What is the link between Leonardo DiCaprio and optimising your website to increase conversions, I hear you cry? Well, each film this master of the cinematic screen appears in immediately becomes synonymous with attractiveness and success: qualities any marketer would wish to bestow upon their website! If you want to make sure your conversion rates don’t sink like the Titanic (and instead soar like the ratings of the eponymous film!) then here are some illuminating tips on optimisation to take away from Leo’s films.
1. Get to know your customers
Ah, that infamous romantic scene from Titanic where Jack “gets to know” Rose in quite intimate detail whilst he sketches her. He’s no fool – he knows that in order to seduce, you need to know who you’re seducing. The same goes for when you’re trying to persuade people to purchase from your website. It’s very much in your own interest to get to know your visitors better so that you are better equipped to encourage them to convert. You’re in the business of selling to people, so it’s on them that your focus should lie: getting to know their expectations, their needs and the way they act and react is essential. To successfully optimise your site, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes: is the navigation simple and intuitive? Are there too many technical terms or too much convoluted language (easily done thanks to The Curse of Knowledge)? Taking these things into consideration will help you improve your visitors’ user experience, which will in turn help ensure they stay on the site and ultimately convert into purchasing customers! Studying your analytics data is one way to start learning about your users and their online behaviour.
2. Follow a structured process
“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.“
This is the memorable lesson learnt by DiCaprio’s character in the celebrated film Catch Me If You Can. This very same lesson could easily have come from your optimisation mentor (and who wouldn’t want Christopher Walken to be their mentor?!). The key to Conversion Rate Optimisation is to think long term: following random bits of advice you find online isn’t going to suffice in the long term and simply changing the colour of a button and hoping it will revolutionise your site will leave you disappointed. Sure, it’s possible to have a few “quick wins” by correcting the most obvious things but, in order to significantly optimise your site and see real improvements, it’s necessary to have a little patience and work on your long game. Following a well-thought-out and structured process, formulating educated hypotheses and conducting thorough testing will all result in significant and sustainable boosts to your optimisation. There are tools you can use to help with this, like Scenario which proposes persuasion scenarios tailored specifically to your site for effective optimisation and also provides the technology to test and implement improvements.
3. Find out where the leaks are coming from
That’s right, you have an objective in common with the FBI and the Irish Mafia from the film The Departed: find out where the leaks are coming from. Sure, in your case, it’s the leaks from your conversion funnel rather than from amongst your ranks but still! In the film we’re all hoping desperately that Leo will get away with it but when it comes to the leaks on your site, you’ve got to be merciless! When looking to optimise conversions, determining the areas in your funnel that are leaking will show you where visitors are falling away from your site and therefore show you the areas that are ripe for improvement. For example, if 80% of your traffic is quitting your site at the stage of your checkout page then it is obviously causing problems for some reason and you’ll know that it is an area you need to work on. Analytics and funnel tools can help you to identify such pages that suffer from a high bounce rate or drop rate; knowing which of these pages are most problematic will help you to prioritise where to optimise and hopefully improve your chances of encouraging visitors to stay on your site and complete their purchase process or any other desired conversion.
4. Understand the complex psychology of your customers
Shutter Island is a masterful etude of the complexity of the human mind. This psychological thriller plays with our logic and emotions, and contradicts all rational thought. This same complexity exists in every human mind – including your customers’! People are complicated beings and their behaviour is a lot less logical or predictable than that of a robot or machine (see this cool slideshare article on The Psychology of Robots). It is essential to take an interest in the human mind in order to be able to analyse the behaviour of your site’s visitors; understanding how their brains work and react will allow you to tailor your site to make it as engaging and appealing as possible. Get started by taking a look at this list of cognitive biases to help you on your way!
5. Appeal to your visitors’ subconscience and emotions.
DiCaprio has taken the lead in more than one film that highlights the complexity of our psychology…as an actor, just like a website creator, it is vital to be able to get inside the minds of others and what a great job Leo does every time! The widely-revered film Inception, from director Christopher Nolan, which explores the depths of our subconscience and the influence that our dreams and emotions can have on our decisions is another such film. “Subconscious is motivated by emotion, right? Not reason…Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate“, DiCaprio tells us and, applying this to conversion rate optimisation, we can see straight away why it is important to make an immediate positive impact on your customers as well as the way in which this can be done: by appealing to their emotions! Indeed, according to Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 95% of our decisions are made by our “emotional brain”.
6. Set goals and motivate your entire team
Developing an optimisation culture at the heart of your team will help to ensure your optimisation goals are met. Improving a website is a collective process that many people might need to be involved in: not just your Marketing team but also the designers and web developers, communications team, editors, and even customer-facing team members. The key to succeeding is to involve and unite these different people with a common optimisation goal. In his role as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, Leo perfectly demonstrates this: each of his speeches rouses his employees who are ready to follow him anywhere in his unending quest for success. Take a leaf out of Leo’s book and ensure you spread the message amongst your entire team: when it comes to optimisation, progress is inexhaustible!
7. Effort and patience will be rewarded!
Conversion rate optimisation offers up a vast well of possibilities: there is always room for improvement on any site! You can optimise your conversion rate at every step of the conversion funnel by making improvements to each page of your site. By setting and reaching certain goals, following a structured process and conducting educated testing, your overall conversion rate will continue to increase. You will assuredly see all your efforts rewarded…just like Leo who finally picked up that well-deserved Oscar!