Conversion Optimization
  • Gather information
  • Traffic
  • Structure of sale
  • Trust
  • Calls to action
  • Change big things!
  • Testing and measurement
Gather Information: Quantitative
  • Customer surveys
  • Site search: reveals what users can’t easily find
  • Benchmark conversion rates with similar price and commitment
  • Google Analytics
    • Bounce rates
    • Exit pages
    • Checkout funnel visualization
Gather Information: Qualitative
  • Checkout abandonment emails
  • Customer service emails
  • Website chat transcripts
  • Use above for a Top 10 reasons customers don’t buy
  • Usability testing
    • (North America)
    • (Europe)
  • Different channels have different conversion rates
    • TV tends to be highest
    • PPC is lower
    • Display tends to be lowest
  • Mismatch between adverts and landing page
  • Bounce rate can be a sign that traffic is wrong
  • Some traffic will never convert!

This is the Celtic Store at Glasgow Airport:

Celtic is a football team in Glasgow, Scotland – proper soccer not American football! – and their rivals on the other side of the city are Rangers.

When Celtic are playing away and there are a large number of Celtic fans in the airport, the Celtic store has a very high conversion rate. However when Rangers are playing away the conversion rate is very low.

There is nothing the Celtic store can do to convert the Rangers traffic.

Changing traffic is often the biggest factor in conversion optimization so it really is worth thinking hard about whether you are paying for traffic that will never convert (or convert at a very low rate).

Structure of Sale
  • One stage
    • Suited for lower value or simple sales
    • Best option if possible
    • Measured by % of visitors becoming customers
  • Two stage
    • Suited for higher value or complex sales
    • Involves two conversion rates so should be avoided
    • Measured by % of visitors becoming leads; then
    • % of leads becoming customers
    • Data capture should include qualifying information
  • Lack of trust is often a reason for poor conversion
  • TrustPilot or
  • Publish product reviews
  • Press quotes and expert testimonials
  • Product awards won
  • Publish full postal address (and phone number)
  • Use appropriate domain name
  • Use an SSL certificate plus security seal
  • Money back guarantee
Calls to Action (CTA)
  • Generally better to get user to do one thing
  • Repeat call to action multiple times
  • Customer should never have to scroll
    • Have a CTA above the fold
  • Big and bolder CTA is the better!
Other things to consider
  • Payment methods – more is better!
    • American Express, Discover, Visa, Mastercard
    • PayPal
    • Apple Pay
  • Shipping – clarity on where and how fast
  • Think carefully about headlines
  • Countdown timers
  • Follow conventions – if in doubt copy
  • Generally more copy is better than less copy
  • Subscriptions v. one off – a subscription roughly halves conversion rate
Testing and Measurement
  • Multivariate testing is faster but complex
  • Google Analytics – Google Optimize
  • Visual Website Optimizer
  • A/B test via Adwords with different landing pages
Change Big Things!

You are highly unlikely to move the dial on conversion thru minor changes like colors and fonts. If you want to make a big improvement test big changes!

Reading List