best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Best Practices For Conversion Rate Optimization – Part 5 of 6

This is the fifth article in the series of 6 articles focusing on the Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization.

Before we dive deeper into the Best practices for CRO, I would like to mention that the following content is based upon the learnings that I did during the Second Week of Conversion Optimization, my nano degree course at CXL Institute, led by Peep Laja & team.

I have divided this article into six parts to ensure maximum readability & thorough understanding.

In the last article, we discussed

  • Home pages
  • Pricing & pricing pages
  • Website speed optimization

In this article, we will discuss,

  • Visual Hierarchy
  • FAQs on Website
  • Importance of Visual Design

Let’s get started.

Visual Hierarchy

A hierarchy is an organizational structure in which items are ranked according to levels of importance.

When we talk about visual hierarchy, we focus on the order in which the human eye perceives the design.

In web design, there are some sections or parts that are more important than others. These can be forms, having certain CTAs, value propositions. Since these are important, you would want them to get more attention and time.

Remember, that visual hierarchy is not only about size, but also about color, & position of an element on the website.

If you are having 5 identical buttons on your website, the user won’t be able to differentiate and you will always get random clicks. However, if you make a button prominent by changing its color, size, or position, you will be driving more clicks on that particular button.

Start With The Business Objective

The easiest way to prioritize elements is to rank them on the basis of your business objective.

In order to understand this phenomenon and practice it, start visiting the website and rank them the elements in the visual hierarchy. Compare them with your own website. Do changes as per your analysis.

Rank Your Most Wanted Actions For Every Page

Once you are done with the landing page, head over to other pages. Identify the most wanted action on each of these pages. Make it stand out on the whole page.

Example: ActiveCampaign wants the visitor to choose the Professional Plan, there can be several reasons for that. So they made it prominent by putting a badge of Most Popular and highlighting the plan with dark blue color.

Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

Image Courtesy: ActiveCampaign

FAQs On Websites

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is a list of answers to common questions about a product or service.

The purpose of FAQs is to provide information on frequent questions or concerns.

The question is, should a website has an FAQ section or not?

For a marketer, the priority should be to eliminate the need for FAQs. If your audience has to read instructions to figure your product or service, you are not communicating the message correctly.

There are many websites that put their whole pitches in FAQs disguised as questions, which is an absolute waste of space.

If you are needing an FAQ section to explain your pricing, you must review your pricing page and the whole copy. Try to put the answers to FAQs in the copy.

How to figure what to put in the copy? Just pay attention to the questions that are being asked via support emails, live chat & queries. Then put the answers to these questions into your website copy.

Importance Of Visual Design

What is your definition of the best design?

The best design is the one that was driven by data and brings in the most money. Creativity is important, and an essential part of web designing but the decision should be taken on the basis of data.

Why design is important? Humans process visuals 50 times faster than copy, and we are quick to judge. Period.

Design affects the trust scale too. If you a poorly design website, visitors would instantly doubt your authenticity within milliseconds.

Let’s talk about a few critical, & objective aspects of design.

People Judge Websites In Less Than 50 Milliseconds

Humans make snap judgments when they meet a new person; websites are judged similarly!

As per the research conducted by Gitte Lindgaard, Gary Fernandes, Cathy Dudek & J. Brown. It was concluded that it takes about 50 milliseconds for visitors to form an opinion about your website.

As per the research conducted by Google, visitors develop opinions even within 17 ms (though the effect was less pronounced on some design factors).

The first impression depends on multiple factors, some of them are:

  • Structure
  • Color
  • Spacing
  • Symmetry
  • Amount of Text
  • Fonts

First Impressions Are 94% Design-related

As stated earlier, the design drives trust.

There have been multiple studies, that concluded that design elements have the biggest influences on first impressions, including logo, main images, colors & the navigation menu.

Human minds process visuals 50 times faster than the copy.

Inspiration Drives Better First Impressions

Impression-related impressions have a greater impact on the first-impression formation, followed by usability. Visual appealing stimuli are an important tool for getting visitors to stay on your website.

If you are a tour operating website, using larger than life photography would really increase the gains.

Have a look at the Active Adventures website, as they know how to capture people when they feel most inspired.

Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

Two Key Ingredients Of Web Design People Like: Simplicity And Prototypicality

Simplicity: As per a study by Google, in 2012, researchers found that simpler & familiar design is better, as compared to visually complex websites.

The simpler design promotes less noise, which means fewer distractions. Simplicity is about focus & clarity of the purpose that should make the visitors instantly understand what’s going on, leading to the singular goal of the page.

Prototypicality: The human mind creates a template of everything that it interacts with. When we put the same phenomenon on websites, the human mind creates a blueprint of how a SaaS website, blog, or e-commerce site should look like.

If you change the design too much in the pursuit of innovation, it might backfire.

Stop Arguing Over Opinions. Data-driven Design Is The Way: Measurable Approach To Better Design

If it can be measured, it can be improved.

There are several tools that let you assess your design, measure the clicks, and analyze the funnel. How long they stay, and what errors & issues make them leave the website.

The whole point of data-driven design is to use the data to identify what’s working and what’s not, and to improve productivity.

So, are you ready to implement some of the above best practices for the conversion rate optimization that we discussed?

P.S: If you found this post helpful, please share it on social media.


best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Best Practices For Conversion Rate Optimization – Part 3 of 6

This is the second article in the series of 6 articles focusing on the Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization. You can read the second part here.

Before we dive deeper into the Best practices for CRO, I would like to mention that the following content is based upon the learnings that I did during the Second Week of Conversion Optimization, my nano degree course at CXL Institute, led by Peep Laja & team.

I have divided this article into six parts to ensure maximum readability & thorough understanding.

In the last article, we discussed

  • E-commerce Category Pages
  • E-commerce Signups
  • Incoming Phone Leads & Call Tracking.

In this article, we will discuss,

  • Principles of persuasive design
  • Typography and content
  • Radical redesign vs. evolutionary design

Let’s get started.

Principles Of Persuasive Design

The literal definition of Persuasion is, “In business, persuasion is a process aimed at changing a person’s (or a group’s) attitude or behavior toward some event, idea, object, or another person (s), by using written, spoken words or visual tools to convey information, feelings, or reasoning, or a combination thereof.”

When we talk about Persuasive Design, it resonates with the effort that the marketer does to trigger a specific action by the visitor on your website.

Do you know what tactics Gary Vaynerchuk uses to persuade his audience? He talks fast, acts confident, guards them & swears a bit here and there too.

Let’s discuss the five principles of Persuasive Design

1. Clarity Above All

As soon as the visitor lands on your website, the human brain starts to process the copy & design. Some of the common questions are, what is it? What can I do here? How is it useful to me? If your copy & design are apparent in the first few seconds, your bounce rate will decrease, and the average time would be positively impacted. However, if you use long sentences, and words that sound more like riddles, the visitor will instantly lose the focus.

Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

Courtesy: overflow.io

2. Visual Appeal

The human brain processes visuals 50 times faster than the copy. Whatever you do, make sure your website has compelling visuals. So, if you are selling physical products, show the best pictures. If you are selling services or SaaS tools, show the screenshots. Google recognizes two factors that determine visitors would like the website or not.

  1. Low visual complexity – the simplicity of design of the website
  2. High prototypicality – how familiar is the layout that you used
Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

Courtesy: Logz.io.

3. Visual Hierarchy

When we talk about using visuals, we tend to focus on the design that prioritizes the objective of the website. As the first impression, the visitors notice the main design, the CTA, discount offers banner, or maybe the copy that you wrote as the highlighted headline. Now, if you want any of these to stand out, you have to give them appropriate size along with a color that makes it visible more than any other element as the first impression.

don’t forget that visual hierarchy is not about correctly stuffing everything. It’s also about the correct usage of white spaces to make the overall design look more straightforward, and the attention remains on the main element.

4. Conserve Attention At All Costs

Now that you have prioritized clarity maintained a visual hierarchy and used highly captivating visuals. It’s time for you to keep them hooked to your website. How would you sell your photography services? You can put high-quality images of your previous work and keep showing them until, at the end of the scroll, they find your fees or a form to contact you. Since you have already captured their attention, it would be easier to sell to them.

5. One Action Per Screen, When They’re Ready

How many pages does your website have? What are the most desired goals of these pages? Determine the actions. Every page on your website must have a single CTA, that should be most prominent, and visible. However, the CTAs, or triggers should be placed carefully, after analyzing the peak of motivation for that particular action. Poorly placed CTAs would harm your conversion rate.

The goal of persuasive design is to make sure the fold area is distinct, creating a value proposition statement, and giving people enough reason to scroll down.

Typography And Content

Typography focuses on adjusting the text within the design while creating compelling content. It provides an attractive appearance and preserves the aesthetic value of your content. When we talk about best practices for conversion rate optimization, typography plays a vital role in setting the overall tone of your website and ensures a great user experience.

Let’s understand this with the help of a few questions.

Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

What’s the best font size and type?

The recommended smallest size is 16 pixels for body copy. However, smaller font sizes can be used for mentioning help texts such as instructions for form labels, etc. Apart from font size, line height needs to be carefully assessed too. Headlines & CTAs would be more significant & prominent.

Is there a best font?

No, however, some standard fonts are used mostly as they are easy to read, such as Arial, Georgia, or Tahoma. If you are using a new font that forces the visitor to apply extra focus on understanding the text, you will affect the readability negatively.

How to structure the copy?

The recommended approach is

  • using ordered and unordered lists,
  • serving images with text to break it up,
  • new paragraph every 3-4 lines,
  • sub-headline every 1-2 paragraphs.

Is there an optimal line length?

As most studies confirm, the ideal length is around 50-75 characters.

If the length exceeds, the reader will have a hard time focusing on the text.

If you have lesser characters, the visitor’s reading rhythm would be disturbed now and then.

What gets read?

To answer this, I am mentioning the most favorable structure of copy that is easy for the eyes to scan.

  • Headline (#1)
  • Intro paragraph,
  • Bullets above the fold,
  • Sub-headlines.

Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

 The amount of text that read by a great deal is reduced due to poor content. Don’t try to save money by hiring a cheap copywriter, as it will drastically affect the conversion rate.

Radical Redesign vs. Evolutionary Design

As we talk about the best practices for conversion rate optimization, we think of A/B testing as the primary tool for the optimization of the current design. But, now and then, a scenario comes where you get confused whether you continue optimizing the existing site, or scrap it and do a radical redesign instead? And it’s not such a simple decision as it seems,

Local Maxima

The point where despite your continuous changes to the design, the effects are close to negligible or non-existent, is called the Local Maxima. This is also the point where the conversion analysts have to make a decision. Either they go with more updates to the current design (evolutionary design approach) or choose to redesign of the page. This decision heavily relies on the data along with their intuition.

Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

Courtesy: Andrew Null

How To Decide When To Redesign?

The first simple answer to this much-debated question is to assess if it’s brand & identity redesign? If yes, the optimal solution is to start over. Otherwise, go through the conversion research, identify the issues, and make sure you note down everything that is working. As it’s preferable that the new design includes all the positive aspects of the previous design.

When is Radical Design Better?

  • You’ve hit the Local Maxima.
  • Outdated tech-stack and legacy technologies are used.
  • The design layout is not the standard practice anymore.
  • Conversion analysis has revealed a considerable number of design issues.

When is the Evolutionary Approach Better?

  • You have space and ideas to test with a high probability of significant effects on conversion rate.
  • A large number of returning visitors have adopted your current design.

Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

So, are you ready to implement some of the above best practices for the conversion rate optimization that we discussed?

P.S: If you found this post helpful, please share it on social media.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Best Practices For Conversion Rate Optimization – Part 2 of 6

This is the second article in the series of 6 articles focusing on the Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization. You can read the first part here.

Before we dive deeper into the Best practices for CRO, I would like to mention that the following content is based upon the learnings that I did during the Second Week of Conversion Optimization, my nano degree course at CXL Institute, led by Peep Laja & team.

I have divided this article into six parts to ensure maximum readability & thorough understanding.

In the last article, we discussed

  • Web Forms
  • Buttons & Call To Action
  • Fold & Page Length

In this article, we will discuss,

  • E-commerce Category Pages
  • E-commerce Signups
  • Incoming Phone Leads & Call Tracking.

Let’s get started.

E-commerce Category Pages

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

The objective of every e-commerce category page is to help visitors find something they like, want, or need. We can help potential buyers with the following strategies.

Narrow Down Choice

Every e-commerce store offers a variety of products. Let’s start with filters. Filters are an essential component. Based on your store, you can either put the filters right on top or on the left-hand side.

Along with the filters, you can put product badges to help some products stand out. These can be the ones you have a higher margin on, or maybe in large quantity. Sometimes you go to a restaurant, and you are unable to decide anything. So you just look at Staff Pick for Today, because that sounds like a safe option. That is precisely how Product Badges work.

Sort Products

Just like filters, sorting is an essential component of an e-commerce store. Organized products are always better than clutter. Usually, the sorting choices are by price, customer rating, newly added & so on. Make sure this sorting feature is right in front of the customer.

One of the best examples of Narrowing down the choice & sorting can be seen at J. (Junaid Jamshed) online store.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

“Is it for me?”

Three essential factors back every buying decision.

  1. Product photo — must be bright & large enough.
  2. Product name & description — concise info about the product always increases the sales.
  3. Price — make it prominent.

There have been several instances, where a store experienced a hike in sales just by updating the photos of the page. Visitors want to see the product by every angle, give them the highest quality photos with a feature to rotate & zoom.

Focus Of The Page

If your page has anything that distracts the customers from buying the product, evaluate & eliminate it. Some of them (MIGHT BE) are

  • Cluttered sidebars
  • Banner ads, Google AdSense
  • Email opt-ins
  • Random clutter

Apart from the above, you should have breadcrumbs on your site. They enhance the usability of the website. Make sure the Call To Action is prominent & clearly defined.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

When optimizing category pages, don’t think specific tactics or implementation. Instead, use a structured approach to evaluate whether the page helps people

Ecommerce Signups

How many times it happened that you added a product to your cart, proceeded to checkout. And you were asked to signup as a necessary step? Too many times.

1 in 4 abandon online purchases due to forced registration.

The approach to force registration is part of Greedy Marketer Syndrome that I mentioned in my last article. There is a myth that if a person signs up to an e-commerce store, that will start a never-ending loyal relationship — absolute bad practice.

So, what are the best practices?

  1. Use better terminologies such as New & Returning customers, instead of register.
  2. Only ask for their email on checkout, this would ensure you can email them even if they abandon the cart.
  3. Introduce Guest Checkout, and give them the option to register, if they want. (Associate a benefit with registering an account)
  4. Use social logins, such as Google & Facebook. Highly recommended and widely implemented now.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Incoming Phone Leads & Call Tracking

Many business rely on phone calls for their everyday operations. If you look at the Real Estate industry, it’s an essential step to talk with an agent over the call. There can be several use cases where businesses prefer calls over emails.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Phone Calls = Conversions!

If you want people to call, you have to work similarly as you work when you want them to buy something from you. Likewise, phone calls can be increased when you optimize your flow to achieve that.

Optimizing For More Incoming Calls

As we talked about optimizing the website for increased conversions, likewise, optimization for phone calls follow similar principles.

Add Phone Numbers Into Your PPC Ads

One of the ideal places to put the phone number is in the ad itself. Seeing a phone number encourages the customer to call, as they know they can directly communicate with a human.

Carefully analyze your audience, craft the ad copy & design, and test what works best for you.

Give Them A Reason To Call

The need drives every action by the visitor. Create a list of benefits that you are offering. Test them one by one, maybe put them in groups too. Analyze which reason triggers more visitors to call.

You can come up with a unique offer to increase the phone calls too.

Put The Offer In The Right Places.

As we talked about the most critical content in the top fold, you should be putting the phone number where the customers can see it easily.

Try putting it in the top half of the content, & in the footer. You can even put a decent popup that gets trigger if the customer scrolls down to the bottom.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Set Up Phone Tracking With Google Analytics

Tracking phone calls has multiple benefits.

  1. Which page is triggering the most calls?
  2. What was their previous action before the call? Did they scroll to the bottom? Or made the call from the popup?
  3. You will also know which strategy is getting you more calls, very useful.
  4. You can also see which PPC or SEO keywords they used.

Adding an analytics event or tag for phone calls will get you very reliable data, & it is easy to implement.

So, are you ready to implement some of the best practices for the conversion rate optimization that we discussed?

P.S: If you found this post helpful, please share it on social media.


best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Best Practices For Conversion Rate Optimization – Part 1 of 6

Last week, I discussed what Conversion Rate Optimization is and why it is one of the most crucial processes of Growth Marketing. Today I will be listing down the best practices for conversion rate optimization.

I searched for meaning for Best Practices, and the definition that I got on the first page states, “commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.”

Best Practices In Marketing

Best Practices in any industry are achieved based on data drive analysis. Mostly marketers draw inspirations from related websites, renowned web designers. However, implementing them based on confirmation bias is not a good idea.

If your goal is to design a highly convertible landing page, there are an infinite number of ways to achieve that. There are several guides to create a landing page, and you can always take them as inspiration. But, even the best practices has the room for experimentation & interpretation for them to work effectively in your case.

Best practices are an excellent point to start, but keep the room for improvement backed by the data drive approach.

Before we dive deeper into the Best practices for conversion rate optimization, I would like to mention that the following content is based upon the learnings that I did during the Second Week of Conversion Optimization, my nano degree course at CXL Institute, led by Peep Laja & team.

I will be dividing the practices into six parts to ensure maximum readability & thorough understanding.


best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Whenever we think of conversion, forms are the necessary steps to optimize. We use them for a variety of purposes.

  • Sign up forms
  • Checkout forms
  • Payment forms
  • Quote request forms
  • Lead generation forms

When we talk about optimizing the forms, we mostly focus on reducing the friction to ensure a smooth & precise flow for the visitor filling the form.


Set Clear Expectations

Let’s consider a step by step procedure. You want to try out a new SaaS tool, and you visit their website. There is a form to sign up for Free Trial. The journey will be somewhat like this.

  1. Visit the website
  2. Search for the Sign Up option.
  3. Signup/Login with Google or any other provider, or fill in your details.
  4. You see the Payment form with Visa, MasterCard & PayPal icons.

BOOM, you instantly drop-off, as when you clicked on Free Trial Sign Up, Credit Card requirement was not mentioned. There will be huge drop-offs if you put a one-liner, Credit Card Required. Or maybe write to No Credit Card Required to encourage signups.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Minimize The Number Of Form Fields

One of the standard best practice is to only ask for information that is required. Marketers need to get over their Greedy Marketer Complex.

Another Best Practice is to avoid optional fields if you don’t need them.

You certainly don’t them to fill Mr, Mrs, or Birth-date if the purpose is to buy a PDF from your website.

Sometimes, you might need some optional fields. As I stated in the start, even the best practices need to have experimented.

Intentionally Increase Friction To Improve Lead Quality

Sometimes, increasing the number of fields helps in getting a better quality of leads. You only et people who are more motivated towards the objective of form. Since long forms contain a lot of information, it’s easier for you to segment them.

Lastly, long forms filter out the unqualified people already, as they do not fill the complete form.

Multi-step Forms

There come such situations where removing the fields is not an option. Either you have to skip some crucial form fields, or you can reduce the perception of friction.

You can achieve this by splitting the form into multiple short steps. Another strategy is to get more of the vital information in the first step, such as name, email & phone number. Now even if the person doesn’t’ complete the second step, you can still follow up on them.

Alternatively, you can break the form into sections too, which might reduce the perceived hassle.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Start With Easier Fields.

Always start with easier fields, so the person builds momentum along the way, and the chances to complete the form increases.

Most of the time, you can use dropdowns & radio buttons to ease the process too. A simple tactic is to use radio buttons when people have less than five choices, such as gender selection. However, go for dropdowns if there are more than five choices. You should also use smart fields such as country search & select, so the person doesn’t have to search manually through the options.

Pre-select What You Can

As I discussed smart fields, there are various ways to auto-populate the fields. You want people to fill in their location, try getting that via their IP Address. In the US, most of the time, the city & state are auto-filled when the person inputs the zipcode.

Feedback And Error Validation

This one is important. Every time, you show the correct error or feedback to the visitor, you are scoring huge gains.

The priority is to create intuitive forms that have real-time in-line validation for feedback. It happens a lot of time that the phone number doesn’t get accepted because it isn’t correctly formatted.

Let people enter data; however, they want. If you want it in a particular format, that formatting should happen in the backend, done by your code. (spaces and dashes welcome!)

Avoid Captchas

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

After testing more than 1,100 people, gathering 11,800 completed surveys, and studying 14,000,000 samples from a week’s worth of data from eBay, a study carried out by Stanford University into the use of CAPTCHA by humans, revealed just how difficult CAPTCHA has become for humans. The study showed that on average:

  • Visual CAPTCHAs take 9.8 seconds to complete
  • Audio CAPTCHAs take much longer (28.4 seconds) to hear and solve
  • Audio CAPTCHA has a 50% give-up rate
  • Only 71% of the time will three users agree on the translation of a CAPTCHA
  • Only 31.2% of the time will three users agree on the translation of an audio CAPTCHA

Address FUDs (Fears, Uncertainties, Doubts)

Whenever a visitor is asking for sensitive information, it creates resistance to fill the form. The strategy is to avoid all the possible FUDs (fears, uncertainties, doubts), and then address them one way or another in the form to reduce friction.

You can put keywords that encourage safety or try putting badges & seals from verified third-party tools. You have to test & figure out what works best for your audience. Mentioning Safe, Secure, Privacy Protected can give a sense of security to the person filling the form.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Form Analytics

There are three ways to assess your current forms & friction.

  1. User testing, to identify the resistance
  2. Screen recordings (using Hotjar or Inspectlet)
  3. Form analytics tools

As designers and optimizers, it’s our responsibility to embrace the power of forms, to optimize them, and ultimately to get higher conversions out of them.

Buttons And Call To Actions

How likely visitors are to take action depends on whether

  1. they notice the CTA begin with,
  2. the next step is obvious and makes sense, and
  3. they see value in the next step.

To make the CTA noticeable, we will go through some of the basics.

One Primary Call To Action

For every page, you should identify a single button to progress towards your primary goal. This doesn’t mean you can’t have secondary CTAs, but those need to be secondary in prominence too & less dominating.

Check this example at Nonfig, notice the difference between the primary & secondary CTAs.

Button Is Usually Better Than Link

Buttons come in all shapes & sizes, whereas links are not so noticeable. So the use of buttons is encouraged. However, there might be scenarios where the link is essential to ensure the dominance of primary CTA.

Make It Big (enough)

Big Buttons drive more clicks. They are prominent and as per Fitt’s law, the bigger an object and the closer it is to us, the easier it is to use it.

Take a look at this example of the MeetEdgar landing page.

Use The Right Amount Of White Space

Anything that clutters your page has to be removed. CTAs can only be prominent if we provide an adequate amount of space around them. This ensures better visibility & a higher click rate. Make sure you are using a different colour for your CTA as compared to the website.

Use The Right Copy

Whenever you are writing the copy for CTA, ask yourself three questions.

  1. Is it specific?
  2. Does it convey a benefit?
  3. Does it trigger the user into clicking?

Protip: Don’t use a CTA like “Submit”. Very few people want to submit.

Fold And Page Length

Every time, a visitor visits your website, there is a specific top portion of the page, that gets displayed as a first impression. This top section or part is called fold. Everything you put in this section determines if the visitor will scroll down to the other content or not. Hence critical stuff needs to be above the fold to captivate their attention, ultimately ensuring higher conversions.

Fold 101

The term above the fold originated from the newspapers industry. Printing companies used to put the fresh content & creative headings in the top half, which is more visible to captivate the attention.

There is no specific length for this fold portion. It varies on devices and screen resolution as well. A common practice is to put the top 650–700 pixels for fold, considering the common desktop browsers.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Working With Fold And Long Pages

There is a lot of research on whether people scroll or not. Chartbeat, a data analytics provider, analyzed data from 2 billion visits and found that “66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold.” — What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong.

Whenever you have to design a page, keep in mind to prioritize the content placements based on their importance. The least important information should always be served in the last, whereas most crucial information needs to be at the top.

You can use SessionCam for getting the scroll report for your website.

The Fold Isn’t Just For Home Pages.

As we talk about the fold, the best practices aren’t limited only on the landing page. The fold can be considered in several different scenarios.

  • Checkout Page — users must be able to checkout without having to scroll to proceed.
  • Cart Page — users can click on the CTA button easily; you can achieve this by putting two buttons. One above the cart, and the other underneath it.
  • Pricing Page — users should be able to click on CTA from above the fold.

Alternatively, you can guide the user to scroll down to take any action.

best practices for conversion rate optimization - jibran yousuf

Image Courtesy: SessionCam

Ideal Page Length

The idea length is dependent on the objective of that particular page. Considering the transactional sites, you need to put content that intrigues the visitors to take the desired action.

There can be different criteria for choosing the length of the page. Page load speed, visuals, content, & navigation are a few factors.

This content is Part 1 of 6 blogs focusing on the Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization.

Have any questions? Feel free to comment down. 


Introduction To Conversion Rate Optimization by Jibran Yousuf

Introduction To Conversion Rate Optimization

If we analyze the paradigm shifts of the Internet, we come across three paradigms in the past three decades, starting from the 1990s, with Yahoo & Lycos, to Google in the 2000s, followed by Social Media sites in 2010s.

Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

And now the Internet is easily accessible by almost everyone, even in remote locations, which intrigued the businesses to grow their digital presence. And now every industry, including eCommerce stores, SaaS businesses, non-profit organizations, or even political campaigns, focus on their online presence. Now they all own a website, has their location on Google Map, takes online orders & sell their services, and influence the people around the globe right from their comfort of home.

Analysis of customer behaviour shows that between 70–80% of people research a company online before visiting a small business or making a purchase with them. 97% of consumers go online to find a local store or local services.

These paradigm shifts not only introduced a new scope of work but also added several new growth & marketing strategies & tactics to be implemented online for the hypergrowth of startups, & established businesses.

In this article, we will discuss one of the essential processes in growth marketing, i.e. Conversion Rate Optimization or as we call it CRO.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Before we dive deeper into the CRO, I would like to mention that the following content is based upon the learnings that I did during the First Week of Conversion Optimization, my nano degree course at CXL Institute, led by Peep Laja & team.

This course’s lectures were conducted by Brian Massey, the Managing Partner at Conversion Sciences.

Introduction To Conversion Rate Optimization

When we talk about online marketing, there are two ways to increase your revenue. Either you start driving more traffic to your website to increase sales, or you improve the overall website effectiveness to increase the number of people who purchase something from you. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) focuses on the second way. Let’s get started.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Why CRO?

Let’s consider that you have a website, and you are not getting enough conversion, visitors are not purchasing your products, your services are not selling, and you are not getting enough leads to convert them.

There are two ways to tackle the current situation. Either design a new website landing page OR gather the data based on current visitors, & analyze it. Based on this analysis, update the chunks of website layout design. Which one sounds better? I am sure you would go for the latter. However, Fishline.com went for the first one, in November 2012, and updated the whole website layout.

Finish Line Website on November 18, 2012
Finish Line Website on November 19, 2012

This step, damaged Finish Line business with an estimation of 3 Million US Dollars with a few weeks. This is where CRO comes into play, enabling you to do test-driven updates to your website, minimizing the risk factor of crashing the business.

CRO primarily focuses on the following:

  • Decrease the Cost per Acquisition (CAC)
  • Increase the number of leads
  • Get more sales

So If your business has fewer leads, high bounce rate with a high cost of acquisition, you must focus on CRO processes to grow your business exponentially without risking the current growth.

The Basics

When we talk about improving the Conversion Rate, try sharing this objective with the colleagues around you. You will be bombarded with ideas, from your team, your boss, or the ideas that you took as inspiration from your competitors.

And most of the time, these ideas make their way onto the live website, without a proper framework to validate all those ideas. This happens due to several reasons, sometimes due to the political will of your superiors, while sometimes due to your confirmation bias of the idea that you suggested.

How to avoid this problem? Most of the people would say, let’s learn how to manage these ideas. No, the human brain has the built-in ability to distinguish ideas. We use this ability in our daily lives. Now, remember how many times you analyzed the current situation and curated a perfect status update or tweet for your social media profile, that brought a lot of engagement?

The last time you bought a product from Amazon, you got stuck between two variants, and you quickly went into reviews to decide which one to buy? All of these are the example that the CRO mindset is already wired into our brain; we just need to use in our business.

Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization
Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash

The above examples are also the daily life example of A/B testing. As you compare two updates, analyze the data, and choose the one that benefits you at most.

Now that you have an idea of what CRO is, we will talk about the three founding pillars:

  • Managing the ideas
  • Increasing the sample size
  • Improving the quality of the sample.

Managing Ideas

Managing Ideas for Conversion Rate Optimization
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Ideas are the oxygen for a digital marketer, that is large in number. As I said before, share the objective with your team, and you will be quickly having 10–20 ideas within an hour. Our brain is programmed to have multiple ideas. So how to decide which one is worth trying? And how to politely decline the idea of your boss or any senior authority in the business?

Simply, create a spreadsheet, and write down all the ideas in that list, gather it from the team & even from your boss.

Writing A Hypothesis

Now, write a hypothesis for every idea, in the given format.

The hypothesis to enhance ideation

Taking an example of Nonfig, I had the idea to change the text on the CTA button in your lead opt-in form on your main landing page, so I wrote the hypothesis for that.

If I update the CTA button text of opt-in form to Claim Your Free 3 Months
I expect to get more leads.
As measured by Number of leads in Google Analytics

Ranking Ideas

Once you are done with the hypothesis, rank your ideas based upon these three factors, usually rating them from 1 to 5.

  • Impact — the effect of the idea post-implementation
  • Confidence or Proof — the probability of achieving the desired impact
  • Effort to Test — the amount of work required to conduct this test

Updating the CTA button text can create a significant impact, has the credibility to succeed based on the Copytesting rules, and the effort to test this change is minimal. Whereas changing the graphical assets used on the landing page from photos to vector might create a huge impact too. But the effort to test is high, and therefore we know the first test can be easily prioritized.

Sources Of Insight

Whenever we talk about initiating a test, it’s recommended to analyze the ideas based upon a number of data sources.

First of all, Google it. In this continually changing world, a number of marketers are regularly running tests and putting their findings on the web. Go through them, and check if your ideas are even testable or not.

Find out what is required to execute these ideas, maybe some just need a simple fix, whereas some need an update in layout design.

Gather Insights for Conversion Rate Optimization
Photo by Stephen Phillips – Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

One of the most recommended sources of data is your website analytics, and it has everything that you are looking for before running a test. Analytics can help you save hours of work, and you will be able to understand the visitor behaviour more accurately analyzing the patterns.

Apart from the above, many tools give you insights and save you from the disappointment of running a test that shouldn’t be run in the first place. A few of these tools are:

  • Hotjar — provides feedback through tools such as heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys.
  • SessionCam — provides a click heatmap, a scroll map, and a screen recording feature to view how users behave on pages.
  • Tobii — focuses on sensor technology that makes it possible for a computer or other device to know where a person is looking.

A/B Testing Basics

A/B Testing in Conversion Rate Optimization

Whenever a person listens to the term Conversion Rate Optimization, their mind instantly thinks of A/B Testing. However, CRO is much more than just A/B Testing.

A/B Testing is the best way to collect visitors’ behavioural data by presenting them with different versions of a creative, or layout, or even a copy on your website.

When we talk about getting feedback about a particular feature, or an update, we consult it with our team, our friends, & the family circle. Most of the time, the feedback is not accurate, and they act as pretenders & liars.

A/B testing allows you to run the test, with both ends. As they both ends do not know the actual person behind the insight that you receive. CRO specialists will only get the numbers in forms of analytics. Whereas the visitor won’t even know that they are being tested, so their response is natural.

The key to running A/B Testing is to understand which tests need to be run. This is vitally important to avoid running tests where they are not required. Also, keep in mind that it’s not necessary that the test variant that you are supporting only because of your own confirmation bias will lead the test.

Bring It All Together – Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization is one of the fundamental processes of Growth Marketing. We learned what CRO is & why is it important. We also shed light on how great ideas are lost, while ideas supported by political will make it to the top. However, we came across the framework to manage ideas. Insights are essential. Once you have the list of sources of raw data, combined with the powerful features of excellent tools, it becomes the perfect recipe to run A/B Tests.

In the next article, I have discussed the Best Practices for the CRO.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments section below.