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How To Find the Root Causes of Low Conversion Rate

Posted By Natalie Hart On December 28, 2009 @ 1:32 pm In Analytics,Conversion Rates,Improving Conversion,Scent Trails,Usability,google analytics | 40 Comments

Conversion Rate Marketing_ Improve your website conversion rate with OnTarget by FutureNowWe get questions all the time from visitors, clients, and blog readers about what to do: How do I improve my conversion rate?  What’s the best analytics program?  Who should I hire to build my new site?  When is the best time to optimize? And much of the inspiration for our blog posts come from these very questions.

Monday, I got a call from my colleague, Marijayne Bushey, who told me about a great question she got via our Comments box.  The question read:

..I am looking for someone to help me understand why I am seeing only 0.02% conversion rate–is it a product, traffic, or usability issue, and what I can do to improve it? Please let me know if you provide service like this…

This is a great question because it recognizes that there may be multiple reasons for why a conversion rate is so low.  Remember, your website and marketing campaigns are a complex web of technology, products/services, information, colors, placement, copy, imagery, branding, etc all rolled into one big experience for your visitors, so chances are it’s a combination of these three factors (and others) that account for the reasons why visitors do or do not take a desired action. Thus, the real question is what factors contribute to the low conversion rate more than others, and deserve priority when it comes to fixing problems… and yes, we do offer a subscription service [1] aimed directly at answering these questions, and making recommendations to help you drive increases in your bottom line.

Is it Product?  Maybe.  If you’re in an over-saturated marketplace and you don’t have anything that you offer that competitors don’t offer (a Unique Value Proposition [2], or UVP), then it might be the product itself. If this is the problem there’s little you can do to fix it short of offering the best (i.e. lowest) price or having an EXTREMELY loyal visitor following.

Is it Traffic?  Possibly.  For this one, there’s an easy way to investigate; and there’s often a quick-and-dirty triage for the problem too.  First, go into your analytics report.  For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use Google Analytics as the example.  (If you don’t have an analytics program, go immediately to Google Analytics [3], get an account, and tag your site!)  Go into Google Analytics and click, “view report’ then select “traffic sources.”  You’ll see an overview of your traffic. Select the largest  piece of your traffic pie, for instance “Search Engine.”  Now, it’s time to do some digging [4]!  Look at your top three sources. Chances are, they make up a considerable amount of your overall traffic.  Click into each and look at your keywords, bounce rates etc.  As a rule of thumb, if there’s a larger than 80% bounce rate, you’re not driving qualified traffic to your site and you need to spend time on your traffic to make sure that you’re driving the appropriate traffic. Don’t forget to check scent [5] on these pages, too!

Is it usability?  At FutureNow, we take this question one step further, and ask not only whether your site is usable, but if it is persuasive.  This is often the biggest reason behind low conversion rates, but also the most difficult to tease apart because there are so many possible ways that visitors can interact with your site, and such a large breadth of areas to consider.

The bottom line here is that the number of factors that together contribute to your conversation rate, and the interplay between them, make it silly to try to provide an answer to the qustion on a one-off basis.  It must be teased apart over time, within the context of a continuous optimization program where you can test and observe results over time as a means of gleaning the information you need to make informed conclusions.  Our extensive experience in the field, and exclusive optimization tool are two very good reasons why you should talk to us, and consider hiring us [6].  We can help you narrow down where the real conversion-inhibiting issues exist, and help you prioritize your efforts in fixing those areas, so you can address the ones that will give you the largest return first!


Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2009/12/28/how-to-find-root-causes-of-low-conversion-rate/

URLs in this post:

[1] we do offer a subscription service: http://www.futurenowinc.com/services.htm

[2] Unique Value Proposition: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/12/05/the-value-of-a-unique-value-proposition/

[3] go immediately to Google Analytics: https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount?service=analytics&hl=https://www.google.com/adsense/login/en_US/?hl=en&continue=http://www.google.com/analytics/home/%3Fet%3Dreset&hl=https://www.google.com/adsense/login/en_US/?hl=en

[4] digging: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2009/12/11/data-diving-whats-in-your-dumpster/

[5] scent: http://www.grokdotcom.com/topics/senseofscent.htm

[6] you should talk to us, and consider hiring us: http://www.futurenowinc.com/contactus.htm

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