Oh the Places You’ll Go With CRO (Part 4 of 6)
When it comes to conversion rate optimization strategy, many businesses choose to stay close to home — the homepage, that is.
On a surface level, focusing on the homepage makes sense. It’s essentially home base for the rest of your site; the place from which all other pages flow.
But as Dr. Seuss once cautioned, CRO testing is a great balancing act. (OK, he was talking about life…but the principle applies here as well.)
The landing, product, and checkout pages typically have a more significant impact on sales than the homepage. You can spend months, even years, testing different elements on your homepage, but to get the most out of CRO, you need to be focused on testing the pages where the action happens, where visitors are actually making the decision to convert.
A good CRO strategy revolves around the five key areas that have the strongest impact on your sales. We’ll walk you through why these pages matter and what you should test on them in order to maximize your conversion rate.
Your landing page serves as the first stop on a prospect’s journey to conversion through a specific marketing channel. Its purpose is to provide a consistent experience based on the marketing campaign through which a visitor entered your site. By maintaining context from an advertisement to the landing page, you’ll have a better shot at hooking potential new customers. Whether or not your landing page does its job depends on striking the right balance between being informative but succinct, enticing but not pushy. Test and measure all of the variables at work in landing page effectiveness.
What to test:
- Image vs. copy
- Video vs. image
- Copy size
- Call to Action (CTA) display
- Design, including color scheme and element placement
- Moving elements
Sign Up Forms
The goal here is obvious: get customers to submit a form, whether that be signing up for a software platform, or a simple email signup or contact form. The goal of forms is to initiate what will hopefully become an ongoing relationship. The page should be simple enough that it’s not off-putting, but complete enough that you can market the information to the customer effectively.
What to test:
- Number of input fields
- Optional vs. required information: What are people willing to share and which fields do they skip when given the choice?
- Copy on the call to action button: Try a few variations on the CTA, including “submit,” “sign up”, “get in touch,” and “drop us a line,” but always use language that’s consistent with your brand voice.
Your product page should give customers all of the important and necessary information about your product without overwhelming them. Pare it down as much as possible without being too sparse. Design your product pages so that every element guides customers toward a purchase.
What to test:
- Image placement and size
- Product description copy and size
- Review placement
- Product videos
- Call to action
- Related products: do they generate more sales or distract from the purchase in progress?
- Branded content, such as blogs and social media feeds: Is it useful or off-putting on this page?
Your cart page is where customers make the final decision on what products they’ll purchase…and more importantly, whether or not they’ll make a purchase at all. There are a couple different philosophies on cart pages.
One philosophy is to treat them as squeeze pages. You wouldn’t want to distract your customers from moving through the cart to the checkout page, would you?
…Or would you?
On the other hand, cart pages are a valuable place for promotions and upsells. You could be leaving easy dollars on the table if you don’t feature special promotions or upsells in the cart.
So which philosophy will work best for you? You’ll have to test to find out what works best for your brand and your customers.
What to test:
- Special promotions: Try different types of promotions like cart value based vs flat rate promotions (add $15 more to cart and get 20% off or add $10 to cart for free shipping).
- Product display: product image size and details
- Coupon presentation and entry: Does coupon entry happen here or once in the checkout flow?
- Upsells: Test both the presence of upsells and the specific design of the presentation of upsells and the specific products offered.
Once customers make it to the checkout page, help them move through the process with as little friction as possible. They like the product and they’ve committed to the purchase, so all you have to do is get them through the final payment step.
What to test:
- Single page vs. multiple page checkout
- Navigation cues: Where in the process am I?
- Various design elements of the checkout page
- Account creation process: Do we require an account, or allow guest checkout?
- Credit card entry: We want to make this as simple as possible.
- Coupon code placement (if coupon was not applied in the cart)
The beauty and burden of testing is that you can go deep into any of these areas. Set clear parameters and goals to get the most out of the process, and always be thinking about how to implement your testing results effectively.
In the great words of Dr. Suess,
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”