The “scent of information” is an important concept for anyone who wants to optimize their online conversion rate. It’s important enough that we’ve been writing about scent on this blog since at least 2006! We recognize, however, that optimizing for scent isn’t easy to do. It involves web analytics data, psychology, copywriting, and web design at a bare minimum. But, the payoff can be huge in terms of more sales, more leads, or more subscriptions from those who come to your site via search.
Today’s post will show you a quick, step-by-step method to use Google Analytics data to prioritize which pages need ‘scent optimization’ the most, and what data you can use to get started.
You may already know this piece of data from your day-to-day marketing work, but if you don’t know, this is a quick way to get to the important business data you need. We need to prioritize 3 pages on your site that need scent optimization. So, go to your “Traffic Sources Overview” report. Find your top source of search traffic; the one that brings you the most prospective customers. Note in the example [click to enlarge] that 78.68% of traffic comes from “search.” That’s great, but we need to know what kind of search, so scan further down to learn that 54.06% of traffic comes from Google organic. It’s not a huge majority, but it’s far more than paid search traffic in this example.
Now that you’ve segmented by the most important traffic source, open the “Top Landing Pages” report under the Content section. It is now showing you the top landing pages for those who entered via organic search. Pick the top one and click down to the “Content Detail” by clicking on the URI.
Next, click the “Entrance Keywords” link for this top landing page, and you’ll end up in the Entrance Keywords report for a particular page with a particular segment applied. This is where analytics gets fun! Capture the top 3 entrance keywords for that page for later analysis. Note in the screenshot that there are 344 Entrance Keywords for this top landing page. Now, you understand why prioritizing the top 3 keywords by traffic is important! Can you imagine a landing page that was scent optimized for over 300 keywords? It would NOT be a user-friendly or persuasive experience.
Repeat this process until you’ve documented your top landing landing pages for your top search traffic source, and the top 3 entrance keywords for each one. Your list might look something like this:
k1: “red roses”
k2: “red flower gifts”
k3: “red carnations”
k1: “decorative gift baskets”
k2: “candy gift baskets”
k3: “birthday gift baskets”
k1: “rare orchids for sale”
k3: “give a gift orchid”
Take your document with your top 3 landing pages and top 9 entrance keywords, and head to your website for some advanced analysis for scent. Open the first page, screenshot it, print it out, whatever. Look for the top 3 entrance keywords on the page, and ask these questions: Are they on the page? How many times? Where? Are all 3 on the page? Are the keywords bolded or highlighted? Are they in the “F-pattern” eyepath that prospects’ eyes follow when they land on this page? Are they reinforced with graphics, audio, or video? Does the copywriting make the entrance keywords the “stars” of the page?
Depending on the answers to these types of questions, you might decide you can optimize your conversion rate for these keywords by mentioning them in headlines, bolding them in the body copy, adding them to calls to action, etc. Or, you may decide that you need to create a new, more focused landing page to search engine optimize for just 1 or 2 of the keywords. Above all, put yourself in the prospect’s shoes, pretend you’re searching for what their entrance keyword indicates, imagine clicking on a search engine to land on your page, and try to see what they see as they sniff for scent on your pages.
Repeat the same process for the other top landing pages. Get copywriters, SEO specialists, and designers involved, too. You’ll end up optimizing for the “majority” without wasting time/resources/money on the “minority” of site traffic.
And, you can always go back and do additional rounds of this exercise (e.g. top landing pages numbers 4-6) later when you have more time to invest.
You can also apply this method to your PPC ad copy, destination URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, and more. Once you have the data that’s important, you can leverage it knowing you’ll get a good return on the time and effort invested.
And, if you are really excited about this type of conversion rate optimization process, but simply don’t have the time or resources to execute it for your site, don’t be shy. Give us a call at (877) 643-7244 and please mention that you read this post.