Conversion Optimisation for PPC at #SESLondon

Conversion Optimisation for PPC at #SESLondon

22nd February 2012

Next up in the PPC track we have Ben Jesson and Craig Sullivan talking about Conversion Rate Optimisation. In this session we are going to learn exactly how to change a website to achieve increases in profit in the shortest amount of time.


  • Loren Baker, VP of Business Development, BlueGlass Interactive, Inc.


Here we go:

First up we have Craig Sullivan from Belron International, who focus a lot on conversion rate optimisation in a big way. He is going to focus on Lean Optimisation which isn’t a new technique but it is new in the way that it is packaged. It combines UCD, Agile PM and tightly integrated teams.

The short definition here is “It makes lots of money and delights customers”

You really need to get under the skin of the customer when it comes to effective CRO. Put yourself in the eyes of the customer and work your way around the site to get a real understanding of what they will see. This doesn’t just involve the core sections of the site, you should even review the minor sections including things like the returns section and the terms and conditions.

Immersion Tips

  1. Wear the magical slippers of customer experience
  2. Work in the call centre or listen in regulally
  3. Test all the journeys from print media, display, PPC and organic
  4. Exercise your top landing pages or key routes
  5. Whats the scent trail like
  6. Test all the non phone contact stuff in your site (email and forms)
  7. Test the phone lines people use
  8. What are your phone messages like
  9. Not having a big budget is no excuse for not running usability tests on the site!

Killer Tips

  1. Use Clicktale – it is vital for Conversion Rate Optimisers
    1. Cheap and easy to set up
    2. Provides you with a wealth of information
    3. You can get an accurate idea of where people are clicking on the site
    4. You can even watch live users on the site and see how they navigate
    5. Heat maps are a great way to understand if people are clicking on an area of the site that isn’t actually clickable
  2. End device discrimination
    1. Measure a key process and run usability tests for people using different browsers
    2. You will often find that there are issues within all browsers, not just IE6!
    3. Look at your entry traffic in Google Analytics and uncover who is using your site and with which type of browser
    4. Broswercam and DeviceAnywhere are great tools to help you with this
  3. Call Tracking
    1. Infinity Call Tracking gives you so much information about customers calling you
    2. Add dynamic tags to your page so you have a dedicated number for each visitor
    3. Link your call tracking in with Google Analytics and Google AdWords
    4. You can now build a link between web and call so use it!
    5. You can test different phone hold music, see what retains customers on the phone

6 Tools for Optimising Outcomes

Craig gave away six of the best tools that he recommends for optimising outcomes on a site. If you take away anything from this session, it will be to use these tools to really understand what is happening on your site.

  • Google Analytics
  • Speed Trap
  • Autonomy Optimost
  • Clicktale
  • Addthis
  • Call Tracking

If you do not use call tracking now, this is something that Craig recommends we all do in 2012. Call tracking can and will give you so much more data it comes to understanding where you are getting your conversions.

Performance and Availability

Get Google Site Speed Tags on your site to understand what is happening to visitors on the site when they reach it. How fast does the site actually load? Stop testing your mobile site on Wifi, go somewhere that doesn’t have great coverage to see how it loads.

A/B and Multivariate Testing

Craig explained the difference between A/B and Multivariate Testing in a very simple way… Pizza!! The images below were from these two very slides.

First up we have AB Testing which is a very controlled test, taking one pizza and testing it directly against another (Hawaiian vs. Pepperoni)

Next we have Multivariate Tests which is where you test lots of different ingrediants at one time, pulling together all the data to understand what ingrediants are most desired on one pizza.


Next up we have Karl Blanks from Conversion Rate Experts, it was going to be his collegue Ben Jesson who could not be here today. From this talk he wants everyone to have a better understanding of why conversion rate optimation is fundamental to the success of a business. He is going to provide everyone with a step by step methodology for increasing conversions on a site and the different tools and technologies that you can use.

So, why should we be doing Conversion Rate Optimisation?

  1. You get more customers, free
  2. The ‘slighte edge’ phenomenon
  3. Your profit is surprisingly sensitive to your conversion rate
  4. CRO makes your business more robust
  5. If your competitors are not doing it already, they will be soon

Revenue = Visitors x Conversion Rate x Lifetime Customer Value

Increased volume leads to cost savings and efficiency. If your conversion rate increases you will be able to afford to spend more on your advertising (SEO, PPC, Affiliate, Print, Radio and TV)

Business that has lots of traffic but lack of conversions is NOT a stable business! If you look under the bonnet of any successful business you will find a powerful conversion engine.

A great site to understand which multivariate testing platform you should be using. Conversion Rate Experts have done a lot of research into the different platforms and within this site you can get an understanding of which one is right for you. Check out the tool here –

A key point here is that it is not all about the tools, it is what you do with them.

Conversion Rate Experts Methodology!

Karl talked through the methodology that the team at Conversion Rate Experts apply when it comes to starting Conversion Rate Optimisation on a site.  There are 8 key areas that he focused on which we can all apply to any site.

STEP 1 – The Rules of the Game

  • Coming up with your strategy
  • Discussing your long term goals
  • How to measure success

STEP 2 – Understanding anf tuning existing traffic sources

  • Sketch out your entire conversion funnel (Clicktale does this very well)
  • Identify blocked arteries (look at pages with high drop off rates)
  • Identify missing links (are there any pages that you need to add)

STEP 3 – Understand your visitors

  • Understanding different visitor types and intentions
  • Some great tools for this include: Google Analytics, Crazyegg, Kampyle, Usability Testing, 4Q, Your Ears and Mouth, Live Person, ClickTale, KISSinsights, Survey Monkey, Ethnio, Google Internal Search

STEP 4 – Advanced Market Intelligence

  • Competitor analysis
  • Expert commentators
  • Listen in to customers conversations
  • Some good tools to use: Google Alerts, User Testing, Wikipedia, Experian, Twitter, Wasp, Facebook

STEP 5 – Spotting the hidden wealth in your business

  • Identify persuasive assets
  • List the highly persuasive elements that your prospects never saw
  • Create a wish list of persuasive assets you need to acquire
  • Don’t have a drop down to understand where the customer heard about you, use a free text box to let them type!

STEP 6 – Creating your experimental strategy

  • How likely is it to double the business?
  • How much effort is needed?
  • Has this idea worked before?
  • It is much better to look for a small number of tests which will have massive gains

STEP 7 – Designing experimental web pages

  • Make sure the site can be tested on
  • Usability tests should be done before you start AB testing
  • Test, Test, Usability Test

STEP 8 – Transfer your winning campaigns into other media

  • Your existing advertising
  • Other parts of your conversion funnel
  • New advertising opportunities

This was the final slide from Karl Blanks and I am sure that a lot of people in the room took lots away from this session. As I mentioned above, the key thing to take away and implement today is call tracking for your site. I can speak from experience here as we use it at Koozai for ourselves and a number of clients and you really do get a lot more insight into what makes your customers convert.

This post in part made possible by a sponsoring from Majestic SEO who have the largest Link Intelligence database in Search.


Written By
Samantha Noble is the founder of Biddable Moments and a former editor and contributor to State of Digital.
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