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Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

A Little K.I.S.S. Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

By Marijayne Bushey
February 15th, 2010

Kiss Photo

I have to admit, I love to read our blog.  I love the insights my colleagues routinely bring to the table–and the fact that, like world-class athletes, they make it look so easy!  But sometimes, when I try to put all the pieces together, I find my head in a whirl of information, overwhelmed by the complexities of internet marketing and website optimization…and that’s when I have to get back to basics.  I remind myself to Keep It Simple, Silly! So, to honor that, I’ll try to keep this quick, and neat; like a peck on the cheek ;)

First and foremost, a solid conversion optimization plan should be rooted in process, not just effected willy-nilly. The process we follow with our OnTarget services provides two main benefits: 1) generating results quickly and 2) eliminating the easier problems first so that we can have firm ground (ie. cleaner data, with fewer unknown variables) on which to stand when we go to tackle the more difficult questions.  It follows three main steps:

Step 1 -  Maximize the revenue that is already on the table. Some people refer to this as picking the low-hanging fruit.  If you’ve been reading other FutureNow books and articles, this is what we call eliminating the conversion barriers.  When your customers come to your site ready to buy your product, or ready to submit their information to be contacted, and something they encounter in the process stands in their way of doing that, you are leaving easy money on the table.  The goal here is to find the things keeping those Late Stage buyers from doing what they came to your site to do, and fix them.

Step 2 -  Find more of the same. Now that you have plugged up the holes in your checkout process, and you’re maximizing your potential revenue, why not pull more people into the system, and really make use of the situation?  This means identifying more sources of those same late stage buyers, and bringing them in the door so they can do what they were born to do: convert!

Step 3 – Turn your attention to the reasons why the rest of your traffic is not quite ready to buy yet, and address those. This final step is what we would call refining the persuasive scenarios.  It’s where those three ever-important questions (1. Who is my customer?  2. What is the action I want them to take?  3. What is the information they need to feel comfortable taking that action?) start to fall out into different groups (ie. personas) whose unique communication styles will impact the scenarios you have to deliver in your efforts to persuade.

After all, what sense would it make to start with Step 3 first?  You’d only be driving more people into a funnel that is full of holes, and wasting perfectly good opportunities!

It should also be data-driven…but that is a no-brainer.  What kind of scientist comes to a conclusion based only on conjecture, without having observed events and analyzing the data surrounding them?  It just means make it rooted in reality.  With the power of the internet to measure the actions your visitors take, and the accessibility of tools to help you do that, there should be no excuses for not having data to back up your changes and tests. And if you do that, your process will be customer centric by default.  Tools like Google Website Optimizer and OnTarget track what your customers do do, in real time.

Last, but certainly not least, your process should be continuous. That’s not just because getting your website in shape is just like getting yourself in shape: a lifestyle commitment (there isn’t botox for website optimization yet).  It’s also a simple matter of math.  When questioned about the most powerful force in the universe, Einstein quipped, “Compound interest.”  That is the same math behind continuous optimization.  When you make little increases each month, they build upon one another, and add up to big improvements over time.

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Comments (68)

  1. This is a fantastic article, and I have shared it.

  2. I agree with those good steps on how to create a solid conversion optimisation plan. Especially the points about using the tools to continually improve it. As you say, the process should be continuous, not just a once-off evaluation and many of the tools are useful and free, so it’s well worth utilising them. Especially Website Optimiser which can be very effective at testing and improving a website’s performance, thus increasing the number of conversions it produces.

  3. I agree with eliminating the easier problems first. doing this would give you a clearer perspective and a good concentration in tackling the difficult ones. Love your post, and will be posting it on twitter.

  4. I loved your article.Yeah you have to continuous look after your website just like you have to look after your self.That’s so true.

  5. Thank you for your good article hope to read good articles like this again.

  6. Some people refer to maximizing the revenues as picking the low-hanging fruit, but it’s not always like this sometimes huge effort is involved in such tasks.

  7. For some reason, i really love this story

  8. Happy valentines day all. And Cute babies. :)

  9. Nice to be reminded of K.I.S.S. for Valentine’s Day… and so sweet of you to say “silly” I have heard it said a little differently. Consistent concentrated focus is the key!

  10. I like this words “Keep It Simple, Silly!” hihihihihi… nice story…

  11. Especially Website Optimiser which can be very effective at testing and improving a website’s performance, thus increasing the number of conversions it produces.Love your post, and will be posting it on twitter.

  12. Is a nice story, I like it :)

  13. So simple yet powerful! I have been teaching this to my music students for ever! Thanks for the post. m

  14. Surprising! But this was a really good surprise! Thanks for this report! I’ll come back to see more instructive articles!

  15. Thanks for sharing, I will share this with my friends. I like it.

  16. I like your “do the easy stuff first”-approach.

    Many people forget when they are bussy.

  17. thanks, really nice post :)

  18. It’s true conversion optimization is work, thank you for trying to ‘keep it simple’. The truth of the matter is that ‘botox’ will always have a market same as making frivolous comments increases the link count benefiting page ranking. Oh, by the way, I too love reading grokdotcom posts. Thank you.

  19. This is a really good article, lots of solid advice which we all could benefit from following. In some ways its a science and in some ways its an art but either way it has to be studied and learned in order to succeed.Will be bookmarking this artice so that I can keep referring to it.

  20. Don’t hinder the visitors that are “picking the low hanging fruit”. That’s a profound statement. I’ve seen so many sites that make it just too difficult to place an order. I’ll usually skip the site and move on. Therefore I try my best to ensure my sight doesn’t do the same.

  21. huhu,valentine’s day!Sorry,I can’t understand what the lovers think.

  22. Especially the points about using the tools to continually improve it. As you say, the process should be continuous, not just a once-off evaluation and many of the tools are useful and free, so it’s well worth utilising them.

  23. These are all great points. I really like the idea of eliminating the conversion barrier. I need to put this into practice on my site.

    Thanks for the tips.

  24. The truth of the matter is that ‘botox’ will always have a market same as making frivolous comments increases the link count benefiting page ranking. Oh, by the way, I too love reading grokdotcom posts.

  25. Nice points. :) A lot of people think that building a business online is as easy as 1-2-3. Well, yes it could be—but the preparation to get to 1 and to 3 can take quite a long of experiments and trial and errors. Let’s say, for item #1: being too involved in your own business-writing everything and managing your blog can make you too involved to notice those little details that are letting your customers slip away. The general process is easy, it’s a 1-2-3. But it’s the small steps between 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 that actually takes some time and practice.

  26. This is a great post, I enjoyed reading through it!

  27. Goog for article

  28. Great articleม, it so nice for the internet marketing and website optimization

  29. Valentine’s Day is really romantic but I don’t like it because there’re so many people on the streets.

  30. [...] by noreply@blogger.com (Charlie) Look at the original post. Thanks to [...]

  31. Good post … It’s romantic story.. happy valentine day..

  32. great points. It’s good story.. I interested to act.. thanks for the tips

  33. Thanks, really nice story.

  34. So sweet story =.=

  35. Really useful tips

  36. The truth of the matter is that ‘botox’ will always have a market same as making frivolous comments increases the link count benefiting page ranking. Oh, by the way, I too love reading grokdotcom posts.

  37. Nice Story and some useful tips

  38. I agree with the steps listed above. I think everyone needs to really work on the last step. The internet is constantly changing, so as website owners, we need to continuously keep up with the changes.

  39. Traffic Exchanges are the best options I have used several of their programs, most have rocked, some didnt — so overall, I say that they are safe to do business with and have good programs.

  40. Happy valentine day to all , and specially to all little cute babies :)

    Regards

  41. As we all know, technology is fast changing. We really need to update ourselves about these changes from time to time. Though it isn’t that easy to keep on track.

  42. Cute picture, and great post!

  43. Know what you need and look for the right solution in order to achieve what you desire. In this way, you could actually improve what you’re doing. Just take note of the strategies that works for you.

  44. so cute and so funny , thanks for your post .

  45. what a beautiful photo , lovely .

  46. A little K-I-S-S and a great post!

  47. I like the way you say “process should be continuous”, that’s absolutely true. There is no easy success and every achievement is an accumulation of non-stop effort! Let’s working on it, guys! :)

  48. @ Leamo

    There is easy success, but that is rare these days. I wouldn’t say “non-stop” effort, but it definitely feels like it sometimes!

  49. I love to read this article… and the point ” Maximize the revenue that is already on the table.” is awesome…

  50. Keep it simple, and no name calling :) There is no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people haha

  51. Keep it simple, and no name calling :)

  52. valentine’s day is very love to many people.

  53. Especially the points about using the tools to continually improve it. As you say, the process should be continuous, not just a once-off evaluation and many of the tools are useful and free, so it’s well worth utilising them

  54. Especially the points about using the tools to continually improve it. As you say, the process should be continuous, not just a once-off evaluation and many of the tools are useful and free, so it’s well worth utilising them.

  55. kept it short and simple
    nice and interesting
    thanks!

  56. Worth reading points!

  57. Cute Pics!
    I am glad to found such interesting post and I really enjoyed to read your post.

    Thanks

  58. These are all great points. I really like the idea of eliminating the conversion barrier. I need to put this into practice on my site.

    Thanks for the tips.

  59. Worth reading points!

    Cr4zY | İnterAktif Web Günlüğü

  60. Keep it simple, and no name calling

  61. I loved your article.Yeah you have to continuous look after your website just like you have to look after your self.That’s so true.

  62. This post was little touchy in the sense. The work towards love should be always appreciated always.

  63. Nice Story and some useful tips

  64. Step 1 – Maximize the revenue that is already on the table.
    Great idea.

  65. I completely agree on the fact that it’s really important to drive a continuous optimization work on each website you want to promote. I think it’s useless to make some pieces of optimization one time and let it away. It’s better to do not too much at one time, then do it again. 1 hour each month is better than 10 hours at a time.

  66. #

    I love to read this article… and the point ” Maximize the revenue that is already on the table.” is awesome…

  67. I am all for keeping things simple. I thought making money would be simple but ts far more complicated than I thought!

  68. so helpful this post! i’m srry i read it one week after valentines :(

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Mj has been proselytizing the merits of customer-centric, data-driven, continuous Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for FutureNow since 2007.

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