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6 advanced conversion techniques to grow your business fast
It’s the modern online business owner’s dream: scores of qualified leads landing on your website and clicking the ‘Buy Now’ button.
But it’s seldom that easy. Site visitors can get distracted by a phone call, frustrated by a pop-up, or confused by copy—and bolt before they ever hit that call-to-action (CTA) button.
Today, marketers and business owners need conversion techniques in their back pockets to engage users and eliminate the friction that causes customer churn.
Last updated6 Jan 2023
Reading time5 min
This article looks at six customer-centric conversion optimization techniques to help you ease the customer journey and accelerate business growth. You’ll walk away with actionable steps you can take today to improve your website and increase conversions.
6 conversion optimization techniques to elevate the customer experience (CX)
We often equate ‘conversion’ with ‘sale,’ but really, a conversion is that moment when the customer takes the next step in their journey, like signing up for your newsletter or opting to give your free trial a go.
When you think about it from the user's perspective (as good product builders do), conversion optimization is about the overall user experience of discovering, learning, and, ultimately, purchasing a product.
Let’s look at six conversion techniques you can use to improve the user experience (UX) and guide shoppers toward a purchase:
1. Identify bottlenecks
With so many elements on a standard site, it’s all too easy for a visitor to get tripped up by a single misplaced CTA, confusing pricing table, or incomplete product description.
The goal, then, is to look for website bottlenecks that may cause users to drop off too early.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) agency The Good found that identifying bottlenecks for their client Swiss Gear increased conversions by 132%.
After using Google Analytics to access data like where and when users exited the site, The Good used Hotjar’s behavior analytics tools—like Heatmaps and Recordings—to paint a fuller picture of what was happening on Swiss Gear’s ecommerce website. Heatmaps offered quantitative data about user actions in an easy-to-understand, visual way, and Recordings provided qualitative insights into why users act the way they do.
With information like click data from Heatmaps and behavior patterns in Recordings, The Good determined that some iconography and copy frustrated users. Equipped with insights from these tools, they tested changes like a new mobile hero image and a menu-driven interface—and conversions skyrocketed.
The better the insight, the more accurate our tests can be, and the faster we can get our clients results. Swiss Gear’s results wouldn’t have been nearly as dramatic without Hotjar.
2. Conduct A/B testing to improve navigation
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is essential for reducing friction in site navigation to improve PX and CX—and increasing conversions.
“At MasterClass, we ran over 100 tests a quarter just on the marketing site,” Hillary says. “Tests should be designed around hypotheses that you’re trying to prove or disprove. These hypotheses focus on what's changing, what user impact that makes, and an estimated impact to conversion.”
Once you have a solid hypothesis, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools to test it.
Using tools like Optimizely, VWO, or Google Optimize can be very helpful for running small tests without the need for sometimes time-consuming deployment cycles.
Hotjar can be great for seeing heatmaps of what people are paying attention to on your site and making improvements.
Carefully analyze how changes affect conversion rates, but try not to get discouraged if they don’t work. Whether your conversion rate stays the same or goes up, you’ll gain valuable data about your users you can use to improve their experience.
💡Pro tip: use heatmaps to (literally!) illuminate problem areas on your site.
Ukrainian shoe store Intertop hired UX and CRO agency Turum-burum to streamline the customer journey and increase conversions.
One of the tools Turum-burum used—heatmaps—allowed them to spot a problem in Intertop’s product filtering that slowed shoppers down.
After creating their hypothesis, the company could A/B test two improvements to their product filtering and find a clear winner—leading to increased conversions.
The brightness on this click heatmap showed Turum-burum that users were selecting ‘show all’ because they couldn’t find the exact filter they needed.
3. Highlight product reviews and testimonials
If customers need even a little nudge in converting, social proof—like product reviews and testimonials—provides just that.
In fact, Baymard found that 95% of shoppers on traditional ecommerce sites use reviews to evaluate a product.
When shoppers see that others have purchased (and had a good experience with) an item, they feel more confident buying it themselves.
Some online retailers leverage the power of reviews by making it easy to filter and sort them. J.Crew’s a great example. On product pages, they let users sort reviews by body type and height. If a customer’s tall, for example, they can quickly sort reviews to learn how the item fits people of similar height.
These features erase any lingering doubts about product fit that might prevent users from purchasing. Plus, the company handles fewer returns by helping customers get it right the first time.
4. Upgrade to high-quality photos and videos
Customers need to see a product from all angles to feel confident buying. A backpack might look appealing from the front, but a shopper might hesitate to click purchase without seeing a close-up of its straps.
In addition to helping customers convert with confidence, high-quality images inform customers’ perception of your company as trustworthy and professional.
More companies are also using videos on product pages to let customers visualize how an item functions. For example, you can see how a backpack shifts with each step the model takes.
While these videos are important in retail, they’re equally as vital for software-as-a-service (SaaS) products. By showing a clip of the software in action, buyers can clearly see how the product works without committing to a personal demo. A video clip might be the nudge that makes a buyer say, “Oh, I need that!”
💡Pro tip: once you update a page of your site with more detailed photos and new videos, use Hotjar Heatmaps to visualize how users frequent that part of the page. To gather even more data, watch Hotjar Recordings for customers’ mouse movements and clicks. Are they watching the product video? Do they move from the photos to the ‘Add to Cart’ button? If so, you’ll know to update other product pages, too.
5. Make the checkout process seamless—and unforgettable
We’ve all been there before: a daunting checkout page requiring credit card information makes us move a purchase to the ‘later’ list.
Eliminating obstacles at checkout makes for a calmer, happier experience for your customers—and more sales for you. Research by Baymard shows that large ecommerce sites can increase conversion rates by over 35% by improving the design of their checkout page.
Web design agency NerdCow found and resolved cart abandonment issues on a client’s site by launching surveys to ask the customer why they didn’t buy. The most common reason? People simply got distracted or forgot.
To fix the issue, NerdCow created a cart reminder email sequence and an on-site cart reminder for returning shoppers. The result? Conversions tripled in two weeks.
6. Personalize the customer experience
Personalizing the customer experience helps you improve conversion rates—and creates satisfied, loyal customers.
Consider a high-touch sales experience, like buying a home. Throughout the process, you work closely with the seller (or, in this case, the realtor). You frequently chat with them, gaining trust in their guidance, and your enthusiasm about the sale grows.
“Companies that want to do this at scale without 1:1 interaction can bring in qualities of the concierge experience,” Hillary says. “This makes the user feel more understood and that the product is tailor-made for them and their needs. It’s extremely powerful.”
Help your customers take that next step
The best way to improve conversions is to understand your customer and their perspective as fully as possible. Use quantitive and qualitative data to guide your decision-making—and create a smoother customer experience while you watch your conversion rates soar.
FAQs about conversion techniques
How to improve your online reputation to acquire more users and customers
A good online reputation inspires your users to share positive reviews that make your business more trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers, and, in turn, increases sales.
But it takes more than a good product to build and maintain an effective online presence. You have to actively listen to customers to understand how they feel and make changes to improve the user experience (UX).
How to improve UX to ramp up your website conversions
When you want to improve your conversions, the secret is simple: focus on the user experience. You’ll hit your goals when you solve real problems for users and deliver a helpful, enjoyable, and friction-free website experience.
How to use customer segmentation to improve CX and create delight
The first step to creating an easy and enjoyable experience for your customers is understanding their profiles, preferences, and pain points. But at scale, getting to know who your customers are and what makes them tick is easier said than done.
By dividing your customers into groups with similar attributes—from household income to an interest in rock climbing—you find ways to address each segment’s needs and ensure they feel understood. Segmentation improves the customer experience (CX), creating happy customers that stick around.