Conversion Optimisation – Making the most of what you’ve got!
Why conversion optimisation
Most search & display marketers focus on driving large volumes of traffic to a site. Site traffic can be driven through SEO, paid search, display advertising, email marketing and many other channels.
The best online marketers aim to increase the quality of traffic as well as increasing the quantity of traffic. This can be achieved through better audience targeting, careful geo-targeting, timing campaigns carefully, more contextual, selective target keyword strategies and using the correct language for the target audience.
However many marketers focus only on what the user does to get to the site and what they do at the end of their visit (whether they convert or not), very few take the time to understand how a user behaves in-between. This is a serious oversight as conversion optimisation is potentially one of the most effective activities for improving digital marketing ROI.
Done properly, conversion optimisation will pay for itself within months and will continue to add value to the traffic you drive indefinitely.
Conversion optimisation is about making the most of the traffic that you drive to your site by understanding the user’s behaviour on your site, making their experience of your site better and making it easier for them to complete their goals.
What do we do
Our standard conversion optimisation campaign covers site architecture & navigation, site content performance, conversion path analysis, general user experience and potential testing consultancy.
In each case we review the current implementation and make suggestions which we feel will improve user experience, decrease site bounces and improve goal conversion rates.
Below we take a look at each of these and some of the results we have seen.
Architecture & Navigation
The ease of use of a site’s navigation is the most important consideration in user experience and conversion optimisation. For a general overview we use the inpage analytics report ( Content > In-Page Analytics ) and then page navigation for more detail ( Using the ‘navigation summary’ link at the top of Content > Site Content > All Pages ).
If a user is unable to get to the content they require quickly they are likely to leave your site before they read a word of your site’s content.
As such it is important to make sure your navigation is:
- User focused
- Consistent across the site
- Technically robust
- Accessible by all browsers
Next we look at the performance of our site’s content. The important considerations here include bounce rates, exit rates, the best performing goal paths and the content that makes up those paths.
We usually start by looking at the best and worst performing landing pages (Content > Site Content > Landing Pages ). For this stage we create a report to list top landing pages and landing pages by keyword. From this we can identify pages which need attention and review the content to make sure we are satisfying our user’s needs when they visit our site on a specific search term.
We then take a look at where users are navigating after these landing pages. Another useful tool is the visitor flow report ( Audience > Visitor Flow ) which gives us an idea of how users are moving through our site and helps us to identify bottle necks.
Bottle necks tend to appear when a user gets lost, is unable to find what they are looking for after a few clicks, navigates to a page which does not fulfil their requirements or notices site issues such as typos, broken links or cross browser compatibility issues.
Conversion Path Analysis
Now we have an idea of how people are moving through the site it is useful to get a better idea of their path towards goal conversions. As well as using any goal funnels setup previously the reverse goal path report ( Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path )is a great way to see what steps users have taken before arriving at their goal.
We can use this insight to improve our site’s structure. For example if we see that the case studies page is an important step towards a goal conversion we may make this page more prominent in our navigating and page content.
If a page has a fixed goal path, an ecommerce site’s checkout for example, we will then look at fixed goal funnels to identify where people are dropping out of the process. If we see a large number of users exiting at a particular stage we then review the page to identify and address the issue.
In many cases overly long forms, confusing navigation, hidden costs etc. cause users to leave a checkout to find somewhere else to buy.
One of the great things about digital marketing is that it’s becoming easier to test and measure each aspect of our activity. Conversion optimisation is, of course, no different and with Google’s content experiments, comparing the performance of different versions of the same page on your site has never been easier.
All you need is two different versions of a page on to which you need to add code provided by Google. Follow the instructions under the content > experiments tab on analytics to setup your own experiments.
Once the Content Experiments is setup up it will serve two different versions of a page to users. Using these experiments it is easy to gauge how well one page compared against another and therefore work your way through your site keeping the better performing pages and removing the content which does not perform.
Planned properly these experiments give us a fantastic platform for incremental improvement to our site and all but guarantee increases in ROI
We have seen some great results from our conversion optimisation work. For one e-commerce customer an overhaul of their navigation so that it focused on the needs of users resulted in a 20% improvement in conversion rate year on year during their peak season.
Another client found that changing the colour of their ‘proceed button’ in their check out process resolved a severe bottle neck on their basket confirmation page.
If you want to make the most out of your search traffic make sure that your site is ready for your visitors. SiteVisibility can help with the process, read more at http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/services/analytics/