Conversion Rate Optimization: The Definitive Guide

This is a complete guide to conversion rate optimization (CRO).

In today’s guide you’ll learn:

  • How to run A/B tests
  • How to optimize landing pages
  • How to convert first-time visitors into customers
  • Dozens of CRO best practices

In short: if you want to get more leads, sales, and signups, you’ll love this new guide.

Conversion Rate Optimization: The Definitive Guide

Chapter 1:CRO Basics

CRO Basics

In this chapter I’ll cover conversion rate optimization fundamentals.

(Including what it is and why it’s important)

So if you’re just getting started with CRO, this chapter is for you.

Let’s jump right in.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the practice of optimizing your website to maximize the number of people that take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

As you might expect, a “conversion” is the specific action that you want visitors to take.

Do you run an Ecommerce site? Then a “conversion” is buying one of your products.

Are you a blogger? Then a “conversion” is signing up for your email newsletter.

Are you a SaaS founder? Then a “conversion” is signing up for a free trial.

What is Conversion Rate?

Your conversion rate is the percentage of people that visit a page and take a desired action.

You can calculate your conversion rate by dividing number that actually convert by the number of people that visit a page.

How to calculate conversion rate

For example, let’s say that you run a software product that helps people stick to their diet.

And 100 people visit your homepage every month.

If 10 of those people sign up for a free trial, that page’s conversion rate is 10%.

Conversion rate as a percentage

Why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?

You might have heard the phrase: “It’s easier to double your conversions than double your traffic”.

And it’s 1000% true.

A simple tweak on a landing page can double or even 10x that page’s conversion rate.

That’s why the ROI of conversion rate optimization is off the charts.

I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of stats. I just want to highlight a few industry studies that prove CRO is worth the investment.

68.5% of companies in one survey said that they plan to make CRO a “higher” priority than last year.

Businesses are investing more in CRO

And it’s no secret why: only 22% of businesses are happy with their site’s conversion rate.

Most businesses are not satisfied with their conversion rate

When businesses DO decide to invest in CRO, it usually pays off. Venture Beat reports that the average ROI from a CRO tool is 223%.

The average ROI from a CRO tool is 223%

Why Conversion Rate Shouldn’t Be Your #1 Goal

I should point something out:

The term “Conversion Rate Optimization” is kind of misleading.

Yes, you want to increase your conversion rate. But it shouldn’t be your #1 goal.

Here’s why:

Let’s say that you run an Ecommerce site that sells iPhones. And your conversion rate is 5%.

Example conversion rate

Well, if you started selling your iPhones for 1 dollar, your conversion rate would probably increase to 100%!

Example conversion rate

Bottom line? Increasing your conversion rate is nice. But the ultimate goal of CRO is to increase the amount of revenue that your site generates. 9 times out of 10, these two goals align. But it’s an important distinction to make.

With that, it’s time to dive into chapter 2.

Chapter 2:How to Get Started With CRO

How to Get Started With CRO

This chapter is all about the critical first step of any CRO campaign: collecting data.

And let me be clear about something:

Most people skip this step. And they end up testing random stuff (like button colors).

Sure, you might get a slight bump in conversions with a button color change.

But if you want to get 2-10x conversion boosts, this initial research is KEY.

So without further ado, here’s how to CRUSH data collection for CRO.

Internal Goals and Benchmarks

Your first steps are to set up goals for your CRO campaign… and figure out where you’re at.

For example, let’s say that you run an Ecommerce site.

Your goal might be to boost overall site conversion rate by 10%. Or maybe you want to focus on improving a specific product page.

Either way, it’s important to set these high-level goals BEFORE you get into the weeds of Analytics and A/B testing.

Then, once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to jot down your current conversion rate (aka your benchmarks). That way, you can monitor whether or not your conversion rate improves… and by how much.

Dig Into Google Analytics

So now you know your site’s current conversion rate. You also have a specific goal.

Great.

Now it’s time to figure out WHY your pages aren’t converting as well as they should.

And the first place to look? Google Analytics. Analytics tells you exactly WHERE conversions are strongest (and weakest).

For example, cart abandonment is a huge problem for many Ecommerce sites. And Analytics can tell you where in the process people tend to drop off. That way, you know where to start testing.

Ecommerce Sales Funnel

Another example: a blog.

You can use Google Analytics to see which blog posts do the worst job converting readers into email subscribers.

Low conversion rate

Analytics can also help you see conversion rate differences between devices.

For example, you can see that my conversion rate from tablets is almost half of mobile phones and desktops.

Tablet stats

Which means I’d want to figure out why tablet users aren’t converting. It could be that my pages display weird on iPads. Or that my popup isn’t loading on tablets.

Either way, this kind of stuff is usually a quick win. And something that you can ONLY find using analytics.

Find Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is another goldmine that you can use to increase conversions.

First, you can fire up heatmap and user session software like HotJar and Crazy Egg.

HotJar / CrazyEgg

These tools show you how people interact with your pages. Which takes a lot of the guesswork out of answering: “Why does this page convert like crap?”.

For example, I have two “helpful resources” in my blog’s sidebar. And according to my heatmap data, the vast majority of people completely ignore them.

Heatmap data

So if I wanted to improve the conversion rate on my blog posts, I’d want to test different resources in the sidebar… or delete them altogether.

You can also use survey tools to poll users about why they landed on a certain page.

For example, HubSpot asks multiple choice questions to better understand what their visitors want to achieve.

HubSpot – Bot

Collect Qualitative Data

Quantitative data is nice and all.

But if you want to paint a full picture of why people don’t convert, you also need qualitative data.

You can grab this data using:

  • In-person or Skype interviews
  • In-depth surveys
  • On-site surveys
  • Chat logs and customer support tickets
  • User testing

So yeah, there are a million different ways to collect qualitative data for CRO.

That said, the exact approach isn’t as important as asking the right questions.

Specifically, you want to ask questions that help you figure out why people DO and DON’T convert.

For example, let’s say you run an SEO agency. You’d want to ask current clients and site visitors questions like:

  • “What’s the #1 reason that you want to hire an SEO agency?”
  • “What other SEO services have you looked at?”
  • “What kind of price range are you looking at?”
  • “What would make you say: ‘YES, this agency is right for me’?”

Then, you’d want to use these responses to inspire A/B tests.

Speaking of…

Chapter 3:How to Run A/B Tests

How to Run A/B Tests

In this chapter you’ll learn how to conduct A/B tests like a pro.

So if you’ve ever asked yourself:

“How do I get started with split testing?”

“What’s the best A/B testing software?”

“How do you actually perform an A/B test?”

This chapter has you covered.

Do You Have Enough Traffic?

If your site doesn’t get much traffic, A/B testing is pretty much impossible.

Why?

Because your tests won’t reach statistical significance.

(Most optimizers consider a result legit at 90-95% statistical significance)

Fortunately, you can easily find out if your site has enough traffic for A/B testing with Optimizely’s Sample Size calculator.

Optimizely

Just enter your page’s current conversion rate, the boost in conversion rate you want, and a statistical significance level.

Optimizely – Form

And the tool will let you know how many visitors you need to hit significance with your test.

Optimizely – Results

What To Split Test First

One of the biggest questions people have about split testing is:

“What do I test first?”

It’s a tough question to answer. After all: there are a million things that you can test on your site, from headlines to pricing to button copy.

That said, here are 3 ways to help you decide where to start with A/B testing:

1. High-Traffic Pages

This is simple math.

When you improve the conversion rate on a page that gets a lot of traffic, you’ll get A LOT more conversions.

For example, last year I decided to run a split test on the Backlinko homepage.

Compare homepages

Why did I start with the homepage?

It gets more traffic than any other page on my site.

2. Worst-Performing Pages

You can also start A/B testing on pages that have a super low conversion rate.

Why?

They have nowhere to go but up.

In fact, you can sometimes see a 5-10x improvement on low-converting page with a single A/B test.

3. Qualitative and Quantitative Data

The data you collected in the last chapter will come in handy here.

Here’s where you let the data inform your first test.

For example, let’s say your user testing data told you: “People have trouble finding the button to book a room”.

Well, your first test should be putting a “Book a Room” button front and center on your page.

Create a Hypothesis

Now that you’ve decided what to start testing, it’s time to create a hypothesis.

Why is this important?

Well, without a hypothesis, you end up testing random stuff without any rhyme or reason.

And a hypothesis helps you test stuff based on logic and data.

(Not gut feelings)

For example, last year I decided to test a scrollbox at Backlinko:

Scrollbox

My hypothesis was that a scrollbox would improve newsletter signups without hurting conversions in other places (like exit intent popups).

And I made sure to jot down that hypothesis before I started the test:

Hypothesis

How to Run an A/B Test

Here are two tips to help you run split tests:

First, start testing BIG changes.

One of the most common A/B testing rookie mistakes is testing tiny changes.

(Like button colors)

Instead, you want to start testing two VERY different versions of your pages. Then, refine the winning page with smaller changes over time.

For example, when I ran a test on the Backlinko homepage last year, I could have tested my button copy, logos, headline font size… and a thousand other minor tweaks.

Instead, I tested dramatically different versions of the page.

Specifically, my old homepage linked to my recent blog posts.

Backlinko – Old homepage

So I decided to test that original design against a version that offered a free case study in exchange for an email.

Backlinko case study

Sure enough, because I tested something big, I got a BIG boost:

Form submit boost

Second, you’ll need software.

There are dozens of A/B testing tools on the market, like:

I personally use Optimizely, but it ultimately depends on your budget and the features that matter most to you.

Collect Results and Scale

Your last step is to collect your results, analyze them, and learn.

Fortunately, most A/B testing software lets you know if your results have reached statistical significance:

PST – Form variation

Then, once you’ve found a winner, it’s time to jot a few things down. Specifically, answers to these questions:

  • Was our hypothesis correct?
  • What lesson did we learn that we can apply to future tests?
  • Based on these results, what should be tested next?

Chapter 4:Conversion-Focused Design

Conversion-Focused Design

As you probably know, site design isn’t just about looking pretty.

Instead, the goal of your site’s design is to get your visitors to convert.

And in this chapter you’ll learn how to maximize conversions with design.

Persuade With Image Captions

According to one of my all-time favorite copywriting books, Cashvertising, captions get read 2x more than non-headline copy.

Don’t waste that precious real estate with a boring description. Instead, write persuasive copy in your captions.

Here’s an example:

Persuade with image captions

Guide Users With Directional Cues

Directional cues guide users to a specific place on your page. For example, if you see an image of someone looking to the right, you’ll probably look there too. Or if you see an arrow, your eyes will probably follow where it leads.

Here’s a great example of directional cues in action:

Amelia – Homepage

See how the guy is looking up at the button? Subtle… yet super effective.

Turn Boring Forms Into Fill In The Blanks

Let’s face it: no one likes filling out forms. That is, unless you make them fun. One company found that replacing a typical boring form with a “Mad Lib”-style form boosted form completion rate by 25%-40%.

HuffDuffer – Form

Make CTAs Look Clearly Like Buttons (Instead of Text or Images)

When it comes to CTAs, traditional-looking buttons work best. That’s because people are used to clicking on buttons.

And if your CTA looks like a text link or an image, people won’t always know that they’re looking at a call-to-action. You guessed it: that means fewer people will click.

Show a Giant Phone Number for Mobile Visitors

If you run a business where calls = leads = revenue, try turning your tiny text phone number into a large, clickable number. A prominent phone number can also boost credibility and trust.

Here’s an example:

1-800 homecare – Button

Use Short Landing Pages for Small Commitments

For small initial commitments (like an email opt-in or lead gen form) try a super-short landing page.

For example, Pastel’s trial signup page is extremely short and (I can imagine) converts well for them:

Pastel – Signup page

Use a Progress Bar

Use a progress bar for multi-step funnels and form submissions. Why? A progress bar motivates people to finish what they started. Here’s an example from GoDaddy:

Purchase steps

Use an “Action Color” For Your CTAs

The last thing you want is for your button to blend in with the rest of your page.

Fortunately, you can easily get around this issue. How? Make your CTA contrast with the rest of your page. And BINGO… you have a CTA that instantly stands out.

For example, in a case study published at Hubspot, Performable saw a 21% lift in conversions when they switched to a high-contrast red button.

Reduce Options and Form Fills

Lots of options=anxiety.

In fact, cutting out just a single option can make a HUGE difference. Expedia boosted annual sales by $12 million dollars by removing a “Company Name” field from their signup process:

Expedia – Form

Bottom line? Destroy all unnecessary options on your site.

Chapter 5:How to Create High-Converting Landing Pages

How to Create High-Converting Landing Pages

When it comes to CRO, landing pages are HUGE.

That’s because your landing page exists for one reason: to get someone to convert into a lead or sale.

So if you can increase your landing page conversion rate by 10%, that’s 10% added directly to your bottom line.

And in this chapter you’ll learn a handful of actionable techniques that you can use to boost your landing page conversion rate.

Test Negative Words In Your Headline

Outbrain discovered that negative words in headlines like “never” and “worst” outperform positive words, like “always” and “best”… by 63%.

Positive .vs. Negative superlatives in titles

For example, a headline like “5 worst foods for losing belly fat” will grab more attention than “5 best foods for losing belly fat”.

Replace “Buy” or “Sign up” with Benefit-Oriented CTAs

The word “buy” reminds someone that they’re about to make a big commitment. Not good. So instead of “buy”, use CTAs that emphasize what they’ll GET.

Here’s an example from Unbounce:

Unbounce – Pricing

Instead of “Buy Plan”, they say “Start My Free 30-Day Trial”, which is much more benefit-oriented.

Use Action-Focused Copy

Copywriters have long known that this action-oriented copy is more persuasive than passive copy.

So instead of highlighting facts (“Our product helps people lose weight”), describe what will HAPPEN when someone uses your product (“Lose that stubborn belly fat”).

Show Expert Social Proof

Social proof isn’t all about having thousands of customers. You can also use social proof in the form of quotes from experts, logos of companies you’ve worked with, and awards you’ve won. In fact, expert social proof (“Our clients include Microsoft”) can be more powerful than sheer numbers (“We’ve served 876 clients”).

You may notice that I use this strategy here at Backlinko. I include logos of places I’ve been featured at the top of my homepage.

Backlinko – Logos

Use Information Gaps

When you get a little bit of information (but not the whole thing) you’ll do almost anything to close the gap.

Information gaps are especially powerful for email opt-ins and lead generation.

For example, let’s say you just wrote a weight loss ebook.

You could use copy like this to create an information gap: “Research shows that this seemingly ‘healthy’ food actually slows down your metabolism”.

I know I’m curious about what that food might be (and I made that example up 😀 ).

Make Your Headlines SUPER Specific

It’s a fact: vague headlines don’t sell. Instead, you want your headline to be insanely specific about what your product or service does. Yes, you may turn some people away. But your target customers will eat it up.

For example, look at BonFire.

Bonfire – Headline

Instead of something lame like “The Next Generation of T-Shirts”, they go with the much more specific “The easy way to design and sell t-shirts online”.

Nice.

Use Inline Validation

Inline validation=awesome. Ever spend 10-minutes to fill out a form, only to see a “You need to accept the terms of service” error message? #facepalm

Instead of showing people errors after they fill out and submit your form, inline validation gives people notes as they work. Here’s a real-life example:

Form validation

And there’s data to back this up: several case studies (including this one) found that inline validation significantly improves form completion rates.

Use No-Nonsense Headlines

The purpose of your headline isn’t to straight up sell. Instead, the #1 goal of your headline is to show people the benefit of using your product.

That’s why you want to use copy that highlights the #1 benefit people will get from your product or service. Here’s a great example:

Iventlist – Headline

Use Likes, Users, Followers or Customers as Social Proof

Whether we admit to it or not, social proof has a strong influence on what we do. In the world of CRO, you can use social proof in the form of Facebook likes, customers, total users, number of downloads… or anything else that shows off social proof.

Here’s an example:

Intercom – Partners

Like anything in CRO, social proof doesn’t work 100% of the time. So if you already have social proof on your landing pages, you might want test removing social proof from your landing pages (or try a different form of social proof).

Replace Jargon With Plain English

Your visitor shouldn’t need a PhD to understand your copy.

The fact is, jargon like this does NOT work: “We are an enterprise software company that focuses on providing customers with revenue-driven solutions throughout the sales cycle.” Huh?

Instead, use copy anyone can understand: “We’re a CRM that helps you get more sales.”

Replace Blocks of Text With Bullets

No one likes to read huge blocks of text (especially on a super long sales letter). Instead, break things up with bullet points.

Bullet lists in content

Show Your Price on Landing Pages

If your price is lower than average, don’t hide your price. Why?

Well, when you hide your product’s price, people think: “Where’s the price? This thing must be crazy expensive.”

In fact, Market Dialer found that including a price of “$75 per seat” doubled conversions.

Price – A/B test

Chapter 6:CRO for Ecommerce Sites

CRO for Ecommerce Sites

If you run an Ecommerce site, you already know that you can draw a straight line between conversions and revenue.

The question is:

How do you optimize your ecommerce site for conversions?

That’s exactly what this chapter is all about.

It’s a collection of CRO techniques specifically designed to turn ecommerce site browsers into buyers.

Use Price Anchoring

Want to make your products seem dirt cheap… without slashing prices? Try price anchoring.

Here’s how it works: When you show someone a certain price, they’re “anchored” to that price for a short time.

(That’s why infomercials show a bunch of higher prices before revealing the actual price).

Williams-Sonoma anchors like a boss. Most of the products on their category pages have a “Suggested Price” price anchor:

Williams Sonoma – Price

Add “Reassurance Copy” to Product and Checkout Pages

Reassurance Copy are little snippets of copy around your CTAs that make your customer feel more comfortable about their decision.

This can be free shipping, a money back guarantee, your privacy policy, social proof, or a key benefit.

Booking.com is the king of Reassurance Copy. They sprinkle them EVERYWHERE. I count five of them just in the above the fold area of this hotel listing page:

Booking.com

Show MULTIPLE High-Quality Product Images

You probably already know that product images can make or break your product page conversion rate.

So before you throw up a single hero shot, consider featuring 5-10 images of your product.

You can show images of the product from different angles.

You can also show your product in action.

For example, this product image of a Crock-Pot features a delicious stew cooking in the pot:

Crockpot

Clearly Mark Your Top Sellers

Marking a product as a “Top Seller” or “Popular” s a VERY strong form of social proof.

Here’s an example:

Casper – Popular

Want to take this to the next level? Personalize your best seller list by customer segments or purchase history.

For example, Booking.com notes that certain rooms are ideal for certain types of travelers:

Booking.com – Travellers

Have an (Awesome) Site Search

Site search can make a HUGE difference in Ecommerce conversions. Why? Because you’re showing people exactly what they want to find!

Pro Tip: Pay attention to products that people search for the most. Then, make those sought-after products easier to find. For example, you can feature them on your home page or at the top of a category page.

Feature High-Revenue Products Above The Fold

If you want an EASY way to increase conversions, feature your most profitable products front and center in the above the fold area of your site. This rule applies to your homepage as well as product and category pages.

Collect Emails and Nurture

Yes, you want that visitor to buy right away.

But unless you’re Amazon, that’s probably not going to happen. So instead of trying to close right away, consider a popup that offers something for free (like a list of recipes or awesome newsletter).

Here’s an example:

Instant Pot - Newsletter

Then, drip your new lead valuable content and discounts. When they ARE ready to buy, you’ll be the first company that comes to mind.

Add Product Filters

If you have a category page with 1001 products on it, add a product filter. That way, people can easily see items that fit their style, size and budget.

Kilt ecommerce site Kilt Society saw a massive 76% increase in revenue when they added a simple product filter to their category pages:

Kilt Society

That means 76% more men wearing kilts. That’s a good thing, right?

Let Customers Checkout as a Guest

Yes, capturing emails is wonderful. But if you force would-be buyers to “register for an account”, you might be losing out on some serious revenue.

Yes, Amazon and other giants can get away with it

Amazon – Charts

…but if you run a mom and pop Ecommerce site, let users buy without creating an account. In fact, 26% of people say they won’t complete a purchase if they’re forced to register for an account.

Use Discount Popups

Consider offering your visitors a discount in exchange for their email address.

The best way to do that? An exit intent popup.

Exit offer

Use Interactive Product Images

Interactive images are as close as you can get to an in-store shopping experience on the web. Ecommerce Partners found that an interactive zoom boosted sales at an online shoe store by 51%.

Add Trust Symbols

Several industry studies (like this one) show that trust symbols (like association memberships, credit card logos and security icons) boost conversions… especially at checkout.

Checkout badges

Optimize for Mobile Buyers

If you haven’t optimized your Ecommerce site for mobile phones and tablets, you need to hop in your Delorean and leave 1998 in a hurry.

And for the record: “mobile optimized” doesn’t just mean that your site technically works on an iPhone. The entire experience needs to be flawless. Otherwise, people are going to head over to Amazon.

For example, ProFlowers increased their conversion rates by 20-30% when they made their site easier to use on mobile.

ProFlowers – Mobile

Make Product and Category Pages Load Lightning Fast

Amazon once reported that one second of load site delay can cost them over $1 billion in annual sales. Needless to say, they don’t let that happen 🙂

Fast Company

So whether you run your Ecommerce site on Shopify or BigCommerce, it’s important that your pages load pretty much instantly. If you’re ready to get started, here’s a helpful guide to improving ecommerce site pagespeed.

Hide Your Coupon Field

When you see a coupon field on a checkout page, what do you do? You go to Google and search for coupon codes!

And you might never end up going back to that checkout page. So removing (or hiding) the coupon field can really help with shopping cart abandonment.

Here’s an example:

Promo code

Show Why You’re Better

You don’t always need to woo potential customers with fancy copy.

Instead, directly compare your product with the competition. That way, people can quickly see why they should choose you over the rest.

ConvertKit

Test Different Prices to Maximize Revenue

You can split test headlines and button colors till you’re blue in the face. And hey, you’ll sometimes see a lift on conversions.

But you can sometimes get a HUGE conversion boost by lowering or raising your prices.

Obviously, a lower price can boost conversion rate… but hurt profits. And a higher price can hurt your conversion rate… and increase profits.

So if you decide to use this approach it’s important to look past pure conversion rate numbers and focus on revenue.

Keep the Number of Items In Your Cart Visible

People on a shopping spree can lose track of what they put into their cart. You can easily sidestep this issue with a feature that shows people how many items they have in their shopping cart.

Here’s an example from Keurig:

Keurig – Cart

Chapter 7:How to Create Irresistible CTAs

How to Create Irresistible CTAs

There’s no other way to say it:

Your call-to-action can make or break your conversion rate.

Use the wrong CTA? Your visitor will say: “Nah. Maybe later”.

But when you use the CTA, you’ll find more users hitting that “buy” button.

So without further ado, here are simple (yet effective) strategies you can use to craft powerful call-to-actions.

Test First and Second Person Copy In Your CTAs

Several CRO case studies show that first person CTAs (“I want to try it!”) works well.

However, some people have seen a higher conversion rate with the second person (“Get your free quote”). Try both.

Add Urgency to Your CTA

Want an easy way to get more visitors to whip out their wallets? Add urgency to your call-to-actions.

Pro Tip: Use numbers to spark urgency. For example: “Order in the next 2 hours for delivery today” or “Only 7 left” works better than “Supplies are limited”.

For example, look at easyJet. They actually show you the number of people looking at the same route. This makes you think “I better book this flight before someone else does”:

EasyJet – People

Tap Into Loss Aversion

“Loss aversion” is a powerful psychological motivator.

In other words: “Stop losing customers” is more convincing than “Get more customers”.

And research shows that people are MUCH more motivated to avoid a loss than to gain something new.

Add Countdown Timers to Time-Sensitive Offers

A countdown timer is one of the best ways to dial up scarcity for time-sensitive products.

In this ConversionXL case study, Marcus Taylor saw a 332% increase in conversions by adding a countdown timer to one of his landing pages.

Countdown timer

Bonus Chapter:Advanced Tips and CRO Best Practices

Advanced Tips and CRO Best Practices

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to go advanced.

In this chapter you’ll see advanced tips and CRO best practices that you can use to get more conversions… FAST.

Test The Weakest Links In Your Funnel FIRST

Let’s say you have a funnel with 7 steps. How do you know which step to optimize first?

Well, most people focus on the beginning (landing page) or the end (checkout page). And it’s a rookie mistake.

Instead, focus on fixing the bottlenecks. First, outline each step of your funnel. Then use Analytics to measure the conversion rate at each step. Finally, zero-in on the worst performing steps first. These are steps where people “fall off” your funnel… and have the highest upside.

Ask for Micro-commitments

Micro-commitments let a visitor “date” you before getting married.

In the world of conversion rate optimization, micro-commitments can be used in two ways:

First, you can include tiny commitments at the top of your sales funnel. For example, you can offer a free trial or a monthly membership instead of making people commit to a pricey annual plan.

Second, you can emphasize smaller commitments in your sales copy. For example, a call to action like “See a sample” sounds like less of a commitment than “Get a free quote”… even though they’re basically the same thing.

CrazyEgg does an awesome job with this technique. Instead of asking you to sign up, they let you take their software for a spin:

Crazyegg

Directly Counter Objections

Don’t be afraid to feature customers objections on your landing pages… and directly counter them.

Common objections include:

  • Why should I believe you?
  • What if it doesn’t work for me?
  • It’s not worth the money.
  • How does this compare to…?

Here’s an example of this technique in action:

Customer objections

Give People MORE Information

Squeeze pages don’t need a ton of info. A short description of the free ebook usually does the trick.

On the other hand, sales pages for complex and costly products need LOTS of info.

You’ve probably seen insanely long sales pages for online courses. Why are they so long? Because people need a lot of convincing to invest in an online course.

So if you have an expensive product, don’t be shy about providing people with A LOT of information.

Make Your “About Us” Page More Human

If your site is like most websites out there, your About Page is one of your top 5 most-visited pages.

So don’t waste the opportunity to show people that your company is made up of living, breathing human beings. Wistia’s About Page is a perfect example of this concept in action:

Wistia – Team

Instead of stiff headshots, Wistia lets their employees show off some personality.

Use Specific Stats and Numbers

Looking to add credibility to your copy? Sprinkle in stats and figures. For example, “works 52% better than the competition” is much more powerful than “best product around!”.

Here’s an example from Unbounce:

Unbounce – Question

Test Live Chat Support

In many industries (like SaaS) live chat can mean the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. In fact, Zendesk reports that 92% of consumers are satisfied after using live chat.

Pro Tip: Read over chat transcripts. You’ll probably find that the same 5-10 questions crop up over and over again. Then, address those questions on your landing pages or add them to your FAQ page.

Autofill Fields at Checkout

It’s no secret that more fields=fewer conversions. But what if you absolutely need a ton of fields? Try autofill fields.

For example, automatically pull in a user’s city and country info from their zip code. This means less typing, which can increase your conversion rate significantly (especially on mobile).

Create MORE Landing Pages

According to Hubspot, companies with 10+ landing pages generate 55% more leads than companies with 5 fewer landing pages.

Landing pages lead generation

Why does this work?

More landing pages=more personalized offers. You can create one landing page for moms, another page for dentists, etc.

Also, more landing pages=more potential traffic from long tail searches in Google.

But be careful: you can’t just take the same offer and make 30 different versions of it. That’s duplicate content.

Instead, make each landing page 90%+ unique. That means different copy, different images, different lead magnets, and different CTAs.

Encourage Customers to Share Their Purchase

Encourage users to share what they just bought on Facebook and Instagram.

This will not only bring you some referral sales (“Those sneakers look awesome. I want ‘em too!”), but this can also increase your brand awareness.

For example, EventBrite started encouraging customers to share their tickets on social media. They found that the average return on a share was $4.15 for Facebook and $1.85 for Twitter.

Encourage customers to share their purchase

Not bad.

Now It’s Your Turn

Your turn

I hope you enjoyed my guide to CRO.

Now I want to turn it over to you: Which of the tips from today’s guide are you going to try first?

Are you going to work on your landing pages? Or start A/B testing?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.

284 Comments

  1. Hey Brian,
    My oh my. You sure do churn out epic content!
    My conversion rates have been nowhere near where I wanted them, so this guide is going to come in very handy. Of course, it might take me a week to read all of it. 😉
    Great work, my friend. I’ll be Tweeting shortly!
    -Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin and Brian
      That is what insomnia is for! Seriously though I have now put aside an hour at least twice a week to deeply read amazing information like Brian’s (thank you!) and I make action notes as I go (just in case I don’t have time to re-read). It’s time invested not wasted. cheers from Australia, Christina The Garden Times -currently cooking, cleaning, planning blog post etc etc etc.

  2. Hey Brian
    Thanks so much for such an incredible intro to conversion. As with all your strategies and guides, so much depth and actionable ideas.

    Thanks again

    Brian B

  3. Another Monster ! It’s hard to consume your contents in one sitting Brian 🙂 Bookmarked and saved it for later! Thanks for adding tons of value.

  4. This list is crazy! I was reading so many books on CRO and couldn’t able to figure out the right procedure and right techniques to get the best out of my ecommerce websites. This bible of CRO will actually help me a lot in converting the leads into customers.

    Superb work Brian! 😀

  5. Brian: This was so helpful. I really enjoyed the usability of just scrolling down, and I spent about 20 minutes reading through this. My favorite suggestions were: the inline validation; unique call to action language; write catchy stuff in the captions; and putting the anchor price out there first. Can’t wait to see if any of this stuff works for us. I wish I knew of a DIY way to make a custom form like the really creative opt in form you showed here! Again, great job.

    1. Thanks Megan. I’m pumped to hear that you already found some golden nuggets in the guide. Let me know how the techniques work for you.

  6. Hey man, wow! Great example of epic content. I’m nowhere near finished reading this, just wanted to take a moment and give you props.

    Great stuff!

  7. Brian,
    This is killer. I can only imagine the time you’ve taken to corral and edit and link and research this. Great work. Your checklist will most likely be printed out by me, posted to my wall and then attacked with a highlighter. Thanks again.

      1. Hi Brian,

        An easily printable PDF version would be so helpful. So that I can read it offline later and make any notes when I have time.

        Thanks for all your hard work and I always look forward to your posts! 🙂

  8. Another absolutely brilliant post. Thanks so much Brian. — One thing that would help make it (and ones like it in the future) more awesome would be a summary list (of the tips/headings) at the end that we could print off as a one or two page checklist next to our desk. Feel free to smack your logos and face all over it, so we remember where we got it from (smile). Would save printing 73 pages of paper. (I didn’t print it, but I would have definitely printed a checklist. Maybe that could be your next blog post – the checklist – to remind us and so we can remember how awesome this one was – hint, hint.) 🙂

  9. Very nice work Brian, you are the master of the mega-post! Do you think conversion has a big impact on SEO, or is this a new direction you are heading in? Can’t wait to see what you’ll do to top this one.
    -JW

    1. Thanks John. It’s sort of a side mission. I don’t think CRO has much to do with SEO. I’ve just been learning more about CRO and wanted to help the Backlinko community get more conversions.

      After all, all that SEO traffic is useless if people don’t convert.

  10. Taken it to another level.. again.
    I didn’t know how right I was with my Twitter message the other day.
    I am a bit of a CRO nerd and this blew me away.

    The work you put into is staggering and as a blogger I am just in awe of your work, every time.

    You’re always raising the benchmark and I admire (and curse you) for that 😛

    I have one bit of feedback that I will email you, although I suspect you are already planning on doing it.

    Paul

    1. Thanks Paul. The work was actually not just by me. In fact, our entire team put work into designing, editing and coding up today’s guide.

      This post wouldn’t have been half of what it is without the help out talented team that all contributed.

      1. It certainly looks like it would have taken an ungodly amount of man hours to compile.

        It is an incredible effort, great work to all of you.

        Paul

    1. Thanks Dan. I appreciate your support. This was a big project to take on, but it’s really cool to see it live on the site.

  11. Fantastic work Brian! Already bookmarked. It is incredible how many information it is out about SEO and how few is about CRO. Increasing from 2% to 4% is the same as growing from 10,000 visits to 20,000 visits. Which one is easier?

    1. Thanks Alex. Totally! Traffic is still the lifeblood of any online business, but in general, it’s MUCH easier to double your conversions vs. double your traffic. Good point.

  12. Amazing stuff Brian! I always read your work and am always extremely impressed. Though this is going to take me a couple more days to completely soak it in, thanks for making another truly incredible guide with tons of actionable content. Like some others said, can’t wait until your next one!

  13. I couldn’t agree more with “the number of pages in your checkout process” being very important. We went from sending users to another site to adding ssl to our site and letting users make a purchase in one quick step through a light box. It made a huge difference in sales.

    1. Nice. Glad to hear that, Dan. I’ve also seen 5-step checkouts do well though. It really depends on how many fields they have to fill out. If you have 50 fields, having them all on one page can be overwhelming.

  14. Wow, awesome Brian!

    2 cups of tea to read it all and loads of great actionable advice as always.

    Takeaway from this and that i tell clients all the time is “we just have to test it.”

    Now i can send them to this guide 🙂

    Cheers,

    Colin.
    (Yes, coming from Scotland, it’s great more men are wearing kilts!)

    1. Thanks Colin. That’s true: it all comes down to testing. But with this guide, you know at least know what to test first.

  15. Amzing Brian, thank you for your collection tip about CRO. However, to be sucessful with CRO we must make test A/B for the website.
    Because some of case may come true, but some of case is wrong.

  16. Some great information here. As a consultant, I work with small business to SMEs. The small businesses are struggling to get social media going and just want a web site that works. Not for profit orgs often lack bandwidth, but a few commercial smes have what it takes to engage this way. I’m redeveloping a commercial kitchen appliance web site at the moment. They are good operators in general, they use SAP and have great products. The challenge is in landing pages and funnels.
    Do you have any advice for consultants working at the coal face trying to help small shops or other micro businesses where they struggle to see the picture and the way forward? What is it you world present to them as priorities and a road map, and how do you sell the consulting with specific benefits attached?

    1. Steve, that’s a really hard question to answer in a blog comment. But in general, I’d nail down a step-by-step process that you use for each client and follow that. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but an imperfect plan is MUCH better than no plan at all.

  17. Great Stuff, Epic, Awesome, Incredible, Fantastic, Monstrous!!!!
    Is there anything remaining????
    Well thanx Brian for the Masterpiece!!!
    Really loved it.
    Bookmarked this during loading!!!! ha ha

    Sagar

  18. Outstanding Brian. This is a bookmark-worthy post.
    While I haven’t tested everything you set out, let me share with you what’s worked best for my niche sites when it comes to attracting email newsletter subscribers.
    I publish a few niche sites with combined monthly page views over 1.1 million. Obviously attracting email subscribers is important with all that traffic.
    My 3 best email opt in conversion methods are as follows:
    1. Exit intent pop up: When I implemented this, I dramatically increased the percentage of email subscribers immediately. In fact, I started getting so many every day, I thought it was a mistake. I like the exit intent aspect because it’s non-obtrusive while people enjoy my sites.
    2. Facebook tab squeeze page: This obviously only works if you publish an FB page. My page is pretty popular (86,000 fans with 500 to 700 daily visitors to the FB page itself). The result is quite a few people opt in via the FB squeeze page (I place it on a tab… the usual practice).
    3. I place an optin form in a fixed sticky zone in the sidebar. As visitors scroll down the site, the sticky zone stays with them and they can’t help but see the sweet incentive offer for subscriber. This works well too.

    1. Nice! I’ve also seen exit intent popups crush it. I actually started making them unique to each page (so they offer something specific to what someone’s reading). That actually works even better.

  19. Your ideas are always appreciable! “Conversion Rate” is one of the most important aspect behind a successful internet marketing, after reading through this post, i have a feeling, and that is to say, you are just “innovative”. Thanks very much.

  20. Thanks, Brian! All the tips are incredible! I’ve just launched my new website and focusing more on conversion rate is what I need to do to get most out of the website. Goog conversion rate is what we can call a successful internet marketing. I love all your recommendations and creativity. Good job, man! 🙂

  21. Hey Brian,

    Great article on this topic. Recently I started using Get Response which I really enjoy because of how user friendly it actually is, and well, the tools involved with it of course.

    I started creating my form and have stuck to pretty basic “Join Now” or around those lines. But good point when you state”Standard CTA copy=”Sign Up” or “Join”. Weird call to action copy=“Join now and get access to our app”. You may have noticed that I use weird CTA button copy on my homepage:”

    I find myself trying to stay so “what everyone else does”, not sure why, I guess you get use to that stuff. Thanks for a rocking article kind sir, kind of let’s you crack your shell a bit and let’s your own personality blend in nicely.

    Thanks,

    Christopher Pontine

  22. What a post Brian!
    I am glad I found this site. Long post but I read it entirely. I will definitely use some of ideas in my business too!
    Thank you!

  23. Hey
    I Like your website and the strategy you mentioned above is really impressive, I think Conversion rate optimization is now the most important priority to digital marketers along with content marketing.
    Thankyou

  24. Hi Brian,
    Another great post always and this time you put everything about Conversion Rate optimization in one place. Thanks. 🙂

  25. This is a great article Brian, Thanks for sharing these useful resources. Lots of great ideas to make use off! Fantastic!

  26. Wow Brian so action packed! Thank you so much for the great job you do of educating Internet marketers! I have developed a product that I’ve tested and is great, I’m also extremely happy with the amount of traffic I’ve built to my site. BUT now I have to learn the conversion piece. It truly is a journey yes? But you make it so much easier! Thanks again!

  27. This really annoys me. Purely for the fact that I haven’t discovered this guide earlier! Seriously Brian, this thing is awesome and could not have come at a better time for my team and I! Thanks for this legendary post 😉

  28. Great list Brian, Thanks..
    I am so glad to read these tips. As you said, I have case study about optimizing conversion rate. We’ve created mobile version and redesigned our e-commerce website w/ responsive design. Then, organic trafic has inreased 132% and conversions is 90%. And I will implement these tips for our e-commerce web site which is not implemented yet.

  29. Thanks for the great resource Brian!
    Do you think an “About Us” page is all that necessary when you are a solo business owner with the relevant information needed on the homepage/services page? I am not sure I want to advertise that I do not have employees yet.
    I just launched my new social media and SEO management business and it is thanks to epic content like yours, that I can gain continuous valuable knowledge.

    1. You’re welcome, Tyler. I do think an about page is SUPER important or every business. It’s a way for people to learn more about you and the people behind your business.

  30. “Directional Cues” this was an eye-opener. I usually hand code my own web pages be it my blog or clients landing pages.
    But this UI factor is so very important. Brian as always you teach me so much.
    Thank you for your research and contribution 🙂

  31. Hi Brian,

    TBH, I clicked the link with really low expectations about the article, but this is quite a cool guide, and I really need to to optimize my conversion rate so I’ll give it a try. Thank you!

  32. Conversion rate optimization is the quickest way to success! it works for all your sources of traffic! Love to implement it first on my clients websites.

    Great guide, as always!

    1. François, exactly. As the old saying goes: “it’s easier to double your conversion rate than double your traffic.”

  33. Great article and resource, as always.
    I haven’t found live chat to be effective. Makes sense why Zendesk would say that it does help, but IRL it doesn’t seem to work.

    1. Thanks Aaron. It’s worked really well for us. But like you said, it really depends on the business and product.

  34. Very detailed information, Brian. Interesting what you have to say about negative headlines. I’ve just published a post with a negative headline (my first) so it’ll be interesting to see the results.

  35. Awesome advice! I use Google optimize, why dont you recommend this one? Do you think the other ones provide more value?

    Also I would love a collection of case studies. Its hard for me to imagine what kind of things are most important to test first. You say test big changes first which makes sense. But im not sure where to start with the big changes. Do you recommend testing a logo itself? This is what my collegue wants to try but im not sure..

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisse, thank you! I actually haven’t used Google Optimize in years. I basically used Unbounce and Optimizely and never looked back. Are you liking it?

      In terms of what to test, I’d go with something much more drastic than a logo chance. I’m talking about a complete page redesign, different checkout flow… stuff like that.

  36. Great content as usual, Brian. We are definitely seeing increased demand for CRO-focused SEO from clients.

    Couple of bits I’d add into the mix…

    Delivery charges – Always, always be upfront about delivery charges. Even if you offer free delivery, make this clear in the cart and during the checkout process.

    What happens next – we’ve found that being upfront about the buying process at the checkout stage and letting customers know what happens next (e.g. “once you place your order, our team will…”) can increase the chances of getting them across the line.

    Keep up the amazing work.
    Paul

    1. Thanks Paul.

      Great tips there! At the end of the day, it’s all about following the “no surprises” rule.

      As someone that orders online flower delivery a lot (for my Mom’s birthday, mother’s day etc.) those hidden charges are a conversion KILLER. There’s a graveyard of abandoned carts from hidden shipping and packaging fees out there from me alone! LOL.

  37. Hey Brian, great stuff as usual. I was wondering if you ever get the chance to work with real estate agents or brokerages. I have a pretty easy time converting on my marketing blog… but really struggle with my real estate site. It would be awesome if you did a guide just for real estate… any thoughts?

  38. Great post as always. The testing tools you mention all cost at least a few hundred dollars a month, well out of the budget more many people getting started. I’ve found Google optimize a great way to get started if you want a free alternative.

    1. Thanks Themeora. You’re the second person that’s mentioned Google optimize. I’ll add more info on Google optimize in a future version of the guide. Thanks again for the suggestion.

  39. Hey Brian, many thanks for the EPIC guide I’m going to pour over It :-). I’m running a subscription-based site (https://faqshop.com) but my bounce rate (and therefore Google rankings) are atrocious which is REALLY hurting me. I’m a one-man band with no budget trying to feed my family. Any experience/advice you can give me please?

    1. Hi Cliff, it’s hard to say without doing a deep dive. Why do you think your bounce rate is the cause for your low rankings?

      1. Hey thanks for the fast reply Brian, wasn’t expecting that 🙂 Because it’s 80%+. Appreciate it’s not my only problem. I’m an IT guy not a marketer, but I do believe in what I have to offer. I just need to understand how to “sell” the benefits (where I hope your guide comes in), PLUS also lower my bounce rate which HOPEFULLY may also help. I’ve tried a few things like free trials, warning people 2 days before their trial ends, etc. to give them reassurance, but it’s not working and I feel a big part in this is people aren’t finding me. Anyways, many thanks for your time and wish I had the $$$s to hire a guru like you.

        1. Bounce rate could be it. That said, 80% for certain types of content is normal. The reason I ask is that, for most sites, the #1 reason they don’t rank is because their competitors have more backlinks than they do.

          1. Thanks Brian. The problem I have is everyone else is giving their content away for free primarily, consultants demonstrating their knowledge to potential clients. I’m coming at this from completely the other way – charging a tiny amount for access to the Knowledge Base I’ve built. As soon people see they need to pay (even though I offer a 14-day free trial), they run for the hills and that of course gives me the bounce rate. So I think it’s a case of bounce rate plus having to get my message right and I’m really struggling with both. If you’re looking to take on a new case study/student I’d be over the moon to have you as a mentor, but appreciate you probably get inundated with requests like this every minute of the day. Thank you for at least taking the time to reply to my comments.

  40. This list is crazy! I was reading so many books on CRO and couldn’t able to figure out the right procedure and right techniques to get the best out of my ecommerce websites. This bible of CRO will actually help me a lot in converting the leads into customers.

  41. Of course, I want to try ALL of these strategies. But I think the first one that I’ll implement (because it’s easy) is creating enticing captions. Do you know I never even write captions for my images? You showed me I’m missing out on a good opportunity.

    Thank you again for schooling me on stuff. 🙂

  42. Excellent post as always Brian. I’ve read all your posts on the blog, and I’m always looking forward to a new one. I have to tell you I’ve noticed a mistake in the picture below “Test Negative Words In Your Headline”. Instead of “negative +30%” it writes “positive”. All the best, continue the excellent work.

  43. Thanks Brian. Good detailed article as always. I have learned so much from you. Almost all I know about SEO. I started SEO July last year. Today, I have managed to rank a few websites on the first page in #1 position for important big traffic keywords. I have traffic but relatively low conversation rate, that’s why this article is so important and on time to me. I think I will start with making my forms more attractive and shorter and my CTA buttons stand out. Do you have an article on “reducing bounce rate?” or maybe consider it. So much thanks from me.

    1. You’re welcome, Carl. Good question there. It’s hard to say because every page is a little bit different. In other words: people bounce for different reasons.

      But in general, you can reduce bounce rate by giving people stuff to do on the page that will stop them from hitting their back button. This can be as simple as making it easier to sign up, to adding a FAQ page or adding a video to the page.

  44. Oh boy, I thought you are only a master of SEO, but apparently you know everything! 🙂 Thanks for another great guide, will try to implement them to my pages as soon as possible.

  45. Hi,
    Awesome content!
    I just did this page analysis on GTmetrix, Pingdom and Google Page Speed Insights. It looks like the page score is too much bad, below 50%, I need to ask from you that is the page loading speed is still the factor in rankings? The reason I’m asking this is because of your every post ranks out on Google, and your page size is more than enough about more than 10mb.
    So, still, the page speed is a factor or not more than the quality?
    Need your helpful reply

  46. This is awesome. Thank you for covering conversions. Your guides are an essential part of any training program for new SEOs as well as great reminders for advanced SEOs. Thank you!

  47. I hardly study a book of even 5 pages, but when it comes about reading your informative blog, I’m engaged throughout the first to last line of it even though it’s a 1000s of word’s long 😄

  48. This is definitely the most exhaustive piece of content I’ve come across on Conversion Rate Optimisation. Thank you for sharing it with us

  49. Hi Brian,
    This is killer. I can only imagine the time you’ve taken to corral and edit and link and research this. Great work. Your checklist will most likely be printed out by me, posted to my wall and then attacked with a highlighter. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Paul, thank you. I’d say this took about 25 hours (not including design and coding). It was a big project!

  50. Great post as always. I’ve got this one bookmarked and will be sure to return to it periodically. Love the insights, candid down to earth approach that appeals not only to novices in the field but also teaches so called “experts” a thing or two or three or four.

  51. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this, Brian. We used many of these tactics in improving our site. We were pretty in the dark when it came to deciding how to improve our CVR. The changes we had in mind just weren’t working for us. This guide will certainly help our business! Thanks again.

  52. Hey Brian,

    As always, great contents and learned a lot from you. I have one question:

    I want to get into a niche that will do for English and Spanish. What do you think is a better option in terms of traffic and conversions? using one domain with both languages, or using two different domains?

    Thank you very much for your guidance,
    Marco

    1. Hi Marco, either approach can work. Apple has all of their sites on the same domain. And Amazon uses separate domains.

  53. Woah 😲 I’ve never seen such breathtaking content Brian in a long while. Honestly!

    Consuming all these wouldn’t move a needle without taking action. Thanks so much!

    Off to work!

  54. Brian, I notice rockstars like you, Neil Patel, etc. tend to use bigger font sizes on your websites…making it easier to read. I wonder how font size impacts conversion rates.

  55. Fantastic as always! We just launched a new site and our conversions are lagging so the timing couldn’t be better.

    One question: for new sites without enough organic and social traffic to get significant measurement, is paid ads a good way to drive traffic initially so you can at least do A/B with confidence? Or do you think the nature of targeted ads (i.e. picking your demographics) distorts the metrics?

    1. Thanks Mike. Paid ads can definitely work. But in general, if your traffic is super low, you may want to focus a little bit more on traffic. Lots of sites I look at don’t have a conversion problem… they have a traffic problem.

  56. Thanks for another quality guide Brian – and particularly appreciate the focused chapter on eCommerce. I like how you include these in your guides, as the application is different depending your industry/channel. Having them focused like this increases their value a lot.

    1. Hi James, you’re welcome. I’ve consulted for a ton of ecommerce sites so I totally get that they require their own set of tips and strategies.

  57. Wow. 10k shares? This is nut! But seriously, this guide gives a lot of food for thought without being overly techy.

    And if I were to summarize it in a few sentences, it would be to put yourself in the shoe of the potential customer from the beginning to the end of a funnel, paying attention to every single details, and improve and iterate. The technical sides might not always be easy, but it’s worth taking a look.

  58. While you now have HTML anchors for the eight main categories (thanks for that!), I’m still missing more anchors.

    E.g. I want to send a deep link to the section “Encourage Customers to Share Their Purchase” to my colleagues and friends.

    Therefore, an anchor for every(!) headline (like e.g. GitHub has) would be ideal for that.

    Right now, I’m sending a screenshot of the section by email, but I would love to be able to send a direct link to every single headline available.

    (Maybe there is a WordPress Add-in for that?)

  59. Of course people are searching Google when I ask them if they have a coupon code… thats why I removed my coupons… i just didnt Think of removing the ‘do you have a coupon’ text from checkout…

    Those small things make the Big difference 🙂 Thanks for reminding me

  60. Hi Brian,
    I am not an e-commerce marketer who sells products online but I came here to see your page design. It looks way cool.
    Why don’t you support adsense publishers also? I have heard about a Pakistani guy M. Tanveer Nandla & he claims that he’s is making around $500-$1k daily from AdSense and he uses his own case studies to rank pages. Please release some case studies for adsense publishers like Tanveer did. His case study is premium by the way, so not everyone can access it.
    Anyways, hats off to your hard work. Keep it up bro.

  61. Hi Brian,
    another amazing post!
    I was just studying something new about CRO and… BAM… I found your newsletter in my inbox at the right time.
    Thanks,
    Valentina

  62. Increase convertion is in what I´m working with my very first client!
    numbers are there and unavoidable!
    I´ll read this carefully
    have a nice day 🙂

  63. Thanks Brian, I enjoyed this ver much. Its nice to see people focusing on CRO. This is a great beginner’s guide to conversion rate optimization.

  64. By the way, “Submit Comment” is a terrible button text for a CTA button. Here are some better options:
    Send Comment
    Share your thoughts
    Send feedback
    The word “Submit” has a negative connotation and ranks as perhaps the worse word of all time to use for a button.

  65. Brian,

    An outstanding piece once again! I’m new to blogging, started my first site last year. Totaling 15 articles, 5k pageviews/mo and made my first $5.82 sale recently. For most newbs this is a breakthrough…although my approach was slow. I feel it could reach 75-100k/mo site after at least 100 posts.

    There’s so many things to learn about when developing a site. I’m constantly learning there are hurdles that are difficult at first, but rewarding your brain with ninja knowledge.

    Niche research, keyword analysis, and just learning how to land #1 in search after writing your first 2500 word article. This is hard if you’re a complete newb!

    I could go on and on…but Brian thanks again for this well laid out piece of gold.

  66. “Destroy all unnecessary options on your site.”

    Will be interesting to see what effect SCA has on conversion rates when it’s forced onto EU website operators in September. I wouldn’t be surprised if this batters conversion as consumers drop out of the checkout waiting for their 2-factor email/text that never arrives due to no fault of the retailer.

  67. Thanks for putting these guides together, Brian! They provide so many valuable insights! Oh and this one:

    “You might have heard the phrase: “It’s easier to double your conversions than double your traffic”.

    And it’s 1000% true.

    A simple tweak on a landing page can double or even 10x that page’s conversion rate.”

    Although it may sound beyond obvious, you hit the nail on its head here! Yet I believe many companies and managers overlook this part and are more focused on traffic. Perhaps because it’s a more common, more tangible or easier to understand metric?
    Either way, I completely agree that optimizing conversion rates should be an ongoing top priority!

    Cheers,
    Tom

    1. Hi Tom, I’ve been guilty of that myself: worrying about traffic… meanwhile I had landing pages that converted horribly. I’m not sure why. But I think you may be onto something: that’s it’s easier to understand and influence than conversions.

  68. Great guide Brian.
    Although it makes me realise my landers are in need of serious CRO spring clean.
    Thanks for another solid gold guide.
    Appreciated.

  69. Great post as always Brain with true value… could not agree more on how important it is to run A/B split test! I see and hear of so many people these days that don’t bother with such as crucial step.

  70. Brian, great post! I especially appreciated all the studies and numbers that back up your points. Very compelling info!

      1. You’re welcome, keep up the amazing digital marketing content 🙂 You’re one of the people that helped turn me from a Web Designer to a Marketer.

  71. Hello Brian, thank you for the post. It contains basics very well put.
    Will you go into more depth? For example some products need to filter traffic with filters in analytics to really measure conversion rate, because there are lots of retention visitors, which you do not want to measure in AB test (if you aim the test for new clients). And there are a lot of specifics like this.

  72. Great tips. To add on e-commerce page, focusing on one product (no related or upsells) tends to work better until they’ve entered billing info. On upsells, focus on one upsell than many to select from. Removing almost all about navigation, links or distractions reduced abandoned carts significantly.

    More like a landing page but it is a product page. Once you get there, the only thing you can click on is order button.

    Now, Brian, you have become more than amazing!

  73. I love the reassurance copy idea.

    I’m going to use it as an A/B test for an ecommerce store I’m helping out. I’m sure it is going to yield some very nice results.

    Thanks for a great guide, a lot of CRO ideas that we can implement going forward.

  74. Hey Brian!

    I want to congratulate you for the dedication you have to your work and the results it has given you.

    I’m your YouTube fan and I’m applying all your great tips on a site I’m building.

    Could you tell us what plugin you use so that the table of contents is an image that takes you to the written text?

    1. Thanks Adrian. It’s actually not a plugin. If you Google “jump links” you can see how to set these up.

  75. Hello Brian, I notice rockstars like you, Neil Patel, etc. tend to use bigger font sizes on your websites…making it easier to read. I wonder how font size impacts conversion rates. Your website and articles is very useful for me

  76. Hey Brian
    Thanks so much for such an incredible intro to conversion. As with all your strategies and guides, so much depth and actionable ideas.

    Thanks again

  77. Hey Brian, On behalf of the SEO community, I just want to thank you for being such an amazing and selfless human being. We’ve been so blessed to have the likes of yourself, Neil Patel and Matt Woodward who have provided so much incredible value to this tough discipline without expecting anything in return. Your blog is such a mind blowing masterpiece, I can’t even begin to express the level of impact its content has had on my life. Every time I’m lost – such as when I logged into search console, I do a search and find your awesome content. Everything broken down into ridiculously easy steps. Your link building guides, your RankBrain guides, on page SEO, every piece of content a on this site is a masterpiece. And don’t let me get started with your YouTube channel.

    I really, really, really hope you’re making the millions you absolutely deserve because millions of people in online marketing have you to thank for their success. Thanks again, Brian. You should get recognition from the POTUS because you are a national treasure. You represent the best of America bro. It is as simple as that.

  78. Wow what an amazing guide

    a couple of points i took away from it was

    create more landing pages – i am going to have to experiment with this one

    i am going to experiment with directional arrows on buttons

    and i like the form idea making it more interesting.

    Thanks for another great post Brian

  79. Masterpiece as usual, thank you very much for this excellent guide, I just has one concern about the calculation of conversion rate, Google analytics always calculates it as following: Number of conversion/Number of visits * 100, but you and many other websites use “number of visitors” instead of “number of visits”, could you please tell me why?

  80. Hey. You have just killed me with your post. You are doing a great job and I absolutely loved it. Lots of experts in emarketing often underestimate the importance of CRO issues, such as ads layout display, landing pages and many more. Keep up with the great job Brian.

  81. Hi, Brain,

    Thanks for sharing such a huge post. After reading the whole post, I think it’s a fantastic, informative and very useful to know the complete conversion cycle. And once you set the conversion funnel appropriately, focus on whatever is providing the highest ROI.

    I also believe that a good brand can bring more search credibility to the brand. Moreover, its helpful in turning a website into a lead magnet.

    Thanks again Brain 🙏

    -Rajat Chauhan

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