Pop quiz, hot shot – users are landing on your shopping page, but they don’t convert – what do you do?
Thought I’d start with that, in case there were any big Dennis Hopper fans out there.
According to Search Factory, 73% of companies have no idea why consumers abandon their shopping carts before purchasing. Conversion rate optimization is often overlooked, and a solid understanding of the full path of the consumer’s journey is lost on many brands. With the competition becoming more intelligent and consumers becoming more impatient (a 1% second decrease in page speed can result in a 7% loss of conversions), it is crucial to stop guessing and start analyzing, optimizing and creating for changes that will have a quantitative benefit for both users, and of course, your brand.
The idea of conversion rate optimization is not new at all. Marketers have been performing A/B testing since the inception of ecommerce websites; however, its evolution has forced digital marketers to be a bit more analytical and creative in their approach. Our SEO team here at Direct Agents has been much more UX focused than ever in our optimizations and redesigns, leveraging both our in-house creative and analytics teams to pinpoint the areas that will yield the greatest results – and then implementing those real solutions.
For example, a simple update to a homepage CTA in the top-fold of one of our client’s websites was made by identifying simple drop-off rates in Google Analytics behavior flow data (see below). This update caused an increase of over 200% in organic revenue over just three weeks. Pretty amazing, right?
Well, it’s not that difficult if your teams are working together.
However, this is not a perfect world, and many agencies still lack the cohesiveness to make these changes in an intelligent and timely fashion.
Identifying the gaps with Analytics
Let’s start with Analytics as the backbone for conversion rate optimization. Understanding how users interact with your site can seem simple, but is often lost in a bevy of irrelevant data and misunderstood (or simply incorrect) tracking. For example, users in the consideration set of the sales funnel are landing on the education section of your site, but are dropping like flies before entering checkout. This is often caused from a disconnect between how a brand wants to position themselves and what consumers want. There should never be an assumption that buyers will take the time to navigate through extraneous information on your site to find their path to purchase, or search for a CTA that is blended into the background of your page. For example, RIFT Apparel, a Chicago-based on retailer, saw a 6.3% increase in sales after making their CTA stand out against the backdrop of their site design. With the use of heat map tools, behavior flow analysis and multivariate and A/B testing, conclusions can be made on how to optimize your site for conversion rate, that are more than just educated guesses.
Driving the right users with SEO
One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make with its website is misleading its potential customers. Whatever is promised on a SERP (search engines results page) should absolutely be represented on the website and served up quickly (57% of online shoppers abandon a website after 3 seconds of waiting). Utilizing the beautiful art of SEO (said in a completely unbiased tone…), a brand can connect the dots between the analysis of user behavior and the creation of onsite context needed to bring the user to the site and keep them there. Optimizing your site for keywords that are hyper-relevant for the page but also semantically helpful to users utilizing the TF-IDF model (more info on that here), one can not only rank well for high search intent terms, but also give an honest transparent picture to users of what they are about to click-through to. This approach, along with the aforementioned behavior flow learnings from analytics, can help guide the users from search to shopping cart in one fluid motion.
Polishing it up with a creative hand
Okay, now that we’ve slightly nerded-out on the SEO and analytics portion of this discussion, let us not forget that we are still humans, and react emotionally based on a multitude of aesthetic and tone-based imagery. However, good creative has never really been about aesthetics.
A CTA is not always as simple as it seems, and creating a rounded, orange “Shop Now” button is not always the way to go. According to a study performed by Kiss Metrics, impulse shoppers tend to click on orange buttons, while traditional buyers are more likely to click on a pink CTA. The true test of a good creative team is the ability to design an aesthetically pleasing page, that will evoke an emotional response from users, not distract from the content and functionality of a page, and will provide a clear CTA that does not blend into the theme of the site. Understanding just how important creative is in this process can be the difference between high site traffic with low conversion rates, and a site that draws in users from different consideration sets and converts them at a high level.
Understanding the relationship
A well-rounded approach to conversion rate optimization (CRO) solution combines SEO, Analytics and Creative to analyze, identify and measure areas of site drop-off. It requires constant development, research, optimizations, and testing from all three disciplines to discover opportunities that may dramatically boost conversion rates.
Key Features of a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Solution:
- Comprehensive data driven conversion funnel analysis
- User experience and behavior analysis
- Product, pricing and competition analysis
- Landing page analysis
- Website compatibility, speed and security analysis
- Testing and measurement
Remember to always be testing, as users become more intelligent (and less patient) conversion rate optimization will only become more complex as time goes on. Our teams at Direct Agents can provide you with precise details and analytics to improve your marketing efforts. To inquire about Conversion Rate Optimization or any of our other solutions, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.