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Carly Stec

By Carly Stec

Jun 4, 2014


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5 Tips That Make Conversion Rate Optimization Less Hellish

Carly Stec

By Carly Stec

Jun 4, 2014

5 Tips That Make Conversion Rate Optimization Less Hellish

5_tips_that_make_conversion_rate_optimization_less_hellishAre your conversion rate optimization efforts coming up empty?

It's not easy, right?

If you're pouring your efforts into SEO on top of CRO and having nothing to show for it but a handful of unqualified leads, it's no wonder you're frustrated.

Maybe you thought you knew what your website visitors needed to convert, but your optimization efforts simply weren't enough to carry them through.

So now what?

If you want to start optimizing for the right kind of customers, you need to put the right kind of information in place. 

Write Awesome Headlines

Here's 5 tips that will help you take the frustration out of conversion rate optimization, and start turning your traffic into the leads that you really want. 

Your headline copy matters a lot more than you think. 

In fact, Neil Patel of KISSmetrics was once able to boost his conversion rate by 40% by tweaking his headline copy from this:

KISSmetrics helps you get actionable metrics for your business

to this: Google Analytics tells you what happened, KISSmetrics tells you who did it.

The string of words you select has the ability to create interest, convey value, and serve as the difference between money in your pocket or another opportunity lost at sea.

Unfortunately, more than often headline copy doesn't receive the attention it deserves. For many content creators it comes as an afterthought once all of the heavy lifting has already been done, but in actuality it should be your first priority. 


Well, according to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. 

Speaking of Copyblogger, those guys are headline writing sorcerers. Seriously, check out these examples of their best headline wizardry:

  • 53 Freelancing Mistakes That Are Costing You Clients, Cash, and Credibility

  • How to Write Damn Good Sentences

  • 2 Reasons Why People Don't Click Your Buttons... And How to Overcome Them

  • 5 Tips For Turning Drab Information Into a Tantalizing Tutorial

Much more effective than your average "5 Ways to Write Better Content" approach right? These headlines gain traction because they are is benefit-driven, actionable, and unique. 

When you approach your next headline, think of it as a way to set your potential reader’s expectations. This will help you put forth a title that is well-suited for the content that unfolds beyond it.

Keep in mind that you are competing for their time and interest, so make sure that you make the value known immediately. 

Appeal to Emotion

Remember your first break up? How about that pint (or two, or three) of Ben & Jerry's you consumed in the weeks that followed?

While most of us aren't normally on a 24/7 ice cream diet, in that moment it was our feelings that drove us to such excessive consumption. 

Simply put, emotions drive decisions. 

I remember the first time I saw one of those animal cruelty commercials with the Sarah McLachlan soundtrack. I must have been 10 seconds in and I was already ready to donate my life savings and then some. 

While I'm sure most of you can relate, it's clear that there is an important lesson to extract from this type of emotional appeal - it works. 

Common emotional triggers include things like guilt, fear, trust, competition, love, and comfort. 

While consumers are being blasted with advertisements, sales pitches, and mediated messages on a regular basis, you have to arm your content with a unique resonance if you wish to break through.

Tapping into these emotional triggers will provide you with the ability to make the consumer feel something that they can't ignore. 

Specify Until You Can't Specify Anymore

"In content marketing, relevance is a function of specificity [...] Granularity boosts relevance. Relevance boosts engagement. Engagement boosts conversion." - Doug Kessler

In order to advance conversions, businesses must learn how to identify the big-picture content, and focus on "DJ-ing" it in a way that is highly targeted.

There is no room for fluff.

If you're hiding the value behind a bunch of long-winded, overly complicated blocks of text, you're not impressing anyone.

Persuasive content is as specific as it gets. It calls on hard numbers, actionable verbs, and unambiguous claims. So when it comes to coming up with content that supports conversions, don't estimate. 

Focus on creating a unique distinction between your content and all of the other content floating around the Internet by identifying and speaking to niche interests.

Make a Meaningful Connection

In order to boost your conversion rates, you have to put content in place that is easily relatable.

If I'm not engaged in some way, shape, or form, I'm not buying. 

Businesses harness the power of relatability are the ones who are going to see the greatest success. 

One of the best examples I've seen of this type of marketing recently is this bit of content from HubSpot:


116 Harpoon IPAs??? I'm sold.

This unique approach is so effective because it speaks the language of the audience.

It takes the savings and quantifies it into something tangible that people can more easily rationalize and relate to.

It builds a connection. 

A connection can also be built through the act of storytelling. When you think of your content like a story, you increase the likelihood that your audience is going to feel intrigued enough to carry out the next action. 

A good story can seamlessly move visitors through to a conversion by being transparent, page-turning, and full of personality. 

Don't be afraid to show your roots.

Amp Up Your Testimonials and Case Studies

There's a prospect on your website right now.

They are interested in your product or service so they're clicking around to gain a little more insight into your specific business

Quick, what do you have in place to reassure them that your promises are a reflection of your ability to deliver?

The simple truth is that prospects are constantly seeking a third opinion. They've read into yours, they're starting to develop one of their own, but they want someone or something else to make them feel safe before taking the next step.

Often times, testimonials and case studies serve as the nudge that website visitors need to fill out a form.

When someone comes to our website, they might love what we are doing on our blog, or they might think we have an impressive "Why Us" page, but case studies have the ability to highlight value over all of that.

At the end of the day, things like "generating 150% more leads" and "93.5% overall growth in site visits" are the types of things people need to make decisions in your favor. 

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