My approach for conversion rate optimisation is both proven and successful.
There’s no secret sauce, it’s a systematic process that goes beyond best practices and generates results from data-driven solutions; taking decision-making and moving it from instinct to maths. If you’re not convinced on why you should adopt such a process, I’d recommend you read my belief on why conversion rate optimisation is right for you.
Step 1. Gather insights
Who are you?
At first, I insist on discussing your strategy and vision for the business. What type of business are you? If you had to align yourself with a celebrity personality – who would you be and why? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) will help us prioritise objectives and goals together.
Solutions won’t come until later. At this point, we don’t know why your visitors aren’t converting, so any suggestions we make would be theoretical rather than based on evidence. This is what centres around the entire methodology; data-driven insights.
Become a customer yourself
Having customer empathy is important. So being at the same level with our customers gives invaluable insight. Purchase from your own website. Purchase from competitors. Go into stores, where available, to get that subjective interaction with your business. This will help identify, not just empathy, but a GAP analysis to analyse opportunities and pitfalls.
Understand your users
An objective understanding of your users is also vital – who are they? What are their key journeys? How, and more importantly, why do they purchase? Within this phase, we need to figure out, together, who your users are and what motivates them. The kick-off meeting will have given us a good sense of the various user scenarios, but we need to truly understand who your users are and their blocks and motivations through data mining; this data is then interpreted into insight. Gathering this sort of data is achievable through multiple methods – Google Analytics, user surveys, user interviews, heat maps etc.
I use a variety of techniques including, but not limited to:
These form what we know as insights; a snippet of understanding how users perceive and interact with your business. This collection of insights is placed in a document that is continually updated. The more tests we undertake the more insights we get so an initial 50 page document might turn into a 200 page document that can constantly be referred to.
Step 2. Experimental Strategy
Armed with our insights we now need to understand what we are going to do with them. It is a misconception that you can transform a business with minor tweaks – the colour of a button or the change of a headline. Strategy does.
We have our insights and need to understand if these are what we call ‘blocks’ how do we overcome these? For example, if users aren’t getting to your contact page, why and what solution can we put in place to overcome this challenge? Similarly with what we call ‘motivators’, if a user is encouraged or persuaded by a certain concept or element how can we make the most of this insight and exploit it? With you, I will create solutions that either overcome a user challenge or hinge off an existing user insight.
Taking all the insights that we’ve collated and the solutions we have created we now need to prioritise them. Prioritising solutions that get us the quickest wins are often the more attractive but the key is to prioritise the conversion-affecting solutions. Those bigger solutions are often the most fun but also the most risky so it’s often recommend that the big solutions are broken down into smaller ones to test the concept. Some questions to ask when determining the priority of a solution:
- How likely is it to double your conversion rate?
- How easy is it to implement?
- Can we test the idea before implementing it?
- Has this idea worked before on similar websites?
And that leads us on to testing concepts. Currently our solutions are well-educated guesses. However, what a user says they’ll do and what we believe they’ll do are different than what they will actually do. Don’t get me wrong, at this stage we should be looking at significant wins gleaned from what we’ve learnt from how our users interact with our site currently. Novices often skip the stages above and head straight for testing based on best practices or gut feelings. This is, inherently, wrong and ultimately wastes time, effort and money.
What chances do we have of the experiments winning? A significantly high chance but there is the odd occasion where tests do fail. Typically we work with the Pareto Principle – where 20% of the amends will result in 80% of the profit. We could implement tests every day of the week and only one day of that week will we see significant, conversion-affect results for example.
I write about the value of experiments and how to pre-validate experiments here: ‘Improve your conversion rate through experiments’
Step 3. Review and iterate
Possibly the most important of all the sections – but don’t stop! We review the results on a case-by-case basis and every month, too. Identifying what worked and what didn’t work and most importantly why will help us consistently improve.
Each test gives us more insight
For every test we get more data and therefore more insight – why did a test win? why did it fail? If it did win, how can we leverage that information to push it even further? Each improvement essentially builds upon the success of the predecessor meaning each time you’re stronger than your competitors. Each time you can take the money being generated by your profit and plough it into other marketing materials – SEO, PPC, Social, Print, Radio, TV etc.
If you’re not convinced that conversion rate optimisation is right for you, I’d think again. Read my beliefs here. If you’d like to learn more about conversion rate optimisation I’m more than happy to discuss this with you and your requirements over the phone or a nice cup of coffee. You can take a look at some of my case studies and I’m certain with my track record in using this approach I can give you a significant return on your investment and increase your online profit.