Tag Archives: conversion optimization

6 Advanced Methods To Understand Your Audience And Improve Conversions Using VWO

VWO is the world’s first Connected Conversion Optimization Platform, and we are here to share 6 simple methods that are unique to VWO and would help you derive a winning conversion optimization formula.

So without further ado, let’s begin. Please note that to implement all these methods, you require a trial account with VWO.

Don’t have one? Sign up right now.

1. Segment User Funnels: Find the Right Prospect on Your Website

User journey and conversion funnels are few of the best tools to analyze your visitor behavior and pinpoint the pages, and areas which are the main source of customer drop-offs.

Segmention Funnels based on Customer Profile

VWO provides one of the most precise depictions of user funnels with advanced segmentation options.

There is a wide variety of options based on:

  • Direct Traffic: The segment which consists of an audience that arrives directly to your target page by entering the URL or accessing it through a bookmark.
  • Referral Traffic: The chunk of the audience that might click a referring URL from a website, a partner, or an affiliate.
  • Social Traffic: Traffic that originates from social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Quora.
  • New Visitors: Someone who has never been part of any test on a domain before.
  • Returning: Someone who has been part of at least one test on the domain before.
  • Paid Traffic Search: This type contains utm_medium query parameter such as cpc, ppc, and cpa to differentiate from other sources of traffic.

2. Personalize Your Landing Pages for Your Ad Campaigns

VWO’s custom targeting allows you to focus on your ad campaigns by dynamically changing the landing page according to the PPC campaign clicked.

For example, if you have a fashion ecommerce business promoting a bunch of black dresses with different ad copies. The ad group here would require a one-to-one, ad to the landing page, for a different pool of audience clicking the ads.

In the example, we take “black dresses” as the product you are trying to sell. Search queries will differ drastically and your potential customers will henceforth see different ad copies. To cater to individual choices, you might create ad copies like:

  • Black Dresses
  • Little Black Dresses
  • Most Popular Little Black Dresses

This will lead to a PPC campaign like the image below:

PPC Landing Page - One to Many

Even with different ad copies, a marketer won’t be able to mitigate a many-to-one ad to landing page mechanism.

But with the help of VWO, you can create a dynamic landing page and use your PPC’s unique parameters to match the ad group with the correct landing page. This happens because based on the query parameter of an ad, VWO can change the content of your landing pages dynamically. For Google AdWords, it is the globally unique tracking parameter called Google Click Identifier or GCLID.

PPC Landing Pages via VWO

Learn more about how to personalize pages for PPC campaigns by reading this article.

3.  Personalize web pages using URL Query Parameters

A similar approach, like the above, can be replicated for personalizing content on a certain page for various segments of your visitors.

You can add unique query parameters to your website URL and personalize pages dynamically for a variety of audience.

You need to add a customized query parameter at the end of the URLs you are targeting.

For example, if one wants to change the content on a blog post for a given audience, they could assign the blog a query parameter like ‘yousite.com/blog/?=variation1’ where ‘variation 1’ is the parameter, VWO will recognize and change the content dynamically.

Personalized Query Parameters

With this capability, you can change all kinds of content on your website. It can vary from text, images to CSS and HTML properties.

4. Record Live Observations on User Data

Visitor recordings are one of the most sought-after methods to understand customer drop-offs on your website. In live preview, you can figure out the major detractors for a customer or prospect at an individual level.

For example, while going through live recordings, you find an anomaly that’s leading a customer to exit the website without taking the desired action.

To mitigate this issue, a marketer or an analyst can ask the website IT team to make changes. This adds unnecessary steps to a problem that can be easily solved.

Record Live Data on User Observations

A visitor can directly record observations by annotating information directly in the recording itself in VWO. Now your team can collectively view the issue and take corrective measures to improve its customer drop-off rates.

Want to learn more?

You can check this page.

5.  Make Changes to Your Website with Wildcards

For any type of web testing, when we are making a change to a universal element, the change should be consistent throughout your website.

Even if it’s an AB test on a single page, changes made to universal elements have to be consistent. VWO identifies this pain point for a large set of its audience and provides an easy method to do so.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Create a Funnel test.
  2. Define a test page pattern. Make sure that the VWO code snippet is added to all these pages. Enter the test page pattern in the Run test on the URL field.

For example, a test on your website would be defined as http:*//yoursite.com* for the following reasons:

  • The first wildcard (*) ensures that the test element is changed over both the http and https versions of your website.
  • The second wildcard (*) ensures that the changed element is implemented on any page that contains the URL string – “://yoursite.com.”

Change CTA across website

Please refer to this guide for in-depth information about replicating changes across your website.

6. Manage and Refine Your User Data

VWO is equipped with tools that allow you to back your  conversion optimization program with data.

With the VWO’s Plan capability, you can:

  1. Record your observations by using Analyze. A VWO user can record observations directly from heatmaps, click maps, and click area.
  2. Create hypotheses with the help of these observations. After collecting your well-researched observations, organize and use these to create hypotheses.

There are three parameters you must rate on a scale of 1 to 5 for Hypothesis:

  • Confidence: On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest, and 5 being the highest), select how confident you are about achieving the expected improvement through the hypothesis?
  • Importance: On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest, and 5 being the highest), select how crucial the visitor landing on the test pages (for which the hypothesis is created) is.
  • Ease: On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the most difficult, and 5 being the easiest), select the complexity of the hypothesis. Rate how difficult it’ll be to implement the changes identified in the hypothesis.

VWO Hypotheses

VWO leverages Kanban boards so that you can always keep track of your hypotheses in a pipeline format. Apart from that, you can assign each hypothesis a predictive impact score and prioritize it accordingly.

There are a lot of ways in which VWO can improve your conversions. And these methods take minutes to implement on your websites. If you are already using VWO for optimizing your website conversion, we’d love to know your favorite. You can leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The post 6 Advanced Methods To Understand Your Audience And Improve Conversions Using VWO appeared first on VWO Blog.

Original post – 

6 Advanced Methods To Understand Your Audience And Improve Conversions Using VWO

Conversion Rate Audit: The First Step Of The CRO Process

Like everything else, there is a perfect timing to start with your CRO process. Rush in without a good understanding and you might just be burning your money for no good.

It is true that finding that “Perfect Moment” for yourself is tough. And it’s tougher to be in that moment and still not know how to start with the Conversion Optimization process.

A few years back, the focus of online marketing was merely increasing the traffic. But at that time, the traffic was easy to acquire. In the 90s, when SEO came into existence and brands started competing to rank better, a lot of marketing channels evolved, giving them the opportunity to get potential customers. With time, the approach and the focus both have shifted to making the most of the existing traffic with CRO.

conversion rate audit

(Source)

If you tried A/B testing earlier, understand the importance of optimization, and want to increase your website conversion, continue reading till the end.

This post will help you do a conversion rate audit of your website while using some conversion-centric metrics. And will help you decide if you need to start conversion optimization.

When should you consider Conversion Rate Optimization?

  • If you already have an MVP

According to Morgan Brown, the perfect moment to consider optimizing is when you already have an MVP, or a Minimum Viable Product.

conversion rate audit

Source

  1. If you have substantial amount of traffic

If your website is working and has a substantial amount of traffic with the potential to become your customers, you can consider optimization.

Finding the Gaps

Understand where the visitors are are coming from and what they are looking for. Only then can you serve them with what they need. Attempts where people try to blindly copy conversion practices from other websites mostly fail. Website owners need to understand that each website and each visitor are unique. Find the loopholes in your conversion funnel, and fix these to boost your conversion rate.

So how do we do that?

This is what this Conversion Rate Audit will help you with. It’ll provide you with insights about what is happening on your website, what all needs to be fixed. and how you can fix it.

Some Conversion-Centric Industry Benchmarks

Here are some industry benchmarks that provide you with a perspective of how your website is performing per the industry standards.

Cross-Device and Cross-Browser Compatibility

It is a mandate for any website to be compatible with all the 3 major browsers—Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. Additionally, your website should be optimized for different platforms and devices.

conversion rate audit

(Source)

Based on visitor preference and optimization, the conversion rate differs from one platform to another.

Here are some conversion rate data specific to different devices and platform for Ecommerce:

conversion rate audit

conversion rate audit

(Source)

Page Load Time

No matter how you measure it, a fast page speed is better. Many people have found that faster pages both rank and convert better. Experts suggest that your website should load within 4 seconds or lesser.


conversion rate audit

(Source)

Bounce Rate

As a rule of thumb, you can consider the following table to evaluate your bounce rate.

conversion rate audit

(Source)

conversion rate audit

(Source)

You can expect mobile bounce rates to be about 10 to 20 percent higher than those for a desktop.


conversion rate audit

(Source)

Net Promoters Score (NPS)

conversion rate audit

In a report published by Temkin Group, you can see the variations of Net Promoter Score, or NPS, for 269 companies across 19 industries. Here are the overall results for the 19 industries:

conversion rate audit

conversion rate audit

(Source)

If you’re looking to implement NPS, follow these steps:

  1. Ask follow-up questions.
  2. Combine it with user research.
  3. Find and fix issues.
  4. Market to promoters.

In case you have a low NPS, you can refer to some tips that can help you improve that.

Industry-Wise Average Conversion Rate

Variables such as product type, product cost, device, and location impact the conversion rate. Moreover, it also differs with your website conversion goal. Let’s take a look at some of the major industries and their average conversion rates.

Non-Ecommerce Sites Including B2B

This is a useful compilation from Marketing Sherpa of average conversion rates by industry sector.

conversion rate audit

Ecommerce

conversion rate audit

conversion rate audit

(Source)

Telecom and Travel

According to Adobe Digital Index (ADI), UK and US conversion rates are significantly lower than those of European countries other than the UK, perhaps because of less competition. Different rates of smartphone adoption has already affected this cross-platform average.

conversion rate audit

Some additional industry data you can refer to:

conversion rate audit
(Source)

Start Your Conversion Rate Audit: Do You Stand a Chance?

Example: Say you’ve an eCommerce store that sells healthcare products. Email marketing gives you the best ROI and sales. In this case, more subscribers equal more sales and revenue. Your main conversion goal can be to increase the number of visitors who subscribe to your list. From here, you can start analyzing and testing your current pop-up boxes, opt-in forms, and opt-in incentives to find what drives the most sign-ups.

This conversion rate audit involves referring to the above industry benchmarks and comparing those with your website metrics.

A mandate before starting with the audit is to have a definite goal.

Here are some major metrics you need to consider for the audit:

  • Page load time: You can use tools like Pingdom and Google Page Speed to get an idea about the page load time for your website. You might want to focus more on important pages like product, pricing, sign-up, and check-out. A high page load time contributes to a high bounce rate and thus, reduces the potential for conversion.
  • Cross-device and browser functioning: Double-check your website compatibility across different browsers and devices. No matter which device or browser is in use, your website should be compatible with all, to avoid drop-offs.

Qualitative Analysis

  • Bounce rate/Exit rate: Check your website bounce rates and exit rates with the help of the analytics tool that you are using. You can focus on particular pages that are most likely a part of your conversion funnel. For eCommerce, you can consider cart abandonment rates along with the first two metrics.
  • Demography and locations: Dig deep and focus on your visitors’ demography and locations. This information plays an important role in conversion, as visitors from different demographies might behave differently on your website. So, all of them should be engaged differently.
  • Traffic sources and channels: Get an idea about the major channels that are working for you and driving traffic to your website. This will help you channelize your efforts toward the most converting channel for your website.
  • Session duration and user engagement rate: Notice how much time your visitors spend on your website and the extent of user engagement. According to HubSpot, 55% of the visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a website. These 15 seconds is what you get to engage with them. If they are spending even lesser time, then it is an alarm.

Qualitative Analysis

  • User Feedback: For more comprehensive and in-depth insights about your visitors, leverage platforms like VWO and take visitor feedback. Perform a heuristic analysis and on-site surveys to get a better perspective of your user’s expectations. Structure your surveys in a manner that would allow you to get actionable answers. Multiple-option surveys can be one way to go.
  • UX: VWO’s features like Heatmaps, Scrollmaps, and Visitor Recordings provide you with in-depth insights about how your visitors behave and interact with each of your website elements. These will help you identify the common UX patterns being followed by your visitors. These insights show how UX and a CRO process work together.

conversion rate audit

  • Funnel Visualization: Create multiple conversion funnels and understand your visitor journey. Funnels will help you identify the loopholes in your conversion process. Observe where the visitors are struggling with website browsing.
  • Conversion Rate: Based on your conversion goal, track your current and past conversion rates. Having an idea about your website performance over a period of time can help you understand the historic conversion patterns.

Filling the Gaps

Experiencing a low conversion rate is the most common question asked by any marketer. If you are nowhere near the numbers mentioned above, it is a wake-up call for you. It implies that there is a huge gap between what you are providing and what your visitors are looking for.

There you go! This is “the moment” when you start with conversion optimization for your website.

The best approach for conversion optimization is to have a CRO platform that can assist you from researching about what’s wrong with your website (or particular pages), to fixing those errors and targeting your visitors in a personalized manner. This platform can help you understand where your visitors are struggling. You can understand where the drop-offs are taking place, fix those leaks, and manage the entire CRO process at one place.

Common Mistakes while Choosing a CRO Platform

Asking the Wrong Questions

Many marketers end up opting for a CRO platform that does not help them accomplish all of their needs or have limited capabilities. To avoid such situations, you should prioritize enquiring about all the capabilities of the platform. And this can be done by asking the right set of questions. Here are some questions that you should be asking the platform’s support team.

  • Does the platform offer more value beyond A/B testing?
  • Will the platform affect your page load time?
  • Does the platform itself create a test bias?
  • What is the level of customer support?
  • Does the platform help you plan your optimization?

Make sure you have all these questions answered before going ahead with any CRO platform. If you have similar questions about VWO, you can get your answers here.

Not Having a Dedicated CRO Team

Besides using multiple tools for CRO, not having a dedicated team is one of the major pressing issues with CRO that enterprises encounter. According to this post by Econsultancy, the biggest barrier that prevents organizations from improving their conversion rates is lack of resources.

conversion rate audit

You should have a dedicated team or a person who has a strong background in CRO and in-depth industry knowledge.

Wrapping Up

What did this post help you with?

  • Identifying if your website is eligible for a CRO process
  • Reviewing industry benchmarks
  • Auditing your website, based on your website data
  • Avoiding common mistakes while choosing your CRO platform

We at VWO understand that the CRO process can be complex if you don’t have a dedicated CRO team or if you lack any other resources. In such cases, our Services team will be happy to help you. Our team consists of conversion experts with an in-depth knowledge of the CRO industry and the process. Connect with us over a quick call, and we’ll take it ahead from there.

The post Conversion Rate Audit: The First Step Of The CRO Process appeared first on VWO Blog.

Follow this link: 

Conversion Rate Audit: The First Step Of The CRO Process

10 Ways To Build An Actionable Content Marketing Strategy To Boost Conversion Rates

Content marketing is an essential technique that’s considered to bring in a huge return with a potentially low-tier budget.

What’s so special about it?

For one, content marketing can act as a backbone of all your marketing strategies, from paid campaigns to outbound strategies. Every marketing tactic is augmented to an audience with the help of content marketing.

Thanks to content marketing, businesses have been able to increase their website reach, conversion rates, lead generation, and more.

Even then, there have been common misconceptions that content marketing isn’t the best way to improve your conversions. We can see that 38 percent of organizations are yet to give content marketing a serious chance. This leads to a lower emphasis on content marketing as a growth and conversion-driving method.

B2B Content Marketing

Source

Here are 10 reasons that contribute to a poor content marketing strategy and its effect on your low conversion rates.

1. Aggregate Resources to Run Content Marketing

One of the challenges marketers face is the shortage of resources.  

This may be true for an organization that reaches a certain level of maturity, but content marketing still gets you results even with minimal resources.

There are 2 crucial parts of content marketing which are discussed as follows:

  • Team: A significant problem stated by CxO’s and marketers in various organizations is about building a team. Content marketing requires dedication and a clear strategy, but building a team is not a necessity. All you need is a clear content promotion and distribution strategy. And this has been validated by growing startups time and again.B2C marketing team size
  • Marketing Tools: Scarcity of marketing tools can also stall the progress of your marketing efforts. Generally, one can do most of the stuff manually, but the downside to the manual approach is a lot of time gets wasted. Here are a mix of free and premium tools that one can use as tools to streamline their content marketing efforts –
    • Keyword Research: Google Keyword Suggest, Google Trends, SEMRush, and Ahrefs.
    • Writing tools: Microsoft Word, Hemingway Writer, and Dropbox Paper.
    • Content Ideation and research tool: Buzzsumo, Alltop, Uber Suggest, and Google Search Suggestions.
    • Content Distribution (Social and Organic): Buffer, Meet Edgar, Contently, Stumbleupon, Feedly, and LinkedIn Pulse.
    • User Engagement tracking: VWO, Kissmetrics, Mention, Google Analytics, and more.

It’s a myth that content marketing requires a lot of resources that come at a premium. As a result, it is considered out of reach for most of us. However, if you put a little effort in finding the right set of tools, you’ll have these just with little spending.

2. Figure Out the KPIs for Your Content Strategy

Figuring out the critical KPIs, or key performance indicators, will tell you if you are achieving your target and if not, how much effort has to be put in. The KPIs you choose should indicate your progress toward your goal.

For content marketing, here are a few KPIs that you should always document:

  • Time spent on a blog or other content pieces
  • Forms filled for gated content like eBooks, Whitepapers, and so on
  • Bounce rate of your blog and averages views
  • Subscribers gained for a newsletter/email list
  • Social media shares
  • Conversion rate/Desired action was taken
  • Inbound links generated
  • Comments posted on your blog

For example, if you want to increase conversions and sign up customers for a trial, you would be measuring conversion rate as one of your KPIs.

3. Map Your Content Strategy to Your Marketing Funnel

Whilst creating a content marketing strategy, it is important that the creation procedure relates to various stages of your marketing funnel.

If a standard marketing funnel is divided into 4 stages, it is imperative that the content strategy is in line with it.

Content Marketing and Funnel Journey

A guideline, like the one above, can you give a clear picture about creating an effective content strategy. This strategy can guide your audience or customers at every stage of their journey.

4. Streamline Your Content Strategy

It’s a nightmare for marketers to streamline their content strategy. And it’s a task that a content marketer has to overcome, as the smoother the process to churn out quality content, the smoother it is to engage with your target audience.

Here is a quick strategy flow that you can follow to streamline your process:

Build a Content Calendar

  • Build a content calendar even when you are planning to publish a couple of articles over a month or so.
  • Strategize your content marketing around content bundles. Target no more than 2 keywords for a month.
  • Using the 2 keywords, share multiple content collaterals on your website as well as on guest blogs and web pages for a month.
  • Depending on your team size, you can scale from just 2 keywords to more.
  • In the next month, move to the next set of keywords from the pool of your target keywords.
  • For each month, repeat Steps b and c.

Automate your social media distribution

  • The most common reason that discourages marketers to use social media to market their content is the distribution part. Posting on social media becomes tedious when you publish over 10–12 social updates daily.
  • To solve this problem, use social media automation.
  • Use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to automate content distribute among social websites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • To monitor social media activity, you can either use the analytical dashboard provided by different social media websites or a tool like Mention or Brand24.

Build and follow an outreach program

  • Outreaching is crucial if you want to promote your brand and build links. It also puts you in the spotlight with influencers and provides the much-needed exposure.
  • Email and social media are the two best channels for an outreach program.
  • If you’re starting out, you can use various templates available on the Internet. We like these ideas shared by HubSpot and Mailshake.
  • Automate your outreach campaigns by using tools like Gmass or Ninja Outreach. Set up automatic follow-ups so that you can focus on what really matters.

With these 3 elements of content marketing in place, you will realize how effective content marketing is. Most importantly, you and your team will become a content-generating factory in no time.

5. Solve the Dilemma – Long vs. Short Content Pieces

It’s a common belief that long-form content works better if it were to rank for any given keyword.

While this is true in most cases, yet writing short-form content does not batter your business. The reason behind it is the purpose of your content.

There are various factors that you need to consider before concluding that “My blog post has to be a long one.” Don’t compromise on the quality of your post because it needs to have a certain length.

Instead, pay attention to these factors:

  • Target Audience: When you are ideating your content strategy, it is important to figure out your audience. See who you are targeting, what problems you are trying to alleviate for your audience, and where you fit in. Now, devise the purpose of your post.
  • Writing Style: Some content writers and marketers have the habit of writing unnecessarily lengthy content. Some want to keep their content short and to the point. If you’re changing your writing style, be steady.
  • Type of Content: Not all content can be words. As a business, you need to have diverse content creation and distribution strategy. Most successful business owners and individuals invest in a variety of content verticals like blogging, infographics, eBooks, Whitepapers, video walkthroughs, and more.
  • Content Posting-Frequency: The length of your blog posts also matters on your posting frequency. To post articles or other content pieces every few days, you would have to write brief and small pieces of content. However, people who tend to post once in a week or two tend to write longer content. Avoid being stringent to a strict deadline if you or your team feel that you are compromising on the quality of your content.
  • Post Format: The format of your post has a lot of impact on the readability. If you lean toward writing short paragraphs with a good amount of whitespace and images, you can produce a short form or long form content and both can be equally engaging.

6. Don’t expect to get fast results without a proper structure

While marketers may agree that content marketing is a lengthy process and does not get immediate results, at times, it may be the only way to build authority for your business.

To elaborate we are going to discuss the CRM Industry. CRM stands for Customer Relation Management systems.

What is a CRM?

A CRM system gives other teams, such as sales, customer service, business development, or marketing, a better way to manage the external interactions and relationships that drive success. A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all at a central location. The purpose is to make information about every customer interaction available to anyone in your company who might need it. [Source]

The CRM industry is a crowded and competitive space. CRM is the backbone of any brand’s sales and marketing process.

Giants like Salesforce and SAP are battling it out in the open; and brands like Hubspot, Pipedrive, FreshWorks, and others are being billed as the up and coming CRM platforms.

Yet, the industry is still blooming. How do you then outrank the competition?

Paid advertising and outbound marketing are a costly affair.

We will share a small story about a fairly new SaaS company named Pipedrive that tapped content marketing to not only get noticed but also get lot of conversions.

Pipedrive is a young CRM platform that has been targeting small- to mid-level businesses. It focuses on content marketing efforts to improve its conversion rates.

Pipedrive devised a content strategy around sales management (a highly competitive keyword on Google and in the CRM universe). It took 3 months for it to rank from nothing to the first position on Google.

“Sales management” has a monthly search volume of approximately 10k with a high competitive score.

After a lot of brainstorming and coming out with a well-laid strategy, Pipedrive’s content marketing team could deliver in under 3 months.

So, before you play down content marketing as a strategy, think about Pipedrive—a nascent CRM platform that is now present in 140 countries with 4 offices across the globe.

You can read the complete case study here.

Content marketing might not bring you fast results, but planned execution can bring in massive results in 6 months.

7. Focus on Social Media

Marketers disregard social media as a viable, alternative method to build traffic and drive user engagement.

We were able to identify 2 major reasons for it:

  • Marketers believe that social media is meant only for businesses, which are targeting millennials and tech-savvy consumers.
  • Social media efforts result in wastage of valuable time. Marketers believe that if they can create quality content, search results will automatically bring in customers, en masse.

There are additional points other than the above reasoning.

  1. Almost 2 billion people are using social in one form or another. If you are not leveraging social media, you are losing a huge chunk of the audience.
  2. I’m sure, you’ve heard the phrase, “Putting all your eggs in one basket.” This phrase means banking excessively on just one method for achieving success. In content marketing, while search results bring in a major chunk of your audience, a simple change in the Google algorithm can completely block your traffic. So, there is a need to explore other channels as well to maintain a consistent traffic flow.
  3. You can’t build a relation without interacting with your customers and clients. Social media is one of the best ways to start building one.

8. Don’t Write Content Just around Your Brand

A common habit among marketers is of focusing their content only on their own product or service. To your target audience, this comes off as too promotional, so at times, the audience complains that it’s hard to trust such brands.

This can become a major problem for marketers who are trying to cultivate a meaningful relationship with their audience that benefits both parties.

Then what should you do?

The key purpose of content marketing is to develop a worthwhile relationship with the target audience. The readers should relate to you as a brand that genuinely treats a customer’s problem as its own problem.

Start looking for challenges your audience is facing. Create content that offers effective countermeasures to help overcome those challenges.

When your audience notices that your content is consistently relevant, they will keep coming back for more.

9. Invest in Content Marketing

Many organizations start delving into content marketing because they think the investment is zero or next to zero.

While this concern is true to an extent. You should understand that quality content creation has no importance if it’s not promoted on the right channel at the right time.

Promotion depends on your audience type.

For example, for targeting B2B audience, you may use professional networks like LinkedIn and GrowthHackers as well as public platforms like Twitter by using retargeting and online behavior.

Investing a small amount (a few hundred dollars a month) can help you promote your post to not just a few hundreds, but many thousands.

10. Write for the Web

Writing on the web is different from other forms of writing. Choose a topic and run a search query on Google, and you’ll find a sea of similar articles.

Therefore, it’s important to stand out.

Here is a popular framework that can help you improve the usability of your blog post and allow it to be more in sync with your audience.

Starting Afresh

Even if you have failed with content marketing at some point in your professional lives, that’s not the end you can try again.

To get results from your content marketing efforts, you need to give it a lot of time.

Look for small wins to gain the initial momentum. For example, set a target of building 5 inbound links to your website in the first month, or get 500 shares about your blog in 2 weeks’ time. When you start achieving your subgoals while going for the bigger goal, it becomes more quantifiable and attainable.

If you’re serious about content marketing, I’m looking forward to learning what sort of problems you faced or are facing during your journey in this field. Did you solve it, or are you working toward it? We would love to hear from you in our Comments section.

The post 10 Ways To Build An Actionable Content Marketing Strategy To Boost Conversion Rates appeared first on VWO Blog.

Read original article:

10 Ways To Build An Actionable Content Marketing Strategy To Boost Conversion Rates

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.

Original source:

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.

Read this article – 

Learning Conversion Optimization From Football: 5 Key Takeaways

How To Convert Your Website Visitors Into High-Quality Leads

It would be a dream come true if every person who visited your website ended up converting or at least became a valuable lead. But you know that that’s not how it works.

At the same time, it’s possible to get closer to achieving this goal by taking some actions that may turn your visitors into high-quality leads. This can have a significant impact on your conversion rate.

While it’s important to optimize your sign-up forms, these aren’t the only way to capture leads. If you’re only relying on these, there’s a good chance you are struggling to improve your lead generation results. A lot of visitors may not be willing to part with their personal information. And others may not find your site interesting enough to sign up.

This post will not focus on optimizing your sign-up forms. Instead, you’ll learn new, innovative ways to convert your website visitors into high-quality leads.

1. Create Personalized Experiences for Visitors

What you need to remember is that your visitors come from different backgrounds. They may have landed on your site through completely different channels and could be looking through your website to find completely different things.

By understanding their differences and delivering experiences that befit their individual needs, you can improve your chances of turning them into valuable leads. You may think this sounds challenging. But by using the right tools, you should be able to collect accurate data about your visitors and their behavior.

Leadfeeder, for example, helps you discover who visited your website, where they came from, and what pages they viewed during their visit. It can also update your CRM automatically in case there are any revisits. Using all this information and automatic CRM update, you can follow up more effectively with content that’s personalized according to their preferences, behavior, and interests.

Leedfeeder

And even if the visitors end up exiting your site and don’t convert through forms, you can use this data in your re-engagement strategy. For example, you can find out which pages engaged them longer. And you can use this information to show personalized social media ads, displaying the products or services they viewed.

You can use the Leadfeeder data to help you design ads with offers, content suggestions, and/or product recommendations relevant to visitor behavior. The goal is to ensure that visitors see ads that suit their needs and interests so that they potentially turn into leads.

2. Provide Real-Time Support

Someone ends up on your site after conducting a relevant Google search. But when they look through your site, they can’t find the exact information they need. Or they were viewing a certain service package and some points weren’t clear to them.

There can be 2 outcomes in this case—either they leave and go to your competitors or you provide them with the help they need and turn them into valuable leads.

That’s why you need to make it easier for visitors to get help when they need it. Make sure your search bar is clearly visible and FAQ section is easily accessible. Better yet, why not add a live chat support feature on your website? That way, you can quickly answer visitor queries in real time and they don’t have to wait for hours waiting for your responses.

Many businesses have benefited from implementing live chat support on their website.  Logical Position, for example, experienced a 150% increase in inbound leads.

As you can see in the screenshot below, the live chat button is clearly visible on the right side of the screen. Visitors who need some help can just click the button and chat with one of the company’s representatives.

Live chat on page

3. Reward Visitors with Something Valuable

To turn more website visitors into high-quality leads, you need to step up in the content marketing game. When visitors land on your site, the best way to engage with them is through your website content. It can be actionable blog posts, intriguing videos, eye-catching infographics, or anything that they might find valuable.

You need to engage them enough to the point that they realize your value and expertise. Your content can show them how much of an expert you are in the field. After gaining their confidence, offer something exclusive and valuable that will make visitors sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your blog post.

Also, you can offer your website visitors a free ebook that will guide them on a relevant topic. Or you can offer them free access to your webinar or any exclusive content that is available only when they provide their email address. You can even go so far as to provide them with a free trial in exchange for an email address.

Clever, for instance, offers free access to a report on influencers in exchange for some personal information.

Clever Forms

4. Implement Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

After visitors browse through your website, you may notice that they are still leaving without signing up. Although you may not be sure of the reason, it’s a good idea to make the final attempt to engage them before they leave. Try displaying exit-intent pop-ups to visitors who show any intention to leave.

These pop-ups can display some exclusive offers or opportunities that weren’t easily visible earlier. The goal is to make the visitors pause and think for a minute, which can hopefully end up in a lead.

Here’s an example of an exit-intent pop-up from Conversific, offering a free ebook to visitors.

Lead Popup by Conversific

But make sure you optimize these pop-ups in such a way that you deliver these to only the most relevant visitors.

For example, instead of displaying exit pop-ups for each and every visitor who’s leaving, you can show these to visitors who have spent some time browsing through your site. Or you can customize the offer according to visitors’ behavior, such as the pages they seem to be most interested in.

Conclusion

These are some of the best ways to turn your website visitors into high-quality leads. As you can see, it’s all about delivering a personalized experience to your visitors and enhancing their experience in such a way that they feel valued.

Got any questions about the points? Let me know in the comments.

The post How To Convert Your Website Visitors Into High-Quality Leads appeared first on VWO Blog.

Link: 

How To Convert Your Website Visitors Into High-Quality Leads

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.

Continue reading: 

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.

Visit link: 

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.
By entering your email you expressly consent to receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.
Launching a travel landing page from scratch? Try out one of our travel landing page templates, designed specifically to boost conversions.

Follow this link: 

Travel Marketers Have a Trust Problem