Your website visitors will convert – to buyers or subscribers – when they’re ready, willing, and able. And the usability testing and feedback gathering you do should give you an idea of which of those three factors will make the biggest difference.
Ready: Are your visitors ready to take the action you want them to take? Do they have enough information? Enough trust in you? If not, what do you need to add to your site flow to make offers congruent with your visitors’ current state of readiness?
Willing: Do they want to take the action you want them to take? Have you explained the benefits? Have you done the cost-benefit analysis for them? Have you made it clear how you’re different and better than their other options?
Able: Can they take that action on your site? Can they find the right links and buttons? Does everything work? Do pages load quickly enough to keep their attention? Is it easy to navigate your site, or do you need to offer a training course to users?
Then Test: Start with simple curiosity. For example, ask yourself “Where should the BUY button go, here or there?” Then create two versions of the page. Use Google’s website optimizer to run the test. (It’s free – and really easy.)
Send some traffic to each version, and you’ll discover one of two things:
1. One version is clearly superior to the other.
2. There’s not much difference – which means that the element you were testing doesn’t matter very much, or that the differences were too small to affect visitor behavior.
Either way, you’ve learned something. Wash, rinse, and repeat, and soon you’ll have a landing page that contributes mightily to your bottom line.