Running online ads takes a lot of work, so it can be disheartening when they’re not performing as well as you expected. The good news is, we’ve been working with the data of over 2 million post-click landing pages and 400 million conversions, so we can see what’s working and what’s hindering conversions. We want to share our learnings with you, so here are six proven techniques for increasing conversion rates. Try them out and see if your metrics improve.
1. Mobile-first design
Mobile usage now accounts for more than half of global web traffic and surpasses desktop sales, yet the growth rate of mobile conversions lags behind that of desktop conversions. One reason is because marketers are taking a backwards approach to landing page design. Instead of designing for a mobile display, many start by designing for a desktop display.
Given that mobile phones hold a larger share of online traffic than desktop computers—and the fact that mobile is more restrictive than other versions—it makes more sense to design many landing pages first for mobile displays and then expand those features to create desktop or tablet versions. According to Adobe, brands that optimize using a mobile-first approach triple their chances of increasing mobile conversion rates to 5% or above.
And here’s an added benefit of adopting a mobile-first mindset: Because mobile pages have limited real estate, it forces the marketer to be selective about what content is used and develop more focused, conversion-centric pages.
How do you go about mobile-first design? Here are some best practices:
Be selective about content. Since mobile pages are limited in real estate, less is more when designing in the mobile space. Give visitors only the information they’ll need to make the decision to convert.
Use a clean design. Your page should be uncluttered and designed to attract eyes to key content. CTA buttons should have minimal text and be placed where users can easily click.
Take a look at this mobile page promoting Therabody’s muscle stimulator. The top of the page is kept simple, showing off high-quality images of the product. A hamburger menu at the top left keeps navigational tools in one place instead of cluttering the page, and Therabody uses a sticky CTA that’s always visible as the user scrolls down the page.
Check your page speed. Most mobile users expect pages to load just as quickly as desktop pages. Make sure your pages load quickly to prevent customers from bouncing. There are many things you can do to improve load speed, such as optimizing images and slimming down code.
Conduct a mobile-friendly test. Google offers a free mobile-friendly page test that analyzes your page and identifies areas for improvement.
2. Build familiarity around your offer
Everyone learns about products and services and makes purchase decisions at a different pace. When deciding where to place your CTA, ask yourself whether you’ve given customers sufficient information for them to make a decision. You want to put CTAs in front of motivated people, those who are already knowledgeable about an offer’s value. That said, if you fill your page with too much content, customers may bounce because they lack the patience to make it to the CTA.
Think about where your users are in the advertising funnel when they see your ad for the first time. It could be advantageous to have your first offer be something free, such as signing up for an email list or downloading an ebook. Once customers become more familiar with your brand, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase.
Requiring visitors to make a decision too early decreases the overall likelihood that the visitor will become a customer. Even if you do everything right afterward, they are less likely to convert because they already said no once. This is an influence trigger that relates to feelings of commitment and consistency. Once we say no the first time, we are more likely to say no the next few times.
Carefully consider what you are trying to achieve at this particular stage. Sometimes email capture is more important than a potential first-time sale. It might be beneficial to build trust during this session and convert the visitor into a customer later.
This also depends on the awareness level of the problem, solutions, and brand. The more aware visitors are, the more CTAs you should include. Because they’ve already been served the information, they don’t need as much content to be persuaded to convert. You can shorten the experience and give them abundant opportunities to click the CTA.
For less aware audiences, however, you need to be more strategic. Position CTAs so that they are presented at impactful moments. This is especially important for new brands, particularly CPG and DTC companies. In this case, you need to educate users and build trust before pushing an offer.
3. Build longer pages for less aware audiences
Less aware audiences need longer landing pages in order to convert during a first session. Think about it this way: You’re attempting to take them from unaware to product-aware all in one shot, so it takes more content to inform and persuade them.
Check out the post-click experience Anova Precision Oven provides visitors searching for the “best smart oven.” The page is rich with content, including a video showcase, testimonials, and a graphic comparison to normal ovens. Anova provides video breakdowns on how the oven can help you sous vide, bake sourdough, and cook salmon. Near the bottom, there’s a section detailing all the technical information. Because this post-click landing page is geared toward a low-intent audience, it’s best to give visitors as much information as possible. This approach puts Anova in a stronger position to convert visitors.
On the other hand, a retargeted audience who has already seen your product doesn’t need as much of a sales pitch. The page can be concise and direct. Limit content describing your brand and mission values. Focus more on removing friction, lowering anxiety, and providing incentives to convert.
Page length also varies based on how considered the purchase is. The more significant the decision, the more information you need to provide. Adjust page length and content depending on the customer journey stage—this improves visitor experience and increases the likelihood of conversion.
4. Use more facts and data for highly considered purchases
Considered purchases—like cars, appliances, and healthcare services—require a more complex decision process and carry higher degrees of risk and reward. Whatever the product or service, a big decision takes more time. There has to be a rationale behind the purchase. When it comes to these purchases, use facts and data to inform and persuade your visitors.
Financial services are an excellent example. Deciding to open a financial services account is not a spur-of-the-moment decision. It’s a segmented process with multiple touchpoints. Because it requires more deliberation, customers need to base their decision on many compelling factors. Offering testimonials about how other people enjoyed the service won’t be as effective in this case as clearly explaining benefits. For a decision like this, consumers need to know about terms, benefits, and risks. In other words, they need logical evidence that opening an account with your company is a good decision.
SoFi’s campaign takes the central route of persuasion, appealing to customers through direct reasoning and explaining why the product is the best, most sensible choice.
Check out SoFi’s post-click page above, where they list investment options and the benefits of using their services. The content focuses on what SoFi can provide to customers. For example, one benefit calls out how customers can “start with as little as $1 and trade stocks and ETFs with no commissions.” This value proposition helps visitors justify the decision to open an account.
Further down the page, SoFi provides an investment returns calculator, where visitors can play around with plugging in numbers to see expected annual ROI. This self-serve option enables visitors to see the value of SoFi’s service first-hand.
When asking consumers to make a highly considered purchase, give them facts and data. Present information and logical reasoning that helps them justify their decision and makes them more likely to convert.
5. Use more social proof for less considered purchases
Less considered purchases, or impulse purchases, happen in the moment. These are things like apparel, inexpensive makeup, books, or household items.
In this case, social proof is an effective tactic to persuade visitors. Showcase influencers, testimonials, and awards. Look at how Kitsch’s post-click page emphasizes other people’s impression of the product and brand. Star ratings have a prominent place, appearing above the price. A scrolling list of logos displays publications that have promoted Kitsch. Finally, there is a long list of customer reviews, where visitors can learn more about why buyers enjoy this microfiber hair towel.
These strategies are effective because they take advantage of the feelings of spontaneity and reduced attention that comes with a less considered purchase. For less considered purchases, information about the product is less relevant than how much the brand “sticks” in customers’ minds. Look at how Kitsch includes a giant section with their CEO’s picture and quote. The underlying description calls out how the company is a self-financed, female-owned brand. This information not only influences impressions of the brand, but may also serve to push visitors over the edge into buying if supporting a female-owned brand is important to them. This technique uses the peripheral route to persuasion, influencing visitors based on emotion.
Don’t spend too much time on features or logical reasons. Not only is it less persuasive, but it also has the potential to create more questions. You might even be getting in the way of a sale.
Brands that sell low-consideration items should take time to develop the bandwagon effect. Implement programs that capture data and assets at a large scale so you can showcase user-generated content, like tagged social media photos.
With low-consideration items, emotions are crucial. Get visitors excited by showing how much others have loved your products and watch your conversions grow.
6. Provide logical benefits after purchases
After a visitor completes a purchase, provide logical reasons to support why it was a good decision. This strategy is particularly effective for low-consideration purchases where emotional reasoning may have played an influential role. After checking out, customers sometimes get buyer’s remorse and wonder if they were convinced in the moment. Counteract this effect by providing facts and data that support their decision.
For example, imagine you sell inexpensive jewelry. It’s best to stay on the peripheral route of persuasion and use social proof like testimonials to influence your visitor to convert. However, after the purchase, it’s important to provide factual information. You could give details on how the materials used are more durable or eco-friendly than what competing brands use, for example. In this way, logical reasoning affirms the visitor’s emotionally made decision. They can feel good about the purchase because it’s rationally sound.
This strategy reduces the likelihood of returns and supports future conversions. As with everything in CRO, the most important consideration is catering to the visitor experience by understanding where they are in the customer journey and what the most effective tactics are to get them from ad to post-click landing page to conversion.
In addition to making things easier and more efficient for customers, it’s important to provide positive experiences to that once a customer converts, they remain loyal to your brand. Consider crafting post-purchase pages to help your customers feel confident about their decisions. After all, you want them to leave on a high note.
If you’d like some help evaluating your CRO strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We offer a complimentary conversion health analysis that includes an audit of your ad campaigns, page speed and performance insights, and a live page review. In this review, our CRO strategists walk you through areas of opportunity for increasing conversions that they’ve identified on your page. Actionable recommendations are yours to keep. Request your analysis here.