3 Conversion Optimization Tips You Can Implement on Your Website Right Now

3 Conversion Optimization Tips You Can Implement on Your Website Right Now

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Get more traffic to your website.

Make a great looking website or blog that offers awesome content or products to your site visitors and your job is done.

After that, how many of these visitors convert into customers or become regular readers is all luck.

Is that what you thought?

Well, just as you can use cheat sheets to promote blog content and SEO tips for higher rankings, there’s also conversion science that exists to help you increase the conversion of your website.

There’s so much that you do on your website to get more visitors to buy from you, or download your eBook, or increase your blog subscription list.

Given below are 3 quick changes you can make right now to improve the conversion rate of your website.

1. Change Your Call-to-Action Links to Buttons

When your call-to-actions don’t stand out on your page, it will hurt your conversions. If people don’t see it, how will they take action?

Take this page for example:

Text link CTA not easily visible on the page

It will take a couple of seconds before visitors on this page realize that the name of the products are actually text links that will take them to the next step.

Text links mostly merge with the rest of the elements on the page and are often missed in normal user flow. You cannot afford that if you want people to actually take your desired action.

See how adding call-to-action buttons on the above page make it obvious for people where they have to go to make a purchase:

Well-contrasted CTA buttons are easily visible on the page

You might feel that it might take only a few seconds extra for a visitor to make out a text CTA on a page vs a contrasting CTA button, but if you actually run a test and see what a huge difference it can make to your conversion rate, you’ll be amazed.

For instance, SAP BusinessObjects turned their blue links into huge red buttons, which increased their conversions by 32.5%.

The best way to check how clearly your CTA stands out on a page is to do a squint test. You can see how Mailchimp‘s call-to-action button stands out in a squint test below:

Mailchimp's CTA clearly pops out in the squint test

Pro Tip: Placement of your call-to-action can also impact conversions to a great extent.

One of our customers over at Visual Website Optimizer changed the placement of their call-to-action button to alter user flow so that the testimonial on their homepage gets read before people see their call-to-action button.

Result? 35.6% increase in sales. Read the case study here.

To learn more about how you can optimize your CTA for better conversions, you can read my article here.

2. Test Your Form Headlines

Although page headlines are very important and highly impact conversion rates, form headlines are often ignored.

Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you tell me that you don’t even have one. But hey, please don’t have a headline that says something like this:

Bad form headline

What email updates are these?

Are you going to send me post updates from your blog? Your free eBooks? Or, maybe you’re just going to spam my inbox by sending me annoying promotional emails every second day?

Don’t make your visitors wonder what it’s about and tell them exactly what they should expect.

For instance, Hubspot makes it absolutely clear on their form headline why they are asking for my personal information.

Clear form headline by Hubspot

Pro Tip: Give your readers a good reason to sign-up. Offer something exclusive only for your subscribers.

Glen from Viperchill tempts more subscriber sign-ups by offering them exclusive SEO tools and PDF:

Viperchill provides exclusive SEO tools and a free PDF to its subscribers

3. Use Relevant Images

Images are not used for “decorative” purposes. Not when you want your site to work like a high-converting machine for you.

No matter how pretty stock photos might make your website, they look fake and reduce the credibility of your website. Discard them right away before they hurt your conversions any further.

Use a picture of your company employees instead, or an influential person, like the Founder or the CEO of the company. A great example at Traffic Generation Café is the picture of Ana in the header.

use real pictures to increase conversions

Even if you choose to use some other image instead of human photos, make sure they are relevant to your site message or goal.

For instance, a hosting website ran a test on their homepage. This was the original page:

Original page of the hosting website

They tested this against the challenger page given below with a changed image that better emphasized their unique selling proposition of being a secure, and reliable hosting provider:

Variation page of the hosting website

The challenger page converted 2-3 times better than the original page. You can read the complete case study here.

Optimizing your website for conversions is an ongoing process. While there are conversion optimization best practices, they might not work for everyone.

That’s why it is important that you A/B test every change that you make on your website to see how it impacts the conversion rate of your website.


Smriti Chawla

Smriti Chawla is a Content Marketer at Visual Website Optimizer, which is an easy-to-use A/B testing tool for marketers. You can run tests, segment your audience, and increase your website conversion rates by investing only a few minutes of your time. Sign-up for their 30-day free trial here. To read more posts on A/B testing or converting visitors into customers, you can visit their split testing blog.

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28 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Andrew


    Great tips. I want to improve my blog traffic and search result so hope that by implementing this seo tips, i can get a good result for my blog.

      • Hi Ana & Happy New Year!!

        Yep, I sure do – a site all about Networking, the reason being that it’s a subject close to my heart and it opens up some great possibilities for some very interesting related discussions (which you can see starting to happen already even though the site is brand new and started over the holiday season – perhaps not the best idea).

        I won’t drop the link in case you think I’m being cheeky, but there is an interesting discussion happening in the comments of one of the posts about whether anyone will topple any of the big 4 – and that’s the kind of thing I’m looking for as well as an avenue for my own writing on some very specific topics (& I still haven’t given up on the possibility of you writing a brief guest article if you’re interested one day when you have more time!).

        In any case, very best wishes Ana, I hope 2014 is another great year for you!


        • Ana Hoffman

          Congrats, Alan – sounds like a worthy endeavor!

          Of course, you can leave a link to the post here; would love to take a look.

  2. Smriti,

    Biggest takeaways: “squint test” and using a more relevant image.

    AMAZING… but believable… that the ‘padlock’ picture generated over 100% more traffic than the ‘globe’ picture with the same ad copy.

    I’m going to implement both the “squint test” and testing relevancy of images right away. Thanks for the post, and thanks to Ana for hosting you.

    Keep Stepping,


  3. Hey Smriti Chawla,

    Wonderful tips you have shared over here. I will try to take action and implement these very soon and I hope to achieve positive results. :)

    BTW Ana, where are you from almost past 1 month. Looks like something big is being cooked!!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I wish it were, Gurwinder – had to step away from business to take care of family. I suppose that’s one of the great things about working for ourselves.

  4. Nice! it’s actually faster when we change the cta to the cta buttons that way it takes reader to where you want them to be straight the way

  5. thanks for the these tips I love how you give specific examples ! I never thought to change my CTA to pictures because a large part of population is very visual learners! I am going to change my headlines now that I know better.Thanks

  6. As always, another SUPERB piece of content, thank you for sharing! :) I added a link to your site in the sidebar of my site under CRAZY SMART PEOPLE WORTH CHECKING OUT :)

  7. Hi Ana,

    Mixing up the call to action buttons and form headings are powerful strategies.

    Normally I will choose photos I believe support the post as closely as possible. In the spirit of trying something different, I am actually playing with a new “curiosity” approach on a series of posts I’m publishing on writing sales copy, using images that only make sense if the reader at least skims the article to discover the story or analogy I’ve used.

    - Cole

  8. Hi Ana,

    Well written as usual! I like the part of ‘luring’ your readers to sign up. I tested luring them with freebies and that works out well. However, careful as you might not get much ‘quality’ other than quantity.

    So yeah…think out of the box and at times, simplicity is best *hint: CopyBlogger’s email form*

    Thanks for sharing!

    *p/s How have you been?

  9. Thank you this is fabulous advice and boy do I need to learn how to do split testing, eh? I have never done it in four years plus of business lol :) We are working on a complex page right now that needs to showcase a wide range of video products, and considering how we can get people to click through to the actual sales pages and buy will be interesting challenge … thanks again :)

  10. Caleb

    I keep reading that the best button to use still is the famous Add To Cart button but of course that probably would not work too well for basic list subscription type stuff. Also I too have always liked Glen’s optin form along with BlogTyrant as it has a sort of majestic feel plus that word exclusive conveys a lil something extra that no one else would get.

    Out of all of this though the one thing that is constant is that you have to test for yourself once traffic strats coming because without traffic at all well you have nothing to test!

  11. Hello Anna,

    Really informative post, images are most important thing at any post which make the visitors attracted towards and readout completely. So i will consider it as the first optimization tip.

    Secondly you are totally right about changing Call-to-action headlines, as it will encourage readers to make some action.


  12. Hello Ana,

    Wow! It’s been a while since I have been on your blog and left a comment. I hope all is well with you. I wanted to tell you that this is an awesome post. You always deliver your message in an easy to apply manner. I appreciate you for doing so. It’s amazing how little tweaks here and there can significantly increase conversions. If we apply just one of your suggestions, the results will be pleasant.

    I look forward to your upcoming posts. Until then, I will have read your content for the months of August through November:)

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

  13. Hi Smriti,

    These are wonderful tips that anyone can put to use. There is a world of a difference between call to action buttons and a text link, it’s blatantly obvious from the example you used. Equally the hosting company changing the original image to a secure lock is a genius move, I’m not surprised one bit it’s made a difference.

    I think these tips are handy to keep in mind when developing websites. I will certainly be doing that.

    Thank you for sharing!


  14. I love these simple tips to improve conversions.

    One other thing to think about is test big. Peter Sandeen constantly advocates for testing big instead of tiny little changes.

    So after people use some of your ideas then they can take it to the next level and make some big changes to see how people react to them.

  15. Hi Smriti,

    This is a post from a person that seems to talk from experience and not from the blogosphere. Thumb up. Good post and all the tips here are interesting and useful. Well done.

    1. Transform your CTAs into buttons? I think it is an excellent idea. Buttons stand out and you can test all kind of colors in order to choose the best one. I am in the process of creating my first sales page and it is very good to know about this tactic. Great one.

    2. Tell them exactly what they should expect. This needs serious thinking but .. well, you do it once. It is a good tip and must be applied by any serious marketer.

    3. Pretty stock photos that look fake and reduce credibility? WOW! Yes! Three times yes. You are one of the few who understood and this is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever encountered. You must use relevant pictures and not beautiful pictures.

    I am a tough commentator and usually when I see something that I don’t like, I am not afraid to say it. However this time I have nothing negative to say (rarely happens). It is a useful and valuable post (very rare on the net these days). It is not generic and it is very to the point. Practical, actionable tips. Smriti, you are awesome. Congratulations.

    Have a wonderful day

  16. Hi Anna,

    Excellent post as usual, with valuable information. Where can I find easy to use CTA buttons? Any place to get free CTA buttons, or only from paid sources?



  17. Smriti

    I love it. I love it all.

    And you don’t have to have an eCommerce website to use those call-to-action buttons.

    I offer copywriting services, so visitors can’t buy directly online.

    Nevertheless, I still use call-to-action buttons to direct visitors to my contact page and enquiry form.

    It just gives the site a kind of eCommerce website feel – and visitors the sense that they can take some kind of action there and then.