Conversion Optimization Tutorial

1.2 Introduction

Hi everybody, this is Bryan Eisenberg. For the last almost 12 years, I've been focused on helping companies improve their marketing and improve their conversion rates. And it comes to no surprise to me in today's marketplace that a lot of things that our people are getting excited about and getting focused on are still not the very things that I've been preaching for the last decade.

1.3 Conversion Overview

If you look at all different disciplines that get tied into interactive marketing, there are tons of ways to drive traffic to your website. Whether you're doing search engine optimization to make sure you get all the top rankings throughout all the different search engines. Whether you're using social media, things like Twitter and Facebook, to drive traffic to your website. Or whether you're writing great and powerful PPC ads, all of them are meant to drive people to your website. But no matter how good you are at driving thousands, or millions of people to your website, nothing is going to happen. You're not going to get any sales, unless you focus in on improving conversion rate, and the experience of what happens once people get to your website. You have to understand what message to give them. Are you being relevant to them? Are you providing value? And have you made it easy for them to take the action they want to take? And have you built enough confidence for them to take that action? From a marketing perspective, what we're trying to do is make sure people will take the action we want them to take with the most effective messaging, the most effective design. And this is not something brand new that's new to the Internet, this is something that's been going on for well over 100 years. Whether you're a cataloger or a direct mailer who sends out multiple versions of catalogs or letters to see how people respond. Whether you're in the retail store and you decide what items go on what shelf or in what location on the shelves. These are all things that are meant to inspire action among the people who are interacting with our products or our services. Online there are several different factors that we have to take into consideration when we want to improve our conversion rate. We are going to cover several of those including concepts like maintaining scent, how to design effective landing pages, effective copy writing, headlines, how to build trust and credibility. How to keep the momentum going from page to page, what we need to look at, obviously what we need to measure to make sure we're being as effective as possible. One classic example of this, and one of the reasons why you want to focus on conversion optimization is because of a very simple process called opportunity cost. For example, when we were working with overstock.com they had one page on their website that they knew that for about a while had a huge amount of traffic that was bouncing off of it. They were coming and they were leaving right away. In fact almost 92 out every 100 visitors who came to the page left that page immediately. Now while they knew that from their analytics and they had tried testing several different things to see if they can improve it. When we went ahead and used our process that you'll learn throughout our course about understanding the different target audience and the personas, and what's the most effective message to get to them. By just changing one image on the page and running it as an AB test. Overstock.com made that year over $25 million from changing that one graphic. Now the cost would have been very simply, almost $75,000 a day, if they didn't change that graphic to most effective one. So the question is, how long do you want to wait while you have holes on your website that are causing people not to respond the way you want them to? So conversion optimization allows you to become a more effective marketer, by testing which are the most effective messages.

1.4 Understanding Customer Personas

Here's some of the essential vocabulary you'll need in order to have a basic understanding of conversion optimization. Maintaining scent, users online are very task-oriented, and seem to be suffering continuously from more and more attention deficit disorder. In fact they become very much like blood hounds tracking down what's called scent. And this is something that Xerox Park Laboratories discovered in the mid-90's about how people navigate online. Basically they latch onto a trigger whether it's a key word or image or whatever it is that they have in their mind that they want to find, and they'll click click after click after click to make sure they're on the right track. The second we break up the continuity from click to click or they don't get what they expected, they start losing confidence and they've lost the scent. And now they're more likely to abandon their journey down your path. For example, if you see a pay per click ad for Sony LCD TVs, and it takes you to a page and it shows you LG LCD TVs, and it doesn't show you Sonys until well below the fold, you're going to be very upset. Or, if you do a search for something like black diamond earrings, and it takes you to a page of all kinds of earrings, or all kinds of black diamonds, and not specifically black diamond earrings, you're going to become frustrated, because you have to do the work.

1.5 Personas and Segments

Different types of visitors will have a little bit more patience versus others. And this is important because we're going to talk a lot about personas and segments. Different people behave differently online. Some people have a lot of experience with the product, some people have very little experience. They're going to interact differently. Or, people who are very logical behave very different than people who are much more emotional, people who like to make quick decisions and just gather information quickly versus people a lot more deliberate. They're going to behave differently as well. And we need to make sure when we're understanding these different segments of our audience that we give them the right content, the right message, for the way they want to buy.

1.6 Credibility

Credibility. Everybody says that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but the fact is, visitors are going to judge you in the first few seconds whether they trust or like you. First impressions do matter. So, you have to do everything you can to build trust and credibility from the way your site is designed, to making sure you're relevant, to making sure that you're adding elements that can build trust like adding phone numbers and maybe testimonials. All of these different pieces will help people feel that they can trust you as a business.

1.7 Communicating with Your Customers

One of the other parts that we're going to focus on in conversion optimization a lot is about writing effective copy. So we're going to talk about how you have to format copy for the web, how you have to break it up into headlines and sub-headlines, how you're going to want to break things up with bullet points and numbered lists. You're going to want to create hyperlinks and calls to action. Just so that it's more understanding for people where they need to read and what they need to click on. Because people don't like to spend a lot of time reading through a lot of copy. So you have to chunk it up for them in a way that's digestible for them. So writing effective copy's going to be one of those most critical parts to becoming an effective conversion optimization specialist. But you don't have to worry about being a good copywriter, you just have to know what makes a good copywriter.

1.8 Conversion & Web Analytics

Now I like to often combine this with Web Analytics because when you measure things it would tell you this is where a lot of people are falling off. This where a lot of people are not spending enough time. This is where people spending too much time. And when you can combine that while watching a visitor's journey recorded and hear them talking about their experiences, now you've got great insights as to what things you may need to be able to do to improve their experience.

1.9 AIDAS

One other common principle, it's an old direct marketing principal and again it comes back from the days of Claude Hopkins and the classic copywriters from days before I was even born is this concept of attention, interest, desire, action. And it's a model for creating an effective campaign. First, you have to grab someone's attention. If you can't grab their attention, you certainly can't get their interest. If you can't get their interest, you can't inspire desire in them that they really want your product or your service. And if you can't inspire desire, you certainly can't get them to take action. Now online I've added one more component to this which is S which is the satisfaction part. In other words, even if they take an action, you must satisfy them on that next step. So if they click on something and they're expecting to see something on the next page, you have to make sure to deliver that on the next page. Now this happens both at a macro-level over the whole experience that they have but also from click to click, you're headlining your image, you're going to have to grab their attention. What you say in your copy and showing your images or in your video is going to have to keep their interest. And it's going to have to create such a desire in them and that your offer is so persuasive that they're going to want to click on the Order button. And then eventually when they get to the Thank You page, they're going to be so satisfied that they're going to want to share it with other people. That's an effective use of the concept of AIDAS.

1.10 Where Conversion Fits into Online Marketing

You can think about search optimization as about making sure your site gets found by the right person at their right time when they're looking for you. Web analytics will tell you whether and how many people came to see what you produced, and it may tell you when they failed. And even if you have every single one of your pages is a number one ranking, your analytics may be telling you that not enough of them are converting. And so the only discipline that will take the time to actually go through and share with you why people aren't responding and what you need to do to improve your messaging and your design so that you can get more business. because that is the goal of being online, which is whether to get more sales, more leads, more subscriptions, get more actions out of your visitors is taking the time to understand the art and science of conversion optimization.

1.11 Conversion & Online Marketing Today

Today change is happening faster than ever before. Just a handful of years ago nobody was doing social media, there was no Facebook, there was no Twitter. People just weren't engaged in these activities. Mobile phones? That what you used to make phone calls, it's not what you use to do to look on the web or scan products in the stores. And so, the behavior of people are changing faster than ever before. And unless you started developing the culture, which can adapt to this, and make changes, and figure out better ways to improve the customer experience, and be more effective marketers, you're in danger of being a dinosaur, and not being successful in the long term. You can always be guessing as to what's going to be the most effective for your customers. Or you can develop a culture of always be testing. Average conversion rates on the web are somewhere between 2 and 3%. That means 98% of the people who come to your website. And they didn't get there because they're looking to figure out how to waste time looking at your website, they came with a task, with a purpose. Our job is to figure out that purpose, serve them up the most effective message, and get them to take action that they want to take. And the more effective you are getting them to what they want, the more effective you are getting what you want. So, whether you want to drive them to buy from you, subscribe from you, become a lead, become a registration, download a white paper, watch a webinar, whatever it is, all of these are going to be influenced by how effective you are as a conversion optimization specialist.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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