Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion optimization toolbox

Even if it is a multidisciplinary science that requires marketing knowledge and a certain familiarity with the digital environment, conversion optimization is doable. The only requirement: having great website personalization tools. If you chose them wisely, they will get you out of any trouble you have with understanding your customers and convincing them to buy more.

What conversion optimization tool for what stage of your conversion optimization?

Basically, conversion optimization means better analyzing your visitors and customers, getting to know their preferences and expectations, improving their experience on site. All this with the purpose of making everyone happier: the visitors who will consequently buy more, and the business who will gain more by improving its website and its offers.

A.    Research – know your visitors

Your visitors are the people you want something from: it can be a newsletter subscription, a completed sale, a form submission or a page view.  So make sure you concentrate on them. Find out how they perceive your website, what are their interests, how likely are they to buy something, what they like and what they don’t like on your website. You will see that the answer too many of your marketing dilemmas lies in the information they give you.

Internet is a very trackable medium. By doing research on multiple levels, you can create a map of how visitors are interacting with your website. Here are the tools that will give you all the important dots to connect:

1.    Tracking and analytics tools

These tools will give you statistics about traffic. They will also help you identify your visitors according to variables like region, country and city, the campaign that brought them on site, the time they spend on site, the events and the goals they completed.

Examples: Google Analytics, Kissmetrics (connects all of the historical data, can track a customer through multiple devices and unite data under the same customer profile), W3counter (has a live view that shows the latest activity on a website), SiteMeter

2.    Click maps and heat maps tools

Websites deliver a huge amount of information. Some of it might be very useful to users, even persuasive. It is this kind of information that will lead visitors through their journey on site. Other information might just fill the blanks of a website template, without ever being noticed or read.
Click maps and heat maps software is essential to understanding how visitors react to website content, what information attracts the most their attention and which are the hot spots of your website. Click maps and heat maps tools will give you insights about how to display and organize information and, of course, about the kind of information you should display.

Examples: CrazyEgg (shows which links your visitors clicked on and also which nonclickable content got more attention ), ClickTale (has a real time monitor – allows you to view in a video exactly how a certain visitors uses your site), Clickdensity (also has hover maps).

3.    Surveys tools

Surveys help you fill in the quantitative data you have already gathered. They are one of the most viable tools you can get for retrieving personalized data. This is true especially if you insert among the questions you create, open-ended questions.

Examples: SurveyMonkey (has a great database of surveys), Kwiksurveys, Omniconvert (allows you to design your survey, has a segmentation feature for visitors), Qualaroo (let’s you serve unique questions based on a previous answer)

4.    Livechat tools

Livechat is usually installed on e-commerce sites, in order to reassure clients that at any time, there is someone who they can ask about their purchase. It’s a great tool for assisting clients in real time and getting them through the check out. But if you create a program where you gather data about the interactions your call center had with customers, you can then identify what are the common problems, where do visitors stop more frequently and why.

Examples: Zopim, Olark

B.    Testing  – take the best decisions for you and your visitors

Testing is the core of conversion optimization techniques.  Every change you make should be based on real data and proven hypothesis.  If you want to change a call to action, the style of your copy, shape a new discount system, your marketing intuition and experience will help you a lot. Nevertheless, your hypotheses need to be tested and proven as a fact. If the test says you were wrong, well you just saved yourself some money. If it says you were right, then congratulations!

1.    A/B testing  tools

This kind of tests can be deployed when your hypothesis revolves around one element of design. You either want to change the headline, the call to action button, the placement of a text box. You can compare two or more pages with the same element differently displayed. Your visitors, through their actions, will help you determine which version to keep. The purpose is, of course, to get more conversions.

Examples:   Adobe Test&Target, Omniconvert, Monetate

2.    Multivariate testing tools

Multivariate testing helps you test more complex hypotheses. When you multivariate test, you can compare pages with total different approaches to copywriting and layout. In this case you will see how different combinations of elements (ex. new copywriting style + new colors + new menu) behave in comparison with the older version of the page.

Examples: Adobe Test&Target, Omniconvert, Monetate

3.    Usability testing tools

Do people know where to click? Do their actions correspond to what you intended to create on your website? Usability tests show how people use a website. It’s a very natural way of testing: the subjects have to use the website as they feel best. Observation will show if there are any patterns of using the website. It can also point to any barriers in navigation or misbegotten pages.

Examples: Ethnio, Loop11 (allows remote usability testing)

C.    Implementing – improve the experience on-site

This is the step where you apply what you’ve found through research and testing.  It’s also the step where you start collecting results. You’ve realized that a certain group of visitors prefer a certain category of products from your website? You’ve found out that one of your landing pages doesn’t provide what your visitors consider essential information? Or maybe you’ve established that certain products and category of products go better together. Well there are several applications through which you could set things right and convert more.

1.    Interactions tools

Interactions can be used to capture the visitor’s attention by talking straight to him, in a personalized way.  They can be launched on-load, to personalize the communication from the beginning, or on-exit, to reengage users that want to leave and to get information like an e-mail, an opinion.  Interactions give you a great freedom to address specific needs of visitors. You can turn interactions into testimonials, into greetings or into informative notes.

Examples: Omniconvert, Bounce Exchange

2.    Recommendation engines

While navigating and browsing products, visitors leave important clues about their current intent and their taste. You can trace them and recompose the puzzle of their preferences. To do so, use a recommendation engine or software that allows you to give customers a unique and personalized offer, based on browsing history.

Examples: Adobe Test and Target (has a feature that allows you to parameter and set your own rules for recommendations), strands recommender, barilliance, Pleisty, Gemius Recommend

3.    Automated email tools

Emails and newsletters are still one of the marketing tools that generate the most sales and leads. There is only one secret to their success: personalization. Try to better know your customers while they are on site. Then use this information to further develop a conversation, the engagement with the brand or to reignite their interest in an acquisition.

Examples: iContact, Campaign Monitor, Vibetrace, Adestra,

Depending on the scale of your campaign, your marketing ideas and the budget you have, you can use different conversion optimization tools.  The good thing is that they become more and more versatile. So, just put your marketing knowledge and creativity to work and create the most amazing campaigns!

If you have any other conversion optimization tools that you find interesting and useful, please tell us about them. The list is still open!

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