Google Conversion Room Blog Tips on tracking and improving conversions online

Part 1: Improving Your Conversion Rate Optimization Process

Monday 19 December 2011 | 17:33

This is the first part of a three part guest post by one of our GACP partners, Conversion Rate Experts.

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Many marketers start their Conversion Rate Optimization process by going straight into creating a list of things to test.  Conversion Rate Experts (one of our Website Optimizer Authorized Consultants), however, advise you to resist the urge at this stage. Here are two good reasons why:

  1. You don’t know why people aren’t converting yet.
  2. You need to experience your business as a customer rather than a marketer.
Conversion Rate Optimization isn’t about tweaking a particular type of page element or simply setting up new tests. Instead it’s a well-defined, systematic process — a list of things you need to do. In this article series we will take you through the Conversion Rate Experts methodology so that you will have a full process to follow.



CRE Methodology Mind Map

First, in this article, we will cover some preparation steps:

Step 1: Define your strategy, long-term goals, and how you’ll measure success

First decide the strategy and vision for your business. You need to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will ensure you meet your goals. Next, it is important to have customer empathy and to understand the thought processes your visitors are going through, so become a customer of your own site. Discover what the actual visitor experience is really like. The insights gleaned from these activities will give you a better guide for what you need to work on.

Step 2: Understand (and tune) your traffic sources

It’s impossible to critique a website without knowing where its visitors are coming from, which landing pages they arrive on, and how they navigate around the site.

  1. Seek to understand your entire conversion funnel
  2. Aim to work on the areas of your business that will have the biggest impact on your goals.
  3. Also prioritize your efforts on parts of your business that are easiest to make changes to.



Discover blockages and missing pieces in your funnel with web analytics tools.

Search for any aspects that are under-performing and any required parts of your conversion funnel that have not yet been created. For example:

  • Turning a one-step sale into a multi-step sale
  • Adding a well-placed refer-a-friend program
  • Adding an effective email autoresponder sequence
  • Adding a series of post-sale offers
  • Growing a customer community
  • Rolling out successes into other media

Step 3: Understand your visitors (particularly the non-converting ones)

Your key question to answer at this stage is, “Why is the visitor not converting?”. The answer typically comes from research in these core areas:

  1. Understanding different visitor types and intentions
  2. Identifying user experience problems.
  3. Gathering and understanding visitors’ objections.
There is a list of 15 tools here that will help you with your visitor research.

Summary for Part 1

By the end of this part of the process you should have a great idea of the priority areas that you need to work on, both from a funnel and an end-user experience point of view. In the next article we will look at further refining your strategy so that you get the best possible outcome from your efforts. If you would like to see more about how to implement the CRE Methodology we have been outlining here, check out this case study which describes how sunshine.co.uk used the process to almost double their revenue.


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