Increasing Conversion Rates – a theory proven
I’ve been working very closely on relaunching the kitchen sinks website for Brass & Traditional Sinks Limited. It launched today at last!
One small factor that I have proven increases conversion rates (although I’m not going to disclose here by how much 🙂 is the use of a photo by the telephone call-to-action, typically top-right on most “money” sites.
The majority of websites will use a stock photo of a girl with a headset on. Since reading “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell a few years ago..
.. I have been intrigued by the idea that our subconscious makes the right decision (am I going to buy from this person? is this a genuine work of art? do I fancy this person?) etc. but then our conscious mind spends forever procrastinating about that decision.
I’ve taken this into website conversion rate optimisation by the testing of this one factor – the call centre girl picture – by varying the positioning and the “reality” of the photo. I have found that the very best converting picture is one of a real person that works within the business. Add to that the need to look into the eyes of the customer – pictures of people looking down or at a computer screen really suck.
If you check our skip hire or portable toilet hire websites, you’ll see that I’ve added a red pencil “This is Louise. She really works here” with an arrow pointing to Louise – who really does work here.
This makes us stand out in a number of ways. It breaks convention. It adds authenticity. But the real killer, for me, is that this is a genuine photo and I believe that visitors to the site can subconsciously tell that it is a genuine picture, and that helps overcome the number one barrier to conversions – trust.
I’ve not got them to add the red pencil stuff yet, but the picture of a girl on the sinks website is of Vicky who – guess what – really works there! I took the picture with my iPhone whilst filming the videos for their website (still editing them). It’s not a perfect picture in terms of resolution and composure, but it’s completely real and that’s what matters online.
This theme was discussed at length at my last internet marketing course – if you’re in a market that is dominated by companies full of cash (like the travel industry, for example), it is far better to use your actual personality, your “voice”, to create a brand that no-one can compete with (because no-one can be you) rather than looking like a low-rent corporation copycat.