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When I talk to people about Conversion Optimization, it’s pretty common to run into some pretty limited ideas they may have about it.
Conversion Optimization doesn’t JUST happen on your landing page, or your sales page.
Those are some of the best places to put your attention on, yes… “but wait, there’s more!”.
Here’s a quick list to get your brain going in the right direction.
1. Google Ads.
If your business isn’t advertising, well, shame on you. Because whatever else you may be doing, advertising will easily double it in almost all cases. Google AdWords is still the #1 place to start, and there conversion optimization comes in many forms. You can keep improving the ads themselves, test various ad approaches, and there’s really no end to it. Obviously there’s also the landing page the ads point to that matter, as well as bid price vs. ROI and many more points of improvement. Just get started with the ads themselves.
2. Facebook ads.
Facebook ads are very big right now, and for a reason. Compared to most pay-per-click platforms, Facebook ads have some unique properties. You can include compelling images and target according to demographics, to name just a couple. The basic rules of advertising apply, with some added Facebook tricks to be mindful of. PLENTY to test here, the best Facebook gurus test thousands of ads with tiny variations to come up with the winning formula in each case. Sure it’s work, but once you’re getting tons of traffic at say 15 cents a click… who really cares at that point?
3. Landing pages.
There are entire companies dedicated to the testing and optimizing landing page conversion. This is no wonder, as landing pages tend to have very clear goals and therefore lend themselves to testing very well. Sometimes all you need is a simple A/B test with different headline variations or CTAs (calls to action). But sometimes you need to test entirely different layouts, approaches, hooks… especially when you’re testing against a long-standing control. There’s no end to landing page optimization really, you should NEVER stop doing it. So start today.
4. Sales pages / product pages.
In the Internet Marketing community, this is where the saliva really starts flowing. And it should, as your sales page really is where you can measure in the most direct way how your efforts bring fruit in the form of more sales of a product. However, you should also remember to measure other things such as Average Sale Size and other indicators relating to total performance. That way you won’t throw away a winner that looks like a loser in the close range.
5. Checkout processes
The checkout process really is the low hanging fruit in conversion optimization. It doesn’t matter if you have a complex e-commerce site with a 5-step checkout process, or a simple sales page with a separate order page or perhaps just an order button, you can do SO much here. You can create a strong close that drive people to buy now instead of waiting and sitting on the fence. You can have visual cues that people pick up on to act. You can guide people throughout the process to make sure they get there. You can reduce the number of steps it takes to go through the process. Mmall as it may seem, all of this stuff matters big time for your bottom line.
6. Sales funnels.
If we take a step back and look at your entire sales funnel, there are so many points of optimization there. From cold lead to prospect, from prospect to customer, from customer to repeat customer, from repeat customer to your evangelist or even affiliate. Every single one of these conversion points contributes to the entire funnel, and improving more than one of them… well, you do the math. It’s a compounding effect, truly. It’s no longer a game of additions, but a game of MULTIPLYING conversions. Sound like it’s worth doing, as opposed to buying some more banners? 😉 You got it.
7. Decrease cart abandonment / bring back prospects.
Now here’s some truly under-explored territory. Studies say that up to 30% of people why place products in their shopping carts end up abandoning it (in truth, it’s probably closer to 60% in many cases). Does that sound right to you? Can you imagine people in your local grocery store stacking things in their cart and right as they roll up to the counter.. throw away the cart and walk out. Crazy, right? So make sure you’re using something like SeeWhy as a tool to bring them back, or ‘roll your own’. All you need is: a persistent shopping cart, capture email first, track cart abandonment, add to email sequence of three scheduled messages, then unsubscribe once they purchase. Okay sure, there’s some work to do but it surely pays off!
8. Retention management.
Now, if you have all your ducks in a row and leads coming in, staying, subscribing and buying… what you need to focus on next is retention. How do you keep your customers and don’t lose them to the ‘next big thing’ in your market, a.k.a. your competition. The way you do that is by making sure you’re unique and irreplaceable in their minds. That means, build a true RELATIONSHIP with your customers. You can do that in so many ways, but here’s a couple: autoresponder messages and webinars. I know, sounds tired but think about it. If your customers are subjected to a steady flow of messages – automated as they are – they will get used to you and your specific style of communication, and EXPECT your messages and your offers. That’s the automated part. Webinars then, will help them see you’re still a real person who gives them something of value and even answers their questions. Now you have both automated and immediate retention management in place. Probably helps you keep at least 40% more of your existing customers. Not bad for a couple of emails and an hour of your personal time a month, huh?
9. After sales.
Now, it’s easy to get one-eyed about the whole conversion optimization process. After all, most businesses are looking to sell more products and services with the same traffic. That’s the Reason Why of CRO, correct? Well, partly so. When you finally get that sale, then what? Sit back and watch the sales roll on in? You could do that of course. Or you could figure out what they want next, and then give it to them. In principle, it’s that simple. Backend sales amount to additions to what they already bought, replacements, or the bigger and better version of it. Also called downsell, cross-sell, upsell and more. It’s worth doing. The numbers add up quickly, okay? It’s about creating MORE conversions when the impulse is still there.
10. Profitability hikes.
Last but definitely not least, we’re into almost Jay Abraham territory here. That is, looking at the online business as a whole and finding the BIGGEST leverage points possible to generate MORE conversions, BIGGER conversions, RECURRING conversions, and so on. This could come in the form of Joint Ventures with other industry players, delivering products people in your market want but are not getting (surveys and analytics will tell you what these are), or other hidden gems of profitability and even sudden windfalls when you turn up a REALLY big lever. Like, say,
That’s it my friend! That’s ten points of implementation for Conversion Optimization in your online business.
Sure, you could go smart-ass on me and claim only maybe half of this is considered ‘Conversion Optimization Proper’.
Tell you what though, I’ve yet to meet an online business owner who said no to more sales or more qualified leads. Whatever the method. In fact, if it’s something everyone else is NOT yet doing, they’ll welcome the advantage!
It’s all about pulling various levers in an intelligent way and a specific order, to orchestrate a continuously doubling and re-doubling of your online business.
Would you like that? Can you handle it if your business suddenly doubled, and then doubled again the next month?! Think you can handle this much more business? While you think about that, visit my Conversion Optimization page and find out what I can do for you.
Juho – Great post.
Another innovative way to increase conversion and build emotional engagement with brands by playing relevant, personalized background music on websites of all types.
According to Gallup Organization Research “33% of consumers report that music influenced their decision to make a purchase”. righTune’s relevant music that is heard when viewing a website creates the perfect ambiance on every website and user. We add an emotional dimension to the site’s content and enable websites to connect to their visitors on the deepest level, which directly affects consumer behavior and increases revenue. We actually take the common concept of in-store music used in brick and mortar shops & venues and leverage it to the online world. We even take it one step further. While playing music our patented technology tracks users behavior and engagement level on the website. We use behavioral, machine learning algorithm that on-going changes the music for the coming users according to de facto business results.
Erez – that’s an interesting addition. Background music can work very well for certain sites, such as fashion and entertainment. But many others will view it as a distraction, so I’d certainly split test this before going all-out with music. Since your solution is based on measurable results, sounds good so far. So to speak. 😉
Oh man that is a great list, good Information here, thanks Juho!
also i would like to add a couple of few more ways maybe you know a better way to optimize them,
*There’s Facebook competitions, it will create a huge hype about your online presence.
*Youtube video review about your products. (Google’s Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world )
*you can write a a guest post article about it in a major blog, blogs are really popular and swarming with allot of interested readers and learners.
*make a creative funny picture ad, something remarkable that people will not forget and people will always remember you, these are the people with that crazy something ad right ??
What do you think ?
Many thanks and Best wishes!
Hi Mitch – thanks for your input! The ideas you mentioned aren’t really hypotheses for conversion improvement, but can still work to increase conversion. It’s all in the testing, after all…
It’s also very easy for people to fool themselves when running conversion optimization experiments. Until I started using tools to check for statistical significance, I often selected A/B test winners prematurely.
I was glad to see you list Adwords as the #1 priority. There really is no better way to learn about your customers and optimize your messaging and website flow.
Andrew – you’re very correct about the statistical validity, and even with the right tools it’s very tempting to call it a little early.