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Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

A Strategy to Make Your Web Site Better, Win After Win

By Melissa Burdon
November 18th, 2010

Life Source Water has been working with us for a little over a year; long enough to have developed an appreciation for the compounding conversion rate lifts typical of testing and implementing our recommendations. Because a primary goal of our work with clients is to start generating revenue and ROI as quickly as possible, the first step of our Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) process is to help people who are ready to buy complete their purchases. Thus, we typically begin our work with a client by doing some late stage traffic analysis in their Google Analytics.

Through this kind of evaluation, we learned that the top landing page for late stage traffic is the homepage, and chose to focus our initial efforts on getting more people through the scenarios that initiated there. From the homepage, late stage traffic is most likely to move forward to one of three pages. Those of you who have been reading our blog over the last year may remember the post we did about a win we had straight out of the gates that focused on changes to the homepage lead form, and a second win hot on the heels of the first that made improvements to a second path leading to the product comparison page.

A third likely late stage scenario leads to the technology page. We determined this by observing a link in the Google Analytics data between the search terms used by late stage visitors who landed on the homepage, and the Call to Action they clicked on the homepage. Based on the wording of this Call to Action (“What is whole house water filter?”), and it’s location on the homepage (at the bottom), we hypothesized the visitor who clicks on this link is likely a slower paced decision maker, and more methodical in nature. Furthermore, this led us to conclude the visitors’ intent in clicking here is not only to find out what a whole house water filter system is, but also to see the benefits it offers and learn more about the water treatment technology itself; how it works.

This link took visitors to the technology page. That makes sense, but in order to keep the scent and momentum flowing, the page still must feature effectively the right information for the various late stage personas. That means the page must do two things: 1) effectively answer their questions, or 2) provide them with clear links that move forward to the answers to their questions. The original version of the technology page did contain links to relevant information, but the links were not worded in a way that would appeal to this particular persona, featured prominently enough on the page, or accompanied by high-level teaser information that began to answer the primary questions of the visitor (click image above to enlarge).

We provided the cleint with a basic mockup (click image at right to enlarge) and recommendations to improve this page. The goal was to more effectively answer the various questions the late stage visitor had when they clicked on that call to action from the homepage. We recommended that they test the new layout of this page against the original and set the success point of the test as the completion of a lead generation form (which is the ultimate goal of the site).

Based on our mock-up, the design and development team came up with the variation below (click to enlarge), and set up an A/B test against the original version of the page. Test results showed a 9% increase in leads coming in from the new technology page. Taking into account the Average Lead Value, this drives an increase of $2987.16/month, annualized to $35,845.92.

Do you have a strategy in place to continuously improve your online performance? Testing random elements throughout your site may result in some incremental wins. But if you don’t follow a data driven, continuous improvement strategy aimed at collecting the most impactful wins first, you likely are leaving money on the table. With the holiday season approaching, take a clue from Santa: check your late stage scenarios twice.  Identify the most likely late-stage scent trails on your site, and get the information in place to effectively move your visitors from search to final sale or lead now.

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Comments (41)

  1. Thanks for this post. I have been looking at my home page analytics recently and now it makes perfect sense.

  2. Google Think, Review First before visiting To Web Page, The Best Win of Selling is Traffic

  3. Yes, the initial page certainly is the most important, for that we have to take care well of her. Congratulations!

  4. Very cool article which shows that generating leads is not only luck. With the right knowledge its very easy. It is really easy to read and understand it, but more difficult to realize it for the own projects.
    I will try it and curious about the result.

  5. Really interesting artilce. Late stage traffic is critical to the conversion optimisation process, but something that is so often missed by internet marketing companies. Thanks for sharing Melissa.

  6. Your Home Page is the most important page, but I don not agree the the sale should be made on this page. I believe you need to presell your visitor by offering value first to build online trust. I belive your homepage is the start of this process that will make your visitor click through to learn more.

  7. Yes, the second technology page seems much better. It is more focused and also provides the form to request more information.

  8. Thanks for you post. I’ve recently found that the importance of clear direction on the homepage to be absolutely key.

    The benefits of ensuring this messaging remains above the fold for common browser sizes has also made a big impact on my client’s conversion rates.

  9. Ah, good landing page tips. Nobody wants to be overwhelmed upon viewing a site. The ability to satisfy the viewer by answering their question and moving them to a sale is very important. KEEP IT SIMPLE

  10. it’s like a sales pitch. what defines your sale is how appealing your intro statement is and how definite your closing push-to-sell speech is.

  11. we have done a lot of research into this on our own website. We have managed to improve our bounce rate dramatically and now convert a great deal more vists to sales than before

  12. It really helped us , we also managed to improve our ranking and now we have with almost 30% more buyers

  13. 9% is huge… thank you for sharing this example. Do you believe a lead-capture sytem (opt-in form) somewhere on the page will increase conversion by doing some email marketing?

  14. A good landinpage is the key

  15. The landing page on your site is much important compare with others. Providing all enough details on that will keep good navigation of users and makes moderate bounce rate.

  16. Great article – thanks. I think authenticity is something too many sites disregard, and they can become overly focused on the pitch or touting how great their products/services are. Authenticity demonstrates respect for the reader & helps build rapport and confidence in what you have to offer.

  17. Design does also play a big role in building a landing page. When there are too many distractions or too many things going on, it’s hard for the customer to focus. (on where we want them to)

  18. Im not sure sales should be made from the home page ?

  19. The landing page is the eye opener to your offer but me think the Homepage should lure the traffic/visitors to it… Anyway thanks for this useful post, learnt some new tactics here….. Great!

  20. no matter how ur site is look like but how presentable information is thats what really matters a lot.

  21. @Tina White, Did you mean that if the site is ugly(design is not good) and good presentable information drive goals? ..I dont think, because as a user first I look for Design then look for presentable images or videos then texts.. I hope this is the nature of all visitors.. Recently I had conversation on this…

  22. I think when you are trying to sell something, design is number one. Most people are turned off by an ugly looking page right off the bat.

  23. seen the site, problem with the site that is aligned to the left, is when the user has a wide screen like i have, so there’s a big space on the right side, which for me is a big off, why not center everything, for a fact that eyes are always focused on the center of what it’s looking

  24. Thanks for the post. Web developed is an art. Good technic, Decorative knowledge makes a web site attractive to all.

  25. Design plays a major role in building a landing page. When there are too many distractions it’s hard for the visitor to focus on the things we want them to focus on

  26. Wow, great information in this post. The late stage scenerio analytics seem to be the key. Good information here on how the move the customer forward through the website starting with the landing page to a point where they can feel comfortable buying.

  27. Interesting post. I agree that your home page is the most important page and it is where your sales start. I think both design and content are important. As much as possible, you home page should look really good as well as the content.

  28. I always thought that landing pages are much better for sales than direct sales from homepage. anyway, article is really informative, but you should add some information about visual optimisation of web pages.

  29. when my customers reach my point of sale. I offer them a discount . but only if they buy right now. a returning i.p. wont get the same deal. Bingo

  30. Traffic and Keywords are the key to web success. Research your keywords for the targeted niche before doing anything else.

  31. Very good article. I will also add that the most important factor to me is to match solution to the problem or enquiry. When a visitor land on a page, the page should provide what they are look for right away. Next is the strong call to action.

  32. @Mike, @News Analysis are telling right. whatever you can optimize the keywords, the design is not good then there wouldnt no sale or no goal. Both part should be optimized..

  33. It is very important to really keep everything simple so that your customers would not have a hard time looking for what they want. Great post.

  34. I would say that you must always be updating you website and get quality links. You should also have a way to monitor the “live” traffic and convert with a click to chat option.

  35. Great Article! I think having a great strategy for your website is a must. One must have a unique but simple design. In my own opinion, sites can be visited always if the site has a simple content, simple in ways that it will not create woo much time of waiting for the page to completely open. Simple in ways that we have to minimise the use capacity of the content design so that it will not create log.

  36. One of my sites has a single landing page with a long copy sales letter. I know that they have been around for a long time but they are popular for a reason. I think for this format of website design needs to be very simple and conversion lies in the “salesmanship” of the copy.

    Are there any tools I can use to measure visitor activity within a sales landing page?

  37. NIce post!!!!!! Webdesign is not only layout! It is science!

  38. @Pay Raise Guy, you can use Google analytics tool, which is not commercial and can get all the traffic datas on your conversion page.

  39. Thanks for the info and share. Apart from designs, meta tags plays vital role.

  40. Design plays a major role in building a landing page. When there are too many distractions it’s hard for the visitor to focus on the things we want them to focus on

  41. Nice sharing with this article. When you visit a site, the first thing you will be seeing is the design.If you see that is not good, you will definitely leave the site. Design is one of the important factor that plays on a website. It must be catchy but not to irritating to the eye. Thank you for sharing this topic.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

More articles from Melissa Burdon

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