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.
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.
I’ve been running a test on a site where I pulled off all of the sidebar testimonials. Testimonials work, right? My idea was that perhaps the sidebar being removed would increase readability and not make the sales copy quite so overwhelming. This was a test that I was hoping would prove profitable only because I do want to clean up the copy. However, testimonials do work.
And for the first two weeks it was showing that testimonials are effective. Pulling them off showed a drop in conversions of 18%. This held steady for two weeks. And then Monday what do I find?
Suddenly instead of thinking it’s in the bag with an 18 percent dip in sales, I’m seeing it dip less than 2 percent. And keep in mind we’re talking about conversion well over 400 across both variations — so it’s not like I’m dealing with some small sample.
At any rate, the important part about split testing, and something I learned from this little experience, is to not jump to conclusions. Well it very well may be (and likely is) true that the testimonials boost conversions, I wanted to know for sure.
And at the moment, I don’t.
I recently wrote a post on the 3 best things you can spend your time doing to make more money online, and since then have received requests on going into a little more depth on each of the three things.
Today I want to talk about certain things you can do to increase conversions on your site. Before I get into the specifics I should explain how we test whether or not conversions are improving or getting worse. Back in the olden days I would make a change to my site and then just wait to see if it seemed like I was making more money. This was the less effective way to increase conversions.
Luckily Google came out with a free service called Website Optimizer. You need to have an Adwords account (which is free) in order to use the tool but it is the awesomest free tool on the internet. This tool literally allows you to test two versions of a page and see which page converts higher. If you want to test very small and specific things like trying 2 different pictures to see if it makes a difference in conversions you can.
We use this tool all the time and more times than not what we thought would convert higher ended up doing worse. That is why we say you should always be testing.
So, what to test?
The best place to start your testing would be on your sales page, if you are selling a product. For example on Lawncaredirectory.com I sell a kit to help people start a lawn care business successfully. So most of the tests I run on that site are on the page where I try to sell the kit to people.
Here are some good things to test:
- Headline – this is what gets the conversation between you and your customer started. A good headline can make all the difference in the world. You will be surprised on how big of a difference a great headline can make in conversions.
- Testimonial Placement – If you don’t have testimonials on your sales page, you need to get some and fast. Then when you have them test where you put them on the page. Putting testimonials in the right spot can have a very good effect on conversions.
- Call To Action Placement – You need to find the best possible spot for your call to action button or link. This means the button or link to get them to buy your product or subscribe to your newsletter or sign up for your service etc.
- Call To Action Message – Not only should you test the placement of your call to action you should also test the message itself. You never know if a big “BUY NOW” button is going to convert higher than a link that says “Start your lawn care business now”.
Start with these few ideas as you test your own site. Don’t try to run too many test at once. Just pick one from the list and then test it. When that test finishes either run a new test on the same thing or pick another from the list and test that out.
The more you use the testing software the more comfortable you will get with running tests on other things and hopefully you will get ideas on new things to test.