So if you have read much of the posts here at Prosperly that I have written you know I talk a lot about the importance of running split tests on your site all the time to always be improving conversions.
Google has free testing software called website optimizer that is awesome. I use it all the time. I just started a new test and thought I would show you what kind of things I test.
So when you run tests to increase conversion, the more different you can make the two versions that are running against each other the better. You will get better results that way because the optimizer will be able to give you a definitive answer on which version is better more quickly.
Sometimes when you run tests the two versions you run against each other will make no difference in conversions. This happens more than I would expect.
Anyway here is the test I am running now:
and this is the new version that I am testing against the original:
You can see from the 2 screenshots that I have removed the bullets and replaced them with a button trying to get people to sign up right away. I know that conventional wisdom says not to ask for the sale too soon on your page but I also am offering a free trial so I wanted to see how placing the button there would perform.
I also changed the sub headline to reflect the bullet points that I removed. (Wanted to keep those benefits on the page.)
Which one do you think will perform better? Post your guess in the comments section below.
I know, I know it has been a long time since I last wrote. I have been busy with filmmaking and other projects but I’m back.
Onto the good stuff…
I often run tests on pages of my site through crazyegg.com. They show you exactly where visitors are clicking on your website. It is very useful to see if your visitors are doing what you want them to do.
So on the home page of LawnCareDirectory.com I have a section that pushes people who want to start a lawn care business to a kit that I sell. I have a picture of the kit and 2 buttons one that goes to the kit and one that goes to a free lawn business course.
When I created this part of the site the button that went to the kit said “Lawn Business Kit” which I mainly did so I could fit the text on the button.
So I ran a crazyegg report on the home page and had it track about 1600 visitors to that page. Here is a snapshot of that section of the home page. The little colorful dots are individual clicks:
So as you can see with over 1600 visitors to the site that part of the page only got 3 random clicks not one of which was on one of the buttons.
So when I realized how ineffective that button was I knew right away why. I learned a long time ago that if you want someone to click on something you need to tell them why they should.
You need to make a call to action. Don’t try to be un-intrusive with your visitors. They don’t know their way around your site. They need guidance.
So I changed the top button from “Lawn Business Kit” to say “Start Your Business Now” and ran another report through crazy egg. This time I only did 500 visitors but the difference was stunning:
Not only did people actually click on that button, but by changing the text it also got visitors to click on the button below it as well. It’s amazing what one minor tweak can do to your website’s usability.
I should probably keep playing with the text on these buttons until I find what generates the most click through.
I recently sat through a webinar by Marketing Experiments. They are a web marketing company that puts on free webinars all the time showing the results of testing different elements on a website and how it increase conversion.
The webinar I attended was on getting singular focus on your home page. Chances are that on your home page you are trying to cater to every single person that comes to your website. Unfortunately this is a backwards way of thinking.
The right strategy is to figure out exactly what your primary goal is for your visitors and make that as prominent and easy to find as possible.
For example, one of the websites I run is Lawn Care Directory. It is national (US based) directory of lawn care and landscaping companies. I really wanted to cater to people that were searching for a lawn professional and so I changed the design of my home page to cater to that group of people immediately when they came to the site.
Here is the OLD design:
Here is the NEW design:
Here is the crazy egg report on how the new design is doing. This is a heatmap that shows where on the page people are clicking:
As you can see the result of giving the visitors to the site one main option eliminates confusion for the visitor and drives them to do the thing I want them to do. So it is a Win Win.
The secondary goals that I have on the home page are still available and represented but I give the most weight and real estate to the thing that is my number 1 goal.
You can be cutesy. You can be clever. You can be absolutely stupid and make the inane assumption that your audience will read the entire sales copy and then understand your cleverly written headline to “tie it all together”…
Or you can always write killer headlines by making sure your headline is full of self-interest. What’s in it for them?
Don’t stroke you own ego by showing everyone how smart you are. Tell your audience why they should care in the simplest words possible. My iPhone’s Scrabble game beats me with words like “aniseed” worth 85 points. But Mr. Scrabble Computer would be a horrible copywriter.
The headline is the gateway. It’s the attention-grabber. If you don’t grab their attention, then you’re phenomenally-written copy may as well be garbage. It won’t matter.
Here’s a simple copywriting formula for you:
Spend 70% of your time finding all of the pain points of your audience.
Spend 25% of your time writing a headline that addresses the most important pain point (or two).
Spend 5% of your time writing the rest of the copy.
Oh, and then once you think you’ve found the perfect headline, test it.
And keep on testing it.
And never stop testing it.
I have recently been running a test on one of my websites (LCD) to try to increase conversions. Trying to increase conversions is one of the 3 things you should always be doing.
The test I ran this time was a very simple one. On my sales page I have the main headline which is the attention grabber, then I have a smaller secondary headline that lists a bunch of benefits for the reader. Initially I had that secondary headline a lighter color of gray than the primary headline. As I looked at it I thought it looked kind of boring.
I noticed that many other websites had their headline in red. I’m no dumby, if everyone is doing it in red there must be a reason right? Well instead of jumping to that conclusion I instead decided to test it. So I tested making the secondary headline red against the original gray color.
The results were astonishing! Just by making that one simple change, my conversion rate went from about 2.6% on the original to over 4% with the red headline. That is a 40% increase in conversion rate. I didn’t have to spend any extra money or get any more traffic, I just made that one change and now the site makes more money. Test, test, test.
This test also goes to show you how important it is to grab the attention of the reader right away and get them involved in the conversation. When I look at the version with the red headline it grabs my attention and I start reading, and I wrote the thing.
Give the red headline a try. See if it makes a difference, but don’t take my word for it, test it yourself.