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What The Highest Converting Websites Do Differently

There is one thing that almost all high converting websites will have in common, and that is they will be tested, tested, tested and then tested some more.

This might seem pretty obvious but a vast amount of event companies do little to no testing of their website and landing pages.  My initial thoughts around this is that most marketers would probably say they are too busy to spend time testing, that it is expensive and not very sexy.

I would also suggest most marketers only investigate website / page performance post event or if ticket sales are down, but could testing, refining and optimising your event website for conversions make hitting your goals easier? Not to mention improving your ROI and in the longer term it could be less time consuming to boot? All this could allow you to concentrate your efforts on the things that you know deliver the best results.

Before we get into the in and outs of what you could be testing I just want to give you some food for thought:

You have 0-8 seconds to present a compelling headline and landing page to your visitors. After 8 seconds, most of them will leave.

Page abandonment doubles with an increase in page load time from 2 to 4 seconds.

A/B testing is generally the preferred method that is bringing high converting websites the most success.

So what can you test? Certainly all of the below are a good starting point (but this is by no means an exhaustive list):

 

Call-to-actions

Possibly the most effective testing / changes you can do is around your website / landing page Call to Actions (CTA’s).  

Mozilla increased downloads of their popular Firefox browser by having a stronger CTA. “Download Now – Free” performed better than “Try Firefox 3”. They made it clear that Firefox was free and called the viewer to download the program. Why? Probably because the new CTA was more action driven and people love FREE?

Below are a few bits to consider for testing your CTA’s:

  • Find out more? Buy Now? Book Tickets? Purchase Tickets? Register for FREE? Change the CTA text on your buttons to see which word or phrase converts more visitors.
  • Try varying the location of your CTA button, making some CTA’s more prominent than others.
  • Try using hyperlinks instead of buttons to find out which display your users prefer.
  • Find out if CTAs with text, icons, or text + icons convert more users on your site.
  • Test different CTA hover states to make it more obvious that buttons are clickable and create a feel of interactivity on the page.
  • Test different colors, shapes, and sizes for CTA buttons on your website.

 

Headlines

A headline can make or break your website, and possibly a ticket sale / stand booking. First impressions are formed quickly, and the headline is a big part of that. It’s important to test and see what resonates most with your visitors. There is no magic formula here, but there are some good rules of thumb that you can follow.

37signals improved conversions of their Highrise product by 30% by having the headline “30-day Free Trial on All Accounts”. Their worst headline was “Start a HighRise Account”.

The big take-away from this is that it’s important to have a clear headline with a unique value proposition. “Start a HighRise Account” doesn’t tell of any benefit. They don’t give a reason why you should sign up now. Consider something more along the lines of “Save __% and [enter the benefit of attending your event here]” or you can build urgency with something like “Save __% for 1 week only etc. Try and test different headlines to see what works best with your audience.

 

Other copy

  • Copy Length/Style: The length and formatting of your body copy makes a huge difference in how many people actually read it. Test out different formats (lists, lots of headlines and short paragraphs, etc.) as well as different copy all together to see what works best.
  • Different Offers: You may want to test different offers to see which one works best. Try to set your offers up so that they have similar values (to prevent skewed results). For example, you might offer one group of visitors a monetary amount off, and the other group a similar amount but as a percentage discount and see which performs best.
  • Copy Layout: You may want to test different layouts of your page to see how this influences your conversion rates. Leading with a video, right column to house your CTA etc.
  • Testimonials: Add testimonials from happy visitors. In general, a video testimonial is better than a testimonial with an image, which is better than a testimonial with just a name, which is better than an anonymous testimonial but you can test what works best for your audience.

 

Content assets, imagery and videos etc

The images and videos you opt to use with your text can have a huge impact on conversions, especially when selling an experience like a live event. Test out which assets work best, how many assets are optimal, how large those assets should be and where they are best placed.

Testing images of event visitors versus your event talent is a good place to start.

Iterate from there. If your users prefer an image of event visitors, test gender, age, number of people in the image, what they are doing etc.

You could try a static image or carousel vs. a video etc.

Conclusion:

The real key is that by testing you can begin to refine your page content, style and layout so that it performs better for you, it also helps you to get a better understanding of what resonates with your target audience which could have some significant benefits for more than just the event website.

What would a 30% conversion rate increase mean for your revenue? Click here to find out how we helped a client save money AND increase ticket revenue.

Contact us today if you would like to discuss the performance of your event website.

 

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