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Top 10 tips for Conversion Rate Optimisation – #ProSEO Seminar 2010

Next up is Stephen Pavlovich, giving us a small insight into the world of conversion rate optimsation. His top tips?

1. Make a plan

Boring but essential, especially for CRO. Many people get tempted to jump straight into the test – that’s like going to the doctor’s and grabbing the first bucket of pills nearest to you. Think:
– Research and analysis (why aren’t visitors converting?)
– Solutions (how can we fix this?)
– Develop + test
– Review and expand

2. Use your treasure map

– Determine the products or areas that are making the most money first – they’ll make the biggest difference to the bottom line, which will help get buy-in from management
– Focus on the main landing pages – this may not be the homepage, the shopping basket on an e-commerce site could be more beneficial
– Set up funnels to track the conversion

3. Guerilla usability testing

– You can use cheap services like usertesting.com… OR …
– Take a laptop, go to a coffee shop, offer random people a free coffee if they give you feedback on your website. Demand brutal honesty! Helpful niceties won’t help.

4. Survey your customers

– Find out what concerns they had before ordering
– Why did they choose to buy from you as opposed to a competitor?
– And would they buy from you again? If not, why not?

5. Address objections head-on

– Speaking to customers will always raise issues, rather than sweeping them under the carpet, make a point of tackling them head-on.

6. Design an automated salesman

– How would you sell the product face-to-face?
– Use the same language that most people would understand, avoid the marketing bullsh*t!
– Compare the online buying process to the offlilne buying process? E.g. would you ask someone for their date of birth if they were in a shop?

7. Optimise the decision process

When someone is going through a buying decision process on your site, colour code the actions/decisions someone has to make within that cycle (red – difficult, amber – not too bad, green – nearly sold).
Avoid frontloading the hardest parts of the decision process, e.g. get the contact information nearer the start of the process to maximise value to you.

8. Start a swipe file

– Every time you see a good example of adverts or campaigns/customer service, take a screenshot and build up a file of them to have quick and easy access to ideas.

9. Even failed tests win

– Even a CRO test that you think is a guaranteed win, which proves to be the exact opposite, has a lot of benefit. Crashing and burning is actually more helpful that having a test peter out. This can feed information back – what was so bad, what affected the conversion rate so badly? Then flip it around.

10. Write an article… get links

– A lot of people are getting into CRO at the minute, so feed that audience and build authority. Post a case study on your own site for example.
Bonus tip: promote case studies with testing software vendors – there are always keen to get case studies as the compete, so links from them are more likely.

Bonus bonus tip: Stephen suggests using email surveys like Survey Monkey for existing customers, in conjunction with short and sweet on-site surveys with tools like KissMetrics.



Originally from the UK via France and Malaysia, Annabel Hodges is a digital marketer with long experience in the industry now residing in Sydney. She heads up the Digital Marketing at Next Commerce, working across an array of products, channels and brands.