While a fair amount of businesses out there are getting their act together where online user experience is concerned, I’m constantly amazed by the huge amount of low-hanging conversion optimization fruit still out there on the Dubya-Dubya-Dub.
So I wanted to do you all a favor and give you a quick checklist of simple changes you can make this very day to make life a little bit (or possibly a lotta bit) better for your website visitors, allowing them to more easily give you money:
1. Remove distracting internal links
The fun thing about working with a whole bunch of SEOs (I’m the Conversion guy, remember) is that I get to throw out conversion tips that make SEOs nervous. Part of my job is to point out where SEO tactics are snuffing out conversion, and this is a frequent offender in that regard.
Not all internal links are distracting and should be removed. That would be ridiculous. However, sometimes marketers overdo it and start linking instances of their keyword in places where you wouldn’t want people clicking away from a given page.
Unsurprisingly, some of the most egregious offenders are SEO providers. A cursory examination of the top 10 Google results for any SEO-related keyword will reveal some overzealous linking practices that will have the humans visiting your site – you know, the ones with money to give you – scratching their heads.
For example, one company's homepage (no screenshot - it's not how we roll) talks about performance-based SEO work, but before you can even finish one sentence, they have a text link ("guarantee services") to take you away from the page. Are they really in that big of a hurry to usher me off the page? Of course not - it's for SEO value, but it's also potentially tripping up visitors and raising questions that don't need to be asked, like:
- "Am I not already reading about your guarantee?"
- "Is this guarantee different than the one you're telling me about?"
- "Is this going to be that complicated that I need to read about this now before I finish on the homepage?"
- "I'm bugged. What should I get for lunch today?"
Here's a simple test to see if you might have done this inadvertantly on your website: go read your website copy. When you get to a text link in your copy, ask yourself:
- Is this link interrupting the conversation?
- Is it well-timed?
- Is there a more useful place for this link on this page?
- When I put this link in originally, was I in a linking frenzy?
- Do my visitors need the information on the other end of this link before proceeding?
The answers to these questions should indicate whether this link might be counterproductive for your visitors.
Once this post makes it through editorial, it may have a bunch of links and make me look like an idiot, but I'm saying it anyway!
2. Strike down the CAPTCHA
The technology exists for you to filter leads in the background and eliminate spammy leads from your database automatically.
So why in the name of the Ringling Brothers are you still making your site visitors – who have money to give you – jump through hoops to prove that they are humans and not spambots?
Take down the CAPTCHA. Now. Please. Deal with a sprinkling of spam leads until you can get a better solution in place. Your conversion rate will thank you.
3. Link your header logo to the homepage
I still see sites that don’t do this. Huge mistake.
Clicking the logo to get back to the homepage is a usability convention that people get. It’s big and it’s always there. If a visitor wants to switch gears, it’s the easiest way to reset his/her approach to browsing your site. If someone gets stuck and your logo isn’t clickable, it may be the last straw that gets him/her off the computer and looking through the fridge, muttering in frustration.
You might be asking, “Why is this so important? Isn’t it enough to have a “Home” link in my navigation?”
My reply is, Why not do it? Some people will use the “Home” link, but a large portion of your visitors will expect to use the logo. You win both ways, and your site design doesn’t change a bit.
Don’t let them go to the fridge! Link your logo to the homepage and give them another chance to give you money.
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