While there appears to be a lot of attention focused on aspects such as SEO, there is much less attention paid to Conversion optimization, mainly because, the process is not an easy one. Google recognizes this and they are happy to reward website that put the work in. The have developed resources to help owners with optimization.
Conversion optimization differs slightly from website optimization, and is not applicable to all sites, but those that are focused on having a specific end goal such as generating sales or capturing leads.
Analytics is at the core of conversion optimization, because it is near impossible to improve what you cannot measure.
The case for Conversion Rate Optimization.
As a website owner involved in eCommerce, if given the choice which you rather have
- A site with 10000 monthly visitors and 10 sales per month ? or
- A site with 1000 monthly visitors and 100 sales per month ?
While SEO may increase the flow of visitors to your site, there is no guarantee that the sales will increase proportionally and conversion rate optimization is needed.
In order to begin optimizing, an appreciation of the current site performance is needed, and this can be done with web analytics tools.
The tools are extremely important as they can indicate and prioritize the pages that need work, and can also measure the results.
Free and not so free Web Analytics tools
Google Analytics is a free and widely used tool that is the forerunner of web analytics. Kissmetrics is also popular , but uses a slightly different approach. Omniture which was acquired by Adobe in 2009, include a complex set of features and highly suited for enterprise level analytics. There are now several others, but one desirable feature should be an easy integration with other marketing tools or offline data sources.
The first phase of optimization conversion is to ensure that the tool selected is properly implemented and working. Web Analytics Solution Profiler is a great tool for verifying the analytics data flow at the shopping cart and checkout pages in eCommerce or lead capture pages. It is easy to use with browser addons for both Chrome and Firefox.
Goal are extremely important in the optimization process as it’s the way to tell whether your efforts are working. There are different methods for setting the goals in the various tools, and the goals that you set can vary in a number of ways.
Depending on the nature of your site you may different goals
|Site type||Conversion goal|
|Lead gen||Form completion|
It is important ro remember that traffic patterns and conversions rates vary for different reasons, and may also be necessary to group visitors into different segment so that you can analyse the behaviours of each group and optimize differently.
- visitors from search engines behave differently that those that arrive via advertisments
- Visitors via social networks
- visitors on mobile vs desktops
- repeat visitors
- visitors from different geographic locations
Multivariate testing is another core part of the optimizing process as there may be different methods used in different objectives.
A simple approach may be editing of elements on the page to observe the influence of conversion.
Once you find the which elements contribute the most to conversion, you can follow up with A/B split testing to focus on the specific elements to improve conversion lift.
Depending on the nature of your site here are a few proven methods that can improve conversions.
- A buy button may not be enough as customers take time in making decisions. Potential customers should be encouraged to become more engaged by reading a review, watching a video or downloading a file.
- When visitors are segmented, you may now design more specific landing pages geared to the customer segment. It is better to have unique pages with different offers, specific lead captures.. etc.
- The best user experience translates into higher conversions. Inexpensive and objective user testing is available at online sites such as hotjar.com, usertesting.com and hostilesheep.com.
- Explore colour changes
Neuroscientists understand that color plays a significant part in consumer psychology. Although you may be partial to specific colors, your site visitors may not be so appreciative and testing may needed to find out which works best.
- Red and orange evokes emergency and can be used in time-limited discounts and call to actions.
- Yellow is an attention grabber that attracts the younger generation.
- Blue is seen as the most trustworthy and secure color that is popular with the logos of financial institutions.
- Males react more positively to brighter shades while females tend to prefer softer tones.
- There is an old saying that money likes speed. Ensure that your site loads and works on both desktop and mobile, and the process should be as fast and as seamless as possible.
The list of tips that can be implemented to increase conversions grows longer, but paradoxically one of the more effective way to increase conversions is by offering product selections and making the filters wide. It gives the customer latitude and easy way to arrive at purchase points.
It may be tempting to believe that high impact copy may be the key to conversions, but those days are fading fast as site visitors are placing more trust in reviews.
Objective customer reviews are seen in much higher regard and is now one of the keys for higher conversions.
The strategies mentioned may not all work the same in different circumstances, and it is imperative that extensive testing be conducted. E
Exit pop-ups have also shown to increase conversion, but they should not be abused and used judiciously. Again some testing of the variations such as time-delay, color, text images will all affect the conversion rates.
The bottom line
There may be hundreds of strategies that can improve your conversion rates. Some may be easier to implement than others.
The key is not to wildly go changing things on your site, but a methodical plan of testing and measuring with the use of analytical tools will provide the best results.
It can be debated that Conversion rate optimization bay be even more important than visitor acquisition strategies and should never be neglected.