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How To Optimise Your Site’s Conversion Rate
Posted by Cameron Francis on September 05, 2013 in SEO,Social Media

Optimising the rate of conversion is certainly a top priority of internet marketers, coupled with marketing content. People who are experts in increasing conversion rates are in very high demand and optimising conversion rates have become part of the job description of every SEO.

Conversion Rate

A New Internet Marketing Era

Internet marketing is not just related to visits and traffic numbers any longer, it is now about making a site convert and increasing revenue. According to conversion optimisation studies done in 2012, surveys, usability testing, copywriting, and A/B testing are the most popular methods utilised to increase conversion rates, with A/B testing being the method that is used most often.

Valuable research, that has been performed by Marketing Charts, over the past year has discovered that:

  • A/B testing is viewed
  • as a valuable technique to improve conversion rates by 98% of internet marketers
  • 87% of internet marketers feel they need to improve their A/B testing techniques
  • Of those using A/B testing, only 13% are pleased with their methodology

The largest hurdles that internet markets face in optimising their rate of conversion are its complexity, and the lack of funds to implement testing.

Nowadays, A/B testing is on the forefront of internet marketer’s minds and tools for A/B testing are a part of the arsenal of almost every internet marketer. In fact, these tools are now just as prevalent as email marketing software and web analytics.  In truth, A/B testing is more difficult than you may think. Quite often, you will only read about cases studies where A/B testing has resulted in very large conversion rate improvements. However, in reality, it is much more common to experience smaller increases that accumulate over time.

A/B testing does not involve randomly selecting a page on your site and then testing it. You need to use care and select high traffic and high value pages, like checkout, contact, and site registration. On these pages even a small conversion rate increase will result in an increased number of customers.

Unfortunately, not every A/B test terminates with satisfying results. Of course you will hear about many success stories, but A/B testing can also have a downside. There are many tests that result in the loss of a substantial amount of revenue.  Here are some lessons that have been learned from conducting numerous A/B tests.

A/B Testing Lessons Learned

Don’t Terminate A/B Tests Prematurely

You should not stop your A/B tests early unless there is a dramatic revenue loss. By allowing an A/B test to receive a significant number of conversions and visitors, the results of the test become increasingly valuable. Most A/B testing experts recommend that a test run for a minimum of two weeks and that there be more than 100 conversions before pausing the test.

Analyse The Data – Don’t Rely On Your Instincts

Prior to deciding to execute an A/B test ensure your decision to test a particular page is made based upon actual data, and not your gut feelings or internal discussions. You must make your decisions based on real data.

Perform Tests On Pages With A High Traffic Volume

Your tests need to be performed on high traffic volume pages. It is difficult to obtain meaningful results unless you can collect a large amount of data.

Using A/B testing will not answer conversion rate difficulties all of the time. For example, how can you A/B test the speed of your site? How can you test a B2B buying procedure that takes several months? Are you able to A/B test a larger product selection?  Perhaps it is possible, but these tests are much more difficult than simply adding an additional URL into testing software.

How To Immediately Increase Your Conversion Rate

Whichever best practice for increasing conversion rates you have studied, there really is not any single approach to conversion rate optimisation that is suitable for everyone. Each approach to A/B testing ends with test, test, and more tests. This is for a good reason, what works for me, may not be right in your particular case.

If you are truly interested in increasing your conversion rate then you will require customer feedback. This can be obtained by questionnaires, surveys, or heat maps. Both iPerceptions and Qualaroo are very good tools for obtaining site feedback from customers. CrazyEgg is also a great tool.

Query your customers on what improvements you can make. For example:

  • What type of information is absent on this page?
  • How can we improve our site?
  • What made you stop completing your order?

For example, using the last question helped a client to understand why the rate of conversion using the Safari web browser was significantly less in comparison to Chrome, IE, and Firefox. The reason for this difficulty was that they could not complete Checkout unless Java Script was enabled.

Learn Why People Are Visiting Your Site

By using an online survey, you will be able to comprehend why customers came to your site and what they were looking for. For example, on one site we discovered that 45% of respondents visited the site to find pricing data. A price page was created with direct links to a booking engine. This page rapidly became the page with the second most number of views. The implementation of this page sent numerous additional visitors to the booking process.

Make Use Of Heat Maps To Understand Visitor Behaviour

By making use of CrazyEgg Heatmaps you can discover how visitors are behaving when they land on a particular page.  You can see where the customer is focusing most of his or her attention and which part of the page is being ignored.

crazy-egg-heat-map-resized-600

Now It’s Up To You

Conversion rates won’t always have an immediate increase when you perform A/B testing, however, it will be beneficial in the long run. Make sure you use actual data when you perform these tests. Once you have a significant amount of data, share it with your organisation.

  • Collect customer feedback
  • Use A/B testing software to test variations
  • Share your stories of success

Optimisation of conversion rates is not an optional activity any longer. Your competitors are likely to be doing it already in order to create an enhanced experience for their users and to improve their conversion rate. You cannot afford to be left behind and miss improving the experience of customers on your site.

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Cameron Francis

Co-Founder

Cameron Francis is the CoFounder & Managing Director of ETRAFFIC, Melbourne's #1 Creative & Digital Marketing Agency. For over a decade Cameron has been providing growth marketing and digital strategies for over 2,000 small businesses, start-ups & entrepreneurs around the country.
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