One of the benefits to living where I do is not just that I don’t have to put up with the annoyances of living in a large city, or even the great access to world class mountain bike trails. As awesome as those benefits are, there’s one more equally important–the access I have to some of the brightest minds in web and tech strategy. A few of those great minds are even among my small circle of real-life friends. Within that circle is one of the most talented usability and conversion experts today, Theresa Baiocco of Conversion Max.
These days Theresa is sharing her expertise at top conferences, like Conversion Conference Vegas, but over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of learning about conversion optimization from her at various local events, including the now defunct WordPress and Beer meetup where a small group of us would sit around a conference table talking shop and catching a buzz on our favorite local beers.
All that setup was to say this… there’s nothing I can say about conversion optimization that I didn’t learn from Theresa.
5 Step Conversion Optimization Plan
Why should you be testing and optimizing your conversion rate? Because if you want your website to sell more goods or get more signups than it does today, you pretty much have two choices; either get more traffic or get more conversions from the traffic you already have.
Getting more traffic is easy if you have lots of money or pretty darn hard if you don’t. And don’t fool yourself by thinking do-it-yourself SEO is cheap, because all that time you spend trying to get from page 20, to page 6, to the holy grail of Google… page one is costing you whatever your time would be worth if you were doing something that was bringing in more business in other ways.
While getting traffic to your site is not cheap, comparatively speaking, converting more of that traffic is. By simply spending a little effort to learn about your visitors, their habits on your site and figure out as much as you can about why most of them go away without giving you what you want, you can begin to make the improvements that will propel your sales and lead generation far beyond where it is today. Even a seemingly small improvement, such as 1%, is a big deal when you consider 97% of visitors or more are failing to convert for most websites.
Step 1: Who are your visitors?
- Get to know your visitors.
- Create user personas.
- Learn their likes and dislikes.
Step 2: Start testing your content
- Learn how your users are interacting with your content.
Step 3: Create a hypothesis, what actions to take?
- What have you learned from your testing?
- How can you most effectively persuade your visitors?
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Step 4: Test your hypothesis by taking action(s)
- Run A/B tests.
- Integrate the winning content.
- Don’t be afraid to go for the “big wins.”
Step 5: Celebrate your success then get back to work!
- If a 2% CR makes $100,000 and you take to 3%, that’s $50,000 bump!
- Now a 50% improvement will take you to 4.5% or another $75,000 bump!
- Keep repeating steps 2-4 because there will always be room to improve.