The Importance of Conversions
You work hard to drive traffic to your website. But are enough visitors converting into paying customers? All the most successful online businesses:
- Define clear goals for their websites
- Understand how effectively their sites achieve these goals
- Test different page designs continuously to see which have the highest goal conversion rate
- A. Understanding Your Visitors
How well do you understand your customers? Every visitor to your website has a reason for being there. Your site must make it easy for them to reach their goal (it could be buying something, learning about a product, getting help, or something else entirely). It may not be possible to track each individual visitor, but it's easy to segment them by common attributes and actions, to get a better idea of how they interact with your site. This can be done with tools like Google Analytics.
- B. Maximising Your Traffic
Some potential customers never make it to your website. Using tools like AdWords Editor, you can bid on all the keywords your customers may be searching for. Use Impression Share reports to set your budget and bids to reach as many users as possible.
- C. Traffic Sources
With products like Google Analytics, you can learn how users find your site, and what they do when they arrive. By comparing conversion rates from each traffic source, you can identify where the best quality traffic comes from, and focus your marketing efforts and budgets on those sources. Under-performing traffic sources (ones that deliver poorly converting traffic) should be fixed. Campaign Tracking and AdWords Auto-tagging in Google Analytics can help you identify traffic sources from all your marketing activities.
- D. The Homepage
The homepage is often the first page visitors see on arrival to your site. Different visitors with different intentions and goals will all see this page. A good homepage will make it easy for visitors to find the path to their goal. Clear calls-to-action and uncluttered design will help them. Multivariate testing tools like Google Website Optimiser can help you develop a home page design that makes it easy for visitors to get the most out of your site.
- E. Landing Pages
Many traffic sources, like AdWords, allow you to direct visitors to a specific landing page on your site. A landing page should always be relevant to the visitor's intentions. If a user searches for "cheddar cheese" and clicks an ad for "Cheddar Cheese", they should land directly on a page about cheddar cheese. If the landing page is mis-matched, the visitor will leave your site. In Google Analytics, you can identify problematic landing pages by looking at the Top Landing Pages report. By testing different landing pages with A/B or Multivariate testing in Google Website Optimiser, you can tune your landing pages to provide the best experience for your visitors.
- F. Bouncing Visitors
A “bounce” is when a visitor arrives on your site and leaves without viewing any other pages. If many visitors to a landing page bounce, it means there's something about that page that discourages interaction with your site. Google Analytics can help identify pages with a high bounce rate, and Google Website Optimiser can test different pages to find which has the lowest bounce rate.
- G. Visitor Journey Steps
It's useful to break a user's journey down into steps, to identify barriers to conversion between the landing page and the goal.
- cottages4you improve checkout click-through by 21%
- Comet: Product category redesign results in 4.9% increase in conversions for Comet
- Comet: Testing product category pages results in a 4.7% increase in conversions for Comet
- Schuh: Testing image sizes & number of products displayed projects an increase in conversion by 6%
- Branch 309: Changes to product category layout increases clicks on 'Add to Basket' by 56% for Branch 309
- Testing change to a single button drove 33% more leads to Rightmove Estate Agents
- H. Exits
You need to minimise the exit rate at each step. Google Analytics can show you where visitors exit, and Google Website Optimiser can test different versions of the page, to help visitors reach their goals.
- I. Site Search
Site search function helps the user find the product they are looking for more quickly. With Google Site Search, you can put a Google search box on your website and help visitors find what they want.
- J. Goal
“Goals” are the primary business objectives of your website. Your website probably has more than one goal. Eg. a secondary goal of 'newsletter signups' could supports your primary business objective of selling more goods.