How to be a Conversion Optimization Genius

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Conversion optimization is the art and science of making websites and pages that draw people in and persuade them to contact you, to make a purchase or to otherwise interact with the site in the way you want them to. The promise of this guide is that we will dig up many practical tactics to making your website better, bring to light the best research we can find, and show you how we’ve done on making websites that convert. Buckle in and get ready to enjoy the ride.

Browse the table of contents below and skip to a section you may be interested in, but this landing page is intended to be read in full in the hopes that it will inform you how to get started in your discipline. Through regular applications of the strategies below, you will, over time, become a conversion optimization genius.

What You’ll Find in this Guide

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3 Methods and Tactics to Destroy the Competition With Conversion Optimization

Conversion Optimization Through User Testing: How to Use User Testing Effectively

User testing involves having a person whoís not a web designer or involved in your business to look at a website, click around and interact with it, then give feedback on whatís hard to use or share things that could be improved. By getting feedback from these outsiders, you can often uncover gaps that you otherwise would have missed by being “too close to the project” to be objective.

Some options for doing this could be as simple as:

Moderated User Testing

Option 1: Sitting down with a random person youíve asked to look at the site

You can record their face with a program called Silverback to share with other stakeholders in the project. Also, you could use this cheat sheet for a script while user testing from the book “Don’t Make Me Think,” by Steve Skrug. When I first started doing this, I took a couple people involved with creating the site to a coffee shop and gave people $10 gift cards to the shop to spend 15 minutes with the site.

Download a Script for User Testing

Remote User Testing Icon

Option 2 ó Use a great tool for doing this quickly, like

They provide you with a palette of questions that you can use to kick off your user test, such as “what are your first impressions,” or “how would you go about signing up or trying and doing that,” and also allow you to add your own questions that you could make more specific to your client. A general rule of thumb is to start general and slowly get more specific with your questions.

User Test remotely with

Other online tools will help you do this, such as Usability Hub, or even just search for User Testing on

Some things to consider to make sure your user testing and changes based on user testing are effective.

      1. Remember the reason you are doing this. Itís to empathize with visitors to your site. Ideally, these would be as close to your ideal demographic as possible. By looking at the reactions they have and the places they struggle (even if they donít say it out loud), and taking notes about those spots, you can be ready to improve on your existing site to decrease friction. By decreasing friction to the main actions you want people to take on the site, youíre ensuring that youíll have the information you’ll need to improve the layout, functionality and design of the site. To really make a difference, it’s important that you or the team involved has the ability or resources to make those changes on the site in an efficient manner. If they are simple and your content management system (like WordPress, Drupal or Magento) or theme allows you to make changes easily, do the most prominent ones first. It’s also smart to prioritize these items by which are likely to affect your bottom line most directly.
      2. Be as open to change as you can be, but weigh at least three to five user’s feedback together and not just one outspoken userís opinion. Often you may hear contradictory opinions while listening to people in user tests. Understand that unless it’s obvious something needs to be changed after one visitor, a couple people should mention something before you impulsively change your whole website. Furthermore, user testing isnít about whether someone “loves the hero image,” or whether the “olive color feels outdated,” but instead the focus in this method of conversion rate optimization is ensuring the visitor can get to where they want to go and that the things you want them to do on the site are prominently featured. Of course if everyone you test with mentions that your website looks outdated or untrustworthy, it is then that it becomes a very relevant factor. If, through user testing, you find ways to improve on these points, youíre on the right track.
      3. Recognize you’re not testing the users: Youíre testing the website. None of this matters if you donít distill those changes down on the website and then test again. Make changes quickly so that you can see how it affects your conversion rate. The key is to not stop improving on the site. Changes based on user testing should be validated through further testing and by watching analytics.

Conversion optimization through adjustments based on analytics: How to use Analytics to adjust your site’s content and design for traffic and conversion

Analytics are the beeís knees. I have analytics for my blog on my phone, and after I send out a post on Twitter, I can check to see how many people are reading it. Analytics have a significant application for decreasing visitor friction on your site because you can see where people drop off or stop looking at it. Do they spend a minute on your home page or get to a service specific page and leave forever? Perhaps your service pages are dropping the ball and should be improved.

Best analytics services, and their advantages, crazy egg, kiss metrics, google analytics, and clicktale, pro's and con's / reviews

If you donít have analytics installed on your website, itís easy to do through Google Analytics among other options. Here are instructions for installing Google Analytics.

To set up the web tracking code:

  1. Find the tracking code snippet for your property. Sign in to your Google Analytics account, and select the admin tab.
  2. Find your tracking code snippet.
  3. Copy the snippet.
  4. Paste your snippet (unaltered in its entirety) into every web page you want to track. (or the header.php of a WordPress site).
  5. Check your setup.

So many simple things can have a significant impact on pages that have a high drop-off rate. One example is including a call-out at the bottom of the content, which provides visual interest, that has a big, prominent button that guides users to the obvious next step to take in the site. On a blog article just giving the featured image and title of other similar posts can help keep people on the site as well. If you are using WordPress, an easy way to do this is to install ‘Related Post’ as part of the JetPack plugin by the people that make the CMS.

[slideshare id=53046029&doc=waystoestablishkeymetricstomeasurewithanalytics-150922044337-lva1-app6892]

Here are some steps to determining what your improvements should be to optimize for conversions through analytics.

      1. Take a look at your best performing pages and determine whatís making them do so well. Find what improvements, both visually and through structural changes, you can do for the other pages to match the success of your top-performing pages.
      2. Find out where people are dropping off of your site and adjust the design and content to effect positive change. Unless they just purchased something or contacted you, there is something you need to change on the page where people are dropping off.
      3. Rinse and repeat: The changes need to be made on a regular basis and need to be iterative so that you can be continually improving on what existed. Why so many people scrap their whole site to make the same mistakes on a new one is beyond me. Redesign, revamp and modify for greater digital success rather than throwing away your old site. Unless, of course, itís hideous.

Here’s a video clarifying how to set up a conversion in Google Analytics:

Each of these you’ll want to modify the eventCategory, eventAction, eventCategory, eventValue, etc. to your tastes / purpose.

Code Snippet – Adding Tracking to Raw Code

onClick="ga('send', 'event', { eventCategory: 'Landing Page', eventAction: 'Contact Form Submission', eventValue: 500});"

In this example below it would go right after value=”Submit” (right here)

<input id="contact-submit" class="button" type="submit" value="Submit" />

Code Snippet – Adding Tracking for Gravity Forms through functions.php

 $input = $dom->getElementsByTagName('input')->item(0);
if ($input->hasAttribute('onclick')) {
$input->setAttribute("onclick","ga('send', 'event', { eventCategory: 'Forms', eventAction: 'Mailing List Subscription', eventLabel: 'Sidebar'});".$input->getAttribute("onclick"));
} else {
$input->setAttribute("onclick","ga('send', 'event', { eventCategory: 'Forms', eventAction: 'Mailing List Subscription', eventLabel: 'Sidebar'});");
return $dom->saveHtml();
add_filter( 'gform_submit_button_6', 'add_conversion_tracking_code', 10, 2);

Code Snippet – Adding Tracking for Contact Form 7 in ‘Additional Settings’

on_sent_ok: "_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Contact Form', 'Submit']);"

Or bypass editing functions.php and just use this Gravity Forms Analytics Tracking Plugin

Conversion Optimization Through A/B Testing: How to Use A/B or Multivariate Testing With the Most Effective Results.

Before we lay out how to do testing, we should understand the differences between A/B and multivariate testing. We will also define the strengths, weaknesses and common uses for each method.

A/B testing, or split testing as it is also known, is perhaps the most basic and most powerful testing tool. A/B methodology tests one element (control or version A) against another version of the element (test or version B) to find out which version is more effective. In web design, we are most commonly testing a full-page layout against an altered version of that page and measuring the interaction of a desired action, such as an “add to cart” button click or newsletter signup. To achieve statistical significance, live traffic website visitors are split (hence the split testing moniker) into either the control group or the test group and interactions are measured. When a specific confidence level is achieved in the test, a winner between the two pages can be declared. A/B testing is not limited to only one control and one test. Several test variations can be administered, which would result in a protocol such as A/B/C/D and so on.

The most common uses for A/B testing in a web environment include:

Newsletter Signup Forms
“Add to Cart” Buttons
On-Page Video
Contact Forms
Phone Number Locations on Page

The true advantages of the split testing method are in its simplicity and ability to generate results quickly. A/B testing and the limited test variations generally do not need a large amount of traffic to achieve statistical relevance. A true optimization program that utilizes A/B testing will be able to run tests in sequence, thereby allowing for very efficient testing programs.

Despite all of the benefits of A/B test protocols, there are some limitations that should be noted. The main drawback of A/B testing is in the measurement of how variables relate to each other and influence action. Split testing will only measure the sum of the whole and cannot tell you how or why the test winner performed the way it did if testing more than one element variation. If understanding the variable relationship is important, then multivariate testing would be the preferred method.

3 Steps to Conversion Optimization Glory

Definition to implementation now. Weíll give you a three-step guide to easy conversion optimization testing:

Step 1. What do you want to test and why?
Define what it is you want to test and why. Testing for testing’s sake is bad business, so unless you have lots of spare time, you will want to find a current weakness or deficiency in your website or process and define the outcome you want to have (i.e., increased product conversion, increased sign up or contacts, etc.). Next you will want to benchmark your data. Take a snapshot of your analytics so that, in addition to your testing tool results, you will have your own metrics to compare against.

Step 2. Select testing method and design the test.
Once you have your test subject and goal you can select the testing method. Keep in mind the benefits and limitations of A/B and multivariate testing, especially traffic requirements and time requirements while you are reviewing your benchmark data from step one. Do you have good traffic levels (as in, several hundred or even thousands of visits per day)? How many variables do you want to test? How important is it for you to understand why the specific result was achieved?
An example is that you are an ecommerce company that sells backpacks. You think that your backpack sales are underperforming at a 2% conversion rate. You want to get some quick results on increasing clicks on your “add to cart” button. Your theory is that by changing the button from red to green, you may get more clicks and conversions. In this example, A/B testing would be a great way for you to test a single variation of your “add to cart” button: You’ll find out if changing the color from red to green, the only variable, will have an impact.

Step 3. Measure your results and start again.
Once you have a theory and a goal, and you have designed your test, you will want to watch/collect test data. Most testing platforms will have a built-in confidence level that needs to be achieved for a successful test. When this occurs and a winner of your test is declared, you can then move on to another test. Use what you have learned from the analysis of your step one. Were there other weaknesses in your funnel that could be tested? Are there any further complex multivariate tests you would like to take on? By making conversion optimization testing a standard part of your business, you are ensuring that your process wonít get stale.


Top Testing Ideas by Business Type

The best source for top-testing ideas will come from diving into your own analytics. Sort through your conversion funnels, landing page flows and cart pages. Look for drop off, site exit, bounce rates or other KPIs (key performance indicators) for your specific business. Below are a few ideas to get you started.

These Are Common B2B Tests to Consider

Contact or Quote Submission Buttons
Phone Number Placement
Map/Location/Directions Placement
Call to Action Headlines (e.g., “get quote now,” “contact us for a free quote,” etc.)

These Are Common B2C Tests to Consider

“Add to Cart” Buttons (size, color, location)
Email Sign-up Form
Product Image Size
Shopping Cart Page
Checkout Page
Call to Action Headlines (e.g., timed offers, urgency, short vs. long titles, etc.)

So then, what is the difference between multivariate testing and A/B testing? Multivariate testing shares the same baseline function as A/B testing in that you will be live testing element variations until a statistical significance or confidence level is achieved. The difference is in the deeper results generated from the test. While A/B testing measures a singular overall outcome (e.g., B version converted more frequently than A), you will not know if it was the different text, larger image or other element variation that caused the outcome. Multivariate testing will generate a test variation for every combination of possible elements you specify and present them to users/visitors. With this approach, you will be able to measure what variation combination has the most positive (and negative) impact on your goal metric.

As an example, you want to test your ad headline and product image to find out what combination will lead to an increase in sales. For each of these elements you’ll want to test two different headlines and two different images. The formula then looks like this: 2 elements (headline, image) x 3 headlines (1 control, 2 test) x 3 images (1 control, 2 test) = 18 pages in the test. You can see that this method would create many new test pages.


Strengths of Multivariate Testing vs. A/B Testing

The obvious strength of multivariate testing is in the depth of knowledge that can be uncovered by testing all variables against each other. By testing in this way, we can know which variables are successful together (or not good together at all), but also how each variable relates to others on the page. This is a useful and complete data set that A/B testing will not provide.

As with A/B testing, however, there are drawbacks inherent to the multivariate methodology. The main problem here is in the traffic required to perform a relevant test. As demonstrated above simply testing two new headlines and two new images simultaneously created 18 pages for your test. Most websites do not have sufficient traffic/visits to run this level of testing in a short amount of time. Stated another way, the more sections and variables you test, the more traffic is required and the longer it will take to find a statistical design winner.


      • Badges
      • Testimonials
      • Guarantees
      • Free Shipping
      • Complete “About Us” Page
      • Phone Number
      • Quickly Accessible Address
      • Live Chat
      • Simple Accessible Language
      • Link to Website That References Your Organization
      • Brief Bios of Your Team and Staff Pictures
      • Swap Your Stock Photos for Real Photos of Your Office
      • Include Verifiable Information, Not Bloated Claims
      • Customer Reviews
      • Maintain Articles or a Blog Relevant to Your Industry
      • Guest Blog on Other Sites
      • Pick at Least Two Social Channels to Actually Be Active on and Link to Them
      • Make Sure Your Website Is Decently Fast-loading
      • Proofread the Copy on Your Site for Grammar and Spelling Errors
      • Have a Careers Page
      • Don’t Bloat Your Site With Ads or Promotions

The visual aspect of web design does matter. People fall in love with other people partly because they’re attracted to them, and the same goes for the look and feel of websites. If you made your website yourself and you don’t have a designer’s eye, your website likely looks bad. A certain Dr. Brent Coker went into study on why attractive websites have an affect on human behavior. Here’s what he had to say about it: ìAs aesthetically orientated humans, weíre psychologically hardwired to trust beautiful people, and the same goes for websites. Our offline behaviour and inclinations translate to our online existence.” Websites that are more attractive and include more trimmings create a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in consumers.

The 3 Most Common Ways to Convert Traffic and How

Ecommerce Conversion Optimization: How to Get Visitors to Your Website to Buy.

Selling products online and running an online store are difficult tasks, and they are often ones that can cause many owners to close up shop and quit. With so many things to worry about, many webmasters and owners often forget about the core principle, and thatís selling products online.

Having a successful ecommerce website doesnít help you if your site struggles to convert sales, but finding ways to fine-tune your website may seem overwhelming. What most people donít realize, however, is that with just a little bit of work and a few tweaks, there could be a huge increase in conversion rates and online revenue.

Here are some broader items to consider:

      • Focus Words: Otherwise known as keywords, the right amount of research into your search engine keywords can unlock your websiteís potential. Remember to use the best possible SEO (search engine optimization) tactics and to avoid abusive techniques and black hat methods that could result in your website being blacklisted.
      • Graphics: Users want to feel good about their purchase, and without the proper high-quality graphics and resolution, they may not be comfortable enough to buy through your website. Consider graphics a part of your website and the valuable investment they represent: it’s wise to invest in higher quality images and videos.
      • Pricing: Competition can be stiff online and there’s no doubt that pricing still plays a strong point for online shoppers. People looking online know that there are many options when it comes to shopping on a website, so your pricing needs to be competitive.
        Doing a little bit of legwork to see what your competition is pricing their products at can help you stay in the same, or even cheaper, range.
      • Trust: There are quite a few ways you can increase customer trust and loyalty to build your brand and extend your reach. Use of logos and icons can help visitors feel at ease and comfortable browsing your website, and interacting with your visitors can humanize your business and provide a personal touch. Whatever steps you take in this area, make sure to exude the most professional look possible and take measures to prevent possible trust issues. Testimonials and reviews are another way to get your users interested in your services or products and they offer a peek into who you are and what you are about.
      • Catalog : Whether you are selling goods or services, it doesn’t do you any good to have a catalog that’s difficult to navigate. When your users are confused and can’t find what they need, chances are they will just end up leaving and buying a similar product some place else. Use these tips to increase your conversion rates and sell more products by using these informative tactics and sales strategies.

Now to get specific:

When it’s time for a user to buy, what do I need around my “Buy Now” button to make sure it gets clicked? What are some keys to the kingdom, so to speak, that will get that button pressed? How do we optimize an individual product page to really draw people in?


      • Image focused: Case study after case study has proven that people are urged to buy because of visual stimulation. The better and more plentiful your product shots, the more likely someone will be to purchase. This works not only on product pages, but in backgrounds and wherever imagery can strike a powerful and effective chord.
      • Perceived quality: This is all about product images and the ability to capture the product in its best light. – your iPhone shots won’t cut it.
      • Make the images big: If you’re product is well-crafted, prove it by sharing massive images where people can see every detail of what they’re buying. This, in turn, creates trust and the likelihood that a visitor will not look elswhere for imagery (or potentially buying elsewhere as well).


Conversion Optimization Test


      • Make that “Buy Now” button big and contrasting: Yes, that might mean red. No, it doesn’t have to mean the most basic red you can find. Bright and warm colors like red and orange have proven to be more effective in case studies. But what matters more is the psychology of the audience and what will appeal to them most. Also, if the whole design of the page is green and you throw a red button into the mix, it’s way more likely to stand out. It’s not just the color but the contrast with the rest of the page that makes it effective.
      • List the top three benefits to the consumer right before the call to action: Now is the time to really call out the benefits of using this product right before they purchase. By listing benefits in explicit form right before the purchase, you decrease friction, and it’s all the more reason for them to buy the product. Often these can be communicated well in a bulleted format or with some kind of iconography to make your points easier to process. A spoonful of symbolism makes the unique value propositions go down.
      • Drop a couple trust factors (like badges) next to the CTA in a classy way: Do not drop every badge and every organization your company is a part of in a blob of unorganized mess. DO, however, create a tasteful row of three badges that live underneath the “call to action” button so that people are reminded that you can be trusted.

Contact Form Conversion Optimization: How to Get More People to Contact You on Your Site

Contact forms have come a long way since the advent of the internet and they remain a critically vital part of any lead generation or sales lead. Visitors to your website can easily and safely leave you a message that could become a conversion tactic that pays off in spades.
When it comes to making your own contact form for your website, there are a few tricks to remember when you want to generate leads. These tricks can increase your form submissions as well as the ability for you to weed through the entries to identify and qualify the ones that best suit your guidelines.

Broader things to consider:

        • Size: Many webmasters focus on keeping the form short and simple, leading to increased volume and ease of use. However, there’s definitely a point of diminishing returns, because at a certain point, this tactic will only lead to entries that are not quantifiable.
        • Information: Having to enter just a name and email address can be easy for most visitors; the real problem arises when thereís nothing else to base the lead on. Having fields that ask the visitor a set of questions can give you criteria to filter out the white noise from the valuable sales leads. This will be a matter of scaling back the amount of fields and adding only the most critical ones. If you don’t mind sorting through your emails and want the most leads possible, keep it simple and only ask for email, name and the contact message.

      • Placement: Putting your contact form right above the fold or at the bottom of your loaded page can quickly raise your leads and entries. Proper placement helps your visitor see the form and easily enter their information.
      • Fields: Basic information is necessary, but questions that can quantify the lead make all the difference. Questions like company, website, role at company and number of employees can help you understand a bigger picture.
      • Privacy: This can be a sensitive issue for many people, especially those who are frequent internet users. Increase your brand trust and place your privacy policy on your site where it’s easy-to-use and simple enough to understand. This helps people feel better about leaving their information and about your company. It can lend a humanizing touch to their experience as well as increase interaction. Letting your users know that they can trust you with their information is a vital key to collecting any information for the gain of your sales.
      • Clear indications of trust: Try using a trusted logo and section of your website that has a client testimonial or review section visible. Security certification icons or logos can also increase your visitor trust, and with the right level of professional design, your website can really turn your conversion rate around.
      • Industry-specific questions: When writing or creating your custom contact form, make sure that you include questions and fields that pertain to your work or product only. Keeping things simple allows your users to quickly enter their information and gets you the data you want. Use these principles to increase your conversion rate and create more sales leads today.

More specific suggestions:

        • Create helper text alongside the contact form: A little bit of nudging can go a long way. Especially if you have a couple unusual needs in the contact form, some explanation will help visitors not get intimidated and it makes for clearer communication.

Helper Text - Next to Contact Form for Conversion Optimization

      • Rewrite your error messages to have personality:If someone forgets to fill out a field, do you want to shame them with the harsh vibes that many contact forms have? Or would you like them to feel like you want to work with them? Also, it’s good to display errors inline so that users know what needs fixing in the contact form in a very visual way.

Contact Form Error Message - Conversion Optimization

Blogs and Articles Conversion Optimization: How to Get More People to Share, Comment and Read More Articles on Your Website.

Interaction is a big part of any blog and any effort to increase your conversion. When you have content but lack the essential interactivity that is crucial for growth and website traffic, you need your users and visitors to be ready to share and connect.

This simple yet powerful step is one that can unlock your blog and increase traffic and conversions whether you are selling products or serving ads. Some of the most wildly popular websites use these techniques to galvanize their visitors and create a personal bond that people can care about. This connection is vital to website growth and is one that many marketing analysts aim to achieve.

There is a definite art to increasing a blog’s traffic and utilizing some solid conversion optimization tactics to help sharing, commenting and social interaction along.

Some general concepts:


  • Audience: If you are considering a new website, itís a good idea to aim for a target-rich environment. In other words, create your website on a URL or topic that is commonly accepted as more likely to share or contribute. This may seem like an easy step, but itís often overlooked, especially for those starting their own websites. When your target audience is likely to share and comment, you increase the chances of reaching more people and growing your website traffic.
  • Participate: Whether you are commenting and replying to users on your website, on a forum or on a public website, it can certainly help your cause by being an active participant. Increasing your ROI or even marketable audience doesnít have to be rocket science. In fact, you are likely involved with plenty of places where you can access information and share. Industry-specific forums are a great place to get involved. Other websites or blogs are also places where you can increase your website traffic and build your user base. Use good taste and don’t spam or annoy members: Just provide value and be encouraging and helpful. Hint: Leaving links to your blog post on the same topic is still generally considered spam, so just be involved in their community and don’t try to overtly steal them away to yours.


An early and high-volume participator on Quora, a question and answer site, traffic and conversion guru Rand Fishkin stays useful to the community and thus get’s associated with the high value content he comments and blogs about.

Rand Fishkin participating in forums - Conversion optimization and driving traffic


  • SEO – Search engine optimization comes in many forms, from content and keywords to website speed and inbound links. Proper use of all these factors can build you a sustainable model of traffic growth that can result in more sharing and interaction on your website or blog. There are many services and experts you can hire on short term or long term relationships to help you craft the best possible SEO solution and plan. If you are looking for an agency for this work, be sure to vet them thoroughly, look through their work, and request case studies that are centered around actual numbers of successes. A big piece of this is making sure your technical SEO is sound. Important first steps to this is having your sitemap set-up, and having meta descriptions and titles set up to catch people’s attention in Search engines. How you do this, will depend on the CMS you are using or how your site is set up. If you are on WordPress, a helpful plugin in Yoast SEO.


Be sure to experiment with these general tips to increase your conversion rate and utilize the conversion optimization methods to build a website where your users love to share your articles and comment on, and look forward to reading your blog. In the end, it comes back to value. Are you sharing useful or entertaining information to your customers? This is one place where many people’s websites are lacking. That information, and depth of information is crucial to conversion optimization, but is deeply connected to content marketing strategy.

Some specific suggestions:

      • Suggest articles: Once someone’s done reading your article, do you want them to drop off? Probably not. Make it easy for users to continue reading with a visual suggested article plugin like Jetpack’s related posts on WordPress, or similar.
      • Include a call to action at the end of your post: I think it’s a dangerous (and boring) game to get into trying to promote your product or services at the end of every blog post. But asking for the visitor to comment is not quite so overbearing, and if your blog is focused on providing value to your prime demographic / best customer, asking for comments and/or shares at the end of the post is not overly needy.
      • Use Click to Tweet: The blogging bone is connected to the social bone. Don’t neglect calls to action throughout the blog post with a “click to tweet” feature that you can use from Fill out what you want the tweet to be and Click to Tweet will create a link to connect your call to action to. Then when visitors press it, the message you’ve created pops up in a pre-populated tweet.

Writing Copy That Converts

Writing copy that converts “Conversion Copy” as I like to call it can be difficult. All marketing writing needs to have a purpose, evoke feeling and encourage the user to take action. Take a look at this famous Volkswagen advertisement created by the famous agency, Ogilvy & Mather in the sixties. This was published as the practice of copywriting was evolving from afterthought to art form.

Volkswagen ó copy that converts

The above headline ‘Lemon’ was, in many ways, revolutionary. Instead of shouting about new features and trivial benefits, the simple use of the term invites conversation among the curious. While it’s only one word, it communicates the entire manufacturing process of VW. The ad goes on to describe the painstaking measures VW takes in determining a quality product; one worthy of consumers’ money. Spawning the clever “We pluck the lemons, you get the plums” tagline, the simple advertisement instills trust in the mind of the reader.

Following the clever headline, the advertisement continues to tell us more about the process in which VW produces the Beetle. The copy tells us that there are 3,389 employees, 3,000 cars produced daily, 189 checkpoints to ensure a quality product, and that “1 out of 50 VWs gets rejected.” These are all tangible facts that the consumer will believe.

To add to this, the brand voice “minimal, irreverent and humorous” matches the look of the design. Fun fact: The design is minimal because VW’s advertising budget was so low in 1960 that it had to cut costs and the design was the first thing to be trimmed. However, the copywriters were intelligent to reflect the minimalist black and white photo of the Bug in the single word headline and factual to-the-point body copy.

Sometimes, the most meaningful messages are the simplest.

The same rings true for writing conversion copy. Don’t add fluff and avoid flare; cleverly communicate your point and make it worth a reader’s attention. Let’s discuss five high-level points of writing conversion copy.

To find out more about writing proper web copy, read our Ultimate Guide to Writing for Content Marketing and learn how to ace your next copywriting task.

Creating a Content Strategy That Aids in Converting Traffic

The content strategy is regarded as the apex of your overall content marketing effort. Itís a road map of the content needed to meet your digital marketing goals and objectives. Through defining the framework, workflow, distribution and management of your content, a content strategy will aid you and your team in creating a repeatable process for something otherwise disjointed and confusing. Mastering the content strategy streamlines your marketing efforts into an organized, systemic guide.

our content strategy process

Brand Voice

Brand voice is key in connecting with your desired audience. A brand voice humanizes your brand, allowing the consumer to see beyond corporate infrastructure and profit-building tactics. Consumers are inherently untrustworthy of the unfamiliar, so making your brand more accessible by understanding certain aspects of your own brand and audience is key to winning their trust.

Brand voice can be communicated through copy and design, and should be cohesive across all marketing assets. Your copywriters and designers should be integrated to the point where each team knows exactly who they’re speaking to, what they’re saying and why theyíre saying it. For example, look at the outdoor store REI’s website. It uses a mixture of outdoor-oriented words (ìmud, sweat & tech on the trail, “gear up,” and “explore the trail”) and designs (pictures of mountains, dirty running shoes, even the little arrowheads in the CTAs evoke the feeling of a nature trail’s navigation sign).


Conversion Funnel

The online conversion funnel follows the four simple sections: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA). It represents different stages of consumer behavior while they are buying products online.

Sales Funnel PNG Image, SEO for E-commerce in Minneapolis or the Twin Cities, in Minnesota

Unique Value Propositions

Finally, you need to understand your brandís unique value propositions (UVP). What makes your product or service more valuable than that of your competitors? Maybe itís the lack of competition itself: You may simply offer something that no one else on the market is offering. Figure out what that is and consistently sell yourself in every piece of content. Build blog posts around your UVPs to directly communicate them to consumers “Why You Need ______ and How It Benefits Your Business” for example.

Letís say an average consumer has a problem with their garbage disposal, and they donít know the first thing about fixing it. The first thing theyíll most likely search for is information pertaining to ìbroken garbage disposals.î This is a very broad, generalized search term that will bring back 700,000 search results. The best page for them at this point would be something along the lines of “Everything You Need to Know About Broken Garbage Disposals,” and they would educate themselves on the possible broken parts of the disposal. So they tear apart their sink, only to find out that the issue is unfixable. Theyíre now going to develop interest in buying a new product. Hereís what theyíll most likely search, ìbest garbage disposals.î

The best content for them at this stage would be something along the lines of a product review or comparison. Once theyíve seen enough, theyíll move on to the desire section of the funnel. Content that suits this section would be something like, ìWhy You Should Buy the New Garbage Disposal 5000.î This is a crucial stage in that you need to convince them to move into the final phase, action, where the consumer will actually make a purchase.

Wrapping up the Key Takeaways

What a “conversion” is will be different in a lot of different situations. You have to determine where and why you want to consider something a conversion on your website. Conversion optimization is the art and science of testing things on your website to see how key changes will affect the amount of people that make a purchase, submit a contact form, comment/share a blog post or whatever else you set up as a key performance indicator.

      • Determine what actions visitors take that matter most to your business on your website
      • Track those actions in analytics
      • Test visual design changes that will have the most impact on conversion rate
      • Test and listen to users about where they struggle on your website
      • Boil the feedback down and change the design visually or in code
      • Use action-oriented language around “call to action” buttons, and show your unique value propositions through brand voice and by speaking to people where they are in the conversion funnel.

Be sure to track improvements over time and create a culture of iterative improvement. In an organization where you’re trying to make conversion rate optimization a priority, it’s important to make sure key responsibilities related to this practice have specific key people responsible for them. If we can help your company with conversion optimization, I invite you to connect with us and see how being numbers-focused with online presence and our help can create a world of difference for your company. Little changes are better than huge strategies with zero implementation. Godspeed.