John Redhead

Some companies throw money at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as if it was the holy grail to get to the top of Google and therefore increase their site traffic. Whilst getting to the top of Google is a good contributing factor to an increase in traffic, that does not necessitate that your website will convert any more of that traffic into paying punters, and those that you do convert will only convert at your existing conversion rate. Ideally you need to throw Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) into the mix.

The best way to do this is to make small changes to your website and to test it using Adwords against your existing page and see which one is better at getting visitors to part with their money. That is what Conversion Rate Optimisation is all about, seeing what’s not working on your website, making the changes, testing the new page against the old, and seeing the percentages change.

Essentially if you put money into AdWords without measuring changes to your website, you could be missing out on the potential increase in your conversion rate. I did tell you needed to test your changes didn’t I?

The easiest way to start with Conversion Rate Optimisation is a straight A/B split test. Testing your old page against the new one. Try to make one change at a time, you won’t know which change is making the impact otherwise. If you make too many changes in one go, you might have a fantastic positive impact on one aspect and a slight negative impact on another. By making the one change you will be able to know what made that change and by how much.

As an example we made some drastic changes and trust factor changes (I know I told you to make small changes and ideally that is the best approach, but we weren’t given that option on this occasion!) to a catalogue page of one of our clients. The control page (ie the old page) had 432 visits and converted at 2.55%, bringing revenue of around £500. The variant (new page) had 408 visits and converted  at 4.5%, a 2.35% increase and brought in around £830. If all had been on the variant  £1700 would have been generated an increase in revenue of  £736.

We only had 2 days testing for this exercise and ideally we would have liked to have run it for a minimum of 7 days or 5000 visitors for each variant, but it goes to show how drastically your conversion rate can change, and not always positively, when you make changes to your website.

Another approach to Conversion Rate Optimisation is Multivariate testing, it is harder to set-up, but can reap better rewards quicker, by testing multiple variants at the same time, and we will not go into detail with this method at this time.

We’ve only just touched on the benefits that Conversion Rate Optimisation can bring to your online business. Getting higher in the search listings is all well and good, but combine that with optimising your conversion rates and your business could become much more profitable.