You’ve worked for months to redesign your website – and while doing it you’ve employed the very best SEO practices…
That should be enough to grow your business – right?
You also need to optimize your site for conversions. After all, conversions are the vital lifeblood of a business.
So how does one perform conversion rate optimization on a website or landing page?
Well – you can stare at your pages, make a bunch of educated guesses – and then make changes based on intuition, OR, you can be a bit more scientific (and far more effective) and take a deep dive into site analytics to determine where your greatest traffic drops occur. Once you know where your problems are – you can begin testing to understand why your website is not converting visitors to customers at a much higher rate.
Why should you follow the latter course of action? It’s simple…
- Opinions don’t count. They’re nothing more than a guess.
- No one can reliably predict how something will perform without testing and data.
- “Oh – but we’re using a website template that has been proven to work!” Work for whom? The fact that a landing page or website template “performed well” for another company is absolutely meaningless – to your interests.
To create a high converting website or landing page one needs to set goals, measure and gather data, analyze that data, form insights/hypotheses from the data, test hypotheses, review test data – and begin the process all over again.
Peep Laja, a brilliant European colleague, created a framework for data collection and analysis that we really love. Here it is in a nutshell:
- Start with solid technical analysis of a website or page – including site speed analysis, cross browser testing, cross-device testing and conversion rate analysis per browser and device.
- Next do a heuristic analysis (this is the closest you get to educated guessing) to find areas of possible interest including whether a page or site would meet a visitor’s expectations, whether it is clear, and whether there is page “friction” or disruptive page distractions.
- Next conduct a web analytics review to confirm that everything important to your key performance Indicators is being measured. Also use this stage to identify page “leaks”.
- Next utilize any number of usability testing tools to learn how prospects and customers interact with the page or site in question. You can also add qualitative research to this stage (customer surveys, chat logs, etc.). Heat maps, user session videos and other tools can be very helpful here.
Having gathered all of this information (a.k.a. data), one can begin to form hypotheses about why a site or page is failing to convert at a higher rate.
And with these hypotheses in hand, one can begin making design and copy adjustments and testing the effect of those changes on page or site conversion rates.
Enough – right?
Nope. Rinse and repeat.
Conversion rate optimization is truly an endless process. In fact, a day spent without intelligently testing something is a wasted day… a day lost that could have been spent finding new ways – data proven, effective ways – to increase conversion rates and your company’s bottom line.
Does one ever arrive at a point where a page or site is “perfect?”
Well… how would you know if you’re not testing it yet again? (Remember – if you want to make money – guessing is not allowed).