15 ways to increase conversion rates

Time and time again we’re approached by businesses seeking advice on how to increase their conversion rates. The conversation usually starts with a brief for a new website landing on our desk - find out how it ends below.

Pj Jones

Forms, forms, forms and more forms – ultimately this is all that stands in the way of your conversion goals. On one end of the form is a prospect, and if you can lure them to the other side you’ve got yourself a customer, or a lead at least. How hard can it be?

Whether it be booking a flight, buying a product, registering for an event, enquiring about a new property development or applying for a job, all that stands in the way is a form or two. If you need a helping hand getting your customers over the line, follow our top conversion tips below and you’ll be back on the right track in no time.


1. Use fewer form fields

Where better to start than with the form itself? Forget what you’ve been told about “Build it and they will come” – it’s time to do the opposite. Take a look at each of your form fields 1-by-1 and ask yourself…

Is this information absolutely critical? Do I need this information right now or could I ask for it later?

When Expedia decided to remove the optional ‘Company name’ field from their checkout process, they increased their annual revenue by $12m. Wowsers! And that’s no coincidence – another UX research study has proven that reducing the number of form fields from 4 to 3 increased conversions by 50%. Time for a form-field spring clean?


2. Include product reviews or testimonials

Studies show that 70% of consumers look at other customer reviews before making a purchase, and customers trust the product descriptions provided by their peers 12 times more than the descriptions provided by the company selling the product. Read more on the psychological phenomenon that is Social Proof here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_proof References: https://www.fastcompany.com/3030044/work-smart/how-to-use-the-psychology-of-social-proof-to-your-advantage) https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them#i.35yv7v2okfp7yq


3. Show your credibility

Honesty and transparency are the key to gaining trust, and when you’re asking someone who doesn’t know you to hand over their personal information, trust is absolutely essential. Whether it’s providing customers with a guarantee, re-assuring them that your site is secure, that your product is ethically produced, or simply adopting a “believable” tone-of-voice – showing you’re credible can pay dividends if done well. Why not start by displaying a Trustmark on your site? https://econsultancy.com/blog/7941-which-e-commerce-trustmarks-are-most-effective/ References: http://www.uxbooth.com/articles/enhancing-your-ecommerce-sites-credibility-part-1/


4. Explain the benefits

Why should I book my holiday through this website, and not that one? Is it simply because it’s cheaper? Maybe I’m interested in more than just price – maybe I’m more concerned with insurance, locality or quality? Rather than focusing on the features of your product or service, try focusing on the benefits. Will it save me time? Money? Will it allow me to do things I couldn’t do before? Tell me, I want to know… Reference: Idea 24 http://goodui.org


5. Recommend something

We know, we know, you’ve got lots of great stuff and you want your visitors to buy it all, but wait a second – their time is precious and they haven’t got the motivation or will-power to trawl through all of the variations of your product or service and decide what is best for them – so just tell them. Labelling the things you want your customers to buy as ‘Most Popular’ or ‘Recommended’ will hit them at a psychological level. If everyone else is buying this thing then it must be good, right?


6. Anchor your prices

There’s no better way to make something sound like a good deal than to advertise it as such. Whether it’s comparing your price to your competitors or showing the discount offered by committing to 12 months instead of 1, make the value clear. References: Idea 41 http://goodui.org


7. Use smart defaults

What is a ‘smart default’ we hear you cry? A smart default is simply recognising the similarities amongst your core customer base and shaping the conversion funnel around them. For example, if 99% of your customers are based in the UK and you’re asking them to choose their country from a drop-down menu, why not pre-populate it with ‘United Kingdom’ so that only the minority need to change it? Likewise, if more of your customers are men than women, why not pre-populate the title drop-down with ‘Mr’ instead of ‘Please select’?


8. Encourage tunnel vision

Great work, you’ve managed to get a prospect from the first step of your three hundred step conversion funnel to the second – let’s not lose them now! Lock that b#st#rd down! Block the exits – remove all distractions and avoid having links that take the user out of your never-ending funnel of pain. Best of luck to them. References: Idea 16 http://goodui.org


9. Try a single column

You’ve got them locked-in, now make it easy for them to find their way around – a one column layout with a clear content hierarchy will help keep things focused.


10. Change your button copy

Otherwise known as CTAs (calls-to-action), your buttons are what leap-frog your users from one step of your conversion funnel to the next – without them they’d never make it out alive. They can also help get someone into the conversion funnel in the first place, so think carefully about how you word your button copy to encourage users to click. Did you know: Veeam Software increased click throughs from their product information page by 161% simply by changing their button copy from “Request a quote” to “Request pricing”.


11. Give live chat a go

You might be surprised at just how many customers you’ve been losing simply because they couldn’t find the answer they were looking for on your site. It might sound like a world of pain, but integrating live chat onto your site couldn’t be easier. For a round-up of the best live chat tools on the market, click here http://www.toptenreviews.com/business/internet/best-live-chat-support-software/


12. Delay asking for personal information

This is a biggie and needs little explanation – don’t ask for personal information until you absolutely need to. And when you finally do, only ask for what you need – you can always ask for more details later.


13. Create a sense of urgency

This is a blackhat UX technique, so let’s keep this one between the two of us, ok? Giving the impression that your product or service is only available for a limited time at this price is a sure-fire way to increase conversions.


14. Create a sense of scarcity

Shhhh! Some more blackhat trickery! Limiting the number of products available or only being able to offer your product or service to a limited number of customers is another sure-fire way to get them over the line.


15. Offer multiple payment options

Don’t slip up at the last hurdle – maybe your user doesn’t have their wallet with them but they have their Paypal details. Or maybe they don’t have a Paypal account and only like paying on card. Or maybe they’re uber trendy and want to pay by Bitcoin. Give them options. Check out Braintree for some extra-curricular reading on this topic. https://www.braintreepayments.com/

So there you have it, some of our favourite tips and best practices (and and a few blackhat UX techniques) for how to increase conversion rates. For more tips or to discuss your business, get in touch and say hello.

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