Website Conversion Optimisation Assessment and Planning

Conversion rate optimisation is a pretty straightforward process in theory.

Simply put, it is the carrying out of small, minor changes to your website that can have a huge impact on your overall profits from increased sales volume. Although it may sound too good to be true, it really isn’t. What’s great is that you can get started it with it right away… or when you have a plan in place, at least.

Even if you don’t have any experience or technical knowledge, you can still make even the subtlest of changes to your website that will have an impact on your conversion rate.

Even if you don’t have any experience or technical knowledge, you can still make even the subtlest of changes to your website that will have an impact on your conversion rate.

Whilst it is possible to carry out conversion rate optimisation without assessing your situation and drawing up a plan, the results you get aren’t going to be as good those that are born from a robust plan that considers your current position.

Putting together this plan takes time and if you don’t know what you are looking for, you may end up missing a key piece of data, problem or series of issues within your website’s infrastructure that is having the biggest impact on your conversion rates.

When you have a plan in place, you will be well-equipped to tackle the task of optimising your website for conversions. With that said, let’s take a look at what conversion rates are, what optimisation involves, why it’s important, and how you can put a plan together for yourself.

But First, A Little About Me

I am a professional website designer, developer, and digital marketing consultant. I have been working in this industry for around a decade and have seen my fair share of projects, from small development gigs for start-ups, content writing for large international corporations, and more.

My work has helped hundreds of clients across various industries and of various sizes get noticed on the web, build up visitors, and turn over a higher profit through SEO audits, conversion optimisation, and robust web designs.

This page intends to introduce you to the conversion rate optimisation process and help you put together your very own plan. With this, you can work on areas of your website that need some attention to help increase your conversion rates and, ultimately, your profits.

If you need any help or guidance, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. I am here to help you achieve the very best results with the resources you have, and I encourage anyone and everyone to get in touch.

How I Can Help

If you aren’t sure whether your site needs to be optimised for conversions or simply want a second opinion, I can help you out!

My team and I are here to work closely with you to get the best results possible. With several years’ of practical experience working with websites, SEO, conversion rates, and many other things for my clients, I am confident that the processes and workflows I use are among the very best.

I can work with you in looking at your site to determine your current conversion rate, where problems, errors, and shortfalls exist, explain how these are impacting your bottom-line and then come up with a plan to fix them. My conversion optimisation assessment and planning process takes many factors into account and has been shown to deliver measurable improvements for my clients.

If you are interested in this or anything else, contact me to find out how my team and I can be of assistance.

A Quick Look at Conversion Rates

I understand that “conversion rate” sounds like it should be confusing, complex, and difficult. The truth is that it’s not, though! And whilst it is a very simple concept, it is something you need to understand in-order to run a successful and profitable business, especially in the current digital climate.

Your website’s conversion rate is the percentage of your visitors who go on to carry out a desired outcome (a conversion) such as visiting a specific page, subscribing to your newsletter or, most commonly, finalizing a sale or subscription.

When your conversion rate is high then that is indicative that your website is of a high quality and is performing well. It also shows that you have a viable product or service (where applicable) and that any marketing or SEO initiatives are likely to be working. Simply put, it means that people want what you have to offer, and they can get it easily.

What makes a “high” or “good” conversion rate depends on several factors including your industry, business model, and target market. In e-commerce, for instance, a “good” conversion rate is around the 2% mark whereas it is around 7% in finance.

Why You Should Care About Conversion Rates

Although conversion rates are one of many different things you can pay attention to when monitoring your marketing efforts, they are a very important element and should be watched carefully. In fact, some consider conversion rates to be one of the most, if not the most, important of all factors when looking at long-term growth.

Conversion rates tell you how many leads you are converting into sales and this can tell you whether your marketing efforts need to be changed or improved upon.

Lots of businesses prioritize the acquisition and growth of traffic over everything else. Whilst you should be keeping a check on traffic, you should be paying more attention to what percentage of this traffic is adding value to your business by making a purchase or completing a desired action.

Of course, conversion rates are not the be all end all. For example, they do not account for other factors such as actions completed on a page, time spent per page, how many visitors are looking at each page, and how engaged your visitors are. These are equally-important indicators that also require attention. Conversion rates are simply one part of the bigger picture.

To maximize conversions, you need to understand your target market and audience, break down your sales funnel to a granular level, and analyse each individual piece. Only then can you amend your site accordingly and make efforts with other parts of your marketing, e.g. by sending out personalised offers.

 

What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Although your website may look and feel good, there are probably a few changes that you can make to improve the overall user experience, the factor that has the biggest impact on conversion rates. Even if your site is performing very well, there’s still no reason to give a bit of optimisation a go… you don’t have anything to lose!

It is very easy for even the smallest and seemingly innocent things on your site to have a huge impact on the end-user and push them away or prevent them from making a sale. This is exactly why conversion rate optimisation is important; it assesses your current site in its operational state and finds ways it can be improved.

Conversion rate optimisation uses analytics and data from your site and visitors to make decisions and changes that promote growth and sales in the long-term.

There are lots of different aspects to conversion rate optimisation and when you take your time to learn about and do it properly, you see measurable results and an overall improvement of your bottom-line.

All in all, conversion rate optimisation is the process of making small changes to your site in-order to increase the percentage of visitors carrying out a desired action. I have already covered conversion rate optimisation in-depth on my site and you should read this for a deeper introduction.

Remember, the end-goal of performing conversion optimisation is to promote growth and drive sales or another desired action, so it is important to get it right.

Conversion Rate Optimisation Planning

Some people think that it’s not necessary to have an optimisation plan in place and instead just make changes on an as and when basis.

Taking on this attitude and expecting your conversion rates to consistently increase by simply changing the colour of your site’s elements every once in a while won’t help you in the long-term, though.

Whilst such small changes will help on a page that has never been optimised before will work to an extent, it won’t deliver a consistent and long-term increase in your conversions, and this is the goal of your conversion rate optimisation efforts.

The changing of elements’ colours and adding calls to action on your site do help conversion rates, however, these are what should be smaller parts of an overall conversion rate optimisation plan. Assessing your site thoroughly and planning for conversion rate optimisation will lead to continuous and consistent long-term results whereas ad hoc occasional small changes will only have a small impact in comparison.

It may seem daunting to think about planning for conversion rate optimisation at first, however, I am going to walk you through a simple four-step process. It’s really not as difficult as you think, and anybody can do it!

1. Gather Your Tools and Perform the Basic Checks

I am assuming here that you are starting at ground zero and have nothing in place already and have performed no checks. If you have already done some preparatory work, it is still worth starting here so that you can figure out how you currently stand and identify potential areas for improvement.

There are lots of analytical tools on the internet—both free and paid—that can help you make sense of how your website is performing with easy-to-digest data. Tools are more of a personal preference than anything else and you may already use some that you like, however, I personally recommend:

  • Google Analytics, the versatile and all-around basic analytical tool
  • KISSMetrics for conversion analysis
  • A user analytics tool such as CrazyEgg

There are a lot of tools out there and you should have Google Analytics at least. It’s free and easy to use, and it gets to work to deliver data instantly. You can never have too much and it’s better to start with too many tools and strip some away as you learn what works for you.

2. Look at What’s Harming Conversions

When your tools are up and running, it is time to begin analysing all the data. I must admit that this isn’t the most fun thing you’ll ever do (unless you’re a data nerd!) but the sooner you dive in and get to work, the sooner you will get it done.

The point of analysing data is to highlight the pages on your website that are of high value such as your landing page, e.g. because they get a lot of traffic, within your sales funnel. Key questions to ask yourself during this stage include:

  • Are people engaging with your CTAs?
  • Does your traffic represent your target market?
  • Are your visitors getting distracted or backtracking?
  • Does your website deliver information visitors are looking for?
  • Are your site’s important elements getting noticed?

No one site’s data is the same as another’s and analysis will be different in every situation. This affects the questions you ask, the obstacles you discover, and the solutions you need to work on. You can get your answers to these questions from metrics such as:

  • Time spent on change
  • Hard and soft bounce rates
  • Elements engaged with
  • Conversion rate between two pages

Assumptions can work here, especially if your site is small, so don’t be afraid to make them if something seems obvious. Just because there’s no data to back up an assertion does not mean it is untrue.

3. Drawing Up a Plan

After all your analysis, it’s time to pull together a plan. The depth and complexity of your plan is completely down to you; you don’t need to go too crazy… simply writing down your problems and what potential solutions you want to explore can be enough.

Generally speaking, there are two ways you can carry out conversion optimisation testing, either by:

  • i) Creating a new page and starting from scratch means you should, if you take your problems into account, end up with a page that is already optimised and can then be fine-tuned further for optimum results.
  • ii) Changing key elements (font, text size, colours, moving buttons…) by performing A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t. This is the better option if you only have a few smaller problems that aren’t ingrained into your page’s architecture.

Only you can decide what is right for you, but I recommend going for the first option if you have never ever optimised your website’s pages and there are a lot of problems that have been identified.

All the changes you make should have a purpose. Each change should be fixing a problem that you have seen to, or think that it may, have an impact on your conversion rates.

 4. Testing and Reviewing

This is by far the hardest part—putting your plan into action. Although you don’t need any major tech skills to make small elemental changes to your site’s pages, you will need some if you plan to build an entirely new page. Luckily, there are lots of tools and resources available online that can help you out.

Personally, I always recommend consulting a professional web designer as it is very easy to make critical mistakes. The last thing you want to do is waste time building a new page that is less optimised than your old page!

When your plan is in place then it is key that you record results over time. If you don’t do this, how can you know what’s working and what isn’t?

You need to know what’s improving your conversion rates so that you can scale up successful changes and apply them to your other pages that generate lower traffic. Whilst changes aren’t guaranteed to work cross-site, it typically does.

Remember, conversion rate optimisation is a long-term process. You are not going to see instant results, but don’t let this put you off… keep on making small improvements and over time these will snowball into incredible results.

It is such a simple process when you know what you are doing, too. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do it yourself!

When Should I Consult a Professional?

This decision is entirely up to you. After all, you may never need to. It depends on your needs and resources.

Conversion rate optimisation is pretty simple when you take time to do your research, get the right tools behind you, and put a comprehensive plan in place. Anybody can do it; basic conversion optimisation doesn’t require any special skills or experience.

That being said, consulting a professional such as myself will always result in better results. Why? Well, because it’s our full-time job! Professional consultants such as I have spent years working with clients across all industries to carry out conversion rate optimisation amongst other web design and SEO-related jobs.

When you are operating your own business, your time is valuable and often better-spent on doing what you do best: managing your company’s day-to-day.

There is no right or wrong time to utilise professional services such as mine. If you want to give it a go for yourself then go ahead… in fact, I encourage this! It’s always a great idea to take time and learn about the things that are key to your website’s success.