The Devil is in the Details

Do you ever obsess about the little details in your website, and then tell yourself “it’s not that big of a deal”. Well it just may be a big deal. Everything on your website has the potential to make a big impact and the text on your website plays a major role in this.

It’s important that what your users read and pay attention to align with your goals for the website. For example, let’s say your goal is to get people to sign up for your newsletter. How do you tell them to sign up? Are you explaining the product/service to your users including the benefit of signing up? Is it clear where to go to sign up and what information they might need?

It may be a hard fact to swallow, but these seemingly simple decisions can have a huge impact on your site’s conversion rates and goals. Take for example the Highrise signup page. As explained in the Signal vs. Noise blog about Writing Decisions, they were able to increase there sign up rate by 30% by simply making some text tweaks to the heading on their web page.

Another example is the recent article from UIE about the $300 million button.  After some usability testing they found that the site was forcing users to register before they could checkout. This registration process was turning many users away. To remedy this they simply changed the “Register” button to a “Continue” button and this has resulted in increased sales by an additional $300 million dollars for the year.

So how can you optimize your site to ensure the best conversion? As Gerry McGovern said in his book, Killer Web Content:

“Through analysis and testing, you can find out which content works and which doesn’t.”

Never underestimate the power of analysis and testing. You can start doing this, if you haven’t already, by adding metrics to your site. Google Analytics is a great free tool for this. Something metrics may have shown you in the UIE example above is a major drop off of customers when they hit the registration page. This would give you a place to start. Then through some user testing you could find out more about what was causing the drop off.

In the case of Highrise, these kinds of metrics could help you in A to B testing. This would allow you to measure the impact that different designs have on your conversion rates.

In short, pay attention to your audience and how your site is performing, then tweak as necessary. Use metrics to keep track of your performance and test your site on others when possible.