A guide to avoid the snake-pit of split testing and how to focus on what really matters when vying for online business.
Conversions – the art of converting website visitors into enquiries, phone calls, emails and opportunities. Your conversion rate’ is a good KPI (Key Performance Indicator) of the success of your marketing – i.e.: We spent X and achieved Y conversions.
Conversion optimization is simply the process of improving that KPI or achieving more conversions and therefore more business. This process is similar to studying one when we ask a person: “write my essay”. But he has a choice which depends on his desire. Read on for my guide to getting conversion optimization right and advice on avoiding the snake pit of split testing’.
Customers go on journeys. The journey starts when they first encounter the thought that they need what you have to offer them. They might see an advert in the paper or tap a search query into Google.
Next, they take action by clicking your google ad or visiting your website thanks to your newspaper ad. When they get there, the customer either takes one look and runs a mile or thinks, alright, let’s do this, and rings / emails / visits you.
Good User Experiences Are Fundamental to Conversion Optimization
First, I like to think about why people leave websites. You can ask yourself the same question and take note when you are looking for a service or product online yourself. Did you find what you were looking for immediately? Was the search ad or search result along the right lines but when you got to the website, the offering wasn’t aligned to the ad or search term?
Perhaps you found the product you wanted but it wasn’t in your size or the way it was delivered wasn’t clear. When the customer gets to your site, we must think carefully about snagging points and objections users might have. If that customer had come into a shop on the high-street they would ask questions about sizes, returns, functionality, reviews. We need to pre-empt those objections and make information available during your online experience to ensure the customer doesn’t feel frustrated or confused.
User experiences need to be smooth and positive. User experiences should be very intuitive and raise no objections at all. All too often an understanding of conversion optimization gets muddied by reports of a 4000% increase in sales after we changed our Buy Now button from green to red’. These kinds of tweaks can make a positive difference but split testing a button’s colour on a website with a flawed customer user experience is wasted energy.
Ten years ago CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) was still in its infancy. Today’s traditional CRO or growth hacking is focused almost entirely on tactics and after-the-fact fixes based primarily on the company’s goals. There is nowhere near enough emphasis placed on helping visitors achieve their goals first.
Starting at the bottom (and this is where we should start)
Functional – does your service, product or offering do what the customer wants? Is it, therefore, functional? Is the value position you present precisely what your customer is looking for or is expecting to see?
Accessible – is the product or service accessible to the customer? Is the brand and messaging pitched correctly? If we’re selling 3000 handbags, some people are going to find that inaccessible because of the price. Target your messaging to the kind of customer that is presents a higher chance of converting. This is an age old basic of marketing – know your customer.
Useable – Does your website work? Is it easy to use? I want to find out more, answer my questions, remove my objections to buying. Can I do that without delay?
Intuitive – Is it obvious what you are asking your customer to do? Buy now, sign up, visit us, download (now we’re getting down to the finer details of wording choices and website layouts). Does getting from product to purchase present any unusual user requirements? If so, remove them. Make everything second-nature intuitive’.
Persuasive – Now for the conversion. The customer is hovering over the Buy Now’ button, all questions answered, the website has delivered the customer to the right place to say yes. All we need to do is persuade them to click.
We can do this by using social proof, testimonials or creating a sense of urgency.
The hierarchy is helpful because it reminds us that even if your website is hard to use and not very persuasive, if the product is right and it’s what the customer wants, they will still convert. The biggest gains can be had working on the fundamentals of conversion optimization and as we move up the hierarchy we tweak and refine to convert as many of your prospects as possible.
When I talk about the snake pit of split testing, hopefully you can now see what I mean. It is all too easy to worry about trying five different button colors when the real reason your website isn’t converting customers is because your product isn’t properly aligned to their expectations.
How would you improve your website to achieve more conversions?
About the author: I’m Diane H. Wong, an editor for DoMyWriting. I worked in a digital marketing sphere. It gave me a possibility to evaluate conversion rates and elaborate these tips.