Cover image for Conversion Optimization

Book description

How do you turn website visitors into customers?

Conversion Optimization offers practical advice on how to persuade visitors to make a buying decision -- without driving them away through data overload or tedious navigation. You'll learn how to use marketing principles, design, usability, and analytics on your site to increase your buyer-to-visitor ratio, whether you're involved with marketing or designing a large ecommerce site, or managing a modest online operation.

Based on the authors' broad experience in helping businesses attract online customers, this book addresses every aspect of the process, from landing visitors to finalizing the sale. You'll learn several techniques for blending successful sales approaches with the particular needs of the people you want to attract. Are you ready to do what it takes to get a double-digit conversion rate?

  • Explore case studies involving significant conversion rate improvements

  • Walk through different stages of a sale and understand the value of each

  • Understand your website visitors through persona creation

  • Connect with potential customers and guide them toward a conversion

  • Learn how to deal with FUDs -- customer fears, uncertainties, and doubts

  • Examine the path that visitors take from landing page to checkout

  • Test any change you make against your original design

Table of Contents

  1. Conversion Optimization
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Advance Praise for Conversion Optimization
    3. Preface
      1. How Should You Read This Book?
      2. Who Should Read This Book?
      3. Who Should Not Read This Book?
      4. About the Examples in This Book
      5. If You Like (or Don’t Like) This Book
      6. How to Contact Us
      7. Safari® Books Online
      8. Acknowledgments
    4. 1. The Journey from Clicks to Sales
      1. Converting Visitors to Buyers
      2. Landing Pages
      3. Fifteen Years of Change
        1. You Must Market Your Site
        2. Once Visitors Arrive, Convert
      4. Conversion Rates
        1. Calculating Conversion Rates
        2. Conversion Rate Averages
      5. What You Can Accomplish
        1. Can You Really Achieve a Double-Digit Conversion Rate?
        2. The Numbers Game
    5. 2. The Numbers Behind Your Website
      1. Macro Conversions
      2. Key Performance Indicators
        1. Common KPIs for Ecommerce Websites
        2. Common KPIs for Lead Generation Websites
        3. Common KPIs for Content Websites
        4. Common KPIs for Subscription Websites
      3. Micro Conversions
      4. Building Budgets for Ecommerce Sites with Conversion Rates
        1. How Much Should the Company Spend per Click?
        2. How Does the Campaign Conversion Rate Impact Profitability?
        3. What Is the Minimum Conversion Rate for a Campaign to Not Lose Any Money?
      5. Lifetime Value (LTV) of a Customer
      6. Budgeting for Lead Generation Sites
      7. Monetization Models and Conversion Rates
      8. Bounce Rate
        1. What Is Your Real Bounce Rate?
      9. Exit Rate
        1. Calculating Bounce and Exit Rates
        2. Using Exit Rate to Determine Where to Start the Optimization Process
        3. What Is an Acceptable Exit Rate for a Page?
        4. Bounce and Exit Rates in Offline Sales
        5. Time Spent on a Page/Site
      10. Quality of Traffic (Visitors)
        1. Traffic Sources
          1. Social media sites
        2. Traffic Medium
        3. Keywords
        4. Ad Copy
        5. Is Your Data Statistically Significant?
      11. Resources
    6. 3. Getting to Know Your Customers: Developing Personas
      1. What Are Personas?
      2. Benefits of Personas
      3. Market Segmentation Versus Persona Development
      4. A Case Against Personas
      5. Back to the Basics: Creating Customer Profiles
        1. Field and Usability Studies
      6. Brief History of the Four Temperaments
      7. The Four Temperaments and Personas
        1. Logical Persona (Guardian)
        2. Impulsive Persona (Artisan)
        3. Caring Persona (Idealist)
        4. Aggressive Persona (Rational)
      8. Putting It All Together
      9. Your Website from a Different Perspective
      10. Personas and Copy
      11. Adjusting Your Selling Process Through Personas
    7. 4. From Confidence to Trust
      1. Value Proposition
        1. Defining Your Value Proposition
        2. Value Proposition Matrix
      2. Continuity
        1. How Do You Maintain Continuity in Online Advertising?
        2. Typical Problems When Maintaining Continuity
      3. Congruency
      4. Social Proof
      5. Membership/Professional Organizations or Affiliations
      6. External Reputation
      7. Design Aspects
        1. Functionality and Usability
          1. Site navigation
          2. Placing elements in the right place
        2. Other Design Factors
    8. 5. Understanding the Buying Stages
      1. Deciphering the Buying Stages Online
        1. Need Recognition
        2. Information Search
          1. Buying guides and wizards
          2. Self-actualization
          3. Need identification
        3. Evaluation of Alternatives
          1. Evaluation of alternatives: The search for a VoIP system
          2. Searching for alternatives: Differentiate or die
          3. Back to basics
          4. You should be selling more than products
          5. How can you stand out from the competition?
          6. Focusing on product benefits
        4. Purchase
        5. Post-Purchase Evaluation
      2. Complexity of the Product and the Buying Funnel
    9. 6. FUDs
      1. The Buying Decision and FUDs
      2. Getting “Personal” with FUDs
        1. Fears
          1. Site errors and 404 errors
          2. Long forms with too many unnecessary fields
          3. Security
          4. Browser compatibility
        2. Uncertainties
          1. Bounce-around effect
          2. Visitors’ inability to locate the call(s) to action
          3. Widgets and tools
        3. Doubts
          1. Discount codes
    10. 7. Appealing with Incentives
      1. What Are Incentives?
      2. Incentives Versus Value Proposition
      3. Positioning Incentives
        1. Membership-Only Stores
        2. Bundled Prices
        3. Freebie Marketing
          1. Using freebie marketing online to increase conversion
        4. Buy One, Get One Free
      4. Behavioral Incentives
        1. Tracking Customer Behaviors
        2. Abandoned Cart Incentives
      5. How to Apply Incentives
      6. Additional Tips for Using Incentives
    11. 8. Engagement
      1. Measuring the Effectiveness of Engagement
        1. Internal Metrics
        2. External Metrics
      2. Social Media
        1. Blogs
        2. Forums
        3. Facebook
        4. Twitter
      3. Customer Reviews
        1. Negative Reviews Are Important
      4. Cross-Sells and Upsells
        1. Upsells Versus Cross-Sells
        2. Placing Cross-Sells and Upsells
          1. Product page
          2. Shopping cart page
      5. Customer Feedback Tools
      6. Informational Videos
      7. Virtual Closets
      8. Virtual Help
    12. 9. Testing: The Voice of Visitors
      1. The Basics of Testing
        1. A/B Tests
        2. Multivariate Tests
        3. What Type of Test Should You Conduct?
      2. Creating a Successful Test
        1. Test Hypotheses
        2. Length of Time to Complete an Experiment
      3. Forty-Nine Things You Can Test on Your Website
        1. The Basic Website Elements
          1. 1. The header
          2. 2. The tagline
          3. 3. The search box
          4. 4. Site navigation
          5. 5. Hero images
          6. 6. Supporting images
          7. 7. Testimonials
          8. 8. Video spokesperson
          9. 9. Lead generation forms
          10. 10. Distraction test
        2. FUD Tests
          1. 11. Privacy
          2. 12. Satisfaction guaranteed
          3. 13. Social proof
        3. General Layout Tests
          1. 14. Above the fold
          2. 15. Below the fold
          3. 16. The visitor’s view of your page
          4. 17. The call to action
        4. The Copy
          1. 18. Effective copy
        5. The Headline
          1. 19. Pleasing versus painful headlines
          2. 20. Appealing headlines
          3. 21. Easy and timesaving headlines
          4. 22. Curiosity headlines
          5. 23. “Just the facts” headlines
        6. The Lead Sentence
          1. 24. An engaging lead
        7. Product Pages
          1. 25. Micro and macro conversions
          2. 26. Product page images
          3. 27. Product descriptions
          4. 28. Product reviews
          5. 29. Add-to-cart buttons
          6. 30. Cross-sells and upsells
          7. 31. Pricing
          8. 32. Product availability
          9. 33. When can I have it?
          10. 34. Bundled shipping costs
          11. 35. Navigation after clicking the add-to-cart button
        8. The Cart Page and the Checkout Process
          1. 36. Shipping options and pricing
          2. 37. Assurance center
          3. 38. Cart page layout
          4. 39. Update and delete buttons on the cart page
          5. 40. Side navigation
          6. 41. Payment options
          7. 42. Cart page and multiple checkout paths
          8. 43. Presenting different payment options
          9. 44. Continue shopping button
          10. 45. Proceed to checkout button
          11. 46. Steps in the checkout process
          12. 47. Allowing visitors to check out as guests
          13. 48. The bounce-around effect
          14. 49. Usability testing
    13. 10. Be Iterative
      1. When Conversion Optimization Succeeds
      2. When Conversion Optimization Fails
        1. Poor Resource Planning
        2. Platform Limitations
        3. Poor Expectations
        4. The Guessing Game
        5. Brute Force Testing
        6. Follow-up Experiments
      3. The Upward Spiral
    14. Index
    15. About the Authors
    16. Colophon
    17. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly