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What is Website Optimization?

Website optimization is the process of analyzing, testing, and implementing changes to a website in order to turn more visitors into buyers. Some people refer to website optimization as conversion testing, conversion optimization, landing page optimization, conversion rate testing and other similar phrases.

Website conversion funnel

What they all have in common is the goal of getting more of your visitors to take the action you want them to take on your site. We call this action a conversion. For an E-Commerce site, a conversion is usually a purchase. But a conversion can also be things like:

  • signing up for a newsletter
  • signing up for a free trial offer
  • completing a lead form
  • downloading an e-book
  • even ‘Liking’ a Facebook Fan Page

 Many times, the phrases website optimization is confused with SEO optimization for a website. These are two very different things. SEO website optimization is all about implementing meta tags, H1 header tags, writing keyword rich content, and apply canonical tags to individual pages.  Website optimization as it relates to conversion testing focuses on the implicit subconscious conversation that a visitor has with your webpage when he is visiting your site.

The experts at Marketing Experiments use the word conversation because people don’t buy from websites. “People buy from people”. In order to engage a visitor and lead him down a path to take action, you must engage in a conversation with them. By providing them value, incentive and a clear call to action, this conversation leads the visitor to overcome his anxiety about trusting you, and the friction of having to fill out a form or give his credit card. There is trust that is established in this conversation and that is the key to highly converting web page.

We optimize thought sequences and conversations, not web pages!

These thought sequences are represented in the following heuristic developed by Marketing Experiments.

Website conversion formula

Below are the specific elements that affect the conversion rate on any given page. You’ll notice that these items are NOT simply website related changes like changing the color of a button, location of an image, or reduction of the number of input fields on a form. The most critical aspects of a landing page deal with the psychology of the visitor like we discussed above. The conversion factors are:

  • Motivation of the visitor
  • The clarity of your value proposition
  • Incentive offered to the visitor to complete the task
  • Friction that the visitor faces when trying to complete the action
  • Anxiety the user feels about the trustworthiness of your site, company, products, policies, and so on.

The goal is to maximize the Conversions by clearly expressing your value proposition and providing enough incentive to offset the friction of filling out the form and the to offset the anxiety and concern the user has about buying from you.

Once you create your optimized landing page, the easiest way to test it is to setup an A/B Test. It basically compares two pages head to head and determines the winner of the two versions. The great thing about optimization testing is that you are not limited to only testing web pages. Some of the low hanging fruit is in your email communications with your customers and prospective customers. Simply by running an A/B Test on the subject line of an email can show how a better subject can dramatically increase the open rate of one email vs. another.

You can learn more about website optimization on our site and feel free to contact us to talk with a conversion testing expert.

 

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