Conversion Optimization Case Study
Is your website turning away more players than it’s converting? According to Site Tuners CEO Tim Ash, most casino affiliates are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to website design.
Ash addressed the challenges of creating a conversion friendly casino affiliate site last February in a CAP webinar titled How To Optimize Your Site for Maximum Conversions & Revenue. Besides sharing his five top tips for optimizing a site, he also critiqued a few familiar gaming sites. So let’s take a look at those sites today and see if they heeded his advice.
Five Optimization Tips
Before getting too far along it’s worth taking a quick review of Tim’s five tips for improving site conversions:
- Make a Clear Call to Action – Too many sites hide their real goals behind a haze of animations and clutter. Ash recommends a less-is-more approach that highlights the call in a Zen-like stillness.
- Ask for Less – Most affiliates ask for way too much information before handing over conversion promos like e-books. He suggests just giving away the book and let the content and call for action lead the player back to you.
- Cut Down on Text – Casino affiliate sites are notoriously cluttered with every gimmick you can think of, including excessive text. Just remember that most Internet users are not interested in reading the gaming equivalent of Moby Dick. Keep your text short and give it plenty of white space to stretch out in.
- Keep Your Promises – Don’t pitch players sweet offers and then fail to deliver the goods. Web gamers are a savvy bunch and they’re not likely to fall for the same scam twice.
- Make Your Trust Visible – Don’t be afraid to let the world know that you’ve been reviewed by a well known media outlet or have credible testimonials recognizable names. Splashing the logo of these outlets on your page help establish the good reputation you established by following rule number 4.
So Where Are They Now?
Tim pulled no punches and treated these volunteers like paying customers. That is to say, he didn’t spare their feelings. Here’s what he found.
All three of the sites Tim evaluated had, basically, the same four problems:
- Too much text
- Too much animation and clutter
- Edges that weren’t really optimized for modern, rectangular monitors
- All of these sites have good reputations, but none of them did much to bring that to the forefront.
Right away, Ashe praised this site for avoiding one of the cardinal rules of online casino design; trying to look like a land-based casino.
All those over-the-top colors and flash are great when you’re walking in the doors of Caesars Palace, but they don’t play as well on a browser. He advises other sites follow NoDepositCasinoOnline.com’s lead and keep that color palette muted.
On the down side, this site is absolutely packed with text, animation and excessive graphics. Ash points out that all these gimmicks take away from the call to action, they also, “destroy the ability to visualize the page.” Every time that animated roulette wheel spins, the visitors’ brain resets to a new image.
But readers may not need animations to miss out on what’s going on at this site. There are plenty of huge blocks of text that are hardly readable. The best content in the world won’t do much good if it’s stuffed into giant chunks that are anything but web friendly.
Ash liked the professional, relatively uncluttered look of CasinoBonusCodes.com. He did, however point out that the empty spaces on the side of the page (he calls them muffin tops) offered too much of a contrast with the rest of the site.
These stark contrasts look good, but are visually distracting. Ash recommends sticking to light and mid-tones and avoiding the wild stuff altogether. He also noticed a lot of reverse color and all-caps text. A number of web usability studies have shown that these tricks may reading a site 20%-30% harder.
Ash recommends keeping your call to action on a plain, easy-to-read white background
Casino chimp was single for what Ash called, “a cheesy, dated design.” When combined with a heaping measure of clutter and distractions, it all made finding the call to action a bit dificult.
This is too bad because CasinoChimp’s playful style makes it a stand out from the Vegas wannabes that dominate the online casino world.
Ash also singled out CasinoChimp for heavy use of colored, horizontal bars. Like animations, these sudden contrasts make readers reset their brains and steal focus away from their core message.
We visited the site today and found that CasinoChimp had removed a lot of the distractions, including the horizontal bars, were gone.
All the sites that participated in the webinar should be commended for their willingness to listen to constructive criticism in an open forum. So we definitely want to thank them for their participation.
Conversion Optimization Review
At the end of the day, every gaming affiliate could probably benefit from looking at their site through the lens of Ash’s rules for conversion optimization:
1. Keep Your Promises
2. Have a Clear Call to Action
3. Less Text
4. Ask for as Little Information as Possible
5. Make Your Trust Visible
Try out these rules and see if they don’t make your conversion rate bounce up.