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Top 3 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices

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Posted by John Beveridge on Jun 23, 2014 6:00:00 PM


Is your website an inbound lead generation hotspot? Or are you missing out on customers because your site fails to follow basic conversion rate optimization best practices? Not everyone who visits your website is ready to buy immediately – and that’s not a bad thing. Problems arise, however, when your site fails to capture this lead information. After all, if you don’t know who is visiting your site and where they are in the sales process, then you won’t be able to nurture these leads and eventually close a sale. These three conversion rate optimization best practices will help turn your website into an inbound lead generation hotspot.


Best Practice Tip #1: Mimic display advertising on your landing pages

Are you diluting the value of your landing pages with visual junk? Visual consistency matters. Your job is to deliver a seamless experience for leads by mirroring landing page content to match the display ads that brought your leads to the landing page in the first place. Resist the urge to put up yet another video or graphic headline that screams “BUY NOW”! Instead, keep the messaging and visuals on your landing page brief, specific and compelling. Summarize your business’s unique selling proposition in five lines or less. Select one short video or single graphic that epitomizes your product or service.



Download the Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Landing Pages

Best Practice Tip #2: Eliminate long sign-up forms

Don’t make potential leads spend five minutes filling our every piece of information possible in order to download your latest white paper. Long sign-up forms kill conversion rates. Fewer fields equal more conversions. Period. If you must capture multiple pieces of information, use a series of screens to guide leads through the process.

Visually, viewing a form with 10 different fields can be overwhelming. When guided through the sign up process over several screens, this process is made to seem much easier and more accessible.

If users need an account, consider opting for a universal login, such as Facebook or Google. It’s one less account and password combination your leads will need to create and remember. Remember: the higher the barrier to entry, the fewer leads will convert. Keep this threshold low to maximize opt-in list generation and turn your site into a lead generating machine.


Best Practice Tip #3: Identify and correct on-page optimization with testing

Effective on-page optimization is best achieved by studying how visitors react to your landing page’s layout, content and design. Optimization research consistently finds that there is a high correlation between eye movement and mouse movement. While eye-movement studies can be expensive, segmented heat maps and mouse movement maps are an affordable option for tracking on-page movement.

If you are new to on-page optimization research, get started with a general page testing services like Five Second Test, which uses crowdsourcing to determine initial first impressions for your landing page design. Simply upload a design, and then other designers have five seconds to view your page and answer a series of questions (predetermined by you). Five Second Test collects the responses, extracts keywords and presents all your data in a beautiful graph. Free or low-cost testing services are a great way to quickly determine if a basic design flaw (like a hidden call-to-action button) is affecting click-thru rates.


Conversion rate optimization, such CTA consistency and visual design cues, can make a tremendous difference when it comes to improving conversion rates for your website. However, beware the law of diminishing returns. It’s all to easy to get trapped in a cycle of perfecting minor site details (finding that perfect shade of red for your CTA button, for example) at the expense of other website or content investments.

Don’t rest on your laurels, either. Just because your site is performing well today doesn’t mean that it will be in one year or even six months. The motivation and behavioral patterns for your target client base continually evolve, so it’s important that your website’s CTA evolves to meet these demands, too. Striking the right balance between over-testing and continued development is essential to maximizing your conversion rate ROI.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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