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Thursday, Apr. 15, 2010 at 7:45 am

Another Late Stage Traffic Conversion Rate Improvement

By Melissa Burdon
April 15th, 2010

My name is Melissa Burdon, I’m addicted to online testing, and if there were an “Online Testers Anonymous,” I am 99% certain my clients would not want me to get help!

In my last post, I shared a test we ran for one of our clients, LifeSource Water, where we helped them increase their conversion rate on their homepage lead form by 192%!  While it was tempting to sit back and enjoy such a nice win, we knew from experience that we had to keep optimizing and build on the momentum we had developed over time.  Our first test validated the hypothesis we proposed, but that hypothesis focused on only one scenario, and we suspected that even within the Late Stage traffic segment, there were several other scenarios that presented opportunities and deserved testing.  In other words, we hadn’t picked all of the “low hanging fruit” yet.


Our Latest Round of Analysis

With that in mind, we continue to focus our attention on understanding the intent of this client’s late stage traffic.  Some of this segment is searching for detailed keywords such as “lifesource water systems” and “whole house water filtration systems,” which qualifies them as Late Stage.

There are basically two common paths (scenarios) the late stage visitor will want to take from the homepage:  1) For those who are just wanting to speak with a water specialist right away, we’ve optimized the form on the homepage, resulting in tremendous improvement.  2) Visitors who are late stage but aren’t ready to fill out a form, and need some more info about the products, will likely move forward by clicking the “product info” call to action in the active window, so this is the second path we are beginning to optimize.

The Test

product page- originalWhen the late stage visitor lands on the original product page after clicking the link on the homepage, they see great images of each type of water filtration system that LifeSource Water offers, side by side.  Note the use of human models to show the “scale” of the product…very smart!  We suspect the challenge is that the visitor has a really hard time comparing information for each product side-by-side. Our recommendation for addressing this challenge is to make these images click-able (linked to more information), and to list the corresponding product information under each image.

product pg- new-April 13thWe are testing the original (control) against a version of this page that features product content in columns, immediately below the corresponding product images.  Our hypothesis is that, if we facilitate a side-by-side comparison, more visitors will move forward in their buying process and become a lead.  Whether the visitor decides to click on a “product info” link and move to a product page, or decides to click on “Get sizing details,” we assume they will be more likely to fill out a lead generation form asking to speak with a water specialist.

The Results So Far

Website Optimizer test resultsIn less than 30 days of testing, the results demonstrate a trend towards a 20% increase in lead conversion rate. With a 93.3% confidence, we want to run the test a bit longer, but it’s definitely trending toward another great win.

Now do you see why I’m addicted to testing? :)

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Comments (51)

  1. I am getting into more testing myself. The more tests I run, the more I want to run to see results. Right now I have started to test my category pages since they all run off the same template. It has taken some extra time and additional help to learn how to test things that appear on many pages all at once.
    A test I thought was a sure winner may wind up being, I had the best layout to start with by coping what someone else’s layout that was already working and I assume tested already.

    I am enjoying testing because I know I am getting the most out of the traffic I have and things are working as best as they can.

  2. Great post Mellisa! We have just finished testing product pages and shopping cart, and are starting to prepare to test late stage keywords and move some things around. I will make sure that everybody in the office read your post. Thanks!

  3. Melissa,

    Thanks for the post – useful. Looking at your GA graph, it seems to be converging to less and less improvement – how do you explain this? Reasons I ask is that we see similar things in our tests and I don’t see why it would look that shape?

  4. I can’t believe how detailed you got with your analysis, but I find it super inspiring.

  5. Killer details and conclusions. Your analysis is inspiring. Question: Have you ever worked with other analytics platforms?

  6. @Rob Smith: Keep in mind that these trend lines are estimations of conversion rate, and have a lot of hardcore statistical analysis (like confidence intervals) running in the background. Per Google documentation: “During the progress of the experiment, the conversion rate ranges will start out very wide and overlapping. Over time, as more test data is collected, the ranges will narrow and begin to move left or right relative to the original.” See for more details.

    @Shawn Angle: Yes, we work with whatever analytics platform our client has, in addition to the analytics in FutureNow’s OnTarget software. Usually, we work with either Google Analytics or Omniture. However, we occasionally work with CrazyEgg, ClickTale, etc. We’re actually planning a blog post (someday) about these more “visual” analytics tools.

  7. I do the same thing with testing! I test until the end sometimes :)
    But it can make a huge difference in the end

  8. This looks super useful for my business. Hope there’s a follow up from others to support this if it’s really helpful. Thanks for this!

  9. I think I’ll get addicted to testing too. It is really an achievement if your tests become a sure win. Congratulations!

  10. On the contrary I hate testing, that is why I just read all about other people’s tests :D

  11. Not a big fan of testing myself so i’m really glad there’s someone out there who actually enjoys this – cos it necessary and important.

  12. @Brendan thanks that’s great – should always read the docs ;)

  13. Great article. This kind of testing is worth every penny in the long run.

  14. Thanks for the article. Worth reading and learning how to increase conversion rate

  15. Those are some pretty impressive numbers for your client. Kudos!

  16. I don’t like testing, but facts are facts and testing works. I can’t lie, I have tested everything on my sites and they are fully maxed in my opinion

  17. i am using Google Analytics and that is best service. thanks.

  18. This looks super useful for my business.

  19. We all know we have to test, measure and change, test again etc. But it is good to see how you guys actually do it, great insides, thanks for this.

  20. Very interesting test although frustratingly can’t see the real details from the screenshots.

    I think the reason for your success was understanding the visitor intent and concentrating on the identified top task.

    I also note that the original page appears to offer more products that the test. Do you think this was a factor? Also I would be interested to know if the average page views increased accordingly as visitors switched back and forth looking at the product info. And something we are proposing to test in a very similar situation – would an infographic comparing products in a table been even more successful? What are your thoughts?


  21. erkekler için özel bir ürün geciktirici,penis büyütücü,performans arttrıcı

  22. Although i am somewhat new to the SEO world, i am finding that the testing side is very important – there seems to be many rats holes one can chase in this industry.

  23. If only I could somehow bottle your wisdom. You guys should write a book on conversion. Anybody thought of that one yet?

  24. @Story of Job: Maybe this is a joke, but with no winking emoticon, we’ll assume it’s not. Excluding eBooks, FutureNow team members have written THREE books on conversion! They are Call to Action, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark, and Always Be Testing.

  25. This article really made me more enthusiastic about online testing, something that is still kind of new to me but truly interesting, fun and not least crucial.
    The hardest part I guess is to not get blind and miss out on the small details.
    Good post!

  26. This looks super useful for my business

  27. Analyze the incoming traffic, identify needs, create paths for each need, optimize the path. Seems like a recipe for success every time. It really puts optimization in to perspective for me. Very insightful post. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Wow! Very interesting article! Thank you for sharing…

  29. Good read. You can’t have enough of these kinds of tips. The illustrations really helped me put 2 and 2 together.

  30. I agree with Jason about the traffic. You have to analyze the traffic and optimize the path.

  31. Interesting stuff. And congrats Melissa, the first step is admitting there might be a problem ;)

  32. It was a joke. Sorry sarcasm is not made for commenting! :)

  33. Are you saying that instead of having multiple landing pages, create an image with a link to each respective page? So, it is like they make up their mind before they are confused where to go. Then, when they get there,they know what they are going to do.

  34. Thanks to this post I was able to increase the conversion rates to my site. Keep up the great work!

  35. Great Post Melissa, sometime I’ll need to keep in mind is testing different layouts/positions and seeing how they affect the conversion rates.

  36. Test…test and test some more! This was a very useful article. I believe it to be extremely important knowing how your visitors think and react to your site content. You can always ask them directly and when that won’t work you must test the different copy and call to action.

  37. I have a feeling that I, too, will soon become a testing addict if I continue reading the posts on this blog lol. Thanks for the cool tips.

  38. I am so lost it is amazing how your testing results are coming out I am still having trouble with my testing can anyone help me with it

  39. I agree with Jason about the traffic. You have to analyze the traffic and optimize the path. This a great source for me as an SEO.

  40. Thank you – very useful and inspiring – I really must start testing.

  41. It looks very useful for my business. Hope there’s a follow up from others to support this if it’s really helpful. Thanks for sharing this!

  42. Testing and optimizing is the most important part of gaining revenue online. Continually make small changes to see what works for increasing conversion.

  43. Melissa you are as smart as you are beautiful. What a post!

  44. very useful for me, thanks.

  45. Thanks Melissa with the great post! It true that visitor has a really hard time comparing information for each product side-by-side

  46. [...] View full post on Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow, Inc [...]

  47. There is no conversion without late stage…

  48. Which version did better the click on the picture and take you to another page for that product or the one shown with text below the picture giving a thumbnail of the product?

  49. @ Fibro…always use thumbnails for faster load times.

  50. This article really made me more enthusiastic about online testing, something that is still kind of new to me but truly interesting, fun and not least crucial.
    The hardest part I guess is to not get blind and miss out on the small details.
    Good post!

  51. [...] to save you both time and money. This feature can be very helpful in identifying early, middle and late stage keywords and should be used to abet your AdWords [...]

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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