Today we have a guest post from : Daniel Travis Brown is a Manchester-based Conversion Rate Optimisation Consultant at Web Vitality, and regularly writes articles on his ideas and findings over at the Web Vitality blog. For more updates and information find Daniel on Twitter @DanTravisBrown
If you’re looking to guest post on a design-related topic; feel free to shoot us a note!
Conversion Rate Optimisation: Testing Every Step
Ensuring your website provides the user with a simple, well-structured path to conversion is hugely important in today’s online marketplace. When most companies that have a marketing budget spending every penny of it on SEO services, it can be easy to overlook the ‘onsite’ opportunities you have to increase your site’s sales, registrations and other general conversions.
Conversion rate optimisation is a little-known concept as far as digital marketing services go. The now well-known SEO services offer increased numbers of relevant traffic which ultimately lead to a larger number of conversions, but what about increasing the conversion rate itself?
Let’s say for example that your SEO efforts have almost doubled your average monthly traffic through increased rankings in the search engine results pages; it’s fair to say that your average amount of conversions would have increased by almost double too. But by working to make onsite changes to improve usability and increase your conversion rate (i.e. the percentage of visitors that take the desired action on your site), you could have seen an increase in your average conversions without needing an increase in traffic at all.
Principles of Conversion Rate Optimisation
There is far too much conjecture and counter-conjecture from people who believe they know what constitutes as a website optimised for conversion; ten minutes of research into conversion rate optimisation will reveal hundreds of online marketers across the world discussing the effectiveness of a green ‘add to basket’ button compared to a blue ‘add to basket’ button, and alike.
Unfortunately, you cannot simply apply these principles to your website without proper testing; what works for one website or industry will not necessarily work for another, as the motivations of customers are different in each niche and industry. That is why the backbone of an effective conversion rate optimisation campaign is testing; the effect of each change must be monitored individually to allow you to reach a better ‘treatment’ page.
A/B testing (also referred to as split testing) is the simplest and most direct way of testing your original page against an edited version.
Originally, marketers used the free split testing tool available in Google AdWords “Google Website Optimiser”, but it has now been removed and a new version has been created in the form of ‘Content Experiments’ in Google analytics. This free tool will track any desired conversion, from users clicking your ‘add to basket’ button, signing up to your mailing list or submitting an enquiry. All levels of traffic, conversion (e-commerce and otherwise) can be viewed in simple graph forms. The results are calculated and a winner is declared at the end of the experiment based on the probability of the new page outperforming the original page.
Sign up for free at ‘Five Second Test’ for user feedback on wireframes and mockup pages before you go live with them. This is a great way to get honest, constructive user feedback that could highlight any fatal flaws you may have overlooked, helping create a more positive user experience in the long-run. All you need to do is upload your screenshot or mockup, have users complete your tests and then view the feedback and data through a range of neatly arranged graphs! To keep the Five Second Test experience free, you can work off a ‘do tests to earn tests’ scheme in which you give feedback to others to earn credits with which you can submit your own pages. Alternatively you can choose from various monthly packages which offer different amounts of responses in your feedback according to the package you choose.
Conversion rate optimisation is much more than just green buttons VS blue buttons. All changes must be subject to proper testing, and must give the tester an understanding of the industry, customer or product. Get your thinking cap on and begin optimising today!