Put your hand up if you have redesigned your home page around your form or call-to-action?
Ok, quickly put your hand back down so everyone in your office doesn’t think that you’ve lost your mind.
But seriously, I have chatted with many small and medium sized businesses and they all express the same frustrations that online conversion is that one thing that continuously makes their lives difficult.
The difficulties of ensuring your form is in the right position,
the copywriting is up to scratch,
the form isn’t too long,
the colour of the button is optimised “for clicking”, etc……
So what do these businesses do? They go out and they arrange their front pages around their call to action.
This is generally recognised as a fantastic plan. It’s something that I have recommended to a few clients, to determine the highest converting place on your web page and work your website content around that.
The one thing that does suffer when you design your web page around the web form is the website content.
If everything is based around converting the web visitor to take them to the next lead nurturing step, then obviously your home page’s content may not provide the instant “catch” to your visitors which in turn means users are leaving straight away, without even stepping inside. In web-geek terms we say that your bounce rate has gone up.
So what to do about this dilemma?
Below I am going to outline a case study in which we helped a client with their home page web-form, but upon adjusting the form they saw their bounce rate increase.
The case study briefly demonstrates what can be done to improve the bounce rate, while keeping the conversion rate maximized.
In this one particular case we have Peter who runs a niche company with this fantastic little solution for their specific market. Since they have competitors with alternatives that are more well-known, they want to fly under the radar as much as possible about how well their sales is actually doing by using good follow up sequences which will nurture their leads. This is very applicable to many other companies in similar situations though.
When we started to tweak the conversion rate to make it go upward, we saw the bounce rate increased from 36% to 51% over a 3 month period when we adjusted the web form placement on the home page.
Now in this case Peter was fanatical about his website data and was a keen observer of his Google Analytics. So when he noticed this progressive 42% increase or 15 percentage-points above what his steady rate had been, he made sure we knew about it.
So, the next step for us was to ensure that his conversion rate had improved, which it had, from a 3,7% to 10,4%, so it had increased by up to 3 times. So while his bounce rate had increased he had seen an improvement in his conversions.
Time for some brainstorming!
Our first step was to check what effect the increased bounce rate had on the overall website.
So we began by checking if the bounce rates on any of the other pages had gone up.
The bounce rates on the following pages hadn’t gone up by any significant number.
However we had noticed that because the bounce rate on the first page had gone up that the number of sessions and users for each of the following pages had fallen.
In simpler terms, the other pages were having less traffic due to the higher number of bounces on the first page.
On top of this, the average number of pages per session had also fallen from a healthy 3.2 down to a 2.8.
Therefore while he was converting more overall, the subsequent pages which had all of the juicy information about his solution had become less important.
So following this analysis of his data and his website, we proceeded to draw up a plan on how we could help improve his bounce rate while also keeping the improved conversion rate or (hopefully) improve it further.
Steps to Improving Bounce Rate (while keeping an awesome conversion rate!)
Step 1: Change the text formatting
The first step we took was to change around the text formatting on the first page.
Having large blocks of text scares website visitors away, unless they have a high interest level.
So to do this we spaced out the text and increased the size of the text font. This then makes the whole page seem more appealing to website visitors to stick around and engage with the content.
Step 2: We improved the In-linking
With the improved text formatting we decided to encourage the visitors that land on the home page to visit other pages.
We did this by adding ‘Learn More’ buttons and text links within the content.
Adding links and prompts to have visitors easily move from one page to the other, we hoped would improve the traffic of visitors flowing from one page to another.
Step 3: We added a video to the home page to improve visitor engagement and encourage people to sign up!
What we then did was analyse the Peter’s blog and we found which blog post had the most engagement.
We then took that blog post and turned it into a quick 2 minute video (something far simpler to do than people think). We made sure the video was personal, informative and encouraging to sign up to understand his solution so much better.
The reasoning of doing this was to re-package some already successful content and turn it into a platform to drive visitor engagement.
In order to maximise the “real estate” of the homepage, the actual video had now taken up most of the space rather than the call to action form.
So we decided to use one little function we had developed some time ago here at Sonician.
So what did the function do? To have a dialog form at the completion of the video so you can say in the video what the user should be doing: Fill out the form!
Since we don’t have Peter’s, here’s my own illustration on how it works, watch what happens at the end of this 23 sec video:
As you can tell, a quick 10 min video production might work in this case, too… 🙂
The results in improving bounce rate and increase conversion
What this was able to do was keep the much needed call-to-action after the video.
Since the implementation of the video we ensured we could track which visitors filled out which form.
There might not be enough data yet to know a more statistically significant conversion rate yet, but looks to be even higher in the 14-15% range, while the bounce rate has for sure already dropped down a few percentage points already!
Your own next step in Online Conversion?
If you think improving your online marketing is important for you, I would suggest you try out our very own 2-min test here from us at Sonician in order for you to figure out if your online conversion could be doing better. You’ll find it at: www.sonician.com/survey/2mintest/