Here’s a 57-point Conversion Rate Checklist to help you sharpen your website conversion rate and generate more leads.
While every website is different, our experience is that most websites don’t comply with this checklist, and that when we make them compliant, conversion tends to jump by anywhere from 15% to 50% overnight.
UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION (6 points)
- Is your Unique Value Proposition clearly understandable within 5 seconds of arriving on your home page? More specifically…
- PROSPECT: do you idenfity the target prospect in the first screen above the fold (or is it obvious who the target prospect is?)
- PROBLEM: do you speak in terms of problems you solve and results you create (not just about product and services)?
- PROMISE: do you highlight your most powerful differentiated benefits, or do you only mention the benefits all your competitors offer?
- PROOF: do you feature MULTIPLE different proof elements to help boost the persuasive power of your website. Here are 42 distinct proof elements to test [Infographic].
- PROPOSITION: do you feature clear next steps (offers) that align with your overall value proposition?
MARKETING FUNNEL (8 points)
- Do you offer a mechanism to capture the prospect’s email address?
- Do you offer something of value in exchange for the email address?
- Is it OBVIOUS how to opt in to your email list? (e.g. popup, prominent form, inline form etc.)
- Do you follow up with at least 7 email autoresponder messages after the prospect subscribes to your email offer?
- Is your contact page clearly visible and easily navigable from every page?
- Do you tell the prospect what will happen AFTER they contact you?
- Do you build the VALUE behind contacting you? (for example, with a structured offer such as this Online Marketing Strategy Session)
- Do your contact forms plug directly into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system so they can be managed efficiently?
FIRST IMPRESSIONS (4 points)
- Do you have a consistent logo and/or tagline in a persistent banner?
- On your homepage – can a new user understand what you’re about within 5 seconds of visiting your site?
- Is the design clean and easy on the eye (not overly busy or complicated)?
- Are your most powerful benefits and biggest proof elements ABOVE the fold?
CONVERSION KILLERS TO AVOID (9 points)
AVOID these conversion killers:
- “Slideshows” aka carousels for displaying content – especially on the home page (see Should I Use A Carousel?)
- Image-heavy backgrounds that make text difficult to read
- Small fonts
- Auto-scrolling or flashing page elements – they cause “banner blindness”
- Low contrast colour schemes – especially for text
- “Parallax” website themes – the ones where content appears to slide over the background instead of scrolling normally
- Hyperlinks that are not visually distinct from other text
- Overly prominent social media links that send people AWAY from your site (*will depend on your industry and the role SM plays in your conversion process)
- Irrelevant and/or cheesy stock images. (Does every image help – not hinder – conversion?)
CONVERSION PAGE STRUCTURE (11 points)
- Do conversion pages (e.g. service pages or landing pages) start with a benefit-rich headline?
- Is the content highly focused on the intent of the incoming visitor?
- Do you feature a response device (e.g. form) ABOVE the fold?
- Do you break up text into subheadings, bullet points, numbered points etc.?
- Have you added a Call To Action (CTA) to the bottom of each page?
- Have you REMOVED irrelevant sidebars or other offers from the page?
- Have you used captions to explain or emphasise the value of key images?
- Does each page focus on promoting a single next step (or closely-related set of next steps) – not a range of disconnected offers?
- Have you removed big footers with lots of links?
- Have you tested removing the menu bar?
- Is there an opportunity to add further offers to key thank you pages? (e.g. add a consultation offer to the thank you page of your opt in offer)
COPYWRITING (5 points)
- Do you speak in terms of BENEFITS to the user?
- Does the text feature the word “you” a lot more than “I/we”?
- Do you follow an overall AIDA structure? Attention –> Interest –> Desire –> Action
- Read the copy out loud. Where do you stumble? Fix that bit.
- Do you clearly explain what the next steps are for the prospect? (Call To Action)
FORMS (6 points)
- Do your forms feature a relevant headline and/or sub-headline that builds value?
- Do you have enough fields to get the information you NEED, without collecting information you don’t need?
- Does your form have a benefit-driven action button (not “SUBMIT” and please, no “RESET” button!)
- Does your form feature helpful tool-tips to aid the user (e.g. if you have a minimum character length for passwords, tell the user before they submit the form, not after they have unsuccessfully tried to submit it)
- Do your thank you pages acknowledge the submission and confirm the next steps?
TYPOGRAPHY (5 points)
- Are your fonts large and legible?
- Do you have a clear hierarchy of font sizes for headlines and body copy?
- Have you used bold, italics etc to draw attention to important phrases?
- Are hyperlinks clearly visible as such?
- Are your fonts high contrast? No light grey text on a white background, please.
MULTI DEVICE (3 points)
- How does your site look on a mobile phone / tablet?
- Do your offers/optins / forms work on a mobile?
- Is your website mobile friendly? Test it on Google’s free mobile-friendly tool
How did your website stack up? Let me know any other conversion suggestions in the comments…