7 Easy (And Wickedly Effective) Ways to Pimp Your Website in 2014

Happy New Year!

I’m assuming you’ve got big plans for your business this year, right?

I mean, I’ve never heard an entrepreneur say “I’m happy with how things are. I think I’ll just kick back and relax.”

Heck no! You wanna grow your business. Make it bigger and better. You’re like the Once-ler from the Lorax and figure on “biggering and Biggering and BIGGERING…”!

Well, for most businesses, your website is Ground Zero for making that happen. You want it to be a well-oiled machine that attracts, engages and converts your ideal prospects into paying customers.

So with that in mind, here are 7 tools, strategies and/or tips to help your website do that much more effectively this year. (These are in no particular order, though if I had a gun to my head and was forced to pick just one of these, it’d be #7.)

1. Get Rid of Your Sliders

Yep. I’m talking about those rotating image sliders that are all the rage on websites these days. They flash a product, message, offer, etc. for a few seconds and then move on to the next.

Well, as our parents used to say, “Just because everyone else jumps off a bridge, doesn’t mean you should do it too.”

The thing is, sliders KILL conversions.

There have been a number of studies by conversion experts and, in almost all of them, websites/landing pages that use sliders have lower conversion rates than the ones that just feature ONE specific offer/message/product.

(A lot of it has to do with movement. Our eyes are naturally drawn to movement. So when you have that slider constantly scrolling at the top of your site, it draws visitors’ attention every time it rotates. And that’s distracting and prevents them from focusing on the stuff you really want them paying attention to – your offer, products, proof, call to action, etc.)

So pick the ONE message you want to deliver at the top of your site and make sure it’s the only one that people see at the top of your landing pages.

2. Install Crazy Egg

Full disclosure here – I’m a paid regular contributor to the Crazy Egg blog, The Daily Egg.

That said, I get no kickbacks for recommending Crazy Egg software. The only reason I’m recommending it here is because I believe in it.

The software creates “heatmaps” of your website that visually show you where people are clicking on your website. You can see “scrollmaps” that show how far down the pages of your site most people scroll. You also get “confetti” maps that show information about the people clicking like referral sources, operating system and browser type.

Google Analytics is very important and provides a lot of essential information. But it doesn’t give you the full story. Crazy Egg helps you figure out how people are interacting with your site and provides  invaluable insights on how to rearrange, redesign and revamp things to get them clicking on the things you want them to click on.

It provides insights that help you figure out WHY people aren’t converting on your site. Among the companies that value Crazy Egg to get these insights are Amazon, eBay and Microsoft.

And with plans starting at just $9/month, it’s so ridiculously cheap that you can’t afford not to get access to this treasure trove of information!

3. Set up Goals in Analytics

You’ve got Analytics installed on your site (right?!). Well that’s great, but it’s just the beginning. What you really want to do with Analytics is set up Goals.

What is it you want people to do when they get to your website?

  • Buy something
  • Sign up for a newsletter, free report or whitepaper
  • Start a free trial of your service

Any or all of those things can be set up as Goals in Analytics so you can track when people perform the actions you want them to take. Then you can get a clearer picture of how many people are taking those actions, what source(s) of traffic perform the best and how changes you make to your site affect the conversion rates of your Goals.

Installing Analytics and setting up Goals are completely free and provide essential information you need to improve your sales funnel. If you don’t have them set up yet, make it one of the first New Year’s Resolutions you make good on this year.

4. Better Button Copy

If you have buttons on your website that say “Submit” or “Click Here”, you’re making a big mistake.

Changing the copy on those buttons may be one of the easiest, yet most effective things you can do to increase conversions on your site.

Use copy that conveys a benefit. Here are a few examples:

  • “Start your Free Trial”
  • “Get the Secret Now”
  • “Sign up and reserve your spot today”
  • “Get Free Updates”

You want to use the button copy to convey the VALUE your prospect gets for clicking. Do that effectively and watch your conversions rise.

5. Get Rid of the I’s and We’s

People don’t come to your website to hear all about you, how great you are and/or how great your products and services are.

They come to your site to find out what you and your products and services can DO FOR THEM. How can you make their lives better? How can you eliminate a pain they’re experiencing OR fulfill a desire they have?

Read over the copy on your site and see if there are more I’s, We’s and Our’s, than You’s. Because if you’re talking about yourself more than your prospects, it’s almost a guarantee your message is missing the mark.

Put the focus squarely on them, their emotions, their problems and desires and your copy will be more effective in getting them to respond.

6. Add More Proof

Why should people believe the claims you make on your site?

Most websites fall way short when it comes to backing up those claims. As Internet marketing guru Terry Dean so beautifully put it “Claims without proof, are just hype.”

Take a look at your website. Do you have lots o’ proof to back up the claims you make on it?

Bet you could add more.

Testimonials and case studies are great. But there’s tons of other ways to generate proof…

Videos. Awards. Credentials. Relevant stories. Social media mentions/fans/followers. Media coverage. Published articles. 3rd party endorsements. Celebrity endorsements. Notable clients.

Adding these things give more credibility to the claims you make and reduce the risk in your prospects’ minds about doing business with you.

More proof = lower perceived risk = higher conversions.

7. Install Optimizely

Okay, if you only do one thing to your website in 2014, it’s this.

Optimizely is a software tool that allows you to easily make changes to a page on your website and then split test the original vs. the page with the changes to see which one generates more conversions.

Basically Optimizely makes a copy of your web page on their server and lets you easily edit the text, images, buttons, etc. on that page (through a WYSIWIG editor… NO coding is required to make changes!).

All you do is install one snippet of code on your site, decide what changes you want to make to try to boost conversions and the software does the rest.

It will show half the visitors to your site the original version and the other half the page that has the change(s). Then it does the math and tells you when one of the variations has outperformed the other and you have a statistically significant winner.

In AdWords, split testing your ads is about the best thing you can do over time to increase the performance of your campaigns. And it’s simple to do.

Optimizely makes split testing your website – the best thing you can do over time to increase the performance of your website – almost as simple as split testing your AdWords ads.

We’re using Optimizely more and more on client sites and it’s an incredibly addictive (and profitable for clients!) game to try to consistently beat the control and improve conversions on the site.

And it’s dirt cheap to get started with a 30 day free trial and a base package starting at just $17/month. Considering the revenue boost an increase in conversions can bring to your business, using Optimizely can easily be THE most profitable investment you make in the New Year.