Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a complex and ever-changing discipline. For proof, simply look at all of the webinars, books, conferences, and online courses on the topic. But what if you just want to get in a few quick and easy wins? And what if you want to spend no more than a few hours on it?

Here are three things you can do today to optimize for conversions and help increase leads:

Refuse to “submit”

It’s well documented but worth repeating: One of the worst words to include in button copy is “submit.” It hurts conversions and increases cart and form abandonment.

But why is that? Marketers suggest that the word affects people on an unconscious level: We don’t like being told to submit to anything.

Another possible explanation: It’s just too vague.

Short, descriptive, actionable copy works best for calls to action. Better options include:

• Join Now

• Chat with Us

• Start Your Free Trial

• Buy Now

There’s no need to be clever. Southwest, for example, opts for a simple and straightforward call to action for their online check-in form.
southwestThese examples both encourage action and let the visitor know what’s going to happen next—without disturbing his id.

To do: Go through your call-to-action copy and change any instance of “submit” to something clear and actionable.

Look at your headline

Your homepage headline is one of the first things—and in many cases, the first thing—visitors notice. But it’s hard for even the most seasoned writers to know what’s going to be a winning headline.

Big brands with a lot of traffic deploy A/B testing campaigns to see what works best. But you may not have the resources or the traffic to go that route.

Luckily, you can follow a few easy guidelines. A good headline:

Focuses on the benefit. This is the difference between “Bankruptcy counseling” and “Wipe out your debt in 12 months or less.” Just make sure that you can back up your benefit with statistics, testimonials, affiliations, and other supporting copy.

Is very clear. Avoid over-used or vague marketing-speak, such as “award-winning service,” “innovative solutions” or “cutting-edge technology.” Instead, use words that your ideal customer uses. In the case of a natural health blog called Thank Your Body, those words would be “totally awesome.”
thank your bodyIs specific whenever possible. Why say “it doesn’t take long to sign up” when you can say, “Sign up in 30 seconds”?

To do: Go to your homepage and take a cold, hard look at your headline. Make edits as necessary.

Talk to a customer

Asking a customer questions can be awkward. After all, it’s an admission that you don’t have all the answers and that, in fact, your customer can teach you a thing or two.

But smart companies do this as a matter of course.

There is no better way to increase lead generation than by truly understanding your customer and acting on those insights.

Question to ask include:

• What problem or issue led you here today? (Dig deeper: How did that come about? What’s the most challenging thing about that problem or issue?)

• Have you tried to solve this in other ways?

• Were we able to solve it for you?

• Was there anything that delighted, frustrated, or surprised you about your experience with us?

You’ll need to modify these questions based on your business. For example, if you sell Bentleys, your customer won’t have a “problem” to talk about (not one that he can identify, anyway!).

And relax—people enjoy talking about themselves. Research shows that it gives them as much pleasure as food or money.

To do: Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or an online one, reach out to at least one customer, either in person or by email. Use those insights to inform future marketing decisions.

Next steps

Now that you’ve performed some basic tasks for CRO, observe any changes in lead generation, whether it’s increased signups or better lead quality. When you’re ready for more, check out five things you must do to improve website conversions.

Want to dramatically increase leads? It all starts with strategy and planning. Learn more by contacting us today.