The SEOgadget Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization | SEOmoz

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Excerpted from article:

« To get good at driving real change, you’ve got to define a CRO methodology. The real trick to improving your conversion is pretty simple: identify, and target the core barriers to conversion and then, scientifically test the changes. This is the good path that we advocate for all inbound marketers to follow.


At the heart of conversion rate optimization is the notion of removing barriers to conversion. These are the forces stopping your site from converting visitors into sales.

Barriers to conversion can include usability errors, weak persuasive techniques and often, page relevancy issues.

Here’s how we do it:

Step 1 – Set up Funnels

Setup your funnels and analyse the points where your users enter, until the point they exit. Try to identify the “missing links” or barriers to conversion.


Step 2 – Analytics

Find out what’s actually happening when people land on your site, analyse what they do, what keywords they discovered you for and where they land.

Usability tools such as ClickTale are also great for funnels and their form analytics reveal where users drop off along your forms. CrazyEgg is another simple and effective tool that we use for click density analysis.


Step 3 – Barriers

To identify barriers to conversion, you’ve got to build up a profile of people’s objections and opinions.

Tools such as Kissinsights, Pop-Survey, Kampyle are really good for page level surveys and pretty simple to setup.


Step 4 – Go Offline

If we know our target then the objective becomes easier. Study your website and understand your customers.

Speak to sales staff to learn the likely barriers they face when they sell and use the site.


Step 5 – Prospect for Missing Links

Study your website carefully and consider what you’re missing. For example, showing expert reviews, customer reviews, testimonials, or even taking the time to build a community.


Step 6 – Strengthen Average Order Value (AOV)


Step 7 – Wireframe the Solutions

We use tools such as Balsamiq and Cacoo to wireframe the solutions and then prepare hypotheses for testing. Test scientifically, the most important thing to take away from testing is to learn what works and what doesn’t and to keep building structurally to increase conversion rate. No guesswork!


Step 8 – Testing

We primarily use Google Website Optimiser (which is now becoming content experiments) and Visual Website Optimiser. There’s loads of split testing and multivariate software. But remember: it’s not the testing tool that increases your conversion it’s the ideas you put into it.


Step 9 – Review

Review your test, analyse the analytics, click density and form analytics (ClickTale) and compare it to the original page, check the difference.

Tracking AOV and revenue is so important when testing. Structure your follow up tests and build on your success, or failure.


Step 10 – Rinse & Repeat

Repeat the process and keep building successful tests. Each time you test and find winning variations, you build up a portfolio of increases. Conversion rate optimization is an iterative process, which builds on the success of the previous test.


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