) apply the gaze cueing effect.

facial distraction

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

6

Use the Gaze Cueing Effect, People Look Where Others Are Looking

Eyes are powerful and often reveal a lot of secrets about someone, such as the mental state, emotions, and beliefs. In a face-to-face conversation, eye contact accounts for roughly 55% of the information, research suggests.

When using faces on your website, make sure that they are looking toward the most important elements of your site. If you call to action is aligned right, make sure someone is looking at your CTA. People will automatically look at the thing others are looking at.

human gazing

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

5

Repeat Your Call To Action Multiple Times on Long Landing Pages

If you have a long page, make sure your call to action is visible multiple times. If you want your visitors to take action, these three elements should always be on a page: motivation, ability, and triggers (based on the Fogg Behavioral Model). By showing your call to actions multiple times you enable users to take action. We do this here as well, did you notice we display the signup form a couple of times? A very effective position is at the end of your page. Repeat your offer and call to action at the bottom, when someone viewed your entire page.

repeat your call to action

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

4

Use the Five Most Powerful Words of the English Language

Let’s start with a simple exercise. In the next 30 seconds, write down the first things that come to your mind when you think of the word “holiday”.

Finished? Great. What did you write down? Sun? Beach? Relaxing? Getting wasted? 5-star resorts? Hostels? Snowboarding? Backpacking? Swimming? Getting a tan – or getting burned? Hiking – or doing nothing at all? Now ask someone next to you to do the same. When you compare your associations of the word “holiday” with the other person, you’ll see that the other person probably came up with different things than you. A simple word such as ‘holiday’ makes it clear that everyone has different thoughts, interpretations, emotions, and motivations when hearing or reading a single word. Each word sets a particular tone and expectation.

The five most persuasive English words might seem a bit simple. Don’t be fooled, the power is in their simplicity and clarity. Scientific research revealed the effectiveness of the following five words over and over again. Memorize the following five words so you can use them the next time you’re writing.

Here we go: You, Because, Free, New & Instantly. Need a mnemonic? YBFNI. Memorize it. Use it.

most powerful english words

Conversion tip from:

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda

Conversion specialist

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So who comes up with these tips, anyway?

Done&Tested shares conversion rate optimization tips with digital marketers, designers and business owners. Each week I add a conversion tip or insight I love, or just blows my mind. All tips are meant as inspiration and I recommend split-testing them because they might not work for your audience. I work as a freelance conversion specialist. Would you like to share a tip as well? Drop me an email here.

Gijs Wierda

Gijs Wierda