Getting the Order of Conversation Right

Getting the Order of Conversation Right

Lemuel Galpo
Written by Lemuel Galpo
February 12, 2015

The Ultimate Conversion Webpage Review Webinar reviewed a number of websites to establish where many site owners go wrong in their conversion optimization efforts. This review involved a newspaper site, and being majorly a content site, you would expect a lot of content. The site includes a main page with a rotator that features large beauty shots, only that they don’t say anything about the store itself. Also, the rotator lacks clear buttons to click and you have to roll it over to know what to click on.

This is the sixth part of the webinar by Convert and Creative Thirst‘s Bobby Hewitt, which will also tackle a website’s failings, and how to optimize it for better conversion. If you want to watch the other reviews tackled in the webinar, you can watch its complete presentation here. The page has a lot of competing elements involving content and ads. The ads resemble most of the content and they are scattered throughout the page. Among the first thing one should think of testing includes: trying to remove ads from your homepage, probably that political banner you think shouldn’t be there, or not willing to have there in the first place. Then gauge if the engagement increases or drops with and without this kind of banner.

Getting the Order of Conversation Right

Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse

With a site with tons of content like the one under review, another thing that would make sense testing is the subscription page. In a content-oriented site, this would most likely be the primary goal, and getting an effective call to action should be key. For starters, have the right order of information, something that’s missing from this one. This takes you to the top of the page, where again, you should think of removing the banner since you’re asking to complete an action. The last thing you want is get in the way of the purchase.

[Tweet “46% of potential customers are lost because the landing page does not deliver. – Logo Snap”]

Take the site under review as an example. It includes subscription options, and at the bottom, it tells you why you should actually subscribe. The problem here is that the order of sequence is wrong. Rather than do it this way, the first thing you should think of including on the subscription page is why the reader should buy your product in the first place. Are there any compelling reasons why they should subscribe?

Try testing this at the top, not the bottom. So, assuming the reader clicks on the button, are they going to get the newspaper version only for the quoted ‘$5.99’ or does this price include the newspaper version, plus its unlimited digital? As you go down through the list of options, the more sales you find being thrust upon you. This only adds to the cognitive load, since the readers have to make even more choices. Try testing a lower number of choices on all the bottom elements that seems to be the top element.

The option of when the newspaper reader would like to get copies of the publication is another critical area. This one tells you what’s delivered on what day. Assuming you select the Friday through Sunday option, what you get is Entertainment and Home Gardening, and if this were your area of interest, it becomes easy to miss since it’s located below the fold: if you don’t get to the bottom, you’ll most likely miss that. Tell the reader what they would be missing out on if they didn’t select that option. This is the thing with getting the order of conversation wrong.

According to Oli Gardner’s 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips,

Understand the goals and motivations of the users who will be arriving at your landing page. What are the main questions that a potential visitor will have? Knowing this will allow you to design an experience that answers these questions in priority sequence on the page.

The same case applies to other interests that come on other particular days: by not getting Monday, Wednesday and Thursday publications, they’ll be missing out on Entertainment, Food and Health. And by not getting to Sunday, they’ll also be missing out on a whole lot of other interests. In this case, users are forced to do the work for themselves, and this involves scrolling down and making a choice by checking the inactive buttons or choosing the upgrade option. Rather than go all through this trouble, simply make it easier by telling users what they’re missing out on and understand exactly what it is they are buying.

Keys to Having a Kickass Webpage

To put it in simpler terms, the subscription page should have specific elements in order to fully optimize each page. The elements include:

  • Have a clear call-to-action
  • Consider the customer’s point of view
  • Lower the number of choices
  • Tell users what they are missing out

Testing at the end of the funnel first then working your way upwards to the homepage would probably be a good idea. The reason is because you could be losing out on potential sales by having the order of conversation listed in such a fashion.

The online newspaper site also includes another provision that asks you to upgrade to everyday plus digital subscription at a total of $5.99. There’s also the Wednesday through Sunday option which is available for $5.49, and then goes on to show the price for the next up sale. What’s missing here? It fails to show the relative difference between your selection and the next up sale. It gets easier when you show this difference in what the reader will save by upgrading to say, everyday. It makes the offer more compelling and you’ll most likely convince them to upgrade as opposed to leaving them to figure it out for themselves.

Thought Sequence Perspective

By doing this, what you’ll be doing is reducing the cognitive difficulty in the mind of the buyer during the most critical buying point. And this is really what increasing conversion is about. It’s about viewing your webpage from a thought sequence, and not from a functional point of view. The price of $5.99 for a copy everyday is not enough. Rather, include a figure they can make a comparison with. For example, $5.99 for a copy everyday will save them say, $1.25 more.

Another thing that was identified to be the issue with the newspaper site was the buttons used – same weight, same color – making the visual hierarchy equal . If you want to make the process of upgrading easier, it would be a good idea to reduce the visual hierarchy. You could place more emphasis on the upgrade button by having an option like the ‘Continue without upgrading’ as a text link. What else you could test is maybe having the relative difference into a button of its own. For instance, instead of having it simply as ‘upgrade’, you could have a call to action like ‘$1.5 more get this everyday plus digital’. If you want to find out more about this, or if you want to check out the full presentation, you can check out the full webinar here.

Originally published February 12, 2015 - Updated April 15, 2019
Lemuel Galpo
As Customer Content Manager, Lem is responsible for bringing learnings in conversion optimization and testing to the world. He is part of's growth team and coordinates all writers, editors and illustrators.
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