Use this guide to help you determine how best to optimize your site in order to boost visitor conversion.
Conversion optimization is an ongoing marketing practice that’s never fully completed. No website is perfect as every brand will have areas of their online properties worth optimizing to boost conversions.
As an enterprise brand, you likely have a large complex website or a few sites, which can mean conversion optimization is a difficult, time-intensive task.
It’s hard to know which areas of your website deserve your attention over others and what optimizations will drive the best results.
To streamline your efforts with optimizing for conversions, learn what it takes to best identify your top priorities using tools like Google Analytics to determine where visitors are leaving and how many visitors are exiting and not taking the desired action.
By understanding how many visitors aren’t converting due to a particular issue on your website, it’ll be easier to prioritize which optimizations might make the largest impact.
Create a List of Pages Based on Traffic and Conversions
Begin by collecting relevant data from Google Analytics or another measurement tool by generating a report on the pages that drive the most traffic.
When optimizing it’s important that a significant amount of people visit a particular page to ensure the sample size is large enough to grasp if a change had any impact.
In Google Analytics visit the Behavior report, then Site Content and finally All Pages and reference the pageviews and unique pageviews columns to find the most trafficked pages on your website.
Create another report highlighting the pages that drive the most conversions, whether that’s sales, downloads, or another goal. Determine the results each page is driving by setting up goal tracking with Google Analytics.
Start Asking the Right Questions
Next, it’s time to narrow down the list by coming up with viable questions to ask about improving the performance of certain pages, which inform the focus of your A/B tests.
Altering variables across your website with A/B testing is one of the most effective ways to see what changes will have the biggest impact on the number of conversions driven.
“The most common challenge companies face is collecting and organizing questions, or hypotheses, to guide testing,” says Brian Massey, founder of Conversion Sciences and author of Your Customer Creation Equation.
Success with testing changes across your website is best achieved by answering questions with data, says Massey. “Testing is a great way to collect data, but it takes time and effort.
“That means you have to be asking good questions, or your answers will be useless,” he says. “It’s best to take the time to look at all your pages and fill a spreadsheet with ideas that could increase conversion rates. Then, you can rank these questions.
“Is there a part of the site that you have many ideas about? For example, if you have lots of ideas for improving the cart, that may be the right place to start collecting data for testing.
“Let the questions be your guide,” he adds. “Go through the ranking process and test those things that have the most promise of delivering an ROI on your testing efforts.”
This isn’t a perfect process, as it requires ongoing trial-and-error to see what action is actually worth investing time and resources into.
Ranking Optimization Opportunities
Beyond brainstorming different experiments on your website, consider one of the following data-driven frameworks to prioritize where your company should begin optimizing.
According to the former editor of ConversionXL Tommy Walker, “While there are many frameworks out there, they all have one problem: subjectivity in their scoring. We wanted a more objective, empirical way to prioritize tests.”
He suggests using ConversionXL’s PXL Framework that includes a list of impactful questions paired with a corresponding score to allow your team to more easily rank which conversion opportunities are worth pursuing over others.
Refer to the list you’ve compiled previously of pages on your website that drive both traffic and conversions and begin analyzing them on this spreadsheet to rank them effectively.
You don’t need to analyze 300 pages at once, instead start small and review 20 pages to build a foundation for how you’ll prioritize optimizations in the future.
This framework is beneficial because it allows your team to consistently rank an opportunity based on a few important aspects, making the process more objective, reducing the amount of guesswork that typically goes into running an A/B test.
For example, the spreadsheet asks whether a particular optimization opportunity is above the fold since a majority of the action occurring on a page happens there and should influence your decision to test this opportunity or not.
To use this framework effectively, review the included questions to get a grasp of what additional data you’ll need to fill it out completely beyond the list of top performing pages.
In terms of potential, analyze how much improvement can be made on a particular page and focus more heavily on the pages that aren’t performing.
When scoring an opportunity based on importance, review how much traffic is actually going to a particular page to determine if there’s enough of a sample size to start testing.
Lastly, review the ease of testing aspects of a page to understand both the technical implications and organizational roadblocks related to a certain section of the website.
Ideally, choose the testing opportunities that are likely to drive the most impact and require the least amount of time and resources to execute.
For simplicity with either framework, score most variables (like the optimization opportunity above the fold) with either a 0 or a 1 to indicate no with a 0 or a yes with a 1.
Some variables on these frameworks are more impactful than others (like if the need for an optimization is noticeable in five seconds) and should be weighted differently with a 0 or a 2.
Adapt this approach to scoring or any other aspect of these frameworks to align with your company’s unique needs as long as you’re consistent with how you’re using them.
Try each framework to see which is more effective and easier to integrate with your existing processes and approach to testing.
Common Conversion Optimizations to Consider
Every website is vastly unique as the impact of different industries, types of customers, and company priorities vary the way they are used and how they evolve.
The conversion optimizations made across one website are likely to be drastically different as compared to what changes are made to another.
However, there are a few optimizations that all websites should consider testing to see if there’s any impact on conversions driven.
- Site Speed: “Site speed has a global impact on everything from PPC quality scores to SEO to conversion rates,” says Ian Lurie, CEO founder of Portent, speaker, and author. “A faster site improves visitor retention and makes it more likely they’ll stay to read and process your unique selling proposition. So we always start with that.” Use a service like Pingdom to give your website a speed test to see how it compares to others.
- Typography and Layout: “Things like line spacing and font size may seem silly, but they can drive content consumption,” says Lurie. Review the design details included on your top-performing pages to see what can be improved removed or altered to affect the behavior of visitors.
- Call to action: A smart integration of consistent CTAs throughout your website matters when it comes to engaging visitors. “I hate to see content where the primary theme is ‘buy our stuff,’ says Lurie. Instead, we like to get people so engaged that a CTA like ‘enjoy more of this’ is a no-brainer.” A CTA might be a button to download a white paper, a link to add an item to a wishlist, and more. Each detail from its color, placement, word choice, and more impacts the conversion rate on a particular page.
- Cross-Device Functionality: A company’s website should be accessible across mobile devices and tablets for a better user experience for visitors. Your audience is likely viewing your website across multiple devices as they consume content, research, and shop. Optimize your website to provide one mobile-friendly, cohesive experience for consumers to make it easier for them to take action.
If you don’t know where to start with conversion optimization, consider testing and optimizing these areas of your website as they tend to be the low-hanging fruit that lead to conversions.
How does your organization decide what to begin testing first across your website? How often is your company reviewing your website for untapped conversion opportunities? Let us know over on Twitter @DigitalCurrent.