Tag Archives: conversion optimization

Why Businesses Are Not Satisfied With Their Conversion Rates?

A study from Econsultancy states that only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.

Read the following observations related to website data:

  • Your website is turning your visitors away, and you don’t know why.
  • You are experiencing low visitor engagement on your website.
  • High bounce rate and low conversion rate are your major concerns.

If you are facing any or all of the above challenges, you know that your conversion rate is lower than expected. This post can help you address these challenges and find a solution to overcome these.

You may not know which design or copy elements you need to change in order to increase the conversion rate. And this is where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) steps in.

More Google searches for “conversion rate optimization” are being made than ever before. Google

Conversion Rate Optimization is a long-term process that helps you analyze what’s wrong, understand how you can fix it, and optimize your website to boost its conversion rate.

Companies whose conversion rates improved last year are conducting 50% more A/B tests and 47% are using more methods to improve conversion. Econsultancy

Problem with CRO Implementation

CRO, being a budding industry that’s booming rapidly, which in turn implies a scarcity of quality resources and a number of challenges. And that’s where maximum damage takes place.

In addition to the challenge of “lack of resources”, CRO is still pictured as an “optional” or “additional” marketing effort, but not a “necessary” one. Some marketers still believe that some quick fixes can do the magic. In such cases, the conversion rate can mostly be dissatisfactory.

Let’s have a quick look at the major problems with CRO:

  • Lack of technical knowledge
  • Limited industry experience
  • Lack of resources and a defined process
  • No quality assurance

Lack of Technical Knowledge

About 58% of CRO professionals have been in the field for 2 years or fewer. (Source)

A basic understanding of Statistics, UX, Design, Development, or Analytics doesn’t suffice to become a CRO expert. You need to be good at all of these (and much more) to run a successful CRO program.

Also, there are many who still confuse A/B testing with the entire conversion process and are unaware of what all they can do in terms of optimization. In such cases, it becomes hard to measure success, especially if they don’t know what metrics matter.

Limited Industry Experience

As CRO is a rapidly evolving industry, staying updated with industry is a constant challenge for many. Limited industry knowledge sometimes also accounts for making wrong choices while choosing a CRO platform and prioritizing A/B testing hypotheses that might not be beneficial.

Lack of Resources and a Defined Process

According to a survey by ConversionXL, 41% had no one in particular who was accountable for optimization efforts. The survey also showed that around 30% of companies had a dedicated employee assigned to the task.

Optimization to boost conversion rates

In most of the cases, there is no one analyzing the data carefully, giving a well-researched suggestion, running tests, and boosting the conversion rate. Besides this, the lack of a defined process is a constant problem.

Another constraint is the budget allocation for CRO. As CRO is seen as something “optional,” a small budget is allocated for this process.

Lack of resources leads to no or minimal understanding for the users, leading to lesser scope for experimentation. This leaves businesses in a tough spot where they lack in terms of coming up with new test ideas.

No Quality Assurance

While there is no quality check being done – no cross-device testing, no cross-browser testing etc, a huge number of errors is quite a common scenario. Also, there are no set primary and secondary KPI’s to validate the results.

As a Result

  • Unexplored CRO capabilities
  • Limited understanding of visitors and customers
  • Low conversion rates
  • Drop in ROI

What you had imagined and what you experience could have no similarities at all.

With all the case studies out there shouting results like 41% increase in sales, 400% more conversions, or 600% increase in social shares, it’s easy to believe that the ROI of your dreams is just a few tests away.

Unfortunately, conversion rate optimization isn’t that simple. Just putting together a test based on assumption is not enough to guarantee you a better conversion rates—in fact, only 1 in 7 A/B tests produces a winning result!

Solution

Having a predefined CRO process and a dedicated CRO team or the person accountable for CRO is what it’ll take.

It is known that not many organizations have the resource/bandwidth to have a CRO process, but that should NOT stop you from testing/experimenting. The growing need for a dedicated CRO team has led many agencies and  CRO platforms to move to a solution-based approach. Their dedicated CRO team provides constant support, right from the research to the post-campaign analysis. And that’s exactly what the VWO’s service team does.

If you don’t have an in-house team to support you for the entire CRO process, our dedicated services team is there to help you.

What can you expect?

“Working with VWO Professional Services was a very smooth process. After we provided the test hypothesis and desired setup, they had the test ready to run in just one day.

We found their technical expertise especially valuable – this enabled us to expedite the setup process and saved us many hours that would have been spent trying to resolve technical challenges.

Additionally, the quick response time and reliable customer service provided is commendable. We are glad to have VWO as a partner, thank you VWO!”

-Yong

ZALORA

Our Services team takes charge of ideation, planning, testing, and analysis.

VWO Service team to boost conversion rates

Creating the test was so easy with the help and support of VWO. We supplied them with the test hypothesis, wireframe, and design layout and they coded it up within one day. The design needed only minor alterations from the layout supplied and these were done within the hour. They also put the variation through QA testing. Their support didn’t stop there, once we set up the test they then went into it to review it and also made additional tracking recommendations. It’s great having a partner like VWO onboard, who pricing is fair and their customer service is excellent. Well done VWO and thank you

-Neil

LULALU

Read more about the services here.

Optimization to boost conversion rates

VWO Services is as good as having a dedicated internal team. These guys are quick, efficient and don’t stop until the job is done.

– Jason Tippins

E-Commerce Analytics Manager | BBC Store

While the CRO market is expected to reach $45.2bn by 2022, you wouldn’t want to stay behind. In any company, for the CRO process to be successful and less challenging, it is important to keep experimenting and believing that these experiments will work.

With multiple plans available to fit your business goals, connect with us over a call or drop an email at marketing@vwo.com

The post Why Businesses Are Not Satisfied With Their Conversion Rates? appeared first on VWO Blog.

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Why Businesses Are Not Satisfied With Their Conversion Rates?

Learning Conversion Optimization From Football: 5 Key Takeaways

“The ball is round, the game lasts ninety minutes, and everything else is just theory.”

— Sepp Herberger

In Portuguese, football is known as o Jogo bonito, which translates to The Beautiful Game. At VWO, we believe that like football, conversion rate optimization, or CRO, can be done beautifully.

When a person is introduced to a complex topic such as CRO, there is a lot of information to be processed, which can get quite overwhelming. However, according to Harvard Business School professors Jan W. Rivkin and Giovanni Gavetti, if a concept is learned with the help of an analogy, the process can be eased.

This post aims to highlight the similarities between Football and Conversion Rate Optimization. For those who want to learn about CRO from a technical perspective, please refer to The Beginner’s Guide to CRO.

Goals

CRO - Goals

Why Are Goals Important?

Goals win you matches—it’s as simple as that. Score more number of goals than your opponent, and the match is yours. It’s not just about the goals that are scored during a football match, but also about the goals or objectives that are set up for the season.

N’golo Kante, a midfielder from the English football club Chelsea, had this to say during a press interview:

“For a club like Chelsea, we want to win everything, we’re going to try and win everything. It’s a new challenge for everyone.”

All football clubs set up their respective goals at the beginning of the season, whether these include winning the trophy, a particular league, or just some number of matches.

Key Takeaways for CRO

Before starting with Conversion Optimization, it is important to set up goals that can be tracked and measured anytime during the process.

The goals created in an A/B test should align with your business objectives. The primary goal selected will be used then to decide the outcome of the test.

The results of the minor goals that accompany the primary goal can influence the final decision made just after the test has just concluded.

Research and Analysis

CRO with Football - Heatmap

Why Is It Important?

Every year, football leagues are getting more competitive. The stakes are getting higher, and the pressure is mounting. With the help of research and analysis by using modern technology, teams are able to plan and prepare better for a football season.

A manager can now watch heatmaps of players’ movements on-field. Players can now watch recordings of their own gameplay and more. The Guardian refers to this revolution as “datafication” of Football.

In their spare time, football players practice on PlayStation to improve their decision-making skills and to become better at their game. Former Italian footballer Andrea Pirlo was even quoted saying this: “After the wheel, the best invention is the PlayStation.”

Key Takeaways for CRO

After the baseline metrics are decided, it is important to research and analyze how you can achieve the desired goals.

Research and analysis includes viewing heatmaps, watching visitor recordings, or conducting on-page surveys that ask your visitors for relevant feedback.

With the help of research and analysis, you can get answers to the following 3 questions:

  • What do visitors do on your website?
  • How do visitors behave?
  • Why do visitors do what they do?

Plan

Why Is It Important?

After research and analysis, the next task for a manager is to plan for the season ahead. This includes deciding the squad, tactics, and formations.
Planning is not only limited to preseason. It is a continuous process that goes on during and after the season gets over.
On the training ground and during matches, managers have their diaries out, where they note down observations and try them out in the later part of the season.

Regarding observations, Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United for 26 years had this to say:

“I don’t think many people fully understand the value of observing, but I came to see observation as a critical part of my management skills. The ability to see things is key or, more specifically, the ability to see things you don’t expect to see.”

Key Takeaways for CRO

As you come across and analyze problems during the research phase, it is important to note your observations. Organize these well at one place.

The next part of the process is to create a hypothesis from these observations and prioritize these based on their importance. Validating the hypothesis is the most important part of the testing phase.

Testing

Testing Football formations
You can see that even the same formation (4-4-2) is tested with different position, source

Why Is It Important?

In the picture above, even the same formation (4-4-2) is tested with different positions. Football managers don’t get formations right in the first go.

They constantly experiment with their formations throughout the season and ultimately change it to the one in which all the players seem to fit in perfectly.

For example, Chelsea with their 3–4–3 formation—a much-favored formation in football—won the league.

Within formations, managers also rotate their players. According to football analysts, the key to Real Madrid’s successful 2016–17 football campaign was Zidane’s clever squad rotation.

Key Takeaways for CRO

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Every element of your website can be tested, from colors to text to images.

Testing is not just limited to plain A/B testing. You can create combinations of elements on your website and run multivariate tests.

By changing the complete layout of certain pages, you can also try out Split URL tests.

Learning and Deployment Phase

Why Is It Important?

Consider the example of Real Madrid’s manager Zinedine Zidane who used a 4–3–3 combination in the form of a sharp arrowhead.

He tested different combinations by playing Marco and Morata in a couple of matches but mostly stuck with the trio of Benzema, Bale, and Cristiano (popularly known as BBC) in the front. This combination led Real Madrid to glory in the champions league.

Real Madrid Formation
Source

It is important to test different combinations and learn from the mistakes to get the formation right in the end. With the combination of a winning mentality and experimentation, you are finally on the road to success.

Key Takeaways for CRO

It is important to learn from every test, the way a football manager does from every match. The best way to find out your winning combination is to have a well-structured conversion optimization process in place.

After you have successfully found the winning variation, deploy it on the website to achieve your goals.

Parting Notes

We hope you enjoyed reading the analogies we made between football and CRO. Next time, when you are watching a game of football, you should be able to notice and appreciate all the efforts that go into the strategy and preparation before the start of the game.

The post Learning Conversion Optimization From Football: 5 Key Takeaways appeared first on VWO Blog.

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Learning Conversion Optimization From Football: 5 Key Takeaways

Content Marketer’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Your website is your number one tool for lead generation and likely your number one customer acquisition tool as well. An appealing site that catches your visitor’s eye is great, but what if that traffic is making zero impact on your bottom line?

It’s a common problem. In fact, the global eCommerce conversion rate in Q4 2016 was a mere 2.95%. So if your business is hovering around this rate, you are not alone. Competition continues to rise, making it even harder for businesses to drive online sales. To help you identify where your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy may be failing you and how to improve this strategy, we’ve narrowed down the best possible methods:

Write Compelling Content

Most people don’t actually read the majority of web copy, so this suggestion may come as a surprise. They may skim and absorb the headlines that stand out, but for the most part, do not read word for word. The reason for this is simple: web content is often poorly written.

So remember these points to attract readers and boost conversions with your content:

  • Voice: Use a unique voice that’s consistent across all of your marketing channels.
  • Be provocative: When appropriate, use suggestive headlines and copy that speak to your users about their frustrations.
  • Entertain: Even the driest topics can entertain readers if written well. If a particular page isn’t geared toward informing or educating the reader, it should at least be enjoyable to read.
  • Be professional: Avoid exclamation points. If you need to communicate excitement, use verbs.
  • Cite sources: It’s frustrating to read content that makes unsupported claims. If you are sharing your own perspective on a matter, cite the original.

Forms – Where the Conversion Happens

The form on your landing page is the most important component of your conversion strategy. It’s the final step an individual takes before becoming a lead or customer. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the following:

Number of fields

The optimal number of fields for your business will depend on your offer, but try to make it as few as possible. Only ask for the details you need from your leads. The more fields on your form, the easier it is for a contact to get overwhelmed with the effort involved and bounce (especially for those browsing mobile devices).

Placement

As we discussed earlier, people tend to skim web pages and look for key elements. If your conversion opportunity (form) appears below the fold, visitors may not even see it. Make sure it’s visible on all devices upon landing on the page, without the need to scroll, pinch, or zoom.

Form Errors

There’s nothing more frustrating than filling out a form three times only to get an unsuccessful error without any indication as to which part of the form was not filled out correctly. Make sure form errors are visible and descriptive.

Run Split Tests on Landing Pages

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is when businesses run experiments to determine which elements of their strategy are more effective. By creating two different versions of landing pages to run at the same time, it’s easier to pinpoint what’s driving conversions and what’s not.

Here are some examples of different elements of your conversion strategy you can split test:

  • Button color
  • Headlines
  • Copy
  • Forms
  • Page layout
  • Images

You can track the results of your split tests in Google Analytics; but using tools like Unbounce, Optimizely, or HubSpot can allow you to manage your experiments a little easier.

PRO TIP: Ensure that you are extracting meaningful data from your tests. The split test results may show you which call-to-action (CTA) performed better, but what information can you take away from that experiment to help your next CTA?

Establish Trust

It doesn’t matter how strong your offer is if your visitors don’t feel they can trust you. This is particularly important for eCommerce businesses. Why would shoppers give you their credit card information if they are the slightest bit apprehensive?

Include these elements on your landing and product pages, where the user is preparing to make a decision:

  • Badges: Antivirus, PayPal, Verisign for example
  • Reviews and Seller Ratings: Here is a list of the ones that Google recognizes, which means they stand to improve your click-through rate as well.
  • Testimonials: Include an image of the customer if possible (get permission first!).
  • Dynamic Social Proof: Yieldify has a tool that shows you how many people viewed a page or product in a given time frame. The same is used in travel industry when you see “300 people viewed this property today.” The same buyer psychology works for products in eCommerce.

Leverage Design Best Practices

If your website is not responsive (doesn’t adapt to the user’s screen size), this could be the number one reason for your low conversion rates. As desktop browsing continues to give way to mobile, your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices of all sizes.

The look and feel of your website should have character. A common trend in design currently is the minimalistic white look. But what’s memorable about that? Use about 2 to 3 of your brand colors throughout the site and do a side-by-side comparison with your competitor’s site to ensure that yours is unique.

At all costs, avoid using stock photos. These are typically unrelatable and generic. Invest in quality photography of your products, office, and team. You’ll be surprised how effective these images can be in establishing trust.

Incorporate Conversion-Driving Functionality

How can you expect visitors to convert on your website if it takes several seconds to load? People are impatient and can move to the next search engine result if your website loads too slowly. You can optimize your media and check your site load time periodically with Website Grader.

The goal of your website or landing page is to convert visitors so it’s important to keep them focused. Avoid unnecessary overlays or pop-ups that may be distracting.

Visitor experience on your website plays a key role in their decision to convert. This includes being able to serve your visitors the information that meets their needs, which is where personalization comes in. Website personalization displays content tailored to your visitor characteristics, devices, or actions, facilitated through your CMS and marketing automation platform.

Offer Incentives

As eCommerce competition continues to grow, shoppers have endless opportunities to search for better deals. Offering an incentive and making it clear how to take advantage of it can be an extremely effective method to drive conversions. Create a page dedicated to promo codes and link to it in your main menu or share the code directly on the product page.

If visitors don’t see what they are looking for on your site (like a sale or promotion they saw on another channel), they’ll use your search bar. Analyzing the searches on your site is beneficial not only in determining what your visitors are looking for but also in encouraging conversions by allowing visitors to find what they are looking for. Ensure that your search bar is visible on all pages and devices.

Do Not Underestimate the Power of Advertising

Another particularly effective type of advertising is remarketing. Remarketing ads are displayed to individuals who have already visited your site.

There are plenty of ways to use remarketing ads to drive conversions and beneficial to re-engage:

  • Past visitors
  • Individuals who abandoned carts
  • Existing customers

Use Your Data

One of the most important ways to continuously optimize your conversion strategy is to leverage your data. Uncover details about your customers, how they are finding your site, and how they are engaging with it by analyzing the data collected from Google Analytics, your advertising campaigns, social media channels, email efforts, and any other tools you are using.

Conclusion

Remember, optimizing your conversion strategy should be an ongoing experiment. These tips can guide you in the right direction, but the effort should be that of constantly evolving and improving. Start with SMART goals, test your strategy, analyze results, and make improvements and adjustments accordingly.

Please Note: This is a guest Post by Peter Dulay. He is a conversion expert with over 10 years of experience in digital advertising and conversion. He has helped many startups and fortune 500 companies to boost their conversion by 400% and more.

The post Content Marketer’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization appeared first on VWO Blog.

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Content Marketer’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

How To Optimize Conversion Rate On Website Templates

Optimizing conversion rate for web templates

The huge number of website templates available today has made it easier than ever to launch a professional-looking website—whether or not you know how to code.

Besides representing an easy, useful starting point, templates are more cost-effective than contracting with a designer (which can cost $10,000+). They also let business owners leverage established design patterns to create a consistent, pleasing digital experience.

According to Josh Dunsterville of KlientBoost, as interviewed by Shanelle Mullin of ConversionXL:

“As humans, we pay attention to patterns, in fact we seek them out. We expect when we visit a site to find the logo in the top left corner, followed by the navigation in the top right. When we come to a site that breaks these patterns, it does one of two things. It either intrigues us, or frustrates us.”

That said, all of these benefits come with an important caution: website templates are built by designers to look pretty, not by CRO specialists to convert.

Using a website template can help you launch an MVP quickly and affordably. But after your site is live, it’s up to you to undertake the conversion rate optimization work necessary to drive maximum performance.

Process

For performing CRO on website templates, you require appropriate tools for your situation and a plan to use them.

Choose Your Tools and Technical Processes

Thanks to advancements in web technology, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to split testing tools.

If your website runs on WordPress, a platform-specific split testing plug-in may provide the targeted functionality you need to work within your CMS. Alternatively, if you are looking for a tool that’s platform-agnostic and free, Google Content Experiments is another great option.  

If you need more complex testing and customization options, look for third-party tools like VWO. As an example, if you’ve built an eCommerce store on Shopify, which doesn’t have a native split testing tool built in, you may find the program’s Shopify integration helpful.

Take features, pricing, and your personal comfort with each option into consideration before you make your final decision.

Choose What to Test

To some degree, deciding the specific tests you’ll run may indicate your choice of tools and techniques. If you want to test the impact of different product landing page variations on the overall revenue, for example, you’ll need a tool that’s capable of attributing and calculating the monetary value of individual conversions.

Beyond this decision, however, the process of choosing what to test can be overwhelming. Since website templates are made from so many different moving parts, how do you decide where to begin?

The following 3 approaches should give you clarity:

1. Optimize Closest to the Money

In an article for Shopify, Tommy Walker shares the following sample screenshot:

Shopify Survey Report

Looking at this data, Walker states:

“Think about the people who visit your site. Some are random, some are window shopping, some will never buy. But those people who add something to their cart and reach the checkout… they’re motivated.”

Although you could start anywhere with your website template CRO, Walker suggests looking at the abandoned checkouts mainly because that’s where the most motivated prospects are. In this case, figuring out how to turn more than 47 buyers out of 192 shoppers would have an immediate bottom line impact.

On an eCommerce website template, that means the checkout or the pricing (especially if you’re using a product sourcing solution that offers suggested prices).

On an educational blog or corporate template, that might mean the CTAs that lead to your desired action. In either case, find the step before prospects become leads or customers and focus your attention there, no matter what type of website template you are working with.

2. Test Big Wins vs. Small Tweaks

The Obama campaign’s 41 shades of blue split test is famous for a reason. But when you’re working off a stock website template, testing button colors should be the last thing on your mind.

ConversionXL’s Peep Laja puts it this way:

“There is no best color, it’s always about visual hierarchy. Sure you can find tests online where somebody found gains via testing colors, but they’re all no-brainers. Don’t waste time on testing no-brainers, just implement. You don’t have enough traffic, nobody does. Use your traffic on high-impact stuff. Test data-driven hypotheses.”

When working with website templates, one of the easiest ways to find big wins to test is to compare your template with your competitors’ sites. What elements do they have that your site design doesn’t?

Maybe it’s a row of trust logos on the checkout page. Maybe it’s a product page layout that emphasizes larger images.

Try to figure out what makes them tick. Then, test similar variations on your site against its default template design. Going big will give you a better direction for moving forward than lining up multiple, small tweaks.

3. Optimize for Performance

Remember earlier how I told you that website templates aren’t built by CRO experts? Well, they aren’t built by web performance experts either….

The result, in many cases, is website templates that load slowly and perform poorly, even if these look really cool after they are loaded. Gavin Ballard, writing for Shopify, describes it this way:

“Sitting on a high-bandwidth connection in our offices, and not experiencing our stores through the eyes of customers, it’s easy for both developers and clients to overlook performance and instead focus on that snazzy new lightbox or worry about the colour palette.”

Website template optimization doesn’t have to be about page layouts or checkout flows. Speeding up your site might be enough to boost performance, given that “a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.”

4. Survey Visitors on Site Behavior

Finally, don’t forget that one of the fastest ways to uncover problems with your website template is one of the easiest—just ask people.

Use live chat tools or survey tools (depending on your business’s unique needs and processes) to ask why people chose not to purchase. Was there information missing? Did they feel your site was untrustworthy for some reason?

Take the feedback you receive using this approach and use it to drive the future testing decisions you’ll make.

Website Template Testing Challenges

According to Josh Uebergang, writing for Shopify, as you develop a website template CRO program, there are several challenges you need to be aware of. Site users on platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce must be especially cautious. Some of these challenges are as follows:

  • If checkouts happen off-site (as in, on a domain like checkout.shopify.com), it may be difficult to track and properly attribute the final revenue generated. This is especially the case with Safari users.
  • Sending out abandoned cart emails—as all e-commerce sellers should be doing—can throw off the results of your CRO campaigns.
  • Users who browse on one device and complete their purchases on another can cause the same attribution problem.

Uebergang offers solutions for these challenges in his article. These involve properly configuring your third-party testing tool and integrating its data with Google Analytics. But for now, what’s most important is recognizing some of the challenges you may encounter when testing your website template.

Building a Website Template CRO Campaign

Technical challenges aside, one of the worst things you can do with this information is nothing.

Remember, your website template wasn’t built to make sales. It was built to look good enough for you to purchase it from the template marketplace of your choice.

Use the tools and strategies described above to start improving its performance today. Don’t put your business at a disadvantage by sticking with a template that isn’t optimized to your needs.

What other tips do you have to add on the website template CRO? Leave a note in the comments below with your suggestions.

The post How To Optimize Conversion Rate On Website Templates appeared first on VWO Blog.

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How To Optimize Conversion Rate On Website Templates

Announcing The New Version Of VWO: World’s First And Only Platform For Conversion Optimization

I’m proud to announce the launch of next evolution of VWO. This version has been a long time coming, so the details of what we are launching are going to be long but exciting.

VWO - Connected Conversion Optimization Platform

When VWO was launched 7 years ago, we changed the way marketers did A/B testing by making it stupidly simple to set up and launch A/B tests. We cut down on the time and effort required to launch a test, from weeks to minutes. Since then, more than a hundred thousand A/B testing campaigns have been launched in VWO by thousands of customers. We have numerous case studies where our customers have seen double-digit improvements in metrics that matter to their businesses (average order value, signup rate, and so on). The success of web testing (A/B, split-URL, and multivariate testing) for a range of brands has established that it works and any brand not doing testing is a dinosaur still stuck in subjective debates where the highest paid person’s opinion (HiPPO) usually wins.

While A/B testing works, the mystery of which A/B tests to do still remains unsolved. Yes, you can throw darts on the board randomly and some may strike at the center, giving you a significant improvement in your funnel metrics. But it’s a fact that successful A/B testing is still a dark art. Over the last 7 years, we’ve customers across the entire spectrum of maturity.

A/B Testing Maturity

  1. Stage I – No A/B Tests
  2. Stage II – Occasional A/B Testing
  3. Stage III – Process-oriented A/B Testing
  4. Stage IV – A/B Testing is a part of the company culture

VWO, when it first came out in 2010, caused online marketers to move from Stage I to Stage II. What we’re launching now will lead marketers to move from Stage II to Stage III. (Stage IV refers to companies which live and breathe A/B testing not only in web functioning but also in every other thing they do.)

What Is Process-Oriented A/B Testing, and Why Should You Care?

As the name says, process-oriented A/B testing means that A/B testing is no longer “let’s try to change button colors and see what happens.” Many companies new to A/B tests start by testing all low-hanging fruits and get quick wins. These early wins may seem great because these show the potential of A/B testing. However, many of these companies then hit a roadblock—what to do next? At this stage, either they abandon A/B testing completely or realize, through trial-and-error, that their next step should be to approach A/B testing in a process-oriented way.

Running your A/B testing program like a process means taking the following steps:

  • Set a target to increase the conversion rate by a specific percentage and time, and select the tests that are most likely to deliver.
  • Generate web testing ideas by doing a thorough research on your audience’s behavior and determining the causes of funnel drop-offs or abandonment.
  • Implement a proper prioritization framework to select tests that have best trade-offs of effort versus results.
  • Ensure that your testing velocity remains intact (or increases) week after week. (After all, most tests fail, so more testing equals more chances of success.)

The process-oriented A/B testing platform looks something like this:

ab-and-web-testing-process

This is a process that our most successful customers use. We observed that customers who followed a process for their A/B testing and conversion optimization efforts were 2x more likely to increase their conversion rate, compared to the ones who did only tactical testing.

When we compared why some customers approach A/B testing and conversion optimization as a process while others did on-and-off testing, we noted that:

  • Our customers cited lack of resources for doing tests frequently.
  • Many customers were bogged down by using multiple tools needed to support the entire process (for tracking funnels, spreadsheets or docs for managing test ideas, session recordings, surveys, and of course VWO for testing).
  • Many customers said that they weren’t aware that A/B testing could be approached in a process-oriented way. Except for a few digital agencies, nobody was showing them a better way.

After numerous conversations about what we had to do, it was clear. We had to build a platform that would empower our customers to run A/B tests efficiently, all at one place and through one integrated platform. The same platform will now provide a foundation for Stage II companies—that do A/B testing occasionally—to approach conversion optimization in a process-driven manner.

The New VWO: From a Web Testing Tool to a Conversion Optimization Platform

Here’s what we’re launching:

VWO CRO Platform

As you’d notice, it’s a pretty big leap from what we were earlier (web testing tool) to a conversion optimization platform. Let me unpack the capabilities of the new VWO and what it would mean for you.

The VWO Conversion Optimization platform brings everything you need to run conversion optimization in your organization on one platform. It does this by providing the following capabilities in an integrated fashion:

TRACK

VWO Track Capability

  • This capability allows you to measure funnels and goals on your (desktop and mobile) website, right there in the VWO dashboard.
  • This capability provides a single source of truth for your funnel conversion rate so that you can easily decide which part of the funnel you should “fix” next and for which segment of visitors should you be fixing the funnel.

ANALYZE

vwo-analyze-capability

  • This capability includes tools such as session recordings (see playback of visitors interacting with your website), on-site surveys, heatmaps, clickmaps, scrollmaps, and form analytics.
  • This capability lets you dig deeper into visitor behavior (from multiple angles) and find out what’s causing some visitors to abandon your website or landing pages.

PLAN

Plan Capability of VWO

  • This capability provides you and your team one dashboard to record and prioritize your observations, ideas, and hypotheses; and help you select ideas for your next web tests.
  • Imagine this to be like Trello or Jira for your conversion optimization.

TEST

VWO CRO Test Capability

  • This capability lets you test and experiment through multiple ways, such as visual A/B tests that do not require coding, multivariate tests, and complex tests that can be set up by using JavaScript and split traffic tests.
  • This capability has been our forte, and we have enhanced it in numerous ways with this release.

TARGET

  • This capability lets you deploy your winning tests or provide a specific experience to your target segment.
  • This capability also allows you to slice-and-dice your user segments and improve the conversion rate, for different segments by targeting a specific experience to them.

You would imagine that building all this technology would have been hard. Well, “hard is an understatement,” as I can imagine VWO’s engineering team saying. Some of the technology we got from our acquisition of Navilytics in 2015, but most of it is built in-house. All VWO teams worked hard for many months, because we have a deep conviction that one integrated platform has more advantages for marketers than juggling with different tools.

The value of an integrated platform is a bet we are taking and we are confident of demonstrating that value to marketers all over the world. When you take the new VWO for a test drive (see below, on how to get access), you will see the power of integration first hand but if you need a few examples of what this integration can do, see the following use cases:

  • You set up the funnel in the VWO Track capability and discover that for a specific segment, your checkout rate is much below average. What’s causing that drop?
    You immediately use the VWO Analyze capability to look at session recordings for that segment, look at form analytics, and fire up an on-site survey to ask why that specific user segment is abandoning sign-up.
  • You immediately use the VWO Analyze capability to look at session recordings for that segment, look at form analytics, and fire up an on-site survey to ask why that specific visitor segment is abandoning sign-up.
  • While looking at the form analytics in VWO Analyze, you realize that the checkout form accepts a US phone number only and the segment from UK has a low conversion rate. But then you see that you received a few responses from the survey that you ran by using VWO Analyze. The most common response is that your UK visitors are not sure whether you ship to UK or not. Now you have another insight here.
    But now your problem is which one to test. Plus, you also have many other such ideas from your last week’s idea brainstorm with your team. You are flooded with ideas, but don’t want to lose these 2 observations. You then remember the VWO Plan capability and use the form tool and survey to record the 2 observations in VWO Plan. (This is in addition to your team continuously using the VWO Chrome plug-in to record ideas from your and your competitors’ websites.)
  • You fire up VWO Plan and prioritize your ideas by attaching the expected effort versus expected results. When you are done, you realize that “Lack of shipping-to-UK information while we look like the US website” is the best among other ideas to test.
    From that observation, you get into the VWO’s Test capability where you set up a quick test that takes you 10 minutes. All you need to do is to mention “We ship to UK free of cost” when the visitor is from UK. (An added advantage of this link is that all your observations and notes regarding “Lack of shipping-to-UK information while we look like a US website” get attached to this test so that you can revisit this anytime in future. Your hypothesis was wrong. It will be great to have this context while looking at results, wouldn’t it?)
  • Your VWO test concludes, and you have a winner. You know that your IT team takes time to implement it at the back end, so you use VWO Target to make the winning version live for all UK visitors.
    After a week or so, you go back to VWO Track and see an increase in the checkout rate for UK visitors. You are happy, tell your colleagues and boss, and they are happy too.
  • You repeat this process over months and accumulate your wins, losses, and insights at one place, that is, the VWO CRO. As a result, your success rate increases with each passing month.

Early Feedback on the VWO Conversion Optimization Platform

We did not develop the new version of VWO in isolation. Various components of the VWO platform were co-developed and tested with customers. Their feedback was instrumental in developing the entire platform in an integrated fashion. Here’s some early feedback:

VWO conversion Optimization Testimonials

Wait, There’s More: VWO Services

For our customers who do not have sufficient resources for implementing and using the VWO platform, we have agency partners and an internal team who supplement the efforts of our customers’ teams. We provide design, development, and CRO consultants through our newest offering—VWO Services. So, you can depend on us from software to services for managing your conversion optimization and testing program end to end. Learn more about VWO Services.

FAQs: Conversion Optimization Platform

Q: How much does the VWO conversion optimization platform cost?
A: We offer 3 plans for the VWO conversion optimization platform, with each plan tailored to your team’s needs and maturity of Testing. You can look at Pricing on our website or contact sales for a detailed demo and consultation.

Q: I’m an existing customer. How and when do I get access to the new version?
A: As an existing customer, we have added a free 30-day evaluation in your account that you can activate at any point in time.

Q: I want to try out the new VWO Conversion Optimization platform. How do I get a trial version?
A: If you are trying VWO for the first time, then you can register for a free trial on our website and get started.

Q. I am an existing customer. Does this mean prices have increased for me?
A. Not exactly. We now have 2 products—Web Testing (A/B, Split URL, and Multivariate testing) and Conversion Optimization platform. As an existing customer, you can continue to use the Web Testing product and see absolutely no change in prices and your plans. However, if you wish to try out the new capabilities of the Conversion Optimization platform, then you would have to select one of the newer plans and pricing.

Q: How do I reach out to your sales team?
A: You can reach us at sales@vwo.com or visit our contact page for any sales related query.

If you have more questions, you can refer to the FAQs here or reach out to us at sales@vwo.com.

Get Started with VWO Conversion Optimization now

The best way to get started with VWO Conversion Optimization is to explore our new website and take a tour of the platform here: VWO After you are convinced that VWO will help your team move faster with funnel and conversion optimization efforts, sign up for a free trial or give our sales team a shout-out.

For feedback, comments, or questions, you can also reach out to me (the CEO) at paras@wingify.com.

Source article: 

Announcing The New Version Of VWO: World’s First And Only Platform For Conversion Optimization

Travel Marketers Have a Trust Problem

As a travel marketer or agency marketer servicing the travel industry, you have a tricky gig. You need to convince your prospects to spend thousands of dollars and precious vacation time.

Meanwhile, your prospects are increasingly wary of the legitimacy of your offers (thanks a lot, Fyre Fest).

Here’s to hoping your vacation is memorable, but not in a meme-worthy kind of way.

Your challenge then is to effectively convey trust on your travel landing pages. Doing so can help ease prospects’ conversion anxiety, resulting in more travel leads and sales for your business.

The importance of trust on your travel landing pages

We often talk about the importance of trust and credibility on your landing pages — this isn’t a new idea.

But for some industries, a lack of trust can have hugely detrimental effects on conversion rates.

In a recent analysis of 74,551,421 visitors to 64,284 lead generation landing pages created in the Unbounce platform, data scientists found that travel landing pages can realistically achieve conversion rates of at least 12%. Even more impressive is within the travel and tourism industry, the very best pages convert over 25% of their visitors (schwing!).

Notice the dramatic conversion rate difference between percentiles? If you’re part of that percentile getting 2.1% or lower conversion rates, your pages have lots of room for improvement. Image via the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

If you’re not hitting these benchmarks, it might be time to take a hard look at your marketing and ask yourself if you’ve done enough to make your prospects trust you.

And don’t worry if your answer is “No” or “I’m not sure.” We’ve compiled four data-backed ways to boost trust on your travel landing page. Use them as a jumping off point for your optimization efforts.

1. Bolster your copy with trust words

Using an Emotion Lexicon to analyze copy, Unbounce data scientists found evidence that visitors to travel landing pages have slight concerns about the legitimacy of the offers.

However, they also found that using at least 7% (and up to 10%) of your copy to establish trust could result in conversion rates that are up to 20% better.

Notice the uptick in conversion rate once trust-infused copy is used more liberally? Image via the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Unbounce data scientists found that these are some of the words that impart trust on travel landing pages:

enjoy, perfect, secret, top, team, guide, save, personal, spa, food, planning, policy, provide, star, award, real, share, friendly, recommend, school

(Keep in mind, though, that these words were generated by an algorithm and should still be applied using common sense. Just adding the word “spa” to your page — especially if you don’t offer spa services — is not going to increase your conversions.)

The travel experts at Nordic Visitor do a great job of using trust words to build confidence on their Iceland site. It’s not a landing page per se, but the same principles apply.

“Team,” “planning,” “provide” and “personal” are all words found to positively convey trustworthiness. Adding these and other trust words to your copy could be the subconscious nudge your prospects need to convert.

Take stock of the trust words you’re using in your marketing, and particularly on your landing pages. If they’re looking a little sparse, test out using confidence-building words to describe destinations in detail.

2. Cut copy that brings up emotions of fear and anger

Just as trust words can drastically improve your conversion rates, words that subconsciously trigger fear or anger will have a negative impact on travel landing page conversion rates.

In fact, Unbounce data scientists found that if even 1% of page copy reminds your visitors of feelings of anger or fear, you could be seeing up to 25% lower conversion rates.

No one wants to be angry while on vacation. Image via the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Words that may instill fear or anger in your prospects include:

limited, tree, money, hot, desert, endless, challenge, treat, fee, feeling, rail, stone, bear, buffet, bang, cash, cross, despair

So instead of…

“Feeling endless despair this Canadian winter? Warm yourself up with a limited-time-only vacation in the hot Mojave desert.”

Try…

“Escape the Canadian winter at a five-star award-winning vacation rental in sunny California.”

Get even more industry-specific emotion and sentiment copy suggestions

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how emotion and sentiment may be impacting conversion rates in your industry.
By entering your email you expressly consent to receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

3. Leverage social proof to build visitor trust

Persuading your prospects to put their trust in you is tricky business, and it’s even trickier when it comes to travel, because they’re likely working with a tight budget and only a few weeks of precious vacation. They don’t want to take a leap of faith — they want a sure thing.

A proven strategy for easing prospect anxiety is to use social proof. It’s the “everybody’s doing it” mentality that helps convince your prospects to convert.

Testimonials

When you let your satisfied customers sing your praises, your credibility goes through the roof. Including testimonials on your travel landing page can have a positive impact on how trustworthy your prospects perceive you to be, but not all testimonials are created equal.

To best enhance your chance of conversion, heed the following testimonial commandments:

  • Be specific
  • Include a photo of the person
  • Avoid hyperbole (i.e., This pedicure literally saved my life!)
  • Choose testimonials that demonstrate the transformative effect of your product or service on the lives of your users

Nordic Visitor takes it one step further with a video testimonial from several happy customers:

Don’t tell your prospects how great you are, show them with real live, happy customers.

Reviews

Similar to testimonials, including reviews on your travel landing page can help convey trust to your prospects.

The luxury travel designers of Jacada Travel have embedded reviews from Trustpilot, a reputable online review community, directly into their landing page.

Awards

If you recall, the word “award” is associated with trust on travel landing pages. So if your company or client has won any reputable awards, be sure to flaunt ‘em.

Tour guide company Kensington Tours not only includes several trust seals on their travel landing page, they also mention in their Adwords ad that they’re a National Geographic award winner.

Highlight awards strategically to build confidence in your offers.

4. Security measures

Persuasive trust-infused copy and social proof are wonderful, but when you’re collecting travel leads and even money, you need to assure your prospects that their data and money is safe.

There are many ways to do this, but the two most impactful strategies are to enable SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and to include trust seals.

SSL

SSL creates an encrypted link between your landing pages and your visitor’s browser. It’s identified by the little lock icon and the “https” (vs. http) in the top left-hand side of your browser search bar.

Enabling SSL on all your web properties (but especially on your lead gen and ecommerce landing pages) assures your visitors that they’re not at risk of being hacked.

Psst: SSL is available on all paid Unbounce plans. Don’t publish a landing page without it!

Trust seals

Trust seals help to reinforce the message that your landing page is secure. These can be obtained by whichever third-party security vendor handles your SSL certificate, and easily added to your travel landing page with a few lines of JavaScript.

Nordic Visitor nails it yet again with a trust seal from GeoTrust and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017, further reinforcing their credibility.

All aboard the Conversion Cruise

A lack of trust in any industry can hurt conversion rates, but in the travel industry the stakes are extra high.

Fortunately, this means the opportunities to improve your conversion rates are plenty. And if you nail the whole trust thing down, you could be seeing some of the highest conversion rates across any industry.

Leveraging a combo of effective copy, social proof and security measures, you can make your prospects forget about the stress associated with booking a vacation. Skip that trip to Poor Conversions-ville and instead put your feet up with a Mai Tai in hand on the Conversion Cruise.

For even more data-backed conversion insights in the travel industry, or for insights into industries such as health, finance, higher education and more, download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Get data-backed conversion insights across 10 popular industries

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your conversion rates stack up against the competition — and how to improve them.
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Launching a travel landing page from scratch? Try out one of our travel landing page templates, designed specifically to boost conversions.

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Travel Marketers Have a Trust Problem

Future-Proof Your Marketing with Call to Action Magazine

The Call to Action Magazine
A good marketer is like a doomsday prepper (bear with me here…)

Instead of preparing for a global cataclysm, learning about water storage and building bunkers, they’re constantly on the lookout for ways they can proof their marketing for, or get ahead of, inevitable and dramatic changes to the marketing landscape.

Frequent and mysterious algorithm changes. New ad platform features. Emerging trends, dying fads. Amidst all this, only marketers who understand these new conditions — then adapt and innovate within them — will see exponential returns.

At Unbounce, we’ve been really lucky to have a network of expert marketers around to ask about the always-changing marketing landscape. We can turn to forward-thinking strategists like Mirum’s Mitch Joel, Moz’s Rand Fishkin, Love Your Customer’s Claire Suellentrop, and even our in-house-experts, like Alexa Hubley, Carl Schmidt and CRO Michael Aagaard. We ask them things like:

  • What does the ever-increasing prominence of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning mean for marketers and their jobs?
  • Are “tried-and-true” frameworks like the buyer persona still relevant, or are there new ways of digging deeper to speak more closely to my target market?
  • Have traditional SEO tactics become completely outdated? Why are the most successful SEOs now becoming well versed in conversion rate optimization?
  • How can you use data to inform your marketing without letting personal biases get in the way?
  • Should marketing stop after the conversion? (Or is customer marketing where it’s at?)

These are questions we’ve seen tossed around recently in our newsfeeds and at conferences.

So we set out to help answer them.

In Call to Action Magazine, we aim to address these questions and dig into some of the recommendations the experts in our network have shared — those that will help you create exceptional marketing no matter what new algorithm comes along.

So, what do you say? Do you want to get lost in the rubble… or do you want to learn how you can future-proof your marketing?

Ready to Future-Proof Your Marketing?

Call to Action Magazine is filled with recommendations from marketing experts to help your marketing thrive — no matter what algorithm gets changed tomorrow.
By accessing the magazine, you’ll receive actionable marketing content from Unbounce. 
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Link: 

Future-Proof Your Marketing with Call to Action Magazine

How Indian Brands Drive Conversions On Independence Day

How Brands Drive Conversion on Independence Day

The Indian Independence day is right around the corner. For consumers in India, it’s a day of rejoice and celebration. And, for marketers, it opens a box of opportunities.

For marketers, the opportunity to leverage spirit of Independence translates into consumers’ buying decision for marketers.

In India, especially during major festivals and occasions like Independence Day, you can expect cutthroat rivalry among major brands. And yet, there are big winners in such intense situations.

How does this happen?

What are the strategies and tactics that these brands deploy to successfully pull off a nationwide campaign?

We studied various campaigns of India’s largest online brands to find out the answer.  

And we saw that there were five different ploys deployed to pique the interest of the average online consumer in India that resulted in the success of these campaigns.

1. Tapping into consumers’ emotions

Independence Day is the time of the year when citizens are filled with joy and hopes for prosperity for the whole nation. Marketers very well understand these emotions and know how to leverage these to their advantage.

A fitting example would be the outstation campaign by Ola, one of the largest cab aggregator in India.

When the Independence day is close to a weekend, people love to travel a lot. Weekend getaways are popular among the public, and folks love to spend time with their friends and relatives at places nearby.

Ola appealed to its customers’ emotions by offering them outstation deals during the Independence week. The company even offered an INR 300 discount for its first-time outstation users. Ola also partnered with Club Mahindra and Yatra to offer deals on hotel stays.

Ola Outstation Email

Ola encourages taking a holiday while thinking about it as a viable brand for traveling to nearby getaways.

2. Limited Period Offer

The sad part of these festive sales and offers is that these need to end after a short span. These campaigns generally run from 2 to 5 days around the festival.

For example, Flipkart Freedom Sale which celebrates India’s spirit of Independence only ran for 4 days, so people had limited time to buy what they wanted to.

Freedom Sale Flipkart

Most consumers plan their purchases for such special occasions to get the best deals for the intended product. For others, marketing events, sales, and giveaways always take place with an expiration date.

Setting up such a trigger pushes prospective buyers to make purchases fast, to avoid missing out on the deals.

3. Creating a Sense of Urgency with the help of Micro Events

Some brands build upon the limited nature of the sale and go out all guns blazing to create a sense of urgency.

On top of the limited nature of the sale event, there are few micro-events incorporated into the sale that runs for a few hours to minutes. These sales are exclusive to people who can decide and act fast as they come with an additional discount.

Amazon does this very well with their lightning deals, which generally last from 2-6 hours throughout the event (which itself is 4-day long). The lightning deals have an additional discount on an already stated discount. The catch is the limited time and the sense of urgency it creates.

amazon-lighting-deal

If people have to buy a product which has a lightning deal, they can add it to their cart and checkout under 15 minutes or the deal is gone forever.

4. Exclusive Product Launch

These festive events also leverage their audience’s interest by providing exclusive product offers during a sale.

It is highly useful to build anticipation among shoppers. And, in India, Amazon attracted consumers from the smartphone market. India is known as the mobile-first country, where over half the population owns a smartphone.

keyone-launch

Amazon saw huge boosts in sales due to Smartphone and had exclusive launch of various devices such as Blackberry KeyOne, LG Q6, and the Oneplus 5’s Soft Gold variant. The result was a massive 10X increase in the sales for Amazon through just their Big Indian Sale Event.

5. Omnichannel Promotion and User Experience

Most major brands understand their users and customers. India is predominantly a mobile-first market with a decent penetration when it comes to computers. People love to shop using their mobile devices as well as use their laptops or PCs to make a purchase.

And most users want omnichannel access to the brand of their choice. We saw that a major chunk of brands embraced this philosophy over the Independence week.

For instance, my primary communication happens on my cell phone and brands saw my interaction on cell phones were far more than the email or website and therefore most of the promo I received was over mobile push or in-app rather than through email or website.

Grofers Freedom Sale

Also, there were deals that promoted usage of multiple channels to buy products. Grofers offered an INR 100 discount to shoppers who were open to buying stuff using their mobile app.

Appeal to Your Customers’ Emotions; Don’t Stop Experimenting

Customers are spoilt for choices when the whole nation is celebrating. In these times, marketers need not be intimidated or overwhelmed by their customers. They have to leverage these emotions and keeping building experiences with the help of experimentation.

These are major strategies that have been successfully demonstrated by brands to be effective. You need to understand emotional cues of your customers and accordingly create an effective campaign.

By tapping into your customer’s cognitive tendencies, you can build healthy, long-term relationships with your customers.

The post How Indian Brands Drive Conversions On Independence Day appeared first on VWO Blog.

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How Indian Brands Drive Conversions On Independence Day

How To Increase Website Conversions With The Right Messaging

 Note: This is a guest article written by Josh Mendelsohn, VP of Marketing at Privy. Any and all opinions expressed in the post are Josh’s.

Let’s cut right to it. We all suck at conversion. According to E-marketer, 98% of online traffic leaves a site without filling out a form or completing a purchase. That means you have missed a chance to start building a relationship with potential customers. While it’s easy to shrug off a low on-site conversion rate, imagine if you owned a physical store and 100 people walked in… and 98 walked out without interacting with a represented or making a purchase. You’d be pretty sad, right? Yet, that’s what most of us are doing in our online stores and are not able to increase website conversions.

Why Do We Do This To Ourselves?

For starters, most organizations are thinking their product far more than they are thinking about conversion. If you’re a publisher, that might be the articles you are producing. If you’re an online store, it’s literally the products you are sourcing, merchandising, and selling. If you’re a non-profit, it’s the services you are providing to the world.

They are also likely thinking about how to drive site traffic. Whether that is through building a social media presence, paid search, radio, or even print ads.

And they may have even hired someone to think about the customer or member experience and how to keep those people engaged and generating word of mouth. But they often forget the middle, critical piece of the funnel, which is on-site conversion.

For the (much) smaller group of organizations who are actively trying to drive conversion, most fall into one of two camps. They either take a very passive approach because they don’t want to be too salesy. Or they take an overly aggressive approach with forms coming at a visitor from all angles, blocking a site’s core content.  But that’s not what good salespeople do. They take what they know about a prospect (in this case, a site visitor) and they use that to craft a message.

What We Know About Site Visitors

Through the magic of digital marketing, we know a lot about a site visitor without having to ask. While some people may find this creepy, for marketers it is an untapped goldmine of messaging opportunity.  For example, we can usually answer the question:

  • Where did they come from?
  • Is this their first visit?
  • What page are they on?
  • How many pages have they looked at?
  • What language do they speak?
  • What device are they on?
  • How much is in their cart?

What Do You Do With That Information?

While most organizations who have started thinking about conversion might have a simple opt-in form pop-up for visitors to their site, those who are focused on it can use the information we know to their advantage to create a more targeted experience for visitors to their site by crafting different messages based on who they are and what they have done. For the example below, I am going to imagine an E-Commerce company selling women’s clothing and I want to offer a 10% discount to new customers who sign up for my email list. While you probably wouldn’t want to hit someone with ALL of these messages, you can see how your core message might change based on what you know about a visitor.

Question What we know Messaging Strategy
Where did they come from? The visitor clicked on an Instagram ad featuring a specific blue swimsuit . Try featuring the product that they already expressed interest in within your message. “Looking for a new swimsuit? Get 10% off your first purchase by entering your email below.”
Is this their first visit? They have visited before but have never bought anything from you. Don’t treat them like a stranger! “Welcome back to my store! We’ve just launched a new product line. Sign up below to get 10% off your first purchase.”
What page are they on? They are on the “About” page of your site and not actually shopping. Try a “stay in touch” message over a discount. “Sign up to hear about new products and special offers.”
How many pages have they looked at?

AND

How much is in their cart?

They have looked at 7 different pages in your store without adding anything to their cart, which means they are browsing but are not yet sold. “Having trouble finding what you are looking for? Sign up and we’ll let you know when we launch new products and give you a 10% discount for your first purchase.”
What language do they speak? The visitor’s primary language on their browser is spanish. “¡Bienvenidos a mi tienda! Regístrese abajo para obtener un 10% de descuento en su primera compra.”
What device category are they on? The visitor is on a mobile device, which is a great cue to slim down your text. “Sign up today for 10% off your first purchase.”

How To Deliver The Message

There are two things that you need to think about when delivering the message to your site visitors: timing and format. Let’s look at the format first :

1- Targeted displays – There are three categories of display types that drive the most on-site conversions.

– Popups: Popups, also known as lightboxes, typically display in the center of the website, or sometimes as “fly outs” in the corner.

– Bars: A full width bar that typically sits either on top of your site, or at the bottom.

– Banners: A more subtle interaction that sits at the top or bottom of a site, but starts in a “hidden” state until triggered, then rolls into sight at the desired time.

Pop-Ups for Increasing Website Conversions
Pop-Up for Targeted Display


2-
Chat
More and more often, successful online stores are investing in automated and live chat to help reduce the anxiety that consumers feel before making a purchase from a new retailer. In fact, the availability of a “live” person on your site accomplishes two important goals:

– It allows people to ask any questions ahead of completing a purchase. Especially for larger ticket items, this inspires confidence that they are making the right decision

– It tells them that if something goes wrong with an order, there is a real person they can reach out to for help. The combination of those two factors makes shoppers more likely to hit the buy button.

Chat for Increasing Website Conversions
Engaging Visitors through Chat

3- Video
The third way of delivering the message that can have a huge impact on conversion is the use of video. Unlike static images and text, video helps bring your products to life and gives you the chance to both explain why someone should buy and put the product in a real life context. Or in some cases, lets you tell a broader story of how the product came to be in the first place.  Here’s an example of one I love (and am desperate to own.)

Product Videos for Increasing Website Conversions
Product Videos for Capturing Visitor Attention

Triggering Your Messages

The second consideration is deciding when to trigger each of your messages. There are four primary ways you can trigger a campaign to your desired audience.

  • Timer: The time trigger simply enables you to determine when to display your campaign, based on how long a visitor has been on your site. It could show immediately when a visitor lands, 10 seconds later, etc.
  • Exit intent: This trigger is growing in popularity. Exit intent tracks your visitors mouse movement, and if the visitor appears to be leaving or “exiting” your site, you can use that as a trigger for your campaign.
  • Scroll percentage: Show your campaign once a visitor has scrolled down your page a certain percentage.
  • Tabs: Tabs, or other visual calls to action can be customized to fit in with your site layout, and when clicked, trigger your campaign to display.

Which Converts Best?

Ultimately any combination of targeted messaging delivered through displays, videos, and chats will improve your conversion rate. We’ve looked at thousands of campaigns and found that each of the display types and triggers can be effective.  Because investing in video can take significant resources (time and money), I recommend starting with display and chat to deliver the right message at the right time. Once you have videos on hand, you can embed them on your product pages to level up your product content and add them into your displays to get them in front of shoppers as they navigate your site.

In terms of display types, banners are actually the highest converting format largely because they are less subtle than a simple “bar” but less frustrating to visitors than pop-ups that interrupt the browsing experience before a visitor has had a chance to consumer any of your content. In addition, we find that triggering a campaign in less than thirty seconds from the time a visitor lands on your site (or a specific page) is most effective in driving conversion.

Setting that data aside for a second, recent trends are showing that among the most impactful things you can do if you operate an online store is actually combining a pop-up with an exit intent trigger that serves as a “cart saver.” Simply put, if someone is visiting your store and attempts to leave by closing the browser tab or clicking the back button, you can show a message with a special offer that gets them to sign up and/or keep shopping while giving you permission to market to them in the future.

Exit Intent Pop-Ups to Increase Website Conversions
Exit Intent Pop-Ups

Walk. Jog. Run.

So, where do you get started? You don’t need to craft custom messages for every audience and every page on your site right out of the gate. We suggest thinking about one or two of your most common audiences and creating targeted offers and messages just for them that you can track, test, and adapt before rolling out a full on-site conversion program.

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The post How To Increase Website Conversions With The Right Messaging appeared first on VWO Blog.

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How To Increase Website Conversions With The Right Messaging

How To Conduct Competitor Research For Better Conversion Optimization Results

Note: This is a guest article written by Shane Barker, a renowned digital marketing consultant. Any and all opinions expressed in the post are Shane’s.


You want to increase your conversion rate. And you’ve implemented several CRO, or conversion rate optimization, strategies to help you do so. But have you considered researching about your competitors?

Understanding competition is crucial for the success of your business in every aspect. It will help you determine what you’re doing wrong, and what you can do better. It will also help you identify and capitalize on the weaknesses of your competitors.

In this post, you’ll learn the basics of conducting competitor research to enhance your CRO efforts.

#1: Identify Your Top Competitors

Before beginning your research, you need to know whom to research. Who are your biggest competitors? The simplest definition would be businesses where your target customers can get the same kind of services or products you offer.

Include both direct and indirect competitors.

  • Direct competitors are businesses that sell the same products or services as you.
  • Indirect competitors are those who sell products or services that fulfil the same need.

For example, Burger King and McDonald’s would be considered direct competitors because they have similar product offerings, that is, burgers. But Pizza Hut or Domino’s would be an indirect competitor of both Burger King and McDonald’s. Although they’re both fast food joints, Pizza Hut and Domino’s specialize in pizzas while the other two specialize in burgers.

Here are some of the ways you can identify your top competitors to conduct competitor research:

Google Search for Relevant Keywords

Make a list of keywords relevant to your business, and conduct a Google search using those keywords. The businesses that show up on the first page of your search results are your top competitors. List them for further research.

Let’s say you’re a wedding planner based in Sacramento. You can conduct a Google search using keywords like, “wedding planning in Sacramento,” “wedding planner in Sacramento,” “wedding planner Sacramento,” and so on.

Your top competitors in this case are the businesses that show up in the local pack and whose ads are displayed on the top of the page.

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You can find more competitors on the actual websites that show up in your search results. For the above example, if there are any sites that list wedding planners in the Sacramento area, you would need to check out those as well.

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Use SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is a highly effective tool for identifying your competitors and determining their performance. All you need to do is type your website URL in the search bar and then click Start.

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This step generates an overview of your site’s ranking and traffic, as shown in the screenshot below. As the goal here is to identify competitors, you need to click the option that says, “Similar Sites,” as shown on the left sidebar.

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You will then get a list of some of the websites similar to yours, which you can sort based on the extent of similarity or ranking. Add them to your list so that you have a clear idea about who your competitors are.

Additionally, click each of these results to check where the websites stand in terms of ranking, traffic, and so on. This performance analysis can be used as part of the third step in this guide.

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#2: Try Out Your Competition

Another important step in competitor research is to experience their services or products first-hand.

When dealing with ecommerce stores, try ordering from them. Analyze every aspect of the purchase process to identify what they’re doing right and what mistakes they’re making.

Maybe they’ve implemented a chatbot to help their shoppers find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. To improve your CRO, consider adding a chatbot to your website as well.

You should also analyze the user experience (UX) of your competitors’ websites. Ensuring a good user experience is an essential part of successful CRO.

To analyze the UX of your competitors, ask yourself questions such as:

  • How easy is it for you to navigate your competitor’s website?
  • Are there too many distractions on any of their webpages?
  • Are you having a tough time reading the copy because of a bad font choice?
  • Is the process of completing a purchase easy?

Additionally, analyze their post-purchase service to see how well they respond to customer complaints. These questions can help you understand more about your competition. Analyze their services to determine what they’re doing well, what you can improve on, and what mistakes you should avoid.

In the case of a brick-and-mortar shop, try visiting the establishment to experience its service. Make a note of the store’s ambiance, how friendly the staff is, how well they present their products, and so on.

You can also ask the opinions of friends and family or your customers who have visited the place.

#3: Analyze Competitor Performance and Strategy

This is one of the most important steps in competitor research. When you think of analyzing their performance and strategy, several aspects may come to mind. Not sure what exactly to prioritize, or where to start?

Analyze the following to conduct your competitor research more efficiently:

Traffic and Ranking

One of the key factors to consider when analyzing the performance of your competitors is their ranking. Find out how they rank for specific keywords, and compare their performance against your own.

For competitor performance analysis, you can use SEMrush, which you can access for free. You also have the option to upgrade to one of their paid plans, which allow for more results and reports per day.

In the screenshot below, the tool gives you a report on the website’s paid and organic search traffic. Using this tool, you can compare the amount of branded traffic and non-branded traffic and get some insight into the PPC campaigns of your competitors.

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SEMrush can help you find out what your competitors are doing right so that you can use those opportunities to improve your CRO efforts.

The tool will also give you a list of keywords for which each website is ranked, along with the position and search volume for each keyword.

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SpyFu is another useful tool for conducting competitor research. The tool helps you find your competitors on typing your website URL in the search bar.

The most useful aspect of this tool is that it identifies the top organic and paid keywords used by your competitors. It also helps you to identify the keywords you share with your competitors.

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Link Profiles

Link profiles is another important aspect to help you conduct competitor research. According to Moz, link profiles are among the top search ranking factors.

A good link profile will improve your website ranking, which will improve its visibility. The more visible your website is, the better your chances are of improving traffic. Increased traffic often leads to higher conversions.

This means that you need to conduct competitor research to find out where they stand in terms of backlinks. Find out which websites are linking to them and how many backlinks they currently have. This will help you determine what backlinking goals you should set and which websites you should target through your backlinking efforts.

You can use basic tools such as Backlink Checker from Small SEO Tools to check which pages are linking to your competitors. For more detailed reports, you can use the two tools mentioned earlier, SEMrush and SpyFu.

SpyFu gives you a list of pages linking to your competitors. In addition, it shows the number of organic clicks and domain strength of the websites linking to your competitors.

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SEMrush is even more comprehensive. It gives you a report on the number of backlinks your competitor has and the number of domains linking to these backlinks.

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Also, you can use SEMrush to view the top anchor texts being used to link to your competitors.

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Landing Page Strategy

In addition to your competitors’ performance, you need to determine their ability to impress their audience. This means that you need to analyze their landing page strategy and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Ask yourself:

  • How strong is the headline?
  • Is the value proposition clear?
  • Is the landing page design aesthetically pleasing?
  • Are there any visuals on the page?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask when analyzing the landing pages of your competitors.

Pricing Strategy

When you conduct competitor research, it’s also important to analyze their pricing strategy. Their rates maybe are more competitive and, therefore, your target customers are choosing them over you.

What can you do to present your rates in a more appealing manner to enhance your CRO efforts?

  • Are your competitors offering multiple pricing options?
  • Are there any guarantees that make their offers more trustworthy?
  • Do they compare various pricing options?
  • What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of their pricing strategies?

Next Steps

Now you know more about how to conduct competitor research to improve your conversions rate optimization strategy. Next, you need to make a list of the top strengths and weaknesses of each competitor based on the data you have collected.

For example, one competitor’s top strengths may be an excellent landing page design and a good backlinking strategy. But the same competitor could be lagging in terms of organic search ranking and customer service as well.

From this list, you can identify opportunities to improve your CRO efforts. Your competitor research can also provide you with insights into the mistakes you should avoid and ways to improve your service so that it stands out from your competitors.

Got any questions about the tips provided here? Feel free to ask them or to share your ideas in the comments below.

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The post How To Conduct Competitor Research For Better Conversion Optimization Results appeared first on VWO Blog.

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How To Conduct Competitor Research For Better Conversion Optimization Results