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  • #987721
    Dimi
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    So as my title states I’d like to find out from the web specialists here about what is involved in conversion optimization.

    Given that my site is relatively new, it probably requires a lot of tweaks but I have been quietly enjoying my Google ranking even though I think I’m still missing a big piece of the puzzle about generating traffic and converting them into sales. For terms like ‘cheap wedding accessories’ I rank on top in Google. My next step is to generate more traffic to the site and get those leads to convert.

    I haven’t hired an SEO/ CO specialist yet. Without burning any money (like some others have had to go through in the past) I want to get a clearer picture so that I know the right questions to ask.

    For example, as far as I can understand an analyst may go over my website and the purchasing workflow to identify better ways to do this. Would they then charge me for actual work to get the site to what they think is best or just charge for the advise and I need to hire a developer to get the work done?

    The area of SEO and the whole lead generation, conversion gets a bit confusing the more I start to think of it.

    Any help or direction would be much appreciated.

    #1164065
    Fond Digital Agency
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    This is a great question, but one that is far too big to cover in a post like this… So treat this as a top-level summary only!

    How you approach your CRO (conversion rate optimisation) activities depends firstly on four primary things: technology (your CMS – I notice you’re using osCommerce, which is a decent platform), traffic (you really do need decent traffic volumes to conduct CRO work that will yield good confidence levels), analytics (ensuring you have ecommerce tracking enabled inside your analytics tool) and budget (the sky’s the limit with this activity – I have come from an enterprise optimisation background where CRO buckets were deep into seven figures on a quarterly basis!).

    The other big call-out here is that CRO can be as simple as “traffic cleansing” – that is to say, identifying what sources are yielding the best conversion rates and working to increase their volume or share of your overall traffic… The reality, though, is that you should be doing this anyway.

    Also on the simpler side of things, taking advantage of basic ecommerce CMS functionality, such as recommended/last viewed/similar products engines is a free and simple way to also increase content relevance, which always boosts conversion.

    “Real” CRO, though, is best treated as multivariate (MVT) and A/B testing activity, wherein you serve different content/experiences/user flows to pre-determined audience segments or splits and evaluate which variation delivers the best result. Guiding this kind of activity isn’t mere speculation, either; you can use your analytics tool (and the funnel analyses it provides) to identify which checkout steps are producing the highest fall-out rates and then working to “clean” them up.

    The best CRO agencies are very good at identifying funnel issues even without analytics data (simply because of experience), so when they overlay the data element, they’re in a pretty commanding position to start testing with the optimal experience variations straight away, rather than burning time trying lots of different theories. Saying this, some checkouts are more difficult to optimise than others: static pages (that use funky JavaScript and CSS to show/hide content through the checkout steps) often have limited re-design scope without high effort, but thankfully, the normal checkout flows of osCommerce/OpenCart/Magento etc leave plenty of room.

    Perhaps the best thing about this kind of CRO is that it offers you genuinely measurable results. If you identify an experience that is increasing conversion, you can extrapolate this out across a year, for example, and quantify the sales benefit it will bring you!

    What are other considerations?

    – Performance impact: there is a page load time hit with all testing tools, like Optimizely and GA Content Experiments
    – You should really only test content that you can permanently change easily: i.e. you shouldn’t send 100% of your traffic through your winning experience via the testing platform as an ongoing concern, due to the potential performance and UX impacts
    – Cost: if you’re not a proficient dev, it’s fairly risky to work inside your checkout space, given its centrality to your store! Outsourcing CRO can be quite expensive, giving the breadth of the workload: a lot of in-depth analytics is required before, during and after running campaigns, while the reporting and permanent implementation of changes can also take a large amount of time
    – In reference to the above, too, a staging environment (identical test website) is a great place to review campaigns and changes pre-deployment and is really worth doing, given you can get decent hostings for $5p/m these days

    I could go on forever, so I’ll leave it there, but please ask if you have any specific questions, as this is definitely my agency’s baby, so to speak!

    #1164066
    Fond Digital Agency
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    P.S. In a very brief look at your site: I would recommend the following changes immediately…

    – Enabling “guest checkout”: yes, you lose some remarketing potential, but reducing barriers to sale always works
    – Changing “Buy Now” to “Add to Cart” (or “Checkout” also performs better): this is something I have tested extensively in a huge breadth of environments, and the less committal wording of the latter two options always increases cart starts and order submissions too
    – Improving page load (this is a very well known conversion-killer) and your site scores very poorly within GT Metrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights

    There is a whole stack more scope outside this too!

    #1164067
    Dimi
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    Some very helpful info. Thank you.

    Regarding loadedcommerce, I sort of inherited this platform due to purchasing this existing store which had an older version of LoadedCommerce. However, I am not a fan of it to be honest. There are quite a bit of features that are not available in the new versions (checking out as guest, payment checkout issues etc) which is very annoying.

    I am considering moving CMS platforms to something like Prestashop. Its sometimes very daunting as I dont know which way to go. My main concern is my ranking in google being affected due to change of platforms. Thats a completely different problem though.

    If you or anyone else think they can help me, please PM me with some sort of info on how you can help me. I am obviously willing to spend money on this so looking at getting the right advise.

    Cheers

    #1164068
    JohnTranter
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    I’m commenting here simply to push this post up. This question has been many times and we’ve had a really good answer in this thread, but it seems to have slipped through the cracks.

    #1164069
    Jenny Spring
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    Dimi, post: 189829 wrote:
    So as my title states I’d like to find out from the web specialists here about what is involved in conversion optimization.

    Given that my site is relatively new, it probably requires a lot of tweaks but I have been quietly enjoying my Google ranking even though I think I’m still missing a big piece of the puzzle about generating traffic and converting them into sales. For terms like ‘cheap wedding accessories’ I rank on top in Google. My next step is to generate more traffic to the site and get those leads to convert.

    I haven’t hired an SEO/ CO specialist yet. Without burning any money (like some others have had to go through in the past) I want to get a clearer picture so that I know the right questions to ask.

    For example, as far as I can understand an analyst may go over my website and the purchasing workflow to identify better ways to do this. Would they then charge me for actual work to get the site to what they think is best or just charge for the advise and I need to hire a developer to get the work done?

    The area of SEO and the whole lead generation, conversion gets a bit confusing the more I start to think of it.

    Any help or direction would be much appreciated.

    Hello Dimithri

    They might do either.

    For example, we provide both the advice, and/or the changes.

    Someone who looks at the buyer’s journey and will draw up wireframes for you will hand those wireframes over to you, along with the diagnosis of how to improve the conversion of your site. Then you can go independently to a web developer, or not. We provide both services, but will also work with a web developer of the client’s choosing.

    In regards improving the conversion of your site (i.e. increasing sales and leads), there are several things we would advise on an audit of hte site. These would be things like: 3x is the best merchandising for products (you have 4x), improve conversions by reducing the number of calls to action on the home page, and selecting a single colour as the CTA colour, capture leads through email lead magnet, GET RID OF the facebook box – you are sending people right over to Facebook and off your site (this is a BIG NO-NO) …

    This is the kind of report we write up for a client in a Web Conversion Audit report. It is all about sales and increasing leads — and reducing bounces from your site. It isn’t to do with SEO.

    I’d recommend you first consider improving your lead capture/conversion on your website before loooking at SEO – which is to drive more traffic to your site.

    Spending money driving traffic to a site that isn’t designed to capture leads correctly is throwing money away.

    So the questions to ask would be:
    1. have you run an ecommerce business?
    2. have you an online sales background?
    3. what kind of ecommerce sites have you worked on? With what results?
    4. do you provide wireframes to show buyer’s journeys? Or do you provide an audit report?
    5. do you make the tweaks, or do you provide me with the details so I can make them myself?

    Hope that helps — and YES, we’d be interested. Our team is now 5-strong, and we’ve the experience and capacity to assist you with the above, with some great examples of client’s we’ve done this for.

    Jenny

    #1164070
    JohnW
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    Hi Dimi,
    I saw this thread after I added this new one on Flying Solo:

    It seems to be very relevant to your question.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1164071
    Gogiver3
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    If you are expecting organic traffic of any quantity from just having a good ranking for ‘Cheap Wedding Accessories’ you are dreaming..you should lookinto some intensive social media marketing, Facebook advertising that is laser targeted to that audience-if you are wanting your bread and butter business to gain traction you are going to have to pay for traffic.

    #1164072
    Dimi
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    • Total posts: 29
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    Gogiver3, post: 192404 wrote:
    If you are expecting organic traffic of any quantity from just having a good ranking for ‘Cheap Wedding Accessories’ you are dreaming..you should lookinto some intensive social media marketing, Facebook advertising that is laser targeted to that audience-if you are wanting your bread and butter business to gain traction you are going to have to pay for traffic.

    Absolutely not. I am not expecting that to happen and I would be a fool to assume so.

    Simply was saying what we have at the moment and looking at ways of improving. I think diversification of social media, adwords and the rest is important rather than just only doing one or the other.

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