I know what you’re thinking.

Big promises.

Too good to be true.

No way, right?  

After all, conversion rate optimization is a complex thing. You can’t just put in 10 minutes of work and expect customers to come pouring in.

But what if you can?

It would be a no-brainer, and I’ll tell you why it’s doable.

Yes, conversion funnels are complex.

There are lots of pieces that need to be moved to create a system that consistently:

  1. Turns web visitors into leads
  2. Leads into customers

The opportunity lies in these small pieces.

I’m talking about landing pages, product pages, form fields, design, copy, checkout pages, etc.

If you make some small tweaks to optimize these individual elements, guess what happens?

They will come together to create a leaner and more efficient conversion funnel.

That’s why I’m confident you can increase your conversions with some key steps that will take you about 10 minutes each to implement.

In this article, I’ll lay 10 of them out for you.

You don’t have to work through all at once. But if you take a few minutes each day to put these steps into action, the results will astound you.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

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1. Minimize the perceived risk to your prospects

Skepticism is the first barrier to conversion that you must destroy.

Online purchases are risky.

This means that prospects will be tight-fisted with their personal information.

To address this objection, you need to minimize the perceived risks.

Think about all the things that make people anxious about online transactions.

Some are afraid that their personal information won’t be safe.

The easy fix?

On your lead capture forms, ensure that you have a statement reassuring prospects that their information is safe.

Some may believe that joining your email list is too much commitment.

In that case, simply emphasize that they can unsubscribe at any time.

You don’t want your subscribers to feel like they’re being held hostage. In every email, include an option to unsubscribe.

Lucrative Email Marketing Example

Now:

Let’s talk about sales conversions.

At this stage, it’s even more important to ensure that prospective customers know that risk is minimal.

How do you reassure them?

Two ways.

Trust seals and guarantees.

Many people won’t buy a product if there’s no guarantee.

Here’s an example:

List_Builder_s_Lab

Making this simple tweak to your product pages can do a lot to boost conversions.

Trust seals are also crucial.

The best placement is next to your call to actions on sales pages and order forms.

Take a look at a snippet of this order form:

Secure Payment Example

There are four different trust seals on the page.

That’s golden for conversions.

2. Eliminate unnecessary form fields

The longer your forms are, the more people who drop out before they complete the process.

The more complex your forms are the more people who don’t even initiate the process.

You don’t want that.

Fortunately, it’s not a complicated fix.

Here’s the bottom line:

Do not ask for information that you do not need to complete the transaction.

We include one form field on our email capture forms for this very reason:

The Art of The Welcome Email Sleeknote

You may want to add a first name field to personalize your communication.

That’s fine.

But do you really need a last name or a phone number? Probably not.

The same goes for order forms.

Fewer fields = less resistance.

Less resistance = more conversions.

3. Add social proof on site pages designed to convert

Social proof is the granddaddy of conversion tactics.

Ideally, every page on your website should have proof elements.

Customer testimonials, case studies, reviews, endorsements, and user count are a few examples.

These elements close the gap between you and your prospects. Your credibility and trust factors increase because you have something to back up your value proposition.

The result?

Conversions go up.

Here’s the thing, though:

You can still have proof elements on your site and have a poor conversion rate.

In fact, that’s commonplace.

Why?

Placement is crucial.

I’m sure you’ve seen instances where people gather all their testimonials on one page and call it a day.

That’s not effective.

Most types of social proof can’t stand on their own.

You need to use them in the places where your prospective customers will likely have objections.

Since our goal here is to increase conversions, the strategic placement would be on pages designed to convert.  

I’m talking about product pages, order forms, and lead capture forms.

Here’s an example from Amy Porterfield:

Webinars That Convert Checkout Page

4. Add Google site search to your site

Conversions are all about getting people to take a desired action.

There’s no better way to influence the actions that users take on your site than to first understand what they’re looking for.

If you can find out what your potential customers want, you can deliver it to them right away.

And the quicker you give people what they want, the quicker the conversion happens.

Google analytics has the perfect tool to help you gain that insight.  

I’m referring to the site search feature.

If you have a search bar on your website, you should have this feature configured.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Go to your site and conduct a search.

It can be anything. What you want to pay attention to is the URL of the results page.

After you’ve done that, leave the window open. You’ll need it in a minute.

Step 2: In the Admin panel of your Google Analytics account, click on “View Settings.”

Google Analytics Dashboard

Turn site search on at the bottom of the page:

Google Analytics Search Parameters

Step 3: Strip the query parameter from the URL of your results page

Remember that search you did in the first step?

You need to find the query parameter. It’s a single letter found within the URL:

UTM Parameter

In this case, it’s an “s.” Place it in the form field, and you’re done:

Query Parameter

You can now track what people are searching for on your site.

My best advice?

Ensure that there’s a clear and frictionless path that visitors can follow to get what they want.

If you run an e-commerce store, the likely search for most users would be a product.

Make it easy for prospects to find that product, add it to their cart, and checkout.

That’s how you secure a conversion.

5. Narrow the focus of your website pages

Ever heard of decision paralysis?

Here’s the textbook definition:

Analysis Paralysis

It’s essentially the complete inability to make a decision.

If your prospects can’t decide what they want, there’s no way they’re taking any action.

The surest way to trigger decision paralysis is to offer too many choices.

Let’s examine this in the context of conversions.

If your website pages have too many goals, it means you’ll need just as many calls to action.

You can imagine that this doesn’t convert well.

But if you were to narrow the focus of each on your website page, you can have one solid call to action.

So, select one goal for each page on your site and have a primary call to action.

That’s it.

Does that mean that you can’t have more than one goal for a page?

You can—but on one condition.

These secondary goals need to serve the primary goal.

I’ll explain.

Let’s imagine that the core goal of your checkout page is to get prospects to complete the process.  

Sounds obvious, but most people abandon checkout.

So, it’s a valid goal.

The primary focus of your checkout page should be to get people to fill out the form and press the “Buy Now” button.

But what if they need help completing the form?

Maybe they have an objection or something went wrong.

You’d include the secondary calls-to-action to help these people out so they can eventually complete the checkout process.

Like this:  

Webinars That Convert Checkout Page 2

In this case, your secondary call to action serves your core goal.

Does that make sense?

6. Improve the layout of your signup forms

You’d never guess that something as basic as a sign-up form is one of the most common points of friction.

I’ll admit. This is not the kind of improvement that will send your conversions through the roof.

This is about tightening up your funnel, so people who would’ve otherwise converted don’t fall through the cracks.

The best layout for forms?

A single column.

Checkout Page Example

For one, single-column forms are faster to fill out because they’re more linear.

A study by ConversionXL found that multi-column forms take on average 15.4 seconds longer to complete.

Doesn’t sound like a long time?

In the online space, it is.

Think about the last time a website page took longer than 3 seconds to load.

I bet you dived for that back button.

Bottom line?

There’s nothing we value more than our time.

The more time you can save prospects, the easier they’ll be to convert.

7. Tackle shopping cart abandonment with a simple email

As I referenced earlier, most people don’t complete the checkout process.

Here are some shopping cart abandonment rates in retail so you can get an idea of how pervasive this problem is.

What do these rates mean for your business?

Cart abandonment is something that you need to tackle head-on.

It’s worth noting that no matter how robust your conversion funnel is, there will always be a percentage of people who drop off.

Arming yourself with a simple cart abandonment email can make a world of difference to boost your conversions.

The point of this email is threefold:

  1. Remind prospects that they left items in their cart
  2. Incentivise them to complete the transaction.
  3. Make it easy for them to check out.

Here’s a sample email from Bonobos:

Bonobos Cart Abandonment Email

People who’ve placed items in their carts have demonstrated purchase intent.

That’s why this email—and e-commerce email marketing in general—is so effective in increasing conversions.

You’re targeting people who are in the smoldering hot zone as opposed to a cold lead.

8. Display contact information or have a live chat feature

No way this makes a difference, right?

You’d be surprised.

Again, this isn’t a silver bullet kind of conversion strategy.

What it does is to ease any anxieties that prospects may have about online transactions.

You already know that one of the most powerful objections that you have to destroy is lack of trust.

An easy way to give prospects a peace of mind is to display contact information prominently.

Live chat is even more powerful in that regard.

You may have noticed that it’s been gaining massive traction as the gold standard of prompt customer service.

If it serves to help customers through the checkout process, it would no doubt boost conversions.

Note that if you use this feature, it should provide value and not interrupt.

Otherwise, it would hurt your conversion rates.

9. Add at least one more payment option

Your customers want options.

When it comes to parting ways with their money, that’s even more important.

Most people have a preferred payment option.

If you only give them one choice, they won’t be entirely comfortable going through with the transaction.

This uneasiness leads to inaction.

25% of people abandon their carts because their preferred payment was not offered:

The easy fix is to offer 2-3 payment options.

10. Offer guest checkout

Take a look at the same chart above.

28% of people abandon their carts because they didn’t want to register for an account.

There are ways to incentivize visitors to create an account. You can offer coupon codes, reward points, etc.

These work exceptionally well.

What doesn’t work is forcing customers to go through this extra step.

It adds more barriers to the checkout process and increases resistance.

The result?

You lose a potential customer.

Offer guest checkout because most people would rather not go through the hassle.

Here’s an example from Lulus:

Lulus Login

Download our free email marketing “fundle” (like bundle, but more fun)

Writing email campaigns that get opened is TOUGH. To help, I’ve put together a swipe file of 41 top-performing e-commerce emails to inspire your next marketing campaign. Plus, a few other goodies not featured below (*cough* killer Facebook Ad examples *cough*).

Free Downloadable Bonus
Get access to our e-commerce email marketing fundle and improve your conversion rate today (includes emails not features in the post).

Conclusion

Conversion rate optimization doesn’t always have to be a complicated process.

I’m big on starting right where you are.

You don’t have to plunge forward by doing a complete overhaul.

That’s where the strategies discussed in this article come into play.

They’re by no means fancy or novel ideas. Any marketer who’s worth their stuff will tell you that these are simple strategies.

But it is often the small and unglamorous steps that make the biggest difference.

Start with the system that you already have in place. Take 10 minutes each day to implement these strategies.

I can assure you of one thing:

Your conversion rates will improve and your profits will be headed north with it.

Have you made any simple tweaks to your site that increased your conversions? Leave a comment below.

Emil Kristensen
Emil is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote. When he’s not busy with writing awesome content and building the Sleeknote brand, he spends his time reading and watching vlogs on YouTube (big fan Gary V). Fun fact: between the co-founders he is the fencing champ.

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  1. Hi Emil, great article. Since Google is sunsetting Google Site Search maybe Site Search 360 would be a good alternative. sitesearch360.com

    Cheers, Svea

    Reply
    • Emil Kristensen

      Hi Svea. I’m glad you liked it.
      Thank you for the tip. You’re absolutely right. It would be a good alternative.

      Reply

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