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You Should Test That: Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit or The Art and Science of Optimized Marketing



You Should Test That: Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit or The Art and Science of Optimized Marketing

Chris Goward

ISBN: 978-1-118-46383-3 December 2012 368 Pages


Learn how to convert website visitors into customers

Part science and part art, conversion optimization is designed to turn visitors into customers. Carefully developed testing procedures are necessary to help you fine-tune images, headlines, navigation, colors, buttons, and every other element, creating a website that encourages visitors to take the action you seek. This book guides you through creating an optimization strategy that supports your business goals, using appropriate analytics tools, generating quality testing ideas, running online experiments, and making the adjustments that work.

  • Conversion optimization is part science and part art; this guide provides step-by-step guidance to help you optimize your website for maximum conversion rates
  • Explains how to analyze data, prioritize experiment opportunities, and choose the right testing methods
  • Helps you learn what to adjust, how to do it, and how to analyze the results
  • Features hands-on exercises, case studies, and a full-color insert reinforcing key tactics
  • Author has used these techniques to assist Fortune 500 clients

You Should Test That explains both the "why" and the "how" of conversion optimization, helping you maximize the value of your website.

Foreword xxiii

Introduction xxv

Chapter 1 Why You Should Test That 1

Your Website Is Crucial to Your Business 2

Your Website Is Underperforming 4

All Websites Can Be Improved 4

The Halo Effect of Underperformance 5

Web Design for Results (Rather than Aesthetics) 9

Why “Best Practices” Aren’t Best 10

Is There a HiPPO in the Room? 11

The Risks and Costs of Website Redesign 12

Your New Website Design Could Hurt Your Results 13

Your Improvements May Be Overshadowed by Mistakes 13

Use Evolutionary Site Redesign 15

Conversion-Rate Optimization Increases Revenue without Increasing Advertising Spend 15

Comparing Conversion-Rate Optimization with Paid-Search Optimization 15

Conversion-Rate Optimization and Your Business 17

Conversion-Rate Optimization Results by Industry 17

Calculate the Benefit of Conversion-Rate Optimization 18

CRO Works alongside SEO 20

SEO and CRO Can Play Well Together 20

How to Do CRO without Hurting Your SEO 21

You Should Test That! 22

Chapter 2 What is Conversion Optimization? 23

Conversion Optimization Requires Controlled Testing 23

The Scientific Method of Controlled Testing 24

Selecting a Sample (Not a Free One, a Statistical One) 25

Using a Tool Designed for Controlled Testing 26

“Best Practices” Are Not Conversion Optimization 27

The Before & After Method Is Not Conversion Optimization 29

External Factors Mess with Your Data 30

Usability Testing Is Not Conversion Optimization 33

Surveys Are Not Conversion Optimization 37

Click Heatmap Tracking Is Not Conversion Optimization 38

What Is Conversion Optimization? 39

Who Are Your Target Audiences? 39

Target Markets and Personas 40

Setting Goals 41

Define Your Goals 42

The Goals Waterfall 42

Prioritize Your Goals 42

Should You Optimize for Micro-Conversions? 46

Web Analytics Goals vs. Conversion-Optimization Goals 48

The Continuous Improvement Cycle 54

Continuous Improvement Is Key to Success 55

Progress from Macro to Micro 58

Chapter 3 Prioritize Testing Opportunities 61

Use Data to Prioritize Tests 62

Your Web Analytics Data 62

Your Home Page Isn’t Your Front Door 62

View Data at the Page-Template Level 63

The PIE Prioritization Framework 66

Prioritize Pages with High Potential for Improvement 67

Top Exit Pages 67

Analyze Your Conversion Funnel 70

Gather Qualitative Data 72

Prioritize Important Pages 82

Pages with High Traffic Volume Are More Important 83

Pages with Expensive Visits Are More Important 85

Prioritize Easy Test Pages 89

Consider Technical Implementation 89

Consider Organizational Barriers 94

Prioritize with a Weighting Table 94

Reprioritize Regularly 95

Chapter 4 Create Hypotheses with the LIFT Model 97

Methodology Is More Valuable than Tips 98

The Gorilla in Our Brains 100

The LIFT Model 102

The Value Proposition 103

Relevance 104

Clarity 104

Anxiety 105

Distraction 106

Urgency 107

Problems Are Opportunities! 107

Fill the Marble Jar 107

Create Valid Hypotheses 109

The Hypothesis Structure 110

Good to Great Hypotheses 111

Tips to Get Your Testing Started 112

Chapter 5 Optimize Your Value Proposition 113

The Value-Proposition Equation 114

Your Visitor’s Perception Filters 115

Tangible Features 118

Product or Service Features 118

Incentives and Offers 119

Intangible Benefits 123

Credibility 123

Social Proof 128

Personal Benefits vs. Business Benefits 136

Costs 137

The Price 137

Delivery Cost 141

The Incredible Power of Free 141

Associated Costs 143

What Is Your Value Proposition? 144

Test Your Value Proposition 145

Chapter 6 Optimize for Relevance 147

Marketing Funnel Relevance 148

Source Relevance 150

Relevance to Ad Messages 151

Relevance to Search Keywords 152

Relevance to Emails 158

Three Ways to Create Landing-Page Source Relevance 159

Target Audience Relevance 160

Customer Segmentation 160

Call-to-Action Relevance 162

Tone Relevance 163

Navigation Relevance 167

Competitive Relevance 174

Chapter 7 Optimize for Clarity 177

Information Hierarchy Clarity 178

Website-Level Information Hierarchy 178

Page-Level Information Hierarchy 181

Design Clarity 182

Eyeflow Clarity 182

Image Clarity 186

Color Clarity 191

Call-to-Action Clarity 193

Copywriting Clarity 195

Chapter 8 Optimize for Anxiety 207

Privacy Anxiety 208

Usability Anxiety 215

Form Usability 215

Website Errors 217

Site Speed 218

Effort Anxiety 219

Fulfillment Anxiety 223

Security 224

Fine Print 224

Brand Reputation 225

Delivery Promise 225

Guarantees, Returns, and Unsubscription 226

Turn Anxiety in Your Favor 228

Chapter 9 Optimize for Distraction 231

Two Distraction Points 232

First-Impression Distraction 233

Look through Your Prospects’ Eyes 233

Too Much Content 235

Daunting Text 237

Complex Graphics 238

Large Headers 238

Redundancy 240

Message Distraction 244

Too Many Messages 245

Irrelevant Content 245

Too Many Options 247

Navigation Bars 248

Image Distraction 248

Chapter 10 Optimize for Urgency 255

Internal Urgency 256

Seasonality’s Effect on Urgency 256

Create Internal Urgency 262

External Urgency 266

The Offer’s Effect on Urgency 267

Create Offer Urgency 268

Respond with Urgency 271

Chapter 11 Test Your Hypotheses 273

Set Test Goals 274

Types of Goals 274

Use Clickthroughs with Caution 276

Goal Triggers 277

The One-Goal Goal 279

Multi-Goal Tracking 280

Choose the Test Area 281

Templated Pages 282

Individual Static Test Pages 283

Individual Pages with Dynamic Content 283

Site-Wide Section Tests 283

Choose the Test Type 288

Consider Traffic Volume 288

Multivariate Testing 288

A/B/n Testing 290

My Recommendation: Emphasize A/B/n Testing 291

Alternative Path Tests 293

Isolate for Insights 293

How to Get Good Great Results 295

Test Boldly 295

Test Fewer Variations 296

Avoid Committee Testing 296

Win with Confidence 296

Maintain Your Control 297

Use Testing Expertise 297

Chapter 12 Analyze Your Test Results 299

Reading the Tea Leaves 300

Monitoring Your Tests 301

Wait for Statistical Significance 301

Remove Under-Performers 302

Don’t Give Up Too Early 302

Evaluating Results 303

How Accurate Are Your Results? 303

Multiple Goals 306

Revenue Results 306

Compare Isolations 310

What to Test Next? 311

Re-Prioritize Your Priorities 311

Beat the Dreaded Inconclusive Test 311

Chapter 13 Strategic Marketing Optimization 313

Aim for Marketing Insights 314

The Optimization Manifesto 314

Be a Marketing Optimization Champion 315

Index 319