Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Strategies for conversion optimization.

People often ask me about ways to improve the bounce-rate and ultimately conversion rate on their website and I came across the following list of things most everyone should at least consider. Each one of these can be a deep discussion but in particular I think its important to pay attention to things people will "see" before they "read".


Answer Wiki

Summary: Don't try to create a frankenstein website that leverages all of the recommendations below. You should consider this a tool box of techniques to test on your site and figure out the practical and impractical usage of these techniques as it relates to your product and customers, and how these techniques fit into your overall product and design vision. There is alot of great software (best I've seen is Spring Metrics) out there that allows you to quickly and easily test most of the main ponints below...

A summary of the main points explained below:
  • Use buttons instead of text links
  • Test button location and language
  • Test button size, color and contrast
  • Focus on page speed since latency kills conversion rate
  • Utilize headlines and subheadlines to explain the value prop
  • Don't use too much text. Be clear and concise
  • Color may dictate intent so think about the color of your design
  • Images can aid conversions or detract from them. Test images wisely
  • Testimonials can provide product validation and drive conversions
  • Product videos can be effective when used in the right business vertical
  • Pair referrer intent with landing page context (eg dynamic landing pages)
  • Simplify signup forms by automating or removing as many fields as possible
  • Use social pressure around calls to action e.g. "'N' of your friends are also using this product"
  • Test email subject lines, sender address, and time of day/day of week for optimizing open rates
  • Consider plain text emails over html emails because they may convert better (but test to find out!)
  • Use Facebook ads for direct acquisition but make sure you land users on a custom Facebook tab since conversions on FB are 2x - 3x on FB versus a landing page off of FB
  • FB ads can be optimized by doing image rotation + creative rotation every couple of days, testing in multiple countries since the US is 5x more expensive than most countries, and by isolating demographic segments that convert well
  • Simplify your click to conversion pipeline with FB ads (same goes for any ad platform really)
  • Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion to improve Adwords CTRs and bring down your costs by improve Quality Score
  • Use dynamic landing pages as a destination url for your Adwords ads
  • Test the placement of social sharing buttons on your site to optimize for share conversion rates since referrers to your site from social media properties may have a 2x or 3x higher conversion rate to signup since they are "warm" referrers
  • Use tweet analytics and automation tools to figure the "ideal anatomy of a tweet" in terms of when to send a tweet, how long the tweet should be, and what sort of tweet information your followers find most interesting
  • Optimize your SEO meta data for organic CTR and conversion rate to signup  by using calls to action in the meta data
  • If you have fewer than 20,000 keywords in an Adwords campaign, make 1 ad group per keyword. That ensures that you have 100% match between the title of the ad group and the 1 keyword in the ad group. That can virtually ensure a Quality Score of 4/10 to 6/10 on almost all keywords in your campaign. It's a quick win for establishing much better Quality Scores from the start
Most importantly: Test, Optimize, Rinse, Repeat...