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Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

Last edited: Aug 18, 2022 Published: Oct 22, 2019
Mixpanel Team

Why Conversion Rate Optimization Matters

You already know what conversion rate optimization (CRO) is and why it’s important – even more important than getting traffic. It’s the execution part that gets tricky. There are so many elements to websites and apps, just the thought of CRO can seem overwhelming. 

It’s not a quick, one and done process. Conversion rate optimization is a continuous endeavor that requires work on a lot of fronts, but the return is worth the effort.

Tracking performance analytics and running A/B tests are two core components of conversion rate optimization. While you gather data check out the lists below for conversion rate optimization tips that can help you focus your efforts on various avenues that usually make the biggest impact.

Content Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

The words on a webpage are going to have an effect on conversion rate for better or worse. These tips will help you convince more users to become customers. 

  • Headlines that get the point across quickly. Online users scan content rather than reading it word for word, and they do so in a matter of seconds. Your headlines are one of the few page elements you know will be read so make sure they convey a message quickly. 
  • Informative subheaders that build on the headline. Use your subheadings to continue the messaging and reinforce the headline.
  • Write compelling CTAs that encourage action. A call-to-action should use action-oriented language that’s more enticing than “click here” and showcase a benefit when possible. For instance, instead of saying “sign up for our email list” say something like “stay in the loop”. It seems like less work that way and alleviates users’ fear of missing out. 
  • High-quality content is an absolute must. Content is kind of like sound in a movie. People can get past subpar visuals, but what’s being said needs to come across clearly or the message won’t resonate, and it ruins the experience. 
  • Use white papers and case studies to build authority. This is particularly important for B2B companies.
  • Share success stories. People love stories, and stories about your success make users more confident about converting. 

Imagery Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

Visuals are playing an increasingly more important role in how well a website converts users. The best practices below ensure they convert rather than distract. 

  • Use complementary colors to create eye-pleasing contrast. Complementary colors are directly across from each other on the color wheel. An example of complementary colors is red and cyan. When the colors go well together it actually encourages people to stay on the page for longer periods. 
  • Understand how colors affect emotions. For example, red has been shown to create excitement and a sense of urgency whereas green is more calming. This guide to colors and conversion rates is an excellent read. 
  • Add images of real customers and employees. The Internet can seem impersonal and faceless at times. Including images of actual customers and employees makes a personal connection that builds rapport. 

Make product pictures bigger. Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) ran A/B tests and found increasing the size of product images improved conversions.

Navigation Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

How your website is organized and how well it directs users down a funnel is a big CRO factor. The easier it is for a user to get where they need to go the easier they are to convert.

  • Keep the top nav simple and explanatory. The navigation bar isn’t the place to get creative. It’s a utilitarian feature that should help users quickly determine how to get where they want to go on the website. Both the verbiage and layout should be standard, which is what users have come to expect.
  • Prioritize the navigation order. There’s something called the serial position effect that subconsciously plays a role in what people deem most important. The closer something is to the start/top or end/bottom the more it will take precedence in a person’s mind. Menu options that are at the start of the navigation bar or the top of a dropdown list should be your most important pages.
  • Fix dropdown menus that aren’t aligned. Dropdown menus that don’t line up with the main navigation category are confusing. Confusion kills your conversion rate. The best option is to have a vertical layout that’s lined up and logical. 
  • Add breadcrumbs if you have a multi-layer menu. Adding breadcrumbs makes it easy for users to get back to a previous page and navigate through the site.

Trust Factor Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

How trustworthy does your website or app seem to a new user? The more users trust you and feel secure the more likely they are to become customers.

  • Put glowing customer reviews where others will read them. Online users tend to trust what others think about a business more than what the company says about itself. It’s a phenomenon known as social proof. Featuring a few customer reviews in the sidebar, in a slider on the homepage and product/service pages can make people feel reassured about working with the business. 
  • Include names and company logos with testimonials. Doing so adds legitimacy to the testimonial and builds trust.
  • Prominently display awards and recognitions. Another way to show users you’re legitimate is by displaying special recognitions. They can be anything from industry awards to topping a list on TripAdvisor. 
  • Brag about certifications, licenses, etc. Any professional achievements that are above and beyond the norm shows that you take your business seriously and position you as a subject matter expert.
  • Add trust seals. Trust seal badges are a small detail, but they can have a huge impact on conversions. A survey from Econsultancy/Toluna found that trust seals were the top factor for deciding whether or not to trust a website. Some of the best trust seals to add include VeriSign, BBB, Truste, Norton, SiteLock and McAfee. A CXL Institute study also determined seals from reputable brands like Visa, Google and Paypal help encourage online transactions.  
  • Use blue strategically. Remember the color tips above? Blue is connected with feelings of trust, so try to find ways to incorporate blue hues on pages where building trust is important, like a sign-up page or the shopping cart. 

Mobile-Friendly Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

More people are using mobile devices to access the internet than desktop computers. If you haven’t made mobile a priority there’s certainly opportunity to boost conversions.

  • Switch to a responsive design if you haven’t already. Any website that was built in the last few years should have a responsive design (automatically adjusts depending on the device used). If you have an older site it’s time to make updates to ensure it displays properly on phones and tablets. 
  • Make sure your primary CTA is visible as users scroll. On smaller screens, people scroll a lot. You may need to adjust your design to make sure the main CTA remains visible as users move down the page. 
  • Make the navigation bar “stick”. This CRO tip pertains to navigation across all platforms, but it’s particularly important for mobile versions of a website because users scroll more.

Pay attention to page load speed. Page load speed matters in all instances, but once again it’s even more important on mobile devices. Mobile users are on the go and surrounded by distractions. They expect a mobile web page to load within two seconds, and if it doesn’t they hit the back button. Many studies have determined page load speed has a direct effect on conversion rate. One such study from Akamai found decreasing load time by just one second can boost your conversion rate by 27%.

Landing Page Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

Landing pages are built with the express purpose of converting, but it isn’t a “build it and they will come” situation. Best practices need to be used to capture every conversion possible.

  • Go minimalistic on landing pages. On a landing page you want to keep users focused on one specific task, which is easier to do when the page is simplistic. Minimize the number of links, don’t add sidebars and eliminate any text that deviates from what you’re selling. 
  • Put a time limit on it. Whatever your landing page is selling or deal it’s offering, make it available for a limited amount of time. An expiration date creates a sense of urgency and doesn’t give users much time to mull it over (more time to think about it = lower conversion rate).
  • Use scarcity to your advantage. Another way to create a sense of urgency is scarcity. It drums up fear of missing out and encourages users to pull the trigger.  
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