By Landon Donovan

21 Conversion Optimization Best Practices for Beginners

It is likely that conversion rate optimization best practices were nowhere near your plan as you thought of setting up your website. However, like most other ecommerce entrepreneurs, with time you have learned that converting traffic into sales is something you achieve through specific actions you take.

Fortunately you do not need to re-invent the wheel. Those who have gone before you have tried many of these actions and in the process have come up with conversion rate optimization best practices that work.

However, before you adopt any of the conversion rate optimization best practices below, you need to bear in mind that each website is unique and, therefore, some of these conversion rate optimization tips might not work for yours. Indeed, some of them might hurt your business.

Nevertheless, the secret to getting good results from these conversion rate optimizations best practices is to track every implementation in your A/B testing software. This will help you see how it turns out with your website’s audience.

Below are 21 conversion rate optimization tips that many ecommerce sites have used over and over again often with positive results:

1. Cut out unnecessary Form Fields

It is good to ask yourself whether all those form fields serve any beneficial function to your website and, by extension, business. For instance, does it add to conversion rate optimization best practices, when visitors to your site fill in their company’s name, credit card CV code or zip code?

Depending on your business, each field on the form should play a role to the main goal of making sales. If not, then cut them out. One company took these conversion rate optimization tips and cut down the number of fields on the form on their website from 11to 4. It increased their conversions by 160%.

2. Use a Color that stands out for Your Call-to-action Button

Contrary to some conversion rate optimization tips, no particular colors convert more than others when used on the call to action buttons. The secret is in choosing appropriate color arrangement on your site so that the call to action button stands out from the rest of the page. As one of the conversion rate optimization best practices, it is advisable to use color for call to action button that is not used anywhere else on the page.

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In short, it is how the background color pops up the call to action button. Therefore, when you hear green to red improved conversions by 32.5%  you know that it is the contrast that does the trick.

3. Do not use Automatic Image Sliders

Automatic image sliders seem to look cool, but experts like Peep Laja think it is not part of conversion rate optimization best practices and strongly recommend website owners to avoid them. They have been proven to reduce conversion rates by creating banner blindness. In the place of automatic image sliders use static offers. They allow users to explore the site at their own pace.

4. Do not Use Cheesy Stock Photos

They look too good for your customers to relate with them. They do nothing much than reduce the credibility of a website. Most conversion rate optimization tips will tell you that customers relate better when they feel that the website is a media through which they reach humans for services and goods. Therefore, a photo of real employees does a better job as part of conversion rate optimization best practices.

In this Market Experiments case study, a   website increased their signups by 35% after replacing a cheesy stock photo on their homepage with one taken of their Founder.

5.Use appropriate Call-to-action Button Text

The text on the call to action button should do more than just directing a visitor. For instance, tell the visitor what to expect after clicking the button rather than just saying ‘submit,’ or ‘sign-up.’ This is one of significant conversion rate optimization tips.


A website increased its conversion by about 31% by telling customers to ‘Create Account & Get Started,’ instead of ‘Create Account. This one of the conversion rate optimization best practices many brands use.

6. It pays to place your CTA above-the-fold

Indeed, putting a call to action above the fold has been confirmed by many experts and entrepreneurs to be one of the conversion rate optimization best practices that give good results. A website has done this and increased their clickthroughs by 41%.

7. Add a Video to You landing page

Videos are effective conversion rate optimization tips in showing especially a complicated product to customers. It is easier to explain a product in a video than text or photos. Websites use videos to improve website conversion rates in many ways.

For example, Vidyard received 100% conversion lift after using a video on their landing page as one of the conversion rate optimization best practices. However, effective video needs to be short, 2-3 minute, and sweet. Otherwise, no one will bother watching it.

8. Be clear from the Headline

The headline is the first thing a visitors sees on a landing page. Therefore, it is important to have one that boosts conversions. Each word is significant; Movexa made its headline clearer, and increased conversions by 89.97%, by adding just one more word. Bettingexpert.com too proved this is one of the conversion rate optimization best practices through a similar headline test, which increased sign-ups by 41.14%.



9. Give urgency to your page

Give visitors a reason they need to act now and not later. Offer them limited-time incentives and it is one of very effective conversion rate optimization best practices. Simply Hike promises a delivery of purchases on the next working day as a time incentive to those who visit their website.

Other ecommerce stores use lines like, “Last two items left” next to their products, which of course works for them.

10. Make your Phone Number Visible

There are few conversion rate optimization best practices that assure visitors that you are easily approachable than displaying your number on the header of your homepage. Customers feel you are always available to solve any purchase issues and that improves your credibility.

OzScopes’ have made sure their phone number is noticeable to every visitor who arrives at their website. This is one of the conversion rate optimization tips you should never ignore.

11.Your CTA Link should be a Button and not text

Having plain text link as your call to action presents a risk of getting lost within the rest of the text, and, therefore, not visible to the visitor. A button stands out and does a better job.


There are many brands that have increased their conversion rates by using this alongside other conversion rate optimization tips.


12. Do not forget to Use the Magical Word “FREE”

A quick AB test on one website’s case study that added the words, “It’s free” within their call-to-action as one of the conversion rate optimization best practices showed a conversion increase of 28%. The use of the word “FREE” in many websites has proven beneficial. If you have not, it is time you gave it a try on your website. It takes about two minutes to test it on our tool, which does not require you to know any HTML.

13. Always Add Value to Your Offer

The value of your offer should be greater than what you ask from visitors to your site in order to convert them. This is one of valuable conversion rate optimization tips.

They should see something “in it for them” and that often makes any visitor happily convert into a lead or sale.

Onboardly is one good example of a website that has used this as one of the conversion rate optimization best practices and highlights benefits. Visitors see the value of signing up to their newsletter.

14. Use “Real” Testimonials and Never fakes

Another of important conversion rate optimization tips is using testimonials. Real testimonials have a way of bringing out your unique selling points and the benefits your offer customers.

Never think of using fake testimonials because they do not add any value, and contrary to what you may think, many people can tell they are fakes. It has never been one of the conversion rate optimization best practices. Use testimonials with full names and pictures and your customers will trust you for it.


15. Show Your Award Badges to you customers

If your business has won any award for any reason, as long as it is relevant to the website, proudly display it for visitors to see it, because it is one of the conversion rate optimization best practices that have worked for others. A website displayed one on their homepage header and got a 72.05% increase in their conversions.

Webtogs too has been using this as one of conversion rate optimization tips and displaying its awards on the left sidebar.

16. Stand Out with Your Value Proposition

You should be aware of what distinguishes you from other similar websites. Use it to give your site an edge over them as one of basic conversion rate optimization tips.

All conversion experts will tell you how it is important to have a good value proposition for every marketing channel, even beyond your website. It is one of the conversion rate optimization best practices you should never underrate.

17. Use Trust Badges as one of your conversion rate optimization tips

When your business gets a great review on Trust Pilot, get in touch with them and request that they add a Trust Pilot widget on your website. Express Watches will attest to how this is one of the conversion rate optimization best practices that can significantly change your figures. They got a trust badge on their site and witnessed a 58.29% lift in their sales, as a result.

Other sources of great reviews include Glassdoor, Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Trust badges online are like word of mouth.

18. Include Security Seals on your website

Even though security seals do not come cheap, they are the best way to assure your customers that their credit card details are safe with your site. One website started using Norton security seal and increased sales by 11%. It is one of the conversion rate optimization best practices that make visitors feel comfortable being at your site.

19. Add Live Chat as One of the Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices.

A Live Chat feature on your site is one of the conversion rate optimization tips that have seen the likes of Virgin Airlines upsell and increase conversion rates. It is proven that visitors who resort to using live chat feature have a 15% higher average order value than other visitors.

20. Use Relevant Images to increase your conversions

Apart from breaking the monotony of the text, images, as one of the conversion rate optimization best practices, have a purpose of pushing your visitors toward the conversion goal.

Exact Target is an example of an establishment that tested an image to give clarity to their offer. When the image was aligned well with their objective of conversion, it gave a conversion boost of 40.18%.


21. Give Them a Price Match Guarantee

Let your prospective customers find it easy to compare what you offer and others online. This takes away the feeling of being ripped off and also assures them that you give the best price in the market.

Best Buy is one example of brands that use this as one of conversion rate optimization best practices.

Finally, make sure you have only one call-to-action per page. Too many choices  confuse customers and thus eventually reduce conversions. Conversion rate optimization best practices take care of relevance, clarity, distractions, anxiety, and urgency to give you good results. Use these conversion rate optimization tips and you will see some changes.

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