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What is Conversion Optimization?

Conversion optimization involves small incremental changes that can lead to great results; it is not a complete overhaul of your website. It is an ongoing process of making changes, testing those changes, and identifying the changes that increase conversions. Marketers must learn the different ways customers interact with your website and optimize the site to boost conversions.

Organizations that are successful at Conversion Optimization use many different methods of digital marketing optimization best practices. They look at optimizing every aspect of operations, from the first contact through to the sale. Web Specialists review adverts, landing pages, promotional videos, website copy, and usability studies. The usability studies get groups of people to test your website and find out what they like about it and what they don’t. Businesses then utilize these results to make and test improvements, creating small incremental changes over time that slowly push up the conversion rate.

Example: Consider two websites with identical amounts of traffic, web copy, and conversion rate. One site (website x) implements Conversion Optimization while the other (website y) does not. As a few months go by, website traffic for both domains remain the same; no extra money is being spent on promotion. However, the website that implemented Conversion Optimization (website x) is converting at 3% as opposed to the 2% conversion website y has. That 1% difference represents a large number of sales, for example:

Website X Website Y
Conversion Optimization? Yes No
Traffic 10,000/month 10,000/month
Conversion Rate 3% 2%
Sales 300 200
  • If traffic equals 10,000 visitors/month, a 2% conversion would equal 200 sales, and 3% would correlate with 300 sales. Website X generates 100 more sales without any need for additional promotion, all thanks to Conversion Optimization.

The Customer’s Journey & Amazon’s Success

Graphic of Modern Customer Journey Online with graph and man in suit

Image Source: Vendasta

Based on modern-day customer trends, businesses should remove all roadblocks preventing your visitors from purchasing from you. Conduct persona work and identify the expectations of various groups of customers. The best example of this would be Amazon, as they have taken years to perfect the customer’s journey to the point of sale as straightforward as possible. Amazon uses data to improve the buying experience for its customers by taking a customer-centric approach (understanding customer behavior on their site) and optimizing continuously (testing every area of the website). Amazon goes a step further to set themselves apart, enhancing the customer experience through:

  • Applying the same process to every aspect of company operations
  • Foster a culture of innovation and taking risks
  • Making data-driven decisions
  • Focusing on corporate agility and experimentation, seeking to improve
  • Use small cross-functional teams to gain a competitive edge

In order to foster continuous improvements to the customer experience, businesses must have a plan in place for testing elements of your page systematically. Without a plan, it makes it extremely difficult (and detrimental) to track which change led to what result and can waste a lot of time. This can be especially difficult for small businesses, who may not have the staffing, budget, or time to fit all this in to their marketing plan

What Should You Test?

The easiest way to begin testing and tracking changes is creating A/B versions of your landing page and discover which page gets better results. The page with better results is subject to further testing by changing some aspects in an ongoing process. After your landing page, consider other areas of Conversion Optimization:

  • Optimize your personalized emails and autoresponders. Not everyone buys the same way, and each visitor needs to understand how to navigate your website on multiple platforms. Personalize your message according to the customer’s background and motivation for buying. 
  • Test each segment of your audience, set up and test different offers, and find out which ones appeal best to each segment.
  • Identify your unique value proposition early on and display it clearly on every page of your site, reinforce the offer. Maintain the customer’s interest throughout the buying process.

The Principles of Persuasion

Psychology and Marketing expert Robert Cialdini writes about the six Principles of Persuasion that drive conversion rates.

Robert Cialdini's 6 Principles of Persuasion written in the image of the number six

Image Source: Emerge Local

Reciprocity – People are likely to reciprocate if what you do benefits them in some way. Providing valuable information to visitors makes them feel obligated to you, making them more likely to return.

Commitment and Consistency – People like to be perceived as being consistent in their attitudes or actions. Once they have committed to something, they want to see it through. Getting people to commit to something small increases their likelihood of returning and making further purchases.

Social Proof – Most believe that there is safety in numbers. Persuade your visitor that other people are doing something to increase the likelihood 

Liking – If people like your brand, they are more likely to buy from you. One way to get people to like you is to have a well-designed “About Us” page. Connect with customers on a human level.

Authority – One of the best-known principles; examples of authority being used include celebrity endorsements and messages from experts or professionals. Authority helps your buyers to have more confidence in your brand.

Scarcity – Give people a sense of urgency to get them to make the ‘buy’ decision on their first visit.

According to Harvard Business professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of our decision-making process takes place in the subconscious mind. Marketers need to tap into this the best they can, or else they are missing out on many leads/sales.

Getting Started with Conversion Optimization

The beauty of Conversion Optimization is that it eliminates wasting more resources for unpredictable results. The practices are built on optimizing what data you already have and generating more profit from existing customers/traffic. Here are five strategies to begin with:

  1. A/B Testing
    • As previously stated, A/B testing is the most prominent way to implement Conversion Optimization. There are plenty of ideas for areas to test.
  2. Customer Value Proposition
    • Make it clear why users should buy from you, and what do they get if they buy from you.
  3. Use Colloquial Language
    • Remember, everyone is not an expert on the topic you are, and consumers know what is authentic. Keep it short and simple, don’t try to sound too smart, and sound human/authentic.
  4. Create Urgency
    • This can be tricky as urgency must be authentic, but many studies have shown that consumers face paralysis by analysis when faced with too many options. Narrowing the time to purchase will force action, in theory.
  5. Anticipate User Experience
    • Some of the most common user issues reported are not understanding their problems/questions; some customers view their concerns as isolated situations. Be specific when explaining what your product/service solves. Incorporate user ratings, comments, awards, certificates, testimonials. Anticipate comparisons with competitors and get ahead of hypothetical user questions.

To better understand how Conversion Optimization can increase your business goals, contact SPF Marketing today at Stefan@spfmarketing.com or call (313) 641-0134 for a free quote. For other digital marketing needs, check out other services like:

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