Building A Conversion Optimization Strategy That Works
Conversion optimization isn’t just about the color or size of a button. Knowing that your call to action button works better when it’s green and not red is nice, but what can you really learn from it? How can you harness that information to a much wider marketing strategy?
Optimizing is about testing strategies and tactics. A conversion strategy is about testing theories according to your audience & your data. The results will help you understand your customers better, your messaging and design and only then will you be able to scale down to the position of a call to action button or an image on your home page.
Having a great looking website that attracts returning visitors is really nice but it doesn’t necessarily reflect your revenue and vice versa. Frequent visits alone don’t turn into revenue unless you actually “convert” them to buying from you. In order for these visits to show in revenue (may it be downloads, signups or purchases), you need to start working on your conversion optimization strategy as a whole and not as little items that need fixing.
Think of your website as a magazine. It has all the stories inside and a lot of people are looking at it, but no one is actually buying it. Since your magazine is attractive, and has plenty of text you are sure that sooner or later someone will bring it to the counter and pay for it but that rarely happens. So, what will make your magazine appealing enough for people to purchase it? Changing its color might work, maybe adding an image, but which kind of picture and what color should you choose? You need a strategy.
The 3 elements of a conversion optimization strategy
Before setting out to build your website optimization strategy, define your goals. Remember to create a clear distinction between your end goal (purchase, phone call or a meeting) and the micro-goals that initiate them (whitepaper download, reading more than 2 pages on the site, subscribing to a mailing list etc.).
Once you’ve chosen your goals you will need to decide where to start your conversion rate optimization efforts, to do so make sure you follow these 3 metrics.
It takes more than a simple test to create web content users connect with. There are many fantastic articles written about building a successful content strategy but the key for creating great content is about knowing who your clients are, what they are looking for and what emotional triggers to use to motivate them to your goal. Valuable content such as e-books, case studies, blog posts and client testimonials, creates trust, and helps push clients further down the conversion funnel. Remember that content has its place, do not overflow your landing pages with content and if needed place it below the fold.
The landing page
You have less than 2.5 (usually there should be a link for stats source) seconds to convince visitors to stay on your page. The landing page is the biggest part of your conversion optimization efforts. This is the page expected to turn a visitor into a sales lead. As discussed above, your landing page should be based your users needs, not what you think is nice or what you want to market. Check out this step-by-step guide to creating landing pages that convert. The most common conversion optimization tests; test the title of the page, a button, a certain color or an image, these are just results of the strategy. When creating your conversion optimization strategy think about exactly that, strategy. Check out these two landing pages we created for emaze which are completely different from one another but were made to test an entire strategy. Later on we scaled down to the more technical stuff as buttons and colors.
To get the full value of a conversion optimization test requires a commitment to ongoing testing and strategy analysis. Don’t expect amazing results in the first round; conversion optimization is an going process and the more you build for the long run, the more conclusive your results will be and the more you’ll learn. The name of the game is – modularity. Test one strategy at a time, test one part of the funnel at a time and make your way up or down the funnel in a way that will allow for significant data. There’s much to learn from a test that doesn’t succeed and often these are the tests that teach us the most. Don’t stop your test too early; get as much significant results as possible so you can plan ahead.
Take your time in building your conversion optimization strategy. Consider your goals, your audience and what they want. Brainstorm with your team and don’t be afraid to use professionals to help and increase your conversion rate.
How do you build your strategy?