Sometimes redesigning a site is necessary. But oftentimes, small iterations can make a big difference.

By Lisa


Category: Productivity SEO Success Stories

What if I told you that a few small changes to your website could result in double the conversions?

That making some simple modifications – like swapping out an image, tweaking your site’s navigation, or refining your homepage’s unique selling proposition – could increase user engagement and action substantially, with no more than a few hours worth of work?

You probably wouldn’t believe me.

And for good reason.

When we talk about Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), we often fall into the trap of thinking that getting more out of a site will take tons of work, sucking up huge amounts of time and resources, ultimately resolved in confused data and disparate points of view.

But the changes we’re getting ready to show you took less than a day’s worth of work to complete, doing some serious damage to the idea that CRO requires Neil deGrasse-level abilities.

I still don’t believe you…

So let me get more specific.

We saw a 128% increase in our client’s website’s conversion rate (CR) over a three month period, as compared to the previous three months, along with positive results on a variety of engagement metrics. The bounce rate went down. Average time on page went up.

And it was so simple.

Now, of course, every site is different, and we certainly aren’t saying that making these exact changes to your site will lead to identical results.

Regardless, this case study perfectly demonstrates one of the most important principles of CRO, which is why it’s so powerful: Small changes can lead to big results.

After all, all of the changes together were simple, and the time spent on the project as a whole was ultimately well worth its investment.

By the way, if you’re still not quite sure what CRO is all about, check out our blog post Keys to Increasing Law Firm Website Conversion Rates.

How did we know what changes to make?

One of the biggest challenges in the CRO process is the decision making, and I don’t want to overlook that this is almost always the most time consuming part of the process.

Actually implementing changes isn’t typically all that difficult, especially if you (or someone you work with) is relatively well-versed in the CMS you use.

In this particular case, we did an internal review, using our CRO knowledge and skills to identify big problems.

But maybe, if you’re looking to bump up your own site’s conversion rate, you don’t even know where to begin.

To help, we’ve compiled this nifty worksheet that identifies ten of the most common conversion fixes we’ve seen.

Now, back to the study.

Here are the changes we made…

1) Hero Image – Give off the right impression

When we’ve talked about law firm website imagery in the past, we’ve mostly focused on using unique and high-quality photos.

While that’s obviously important and ideal, it can go deeper than that.

After all, there are plenty of other things that play into the value of a hero image for your homepage, including how well it speaks to your quality leads.

In other words, what’s most general isn’t always what’s most effective.

Sometimes we gravitate toward convention, toward what we’ve seen work for others and assume will work well for us, too.

For example, while we don’t have a before image, this client’s homepage hero image was pretty typical, a photo of the principle attorneys over an image of the city’s skyline.

Nothing wrong with that.

But, in talking to the client about how the site could be improved, we realized that their target clientele – businesses in need of third-party legal counsel – gravitated much more toward less personal imagery, instead preferring imagery that gives off a sense of big business professionalism.

So here’s what we changed the image to:

A nice skyscraper-featuring image that exudes a corporate, big business vibe.

So yes, first ask yourself if your image looks nice.

But then ask if it really reflects the way your prospects and clients perceive your services.

2) Unique Selling Proposition – Speak to your audience

Unique Selling Propositions are tough.

It’s the old “elevator pitch” question: How do you, in just a few words, not only describe your services but also sell them?

It can seem overwhelming, since there’s surely no shortage of relevant words that Mr. Webster could think up; at times it seems they all could work.

For our client in question, the old USP displayed on the front page of their website read “Big Firm Talent, Small Firm Attention.”

While there’s nothing that’s particularly wrong or bad about that USP, there also isn’t anything that lets it stand out. So we decided a change was in order, and reworked it to, “Facing Complex Business Litigation? Let us focus on the case, you can focus on your business.”

Is the USP the first area you should make changes to improve your CRO? Maybe, maybe not, but there’s certainly no harm in trying to spruce up the language of your page every so often.

When it comes to things like USP, you want to make sure you have something written that is both representative of your firm and its services while also selling your firm and services at the same time.

Like we said, there was nothing inherently wrong with the original USP – but there’s always room for improvement.

Did the change turn out to be an improvement in this case? Based on the numbers, we certainly think so.

3) Primary Practice Area Page – Emphasize your best work

On the surface, the location of practice area pages on your website’s navigation generally don’t seem to require much thought.

Listing all of your practice area pages together in the navigation seems like the most logical, sensible way to present them. 

However, while lumping all of them together may seem like the natural thing to do, it’s not always the best practice.

So what did we do differently?

This is a shot of how it used to be laid out. Their primary practice area – business litigation – was listed along with all of the rest of their areas on the “Legal Services” navigation dropdown.

But since our client works primarily in business litigation, we decided to separate that practice area from the rest of the pack and give it a place to shine by itself at the top of the page.

Now, when the majority of their quality leads visit the site, they don’t have to look through all of the items under the “Legal Services” dropdown, which removed friction and made it easier for users to find the information they were looking for.

In addition, we cleaned up the primary practice area page for business litigation, making it less text heavy and more user friendly.

Here is what the page looked like before:

And here is a screenshot with the changes that we made:

We talked about the trend of more visual practice areas in our recent trends report for 2017, and it certainly worked well in this case.

The number of views on the page went up by 151%, and the time spent on the page went up by 50%.

Another relatively small change, but one that made a huge impact for moving people toward our client’s primary practice area.

In fact, let’s go over some results from these small changes to show just how effective they were.

Let’s break it down

Overall, here’s what we saw from the changes we made for our client:

  • Session duration went up 63%
  • Number of pages viewed per session increased by 20%
  • Bounce rate went down 7.9%
  • Number of contacts increased by 101.7%
  • Conversion rate went up by 128.17%

In about 3 months, our client’s conversion rate doubled. Considering we only implemented a handful of relatively small changes to the website, we’re pretty happy with those results. As is our client!

Need Some Help With All Of This?

One of the fundamental rules of CRO is that your website is never done.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult to determine what should be changed on your website to bring about improvements. You may be attached to a certain picture or the phrasing of your USP, or just not have a good sense of design best practices. But being open to change is the best thing you can do for your website and internet marketing as a whole.

The good news? You don’t have to do it alone.

We’re happy to help you figure out which areas of your site could use improvement and which are working well for you. Don’t get left behind because you’re getting by with something that is “okay” or “good enough.”

If you’re interested in improving your website or learning more about the services that we provide at Black Fin, feel to reach out and contact us today. And if you’d like to see some tips from our conversion rate experts, check out our CRO checklist:

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