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Conversion Rate Optimization [Cheatsheet]

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Whether you’re trying to optimize a homepage or landing page, there are a number of best practices you should be following.

But first, a quick introduction.

What does an unoptimized page fail to do?

Before optimizing for conversion

An unoptimized webpage fails to quickly educate a visitor. The longer it takes a visitor to figure out what you’re offering, the less likely you are to convert them.

Confusion has a strong correlation with bounce rate as well.

So how do you fix this?

What makes a page convert better than others?

Improve your conversion rate by educating the visitor

In order to increase a page’s conversion rate, improve its clarity.

Do visitors immediately understand what you’re offering? How much do they need to read before they get it? Does the image you slapped up on the page make sense in context? Does your page instill trust?

Increased clarity = increased conversion rate.

Now, let’s dive into how to do this.

Eliminate Confusion

Use consistent language

  • The headline should match, or be very similar to, the copy that directed the visitor to the page (ad, tweet, email, etc).
  • Don’t be fancy with your explanations. Be clear and concise.
  • If you’re using a LeadBox or popup to collect emails, have the call-to-action button text match the box’s title.

Git rid of unnecessary copy

  • Focus the visitor’s attention right away by removing the fluffy, salesy stuff.
  • Organize your thoughts with bullet points.
  • Any paragraphs above the fold should be very short (1 – 3 sentences).

Detailed explanations belong below the fold

  • If a visitor wants additional information, they’ll know to look for it by scrolling down. This is where you can dive into the nitty-gritty.
  • Don’t be afraid to use whitespace.
  • Add call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout the page.

Do your images invoke the proper emotions?

  • Place your images intentionally rather than just using them to fill space.
  • Ask friends and/or colleagues about their first impression of the page.
  • Use an image compressor to decrease page load time.

Instill Trust & Prove Expertise

Remember, you’re starting from zero

  • You may be intimately familiar with your product/service, but most people who visit your site will have never heard of it. Keep this in mind.
  • Paid traffic typically converts around .5 to 2 percent. Visitors are more skeptical when they click on an ad, so instilling trust is more difficult.
  • Leverage social media as much as possible. Social validation helps you build rapport with your audience.

Connect on a human level

  • When possible, speak from a personal perspective. Including an explainer video ramps up your visitors’ trust very quickly.
  • Show your face or a picture of your team.
  • Let the product/service sell itself. People are turned off by forceful marketing.

What makes your product or service unique?

  • Everyone (and their mothers) are trying to get your visitors’ money. Why should they go with you instead of them?
  • Instead of writing boring, repetitive copy, try something that’ll grab the visitor’s attention. (This is what made BuzzFeed famous.)

Are you credentialed?

  • Can you provide a list of websites you’ve been mentioned on?
  • Do you, the creator of the product/service, have any professional accolades?
  • Have previous customers gushed about you? Ask them for a testimonial

Split test everything

Basically, your assumptions are most likely wrong. In order to counteract this, split test everything. You’ll often be surprised by what converts better.

If you don’t get a lot of traffic to your site, don’t worry about split testing yet. That’ll come later.


The product or service that you’re offering is obviously going to affect conversion rate. Perhaps just as important, however, is the traffic that you’re driving to your site. How are people hearing about you, and what else do they need to know before they’re sold?

We’ll dive deeper into driving traffic to your site in a future post.

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