Many argue that marketing activities like search engine optimisation and online advertising are the most important subjects with which to place attention.
These methods of marketing are, without a doubt, important, as they drive traffic to your website; however, few pay as much time to web conversion.
Web conversion is one of the most important ways you can invest time and energy into your website.
After all, it is web conversion that ensures traffic to your website is turned into sales.
Understanding Web Conversion
When constructing a marketing plan for your business, it’s essential to strike the right balance in your mix of activities.
Search optimisation, social media, content creation and advertising are great ways to drive consumers to your website, but it’s crucial to consider how your website traffic will translate into sales.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the practise of altering, tweaking areas of your website in order to yield the best response from your visitors.
Essentially, your aim is to determine what action you need customers to perform, and then to optimise your site accordingly to ensure they get to where you want them to go. E.g. online checkout, services page, enquiry forms, etc.
For web conversion optimisation to work effectively, you need to make changes on a regular basis, based on how consumers have responded to your previous changes.
How do we achieve this? Split testing.
Split testing, in it’s most simple form, is the idea of comparing two versions of the same page to see which one performs the best. We can change anything from the text in a body of content, images and the design of your website’s navigation on a page.
Split A/B testing is a common way marketers improve an element of a web page. The idea is to evaluate the effectiveness of two versions of part of a website (say, the home page or navigation) by sending an equal amount of visitors to each version of the page.
The page that performs the best will then replace the other version as it is more effective. Once this is done, the page will be ‘split’ once again, with another version of the page being created to be tested again the control (the original).
Check your Optimisation is Working as Intended
There are a variety of tools online used for conversion optimisation, but the most common is Google Analytics Content Experiments(previously known as Website Optimizer).
Such analytic programs will enable you to track key metrics, like your click through rate and conversion funnel (see conversion jargon below).
When undergoing split test experiments, it’s important to only focus on one detail within a page.
Let’s say, for example, you were looking to improve the effectiveness of your contact page, and had altered the copywriting, added calls to action and had redesigned the contact submission form.
It would be important to test each one of these changes against a control independently to avoid confusion over what had either increased or decreased the performance of the page.
Conversion optimisation requires testing, but it’s important that you’re aware of what might influence a consumer’s urge to fulfil an action. In future blog posts, we’ll look at what kind changes are useful to test, and instructions, tips and guidance on running your own split test experiments.
- Conversion optimisation: the practise of building a website that is optimised to convert visitors into customers.
- Conversion rate: the ratio of visitors who are turned from casual visitors into visitors who have fulfilled a specific conversion goals, e.g a sale of email submission.
- Click through rate: the number of clicks on a link or advert divided by the amount of impressions (views).
- Conversion funnel: the stage by stage route consumers take from finding your service to fulfilling a goal or sale, e.g from finding your site in search engines to paying at the checkout.
- Call to action: compelling language used to encourage consumer actions, e.g contact now.
- Goal: preset actions your business needs to be fulfilled by the consumer. A goal can be anything from a sale to a form submission.
- Split A/B testing: the practise of making changes to a web page, and testing such changes against a control to see which yields a better response from visitors.