Tag Archives: friction

Friction: The Mobile Conversion Killer [+Free Mobile Landing Page Checklist]

mobile-friction-landing-pages
Friction can be helpful if you’re stranded on a desert island, but not so much on your mobile landing pages. Source

Mobile landing pages have the unenviable task of conveying enough information to make visitors convert, with much less space to do so than on a desktop.

Driving home your message has to be done with fewer elements and fewer words. Every single element on a landing page must avoid friction at all costs.

What exactly is friction?

Friction on your landing page is both real and perceived:

  • Perceived friction is the mental block that happens in the mind of a landing page visitor when they come across a mobile landing page with unreadable text, a form with too many fields or an offer that doesn’t compel them to convert.
  • Real friction happens when people struggle to fill in that many fields with their thumbs, or they can’t click the call to action button because it’s too small. Or maybe your page is not optimized for mobile and they have to scroll or pinch and zoom to get to the form.

In short, friction is a huge killer of conversions in mobile marketing campaigns. Thankfully, there are preventative measures you can take.

Let’s take a look at how smartphone users are consuming content, the challenges faced by mobile marketers, and a few simple things that you can do to reduce the friction on your mobile landing pages.

PLUS: We’ve put together a free mobile landing page checklist for you to get started with. You can download it at the end of this post.

The device itself is the first point of friction

The first point of mobile friction is the device itself, and all the challenges that arise when browsing on a smaller screen.

Both perceived and actual friction are lower on a desktop than on a mobile device. People can view more information on a landing page all at once, and they’re able to use a keyboard to quickly enter information as opposed to the small screen-based keyboard on a mobile device.

As a result, purchases are less likely to actually be made on a mobile device, but mobile is still a very important part of the research phase. According to designer and conversion rate optimizer Alex Harris:

Mobile users tend to do research on their phone and then complete transactions and purchases on their other devices (tablets and computers).

That means marketers can use mobile lead generation landing pages in conjunction with a strong lead nurturing strategy in order to glean that conversion later on on a desktop.

Let’s say you’re promoting short-term rental properties. Instead of directing mobile search traffic to a page where they’ll have to go through your many properties on their phone, you direct them to a mobile landing page where they will get a summary of your properties and a form that promises to send them more information.

The email that they receive should be persuasive enough (as with any marketing email) to entice them to your properties page with strong copy and a solid CTA. If they open that email on mobile, it should get them interested enough to revisit the email when they’re on their desktop, where they’re more likely to convert to a sale.

As long as those first, brief impressions from your emails generate enough interest to get people to revisit the email on their desktop, you’ll re-capture their attention where they’re more likely to convert to a sale.

Loading time is another huge conversion killer

Not everyone has a 4G or LTE connection. Even if they do, that connection could be unstable – and the more data on your page, the longer it’ll take to load.

Download speed isn’t always the issue, either. Some phones just do not have the processing power to display information quickly, even after receiving it.

Because we know that 43% of users are unlikely to return to a slow-loading landing page or website, keeping that page light is key to keeping people on your page.

But it’s also crucial to scoring more conversions – according to KISSmetrics, a one-second delay can result in a 7% conversion loss.

You definitely don’t want that, do you? Here are some tips to help you speed up your mobile landing pages load times:

1. Go easy on the design elements

The fewer design elements you use, the faster the page can load. The information will be passed to the device faster and the phone will process it faster.

In his article, Mobile Landing Page Checklist for Optimizers, Craig Sullivan discusses the importance of reducing design elements:

The connection of your phone to the mobile phone [tower] and then onto the internet incurs a delay. This is called latency and it adds up for every object you pull down. Two pages of 100Kb — one of which has 5 objects and one of which has 90  —  will show markedly different performance to the user.

In other words, even if the pages are the same size, a page with five graphical elements will load more quickly than one with 90. Keeping design elements minimal reduces the time it takes for a page to load – and that helps keep people around so they can convert.

2. Optimize images for mobile

Once you’ve narrowed down the images to only include those you absolutely need, you’ll need to optimize them to their full potential. That means reducing your overall file size and making sure images scale to any device people might be using using.

This post on the Google Developers blog outlines exactly how to go about making sure your images are done right on mobile. In short, the article recommends:

  • Tricks for compressing images
  • Learning to select the right image format
  • Reducing the number of unnecessary pixels in an image by scaling images to their display size
  • Removing unnecessary image metadata

By investing time in learning how to best optimize your images for mobile, you’ll be reducing friction by speeding up the loading time of your landing pages.

3. Remember that every screen is different

I get a lot of comments about my phone. I have a Nexus 6 that, with the giant idiot-proof case that surrounds it, looks like a small tablet.

Mine is just one of dozens (maybe hundreds?) of different phones out there in the hands of your prospects. The new iPhone 6’s screen is different from that of the iPhone 5, or the LG G3 or… you get the point.

mobile-responsive-landing-pages

Mobile landing pages need to respond to every size.

Responsive design means adapting to the device accessing the content and displaying the information in the way best suited to that device.

You may find that you need to cut back on some of the content to make the experience more enjoyable for mobile users. Test your heart out, and remember that at the end of the day, you’re trying to give them the information they need to convert.

4. Make your content readable

Larger fonts help readability. In the example below, it’s tough for the reader to go through the content and figure out what’s there. While not strictly a landing page by definition, the page below is one of the paid results I got when searching for “mobile marketing.”

mobile-friction-example

The first mistake they made was not using a dedicated landing page for this campaign. The next was making the content on the page barely readable as the font is so small.

Each of the sections on landing page designer Jen Gordon’s homepage is optimized for mobile, and has font that is readable.

Readable mobile landing page

You can see that snippets of information have been broken up into readable sections, which encourage the reader to keep scrolling down the page. This is exactly how a mobile landing page should look. The friction generated by forcing readers to pinch and zoom to get to your content is eliminated, and they’re free to find out what you have to offer.

Testing your mobile landing pages

Once you’ve optimized your mobile landing pages for those four things, your work isn’t done. You’ve still gotta test.

Your A/B tests are an invaluable part of learning what your audience responds to because at the end of the day, they decide which version of your page is the best.

But before you start A/B testing different versions of your page, make sure you do some basic user testing:

  • Does the page work on all devices?
  • Does the page load quickly?
  • Does it work on all browsers?
  • Does it display within all break points?

Why is troubleshooting the technical side of things essential? As Unbounce Senior Conversion Optimizer Michael Aagaard said:

If your variation breaks the layout and mobile users end up seeing a totally screwed up version, your data will be 100% useless and you might as well not test.

What’s more, your tests should not stop at the conversion on the landing page.

Are your visitors converting into sales further down the line? Does one page seem to contribute to sales in the future more than another?

Ask yourself these questions regularly to help you decide on the best way forward.

Killing mobile friction

As results-oriented marketers, we can sometimes get behind the curve on design trends, but make no mistake: mobile is not a trend. Mobile is a real and viable channel for reaching customers.

Remember that if you’re sending your mobile traffic to pages that cause friction, you will lose the opportunity to convert that traffic – possibly forever.

Take the time to understand your customers’ needs on mobile. Design the best experience you possibly can. Give your customers the opportunity to interact with you on their terms. And when they’re happy, you know that you’ve reduced friction.

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Friction: The Mobile Conversion Killer [+Free Mobile Landing Page Checklist]

How to Create Conversion-Ready Landing Pages Like a Pro

Watching a skilled conversion optimizer work is a sight to behold.

These people — the good ones — are wizards. They know exactly what to do, where to move stuff, how to organize it, how big to make it, and exactly how to design a page that will earn floods of conversions and loads of cash.

How do they do it?

Conversion optimization, part mystical art and part entrancing science, is not something that comes naturally. The best conversion optimizers have analyzed thousands of landing pages, spent a long time on boring split test results, and have developed the ability to read the minds of their customers.

In addition to my experience in conversion optimization, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the world’s most successful conversion optimizers. What I’ve produced in this article is an unveiling of how the best conversion optimizers create landing pages.


How to Create Conversion-Ready Landing Pages Like a Pro by @NeilPatel
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A word about landing pages, content, and this crazy world of conversions

For many businesses, the process of creating landing pages is a templated task. Rather than develop unique landing pages for different PPC ads or campaigns, the designers merely swap out a few content pieces in a template and produce a new landing page.

Unfortunately, that’s not a very strategic method. A landing page, whether that landing page is also the website’s homepage or a PPC target, is a conversion powerhouse. Allowing its fate to be determined by the efficacy of a templated design is risky at best.

All of the features of a landing page matter. The elements of “content” that I will reference below include more than just words or CTA copy. They include the whole approach of a landing page — its purpose, intent, audience, action, and then the obvious things like images and text blocks.

A word of warning:  Conversion optimization isn’t as simple as following a few “best practices,” reducing your form fields, or making your CTA button bigger. Sure, those things help.

But it’s more than that — more complicated and far deeper.

What you’re about to read simplifies it, but doesn’t change the fact that there is a level of complexity that goes beyond what you may be expecting.

I sweep aside all the customary babble about orange buttons and things that always boost conversions.

Instead, I’ve gone straight for the cognitive jugular. This is the deep stuff that really matters in conversion optimization. This is how the pros create landing pages.

Know the target customer.

This single point trumps every other point in the history of conversion optimization.

Knowing your target customer is the single most important thing you can do as you create your landing page.

Why?

  • Because your target customer is the one who will be converting. Make it for that person, not for anyone else.
  • Every group of buyers is different. What works for cat lovers is not going to have the same impact on marketing professionals.
  • Every element on a landing page needs to meet the unique needs of the target audience — images, copy, explanation, etc.
  • People have different learning styles. An explainer video may work for some people, while long-form content may work for another type of learner.
  • The more targeted the landing page, the more effective it will be.

I suggest a laser-focused approach to understanding your customers.

Before you run a single test, create a single headline, or look for a single image, do this:  Research and know your customers.

Nothing matters unless you know your customers.

How do you do this?

Notice how some of the most successful landing pages have an unstoppable focus on the target audience.

Here’s ManPacks. A landing page with this type of headline, subheadline, and picture would work with few other audiences.

know your target audience

Compare that with a landing page that targets a completely different demographic.

know your target audience

Everything about these landing pages is different. The conversion action, the layout, the copy, the options, the images — everything is different.

Why?

Because the two pages have two distinct audiences.

If you learn your customers, then the rest of the conversion optimization process is possible.

Don’t even attempt to do conversion optimization unless you know your customers.

Understand the right conversion action.

Before we can have a coherent discussion about conversion optimization, we need to understand what the conversion action is.

What do I mean by conversion action?

Every landing page has a certain action that it is trying to get the customer to do. When the customer completes that action, it is known as a conversion.

Conversions may be a purchase, or they can be a micro-conversion such as filling out a form or submitting an email address.

The conversion action is very important to the conversion potential of the page.

For example, a conversion action to “buy now” may not be the right one for a landing page. Instead, a conversion action of “free trial” may be better. This has to do with more than just CTA copy. It has to do with the overall focus of the page as a whole.

There are huge differences in landing page conversion actions.

Here is Salesforce, a CRM SaaS. Conversion Action:  Fill out the form and get a demo.

landing page design depends on the goal

Here is Starbucks. Conversion Action:  “Explore” the variety of coffee subscriptions.

landing page design

Here is Sprint. Conversion Action:  Buy an iPhone 6, an iPad mini 3, and a subscription plan.

landing page design

How do you know what action to choose?

  • The place to start is with your goals. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your goal?
  • Know your customer. What would be best for them?
  • Understand the customer’s journey. Where does this landing page meet them? Does it address their position?
  • Know the position of the customer in the buy cycle. When and where are they most likely to make a purchase or decision?

Once you analyze these factors, you’ll be able to successfully determine the best conversion action for your landing page.

Create cognitive flow

Cognitive flow is an often-overlooked feature in landing page creation.

Cognitive flow is the way that a landing page addresses a user’s need, answers the user’s question, and leads them to the point of conversion.

Cognitive flow is an application of the cognitive information processing (CIP) theory. According to the theory, learners are viewed as both seekers and processors of information.

Information flows in the following way:

cognitive flow on your landing page

Image source

At the most fundamental level, a learner is absorbing phonetic and visual information, processing the information in both her long-term and working memory.

processing the information on a landing page

Image source

Simultaneously, as the user looks at a landing page, he is following the train of thought in the content, asking questions, expecting answers, and raising objections, all in an unbroken flow of conscious processing.

A landing page must successfully meet the user’s need for cognitive flow in the processing of information.


Without cognitive flow, your landing page will flop. @NeilPatel
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Here are the questions or demands that a landing page will answer. Remember, a landing page can’t answer all these questions in a single glance. Thus, a landing page has a cognitive flow by which it addresses these issues sequentially and systematically.

  • What is this page about? (Usually answered by a headline or image)
  • What does this mean? (Usually answered by a subheadline)
  • Show me or tell me more (Image, bullet points, or additional paragraphs)
  • How can I be sure? (Customer testimonials or other trust signals)
  • But I have some objections! (Testimonials, social proof, statistics, data, emotional persuasion, further information, etc.)
  • What should I do about it? (Conversion action)

Here’s a landing page for Ramit Sethi’s online course “How to Talk to Anybody.” The CTA button is not in the screenshot below, but each element of the page helps the user flow cognitively through the process that climaxes in conversion.

cognitive flow in your landing page

Notice how the following long-form landing page accomplishes a specific purpose at each section.

image017

The landing page answers questions that a potential buyer is asking:

  • Can I host it on my own server?
  • Does it work for enterprise-level organizations?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Does it work with JIRA, Slack, Hipchat?

The landing page answers each question, coaxing the user towards a conversion using the power of cognitive flow.

Identify and eliminate friction.

Within every landing page are elements of friction.

Friction is another one of those cognitive issues that lies under the hood of most conversion optimization efforts.

The definition of cognitive friction is “the resistance encountered by human intellect when it engages with a complex system of rules that changes as the problem permutes.”

Applied to conversion optimization, friction is anything that gets in the way of a conversion. It could be a complicated process, a hard-to-find button, an unclear phrase, a slow-loading page or a weird font.

The best conversion optimizers know that they must seek and destroy such friction.

WiderFunnel’s LIFT Model of conversion optimization makes the attack on friction a major part of the process. Removing anxiety and distraction are two major methods of eliminating friction.

conversion optimization - remove friction Image source

Here are some friction-fighting questions that you can ask about the landing page. These are taken from my article, “What Every Marketer Needs to Know about Conversion Optimization.”

  • Is there too much information?
  • Am I introducing any extraneous topics or issues?
  • Do I have any unnecessary form fields? Are there too many?
  • Are there any terms or concepts that might be confusing to the visitor?
  • Does the user have enough information to make a decision?
  • Is there any more information that the user might want? Questions to be answered?
  • Is the information organized logically?
  • Does the information flow well?
  • Does my design style offend or please most of my visitors?
  • Do I have enough stylistic interest to engage users and eliminate style friction?
  • Does the page take too long to view, read, or scroll?
  • Does the conversion feel too rushed?
  • Are there too many/not enough pages in the funnel process?
  • Is the text size appropriate for headlines and content?
  • Is the call-to-action button an appropriate color?
  • Are prices clearly indicated?
  • Does the background color and text make for readable content?

These are just a sample of the many issues that could produce friction.

The best way to identify friction is to get in the mind of your users (back to point number one).

Know what tests to run

One of the main things that conversion optimizers do is test. Rather than rely on hunches and suspicions, they micro-analyze each element of a landing page in order to make the page as effective as possible.

Although split testing is not without its pitfalls, it is the single best method of improving the conversion rate of a landing page or website.

But what should you test? For any given landing page, there are thousands of things that could be tested. How do you select the elements of a landing page that will make the biggest impact?

It will vary from landing page to landing page, and from industry to industry. That being said, there are a few things that most CROs tend to test right away. Here is a list of five things that you can immediately begin to test.

Test a major redesign.

Sometimes, the biggest conversion gains come from the biggest changes. Such is the case with a radical redesign.

You may decide to radically redesign your landing page after reading this article. Such a change can reverse everything about an existing landing page. The color scheme is different, the form is different, the copy is different — everything can be different.

Note: Some optimizers would not consider this to be a split test, because it is testing a huge variety of elements. For simplicity’s sake, I’m calling it a split test because it compares two versions of a page. Technically, however, the test involves more than two isolated elements.

A few years ago, Conversion Rate Experts redesigned CrazyEgg’s landing page. Here is how radical it was:

testing Crazy Egg landing page

The newly redesign page — the long one — outperformed the original one by 30%.

Marian University conducted a series of tests to see which of their landing pages performed better. The differences were pronounced.

testing yields incrementally better conversion rates

Test images

Images are a great source of testing fodder. One of the most basic tests is to compare an image landing page with a no-image landing page.

You might be surprised by the results. For example, Hubspot tested two versions of a landing page to determine whether the image had greater conversion power or the no-image variation.

test imagesImage source

As it turned out in the above test, Version A (no image) scored a 24% increase in submissions over the variable of Version B.

You can also test the type of images.

Highrise CRM tested the original design of their landing page against a simplified design with a picture of a user. The result was an increase in conversions of 102.5%.

image027Not content with testing just a single picture, they produced six variations, and tested all of them.

image029

Test headlines

One of the most popular and effective split tests is headlines.

A single headline tweak can produce surprising upticks in conversion rates.

A LeadPages test compared two variations of a headline. One was short, and aimed directly to attract the book’s target audience of retailers.

image031

The variation was longer, but spoke more directly to the user.

image033

The single test was profitable. It boosted conversions by 307%.

image035

Testing a headline is a fairly straightforward process. Buffer explains how they do it using Twitter traffic test cases. The tweetability of a headline can serve as an indication of its conversion success.

Conclusion

We’re at the conclusion of the article, and I haven’t even told you how big to make your CTA button, or what size your image should be.

The point of this article is much different. Successful conversion optimization looks beyond the external details and dives into the internal thought processes of the user. By understanding the user, the CRO can…

  • Understand the right conversion action
  • Create cognitive flow
  • Identify and eliminate friction, and
  • Know what tests to run

Complicated? Sure.

But effective? Heck, yeah.

What is your starting point for creating a conversion ready landing page?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Neil Patel.

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How to Create Conversion-Ready Landing Pages Like a Pro

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39 Tips to Kill Conversion-Blockers and Boost Sales

Many sites lose conversions due to unnecessary friction on their website.

Friction is defined by Marketing Experiments as “a psychological resistance to a given element in the sales or sign-up process.”

image001

That’s a somewhat abstract definition. Put more concretely, friction frustrates potential customers and causes a decrease in revenues and conversions.

It’s important to note that the definition is widely contested. Optimizers aren’t uniform in their definition. Chris Goward puts it succinctly when he says,

‘…the word ‘friction’ for conversion optimization is unclear and confusing. It’s hard to tell what it really means. I think the underlying problems some refer to as friction are more related to Anxiety-causing elements, or perhaps lack of Clarity, or Distraction-producers…Maximizing the Clarity of your communication, reducing Distraction from peripheral messages and design, and eliminating Anxiety-causing elements can produce massive business improvements in your marketing.’

Oli Garnder of Unbounce says,

“the psychological resistance that your visitors experience when trying to complete an action. Friction is a conversion killer usually caused by unclear messaging, lack of information, or poor layout.”

In other words, if your landing page is—or is simply seen or perceived to be—too overwhelming to complete, you can be sure there’s too much friction on your page. Your landing page’s sole objective is to get someone to make a purchase, offer their information, or optin—then get out of the way.

Reducing friction means making it easy for visitors to take action.

4 Types of Friction

Visitors will experience friction in one of 4 ways:

Information Friction: Information that you omit or commit can bring about friction.

Complexity Friction: This type of friction is making things more complicated than they need to be. The more complexity, the higher your risk of friction.

Time Friction: Time is crucial when considering your conversion optimization. This deals with things such as speed or load time.

Visual Friction: There are many varieties of visual elements that can either bring about or reduce friction: font kerning, video placement, background patterns, button color.

In your efforts to reduce friction, you must be able to identify elements on your website that create friction in any of these 4 areas. Then come up with a plan for reducing that friction.

Of course, your solutions are merely hypotheses at this stage.

You must test to know whether your assumptions were correct. And don’t forget your Crazy Egg heatmaps. They can help you figure out whether the elements on your web pages generate the behavior you expect (e.g., Are people clicking on the button or on something else?).

Start with the 5-Second Test

When analyzing sites for unnecessary friction from a qualitative point of view for, I typically employ the 5-second test.

If your site doesn’t pass the “5-second test,” your site is likely to have friction and thus a high bounce rate.

So what’s the five-second test?

The “5-second test” involves showing your website to someone for 5 seconds. Once the 5 seconds are over, if they’re able tell you what the site’s about, then you’ve passed the test.

Alternatively, if they can’t clearly articulate what it is you do, your website fails the test. A typical problem, amongst others, with sites that fail the 5-second test is that there’s unnecessary friction on the site.

Hence, it’s clear that a site that passes this “5-second test” is more likely to generate higher conversions.

This article is all about making your site as friction-free as possible so it passes this test, and making it pleasant experience, so users come back again and again.

We’ve identified 39 common points of friction, giving you a great place to start your optimization efforts. Ready? Let’s dig in.


39 Tips to Kill Conversion-Blockers and Boost Sales
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1. Remove navigation and extra elements

Type of Friction: Complexity

Unnecessary navigation or any redundant elements on your site can cause friction for users, and thus distract them from the primary goal you have for them: making a purchase, opting in or subscribing.

Ideally, on every landing page you want to force the decision between 3 options:

  • Becoming a conversion
  • Looking for further information (but still remaining interested)
  • Providing their email, so you can contact them in the future

Removing the navigation bar clarifies the purpose of that webpage better, and makes it easier for visitors to focus on the task at hand.

Example: MECLAB’s Experiment for Online Retailer.

image004

Removing the top navigation and side navigation allowed this retailer to see a 10% increase in checkout competitions.

You might do better to put non-necessary elements (say, a privacy policy or a cookies policy) in the footer or even in another page.

2. One CTA per page

Type of Friction: Visual

A general principle in conversion rate optimization is only having one call to action per page.

Ideally, you don’t want to want to give the visitor too many options creates overwhelm and often causes them to bounce.

Example: Netflix

image006

3. Improve your pricing page (for multiple packages)

Type of Friction: Information

A poorly set-out pricing page can cause a serious decrease in sales. Here are several ways to improve the layout of various price points and features in order to reduce friction.

Make a comparison table for various features available across packages

Example 1: socialgo.com

image008

Example 2: groupspaces

image010

Show features that are available to all users

Example: groupspaces

image011

Accent aspect of your product or service that matter most:

Users are usually interested in several things: what package is right for me? how much does it cost? can I cancel if I am not happy? and can I try it for free?

Example: See how basecamp.com approaches this:

image013

4. Remove “wish list,” particularly if it’s a feature customers don’t need

Type of Friction: Information

When an online store does not sell commodity products (e.g., books or consumer electronics), it’s unlikely that offering a wish list will increase sales. It’s more likely that it will create a sense of “I can just come back later,” which usually doesn’t happen.

By removing the “wish list” function, the store can be more focused on sales, and there is no super-simple way for customers to postpone the purchase decision.


Reduce Friction: Don’t make it easy for customers to postpone purchase.
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5. Disable copy/paste or remove the “Retype e-mail address” field in signup forms

Type of Friction: Complexity

Some signup form contains a “Retype e-mail address” field. According to Smashing Magazine, “this allows for greater error, because it forces users to type more. They can’t see the characters they’re inputting, making it difficult to know whether they’re typing the right password each time.”

They recommend, instead, asking users to type their password in once, then allowing them to unmask the password to verify they typed it correctly.

image014

6. Make “add to cart” button bigger

Type of Friction: Visual

The “add to cart” button should be the dominant button on the product page; your button should fluidly guide the user toward to the next step — clicking the ‘add to cart’ button.

Example: Betabrand (image courtesy of Lemonstand.com)

image016

Example 2: Kogan.com

image018

7. Make the “view cart” link more prominent

Type of Friction: Visual

People are used to finding the shopping cart link at the top-right corner of the web page. So that’s where yours needs to be. Don’t try to be creative. This link reminds users that they’ve added a product to their basket.

Example 1: Amazon. Here’s the link they use in the top-right corner of their design.

image020

Example 2: Flipkart

image022

8. Add a prominent “checkout” link to all shop pages

Type of Friction: Visual

Visitors should have no trouble completing a purchase once they’re ready to check out.

As with the shopping cart, people are used to finding the link to the checkout process in the top-right corner. The link should be right next to the “shopping cart” link and should be perpetual in its visibility.

Example: Here’s how Kogan displays the checkout button. My only recommendation would be to test a brighter color.

image024

9. Website Loading Speed & Conversions

Type of Friction: Time

Page Load Speed is an important part of conversion rate optimization. There are several formal studies that recognize this connection.

  • A study at Amazon showed a 1% decrease in sales for every 0.1 second decrease in response times. (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007)
  • According to studies by the Aberdeen Research Group, the average impact of a 1-second delay meant a 7% reduction in conversions.

Slow web pages are perceived as less credible (BJ Fogg) and quality. To reduce friction, your page load times should be below tolerable attention thresholds—ideally less than 3 seconds. Friction will be reduced, and you should enjoy higher conversion rates.

10. Break your paragraphs up into chunks containing no more than 3 lines per paragraph

Type of Friction: Visual

Readability studies show that on the internet, to ensure maximum comprehension and the appearance of simplicity, line lengths of 50-60 characters per line, or 500-600 pixels wide, are read faster & more consistently by visitors.

Also, people have a tendency to read through to completion when chunks of copy are broken up into segments of three lines.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Break the current paragraphs up into chunks containing no more than 3 lines per paragraph.
  2. Implement copy that does not exceed 50-60 characters per line, or 500-600 pixels per line.

11. Put the relevant content on the left

Type of Friction: Visual

Since we read left to right, it makes sense to put relevant content on the left and less relevant content on the right or below the fold.

As you can see in this heatmap, most visitors attend to the upper left of the page. That’s where your most important messaging should go.

image025

Google Golden Triangle by Amit Agarwal, on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/amit-agarwal/2052668047

12. Make your competitive advantage clearer

Type of Friction: Information

Returning visitors are likely to be familiar with your brand. But what about new users? To get them engaged quickly, you need to help them understand what your website is about.

Your tagline takes care of this. Making the tagline (or the whole logo) bigger makes it easier for visitors to orient themselves.

Example: Carelogger increased their conversions 55% after changing their tagline from “affordable, easy-to-use web-based contact manager” to “the quickest & easiest way to organize your contacts.”

image028

13. Make your logo clickable back to the home page

Type of Friction: Visual

It is usability standard that the logo in the upper left-hand corner of your website links to the home page. If visitors can’t navigate, they usually bounce.

Don’t make your users think. Make it easy for them to navigate your site.

14. Improve product customization process

Type of Friction: Information

The biggest challenge in selling online is that visitors can’t touch or try on the merchandise. Users are essentially ”in the dark.” Do everything you can to showcase the product visually.

Rather than just putting color boxes, include images of the product in all colors.

Example:

image030

15. Offer instant gratification

Type of Friction: Information

Your customers are busy, so you can often reduce friction by offering instant gratification.

If you’re a retailer with more of a bricks-and-mortar presence, you can offer the convenience of ordering online with in-store pickup. Talk about the best of both worlds! Customers can eliminate the shipping period but avoid long lines at checkout.

Example: Walmart.com (courtesy Punchbowl.com)

image032

16. Show products in use

Type of Friction: Visual

By showing the products in use, it becomes easier for visitors to imagine using the products. Emphasize your product’s ease of use, beauty or the end result people will get, and place your image next to the call to action.

Example: Amazon

image034

17. Make order history available for signed-in users only

Type of Friction: Information

Too much information is often distracting, which creates friction.

One way to avoid this is to require users to sign in before being able to see customer-only information such as the customer’s order history. It can be a part your customer drop-down menu when they sign in.

On a side note, this also encourages new customers to register with your site.

Example: see drop-down menu for signed in users on Amazon.

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18. Provide the experience your customers want

Type of Friction: Information

Be “human,” not “corporate” when dealing with customers.

Create a “brand promise” that is completely customer-centric. Then publish it where customers can see it.

Examples:

image038

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19. Add links to detailed product pages

Type of Friction: Visual

Sometimes people don’t buy because they need more information. If you rely on short product descriptions to do the selling, you may need to test dedicated product pages with longer descriptions, more images, and even testimonials.

Example: morgan

image041

20. Make reviews a clickable link

Type of Friction: Visual

You may or may not show reviews on the product page. If you choose not to show them, make sure you make it easy to find them.

Example:

image043

21. Make navigation menu simpler

Type of Friction: Complexity

Some navigation menus show so many options that the visitor is easily overwhelmed.

Example: Unidentified (courtesy Kissmetrics)

image045

Rather than showing dozens of options, only show the top-level options to make the selection easier for the user.

Put your most important parent pages in your primary navigation bar. Other pages may be shown as child pages or linked to from other pages.

Example 1: Smith Brothers

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Example 2: Sweat Vac

image049

22. Increase font size to make the site more user-friendly

Type of Friction: Visual

The smallest font size you should ever use for text 12px. 14 pixels is often better. Anything smaller than that will make many visitors struggle to see the text.

Even the visitors who can read the current text without struggling will appreciate a larger font (without consciously noticing it).

Example:  ClickLaboratory.com ran a CRO test for Numara Software testing font.

image051

The test font (the variation) was larger and had increased line spacing. This simple font change reduced their bounce rate by 10%, dropped the exit rate by 19, and boosted the form conversion rate by 133%. No bad, don’t you think?!

Example 2: whoacceptsamex (image courtesy vwo).

Control

image053

Variation: with a 18 px font size, as opposed to 12 px.

This variation resulted in 32.68% more clicks. See the case study here.

image055

23. Check the speed of the home page slider

Type of Friction: Visual

If you use a slider on your home page, you may be frustrating visitors. Don’t allow the slider to transition so quickly that it’s difficult to read. Allow enough time for visitors to read and click if interested.

But remember, using a slider at all is questionable. People get impatient waiting on sliders and are likely to skip over them. The slider also makes the page unfocused since there is no longer one clear primary message.

If you use a slider, test carefully to be sure they’re optimized for your users’ preferences.

24. Don’t use the same image for multiple products

Type of Friction: Visual

Using same pictures for different products can create a lot of confusion. Visitors typically “read” images before text. Seeing the same image will likely indicate that the message is being repeated as well.

Use different pictures to indicate different ideas and messages.

25. Remove vertical navigation

Type of Friction: Information

For some users, scrolling may cause friction. They want to be able to see immediately what the page is about. Removing vertical navigation allows more above-the-fold space to present your core message. It also makes the page look cleaner and more intuitive.

image057

26. Avoid inconsistencies in your site’s design

Type of Friction: Visual

Inconsistencies make the site feel poorly maintained, which can cause questions about the overall believability of the information.

When the site’s design changes, it creates friction in the customer’s mind. It may be subtle, but any amount of friction can make people leave your site.

Use same overall design on your site’s design to provide a consistent experience across the website. Also ensure those your design is consistent across web, email, mobile devices, online chat.

Example: Jetblue’s Homepage (courtesy NNGroup)

image059

Jetblue email:

image061

Jetblue mobile site:

image063

27. Make your checkout pages’ design similar to main site and don’t redirect checkout

Type of Friction: Visual

About 67% of the people who put a product in your shopping cart will change their mind during the checkout process.

One way to get more people to complete their purchase is to make the design of your checkout page similar to the main site. (Remember the previous point, that design changes create friction?)

Copy the design from the main site to the checkout pages with no sidebar and the navigation bar from the design.

In addition, don’t redirect the checkout page to a new URL. A URL like
https://checkout.onlinestore.com/carts/3459089/b84ef00837934d73216f54db638e0502 creates doubts about where you are taking them.

28. Remove optional, irrelevant or multiple calls to action

Type of Friction: Visual

A guiding principle in conversion rate optimization is to have only one call to action per page.

Make the primary button the only logical next step to take.


Website Conversion Tip: Make the primary button the only logical next step to take.
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29. Make your search bar larger

Type of Friction: Visual

One obvious source of friction is visitors’ inability to easily find what they’re looking for.

To help your visitors find the information or product they want, make your search bar more noticeable. You should offset your search bar with a different color from your site’s color scheme. It should also be more prominent.

Example: This is neatly accomplished in the search bar at theiconic, where the search bar is in the center of the navigation bar.

image064

30. Use intuitive names for navigation tabs

Type of Friction: Information

If people can’t figure out your site, they leave. Period. So don’t be cute with your nav-bar tabs.

Can you figure out what this site is about?

image065

Think about what visitors are used to seeing on websites—both in your industry and around the web in general.

If they’re used to seeing a particular word or phrase, it’s a good idea to use it on your site as well.

For example, many visitors are accustomed to seeing language relating to “Tour” or “How It Works,” when looking to explore more details about a site/product. That being the case, don’t call it “Wrks.”

31. Avoid too much white space in the page

Type of Friction: Visual

White space is good. But too much white space may be confusing.

Too much whitespace between the supporting content and your actionable area can bring about a sense of friction and cause users to see the call-to-action as a distinct and separate element, rather than a continuation for the text. Check this article out for more information.

32. Don’t ask people to see prices before they’ve seen the products

Type of Friction: Time

It is too early to start talking about prices on the home page. You should first let visitors explore the site, review their options and understand the benefits of your products. Only after the visitor wants the product should you start talking about buying (and prices).

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33. But DO show your prices

Type of Friction: Information

To avoid people being scared off by your pricing, you may be tempted to hide it altogether. But when visitors don’t see your pricing schedule, they may lose trust.

If you don’t want to link to your prices from the navigation bar, at least put a link in the footer.

34. Allow forward and backward movement in checkout

Type of Friction: Complexity

In your shopping cart, the process  steps  at the top of the page should  also  function  as  navigational  links  for  the  checkout process. Customers often naturally expect to be taken back to the respective step when clicking it, in order to go back and edit previously entered data. (visual)

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35. Make it easy to complete checkout

Type of Friction: Complexity

To avoid cart abandonment, make checkout as fast and easy as possible.

On your Cart Review page, put a “Proceed to Checkout” button above the product table as well as below. This will ensure that users will understand what to do next without having to scroll.

Example: Original

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Variation: After (“Update” and “Checkout” buttons added)

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36. Don’t be too aggressive in cross-selling

Type of Friction: Information

If you cross-sell in the cart, then at least place the extra products below the cart and primary button, and make the products as relevant to the cart’s content as possible

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37. Simplify your contact form

Type of Friction: Complexity

Inputting information creates friction. So the longer your optin forms, the more friction you create. What is the least amount of information that still allows you to market effectively? Remove unnecessary fields to make the contact easier and more likely.

Current form:

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Suggested form:

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Example 2: Obama’s Online Campaign. Shortening the form led to an increase in donations of 5%.

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38. Make trust seals prominent during checkout

Type of Friction: Information

Generally you want to place trust seals prominently on your purchase page.

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39. Integrate email capture on your homepage as well

Type of Friction: Information

Visitors should not have to click to another page to be able to join your email list. Every additional page-load tends to create friction.

A two-step optin box (a lightbox that appear when a visitor clicks) or embedding the email opt-in form on the homepage itself eliminates extra steps.

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Make your site as friction-free as possible

Our list, while relatively comprehensive, it’s by no means complete. The thing to remember is that any element on your website can create friction—and if they do, they likely reduce conversions.

If you want to improve your conversion rate (and who doesn’t?), you should constantly be evaluating your website for those elements.

Begin with the 5-second test. Then start hacking away at the points of friction we’ve listed here. It’s a sure bet that your conversion rate will improve as you do so.

What creates the most friction for you? Would you add anything to the list?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by David Rosenfeld.

The post 39 Tips to Kill Conversion-Blockers and Boost Sales appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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39 Tips to Kill Conversion-Blockers and Boost Sales

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Your Ecommerce Site Will Die Without These 3 Trust Signals

Every ecommerce site needs trust signals. Without them, you can expect conversion rates and revenue to remain low. With trust signals, you can power your ecommerce websites to heights of power and success.

In this article, I want to share with you the secrets of trust signals that have worked for me and dozens of other extremely successful ecommerce websites. First, I’ll share a little bit about the science and psychology of trust signals and then explain exactly which trust signals you should have on your website in order to drive conversions.

trust - placeitSource: Placeit.net

What are trust signals?

Trust signals, put simply, are features or qualities of your site that inspire trust in the mind of the customer. Trust is what allows a customer to go from visitor to buyer. A user needs to trust a site in order to buy from the site. There are hundreds, potentially even thousands, of different types of trust signals. Some trust signals, however, are more important than others.

You are hurting yourself if you don’t have trust signals, which is why I can confidently tell you the title of this article isn’t just click bait. Your ecommerce site will die. According to a 2006 study by Taylor Nelson Sofres, customers will terminate 70% of online purchases due to lack of trust (source). This paucity of trust leads to a devastating loss of $1.9b+ annually.

A study of UK-based online retailers found that sites without customer reviews and recommendations were forfeiting £9 billion in extra revenue. The study asserted that including user-generated content like reviews could positively impact these retailers by 27%!

Ready to ramp up conversions and revenue? These are the three trust signals you need:

The #1 Trust Signal – Testimonials and Reviews

What do other people say about your product or service? This is one of the most trust-inspiring features. If you have no other trust signals on your website, you should have this one.

Here are 5 strategies to approach trust:

1. Provide Reviews

Reviews are when customers discuss their experience with and/or satisfaction with your product or service. They may leave these on third-party websites such as Yelp (for local businesses) or Amazon (for physical or digital products).

As cited in SEJ, Econsultancy declares that 88% of customers will check out reviews before making a final decision on a purchase. According to studies, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Local Consumer Review Survey, 2012).

Since two-thirds of consumers use online reviews either regularly or occasionally, this indicates a high percentage of people will be interested in reviews of your business. By corollary, if you don’t have them, you don’t have their trust.

Graph from SEL on a type of a trust signal. Two-thirds of consumers use online reviews either regularly or occasionally

You’ll need more than one glowing review on your website or product page. Most consumers read 2–10 reviews. A smaller number of reviews can indicate a lower level of trust.

This chart from the Local Consumer Review Survey (2012) indicates how many reviews consumers read as they considered a purchase.

Most customers read 2 to 10 reviews when considering to make a purchase.  based on trust signal.

It’s no surprise, then, that positive reviews are highly likely to influence a customer’s buying decision.

Positive reviews are highly likely to influence a customer’s buying decision

(Image source: SEL).

Need help getting reviews? These tips should help.

2. Include Social Proof

Of all the types of testimonials and reviews, social proof is probably the most powerful. One reason for this is because people tend to trust the recommendations of friends and family more than any other source. According to Nielsen 92% of consumers trust “earned media” — which is their friends and family.

To what extent do you trust following forms of advertising?

Google+ is a necessary source of social proof, because of the way that it impacts SERPs and CTR. Potential customers can see social proof right in their search results. When they are logged in to their Google+, Google will pull in people who are part of their circles, conveying a sense of trust to a given search result in the SERP.

Trust Signal use of Google plus

3. Add Reviews in Feeds

One powerful way of providing reviews is doing so by means of a feed of reviews — usually Twitter. Here’s how an article on Econsultancy expressed it:

BuildASign indicates a 7% increase in website conversion rates when visitors see a feed of reviews (as opposed to static ‘testimonials’ of dubious origin), compared to those with no reviews.

In combination with the trust quality from social accounts, review feeds are an impacting way to overwhelm the customer with the (hopefully positive) variety and origin of reviews.

This form of review isn’t available for every product or service. If it’s a possibility for yours, by all means, consider adding it to your website or landing page.

4. Add the Identity of Reviewers

The identity of the reviewer is a source of trustworthiness. You can probably identify with the way stock photos and generic names provide either no trust or distrust to a site.

The best way to overcome the blight of anonymous reviewers is to add pictures, full names, and links. Either that, or use a trust source such as Amazon or social media to cite reviews.

Sharefaith, a website provider for churches, does this. Although they use the surname initial, they do provide physical location and a link to the website along with a website screenshot:

Identity of Reviewers, use of trust signal

Amazon has built up an entire development infrastructure to support and validate the identity of reviews and reviewers.

Customers can get a snapshot of the overall rating of the products:

Identity of Reviewers - trust signal

If they choose, sellers can also dive into the individual reviews, rate the reviews, research the reviewers, and discuss the reviews.

For example, this reviewer has a name, a “real name,” a review page, and a rating.

Identity of Reviewers - trust signal

On a particular review, I can state whether I thought it was helpful or not, comment on it, report abuse, or even create a permalink to the review.

While your own site’s reviews may lack the robust features of Amazon, it’s nonetheless important to validate the legitimacy of reviews and the identity of reviewers.

Identity of Reviewers , two- trust signal

If you have small network or niche product, don’t despair. Econsultancy’s study concluded that when it comes to reviews, “smaller communities have a greater influence on a topic than larger ones (54%).” This is probably due to the fact that smaller communities are more familiar with one another’s names and identities and thus place a greater degree of trust in the network due to its close-knit composition.

If you are selecting the reviews to use, make sure you use one that has the greatest degree of validity. In a study of “users,” researchers at Temple University came up with the following trust flow diagram.

Temple University came up with the following trust flow diagram.

5. Include Seller Ratings

Seller ratings are a rich snippet markup that you can include in your product page. When your ad appears in the SERP, Google will display a star rating. PPCwithoutPity claims that this will “double your conversions.”

This is what it looks like.

Google will display a star rating

Google will display a star rating, type 2

Check out Google’s in-depth discussion of how seller reviews work, and how you can add them to your adwords entries for that extra trusty support.

The #2 Trust Signal – Contact and Communication

Companies without an established identity lack trust. It’s just that simple.

Despite the predominance of online purchasing, people still crave the trust that comes from a physical location, a phone number, and an email address.

An article in Business2Community put it like this:

Trust seals are essential trust signals for the survival of ecommerce sites. People tend to be extra cautious when conducting transactions online with all the reports of identity theft that continues to besiege consumers. Ecommerce sites need to show consumers that they are legitimate companies.

In the wake of data loss, cyber spies, Target’s breach, and Google’s tightening of security, consumers are wary and skeptical. You’ve got to do all you can as a retailer to earn and keep their trust.

1. Contact

One of the most basic ways to do this is to tell them who you are, where you live, and how they can get a hold of you.

This information is usually placed directly in the websites template, often in a footer. You should also have a contact page that is easily accessible from anywhere on the site.

Here’s what the contact page on E-consultancy looks like:

Example of trust signal - the contact page on E-consultancy

Each location has full physical address, phone number, map, and even discusses transportation options.

This website uses a physical address and phone number:

This website uses a physical address and phone number

Here is what the trust signals look like on another website’s footer (GetCandid.com):

the trust signals, GetCandid.com contact info

Other websites, like this one but nonetheless provide a phone number. My website provides a way for people to connect with me socially and via email:

Jeremy Said Contact page

2. Communication

The most significant way to enhance trust in today’s social-media-driven age, however, is through a social media account. You still need the physical location and contact information, but social media accounts are an essential layer of trust that you need.

It doesn’t take any wild development tricks. Just a few social symbols are all that’s needed to help enhance this level of trust.

social plugins for trust signals

You see them everywhere:

social plugins for trust signals. part2

If you don’t have social plugins, you’re losing out on a major form of trust and assurance.

social plugins for trust signals. part3

These social symbols should be present on nearly every page of your website.

social plugins for trust signals. part4 There are ways to use these symbols without compromising UX in the least.

social plugins for trust signals. part5

People trust Facebook. They trust Twitter. They respect Google Plus. They use LinkedIn. They view cat videos on YouTube. They pin to Pinterest. These are places where users spend their time and connect with their friends. If you connect with them in this way, they are more likely to trust you and your messaging.

The headline from Time earlier this year captures this idea with insightful accuracy: Millennials: Trust No One But Twitter.

Millenials trust no one

Social media accounts are the forum of communication today. This is where the discussion happens. This is where people connect. As a result, contact and communication today require social media accounts. This is how you build trust.

The #3 Trust Signal – Payment Assurance

When it comes right down to it, people need the most trust assurance when they are about to spend their money. There are plenty of ways to inspire trust in a checkout process, but I want to focus on just two forms in this section.

1. Multiple payment methods

Customers spend money in variety of ways. You should provide the prominent payment form in the method that is most preferred by your customers. But even if your primary audience doesn’t use a certain payment method as commonly, you should still feature it in order to give them a sense of trust.

The wider variety of payment methods you accept, the greater the customer’s degree of trust in you.

2. Third-party badges and certifications.

The presence of images in the checkout process goes a long way to build trust. Consider this image, featuring Zappos.com (image from Moz.com). They’ve got trust. Why? It’s all those images of familiar payment method icons and logos like BusinessWeek.

Third-party badges and certifications

In a study from UXMatters, analysts discovered that “icons such as PayPal, VeriSign, Visa” were one of the highest rated trust elements on a website for first-time visitors to a site.

trust(Image source: Screenshot of UXMatters.)

When a customer parts with his or her money, they need assurance. This is the point in the process where they are most vulnerable to leaving the funnel (shopping cart abandonment). Do all you can with trust signals to keep them on the page. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

Conclusion

You need to determine what trust factors are most meaningful for your audience. Although there are trust factors that have universal appeal, trust isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue.

Your first goal in the trust-building process is to find out exactly what kind of trust your customers need. Then, deliver on it. The principles outlined in this article are the most necessary and compelling forms of trust.

  1. Testimonials and Reviews – Feature as many reviews as possible. Make sure that the reviews and testimonials themselves are trustworthy.
  2. Contact and Communication – Establish the real life validity of your business by featuring location and contact information. Social plugins are a must.
  3. Payment Assurance – Give customers peace of mind as they travel through your checkout process. Display a variety of payment methods, badges, and certifications.

Trust signals will not only enhance your brand as a whole, but also increase your conversions.

Neglect these trust signals at your peril. Embrace them to your success.

Read other Crazy Egg posts by Jeremy Smith.

The post Your Ecommerce Site Will Die Without These 3 Trust Signals appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Your Ecommerce Site Will Die Without These 3 Trust Signals