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SEO Campixx: Conversion on Steroids

19 March 2013 BY

One of the best conferences in Germany is definitely SEO Campixx. Where do you find a conference which starts with a great show, an own song and a Star Wars theater play starring Marcus „Mediadonis“ Tandler as Luke Skywalker, Searchmetrics chief Marcus Tober as Yoda and Link Research Tools founder Christoph Cemper as Evil Darth Vader? It’s a different kind of conference with a focus on spirit and networking, but also with 8 (!) parallel tracks on a wide range of different topics. You’ll find sessions about classical SEO themes like linkbuilding, about Panda & Penguin etc. But you’ll also find advanced technical sessions about crawling & scraping, conversion optimization and sessions with titles like “how do I organize my business” or “how to find a good in house SEO for your company?”.

The conference was held last weekend in the suburbs of Berlin.

Conversion on Steroids

The first session I visited and one of my favorite sessions was called “Conversion on Steroids” by Jens Altmann. Jens split his session in two parts: in the first part he gave us some basic recommendations about how to optimize the conversion on your website, the second part gave us a deep insight how you can find out the users intention in real time using just Javascript. Especially the second part was very interesting, but he asked us also to not blog too much information, which we of course respect.

Conversion starts with speed and problems with speed can occur on 3 levels:

1. Client: network performance, CPU speed (this can be a big problem on mobile sites!), browser performance.

To improve speed on client side Jens suggests:

Javascript

  • asynchronous downloading
  • DOM manipulation

Images

  • small images in CSS via Base64 inline
  • use sprites
  • Optimize your images. Take a look at WebP, which is 25% smaller compared to PNG with transparency. Today it just works with Firefox and Chrome but it hopefully will be supported in the future by other browsers too.

DOM

  • Reduce DOM
  • Useful CSS Selectors
  • Delete unnecessary code

Rendering and display

  • Images: Define height and width
  • Use Inline CSS for small css files
  • Use pure Javascript instead of frameworks

2. Server: high load, lot of requests, attacks (DOS), bad configuration

htaccess

  • keep alive for HTTP/1.1
  • Activate File Caching on the expired header in the browser
  • activate GZip

Modules

  • deactivate unusefull modules
  • use mod_pagespeed

Load balancing on database server

Caching (don’t cache with time, cache when a file is changed)

  • rendered HTML
  • Database requests

Performance Tests and monitoring
Use Selenium
Use Google Page Speed

3. Specification:
HTTP/1.1 allows just two connections to one host. If you have 10 images to load on your page, the client just downloads two images at the same time.

Put files on different servers

  • Use subdomains
  • Use a CDN

Lazy Load of images

  • Pre-fetching of images and files
  • Use rel next, not just for Google. It also says to the browser load the next page.

After the topic Speed, Jens talked about some basic things on conversion optimization, that most people probably already know, but a lot of websites still forget:

  • Make the button to the shopping basket stand out (big)
  • Use pictograms
  • Put your trust elements in the header
  • Put your USPs clear in the header
  • Use great images
  • Use simple forms: just ask the data you really need.
  • Use common field names, so people can use the autofill function of their computer or mobile device
  • Think mobile: use short forms. Many fields demotivate, so split your form in several pages. (wizard)
  • Newsletter: make your newsletter short and segment your users to interests, buying history etc. Order the topics in the newsletter targeted to the individual user.
  • After newsletter subscription make a special follow up page, not just “thank you”. (Cross selling)
  • KISS: a simple usability means higher conversions

In the last part of his session Jens talked about tracking and the problems we face with the privacy discussions and the EU cookie guideline. As you can get a lot of information by just using Javascript (Display time, selected text, mouse position, mouse clicks etc.) you can find out the user’s intention without the use of cookies. At the end of his session Jens showed us how he retrieves this information in real time with Javascript and how he uses the information to dynamically deliver the right content to the right user.

AUTHORED BY:
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Evert Veldhuijzen is consulting various international brands about different aspects of online marketing. His company Netlead is in affiliate business and develops websites for his joint-ventures.

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