Gone are the days when companies were satisfied to have a website just for the sake of it, never mind the stale information and unflattering graphics. Since then, the bar has been raised progressively higher. What used to be passable is now met with a critical eye. Every business is expected to take their online presence seriously in order to stay relevant. Websites must be optimized to enhance conversion, and among the best ways to do this are as follows:



The foundation of every relationship is trust and this holds true for companies and their potential clients. When people visit a page, they should be able to trust the information written there. If there is an offer for a free e-book in exchange for a subscription to the mailing list, then follow through with the promise. Tell visitors the number of steps it would take to make a purchase or get into a lottery. This keeps them from getting impatient and leaving before completion.


Feedback Loop

No marketing plan is perfect. Even the most successful ones can be improved. Campaigns should undergo periodic evaluation to determine opportunities for development and then tweaked accordingly. Website statistics offer a rich data set for study and these, in tandem with methodical A/B testing, allow companies to learn which messages resonate better and get more clicks, what results a few layout changes can produce, and many more.


First Impression

When people click an ad, they get taken to a site’s landing page. From here they can choose to stay and explore the site or leave and never come back again. What they see on the page will influence their behavior so companies must make sure that they create compelling content. That means the following must hold true:


1. Relevance — The content must match or at least be related to what the visitor was searching for. Ads and other promotional links must be carefully planned and highly targeted. If the content’s relevance is not immediately apparent from the outset, viewers will quickly move on to another site. Therefore, a catchy title must be placed on a prominent position. The first few sentences below it must be able to pique the reader’s interest.


2. Simplicity — Forms are often used to generate leads. These harvest visitor information such as name and email, typically in exchange for a white paper, a short e-book, a monthly newsletter, and other carrots. Make these as simple and as easy to complete as possible. A very long form with a lot of textboxes will test the patience of even the most interested visitor. People might give up midway thinking that it is not worth their time and effort. Therefore, ask only for truly necessary info and trim the form as ruthlessly as possible to minimize page abandonment.


3. De-clutter — Make the next step obvious to the reader. If there is a form to be accomplished then make it the center of attention and relegate all other competing elements to the background. This can be done through the judicious use of colors and formatting — that is, making the important components pop visually while toning down the others. Anything that distracts or confuses will reduce the number of successful conversions. Remove redundant elements.


4. Layout — The page copy must be concise and straightforward. Use short paragraphs and large headlines to draw the reader’s eyes. People will usually make a quick scan of what they see above the fold to determine if the content is useful to them. The relevant keywords and images should therefore be easy to spot and crafted in a way that would be greatly appealing given the context.


Within the first few seconds of landing on page, a person will make up his mind whether to stay up or click away. Companies must continuously refine their strategy in order to keep people interested until they can extract information or make a sale. It is a long and iterative process towards perfection, but one that is necessary in order to stay ahead in the game. For further reference, check out some of books on this topic which provide valuable advice on how to increase conversions and how to implement advanced testing protocols.