Conversion Conference London: 65 More Takeaways |

Conversion Conference London: 65 More Takeaways

By Tamsin Mehew / December 16, 2011

Read the First 58 Takeaways from Conversion Conference London? Here are the next 65, from the afternoon of the first day.

Confessions of a Conversion Rate Optimiser

The afternoon kicked off with a keynote by Bryan Eisenberg, who has been in the conversion optimisation business since 1998.

  1. Conversion rates have increased little over the past decade. Every site has a conversion problem.
  2. Companies typically spend $92 to generate traffic to every $1 to convert people once they get onto the site.
  3. Advertising is seen as sexy, while CRO is hard.
  4. Bryan showed a clip of Sell or Else, in which David Ogilvy tells direct response advertisers that they know the effectiveness of their adverts ‘to the dollar’, while general advertisers do not, and implores the direct response advertisers to tell them what they have learnt to ‘rescue the advertising business from its manifold lunacies’.
  5. Conversion is a journey or process, not an event.
  6. Persuasion Architecture – get personas, plan their journeys, implement and test the results – this takes ages, and so is not popular.
  7. The job of an analyst is to give a to-do list.
  8. There are three CRO elements:
    • Tools
    • People
    • Process
  9. Four variables correlated with improved conversion rates:
    • Perceived control
    • Structured approach
    • Someone is responsible
    • Staff are incentivised
  10. Don’t do slice and dice optimisation. Test changes to things that are important, like headings.
  11. Cutting a form by 25% always has an impact.
  12. Have a clear hypothesis with a clear KPI when you test.
  13. Testing needs to be fast.
  14. Useful tools:
    • – lists many tools (free and paid)
    • BO.LT
    • BTBuckets – free behavioural targeting
    • Runa – does deal optimisation (creates personalised deals to all site visitors)
    • Monetate
  15. Putting badges on products can increase conversion rates by up to 50%.
  16. The Conversion Trilogy is made of Relevance, Value and Call to Action.
  17. You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time – and you can only optimise a website one bite at a time. Do quick, dirty tests fast – remember this is for revenue rather than science.

E-Commerce Best Practices

The first speaker was Paul Rouke from PRWD, who went through many examples of retail sites. You can find his slides here, and his immense collection of usability resources here.

  1. The key conversion principles are:
    • Transparency
    • Build trust and confidence
    • Remove usability barriers
  2. Have a bar of USPs across the top of the page.
    • They don’t have to be links, but they must be prominent.
    • Examples: John Lewis, ASOS and Boots.
  3. On product pages, encourage people to add to shopping basket.
    • Put the info people will want. Don’t hide it.
    • Example: ASOS has delivery and returns information on the product page, very visibly.
  4. Understand what users are looking for and inform them.
  5. Have social proof – this is becoming more influential in improving conversions.
    • Have customer ratings and reviews, promoted close to the product’s name and price.
  6. Areas with tab navigation are good for product and delivery info – they fit more info into a small space.
  7. On the shopping basket page, encourage people to check out.
  8. Be transparent over delivery cost and options – don’t force visitors to check out before giving them that!
  9. Focus visitors’ minds on proceeding with a clear Call To Action.
  10. Make payment options prominent.
  11. Say the process is secure:
    • Show security measures and accreditation.
    • Use the word ‘securely’ on buttons.
  12. Remove barriers for new customers to checkout:
    • Don’t force people to register straightaway. Say ‘continue’ rather than ‘register’.
    • Let people register at the end of the process, when you only need to ask for a password.
    • Say why customers should create accounts – benefits to them like order tracking and saving their details.

Next was Stephen Pavlovich from Conversion Factory

  1. Mine your analytics!
  2. Look at your Sales Funnel – where are you losing potential customers?
  3. Top Landing Pages – what percentage of traffic lands on the homepage?
    • Are there any sales messages that are only on the homepage? Not everyone will see them.
  4. Look at Browser Conversion Rates:
    • This shows if there is a problem with your site on a particular browser.
    • Use Browsershots or ClickTale to check for compatibility problems.
    • Note that ‘Safari’ covers iPhone and iPad users as well as desktops.
  5. Look at Site Search – visits that use site search can convert 7.5 times more than those who don’t.
    • See how people search, and check that they see the right results.
  6. Don’t guess visitors’ objections. Talk to visitors and customers to see what stopped them or nearly stopped them from buying.
    • Example: a high end bathroom site thought that people might be put off from converting because they hadn’t seen the product in person, but surveying customers showed that the problem was lack of delivery information.
    • See if you can make business decisions based on this (like improving delivery).
  7. Use Benefit Bars – put your USPs front and centre
    • Make the USPs believable without having to check the terms and conditions – make them links that open overlays on the page, with basic info and a link to another page for more info, rather than taking you to the other page straightaway.
  8. Show how much the visitor is saving from the RRP in the shopping basket.
  9. Use the principle of scarcity – have messages like “only 3 left in stock!”
    • If you don’t have that detailed stock information, you can say “Hurry! Limited quantities!”
  10. Have reviews for your PPC ads – this increases CTR and trust.
    • You just need 30 or more reviews on sites, like dooyoo or Trustpilot.
    • Go for review sites with better conversion processes.
    • If a customer has a Gmail address, send them to Google Places to review you, as no further registration is needed.

Why Won’t You Buy? Finding and Eliminating Conversion Blockers

First to speak was Dr Karl Blanks, chairman of Conversion Rate Experts and former rocket scientist. He listed 16 conversion killers:

  1. Not split testing
  2. Meek tweaking
  3. Customer not in shopping mode
    • Someone just browsing may convert later. Capture their details, build up a relationship, and get them to convert when ready
  4. Unclear value proposition – “I don’t know what you do”
  5. Lack of trust
  6. Lack of interest
    • The Amazon Marketplace means that people interested in things not sold by Amazon itself get what they want, and they think Amazon has everything and so return later.
  7. Confusion
  8. Usability
    • Use
    • Get someone to use the website and watch them.
    • Use Ethnio to recruit testers from actual visitors.
  9. Product specific objections
    • Draw up a shopping list of what prospects ask and check that the site answers them.
  10. Fatal distraction – people may just get distracted from the conversion process
    • Get contact details as soon as possible.
  11. Visitors don’t believe your products are good
    • Use social proof like expert reviews, media mentions, celebrity associations and customer testimonials.
  12. Competitor gets sale
    • Use niching. Specialists are assumed to be better than generalists. (This is why there’s no general shampoo, only shampoo that claims to be for a particular hair-type.)
  13. Perceived risk – reduce this
  14. Defers decision
    • Create urgency.
    • Example: TicketMaster has a timer for how long you can reserve a ticket for.
  15. Affiliates may have a problem that their visitors have to go on to a rubbish site to actually convert
    • Make sure visitors are persuaded before they leave your site.
    • Track people.
    • Get visitors on an email list.
  16. Bad prior experience
    • Good experience leads to repeat business.

Next to speak was Rob Jackson, founder of Elisa DBI and Conversion Thursday.

  1. CRO is made of persuasion architecture, relevancy and user-centric design.
  2. It’s not about having a massive green call to action button – colour doesn’t matter.
  3. First conversion blocker: no measurement strategy.
  4. Build a framework of KPIs
    • KPIs should be the metrics that achieve the website’s goals (and the website’s goals should come from the business’s overall objective).
    • Have targets and alerts.
    • Dashboards and relevant reports help persuade business cases.
  5. Second conversion blocker: ignoring mobile internet users
    • A third of UK adults own a smartphone and a half of internet users in the UK use mobile.
  6. To convince your boss – show mobile conversion rate is low compared to the rest of the site’s traffic, then calculate potential by using the return on mobile traffic with the rest of the site’s conversion rate.
  7. You don’t need a full mobile commerce site – try a holding page or contact page.
  8. Third conversion blocker: ignoring high value segments
    • Aggregate of all data is rubbish. There are many different types of user.
    • Analyse KPIs by segment (visitors from social media, people with over three visits, logged in members, etc).
  9. Look for segments that differ greatly from site average.
  10. Target high value segments with relevant content.

That’s it for the first day – takeaways from Day 2 are coming soon.

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