Conversion Evaluation Criteria for Websites and Landing Pages – A Simple Checklist
This article presents a simple criterion in which to assess your website and landing pages to help you spot the key issues and conversion killers. It was put together by Michael Hope (Search Labs conversion guru) as a useful tool to help spot the potential areas for improving your conversion rate and build hypotheses for testing.
We recommend using this checklist to analyse each of your key website pages whether they be PPC landing pages or a part of your main website's conversion funnel. Every site is different but often you will find that a few of these criteria are particularly important in your circumstance and can start to build a strategy to tackle the issues.
1. Is Your Conversion Strategy Suitable?
When I talk about the conversion strategy I mean - 'what you are trying to get a user to do'? On some sites this is obvious (such as an ecommerce website) but for others it is less so.
The main thing to consider is how motivating is the action that you want people to take? What will your visitors get from it to make it worth their while? The value proposition needs careful consideration along with the risk of doing it. Is it better trying to sell something up front or offer a trial? Is it better to capture a demo request or offer a brochure or price list?
Does the Perception Portrayed By The Site Match Up to the Type of Company Your Visitors Want To Deal With Or Buy From?
Whenever a visitor is looking to buy a product or service they will have a picture in their own mind of the type of company they would like to buy from. An example I like to use; a corner shop looking for an accountant would probably be put off by a website that looked very large and corporate as it might be too expensive, whereas a medium or large company would be put off by a website that looked like the local high street accountant as it looked too small.
Think about the attributes that are important to the type of companies you are targeting and make sure your site are strong on these. For example, size, specialism, large and efficient? etc.
Are Your Calls To Action Clear, Prominent and Enticing?
One of the easiest issues to sort out! Once you have decided on what you are going to try and get your visitors to do, it is a simple case of making sure this is obvious to them. Is the call to action the most prominent thing on the page? Is it presented in an attractive and enticing way? Is the value proposition clear and exciting to your visitors?
Is It Persuasive Enough?
This is a massive and broad topic but the overall aim is to ensure that you present your product or service in a persuasive manner. If you search for the latest model of digital camera on Google Shopping there are hundreds of sites offering the same product priced within a few pounds of each other. What makes you buy from a particular site and not another? How to make a site more persuasive is beyond the scope of this article but to help here are some areas which can make a site more persuasive:
- Urgency – Give them a reason to 'Do It Today'
- Emotional Appeal – It's a hard task for your designer but try and get your visitors to like you through whatever means possible.
- Graphical Presentation – Does it look appealing?
- Copy – Is it written in a persuasive manner?
Do people trust you?
Assess whether your site appears trustworthy to your visitors and whether they see you as a genuine business that is likely to deliver on its promises. Common pitfalls are:
- Lack of phone number
- Lack of address
- Poor and unprofessional design
- Overly simple
- Lack Of Trust Marks, Seals and Industry Associations
- Is the payment process secure?
Does Your Site and Product Have Credibility?
This is particularly important if you or your product don't have an established brand or reputation. Before your potential customers are willing to buy, you need to convince them that your product is as good as you say it is. Anyone can say good things about their own service so this is most powerfully done by using the following:
- Testimonials – The more credible the source the better. Get one signed by God and you've won!
- Reviews – Reviews are good; reviews from independent review sites are better; reviews from recognised industry commentators and magazines etc are fantastic!
- Affiliations and Accreditations – These are powerful tools to convince visitors that you can deliver what you promise.
Is your content suitable and well-constructed?
The content you put on your site is key to pulling someone along the conversion funnel. As a rule there are some key principles that need to be followed:
- Clear Headline – Let people know they are in the right place.
- Make sure you highlight the benefits and selling points.
- Relevant – It needs to be what they want to read and interesting.
- Make it scan-able, readable and easy to digest.
- Make it persuasive.
Are There Any Usability Issues Making It Hard For Your Visitors To Find The Right Product Or Buy It?
Usability issues are more commonly found on your wider website but are not uncommon when you land people on a landing page. Again this is a massive topic but ensure you look for aspects of the site that are making it hard for visitors to accomplish their task. The common ones are issues around searching for what they want (navigation, search facility, site architecture etc.) and checkout process flaws.
Are There Any Unconsidered Accessibility Issues?
Accessibility is often a neglected subject but bear in mind that between 7% and 21% (depending on age group) of the population has some kind of sight or hearing impairment - you could be missing out on valuable sales from these people.
Are There Any Product/Service Specific Conversion Obstacles?
This is where you really have to think! Think hard about someone buying what you sell and try and find all the questions and purchase anxieties that need satisfying before they will buy. Are there any other obstacles stopping people buying in your circumstance? Some food for thought?
- Would you buy an dress or shirt without a good image that conveyed the quality?
- Would you buy a TV without knowing the HD resolution?
- Would you buy a dishwasher without knowing the dimensions?
- Is the price competitive?
This article is by no means an answer to a poor landing page or website, but it can be a great tool to help you assess the potential issues. If you need help improving your website conversion rates then please get in touch.