What Metrics Are We Looking For With Conversion Optimization?
There are many different metrics to analyze that will help you understand your results and guide you to make better decisions. They help tell the story, and evaluating them can let you know what strategies are working and what’s not.
This is the first step in optimizing your website for conversion optimization. After all, if the user is unwilling to wait for the website to load then nothing matters after this. Google is looking for a website to load quicker than 2 seconds, which can be quite the feet. When you have problems with site speed there can be some updates you can do your existing infrastructure, but you also might need to upgrade to a better tech stack for your website.
One thing for sure is site speed is not a simple answer, and it’s a page-by-page question. Not only is site speed important on whether you get a user to stay on your website it also can affect if you show in search engines (SEO) and whether your ads cost you more money. One thing is for sure, everyone is paying attention to site speed.
Once someone has made it to your website the next metric is bounce rate. Bounce rate is the rate at which someone enters a page and exits the same page without doing anything, such as going to another page or clicking on a button. Looking at the bounce rate for specific pages will inform you which ones you need to optimize for, especially if those pages are ones where desired actions are located.
Now bounce rate could be a function of a bad page load speed, but it can also be because either the audience you drove to your website is not the right audience or the content you have on your website is not of value to them to take the next step. The website traffic that you drive can be as simple as changing the audience targeting your ads, but it also can be more complicated with your content marketing plan. A main source of traffic is often organic traffic driven by content SEO. If your content is not being developed with the marketing funnel in mind from “I have this problem” to “here is who can help” to “we are the best option” then you could be driving the wrong traffic.
Time on Site
The next metric is how much time did they spend on your website? Time on site tells you how engaged your website traffic is with your content. This can vary a lot depending on what type of industry you are in. Typically, you are going to see this line up with how your sales cycle is. If you have a longer sales cycle then there is more to unpack to get someone to the next step. So you will be looking to increase your time on site by logically moving someone down the sales cycle by connecting one piece of content to the next with your internal linking. Before you even get to this however you need to be looking at the navigation of the website. It can be as simple as the order of your menu items. Do they take you down the steps of buying from you?
Pages Per Session
This too is another metric that is useful in understanding the engagement with your website. This can range from what we mentioned above on the navigation of the website to your actual content and messaging. If you don’t get either of these aspects right then someone will immediately bounce out because you have not brought them down the funnel.
This metric helps you see what pages someone is starting with and where they are flowing in the website. This report is located in Google Analytics under the behavior reports. You can see what pages someone is dropping off and where they are moving to next. This can be helpful in seeing what you need to adjust.
With the entrance report in Google Analytics, you can see what pages someone is entering your website. Now sometimes that is because you are forcing them to come in that way with paid ads, organic social media, and email marketing. In other instances, your organic traffic is naturally pulling certain pages in search engines. This metric will help you understand where someone is starting in their journey with your website.
This metric tells you what page someone is leaving your website. Perhaps you can see that there is a page of the website they are leaving that is not the end of your funnel. In this page, you know this page needs to be worked on to keep them engaged, and get to the next piece of content.
This metric is what Google Analytics likes to call when someone clicks on a certain part of your website. This could be a button or link to another page. This is not an out-of-the-box metric and requires setup with tools like Google Tag Manager to track. It’s important that at the beginning of your online journey you identify what you would like to track, then you can understand your user.
Heat maps can help you understand where on a page someone’s cursor is often placed, where they click on a page, or how far they scroll on the page. As you can guess this once again tells you where a user stops and does not get to the next step.
The last metric is the last stop on your website. Did they complete the conversion and at what rate did you convert your traffic. Remember everyone’s number is going to be different, know what yours is and work to improve it!
What Should We Optimize On Your Website?
Start with the main pages; home pages, pricing pages, about us. These are the pages that are likely where your user starts, have the most traffic and have the biggest impact.
- Test Navigation/Site Structure
- What goes in the navigation
- Getting from one page to another through a funnel
- Test Messaging/Website Copy
- Body Content
- Writing Style
- Test Design
- Fonts used
- Colors used
- Layout design
- Style of buttons
- Test CTA’s
- Try different types of CTA’s
- Phone calls
- Webinar signups
- Check out process
- Try a different style of the CTA’s
- Test forms and chats
- Length or number of requests
- Location of forms
- Design of forms
- Messaging of the forms
- Test different download request
- Test content form
- Short audio clips
- Test Offers
- Use limited-time offers
- Limit the number of offers
- Test having fewer steps in the checkout
- Test different payment options
Developing Your Plan For Conversion Optimization
When developing your plan for conversion optimization start with the data. Where do you see that your user is getting stuck? Don’t just look for all the problems but also look for where is the biggest impact? Where do I have the most traffic coming in and the user is getting stuck? using the home page is the top source of traffic so you ikey will start there.
Next, what are the hypotheses of what you think you can fix on what you discovered was a problem. Start with the lowest hanging fruit and move down from there to test. Depending on your website’s traffic you may need to drive traffic to the particular part of the website you’re working on with paid ads. This is an important step to not miss because if you don’t have enough data to be statistically significant then you won’t get the insights you are looking for. This will also help determine how long your test is. The quicker you can get an influx of traffic the quicker you can run the test.
Conversion Optimization Is Part Of All Digital Marketing
As you can see above conversion optimization is not really a new type of marketing but rather something you should always be doing with your website. Expecting after a new website that the website will instantly work is wishful thinking. After all, the website was initially built on a hypothesis of what you think will work. The only way you will truly know what works is by accurately setting up your tracking and analyzing what is working and what is not. If your marketing agency is not looking at these metrics perhaps we should talk?