3 Questions to Fix Conversion Problems on Your Site

Have you ever looked at a page on your site and thought to yourself: "how can I improve this? Where should I start?"

Watch today's video and that will no longer be a problem for you!

In this video, you'll discover a simple set of questions that you can use to systematically improve and streamline and post, page, landing page or even an entire website.

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If you'd like to see the website review video mentioned above, check out this post: How to Double the Effectiveness of You Blog's Homepage.

The three questions should be applied to every single element on a page and they are:

What is the Business Purpose of this Element?

How does any given element on a page contribute to your website's business goals? Is the element there for a specific reason that supports your business goals or was it just added because it looks nice or a competitor had something similar?

The guideline I use for determining business goals is very simple: the only two things that matter are content & conversion.​ The purpose of anything I do on a website is to either provide useful, valuable content to my audience or to convert more of my audience members into subscribers and customers. That's it.

The same goals might not apply to every business, but I recommend either using the content & conversion principle or something that is equally simple and to the point. If you have a list of business goals that's 10 items long, your website is probably going to be confusing to your visitors.​

Would it Do Any Harm to Remove This Element?

This question can be a tough one to answer, but it's essential to creating pages that are streamlined for conversions.

What it comes down to is efficiency: if you can achieve the same result in fewer steps or with less stuff on your page, you should go for it. At the very least, it will result in a performance benefit, because a page with less stuff on it will always load faster than a page with more stuff on it.

Removing elements using this question will also lead to simpler, less cluttered and easier to understand pages.

And remember: if you're ever in doubt about whether removing an element would or would not do any harm, just test it!​

Could There Be a Better Use of the Space This Element Occupies?

Even if an element on your page passes the first two questions (it's there to serve a business purpose and it's important enough to keep on the page), it might not pass this third question.

The reason I added this question is because whenever I build any kind of page, I always try to keep in mind that the reader's time and attention are limited and highly valuable resources.​

Your reader's TIME and ATTENTION is limited and valuable. Build your websites accordingly.

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Especially for your above the fold content, be very deliberate about how you use the available space and don't be afraid of eliminating everything but the highest priority elements.

None of the above is meant to say that less is always better. Long form sales pages work great and long content gets shared more. The idea isn't to make everything shorter and more compact. The real purpose of this 3 questions system is:

  1. To bring your website and content in line with your top business priorities.
  2. To remove unnecessary and distracting clutter from your website and offer a more streamlined experience to your visitors.​

Let me know what you think of this system! I'd also love to see some before/after examples of pages you've changed based on the three questions.

Shane

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is one of the co-founders of Thrive Themes and in charge of marketing, content and product strategy. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

23Comments

abduljatt Reply

Wow one of the best advice i ever received on creating a conversion focused page.thanks for sharing.
can we set elements to not appear on mobile devices while appear on desktop?

    Shane Melaugh Reply

    Thank you for your comment, Abdul!

    We don’t have a feature like that yet, but we have been discussing it with the team. It’s quite tricky to find a good way of doing that for a visual editor, but we definitely want to make it happen.

      Graeme C Reply

      Shane, this is a question that I’ve been meaning to ask for a while.
      Here is a website that looks different in the mobile version to desktop – http://www.blackangusbarandgrill.com.au

      It’s a very simple looking change to the mobile version which may give you ideas on a way to handle it.

      Graeme

      Shane Melaugh Reply

      This is an example of a mobile site, where visitors on mobile devices are redirected to a different subdomain. It’s not the done thing anymore, because there are no longer clear dividing lines between desktop and mobile screen sizes. With the feature we have in mind, you’d be able to accomplish a similar effect, but without having a separate mobile site.

Dean P Reply

Wow! I LOVE the animated slides here Shane,

How did you do it?

Also, I really think you should do a “video content creation” tutorial on IM IMPACT :D

Dean P Reply

P.S I wanna do a little call out (as you asked for it – :D )

1. Categories – Why do you guys have them and why don’t you have a sign up sidebar form on thrivethemes?

2. Breadcrumbs – do you find them a “must” or is it just a fancy feature?

    Shane Melaugh Reply

    I currently don’t have an opt-in form in the sidebar because conversion rates on sidebar forms tend to be extremely low anyway. So the ones that come at the end of the post are a lot more useful. The idea of the categories is simply that readers can find more content they are interested in (i.e. it serves the “content” part).

    However, you’ll see that in the near future, I’ll be changing things about the opt-in elements and the category list on this site, in an attempt to improve both. I will also publish posts about what I’m doing and what results we get with it.

    Breadcrumbs are definitely more than a fancy feature. They are good for SEO (we use RDFa markup in our themes, to make the breadcrumbs easy to read for search engines) and they’re also a good UX element, helping visitors understand where on a site they are. Add to that the fact that they take up very little space and you’ve got an element that definitely passes the three questions. :)

Tim T Reply

Hey Shane… great video, as always! What application do you use for the word images on your videos – ie. when you say the words and they fly in from the sides as you say them?

    Shane Melaugh Reply

    I think that’s done in After Effects – if not that, then in Premiere. I don’t know exactly because I no longer do the editing for all my videos myself.

Peter F Reply

Hi Shane,
Love your work.
Any ready made templates for a Product Launch Formula type funnel?
Would be great.
Merry Christmas & a Great 2015!
Peter Fallenius

Graeme C Reply

What’s the name of the twitter message plugin?

    Graeme C Reply

    Sorry, answered my own question here – its the Quote Share option on TCB – der!
    :)

John N Reply

Shane, I have been designing for a long time and questions similar to what you are putting forward have always applied to advertising and marketing material.

So often the client wants to include too many elements in an ad for instance. This can become a battle.

The same battle can be had when designing a web page. It’s even easier to include too much because the space in somewhat unlimited.

Your three questions will help me with these discussions, because the questions can be asked and my client will have to come up with the answer… they can set the priorities.

This surely is part of the KISS principle.

Thanks again Shane for your business insights.

    Shane Melaugh Reply

    Yes, I’m a strong proponent of keeping things simple. Of all the websites and landing pages I’ve ever seen, doing too much is by far a more common problem than doing to little or being too minimal. It’s much better to start with something simple and add complexity only as it becomes necessary.

Mauro L Reply

Nice tips. Thanks. Would you tell me what software/technology you used to render those words and written messages on your video?

Rich R Reply

Hi Shane,

I wondered if you could explain the purpose of the images in this post, especially the first one. A sentence ends with, and they are:

Then you scroll down and see an image that doesn’t seem to do anything. It’s just a break before you get to the first question. It doesn’t seem to be a visual explanation of the content.

I am interested in this because I recently came across the Authority Hacker site. They are big users of TCB. I use it for landing pages but very sparingly in posts. I am starting to wonder if there is a case for their more visual approach to content.

Having said that, most of their images do add to the content in some way.

Rich

    Shane Melaugh Reply

    Hi Rich,

    The images are simply there to visually represent each of the three points. They also tie in with the video, where I used the same images.

Louise G Reply

Hi Shane – roger that! Perfectionnism. Guilty as charged. Before bumping into ThriveThemes, I had a less than decent and functional website. I had to restart building my website using ThriveThemes. Perfectionism …it would be embarassing to tell you how long it took to get this website to a place where I was okay…well kinda… lol My goodness me!

I learned that I needed to keep everything to the strick minimum of what is effecient and to the point. I just understood it, not implemented it…

Now…I get it, and thanks to this video. I so connect with you on this perfectionism. I like beauty, clean, and uncluterred. The Sweedish style if you prefer. Well, it’s not quite looking like that…but it will once I am going in with these 3 questions. Thank God you know your flaws, and one of them is mine! We need to hear that perfectinism can be our greatest self-inflicted enemy. The consumer these days, they want short, simple, and uncluttered. Just like we do. What’s wrong with us! loll

I am this solentrepreneur. A team of one outsourcing web-programmer, graphic designer, and IT troubleshooter. Anything else… is me. I can feel overwhelmed at times, however, with your teachings it keeps me focus. It helps me in so many ways! I will prune even more.

I’m at the stage of creating my first product… can you imagine….crazy. However, I had no knowledge of internet business. I had to be trained for two years. Now…I have one stop-shop. ThriveThemes for my website, 22Social for cooking my product, and FBAd Manager to fly it away once it’s out of the oven. Goodbye SEO time wasters! I mean, they’re okay, but FBAd… we go to the people and don’t wait for the people to find us with words. Good grace! loll Blessings to you through all the people you touch, Shane.

Louise G Reply

The three questions? I will apply these questions to my articles too. Great idea.