Conversion Rate Optimization

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I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

Monday Marketing - Tracking Your Web Marketing

posted this on Monday, September 2, 2013 at about 9am.
Monday Marketing - Tracking Your Web Marketing

You may have recently decided to jump into the wonderful world of web marketing. You figured you'd show how cool you are by doing your own search engine optimization or pay per click management. As a result, you just set up your first online ad campaign and now you’re ready to sit back and reap the benefits of its inevitable success.

I'm sure that your new ad may be well placed and eloquently worded and is probably doing well. At least that's what I'd love to hope for you. In fact, there is no way of knowing how effective your campaign is without the ability to track its progress. More specifically, if you don’t specifically track what people do after they click on your ad then you'll not know how well your campaign is really doing.

Conversion tracking is the process by which you can track the performance of your ad campaign. Oftentimes people think that a conversion is simply making a sale. In actuality, a conversion is any time you can get someone to do something you want. This can be as simple as clicking onto another page or add something to a shopping cart.

The most common tool for monitoring conversion goals is Google Analytics. Fortunately, this is a free tool. Through Google Analytics conversion tracking, you can track the page that someone comes to from an ad campaign and then track where they go. If the goal is to click on a specific link, you can track the percentage of people that actually perform that action.

When you are tracking your visitors as they flow through your website, you have the ability to know how effective your ad campaign really is. So, if you are trying your hand at your own web marketing, make sure you take the time to set up some conversion goals and track the performance of your campaigns.

If you don't, you might be failing and not even know it.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Design & Marketing Agency.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

Interested in having Corey speak for your organization? Need help building or marketing your organization? Want to tell Corey how cool you think he is?

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

posted this on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at about 1pm.
Marketing Checklist

For as long as business owners have had a location to hang their sign, they have tried to find more and more ways to get more and more people to buy from them.

What usually happens is that businesses (even experienced marketers) will simply create a punchlist of tactics that they think are important to do — if they do they’ll get sales.

The punchlist might look something like the list at the top right of this post.

In reality, the strategies to market your business have never changed but the tactics must be revised. Looking at marketing as a punchlist will never allow you to see success because you’ll not look at the most effective tactics now.

In my book, I break down your marketing into four key components. In parenthesis I’ve indicated how I relate them to the Web.

  1. Location (Web presence or website)
  2. Brand Awareness (Search Engine Optimization – SEO)
  3. Visitors (Traffic Generation)
  4. Transactions (Conversion Rate Optimization - CRO)

On the Web, if you have a Web presence, there is no guarantee people will find you — this is why you need search engine optimization.

If you are high in the search engines, there is no guarantee that people will go to your website — this is why you need traffic generation. (Note that sometimes people call this search engine marketing or SEM but I usually leave SEM to be one of the possible tactics of traffic generation.)

If you are getting a lot of traffic, there is no guarantee that people will buy from you — this is why you need conversion rate optimization.

In my book, I define CRO this way:

  • Conversion – Getting someone to do something you want (e.g. go to another page, fill out a lead form or buy something).
  • Conversion Rate - The percentage of people that do the thing you want versus those that don’t.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization - Making changes on your website that help increase your conversion rate.

One of the biggest misnomers is that CRO is lead or sales generation. CRO is not lead or sales generation. CRO is the process of testing and analyzing your website to hopefully generate more leads or sales.

Think of it this way. We don’t know what people will do on your website until we observe it. We have certain goals and we don’t necessarily know how to get there. CRO allows us to create tests to get a higher percentage of people to do what we want (fill out a lead form, buy a product or even just click on another page).

There is another, bigger part to CRO. That is getting the right kind of people to do what we want them to do. We can develop tactics that allow us to maximize the number of conversions we get. We can also develop tactics that will weed out all but the most serious. CRO allows us to figure that out. It allows us to analyze the results in such a way to know that what we do will produce the best results (however we define it).

How do you get started?

That’s the trickier part. While I won’t go into the tactics here (you know me, I’m a strategist) I will say that it requires a shift in your attitude about how things have to look. You must understand that your opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is what your website visitors do. If you get the conversion you want but the website doesn’t exactly match your design preferences, maybe you should look at your design preferences and figure out why you are wrong.

Bringing this concept back to the beginning of this post, it is through CRO that you can identify the marketing tactics that are actually producing the results. If they aren’t producing, get rid of them.

If you have interest, you can watch my interview on CRO in my post "Sell More Stuff Online."

Sell More Stuff Online

posted this on Monday, June 6, 2011 at about 5pm.

As I started a sales career years ago, I had sales managers say, “You know sales is a numbers game… you just need to talk to more people and you’ll sell more stuff.”

I always thought that was plain stupid. If I talk to 100 people in 8 hours per day and want to double my sales then the only way I could do that would be to work 16 hours per day.

There had to be a better way. And that is to get the 100 people you talk to to buy from you more often.

In sales, we call this the conversion. In short, the conversion is someone doing something you want.

As sales people, well good sales people do this any way, we  try new approaches with prospective clients. We say new things in new ways with people and see what sticks… see what people respond to.

This process of trying new things and seeing what gets the best result is called conversion rate optimization. It is to see what approach will get more people to do more things more often.

As we market our businesses, and ourselves, for that matter, we are always trying to find the right way to become more successful. The question is, “how do we get more people to buy from us more often?”

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