Almost everyone knows their website could do a little bit better converting its visitors, but almost nobody understands at what level. Furthermore, when a competitor is taking a majority of a businesses’ conversions, it will in most cases not be understood by the business’s owner. For this, it is best for any business to regularly test its own website elements and evaluate its competitors’ websites on an ongoing basis to view how conversions are being made. A well converting website can, in many instances, be what sets a business apart in the online space and will determine its overall profitability on any marketing campaign.
In Your Particular Instance…
For what it is worth, you are probably very well invested in your current website and have an existing web designer/developer telling you everything he or she did is adequate. The fact of the matter is that your customer base is most likely not interpreting your website the same way you do, and a site review from a professional CRO is needed to evaluate its overall level of effectiveness. For the thousands of dollars it will mostly likely cost to optimize your website, the rewards derived from a successful redesign and optimization test process will pay for itself many times over.
Cost Benefit Analysis—
To give you a better understanding of a new website designed by conversion rate optimization experts such as ourselves, take into consideration the following examples of a before and after website redesign and the conversion rates changes it had resulted in-
Before Re-Design After Re-Design
Baseline 50% Improvement
As you can see in the graphics above, the second Ski website offered mostly the same information as the first, however; the call to action provided to the user was appealing enough to convince more people to stay on the site longer and make an eventual purchase. A 2 for 1 pass deal was swapped out with other various offers above the fold to see which was ideal; something a marketing team would do in mostly any redesign/conversion optimization test.
Assuming our ski vacation website was making 12K in net profit before the redesign, and 18K after, a 6K net profit per month would be realized via the conversion optimization campaign. While a typical redesign of a website such as this would run 8K through a marketing firm such as ours, the cost of the website itself would have paid for itself in just 1.5 months! These kind of results are typical at our firm and should be close to your overall improvement goals when hiring a professional for the job.
Whenever we complete a consultation session with our clients in regards to conversion optimization, we always start any agreed upon work with a staff team meeting. The project manager assigned to our client’s account will work directly with the creative director that will be responsible for planning the design of the website. Marketing strategy will be set forth before any design is completed, and the creative director in charge of creating the new design will know how to direct his or her designers. After our new site is programmed, our marketing specialists will setup a split test to test the new design created against the original site using Google’s Website Optimizer. Once it is determined a significant improvement has been made on our original design, we will test each individual site element independently to further increase the total amount of conversion rate improvements on the site.
The main elements to test on every new site design created are as follows:
Colors and Color Scheme– Colors play a very significant role in the mindset of our visitors. Blue colors can instill trust in our visitors and create an environment where qualified leads will not want to leave; the reason many websites use blue as a primary color scheme. Colors can also accentuate certain elements of the page that we wish to draw attention to. Since it is very easy to change the colors or color scheme of the website, it is something we always evaluate at the beginning of the conversion testing process.
Page Layout– How elements are aligned, spaced, and arranged on the page will determine which parts of the site get the most attention and ultimately decide if the customer will feel compelled to take the CRO’s desired action. Using specialized tools at our disposal, we can very easily test several versions of the page layout accordingly using rotating text, calls to action, and headline arrangements as we see fit.
Headline Or Tagline– After our design and layout is finalized, the headline copy is ready for its own split testing. Headlines are used to get what we have to offer across to our web visitors targeted in as simple terms as possible. Since it is often difficult to summarize everything we are offering in a single statement, we will test several variations at one time rotating between them via software.
Call To Action Text/Design– This is the button, form, or phone number we want the user to notice and utilize to make a purchase or sign up for our product/services or goal entry if you will. The color, shape, size, and overall style of your call to action will affect the total amount of people who notice and utilize it. If it is an entry form we are optimizing, we will want to make sure it has the appropriate number of form elements, whereas a telephone number may be tested for its novelty value only. This is generally the final part of our testing process and usually the most important variable in the mix.
The general rule of thumb when split testing a call to action is to make sure the object itself stands out from the rest of the site and has the proper position in the website’s flow. Professional marketers are great at centering the call to action on all the necessary content elements and allow it to present itself once trust or desire is established.
This article should have established the importance of carrying a psychologically pleasing website in promoting your business. Spending lots of money on SEM or SEO to get people to your website is futile if your website cannot compete with your competition’s website’s design characteristics. If you know your site needs a drastic overhaul from where it currently stands, consult a professional web development / marketing team to bring your site back to a competitive standpoint. Your current website designer cannot compete against real marketing professionals!