5 Conversion Rate Optimizations to Test in 2021

5 Conversion Rate Optimizations to Test in 2021

Hitting a wall with A/B tests and unsure what to do to boost your conversion rates? Here are five things you can test to improve conversion rate optimization (CRO). Each approach aims to reduce visitors’ hesitation and nudge them toward converting. Try experimenting with these and see how your campaigns respond.

1. Adjust CTAs

Your call to action—where you want your user to click—is one of the most crucial parts of your landing page. The last thing you want is for CTAs to be hard to access, confusing to understand, or malfunctioning. Leave no room for ambiguity. CTAs should be easy to find, understand, and click. To ensure your CTAs stand out, pay attention to copy, design, placement, and supporting content. Let’s break this down a bit.

Policygenius

Write compelling copy. CTA copy should highlight one essential benefit. Take a look at the example above. On the Policygenius page, the CTA copy “Get free quotes now” is clear and direct, telling visitors what they’ll get out of clicking the button. If you have limited space or you want to keep it simpler, include an action word that connects with the user’s intention. For example, you could have a CTA that says “Shop now” or “Learn more.”

Go with a bold design. A CTA button’s design can help draw attention to it. Ensure your buttons are large, prominently displayed, and distinct from surrounding content. Fonts should be clean and simple. Use a color that contrasts with nearby elements. In the Policygenius example, you can see how the bold red-orange color stands out. Color is one of the best ways to improve CTA visibility and increase conversions. When SAP started using orange CTA buttons, it boosted the company’s conversion rate by over 32.5%. Red can be a bit tricky. In some cases, it tests well, but users might also perceive it as a warning or error. Choose a color that works well with your brand and stands out from the background color on your landing page.

Location, location, location. CTA placement significantly determines whether your audience will see it. Generally, you should position CTAs above the fold, but exact placement depends on whether visitors have enough information at this point in the experience to take the requested action. If you need to provide a lot of content to visitors, place multiple CTAs on the page. (Use caution here. Adding too many CTAs can annoy your user.) Consider experimenting with sticky CTAs, since they remain visible throughout the page even as the user scrolls. This strategy is particularly effective for mobile pages because CTAs can get lost on a small screen. When French fashion retailer Ünkut ran a test implementing sticky CTAs on mobile pages, it saw a 55% increase in CTA clicks.

experian landing page

Supporting content. You can increase CTA click rates through surrounding content when you help answer user questions or calm concerns. For example, see how Experian places “No credit card required” underneath its bold CTA button. Experian knows that their visitors are likely hesitant to click because they fear having to give a credit card number. Reassuring visitors that you don’t require sensitive information (or have hidden fees) eliminates this hesitation and nudges them closer to conversion. 

You can also place logos and reviews near your CTA as social proof to build trust with visitors. The secret is identifying what information will help reduce anxiety to guide them toward clicking that CTA—which depends on your product’s or service’s unique needs, as well as your customer’s. What information can you provide that will assuage their concerns and make them feel comfortable clicking through?

2. Establish a sense of urgency

Establishing a sense of urgency can nudge users to click and not put off the decision, especially if they’re on the fence. This concept follows the principle of FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” where people experience anxiety when they feel like they are missing out on a desirable experience. Expressing a sense of urgency should not be manipulative or pushy but can coincide with a time-sensitive offer. Realizing a sale or perk may not be around forever can spur visitors to take action and decide sooner whether they are going to commit to the purchase.  

For instance, it might be critical that your CTA include information about an offer being good for only a limited time. Using visual timers is a particularly effective and informative way to get across a sense of urgency across. Here are several different approaches you might want to try:

ticketmaster

Countdown timers. Countdown timers can be successful devices to drive home the point that certain events expire, such as a limited-time promotion. In the example above, Ticketmaster places a countdown timer at the top right corner to alert users to how much time they have remaining to place an order.

Shopping cart timers. According to one study, online shoppers abandon their carts at a rate of nearly 70%. For sites that want to clarify to customers that items will stay in carts for only a limited time, a cart timer can encourage shoppers to make a purchase. 

DR Earth

Inventory counters. For brands that sell tangible products, it may be worth experimenting with inventory counters. Check out how Amazon places inventory counter text in bright red right above the “Add to Cart” CTA button, letting customers know that the product they’re considering may not be available for long. This timer has the added advantage of communicating social proof, based on the assumption that if only one is left in stock, it must be a popular item. By leveraging the principle of scarcity, you can lift conversions. 

Note: On-page timers aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every brand. If you’re not using a visual countdown, include end dates with offers. Establishing a timeframe for customers to commit to the offer can spur them to take action sooner. 

3. Provide self-serve and immediate-response options

Give visitors the ability to accomplish some tasks on their own so they’ll be less likely to abandon the conversion funnel. Some people prefer this more efficient route—it is a less personalized approach but can save time, especially for simple tasks.

hippo

Self-serve options can be as simple as providing a one-field form, like in Hippo Insurance’s example above. Visitors can get an insurance quote in 60 seconds by providing a home address. No human interaction is necessary. By putting the user in control, Hippo is appealing to visitors who like to keep things quick and efficient. 

Providing immediate-response chat functionalities can also serve to put customers in control. If they can get all the information they need without leaving your page, they are more likely to continue the journey toward converting. Companies using live chat have increased conversions by as much as 45%. Chatbots are another option that require fewer resources and can be just as effective for providing visitors with the information they need. 

Dell

Strong content architecture and content strategy can create clear paths to support conversion goals. For example, self selection gives visitors some autonomy in getting the information they need. Check out how Dell allows visitors to select “for home” or “for business” when hovering over different product options. The site presents visitors with different experiences depending on their selected option, meaning they get relevant information sooner. Instead of painstakingly wading through the entire Dell website, visitors can quickly guide themselves to the content that they need. When people get their questions answered while still on the page, they are much more likely to convert. 

4. Improve ad-to-page relevance

Conversions improve with 1:1 ad-to-page personalization. A visitor’s journey—from seeing a digital ad, clicking it, and arriving at the landing page—should feel like a seamless narrative. Improving your pages’ relevance makes it easier for visitors to convert and builds brand trust. Higher relevance is not only critical to lifting conversions, but consumers also expect it

Tailored pet search ad
Tailored pet landing page

Take a look at Tailored Pet Nutrition’s Google search ad and its corresponding post-click page. The ad promises personalized dog food and calls out a “healthy food subscription.” Then, visitors who click see a page that fulfills those offers along with more detailed content and a photo of a dog who looks healthy and happy.

Since the ad refers to product personalization and nutritional value, it’s essential to highlight these qualities in the post-click experience. The goal is to make the journey to conversion as convenient as possible. Don’t make visitors dig for the information referenced in your ad. 

5. Optimize offers

Promotions and limited-time offers increase perceived value and can help spur customers to take action. But what makes an offer enticing? Today’s consumers are savvy about answering that question and know a good deal when they see one. They’re looking for value-added options and can decide to act if they feel it’s what they need at that time. Offering a bundle package? Customers might go for that as long as they think they’ll enjoy most of the products. Free shipping can be attractive, though most customers now expect it, especially for large purchases. 

Optimizing offer design, copy, and placement can increase your conversions, but be sure to set up clear objectives and criteria for success. When testing offers, track initial sales, order size, and retention metrics to get a holistic view of performance. Accurately evaluating success gives you a better understanding of what worked well and what didn’t so you can improve with future offers. Here are some tips to help ensure that your offers align with your customers’ needs and expectations:

Be selective about special offers. Convey the reason you’re offering a special break, such as an extra-large discount over a particular month. If you make these offers too frequently, customers will perceive that your brand lacks value and may connect with a competitor they consider more trustworthy. 

Make sure coupon codes are working. Marketers using coupon codes should test them to ensure that the extra field in the cart is easy to fill out and functioning. 46% of shoppers abandon their carts when discount codes don’t work. Psychologically, it makes sense, because once a customer expects a promised discount, they’re unlikely to settle for full price if coupon codes aren’t cooperating. A frustrating experience can also hurt brand impression and affect future sales. 

Harry's

Make coupon codes relevant and creative. Landing page relevance extends to all aspects of an offer, including the coupon codes themselves. See how Harry’s “SOOTHE” code affirms the products’ benefit and works with the brand. It also makes the code easy to remember.

Make special offers easy. Many marketers save customers the trouble of inputting a coupon code by making the process automatic for those who arrive on a landing page by clicking on a particular ad or email. For example, the Harry’s landing page above applies the coupon automatically.

BIRCHBOX

Promote your offer. There are several effective ways to make sure your visitors see and understand your offer. Two vehicles to consider are on-site banners and exit-intent modal windows. Notice how Birchbox uses a banner in a contrasting color to draw attention to its offer for a free product. This banner contrasts with the website background color and then visually draws visitors down to a CTA button in the same color.

Exit-intent pop-up modals are a last-ditch effort to appeal to visitors who might abandon the page. These pop-ups—usually triggered by the user hovering outside the landing page window—make a final plea to see if visitors will bite instead of bounce.

Click & grow sponsored content
Click & grow landing page

Dedicated landing pages are particularly impactful because they present an experience that matches the offer. Look at how Click and Grow carries over the same images, fonts, and copy from the ad to the post-click experience. This page intentionally delivers a cohesive narrative about the company’s Mother’s Day sale. Instead of making visitors search for sale information on a generic or evergreen landing page, Click and Grow provides a dedicated experience, enabling visitors to learn about the offer with ease and convenience. A dedicated landing page provides a more engaging, persuasive experience, so visitors are more likely to convert. 

Get a free page review from a CRO strategist

Want to know more about how your landing pages can perform better? Here at Postclick, we offer a free Conversion Health Analysis that includes a live page review and an audit of your ad campaigns. Our CRO strategists walk you through the areas that offer actionable opportunities for improved conversions. Request your analysis here

Michelle Chang
by Michelle Chang

Michelle Chang is a content writer at Postclick. She is passionate about storytelling, effective messaging, and strengthening alignment between sales and marketing. When she’s not drafting blog posts, she is likely re-watching a Scorsese movie or planning her next meal.

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