If your New Year resolutions include to increase sales, you’re probably thinking you have to increase the number of visits to your website first to achieve that goal. And more visitors will only arrive if you continuously generate quality content and promote it on social networks, the mailing list, and so on.
But, as you well know, increasing visits to your website does not guarantee that you will increase sales—optimizing your conversion rate (CRO) and the user experience is equal to or more important than increasing visits to your website. Conversion rate is the metric that shows you the percentage of visitors to your web that end up performing a certain action or reaching a goal (“they convert”). For example, those who end up buying a product, subscribe to your newsletter, click on an advertisement, and so on.
So, if you have an e-commerce, you can define your conversion rate as the percentage of visitors who have bought a product on your website over the total number of visitors. So if for a month you receive on average 1,000 unique visitors per day and you manage to sell an average of 20 products per day, you will have achieved a conversion rate of 2%.
But look at the following example: suppose the average price per product is $10 and therefore you earn $6,000 a month (20 prods/day x 30 days/mo x 10 $/prod). In order to increase sales by 10% and have an income of $ 6,600 you have two options:
- increase in 100 the number of daily visits to your web, and then you would have 1,100 daily visits, or
- increase the conversion ratio to 2.2%, and sell 22 products per 1,000 visits.
The recommendation is clear—create a strategy to increase both metrics and you will still gain more!
Techniques for Improving the Conversion Rate
You surely already know that the best techniques to optimize the conversion rate (CRO) of your websites are heatmaps and A/B tests.
Heatmaps help you detect the flaws of your design, by highlighting the areas that get most of your visitors’ attention. As shown in the picture above, the child is so cute that he takes all the attention (people spend more time looking at his face than reading the explanation at his side). I bet that wasn’t the goal of that web ?
A/B tests, on the other hand, allow you to have two versions of a page on your web simultaneously with slightly different changes and see which one works the best. The image below depicts this scenario perfectly—version A has one title and gets 30% of your conversion rate, whereas version B uses a different title and gets a 60% conversion rate. Creating alternatives, splitting traffic among them, and collecting and processing the results is not easy, but if you use the right tool, it’s easy peasy!
Now that we’re talking about right tools… did you know that Nelio A/B Testing for WordPress allows you to create heatmaps and A/B tests for pages, posts, themes, widgets, products, custom post types, headlines and menus very easily? If you need to improve your website and you know what to test, Nelio’s the right choice—it perfectly integrates with WordPress and you’ll have our amazing support.
But what if you don’t know where to start? Here’s how you can easily create your plan to improve your conversion rate on your website. To make it easier, I will show some examples of our website.
Nelio A/B Testing
I was very impressed by the quality of this plugin, how easy it was to set up, and the outstanding support Nelio provides. I highly recommend Nelio A/B Testing.
Process to Improve Conversion Rate
A CRO process is a continuous improvement process and, as such, follows the typical cyclical pattern:
Let’s look at the detail of each one of the different phases:
1. Define Your Conversion Goals
If you want to improve the conversion rate of your website, you first need to define the goals you want to achieve with your website. To do this, you just start by defining your strategic business objectives, which should be clear and understandable. For example, our main goal at Nelio Software is to increase revenue by X% by subscriptions to our products, Nelio Content and Nelio A / B Testing.
Then, identify how your business goals are translated into goals for your website and define them properly in Google Analytics. For example, any visitor who subscribes to any of our products, ends up visiting our pages of “Thank you for buying the product”.
Thus, in Google Analytics we have defined the goal of completing a subscription order, as the visit to the Thank you page.
2. Plan and Implement Tests
The next step to perform tests is to identify the behavior that a visitor would do on your website to reach your goal. Returning to our example to subscribe to Nelio Content, you have two options:
- If you had already downloaded the free version from the Directory of WordPress.org, you can subscribe from the plugin itself, or
- By clicking on any “subscribe” button from the Nelio Content Price page.
In the first case, the visitor does not pre-visit the web during the purchase process, so any improvements we might think of in the website won’t have any impact. Instead, we should focus on improving the conversion rate of the free version of our plugin.
So let’s focus on the second option—the visitor comes to our website and subscribes to our product. The important question you should ask yourself at this point is: what does this visitor do until they subscribe? Or in more specific terms: what is our conversion funnel? If your plan is to improve the conversion in your web, it is key that you identify the route that the visitors are going to make to reach your objectives. It would not make much sense that you create A/B tests of the Cookies T&C if nobody visits it when buying, right? You can find this information in Google Analytics in the Funnel Visualization and Goal Flow.
And now plan A/B tests on those pages that most contribute to your goal. In our case, for example, for the subscription to Nelio Content, the most visited pages and in which the A/B tests should be done are: the blog, the Overview of our services page, the description page of Nelio Content, and the Nelio Content plans & pricing page.
And after identifying the pages, what tests should I do? For each of the selected pages make hypotheses about the possibilities for improvement. For example, take a look at our page of plans and pricing:
Types of A/B tests we could use to improve:
- Call-to-action buttons: placement, wording, size, color. For example, what works best “subscribe” or “buy” or “try it out”?
- Copywriting: value propositions, product descriptions.
- Design: theme, content layout, typefaces.
- Product prices: show monthly vs annual prices.
- Images: their placement, content and size.
- Amount of content on the page: short vs. long.
And then create your tests easily. And yes, you’ve read it right: it’s very easy with Nelio A / B Testing. The Nelio A/B Testing plugin allows you to create any type of test without having to write a single line of code.
3. Assess Your Hypotheses
The great advantage of using a tool like Nelio A/B Testing to create split tests is that you do not need to get your head too hot. The tool itself will automatically tell you which alternative is working better at any moment and will let you know when the results are statistically significant.
If Nelio found a clear alternative, congratulations! You now you have a first change to implement on your website that you know will improve the user experience. But what if it’s not the case? Well, don’t worry—just think about a different test and run it to see where it takes you!
4. Implement the Changes
The last point in this process is to apply all the changes in your web that, with statistically significant results, will work better than the current version. And here I am going to give you the best news—after performing A/B tests with Nelio A/B Testing, you can apply the winning version with a single click on the apply button.
And that’s it!
It seems complicated, but it is not so if you use a tool that simplifies the work. In fact, the most complicated part is coming up with ideas of what to test. But, luckily, we have some posts discussing different tests that might help you. Just pick the area you’re interested in and discover many ideas for testing throughout the sales funnel:
- Motivation – Optimizing Your Visitor’s Journey
- Acquisition – Optimizing Your Website for Customer Acquisition
- Activation (I) – How to create a great first experience in Your website
- Activation (II) – How to Improve the CheckOut Experience
- Retention – How to Retain Your Customers
- Revenue – How to Increase the Revenues on Your Website
- Referrals – How to Improve Your Customers Loyalty and Referrals
I’m sure this year you’ll see how you can get the most out of your website!
Featured Image by Green Chamaleon.
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