The Mind field of Improving Your Conversion Rate!
Published on: 3rd September 2013
Conversion rate optimisation is big business in the SEO world. Put simply, conversion rates mean everything to the people who own sites. If you can increase the number of conversions, then you can make more money – it’s as simple as that. When it comes to budgets, most companies will happily throw money at companies offering to improve conversion rates, and as long as there’s a return, they are going to be happy.
However, there are plenty of people out there who will tell you that there can be a big difference in the amount of difference you see in rates against the amount of money you throw at the problem. Let’s take a look at some of the facets of conversion rate optimisation and see if we can come up with some answers.
Firstly, it is pretty clear that there are hard and fast rules surrounding conversion rate optimisation. Secondly, it’s clear that these parameters don’t work for everyone. Best practises aren’t always best practices for everyone, simply because every single site or page is different, and has different needs in terms of conversion. What works for one site won’t necessarily work for another, so it’s pretty clear that you can’t just rely on benchmark suggestions you’ve found on the net.
The proof is in the pudding. While some sites tell you that you have to steer away from any sort of benchmark for the industry, others will tell you that you have to follow some set in stone principles to get ahead. Neither is necessarily wrong, but we do feel that a more organic approach can help most businesses, as long as the obvious points that will help most sites are paid heed.
some of the head honchos in conversion are as follows:
Understand Your Site
We think that great optimisation is all about understanding the site. If you start from this point, you can’t go too far wrong, and a great piece of advice is to become the customer. If you can truly understand what it is a customer on your site is likely to be looking for, then all you have to do is create something that deals with his requirements.
Detailed analysis of your own site and even the process of purchasing from your site is critical in the goal to improve conversion. It’s highly advisable that you actually go through the process of being a buyer on your own site, from landing page to actually having a physical product in your hands at home. It’s only through this sort of analysis that you will truly understand the position of your customer, and what you’re delivering to them.
Naturally, you’re not going to pick up on everything that someone fresh to the site might. To this end, it’s always worthwhile setting up a usability test. You normally only pay around £20-£30 for someone to carry out a usability test on your site. You’ll get feedback which will include a video link to the test along with running commentary, and this information, linked with your own experiences can be invaluable.
Use the Tools of the Trade
Of course, analysis is the foundation of conversion rate optimisation. It’s one thing going through the process yourself, but there are lots of technical approaches you can take to make sure your site is well optimised. Check out sophisticated software which will give you heat maps of your web pages – a great way to see where people are active, and which parts of your page aren’t working. Be sure that you have set up funnels within Google analytics, and make sure they continue to function properly. A well set up funnel in Google analytics really will show you where your site is losing traffic, allowing you to fix the problem.
Engage Your Existing Customers
Speaking to your customers can be a bit part of the analysis that must go into conversion rate optimisation. If you aren’t asking the people who use your site what is good and bad about the processes they have to go through, you are missing a trick. Try creating a survey and firing it out to all customers of yours who have left email addresses. Don’t forget that this cross section isn’t ideal; - it doesn’t include people who have dropped into your site and disappeared again, but it at least gives some insight into what your customers really think of your site. Don’t opt for multiple choice answers – try to find out what your customers actually think.
Overall, we have to say that conversion rate optimisation is not an exact science. You can’t really predict what’s going to happen from one month to the next, although following our advice should set you on an upward trajectory. Just don’t expect it to be a straight line; you really can’t anticipate improvements on a monthly basis because so much is unpredictable. Simply put, the biggest recommendation we can give to you is try to find problems, and fix them! It sounds simple because it is. With a good understanding of your site, the flaws should begin to show themselves.
Find them, correct them, and your conversion rates are only going to go in one direction and if you are after a few extra tips then take a look at this nice article I recently came across http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/07/11/landing-page-conversion-rate-guide