We gain conversion rate optimization insights by using:
- Website-level traffic flow maps.
- Website-level traffic analytics.
- Individual web page analytics data.
- Individual web page “heat maps”, and
- On-page analytics.
Insights gained through conversion rate optimization work lead to recommended changes to web pages and navigation. This in turn leads to more website traffic converting into lead inquiries, customers, clients, and transactions.
To understand the conversion performance of a site, first, we need a “big picture” view of how the site is navigated and used.
We look at:
- Where traffic arrives from.
- Where it first lands.
- How traffic flows through a site.
- Which pages on a site pull the most traffic.
- How much time traffic spends on the pages viewed.
- Whether a conversion action is taken (or not).
- Where traffic exits.
This gives us an understanding of how a site is being used by visitors and identifies problem areas.
Congestion and trouble spots that were previously unknown, often become obvious.
Traffic Flow Maps
Traffic flow maps show where traffic to a website originates, where it lands on a site, how it moves through the site, and where it goes when it leaves the site. Patterns and trends in a traffic flow map provide a quick understanding of how a site is used, and where issues might be located.
Inbound Traffic Flows
Inbound traffic flows show where a site acquires its traffic. For example, search engine queries, links from other sites, paid search campaigns, and social media. It’s useful to compare the behavior of traffic grouped by source to better understand user behavior and site performance.
Internal Traffic Flows
Internal traffic flows identify patterns of how users are moving within a site. This provides the opportunity to identify “choke points” and traffic drop-off points that might be improved by making changes to associated web pages.
Outbound Traffic Flows
Outbound traffic flows can be useful as they identify where traffic is heading as it departs your site. For example, if we see a significant percentage of traffic heading to a competing website.
Identifying Paths To Conversion
Using traffic flow analysis we can identify the most common paths to conversion points on the website. Often more important is identifying what happens to mid-funnel and high-funnel traffic.
Web analytics data, at the site and individual page level provide a quantitative understanding of how traffic is moving through a site. Engagement metrics are important because they reveal the degree to which users are interacting with sections and pages of a site.
Pages per Visit
Average pages per visit(or) is an important metric for a website because it shows how engaged visitors are becoming with the content. Good sites pull users in and tend to generate higher pages-per-visit(or) numbers.
Average Time On Page
Like “avg. pages per visit”, the average time site visitors spend on a page is an important metric for a website. It’s a direct measure of site visitor engagement with the content.
Baseline Landing Page CRO Performance
“Landing Pages”, or web pages within a website that paid search traffic is landing on, should be analyzed for conversion rate performance and efficiency.
A website “Conversion” occurs when site visitors make the decision to take action in a way that’s meaningful as defined by the owner of the website. Usually, this means completing a contact form, a phone call, instant message, or some other form of a request for information.
Conversion rate is simply the percentage of viewers who complete a conversion action. Conversion rate improvement is, of course, a primary objective for our CRO work on a site.
Time On Page
Unlike the average time on page metric for a website, the average time on page for an individual web page tells us how important that page is to visitors as they navigate through a website. Depending upon the content and purpose of a page, this can be an important CRO metric.
Depth of Scroll
Average depth of scroll tells us whether visitors to a web page find it interesting enough to scroll all the way through the content. If they are abandoning the page sooner, this can indicate issues with engagement.
For more in-depth analysis of scroll depth, we use heat maps and screen recordings to better understand what the issues are with a page.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that land on a web page then leave without visiting another page. It can be interpreted as a measure of the level of disinterest in a page.
Bounce rate can be useful in CRO work but it has to be interpreted with caution because of the way that it’s measured. A high bounce rate can be deceptive. We examine this issue in other articles on this site.
On-Page Traffic Flow Analysis
On-page traffic flow analysis involves gaining an understanding of how traffic behaves on an individual website page. The most useful tools for doing this are web analytics, and heat mapping.
The “Above The Fold” region of a web page, is that are which shows in a visitors web browser when they first landing on a page. The size varies depending upon the type of device, and the browser used. This is the most important
Webpage heatmap software records aggregate user behavior as they navigate around a web page. Two of the most popular solutions are LuckyOrange and Hotjar. These tools can generate valuable insights into how webpages are actually used. Many times this leads to enhancements that will improve page performance.
Conversion Rate Optimization Recommendations
With a good understanding of website and web page performance in hand, we are able to confidently make recommendations for changes to web pages that will enhance conversion performance.
Conversion rate optimization identifies changes to websites that help site visitors readily find the information they need to make decisions.
Split testing allows us to measure the success of changes directly against the current implementation on a web page. For significant changes where the result is not solidly predictable, or when there is doubt about the change, then we will split-test the change.
Campaign experiments are a paid search campaign capability, that allow us to run two very similar campaigns in split-test mode.
Moving content to a different position on a web page can make a considerable difference in conversion performance. Many time calls to action are positioned to early in the flow of content, for example. In most sales funnels, a page needs to deliver certain information before a visitor is in a frame of mind to be presented with a call to action.
Strengthen Value Proposition
The value proposition often referred to as a “unique value proposition” or UVP. The UVP is a crucial component for landing pages because it clearly communicates what exactly the product or service offered is, in a compelling or unique fashion crafted for the targeted audience. The UVP needs to be the central focus of the above-the-fold area on a landing page.
Clarify Features & Benefits
Our CRO feedback often includes suggestions that will clarify features and benefits to be derived from a product or service. Preferably benefits will be used (versus features), because they communicate more directly how the buyer will benefit.
Videos are sometimes recommended to improve CRO performance, for two reasons. First, they are often the most effective way to communicate nuanced product/service information to potential customers. Second, videos index rather well with the search engines so are likely to improve organic search performance.
Modify Calls to Action
Getting the wording right in a call to action can impact CRO performance. I change as subtle as changing the label on a form submit button from “Submit” to “Start My Free Trial” can often make a significant performance difference.
Add Social Proof
Content that backs up claims is often referred to as “Social Proof”. These are things such as customer testimonials, case studies, certifications, and industry association memberships.