How website conversion optimization can dramatically increase conversion rates

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Website conversion optimizationWhen visitors come to your website from social media channels, how many of them buy your product or service or sign up to your newsletter?

Would you like to double these conversion rates?

The first thing you need to realize about website conversion optimization is that if you don’t have alot of traffic then you may not have a conversion problem you have a traffic problem.

When you have sufficient traffic to your website you can then think more about conversion and with a bit of work you could increase your conversion by 100% or more.

Before we delve into the tools there is some terminology you need to be familiar with.

  • A/B Testing (also known as split testing)- This is where you have 2 different pages and send a percentage of traffic to one page and a percentage of traffic to another page (eg. 50/50).  The pages are generally a lot different.
  • Multivariate testing – This is where you are just changing elements of the same page.  For example, try just changing the heading on a page.
  • Landing page – This is a page on your website that a visitor goes to.  For example, they click on an advertisement and you bring them to a page that is specific to the advertisement.
  • Call to action (CTA) – An action you want your website visitor to take.  For example, having a button saying ‘subscribe now’.

If you’ve got low traffic to a site and you want to see some conversion improvement you should probably do some A/B testing. If you’ve got higher traffic and you’re getting reasonable conversion you could do multi-variate testing to increase conversion.

We recently caught up with Rich Page who is an expert in website conversion optimization.  He even wrote a book about it!

 

Rich Page

A book worth getting!

 

Rich recommends that you should have at least 1,000 unique visitors a day to your site to run a multi-variate test (often known as MVT). Of course we couldn’t resist asking Rich about the tools that he recommends.

Rich talked about how useful some of the tools were and that a lot of people are inclined to make changes to their website without testing the changes.  You might put in the changes to improve your conversion but the result might be different!

Rich recommended the following:

  • Visual Website Optimizer
  • Unbounce
  • Mouseflow
  • Usertesting.com
  • Re-vu.com

Here is some additional details on each of these tools.

Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer is a tool for performing A/B and multivariate testing.  It’s very easy to use and without any programming skill at all you can create tests and have them up and running in minutes.

To use this tool you install a piece of code on your website.  You then go to the Visual Website Optimizer website and specify the page you want to test.  When the page is loaded you can click on any element of the page and start updating it.  It’s that easy.

For example, on the screen below if I click on the subscribe text I can replace this text with other text and then run A/B testing to see what results I get.

 

visual website optimizer

Just click on the text and add a different version

 

As well as split testing and multi-variate testing you can also do behavioral and Geo targeting which is quite neat.  For example, you could display different pages to people coming from different countries or a different page depending on what site they came from.

Imagine you are running an advertising campaign in Europe.  When European visitors arrive to your site you could automatically display Euro prices and have a European phone number for enquiries.  Normally do this type of optimization requires development skill but not when you use the Visual Website Optimizer.

 Unbounce

Unbounce  is a landing page tool that allows you to build a landing page on your website without any coding experience.  You can have a page up and running in minutes and then easily create A/B testing showing different pages to your visitors.

Landing pages are extremely important to improve conversion.  Most of us know they are important but we don’t have time to set them up.  With Unbounce you’re up and running in very little time.

Here are examples of when you would use them:

a). Advertising campaigns – If you are running an ad never bring people to a home page.  You need to set up a landing page that is specific to the ad in question to help with conversion.

b). Guest Post – If you do a guest post on a website why not link people to a landing page which is directly related to the guest post.

Here is an example of the design tool you use with Unbounce to create a landing page.

 

Unbounce

Very easy to use designer tool

 

If you don’t want to build your landing page from scratch you can use one of their templates that have worked really well before.  Sometimes you don’t have to re-invent the wheel!

 

Mouseflow

Mouseflow is a tracking tool that monitors and records your visitor actions on your website.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know where your visitors are clicking on all the time, what are the popular areas of your website and how your visitor navigates through the site?

Here is an example of a heat map generated by the tool.  The heat map shows up areas on the page which are clicked the most or users navigate to.  If you know the popular areas this could be places where you focus your calls to action on.

 

mouseflow heatmap

A heatmap which builds up information on where your visitors are clicking

 

 Usertesting.com

This is a service more than a tool but a useful one.   With Usertesting.com you pay for a group of people to perform tasks on your website and then you get a recording of this.  As they browse through your website they talk about what they see, what issues they have and what they think your website is about etc.  You are then given a recording of this.

You can specify that they use a desktop or a mobile device.

This type of testing is also really essential.  We get so used to looking at our own websites after a while we can’t see the issues.

Revu

Revu is a product reviews and ratings software.  If you are selling software or services through your site and can encourage your customers to leave positive reviews this can significantly help with your conversion rates.

It is build as a WordPress plugin so you can easily add the functionality on to your WordPress blog.

 

Additional Tips from Rich

  • You need at least 1,000 unique visitors a day to do proper multivariate testing (MVT).  Less than this use A/B testing.
  • For A/B testing you don’t need a huge amount of traffic.  It’s more about statistical significance so for a website with modest traffic you should have the test up and running for at least 10 days.
  •  A conversion influence test is a great use for a multi-variate test – this is where you find which elements of your pages most contribute to conversion, and then do follow up A/B testing on the most high-impact modules. To do this, simply create one alternative version for many page elements you want to test, for example, create an alternate test version for 7 things on your page (a 7X2 test setup). This works well because you don’t waste time creating and running a complicated MVT that tests many different versions of many page elements at once (like a 7X5 test for example). To put it simply, the more combinations of variations your testing tool needs to show, the much longer it will take to find a statistically significant test result.
  • Popups, slide in’s, footer optin boxes all have their value but conversion is more linked to what you offer rather than where the offer appears.  If you’re not providing a really good incentive you’re not going to get the conversion. Rich recommends a free ebook or email course to increase conversion. He also recommends to mention the value of the eBook!

Here’s an example of what Neil Patel does on his Quicksprout site.  You can see that there is a value indicated on the free course!

 

Neil Patel Quick Sprout

Neil provides a free course to get subscribers. A monetary value is put on the course which helps.

 

  •  If you are running any ads make sure to direct people to a landing page and do A/B testing on the landing page!
  • Why have the same website for everyone when you can have different versions targeting different groups.   Have a look at Visual Website Optimizer which allows us to do this.  For first time visitors you could show different information than returning visitors.
  • Use web analytics data and visitor feedback to determine key pages/elements that need fixing.

Rich recently released a very useful resource, a conversion rate optimization toolbox.  I highly recommend that you download it to get more ideas or reach out to Rich (rich@rich-page.com or@richpage).

Summary

It’s great to generate traffic to your website but what’s the point if it’s not converting.  Also if it is converting why spend all your time looking at new traffic when you can optimize conversion on existing traffic.

We spend far too much of our time focussing on the traffic and not enough time on conversion.  Rich has outlined some tools and ideas.

So what are your tips for conversion?  Will you use any of the tools listed above?

We would love to hear from you.

 




 

About the author

Ian Cleary

Author: Ian Cleary is a technology guy with extensive experience in Social Media. He is a writer for Social Media Examiner and other high profile blogs and is very passionate about Social Media Tools. Ian is the CEO of RazorSocial and also RazorCoast which is a Digital Marketing Agency.

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  • Lilach Bullock

    Hi Ian,

    Loved the article – it’s extremely useful! Many people concern themselves excessively with traffic (I have to admit I’ve been known to do that as well every now and then) , but, as you say, when you do have enough traffic you should concern yourself more with increasing your conversion rate. Your tips are very easy to understand and follow, but I especially liked the tools, as I wasn’t familiar with all of them. Thanks again for a great article, I’m looking forward to trying out some of these tools!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Lilach and thanks to Rich for coming up with the tools. I think we all fall into the traffic trap, it’s hard not to! Glad it was useful. Ian

  • Tia Kelly

    Thanks Ian for sharing this interview and Rich for mentioning Unbounce! This is a nice little list to keep on hand if you’re getting started with testing—what a great resource for those looking to boost their conversion rates. Definitely check out the CRO toolbox he mentions if you want to get to the next level!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Tia!

  • Joe Kavanagh

    I’ve got 3 new things I’m doing in the morning first thing!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Great Joe! Glad it was useful. Ian

  • Emeric

    Thanks for this @iancleary:disqus! @lilachbullock:disqus is absolutely right, we all need to focus less on traffic and more on conversion! I’ve used usertesting and it’s a great way to spot the stuff that your users / visitors don’t get. Super effective! On the A/B testing, I played around with optimizely, similar to unbounce I think.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Emeric!

  • http://www.convert.com/ Convert.com Experiments

    Hi Ian, I’d love to invite you to try Convert.com A/B testing software. I think you will like it. Dennis

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Dennis, can you email me on the contact form on the site (razorsocial.com). Thanks

  • manzarek75

    Hi all – glad you found the article useful! I would definitely value your feedback on my toolbox. Thanks to Ian for giving me this great opportunity too…

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Rich!

  • SmartySEO

    I really enjoying while i reading this post ..It is very helpful for me..Thanks @Ian Cleary

  • SmartySEO

    I really enjoying while i reading this post…It is very helpful for me ..Thannks @iancleary:disqus

  • Jay

    First off, really good post yes there is some useful information but it seems there is some excessive spending, the Mouseflow for example, you can find much greater information with the big G’s analytics can you not? which is also free. Just a suggestion. Good post ! :)

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