Tools to increase conversion rates

There are literally hundreds of different ways to increase the conversions of your website and landing pages. There are a lot of tools that you can use to help you with market research, formulating a hypothesis, user experience and increasing the overall conversion of your site. Here are some useful tools that you can use to

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There are literally hundreds of different ways to increase the conversions of your website and landing pages. There are a lot of tools that you can use to help you with market research, formulating a hypothesis, user experience and increasing the overall conversion of your site. Here are some useful tools that you can use to increase your conversion rate.

Live chat

Live chat is like the online version of an in store sales person. This is great for connecting with visitors and helping them with issues they may have. When thinking about employing live chat on your site, you should first think about the goal and objective of having live chat – is it to develop a deeper understanding of your visitors, or maybe to help users with a specific action? The answers to these questions will determine how live chat is implemented. For example if you are trying to increase sales of products in an ecommerce store, a good idea would be to place live chat windows on product pages and have text asking if they need help.

Olark is a great tool that we actually use for live chat. It is very simple to implement as it requires one piece of javascript code that you can place in your footer. You can then determine where your chat windows show. You can see our olark chat windows on the bottom right of this page.

olark

Our goal and objective is to develop a greater understanding of people’s needs, wants and pain points when it comes to conversion rate optimization and A/B testing. Feel free to chat with us when we’re online.

Heat maps

Heat maps are amazing at helping marketers understand the behaviour of visitors once they visit your site. It’s great for discovering what people look at and where they focus their attention. Heatmaps basically record where people move their mouse and click once they are on your site. Here are some examples of heat maps:

eyetracking heatmaps

From the above heatmaps we can conclude that people concentrate their attention on the items in their shopping cart. We can also see that people want to find out about shipping rates and  the privacy policy. This could present an opportunity to make this information easier to find or more prominently displayed on the page. A surprising discovery is that once people are in their shopping cart, they want to look at “mens” products. Perhaps Keihl’s could suggest men’s products that are complementary to the items in the shopper’s shopping cart?

eyetracking heatmaps

In this heatmap we can see that people scan the article while concentrating their attention above the fold in the first few paragraphs. This suggests that it’s very important to place the most important information in these areas, as some people will only read the first paragraph. Also we see people wanting to find our more about the company. This information could be shown on the page.

As you can see, a lot of insight can be drawn from heat maps. We’ve come up with some brief conclusions and suggestions, however to really benefit from heat maps you really need to get clear what constitutes a conversion and what you want your visitors to do. A great heat map tool is Crazyegg. It’s very feature rich and has a lot of flexibility.

Customer research

Customer and market research allows you, as a business owner and website owner, to be able to understand the minds of your users or visitors. It allows you to gain more insight into what they think, how they feel and what they want to do. The answers to these questions are crucial, and if used effectively can help to increase conversions in a big way.

One way to conduct customer research is to use a tool like User testing. This tool allows you to pay for a certain number of people to perform a certain action on your site. Their activity on your site is recorded and they provide notes based on their experiences, struggles, likes and dislikes. This is great to see what people are focusing on, what they’re clicking, and how they generally feel about your page or site. The great thing about using User testing is that you are able to get an idea of what real people think about your conversion process and not just your initial landing page.

Surveys are another great way to gain insight and a further understanding of what customers are doing or thinking. Qualaroo offers inline surveys which allows website owners to strategically ask questions at different points of their funnel. This is crucial in trying to understand what people are thinking at different points in time. As you can see from the question below this site is asking a very specific question as to what is preventing someone from signing up at this point. The results from this quick survey can help reduce friction and increase conversions at this point in the funnel.

qualaroo
 

 

Behavioural targeting

Behavioural targeting is basically showing certain content or performing certain actions based on peoples’ behaviour on your site. This concept recognizes that all people and website visitors are different. Different elements, prompts and call to actions will maximize the chances of conversions for different people.

A new startup called Vero attempts to do this with behavioural targeted email. Carefully crafted email campaigns and messages are sent to people based on their behaviour on the site. For example if a subscriber entered in their email and country as USA, a different email would be sent to them as opposed to someone who entered in their email and country as Australia.

vero

Over time, careful analysis will allow you to learn about what messages convert higher for what types of users. You’ll be able to create a dynamic site and email campaign that is optimized on an individual visitor basis.

Above are a few tools that are great at increasing conversions. Each of the tools approach conversion rate optimization in a different way and can be effective when used in isolation as well as combined. We would love to hear about your experiences with any of the tools we have talked about as well as any other tools that you have used to help increase your conversions.

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5 Growth Hacks You Didn’t Know About

Growth hacking is a mix between computer science and marketing. It is data driven marketing mixed with continual tests. At Growth Giant we are strong believers of growth hacking as an effective way to grow which is why we are always analysing different strategics that people are using. You’ve all read and heard about the

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Growth hacking is a mix between computer science and marketing. It is data driven marketing mixed with continual tests. At Growth Giant we are strong believers of growth hacking as an effective way to grow which is why we are always analysing different strategics that people are using. You’ve all read and heard about the Airbnb and Craiglist hack, as well as the Hotmail email signature hack and even Spotify with their frictionless Facebook sharing. All of these growth hacks have been for aggressive customer acquisition for consumer products/services, however growth hacking is a lot broader and diverse than this. It can be used for customer retention, increased engagement and can be used for all sorts of businesses including B2B or even offline businesses. Here are 5 awesome growth hacks that you probably haven’t heard of.


#1 Candy Crush referral system


Candy Crush is an iPhone game similar to Bejewelled that has take the world by storm. They have over 45.6 million average monthly users. They gained this traction and huge user-base by implementing a clever referral system disguised as part of the game. You are only allowed to play each level a certain amount of times which is fine if you can complete the level. If you aren’t able to, you have to ask your friends for extra lives or wait 30 minutes. You ask people for lives via Facebook but what you’re really doing is asking people to sign up and growing the Candy Crush user numbers. This is a very powerful viral referral system.


no-more-lives-candy-crush
 


#2 The Clean Plumber


This is a great example of growth hacking for a fundamentally offline business, plumbing. Firstly I’d like to point out the great positioning this plumber has used, “The Clean Plumber”. He has identified a pain point that people experience which is plumbers coming into your house with dirty shoes and messing up your bathroom. He has used this pain point and addressed it in his name by calling himself “The Clean Plumber” and has also addressed it in one of his benefits:

  • Wear our special protective CleanBoots inside you home.
    So your floors are protected from outside dirt and grime.

The Clean Plumber understands the two things needed to grow a large sustainable business. They are solving a problem/providing for a need and access to a lot of people who experience this problem or have this need. As a plumber he definitely solves a problem and addresses a need however due to the nature of  the plumbing work it is difficult for him to access a lot of people experiencing the problem. The Clean Plumber solves this by creating seperate websites and landing pages that a city specific and optimizes them for local searches. An additional hack to this would be to identify the visitor’s location, via IP and then display the “Plumbers {City}” link that is near the visitor’s location.

plumber growth hack


#3 Clarity.fm - Behavioural email to convert


Dan Martell, founder and CEO of Clarity.fm is a growth hacking genius and we can see him at work again here. Clarity.fm allows people to connect with experts in different fields. They essentially request a call back and pay $x/minute to speak with this expert. Clarifty.fm tracks visits and identifies what experts you have viewed. As soon as you show any interest in potentially requesting a call back or connecting with one of the experts Clarity.fm will take note of that and send you an email the next day telling you more about that particular expert with a strong CTA (Call To Action) to request a call from them. This email is very targeted and timely which makes it perfect for increasing engagement.

This is an example of a growth hack aimed at customer retention and increasing customer engagement rather than customer acquisition.

Here is the email below:

clarity.fm email growth hack


#4 About.me – Profile Distribution


About.me is a website builder that allows anyone to build and create their own personal “online business card”. They have worked on a growth hack that distributes about.me all across the internet using Twitter as their distribution channel. They don’t get users to tweet or share their about.me profile but instead try to steal borrow real estate on their user’s Twitter profiles.

Users are able to use about.me “apps” to add richer functionality to their profiles. There is a Twitter app that connects About.me to their Twitter account and displays a Twitter icon on their about.me profile, linking to your twitter page. Once this is done about.me then strategically shows CTA boxes, on your about.me page as an action prompt and on your dashboard as an alert. The CTA reads “Add about.me to your Twitter profile”. This one click instantly replaces the URL you added to your Twitter profile with your about.me personalized page. This is done very seamlessly and doesn’t even take you away from about.me to Twitter to see what you have done.


about.me growth hack


#5 Yogurberry - Increase order value


Yoguberry is a hugely popular frozen yoghurt chain that sells froyo by weight. You choose your froyo flavour and add toppings including fruit, nuts and sweets. A simple growth hack they did which I imagine would have resulted in an increase in average order value and therefore revenue as a whole is to offer a single large size as opposed to three different size options. Previously there was a small, medium and large cup which allowed customers to select which size they thought would be suitable. Then they would fill the cup with their chosen froyo and toppings and pay for it all based on weight. Yogurberry moved to only offer one large size cup for all customers. This psychologically encourages customers to fill this large cup with more froyo and toppings, resulting in a larger overall purchase.

This is a great example of an offline growth hack. Unfortunately I don’t have any data or figures to support this or to show the difference in revenue however I imagine it would be a significant increase.

yogurberry
As you can see growth hacking can be applied to a lot of different businesses in a lot of different ways and is much more than than just acquiring new users. We like to think about growth hacking as improving all stages of the funnel starting from the very top all the way to the end. With Growth Giant you are able to create tests at all stages of the funnel in order to find variations and ideas that work best in maximising your goals.

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Segment your traffic to increase conversions

Marketers and website owners work on generating as much traffic as they can for their websites. They drive traffic from a variety of different sources which makes it very difficult to identify who is converting and how to increase conversions. All the traffic flows into the same funnel and a single conversion rate is the

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Marketers and website owners work on generating as much traffic as they can for their websites. They drive traffic from a variety of different sources which makes it very difficult to identify who is converting and how to increase conversions. All the traffic flows into the same funnel and a single conversion rate is the result. There will be traffic sources that convert higher and ones that convert lower, however it is nearly impossible to identify which of these traffic sources are and how to improve the lower converting ones.

As you can see from the diagram below, there are 6 different traffic sources all sending traffic to the single landing page and conversion flow. The overall conversion rate is 2%, however we have no insight into which traffic sources convert better. We don’t know which traffic sources we should spend more resources on and how to optimize our landing page or funnel to increase overall conversions.

1 landing page

In order to maximize conversions as a whole, we must segment our traffic into the different traffic sources and then measure individual conversion flows for each source. As you can see from the revised diagram below the traffic is segmented and sent to seperate landing pages. In this example all the landing pages look the same, however it has allowed us to clearly identify the conversion rates for each traffic source. As you can see the overall conversion rate is still 2%, however we can see how that is broken down. We can now get a better understanding and can make decisions around which traffic sources to concentrate on. By segmenting each source and conversion flow we now also have the opportunity to optimize landing pages for increased conversions on an individual traffic source level.

traffic segmentation

Here are the main benefits of traffic segmentation and customized landing pages:

Match relevant landing pages with traffic sources – This allows marketers to create relevant landing pages for each traffic source. You are able to match the messaging with the specific traffic source making sure the visitors are more engaged with what you are showing them. A lot of work can be done with this specifically for PPC advertising as there are a lot of strategies around matching landing pages with ad copy and keyword. Making sure landing pages are relevant will be very effective in reducing bounce rate, increasing engagement, interest and conversions. The more targeted your landing pages, the higher your conversion rate.

Allows effective continuous conversion testing – Once traffic has been segmented and they are being directed to relevant landing pages we are then able to continuously test different landing page ideas and concepts for each traffic source. This could result in tens or even hundreds of different tests running at the same time to maximize conversions. Traffic segmentation with dedicated landing pages splits your website into different conversion funnels allowing you to work on optimizing each one in a granular way.

Quickly identify what is happening – By segmenting your traffic you can immediately identify which the conversion rates of each traffic source. As a marketer you are able to pull more detailed data around what people are doing on your site and how changes impact them.

Allocate resources and time effectively – Once the traffic is segmented and each of the funnels are clearly identified the data allows marketers and website owners to make informed decisions as to where to spend more time and money. You’ll be able to make decisions based on data around which traffic sources to focus on and what to optimize.

Traffic segmentation, funnel formulation and landing page optimizaiton are very important when trying to analyse what is happening within your business. By isolating each traffic source and creating a clear conversion funnel, you’ll be able to gain greater insight into the workings of your business and how to optimize for increased conversions and growth.

Here at Growth Giant we are passionate about helping online companies grow and being part of their optimization process. We are getting ready to launch our beta version of Growth Giant so make sure you stay tuned for updates.

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5 Tips for Conversion Rate Optimization

Marketers often focus on increasing traffic and building more awareness of their product or brand. However, post click marketing can have more impact on bottom line revenue, sales and product/service use. Increasing the conversion rate of a page by even 1 or 2 percent can dramatically improve key metrics. Here are 5 tips on how

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Marketers often focus on increasing traffic and building more awareness of their product or brand. However, post click marketing can have more impact on bottom line revenue, sales and product/service use. Increasing the conversion rate of a page by even 1 or 2 percent can dramatically improve key metrics. Here are 5 tips on how to increase the conversions of your landing pages.

Be relevant

All visitors will have some sort of expectation of what they will see and read once they reach your page. Try to understand what drove that visitor to you site. For example, if you’re driving traffic using PPC campaigns, try to match headlines and landing page copy with the keyword that drove the visitor. Using keywords that visitors use is a powerful way to make visitors feel more comfortable and increase your conversions.

Use images that are relevant to the visitor. Images and graphics capture your visitors’ attention very quickly and can often be the difference between them staying on site or bouncing. Ensure the images you use help to keep your visitors interested enough to read more and convert.

Have a clear call to action (CTA)

Having a clear CTA sounds simple and obvious, however many marketers often overlook this. Ensure visitors to your landing page can easily see what you what them to do, whether it be register with their email, sign up for a free trial or purchase a product.

Make sure you emphasize the benefits of what you have to offer and highlight how your desired CTA will help your visitor. Do you offer a painkiller for a problem, an opportunity for someone to be the first to try a product or something that will improve someone’s daily lives? Whatever you are offering your visitor, make sure it’s clear and your visitor can quickly see how to take action.

Mail Chimp is great at presenting a clear offer and call to action. As soon as you land on the page below you can very quickly see what Mail Chimp can offer you and how to get started. Mail Chimp offers “Easy Email Newsletters” and you can click the big red button to “Sign up for free”.

Evoke trust

Trust is extremely important and will reassure visitors when they are deciding to try your product, purchase your service or sign up for your email list. Making sure your visitors trust you and what you have to offer is crucial to boosting conversions on your landing pages. Trust can be created in many ways. Social Proof is a great way to use your visitors’ social graph to build trust. Quora does this extremely well to non logged in visitors who are browsing questions and answers. It shows the visitor’s Facebook friends that currently use their service. When visitors see that their friends have used a service, it makes them more comfortable in also giving it a try.

social proof

Testimonials are another great way to build trust with visitors. Seeing what other people have to say about a service or product is psychologically very powerful. Well crafted testimonials or case studies that people can relate to are great for increasing conversions. They can be in the form of video testimonials, quotes or full case study write ups.

Secure Payment logos placed near purchase buttons  can also help with conversions as they alleviate payment concerns people may have.

Understand user intent

Visitors come from a variety of different traffic sources and expect different things. As mentioned before if you’re able to understand what visitors expect, what they’re looking for and what they’re planning on doing, it will allow you to serve suitable content to help them achieve their plans and goals. This will ultimately result in more conversions and a better user experience for visitors.

Try to understand your visitors’ “personas” and cater to this group of people in your messaging, graphics and offer. Creating targeted messages to a select group of people you are trying to target is a great way to increase conversions. Wix does this extremely well by targeting different groups of people with their “build your own” website product.

 

user intent

Click the image to view the full webpage

 

When thinking about user intent, also consider what a typical sales cycle involves and offer easy access for visitors to complete the entire sales cycle as quickly as possible. For example if you are selling an expensive computer, your visitor’s will want to spend time understanding the complete specifications and features. You should make this information easily accessible and simple to understand.

Remove Distractions

Landing pages have one sole purpose and it is to convert users. Everything on your landing pages should have the purpose of helping, convincing or encouraging the visitor to take your desired action. Remove all possible distractions that may take visitors on “tangents” away from your CTA. Some examples of this include your navigation bar, irrelevant images and off topic content. Your navigation bar is great for one thing, allowing people to find their way and navigate around your site. This is a huge distraction to visitors on your landing page and can potentially lose conversions. Irrelevant images can leave visitors confused and unsure about what to do. Lastly, off topic content is probably one of the biggest distractions. Make sure you are clear and concise with your copy and include only things that will help people convert. Any other type of copy is a distraction and again can lose conversions.

Wistia have a great landing page with one very clear CTA and no distractions.

Conversion rate optimization is an extensive topic and a lot can be done to increase your conversions. Follow the 5 tips above and each change will push you in the right direction to optimizing your landing pages for higher conversions. It’s a good idea to create a different web page variation for each of the hypothesis you come up with based on these tips. You can then use these variations to run a continuous A/B test to see which one converts at the best rate. Once you’ve improved your conversion rate you can test new ideas to further increase it.

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Lean Website Optimization: We don’t know anything!

We’re always trying to optimize our websites to improve them and get more customers, but most of the time we’re completely wrong about what we think our customers want and what will actually improve our conversions. “Lean” methodology has been around for a while, it’s a highly efficient way to improve business by creating more value for

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We’re always trying to optimize our websites to improve them and get more customers, but most of the time we’re completely wrong about what we think our customers want and what will actually improve our conversions. “Lean” methodology has been around for a while, it’s a highly efficient way to improve business by creating more value for your customers using fewer resources. Just recently, lean thinking spread through the startup world like wild fire, spurred on by Eric Ries’s highly successful book “The Lean Startup”. We have combined lean thinking with website optimization to create a hybrid way of thinking called “Lean Website Optimization”, a highly efficient way to get more out of your website.

Before we explore this new concept lets firstly take a brief look at The Lean Startup and the concepts it encompasses. The concept of The Lean Startup is to employ continuous innovation to achieve a successful business. It’s based on flexibility, efficiency, adaptability and reacting quickly to what customers want. It involves creating an initial Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to prove a hypothesis to see if people want to buy your product. It revolves around learning customer behavior, their needs and wants, and iterating quickly. This is the new way to build a company.

We’re big believers in The Lean Startup methodology and try to use the theories and concepts taught as much as we can in our own startup. For this reason we have adapted and applied lean principles to website conversion rate optimization to create a new and improved way to optimize your website called “Lean Website Optimization”. Let’s delve into this new way of thinking and discover how it can help you improve your website.

Lean Website Optimization

[leen web-sahyt op-tuh-muh-zey-shuhn] 

A process of continuously testing different hypotheses for conversion rate optimization. This relies on user driven scientific data that can be fed into a feedback loop to create meaningful direction for website owners. The process employs multi-armed bandit theory to achieve maximum conversions as learnings taking place.

Lean Website Optimization is basically a highly efficient way to optimize your website to achieve your goals. It relies on user driven scientific data that can be fed into a feedback loop to help website owners change and improve their websiteIt involves running continuous A/B tests to get a better understanding of what increases conversions on your website and why. Most of the time website owners are completely wrong about what they think their visitors want to see and what will increase conversions. The process of lean website optimization and running continual, efficient A/B tests helps with increasing conversions and understanding your audience at a much deeper level.

Here are some powerful quotes from leading businesses which show how little businesses actually know about their customers, highlighting the importance of testing:

  • In the paper Online Experimentation at Microsoft, they shared the statistic that only one third of ideas tested at Microsoft improved the metric(s) they were designed to improve. 
  • Jim Manzi,  in his book Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and- Error for Business, Politics, and Society , writes “Google ran approximately 12,000 randomized experiments in 2009, with [only] about 10 percent of these leading to business changes.
  • Avinash Kaushik, Googler and author of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, wrote in his Experimentation and Testing primer that “80% of the time you/we are wrong about what a customer wants.”
  • In Do It Wrong Quickly, Mike Moran wrote ”Netflix considers 90% of what they try to be wrong.”

It’s difficult to approach a conversion test with the attitude that we are wrong 80% of the time. However to achieve real progress we need to run tests without favoring variation ideas and really analyze visitors’ behaviours to understand what increases conversions and why. With statistics like these, it’s vital to be continuously testing and that the results be accurate and trustworthy. Incorrect results may cause bad ideas to be deployed or good ideas to be incorrectly ruled out. It would be a complete waste of time and can cause bad businesses decisions to be made.

We have created a simple methodology for lean website optimization that allows you to understand your visitors better and learn how to increase conversions on your website.

lean website optimization diagram

Continuous testing to ensure maximum conversion rate

1. Formulate a Hypothesis

This initial step involves coming up with a hypothesis for increasing conversions. This revolves around perceived customer behaviour, needs and wants. An example of a hypothesis could be, “trust symbols will increase conversions because a pain point for visitors which prevents them from converting is that they don’t trust my site”.

2. Create Variation Ideas

Take the hypothesis above and create a variation of your web page that includes or emphasizes it. The goal is to prove the hypothesis above is correct. Perhaps you want to add a section on your landing page that includes logos of businesses who use your service. Or you might like to add real life case studies and testimonials to your site. This will provide an element of trust as your website visitors can see that real businesses and people are using your product.

3. Continuously A/B Test

Once you have come up with a variation idea, test it out using multi-armed bandit theory. This new way of A/B testing actually allows you to add new variation ideas to your tests at any time and traffic will be dynamically adjusted accordingly. More traffic is sent to better performing pages while poorly performing pages receive less traffic and are eventually phased out of the test. All tests run continuously, encouraging you to keep testing new ideas to optimize your site.

4. Measure Results and Learn

Monitor the conversions and the amount of traffic that is sent to each variation. Watch for variations that are getting phased out of the test due to poor performance and for pages that are getting the majority of the traffic due to high conversions. Compare the two variations and try to come up with conclusions as to why this is happening. For example, a page with a lot of trust elements like testimonials and customer logos may be performing poorly, while a variation with a “how it works” diagram is getting more traffic and converting higher.  This could mean that your visitors are lost and need more of an explanation about how your product works. This provides valuable information that can be fed back into step 1 to formulate another hypothesis.

Advantages of Lean Website Optimization

Lean website optimization as a methodology to increase conversions has a lot of advantages over running traditional A/B tests and conversion optimization strategies.

Maximize conversions at all times

By using multi-armed bandit theory, the risk of losing conversions and revenue during the experiment is minimized. With lean website optimization we are able to reduce the cost or  ”regret” of our test (regret being the difference between optimal conversions from the highest converting page and actual conversions during the experiment). This means that we can maximize our conversion rate and thus achieve a higher average conversion rate than traditional A/B testing.

Develop a deep understanding of customer behaviour

By keeping website optimization lean you are able to develop a deep understanding of your market. You will have scientifically proven data on their needs, wants, behaviour and purchasing habits. This is very valuable for developing new features and products as well as improving customer satisfaction.

Improve customer satisfaction

The lean website optimization methodology allows changes to take place that are the result of user driven data and scientifically proven hypotheses. As a whole, over time this will ensure that your website is built around your customers. Your site will address customers’ exact concerns and issues as well as provide them with the solution they are looking for. Due to the continuous nature of this methodology and the powerful feedback loop, it means your site will continually improve as your customers and market change and adapt. Being able to flexibly change and adapt is a huge competitive advantage.

bill gates ab testing

As you can see this process of continuously A/B testing is a cycle and is possible due to multi-armed bandit theory which we employ in our Growth Giant tool. You are able to add new variations (each with a different hypothesis) to the experiment at any time and our tool will work out the conversion rate and send more traffic to higher converting pages. This maximizes your conversion rate at all times as your traffic isn’t blindly sent to poorly performing variations like in traditional A/B testing. This allows you to spend more time analyzing the behaviour, needs and wants of your visitors so that you can come up with effective web page variation ideas to test and improve your conversions further.

As website business owners, we all know that we should be constantly looking for ways to improve our website, thus we need a continuous process in place to empower us to do so. Lean website optimization, if used correctly can be very effective and provide your business with a huge competitive advantage. You will be able to iterate your landing pages faster for more conversions. This could mean more sign ups, registrations, sales and revenue!

 

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Landing page optimization for conversions (infographic)

Below is a great infographic that we discovered about landing page optimization. It covers a lot of interesting points about website optimization and we wanted to elaborate on the main points in the diagram to give you more details on how to get the most from your website. Firstly we’ll go through the reasons why

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Below is a great infographic that we discovered about landing page optimization. It covers a lot of interesting points about website optimization and we wanted to elaborate on the main points in the diagram to give you more details on how to get the most from your website. Firstly we’ll go through the reasons why you should be optimizing your landing pages, then we’ll delve into more detail about 16 steps you can take to improve your landing pages.

Why optimize your landing pages?

Enhance customer’s experience

Landing page optimization allows you to improve your user experience. This is important and is great for customer conversions and retention. Visitors will be able to more intuitively navigate and use your site which will work to improve the overall experience.

Build trust

Trust is a very important element to have on your website. There are literally millions of different websites online and it’s difficult to stand out from the others. Optimizing your website allows you to build trust with your visitors and customers. There are a lot of specific ways to build trust which can also help with increasing conversions. This includes adding client testimonials or a “featured in” section.

Maximize campaign ROI

The difference between a successful and unsuccessful marketing campaign can often come down to the conversion rates of your website. Optimizing your site and landing pages allow you to potentially make more revenue with the same traffic. This allows more budget to be placed into marketing and gives your team more scope to try creative marketing campaigns.

Increase your site’s usability

Site usability is tied in to the customer experience. This involves making your site easy to use. This can be done through intuitive navigation or status bars for form completions. Helping users effectively and quickly use your site is crucial for conversions and website optimization.

Increase your conversion rates

Finally, the overall goal for landing page optimization is to ultimately increase your conversion rate, whether it be sign ups, sales or form completions.

landing page optimization

Infographic by- Invesp

16 steps to optimize landing pages

The infographic above creates a path which shows 16 steps to optimize your landing pages. We’ll go through each of the 16 steps and elaborate on what they involve.

1. Know your visitors

Understand the type of traffic you are receiving. Where are they coming from? What do they expect to see when they land in your site? Answers to these questions will help you figure out how to go about creating your landing pages and what content to place on the page.

2. Present a clear value proposition

This step sounds very simple but is very often overlooked. Ensure you make the benefits of your product or service very clear. This can be done in for the form of web copy or in a video or diagram.

3. Post relevant and persuasive content

All the copy that you include on your landing page should be carefully thought out and planned. Each bit of text should serve a purpose of either informing the viewer about something or convincing them to do something. Make sure the content you use is relevant to what the landing page is about and emotive enough to get them to take action.

4. Deliver a consistent message

This is extremely important if you are driving visitors from a Pay Per Click campaign. Make sure the message and the content on the landing page matches the copy in your ad creative. There is no point attracting traffic with an ad that read “10% off sports shoes” and then sending them to a landing page that sells high heels. Make sure your message is relevant and consistent.

clear call to action

CTA should be prominently placed

5. Provide a clear call to action

Make your call to action (CTA) stand out and prominent on the page. The purpose of this landing page is to get viewers to do one thing and that is take action on your CTA. Use contrasting colors, large font sizes and prominent placement to emphasize your CTA buttons or text.

6. Balance your content and images

A good balance of content and images can be the difference between a high converting landing page and a poor one. Make sure you use relevant images to break up large areas of text. This will work for conversions as well as the readability of your page.

7. Create a user-friendly layout

A user friendly layout ensures the site is easy to navigate, use and read. This will make visitors feel a lot more comfortable on your site and increase your conversions.

8. Use emotional triggers

Emotional triggers can be in the form of text, images or videos. People relate very well to emotional triggers. An example could be “fear”. You can use fear to make viewers feel as if they “need” your product or service. Insurance companies often do this when selling insurance packages. They come from the angle of fear of getting caught out with too little insurance.

9. Remove distractions

The sole purpose of your landing page is for people to take action and convert. Distractions can come in the form of links, widgets and even the navigation. You want to make it extremely clear as to what you want the visitors to do, so sometimes it’s best to remove these distractions and A/B test to see if it improves your conversion rate.

10. Don’t ask for too much information

Asking for too much information creates a lot of friction and will often scare visitors away. Ask for only what you need and you’ll find that more people are willing to fill in your form or survey.

11. Build trust

Trust can be built in a variety of different ways and is effective in increasing conversions. Building trust is a way to make customers feel more comfortable and secure spending money on your site.

poorly designed form

only ask for minimum information

12. Respect privacy

Don’t invade people’s privacy. If you are collecting people’s email addresses make sure it’s clear what you will be using their emails for and that you won’t be abusing them.

13. User testimonials

People love to see what other people have to say about your product. User or customer testimonials work well to increase conversions as they provide comfort for people who are on the fence considering whether or not to invest their money in your product or service. Adding a Facebook widget that displays peoples friends that have also used a product or service is also a great way to build trust.

14. Keep it simple

Simplicity is the key to creating landing pages. Each landing page should have a single purpose and everything on that page should be organized in a way to promote that goal. It’s often a good idea to take a “less is more” approach when designing effective landing pages.

15. Test every component of your landing page

All of the above tips are typically great for increasing conversions. They’re best practices that have worked on countless sites, however that doesn’t mean that they’ll necessarily work for you. There is only one group of people that will tell you what converts best and they’re your own customers and visitors. You should continuously run landing page optimization and A/B tests to discover new ways to increase your conversions.

16. Ensure less loading time

Continually optimize your site speed. People are very impatient online and don’t like to wait for websites to load. You could have the perfect landing page with an incredibly high conversion rate, but if visitors have to wait too long they may just leave. Studies have shown that most people won’t wait more than one second for a web page to load, so it’s very important to decrease website load times.

There are a lot of landing page optimization tips listed above. We recommend going through each one and running A/B tests to see what works for your site and landing pages. This will ensure that you’re getting the most from your website and not loosing valuable customers and revenue.

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The pitfalls of A/B testing

A/B testing is a great way to optimize landing pages and increase conversions for your website. This is something that should be done continuously, however there are many pitfalls and limitations that marketers need to be aware of. Statistical significance The biggest pitfall for marketers when running A/B tests is statistical significance. Take Tom for

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A/B testing is a great way to optimize landing pages and increase conversions for your website. This is something that should be done continuously, however there are many pitfalls and limitations that marketers need to be aware of.

Statistical significance

The biggest pitfall for marketers when running A/B tests is statistical significance. Take Tom for example, who played roulette and bet $1 on black 100 times. From those 100 bets he won 46 times and lost 54 times. Tom then decided to wear gloves and bet $1 on black another 100 times. This time Tom won 52 times and lost 48 times.

This experiment to see if wearing gloves increases your chances of winning is ridiculous, however this is how many marketers are currently running their A/B tests. In this example when Tom wore gloves, black won 7% more than when he wasn’t wearing gloves, so some marketers decide to “always wear gloves”. This problem of not understanding the difference between variations in conversions based on chance, as opposed to variations based on the changes to the page, can be very dangerous and costly for businesses.

In order for an A/B test to provide actionable data, the experiment must be run long enough that the null hypothesis is statistically disproven.

When starting any new A/B test we should always start the experiment assuming a null hypothesis. In an A/B testing environment the null hypothesis would be that “the differences between the two landing pages have no impact on conversions”. In other words any variation in conversions is based on pure chance. The purpose of running the A/B test is to disprove this null hypothesis. With the example above there were 200 bets made which would be the same as 200 website visits, and a 7% increase in conversions. For some sites this could result in huge increases in revenue, however that increase from the experiment is completely useless, and no decisions should be made based on that. The problem with the experiment is that the results have not hit a statistical relevance to suggest that either betting black with a glove or no glove is more effective from a statistical perspective. The solution to this problem of statistical relevance is to run the test longer with a larger sample size.

In order for an A/B test to provide actionable data, the experiment must be run long enough that the null hypothesis is statistically disproven. This could be a very short or very long time. The smaller the difference in conversions, the longer it could potentially take. The problem is that during the entire A/B test, marketers are sending 50% of traffic to a landing page that potentially converts less than the other page. If this was to be happen continuously, test after test, over time a lot of potential revenue could be lost. Thus, any gains made from discovering better converting landing pages could be canceled out.

It can be very tempting to end A/B tests prematurely when we start seeing better results and more conversions in one variation. Marketers and decision makers must restrain from ending the test early and continue split testing until the results are statistically significant.

Test big or small?

ab test large changes

Test large changes first

Now that we understand statistical significance and proper test duration, we can look at what to test. As mentioned above, the smaller the increase in conversion, the longer the tests. This usually aligns with how big or small the difference in variations are.

For example, it would take much longer to achieve statistical relevance when testing a small change such as changing the color of a conversion button from red to green as opposed to a big change such as a complete redesign.

One of the most common A/B testing rules and best practices is to test one thing at a time, such as the color of a button or a different headline. This is somewhat counter-intuitive, as running A/B tests with these small changes take way too long and the opportunity cost of that time could be better spent running a bigger test and achieving higher conversions quicker.

It’s better to start off with big changes and tests that are based on different conversion hypotheses. Once your big testing clearly defines a winner you can then make smaller tweaks and changes.

Confusion between A/B testing percentage increases

A very simple and common problem we have seen many marketers make is the confusion between percentage increases revealed in A/B tests. There are two ways to describe percentage increases in conversions, however they each paint a very different picture.

  1. 3% increase in conversions – This refers to the difference in the conversion rates of the two variations i.e. 30% and 33%
  2. 10% increase in conversion rate - This refers to the percentage increase from 30% to 33% conversion rate

When there is confusion between percentage increases of A/B tests, wrong decisions can be made. This is especially true if there are many different stakeholders and people involved with the testing.

An ineffective A/B test is a complete waste of time and can drive decisions down the wrong path. It’s very important to take note of these pitfalls to ensure you run your tests correctly. A/B testing is a statistically driven initiative so it’s important that you look and analyse the results from a statistical perspective.

Solution

We feel as though we have come up with a solution for many of the pitfalls of traditional A/B testing in our Growth Giant A/B testing tool. We employ the Multi-Armed Bandit algorithm, which in simple words, constantly pushes traffic to pages that are converting higher without having to wait for statistical significance. This eliminates wastage in our A/B tests, making ongoing testing more efficient. Traffic is automatically directed to better performing pages to ensure that you receive the maximum number conversions during your entire test period.

If you’re interested in a new and improved way to A/B test then sign up for the beta release of Growth Giant and get early access as soon as we launch!

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Conversion rate optimization tips from top 10 online retailers

Here is an interesting study conducted by The Nielsen Company in March 2010. They analyzed the top online retailers and calculated their conversion rates, which was the percentage of unique vistiors that made an online purchase on the given site. The top e-commerce sites ranked by conversions showed huge, almost unheard of conversion rates. Here

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Here is an interesting study conducted by The Nielsen Company in March 2010. They analyzed the top online retailers and calculated their conversion rates, which was the percentage of unique vistiors that made an online purchase on the given site. The top e-commerce sites ranked by conversions showed huge, almost unheard of conversion rates.

Here are the top 10 online retailers ranked by conversion rate with number one having a massive 40.6% conversion rate:

ecommerce conversion rate optimization

There are a lot of conversion rate optimization lessons we can learn from these top online retailers. If you run an e-commerce site, here are some tips and takeaways that can help you with your conversions.

Great photos and product descriptions

It’s very important to have great product photos and product descriptions. This is where customers spend most of the time when deciding on the purchase. They look at the photos and zoom in if possible. Great photos and quality product descriptions will help with your conversions and will also create a great user experience for customers.

Don’t waste your time with stock standard photos. Take your own photos and highlight the best features of your product. Use lots of photos and create a real experience for viewers when they look at your products. Think of your product photos and descriptions as a substitute for someone walking into a store and physically looking at the product.

Here’s an example of great product photos. As you can see you can hover your mouse over the photo to show a zoomed in view. This is great for customers who want to look at the finer details of the product.

Product photos optimization

Woman Within – Great product photos

Ask customers to leave reviews and feedback

A lot of the ecommerce sites in the top 10 converting list allow customers who have bought a product to leave a review. This is a very powerful trust signal as people trust what other people have to say. It works as social proof that the product is either good or bad. As long as you are selling good products this will work really well. Allowing people to see what previous customers have to say reassures potential customers and increases the chances of them converting.

conversion rate optimization

Oriental Trading – Customer reviews

People love discounts and special offers

All of the top 10 converting online retailers have special offers and discounts displayed prominently on their homepage. They know that people love discounts and special offers. Give people what they love and a reason to buy from your online store. Examples of effective discounts and special offers include a percentage storewide discount, free shipping, buy 1 get 1 free, buy this and receive a free gift or even earn special reward points. These offers sweeten the deal and draw customers from competitors while improving your conversions.

At the time of writing this article here are some of the current offers our top 10 converting retailers have.

conversion rate optimization

1800 Pet Meds – Save up to 42%

special offer optimization

Vitacost -”Free shipping over $49″ and Savings up to 65$ – prices from $0.68″

Urgency drives conversions

Creating a feeling of urgency can help drive conversions, especially if there’s a special offer associated with the time frame. As you can see above, people love special offers and the worst thing that could happen is if they missed out on a special offer. Many of the online retailers in the top 10 list create an element of urgency. They have a special offer for a limited time or a limited quantity. This psychological feeling of missing out is great for increasing conversions and pushes a lot of people over the line. Spend some time crafting your special offers and elements of urgency as this can be a very powerful strategy.

Schwans has a special offer for a limited time. They give a date range to create an element of urgency.

urgeny conversions

Schwans – Offer valid June 24 – July 21, 2012

Focus on a specific niche

A common trend with all these top 10 converting online retailers is that they all focus on a specific niche with the exception of Blairs and  QVC. It’s much easier to cater for one group of people and optimize your site for those people. Having a high conversion is not just about optimizing elements on page but it’s also about attracting the right sort of traffic. If you have a clearly defined niche and target audience you can spend your resources and time attracting only that audience. Woman Within, which is number 2 on the list with a conversion rate of 25.3%, is in the plus size woman clothing niche. They’re very clear with who they’re targeting and therefore are able to optimize their site based on that audience. This helps greatly with improving conversions.

Free shipping alleviates purchase anxiety

Free shipping is a great way to push a customer over the line. One of the top reasons some people still don’t purchase online is the shipping costs. If you offer free shipping costs this will definitely help with conversions. You can offer free shipping on all orders or in an attempt to increase average order sales you can offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. Woman Within offer free shipping if your purchase is over $50. You can see the offer below:

conversion rate optimization special offer

Woman Within – Free shipping on orders of $50 or more

There are a lot of conversion rate optimization lessons and tips that can be taken from these 10 top converting online retailers, however each site is unique and different. Elements and components that work to increase conversions for these sites may not work for yours. This is where vigorous and continuous A/B testing comes into play. If you’re able to continuously A/B test different elements and hypotheses you will be able to constantly increase your conversions.

Growth Giant is a tool which will allow you to run continuous A/B tests while maximizing conversions. We are excited to launch and release beta access soon.

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