Website optimization for onsite behavior

25 juni 2014

*Onderstaande blogpost over website optimization is door onze Amerikaanse collega Travis Jordan geschreven, die sinds kort het team van Happy Idiots versterkt. De blogpost is om deze reden in het Engels geschreven.

Optimization when it comes to Ecommerce stores and websites in general means that you are looking to take one web page and alter certain elements of the original page in order to achieve better conversion. The altered version of the original page in optimization can be referenced as the “variation” or “test page.”

The whole goal of optimizing a page and testing it, is to find out what changed elements made a difference for the better and which ones didn’t. Once you’ve ran enough tests to prove which elements are most successful for a specific page, you can create a brand new page and run that page as your “original” page.

Why is Website Optimization important?

Optimization is important because it gives immediate feedback to how your page is converting. More importantly conversion optimization helps you get insight to how your customers experience your site, everything from what they click on to the possibilities of what is killing conversion on each page. If you’re not using conversion optimization consistently you could be leaving a lot of money on the table or worse throwing it away. Visitors and customers alike all have needs and are psychologically effected by even the smallest  things on a page, but you’ll never understand that if you aren’t constantly optimizing your pages for a better user experience. After all, it’s easier to click the X on a window than it is to push a button on a site.

Now that you have an understanding of what optimization is and why it’s important, we can dive into planning out how start successfully planning for implementing optimization on your site or store.

We are going to cover the following:

  • Referral source: who is my customer?
  • On Page Mini & Final Goals

Referral Source = Who is my customer?

Let’s dive into what it takes to really understand the answer behind the question of “who are my customer(s)?”  One way to figure out who your customer is, is to write down a list of qualities and interests that your targeted customers share.

However I’d like to take that one step further by asking you: “where is your customer referred from?”

referral source

Once you figure out where your customer is referred from, you can start to understand “similarities” that the customers share, for example:

  • Does everyone from a Facebook post tend to click on a service or a certain category?
  • Do my retargeting campaigns assist to other ordered products that are not related to the initial retargeting?

You can use this Referral Source Tracker Sheet to help you organize your referral sources and the pages they land on.

Converting the visitor into a customer with “Mini & Final Goals”

Once someone is referred through a traffic source and lands on your “site/store” they are now labeled as a visitor, and here they are on the 1st page which should have a goal: “move away from or take action on”.

Website optimization: Move or action

Move: This means you want the customer to make a selection on your site/store and move away from this page they landed on.

Examples of Move:

  • Very obvious “click here to learn more”
  • Small intro and click to next page
  • Menu selection to another page
  • Search bar to submit a search query
  • And the list goes on…

Take Action: You want the visitor to take action on this page (literally on this page only):

Examples of Taking Action:

  • Filling out a form
  • Calling a phone number
  • Submit an order
  • Read an article and leave a comment
  • Submit email address
  • Add product to cart
  • and the list stops for now…

What are my mini goals (page specific)? You can use Mini Goals Sheet to keep track of your mini-goals.

Final Goal

The action or move is the goal you have for the page and now it’s time to ask yourself what is the Final Goal?

More importantly what is the goal that you have for the visitor to be qualified as a customer?

Depending on the market you’re in, this answer varies. For now we’ll focus on two examples “a site for a carpenter” and “an Ecommerce store for organic soap”

Example A: Carpenter site Example B: Organic Soap Store
Type of Site:A simple corporate site Type of Store:Ecommerce store
Pages (all have an inquiry form): Home, About, Services Offered, Order, & Contact Pages  Pages:Home, Category, Product, About, Customer Service, Checkout, Contact Pages
Potential Customer =A visitor submits a inquiry about a service or product. Potential Customer = Order left in shopping cart basket

You can use Final Goal Sheet to keep track of your final goals.

Referral source, visitor, customer

Now that you understand how to successfully start planning optimization for your store or site, you can use the answers from the sheets you filled out above and see if your current page needs improvement in order to turn your visitors into customers.

Some other questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Am I tracking my visitors and customers with web analytics?
  • What are my referral sources?
  • Do I want visitors to move or take action?
  • Who is my customer?
  • What is the goal for my visitor?
  • How do they become a customer?

Next time we’ll talk about some ideas of tests you can run for your site or store. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, feel free to contact us or submit a reaction!

Meer weten? Lees meer op de pagina over conversie optimalisatie.

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