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Conversion Optimization, One Step at a Time

Tuning up your business’s sites to make it faster, easier and more painless for customers to accomplish what they come to do is more doable than you think. Here’s how!

My high school physics teacher was brilliant, but a miserable teacher. I learned almost no physics, but came away with some very valuable lessons about how not to teach.

Experts get to be experts by knowing more about their fields than 99.997% of the earth’s population. In fact, they know so much about their fields and it comes so naturally to them, that some of them cannot fathom anyone not understanding what they know. So when they speak to us garden-variety, reasonably intelligent folks who are not experts, they skip the basics and lose us within minutes. In honor of Mr. Glassman, I’ve dubbed this “physics teacher’s disease.”

Judging by information about conversion optimization available on the web, physics teacher’s disease has reached plague proportions among experts in the field. Novices seeking to apply the technique — a category that includes a huge number of marketing professionals—are left trying to climb a ladder that is missing its four bottom rungs.

So with this post, we’re kicking off a step-by-step, from-the-ground-up guide to getting in there and doing conversion optimization. In this first post, we cover understanding business processes and identifying trouble spots. In future posts, we’ll take you through creating hypotheses, prioritizing issues, testing hypotheses, interpreting results and, finally, implementing improvements.

Understand your business processes

Identify the steps a consumer follows to complete a transaction, then step back and experience the process as a visitor would.

Do informal usability testing by preparing use cases and asking friends, family members or co-workers to try them. Note where they hesitate, get frustrated or get unwanted results. Ask lots of questions. Share the results with co-workers in IT and creative, and recruit them to help. Usertesting is great and they offer a free trial for enterprises.

Heatmapping can give you valuable insight into what customers and prospects attend to on your site, what they ignore and how they proceed through or abandon your conversion funnel. Sign up for Clicktale’s free forever plan to see where customers focus and what they ignore.

Pinpoint trouble spots

Sign up for Google Analytics and take this excellent online course to learn how to use it.

Dig deep into website analytics. Check each stage of your funnel for objective data about where abandonment is high, when it occurs and how different visitor segments behave.

Get feedback from visitors and customers about why abandonment spikes where it does. Be sure to find out about the complete customer journey as well as individual processes.

Try Kampyle’s customer experience management solutions to gather valuable insight at key points about why prospects and customers abandon your funnel and about what would make interactions more compelling and satisfying. Check how feedback maps to analytics to understand why customers act as they do.

Revisit the customer experience based on what you’ve learned

How does it differ for new or returning customers? Are difficult, tiresome or annoying processes leading customers to abandon the site? Is essential information missing? Is it presented too late or too early, or is it too hard to find? Can visitors search for information or request help if they need it? Is check-out fast and easy, without glitches or surprises?

Want to learn more? Tune in for coming posts or download our free 4 Strategies for Ramping Up Conversion Optimization e-book.

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