We’re all familiar with the standard “best practices” of CRO. Always use social proof, always reduce form fields, never use image sliders, and so on.
As someone who believes that best practices are merely common practices, I’m always looking to test the tried and true to see how, well, true it really is.
First up? Social proof. Does it really work as well as we all assume? Why? And more importantly, what’s the best way to implement it?
You often read that most people prefer to watch a video than read text.
How true is that statement, really? You’ve been hearing about video for years now. Big brands are spending tens of thousands on videos that fall flat, while a lucky few are going viral.
But even they struggle to repeat their original success. And what do views have to do with actual money in the bank?
There’s no denying that your homepage is vital to your site, especially if you’re a SaaS company. It’s likely one of your most visited pages, acting as a proverbial launch pad.
While you read about optimizing individual landing pages day in and day out, optimizing homepages is less frequently explored. Do the same old rules from 2010 still apply? Are people still visiting and using homepages they same way they were a decade ago?
Several years ago, Jeremy Smith wrote, “Traditional optimization is dead, and in its place is arising a brave new world of mobile conversion optimization.”
I have to disagree. Is mobile conversion optimization a “brave new world”? Yes. Is traditional optimization “dead”? Not by a long shot.
Traditional (i.e. web) optimization and mobile optimization are two separate practices, requiring two separate strategies. One is not replacing the other. Instead, optimizers must learn to master both.
Think back to the last experiment you ran for your SaaS company. What were you trying to learn or improve? Maybe you wanted to increase email captures or free-trial leads.
Now try to think of the last time you experimented with something other than your acquisition strategy. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone.
“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital,” said Aaron Levenstein, a former professor of business administration at Baruch College. [Tweet it!]
The same is true of your data in Google Analytics. Most of what you spend your time looking at (and re-looking at) is merely suggestive.
One of my favorite UX quotes comes from Chikezie Ejiasi, UX lead at Nest.
He wrote: “Life is conversational. Web design should be the same way. On the web, you’re talking to someone you’ve probably never met—so it’s important to be clear and precise. Thus, well-structured navigation and content organization goes hand in hand with having a good conversation.”
Can tabbed navigation be clear and precise? Of course it can, which makes it a valid form of navigation and content organization. What matters, as with most things related to UX, is how you implement it and how you optimize it.
Have you ever forgotten a password for a site? What about a security question?
Have you ever spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to think of a password you can remember, but also complies with a list of arbitrary requirements (e.g., seven uppercase letters, four special characters, etc.)?
When these UX problems pop up, they cause friction.
Friction that prevents new SaaS customers from signing up, friction that prevents loyal eCommerce customers from creating an account for next time, friction that prevents current customers from accessing their accounts.
As Peter Drucker famously wrote, “The aim of marketing is to know the customer so well the product or service fits them, and sells itself.”
In conversion optimization, we talk about the importance of knowing our customers a lot.
But we rarely talk about the process of strategically segmenting our audience so that our products and services can sell themselves.
What is social commerce? Social commerce is the ability to make a product purchase from a third-party company within the native social media experience.