Cheat Sheet: Conversion Optimisation & Usability

Last Updated: 11/11/2014


Key/Unique Selling Propositions

To be a successful business you need to offer something that others don’t, or in a way others can’t. This becomes your selling proposition that helps you stand out among the competition. These should be clearly stated on the most trafficked pages of your site with reminders throughout the checkout pages.

Carefully think about what makes you different and flaunt it. Examples of selling propositions could include:

Testimonials & Reviews

Displaying positive customer feedback is a great way to alleviate the fears of new customers and boost your conversion rate. Reviews and testimonials can be about individual products or the business itself.

Google business reviews are critical to Local SEO so be sure to ask happy clients and customers to review you! However, don’t just rely on Google reviews – encourage customers to review you on other relevant review sites for a wider range of touch points.


  • Follow up sales with post-purchase literature that ‘wow’s the customer and culminates in a review request as explained by Kestrel Lemon
  • ‘Mark-up’ reviews with schema to obtain “rich snippets” in the SERPs (gold stars next to your listing) to attract a better click-through rate
  • Acquire business reviews from suppliers, partners and clients on Google+ with this tactic by Dejan SEO.

Internal Search

Did you know you can track what your customers are searching for while on your site? If you have internal search functionality you should be monitoring what your customers are typing in to your search bar using Google Analytics.

Click here for simple instructions.

Rich Product Content

Your website is your online sales team all in one. You employ knowledgeable staff who are there to show off the product range, answer questions and sell the benefits of each product – why would you not do this online?

Many e-commerce stores fall into the trap of regurgitating the manufacturer’s (often limited) product description. Your product pages should be filled with supporting content flaunting the product in question – not just text but images, video, PDFs, soundbites, testimonials/reviews and anything else that makes the product irresistible.

Secure Shopping Signals

Trust is a huge issue when purchasing online. Customers need to feel comfortable when parting with their credit card details, especially when dealing with websites they haven’t bought from before.

Advertise any SSL security certificates, secure payment systems and additional security measures with relevant symbols such as padlocks.


Payment Options

Offer as many payment options as possible to customers – consider the usual credit and debit cards, Paypal, Google Wallet, etc and ensure you advertise this variety. Don’t alienate customers by only accepting limited payment types.

Show symbols near payment call-to-actions such as ‘Buy’ buttons and throughout the checkout pages.


Visible Contact Details

A physical address suggests stability and credibility that are lacking in all fly-by-night rogue businesses.

Where possible, bring the address and contact details to the forefront of the site to put customers at ease and make it super easy for them to contact you if they have problems completing their order or if they have a question.

Checkout Process / Sales Funnel

Multiple Contact Methods

‘Goal’ Set Up

Google Analytics has a wonderful feature which allows you to set up end ‘goals’ which alerts you when an action is completed. With Goal tracking in place, you can not only understand what keywords and referral sites sends traffic to your site but also what keywords and sites sends converting traffic.

This is important. Don’t waste time optimising for the wrong kind of traffic, laser-target those that are ready to hand over thier credit card details.

Delivery Details

Offer free delivery? Next day service? Ship to a work address? Gift wrapping available? The terms of the delivery of goods is vital to a good conversion rate, and the more in-the-know your customers are the more willing to purchase they will be. Give as much detail as possible and if you have the ma

Remarketing / Follow-up Emails


Your call-to-action is the single most important element when it comes to conversion. Without a stand-out call to action your customers are left wondering how to proceed and the longer they are left wondering, the more likely they are to leave.

Consider testing:

  • Size
  • Colour – Not only should it stand out from the rest of the page, it should also compliment the sentiment of the customer. There are lots of studies of the psychology of colour.
  • Positioning – consider where eyes are likely to focus when on a page and place it slap-bang in their eyeline
  • Text/language – When Dell changed a button label from “Learn More” to “Help Me Choose” conversions improved to the tune of $millions

Offline Marketing

Awards / Accolades

Cross / Up-Selling


Gamification, as a competitive differentiator is yet to catch on properly within the realms of online commerce but the opportunities are endless. I recently wrote a post on how retailers can implement game mechanics to reward customers, enhance user experience and ultimately make more sales.

Develop USPs

Business logo Link

Breadcrumb Trail

The inclusion of breadcrumb trails help visitors navigate their way through the site and find where they are at any given moment. This is especially useful for those that don’t enter via the homepage (e.g. via search or referral link). Additionally breadcrumb trails can help filter link-equity throughout the site hierarchy.

Use schema microdata to create interactive an SERP breadcrumb which looks neat and tidy in the SERPs:

Google vs. Amazon search snippet - notice how Amazon has an attractive, interactive breadcrumb trail.

Google vs. Amazon search snippet – notice how Amazon has an attractive, interactive breadcrumb trail.


Mobile Ready

Share Buttons & Social Proof