- Category: Our Blog
- Written by Brent Williams
How to better understand your customers and improve your bottom-line.
“Trying to increase sales simply by driving more traffic to a website with a poor customer conversion rate is like trying to keep a leaky bucket full by adding more water instead of plugging the holes.” Bryan Eisenberg, Call to Action
“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.” Jeff Eisenberg
A main focus, for many of our clients, is to increase their rankings on Google. This includes other ways of improving site visibility like ad-words or PPC (pay per click) advertising. The theory is, if you can increase the volume of people visiting your site, then that should increase leads and conversions. This is important, but it is also missing the point.
It's all a percentage game where conversions should be considered a multiplier. If conversion rates are low, Increasing site traffic will result in little incremental growth. However, increasing your conversion rate without any increase to site traffic will greater growth. Focus should be on increasing conversion rates first, then shifting focus to increase visibility & subsequent traffic. Unfortunately many companies spend quite a bit of money improving visibility but have very little understanding about conversions and how to improve them. Probably because the customer intelligence required to improve conversions are seen as 'more' specilised than search so it ends up in the too-hard basket.
This "customer intelligence" is so important that is need to be a strategic component of business planning. It is (or should be) where you make your money. Included in your conversion planning is identifying business goals and what you want people to do on the website. These goals should be directly or indirectly linked to some form of sales activity. Be that, lead generation (filling on forms, to start engagement of off-line sales activity), providing more in-depth product information to influence sales or completing the sales activity on-line if your product or service is applicable. This helps determine you return-on-investment, make better decisions and set appropriate budgets. Contrary to this, Search, Ad-words and PPC are more tactical, in nature, and should be focused on supporting campaigns or specific areas of the business, products.
The reason why conversions are so hard is because many companies use tools like Google Analytics as their main tool. (Well it’s free isn’t it!) GA is great, it captures a lot of data, and information is presented well. You can email out the nice PDF’s and everybody thinks they are on top of it. The problem is, there is just so much raw data and setting up 'goals' and GA's conversion funnel is not only a bear! So, making sense of it, and get to good decisions, is very difficult.
Secondly, and more importantly, GA is limited in its capability and only presents half (or even less) of the story. It only tracks WHAT people do, rather than what they DID NOT. Like, where they hesitated, where they got confused or stuck, where they might have thought something was a link, but it wasn’t. This is exactly the type of information YOU NEED TO KNOW!
So, how do we collect data that isn’t there?
Being able to track information like this will help you design better landing pages that are optimized to your customers needs and therefore do what you need them to do! It will help you understand your site from the average customers perspective. Where they are having difficulty, where you are not getting your point across, choke-points on your site where people ‘bail’ out of your conversion process or funnel.
You might be thinking OMG more raw numbers to deal with or stat's to make sense of. Here clicktale does a good job in providing information in a way that is easy to analyze and make sense of. I've included, below, several key components which explain how these work. Conversion funnels are easily set-up and you can even pick a particular user, who did not complete a process, and play back (like a video) everything they did on the screen.
How we can help
Before I send you down the path of a potential solution, here are some of the ways NURVE can help get your conversions flowing.
Based on an understanding of your business we can:
- Develop an oveall plan that increases both site visibility and conversions.
- Help you focus your website on sales or revenue generating activity.
- Set-up and train you to use the tools, or we can manage for you.
- Recommend design changes that will improve conversion rates.
- Undertake the technical or development work that may need to be done.
The tool we use is from clicktale.com . Mainly because they cover all bases (from what we have seen, it is the best thing out there) and their price is right. Their suite of tools can capture everything going on within your site. It is easy to set-up and and presents data in ways that are easy to understand, and meaningful to your business. With very little effort you will be able to quickly get a handle on why people may not be converting, or discovering new oppertunities to aid the process. It makes things fairly obvious what needs to be done or fixed. There suite of tools provide:
- Heatmaps (of which there are several different types)
- Visitor recordings
- Conversion funnels
- Form analytics
- Link analytics
Rather than reinventing the wheel, the following is an abridged version taken from their website.
Heat maps are aggregated reports that visually display what parts of a webpage are looked at, clicked on, focused on and interacted with by all of your online visitors. They allow for the optimization of the websites conversion rates and usability. It provides a visual representation of all visitors' every mouse move, click, and scroll.
Why use heatmaps?
By knowing what content and images your customers like and pay attention to, you can build landing pages that give website users what they want, improve visitor engagement and push customers towards conversion. You are also able to understand how where your fold lies, how far down the page visitors are willing to scroll, and how visitors engage with your call to actions.
How can heatmaps help your business?
Learn everything about the way visitors interact with your website, including what they look at and with what they engage, comparing your results to what you had originally intended. By understanding how visitors are using and interacting with your current website you are able to make improvements that help you achieve your business objectives. The ability to have this transparency into the customer experience is the fastest and easiest way to continually monitor and optimize your site, making you more money
These heatmaps include:
a. Mouse Move Heatmap
Find out exactly what visitors are looking at and focusing on within your webpages. The Mouse Move Heat map is the definitive method for conducting accurate eye-tracking on a global scale and at a fraction of the cost. Instead of testing a handful of users for thousands of dollars, we can test thousands of users for a fraction of a dollar each.
Independent research shows that there is an 84% to 88% correlation between mouse and eye movements, allowing us to create high-precision heatmaps based on just the users' mouse movements.
We keep the data for every version of your page, allowing for effortless A/B testing of multiple page elements. See which content, elements and layout increase conversion rates, what your customers see just before they decide to purchase a product, and how many people miss your call to action buttons.
Until now, Eye-tracking studies were the preferred choice in the web usability testing industry. However the price of this technology is extremely prohibitive, and therefore has only been accessible to the biggest web companies. Now it is open to everyone at an incredibly affordable price.
b. Click Heatmap
See everywhere your visitors click anywhere on the page, whether it's links, images, text or dead space. Even discover that visitors are clicking on parts of the page that aren't links, but perhaps should be. See if visitors are clicking on your images and text, such as “Special Offers” banners, buttons or icons, without going anywhere.
c. Attention Heatmap
See how much attention a specific website area gets from your visitors. Find what content your visitors care about the most, what they read, and what they completely skip over. Tailor your content exactly to your visitors' interests to maximize engagement and conversion rates.
d. Scroll Reach Heatmap
Find out exactly where the page fold lies on your webpage, how far down your visitors scroll, and at what point your visitors abandon the page. Discover which pages need to be shorter, and which ones should be made longer. Adjust your pages' lengths based on your visitors' actual scrolling habits.
2. Visitor recordings
A Visitor Recording is a playback of each individual visitor’s browsing session on your site. You see exactly where visitors are typing, moving the cursor, clicking, hovering or scrolling on a webpage, without slowing down the speed of your site or interfering with the browsing sessions of your visitors.
Why use visitor recordings?
Why do visitors abandon your shopping cart? Do they read your page content before bouncing? Are visitors interacting with your site as you originally intended? These questions and more can be answered by watching Visitor Recordings, allowing you to observe the customer experience on your website through the eyes of your visitors. Start with a high-level report and then investigate specific business scenarios with our advanced Search tool and/or drill down to individual visitor sessions to learn more about each user.
How can visitor recordings help your business?
You can dramatically increased revenues by finding problems and removing roadblocks that prevent visitors from converting. Visitor recordings gives you an honest, straightforward website evaluation directly from your visitors themselves. This is accurate ongoing usability testing in its purest form at a fraction of the cost of traditional (eye tracking) usability testing methods. By watching exactly how visitors interact with your site, not only do you find website problems as they happen, but also discover business opportunities you would not have seen otherwise, going beyond just improvements and exceeding your own business expectations.
3. CONVERSION FUNNELS
The Conversion Funnel automatically maps out the most popular paths visitors use to navigate through a website. Our conversion funnels can be calculated on the fly and data is applied retroactively, unlike the funnel reports of most traditional analytics, taking days or even weeks in advance to prepare. All data is collected and analyzed in real-time, so no set-up is required.
Why use conversion funnels?
The Conversion Funnel is the only web analytics tool to provide both quantitative statistics and qualitative behavioral data about your visitors at each step of the conversion process. Whether this is towards a purchase, download, form submission, or any other type of conversion, learn which pages produce the highest conversion rates and which cause the highest abandonment. Discover how editing, adding or removing steps to your funnel can actually increase your chances for conversion.
How can conversion funnels help your business?
Conversion Funnels, combined with the rest of the customer behavioral data, give you the know-how you need to make the web experiences of your customers more successful, maximizing conversion rates and your website’s ROI. The Search and Segmentation features allow you to filter a wide range of different visitor profiles browsing your website and compare different paths to conversion. Drill down at each funnel step to obtain customer behavioral data that cannot be found elsewhere. Learn how users interact with each webpage and what is helping or harming the conversion process for each visitor.
4. FORM ANALYTICS
The only comprehensive analytics suite dedicated entirely to improving your online form's performance. Discover which fields take too long to fill, are most frequently left blank, and cause your visitors to leave. Dramatically increase your online forms conversion rates. Optimize your forms to minimize your visitors' frustration and preempt any difficulties that they may have. This ensures that more visitors are able to complete your form with minimal frustration.
Why use Form Analytics?
Web forms are often a mystery for online businesses and Form Analytics is the only industry tool that can break down any web form, field by field, visitor by visitor. The success of your online forms is crucial to your conversions. If your visitors are discouraged or not able to fill out your forms, they cannot move forward with the conversion process. FORM ANALYTICS provides you with the capability to drill down into each form and reveal how visitors interacted and why.
How can Form Analytics help your business?
Customers need to continually be able to fill in and submit your web forms while you need to continually be able to analyze and optimize your online forms, previously an inconceivable task. Now, using Form Analytics, you gain access to instant data no other web analytics tool can give you. Find each obstacle, error, and/or visitor frustration point, as seen clearly in each Form Analytics report, and immediately know exactly at which fields to focus your attention and why. A/B testing and form optimization become productive and time efficient, while ensuring that customers are able to complete the checkout process on your site.
5. LINK ANALYTICS
The Link Analytics Suite includes eight distinct detailed reports about your visitors’ hovers, clicks, hesitation time, and visit order of each of your hyperlinks. All data is displayed as a graphical overlay on the page, so all statistics are easy to read and interpret.
Why use Link Analytics?
Although links are usually meant to benefit your visitors, they could be distracting and cause a visitor to navigate backwards on your site rather than forwards towards a checkout or form submission. Here, you are left with a clear analysis of each link and how it either helps or harms the conversion process for your visitors. Additionally, this solution is unique in that, two different links sending visitors to the same URL can be analyzed separately, rather than as one single link, ensuring the most accurate link analysis.
How can Link Analytics help your business?
Knowing where to place essential links on your page should be done with ease and certainty. If a particular link is preventing your visitors from converting, Link Analytics can help you instantly spot what’s wrong and gain back lost revenue.