Critique: Increasing Your Conversion Rate (part II)

Critique: Increasing Your Conversion Rate (part II)

Last time I kicked off my Christmas present series – a series of posts where I give public feedback to my readers’ sites. This is the second post in the series with more conversion-boosting advice.

Didn’t read the first post? Find it here. It includes a disclaimer I want you to read.

Here we go


Goal: To collect as many e-mail addresses as possible.


  • You’re missing a key thing: WHY should they give you their email? Sell value.
  • Clarity trumps persuasion. “A new way to share knowledge…” is very vague. Add a paragraph with more specific information.
  • Visitors need to get answers to these 3 questions immediately: Where am I? What can I do here? How is it useful? The landing page as it is right now does not provide adequate information on this. I’d add more information.
  • I don’t know how you get people to come to this landing page, but it makes all the difference. If you’re doing paid advertising (PPC, banners etc) to drive traffic here, it’s important that the visuals and the message in the ad and on this page are the same. Different message / design creates confusion and friction.
  • Once I filled in the form I only got the message “Thanks, we’ll be in touch.” That’s not enough. When? What will you send me? An immediate email would also be good to facilitate engagement. You don’t want them to forget about you. Read this.


Goal: To get readers to subscribe to our list.


  • Your value proposition is weak. “Try something new” (and the text that follows) is not specific enough and does not communicate a value. Is it about food? Bungee jumping or Kama Sutra? The #1 goal for the headline should be to catch attention. You can do better than that. Your value proposition should immediately talk to your ideal customer in a way that they recognize themselves.
  • Sell the signup. This is a transaction! You get their email, and they get what benefit exactly? What’s the end benefit for them? Nobody wants to sign up per se, they want the benefit that comes from it.
  • Your form includes a field for first name. What do you actually do with their names? If it’s only there to send “Hello John” emails, I recommend skipping it. Fewer fields = more sign ups.
  • While I like the large input boxes, the form is generally without a design and does not really stand out. Make it stand out from the rest.
  • Add a benefit-oriented call to action. ‘Subscribe’ is lame and does not really tell them what happens next.
  • Duplicate the form in some way below your blog posts (or add a call to action to subscribe to your posts by email, RSS or similar).
  • Read this post on building forms that convert.


Goal: To get users to add products to the shopping cart.


  • Your site suffers from severe case of the paradox of choice. There’s too many things to choose from, and no option seems to be more important than others. Build better filters. Add more white space, remove general noise. Too many things are in your face and it makes it hard to focus on anything.
  • The menu font size is way to small. Minimum 14px. Read this post on improving readability.
  • Don’t just say “many new products in stock”. Show the actual new products instead of the banner.
  • I understand it’s a pet store, but you have way too many (low quality) photos of pets on the home page and it distracts from what really matters – the products.
  • How are you better or different than your competitors? Mentioning things like “wide choice – fast delivery – quality – great prices” will not set you apart, but rather will put you in “me too” category. Don’t use generalizations and superlatives, they’re not believable. Instead, use specifics like “2 day delivery” or “we beat competitors prices by 10%” (all of it has to be true and verifiable).
  • You are selling commodities – stuff that other pet stores can sell too. Why buy from you? The answer has to be obvious and communicated clearly. If you’re the same as your competitor (no noticeable difference), the customer will choose by price.
  • On your product page the default image size is too small. Make it much larger.
  • Your “add to cart” buttons are hard to find! They’re usually below the fold in a table. Not good. Add a large add to cart button above the fold (below the image for instance).
  • Studies have shown that perpetual shopping cart works well for conversions: displaying the content of the shopping cart on every page.
  • Once a product has been added to the cart, make an upsell offer by showing related products (the way Amazon does it). At the moment they stay on the page and have little motivation to scroll down again.


Goal: Get people to buy.


  • Your headline sucks. It’s the most important part of your site, but it fails to communicate anything. Improve it! I tested it with different browsers and it seems to me you’re not testing the headline. Do it – an excellent headline can already double your conversions, if not more.
  • The text that follows the headline is better, but I felt it still lacks clarity.
  • Who is it for? Say it!
  • Use photos or videos in your testimonials.
  • The autoscrolling text is annoying and extremely distracting, I’d get rid of it.
  • The text on your apps page is hard to read. Grey text on white is poor contrast. Make it black.
  • Get rid of the captcha on your registration page. It hurts conversions.
  • Your pricing is hard to find. People always want to know how much it costs, make it easy to find. Is it one-time payment or recurring?
  • I feel you’re asking for a sign-up too soon. Give people the option to play around with a demo version without signing up. Let them try it out first to reduce friction.
  • I think a product video (max 2 minutes) would really help people to understand your software and its benefits better. It should be a quick tour pointing out the biggest benefits and how it solves the biggest pain. Use it either instead of the product image on your home page or above the testimonials (need to test this!).


Goal: to sell products.


  • “Welcome to our site” is the most useless headline ever. Craft a benefit oriented value proposition.
  • “We launched our….” – nobody cares about you and what you launched. Talk about the user and how they benefit from your site. Re-word all of the texts on your site to be about them, not you.
  • Tobacco products are partly emotional products, so use emotional and inspirational imagery rather than an a photo of an ashtray.
  • You’re wasting your prime space on graphics that do not help your sales. You’d benefit greatly from a whole new design.
  • Too much design-less text on the home page. Unless it for SEO, move it somewhere else. If it’s for SEO, make it beautiful.
  • In every test I’ve seen “Buy now” converts way WORSE than “add to cart”. Change the wording of your CTA button.
  • Your call to action button has no design. Make it stand out. Read this post on conversion optimization.
  • Ever heard of the 300 million dollar button story? Do NOT force people to sign up in order to buy.


Goal:  To receive a phone call, email or signup.


  • Your headline is pretty good, but I dislike the following paragraph. Avoid words like ‘finally’, just explain what your service does. Clarity is a huge conversion booster.
  • Who’s your product for? It’s kind of vague.
  • Make sure the 3 items in the bullet point list are the most important benefits to your customers. Are they?
  • Are you marketing to my existing patients? Or potential future customers? Couldn’t figure that out on the home page. Be more specific.
  • How are you generating leads for me? Is via advertising that I have to pay for? Explain the process. The more I know, the more I trust. I see you’re providing lots of info on the deeper pages, but I’d do some user testing and try to figure out they key questions/hesitations your target group has, and addressing those right on the home page.
  • Use better graphics (or a product video). I cannot understand what that magnet is supposed to be.
  • You’re using a denying traffic sign for pricing. Sends the wrong subconscious message.
  • Your a better font for reading, like Arial or Georgia. Don’t ever align text to the center.
  • Your pricing seems very reasonable, but usually services like this tend to be expensive. Experiment with mentioning the price on the home page.
  • Requesting a demo is pretty big commitment already, and people are afraid of high-pressure sales. Is there a way to do an interactive demo online without signing up? People want to be sure they’re making the right decision, but they are hardly ready to work to get the full info.


Goal: To make people sign up as a member (either free or paid)


  • Overall: your site looks cheap and amateurish, I definitely recommend a new design.
  • Your headline shows promise, but I’d definitely try alternative versions. What about an aspirational headline? E.g. “Be king of the dancefloor in just 3 months”. You get the point.
  • Have you ever bought anything after reading 2 sentences? Didn’t think so. Yet, you’re asking for a sale after just 2 sentences. Don’t do that.
  • I would either re-do the videos in HD or at least change the video thumbnail. Grainy thumbnail = poor quality. The “join now” button graphics looks also pretty bad. Find a designer that can help you with those.
  • People are hesitant to sign up for recurring payment plans unless it’s a business software / service. What about selling different modules for a single, one-time payment?
  • The home page lacks structure and logical user flow. Re-think what’s there, why and in which order.
  • You have way too many stuff that offer no value at all to browsers. Comments and videos they can’t access. Remove all the comments, top contributors and most videos. They serve as distraction and as a source of frustration (every link says “buy my stuff”). Too many teasers will make people mad instead of interested. Make it clear which videos they can actually watch.
  • Free stuff sells! Make the first one or two videos from each course available for free. Let them get hungry for the next step (that they have to pay for).
  • Remove exclamation marks for your sales page!
  • Show me proof that your stuff works. Show me videos of your students dancing. Before and after would be awesome.
  • Use photos and videos with testimonials.
  • Your sales page has to end with a call to action.

What do you think?

Got any additional feedback? That’d be awesome. Got follow-up questions? Post them in the comments.

I’ll post another batch of feedback in the coming days.

Related Posts

Join 95,000+ analysts, optimizers, digital marketers, and UX practitioners on our list

Emails once or twice a week on growth and optimization.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Current article:

Critique: Increasing Your Conversion Rate (part II)