Conversion Optimization – Things you Didn’t Know About Your Customer

by | Jan 16, 2012

Every business owner is in a similar position:  You’ve got customers, and you don’t know them.  You might think you conversion optimizationknow them, whether they come in often or just a few times a year, but you really don’t.  Building a model of your audience is helpful, but you still don’t know everything.  It’s not you though, it’s them.  They change, and you don’t readily understand how things have changed in how they think.  Here are some lessons we’ve learned over the years as software and technology has changed to improve the landscape of conversion optimization.

Conversion Optimization Tip #1 – Reading on a Screen Sucks

Usability is one of the key parts of conversion optimization.  For people searching online for a solution, reading on the web is a pain in the !#@. It burns out the brain, it makes the eyes tired and it’s a strain for a lot of people.  Small font sizes, strange layouts, flashing images, videos, random distractions, odd color schemes for branding…that all might seem like the norm but it drives customers away.  You’re hurting your business if you don’t keep this in mind.

Conversion Optimization Tip #2 – Brevity is Sexy

People love a good balance between delivering value and short, readable content.  Tiny paragraphs are great.  It makes it easy to read, to digest and to remember.  The oldest rule of marketing goes back to print campaigns.  Keep it under 4-5 lines per paragraph and you’re golden.

Conversion Optimization Tip #3 – Brevity is Still Sexy

Short paragraphs are great, but short lines are better.  It keeps your content punch, and the points fresh in their minds.  The typical person can read about 10-20 words per line.  No more than that, lest they start lose interest.  The mind begins to wander.

Conversion Optimization Tip #4 – Widen the spacing

This is known as leading.  Wide line spacing makes text easier to read.  Wide margins shorten the lines so you get fewer words per line (see above about sexy brevity).  Folks might read faster with tight spacing, but they retain less.  For the sake of conversion optimization, give the gift of white space.

Conversion Optimization Tip #5 – Dark Text, Light Background

People are trained to read dark text.  That’s how it’s delivered in text books, on flyers, in marketing material and that’s how you should do it.  Unless you hate your audience, use dark text on a light background.

Conversion Optimization Tip #6 – People Don’t Mind Scrolling

There’s always a push to get the most important points above the fold for conversion optimization. But with the invention of the nifty mouse wheel that lets people rip through long content at 200mph, scrolling isn’t a problem anymore.  Don’t feel the need to jam a lot into a tight space on a home page.  Let them scroll a little with your content.

Conversion Optimization Tip #7 People Browse in an “F” Pattern

Heat mapping studies have shown that people look and browse through websites in an F shape.  Put the most important elements within that pattern and you’ll get far better results with your conversion optimization efforts.

The list of conversion optimization tips could go on forever, because there will always be things we don’t know but discover about our audience.  Like they still want newsletters, they hate the concept of having to log in, they surf with nice computers, they don’t search by your company name and more.

Take the time to learn from your audience and review your analytics.  Use that data to form an effective strategy for conversion optimization.  Use your brain at the very least.  Never stop questioning why your customers leave or make a purchase.  There’s a reason behind everything, and you need to figure it out.


author avatar
Clarence Fisher