5 steps – conversion rate optimization best practices

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When selling online there are typically quite a few different moving parts.
Lead generation pages, pre-sell pages, email campaigns, sales pages, checkout pages, ad creatives, target audiences and the list goes on and on.
When looking at everything from a conversion optimization standpoint and conversion rate optimization best practices it can be a bit of a daunting task to know where you should start optimizing first so I thought I would shed a little light on the process to hopefully point you in the right direction.

The first step when looking at the steps with conversion rate optimization best practices is to take a good long look at your current conversion rates and your user data.

Take a look at video play rates, bounce rate, click through rates, conversion %, order %, average customer value, upsell % to name a few.
By looking at the data you will likely find holes in your sales and lead flow, which if plugged can quickly give you a bump in conversion rate.
For instance say you find that 75% of the people that land on your checkout page bounce before making the leap to becoming a customer.  You would know that you need to work on your checkout page to improve the conversion rate.
Once you know your numbers in depth you can see the problem areas quickly.
We call this the low hanging fruit for good reason.  These are areas in your process that can yield some quick wins in the conversion department.
The second step with conversion rate optimization best practices, now that you have a good idea of what your numbers look like specifically is to survey or do further analysis on your target audience.  The more information you know the better.  Sending a survey to your existing customer base asking some specific questions like…  “Why did you choose COMPANY X as your solution?”.
This little bit of intel can help uncover hidden gems in your messaging that can help you speak to your target audience more directly.  Tugging on those pain points that caused them to search out a solution in the first place and better positioning you as that solution.
Once we have this analysis data it is time for step 3 in our little process of conversion rate optimization best practices and that is competitive analysis.
There are plenty of tools out there to see what your competitors are doing.  What we are looking for is the types of pages they are advertising, creatives they are using, impact they have on the market etc.  We don’t look at this data to steal their ideas.  We simply look at it for leverage points.
For example after doing a competitive analysis for one prominent brand we found that their nearest competitor (who was actually a reseller partner) had 40 times the impact that they did with display advertising.  One area where they mentioned they were having the most difficulty getting profitable.
With competitive analysis you can see what is working, what isn’t, and tweak your efforts to be better.
Armed with this amazing data we can then turn to our own efforts to discover leverage points of our own.
What types of pages are we advertising? What do our creatives look like? You get the idea.
Once we have identified our own leverage points we can then come up with a formal plan of attack for the optimization/split testing process.
Some of the elements are and questions to ask your self…
Why are we better?
How many people has our solution helped?
What are the benefits?
With that we can actually start putting the tests in place.  Testing the copy, the benefits, proof elements, images, layout, and colors are the biggest elements we have found to move the conversion needle the most.
So when looking for what you should optimize first and for conversion rate optimization best practices…
1.  Look at your own numbers to discover holes in your process
2. Survey or further analyze your market to discover additional details as to why they do what they do
3. Do competitive analysis to gain insights as to what is working and what isn’t
4. Search for leverage points within your own marketing efforts, the low hanging fruit.
5. Create a deploy a formal split testing plan based on the data collected.
I sincerely hope this has given you some ideas on how to get the most out of your marketing efforts and areas to look to begin your own optimization process.
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