Conversion rate is the portion of unique visitors to your web site that take the action you want them to take. This action might be a product purchase or a mailing list sign-up. What’s nice when you look at how to increase conversion rates is that you don’t worry about increasing your number of visitors. Why? Because what you’re doing is seeking to increase the conversion rate of the visitors you already have.
1. Don’t make your visitor think. One of the easiest ways to increase conversion rates is to ensure everything is clear on your site. Do you have a clear navigation path that you want the visitor to follow? Is your primary call to action clearly spelled out and available “above the fold” (without having to scroll down on the page)? Is your contact info readily available? Does your shopping cart offer a variety of ways to purchase (credit card, Paypal, check, fax, snail mail)?
2. Decide what to optimize. First, determine what action you wish to optimize. For example, if your sales funnel consists of a simple product purchase, application for membership to a membership community, or an opt-in to a mailing list, then that is your desired action.
If, on the other hand, you have a more complicated sales funnel, there may be several processes that could be optimized. For example, you might offer a a free product in exchange for opting into a mailing list, and after the visitor opts in, she is taken to a page that presents her with an offer to purchase a similar, more powerful product. And, if you run an affiliate program and invite these prospects to join the program soon after they have signed up, you are looking at three possible processes that could be optimized here: the sign-up to the mailing list; the product purchase; and signing up as an affiliate. It is usually best to optimize actions that are occurring frequently first.
3. Focus on items that are likely to generate big changes. You can select from an infinite number of items that you can change within your landing page. Some changes will likely have drastic results; others will hardly have any effect. You want to focus on items that are likely to generate big changes. To identify such elements, look briefly at your landing page. Pretend you are one of those visitors who has just come to your landing page from a search engine for the first time. What is likely to make them stick around, and what would cause them to leave?
4. Sign up for Google Analytics. A great way to work on your conversion rate is to have a system that tracks your visitors automatically. The best way to do this is to use Google Analytics to perform this tracking process. Currently, this is a free service provided by Google, and you can change and track conversions on any number of variables on your landing pages by following directions outlined here.
5. A/B testing. A/B testing, also known as split testing or bucket testing is a method of marketing testing in which your control sample, or original landing page, is compared to a variety of single-variable test samples to determine which sample results in the largest increase in conversion. If you are starting an A/B experiment, you will need to make several different versions of your landing page. For example, if your original landing page is contained within a file called sales.html, you may wish to identify the variations as sales2.html, sales3.html, etc.
It is a good idea to make sure these extra page URLs remain valid after the testing is completed because your visitors have been redirected to them and may bookmark them. If they do bookmark that testing page, you still want them to be presented with your offer. The goals in this process is to find the best-performing landing pages after the experiment is completed.
6. Multivariate experiment. Setting up a multivariate experiment is a similar process, but it differs in several important respects. First, this technique is intended for testing various individual changes to your landing page. The A/B testing technique is more appropriate if you wish to test completely different landing pages. You decide what areas of your copy you want to test changes with, like the following:
It is better to limit the number of variations you are testing because the number of combinations makes accurate results hard to track. For example, if you are testing two headlines, three different action buttons, and two different background colors, the number of variations involved is 12. The experiment will still be valid, but it will take longer to complete.
7. Wait for the results. Assume that you have a red die and a blue die. You throw them both 10 times, and your target is to roll a number 6 at each throw. Each of the throws of the dice is completely fair. With the red die, you throw your coveted 6 once. With the blue die, you throw it twice. Should you stop using the red die at this point? After all, you have proved with this experiment that, for this trial, you get a 100% better success rate at throwing 6’s with the blue die.
The answer, of course, is that you should not stop throwing the red die at this point. The laws of probability apply here, and whether the dice are loaded or not, the chance of throwing a 6 with a die is the same each time you try it. Since this is the case, not nearly enough trials have been performed yet to yield evidence of a difference that is statistically significant. Now, let’s say that you have thrown each die 1000 times. With the red die, you got 327 6s. With the blue die, you got 153 6s. Should you stop using the blue die at this point? You probably should, because far more trials have been performed, and the difference is far more likely to be statistically significant. In this case, it could be fairly concluded that the red die is performing better than the blue die.
What does this have to do with your efforts to increase conversion rate? It’s simple. Throwing a die to achieve a 6 is similar to gaining a visitor to your web site and seeing whether that visitor will take the action you want them to take. There is a specific probability that they will, which depends on the copy, changes you may have made, plus other factors beyond your control. The red die may represent your original page; the blue die may represent one variation page. If you have more than one variation, the analogy could be extended by adding more dice to your experiment. To reduce the wait, limit the number of variations you try at any given time.
Although it takes time, it is possible to achieve amazing improvements using these strategies. The greater the number of times you run through this process, the more you increase sales conversion rates.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.