Every company would love more leads and sales. I’m sure your company is no different.
Would you like to learn now to become a conversion rate expert FAST?
There is plenty to learn, but this post will get you up to speed. You might want to grab a cup of coffee before you begin this lesson.
… Let’s roll!
Get Familiar with Google Analytics
The very first thing you must do to become a conversion rate expert is to get familiar with Google Analytics.
You may already have Google Analytics code installed on your site and perhaps you even log in each day to look at your traffic stats.
There are a few areas of Google Analytics that conversion rate experts are particularly interested in though:
E-Commerce (if you sell products)
Don’t be intimidated if you’re not already familiar with these three areas. We’ll walk you through what to look for in each area to become a conversion rate expert.
You have goals, or actions you want visitors to take on your website, right? Google Analytics will help you easily track your goals!
Typical conversion goals include:
Submitting a contact form
Submitting a lead gen form
Adding an item to the shopping cart
Filling out the billing information during checkout
Filling out the shipping information during checkout
Completing a transaction/checkout
Other goals might include visiting a certain page on your website, such as a features/benefits or competitor comparison page. These goals have less direct value, but they do provide interesting insight into the behavior of your website visitors.
You can easily set up Goals and goal funnels in Google Analytics to track all of the things in the above list.
Wait a minute, what is a goal funnel? It’s all the steps necessary for someone to complete a goal.
I know this is a little confusing, so let’s walk through this step-by-step.
When you’re setting up your goal in Google Analytics you will tell the software to trigger a conversion goal when a visitor reaches your Thank You page (or whatever page you show when someone completes a checkout).
To do this, simply enter the URL of the thank you page in the Goal Destination area during setup:
If you are simply asking someone to submit a one-step form and consider that a conversion, you won’t need to set up a funnel.
However, if you have a multi-page form OR you are selling a product, you will want to establish a goal funnel.
A goal funnel includes all the steps needed to complete the goal such as:
View specific product
Add product to cart
Submit shipping address
Submit billing information
When you’re setting up the goal funnel you simply give each step within the funnel a name such as “Add to Cart” and “Billing Address” and then enter the specific URL where that step gets completed on.
Once you’ve entered all of your funnel information just hit “Create Goal” and you’re done.
You’ll need to repeat this process for each product, form or download that you want to track conversion goals for.
In the case of most e-commerce sites, you will simply need to change step 1 in the funnel to your individual product page URL. The remaining steps (add to cart, shipping information, billing information and thank you page) will probably remain the same as long as the URLs for each step are the same.
After your goals are all set up in Google Analytics, you are ready to start driving traffic to your website. Of course you will want to track this traffic and see which sources convert the best.
In order to do so you should get familiar with the Campaigns section of Google Analytics.
To find this section in Google Analytics just go to Acquisition >> Campaigns.
Using Campaigns is how you will track the result of individual campaigns. That sounds kind of obvious right, but what does it really mean?
Let’s say you are a health spa that shares recipes with your Facebook audience to get them to visit your website (and ultimately convert on your brochure lead gen form). One day you decide to post a recipe for cheesecake:
You could just use your normal website URL to post the recipe. Perhaps it’s something like: healthspa.com/cheesecake-recipe.
However, if you do that you won’t be able to see if any of the traffic from that particular post converted on any of your website goals. You’ll only be able to see how many conversions you got from Facebook traffic in general.
Knowing how each individual recipe performs is important though because if say the cheesecake recipe converts a lot more people than a salmon recipe you will want to create more cheesecake type recipes.
Without using the Campaigns option in Google Analytics you would never know which type of post converted best and thus could not optimize for future conversions.
To track individual posts you simply need to add a Campaign parameter to a URL so that it looks something like this:
When you add “utm_campaign=” to the end of a URL then you can look under Campaigns in Google Analytics for the particular keyword that you assigned the post and see if any traffic from that post converted.
You can easily create these type of trackable URLs using Google’s URL Builder tool.
We recommend that you create a trackable URL for all of your various campaigns including but not limited to:
Simply give each link an individual campaign name. You can give the same URL multiple campaign names if you want to track different traffic sources.
For example, if you wanted to share and track the results from the cheesecake recipe on Twitter you would simply need to give the URL a unique Campaign identifier such as “utm_campaign=Cheesecake-Twitter.” You could then easily look under Campaigns in Google Analytics for “Cheesecake Twitter” and see if any of that traffic converted on your site. You could also compare it to “Cheesecake-Facebook” and see which traffic source performed better in this particular instance.
If you run an e-commerce website, Google Analytics provides a few extra bells and whistles for you.
Here you can see how each of your products is selling.
Here’s an example from an online candle shop:
Using this quick snapshot you can see which of your items is pulling away as a best seller and can promote that item more heavily.
Or on the reverse side, if you see that one particular product is struggling you might begin pushing that item more so that you can get rid of it.
Your e-commerce software probably already provides you with this information, but being able to see it in Google Analytics when you are viewing your other website data can be handy.
Understand the Framework for Conversion Rate Optimization
There are some simple “best practices” for conversion rate optimization that every expert knows about.
We’ll focus on three of the most important ones today:
Call to Action
Message match is highly important when it comes to optimizing your site and landing pages for conversions. It means that you’re sending traffic to a page on your site that matches what they are looking for.
As an example, let’s use the cheesecake recipe from above.
When linking the Facebook audience to the cheesecake recipe, there are three options:
Send traffic to the homepage forcing visitors to find the cheesecake recipe on their own
Send traffic to a Recipes page forcing them to find the cheesecake recipe on their own
Send traffic directly to the cheesecake recipe
Pop quiz: Which option do you think visitors will find the least frustrating?
If you answered with the last option, you’re right. This may seem obvious but so many marketers and business owners think it’s okay to link to their homepage and make visitors search for what they want.
You should NEVER put the burden of finding information on the visitor. Just link them directly to what you’re promoting.
Here’s another example from Overland Storage.
They are running Google ads offering a whitepaper for enterprise businesses.
When you click the ad you are taken to a landing page that has clear message match. The headline of the landing page matches the ad copy, and the page does nothing else but offer the white paper for download.
Your homepage is a great catch-all for generic traffic, but if you know what someone wants based on an ad/post/etc., send them directly to what they want!
Call to Action
The Call to Action (CTA) is crucial for increasing conversions. It’s a very basic component to any landing page or website, but it simply cannot be left out.
The CTA quite literally prompts the visitor to take an action.
We’ll use our own website as an example for the inclusion of a CTA.
On our Request a Call landing page we include a CTA above the form and once again on the submission button.
Including a specific CTA (vs. something general like “submit) is very persuasive and can easily move the needle on your conversion rate a few points.
Another extremely persuasive element to include on any page where you ask for a conversion is social proof.
Social proof includes things like:
Facebook Like boxes
Twitter follower counts
Social proof lets visitors know that you are a legitimate company that other people endorse.
If a person is wavering on the fence between converting or not, something like a strong testimonial or social media badge can be extremely powerful and persuasive.
For instance, when Kaya introduced their Facebook count badge near the submission form they saw a 70% lift in conversions!
By adding social proof to your landing pages, how much could you improve your conversion rate?
The READY Framework
To understand more about conversion optimization, we suggest studying up on the R.E.A.D.Y. Framework designed by conversion expert Scott Brinker.
The R.E.A.D.Y. framework will help you quickly understand the essentials for conversion rate optimization on any website or landing page.
Invest in A/B Testing Software
What is A/B testing? It’s what happens when you create two variations of the same landing page and split traffic in real time between the two.
There should be some small difference between the two variations. Maybe one has an orange button and one has a green button, or maybe one has a video testimonial and one has a picture testimonial.
Here’s an example from an e-commerce websitethat rearranged product page elements so that the price would be closer to the CTA button.
The original product page:
The variation tested against the original page:
The landing page variation with the button and price close together led to a 10% increase in conversions!
Conversion rate experts rely on a/b testing software to optimize their sites and landing pages for conversions – and you should too if you want to be a conversion expert.
Using the information in this post will help you become a conversion rate expert quickly. However, the world of conversion optimization is one that never sleeps.
What works today may not work in six months. The best thing to do is to keep testing, keep researching and keep reading the Fit Marketing blog, where we’re always sharing the latest news and tips to help you become a marketing expert.
Image credits: Shopify.com, VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com