Thursday 3 February 2011 | 6:10 p.m.
Sometimes really simple things can have a big impact on conversion rates. Conversion Rate Experts, one of our Website Optimiser Certified Partners, told us how they recently almost doubled sunshine.co.uk’s revenue, an increase of £14 million year-on-year, through website optimisation. You can read all about how they did it on their website. Regardless of which industry you work in, you can learn a lot from following their process.
Knowing What To Test
What I particularly like about this case study is that it focuses on the importance of getting all the right data together before you start testing. Conversion rate optimisation is about more than testing – it is really important that we are testing the right things. Conversion Rate Experts identified what to test by surveying website visitors, usability testing and using Google Analytics.
Surveying your clients or visitors and doing usability testing regularly gives you an idea about what they want. Remember that to get the most out of Google Analytics you need to know what you want.
Of course, no analytics package will be of use to you unless you have first identified what you want your site to do and decided on key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you measure how successful you have been. For a more detailed explanation of what you should be thinking about, see this blog post from our analytics evangelist, Avinash Kaushik.
Always Be Testing
Recognising the importance of split-testing regularly when working on a website is key to the success of any conversion rate optimisation. It’s not easy to double the conversion rate of a site, particularly in the case of sunshine.co.uk, when conversions throughout the entire market are down. They did very well to have a 60% success rate from their A/B testing. Not all of your tests will lead to site improvements but don’t stop testing if you aren’t seeing immediate returns. Reassess what your hypotheses are - and if you need help, reach out to a Google Analytics Certified Partner.
Here are some of the things we took from this case study:
Addressing User Concerns
Regular readers of the Conversion Room Blog will have seen a post I published back in October about the importance of speaking to the sales teams/users, finding out what the most frequently asked questions are and then answering them immediately to avoid confusion and loss of conversions. Just clarifying what made up the price details on the sunshine.co.uk site resulted in a 19% increase in conversions.
Finding the Positives
Even when you have a roadblock for your customers that you don’t have the means to change, you can still change their perception of it. For example, you may have a business that doesn’t take credit cards because the additional cost makes your prices uncompetitive. Letting your visitors know why you don’t take credit cards may help retain visitors who might have left without knowing that.
Growing Your Business
With the increase in revenue that conversion rate optimization brings for your site, don’t sit back. Continue to test improvements to your site and also reinvest the improved ROI in growing your user base. As a result of the lower cost per acquisition that comes with conversion rate improvements, you will be able to afford a greater investment in PPC advertising and affiliate programs, bringing more visitors to turn into customers.
Please do read the whole case study on the Conversion Rate Experts site as well as a Q&A they did with the team at sunshine.co.uk. Hopefully you’ll learn something that you can use to improve your own business. As sunshine.co.uk have learned, it’s well worth it.
Posted by Shane Cassells, Google Conversion Team