A Beginners Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation

Discussion in 'Social Media, SEO/SEM & Online Marketing' started by 0754ben84, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. 0754ben84


    Mar 13, 2010
    Hey all,

    I try to take part in conversations while I’m here but I don’t think I’ve ever really taken the time to create a post that will actually help anybody.

    So I’m opening class and today’s lesson is Conversion Rate Optimisation…

    What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

    Simply put, we are optimising our web pages to increase conversion rates. (duh!)

    A conversion might be a sale, a contact from submission, an email capture or any other type of action you want your visitor to take. So we structure our web pages and write the copy to encourage the specific actions you want your visitors to take.

    When a website owner wants to increase the amount of sales, leads or subscriptions they get they think;

    ‘Let’s do some SEO…’

    ‘Pay Per Click, that’s what we’re doing!’

    Yeah, let’s blast Facebook with ads…’

    So in short, the common thought process is that if you want to increase sales, leads or subscriptions you need to increase the amount of traffic you bring to your website.

    Logic says that if you double the amount of traffic acquire you will double sales, which in most cases is true.

    But those new traffic strategies have a cost (I mean, our SEO services start at £1,500 a month) so all you’re really doing is reducing your margin.

    But if you concentrate on increasing your conversion rates first you will more often than not make more money, much quicker.

    A quick case study: 400% increase in conversions and added £1,000's to our turnover by changing 3 words on a whole website

    We increased the overall website conversions on our pet care website by 400% by changing the words on ONE BUTTON.

    I read on a conversion blog that if you have a less generic call to action you will increase conversions because people are blind to the more common ‘See Our Services’ or ‘Read More’.

    So I tested it.

    This was our homepage:


    Notice the text on the button - 'I Want that For My Pets'

    We used that text because we thought people would want us to love their pets like they do as the headline states.

    In actual fact, we were losing the majority of our visitors because they it wasn't immediately obvious what to do next, so they just left the site.

    So we decided to actually TELL THEM WHAT TO DO:


    We figured that if someone landed on our home page they'd be interested in the services we offer. So we told them to go and look, we got them actually into the website where they could find out about us and book our services.

    This one small change increased overall site conversions by 400% and it was something you could do without spending a penny on traffic.

    This one change has added £1,000's to our annual turnover so far and this is growing every month. This is how powerful conversion rate optimisation is.

    So, How Do You Do It?

    It's important to note that conversion rate optimisation is a massive subject and can be much more complex than I'm making out here but if you follow these tips you should get some quick wins on your own website.

    So here goes.

    Step #1: Test ONE Page at a Time

    This is important, testing too many pages on your website all at once will lead to confusion if you've never done this before.

    So which page do you test?

    The one that gets the most traffic. If you don't know which page this is, install Google Analytics on your site and find out. If that is too complex;

    A) get a coder to do it for you
    B) start with your home page as this is quite often your highest trafficked page.

    Step #2: Give that Page ONE SPECIFIC GOAL

    This is where we need to start digging into the psychology of our visitors.

    The page they land on tells us a lot about what they're looking for.

    For example, if a person lands on our dog walking services page, we know that they've probably searched for 'dog walkers in lincoln' or something similar.

    So we know to optimise that page for a dog owner looking for dog walking services.

    Unfortunately, for us it wasn't so simple because our homepage is the page that ranks in Google for all the search terms related to our business.

    So logic said that we had to optimise our home page as that's the page that gets the most traffic. We needed to optimise for people that landed there looking for a specific service.

    So the goal of our home page is to get our visitors to our 'Services' section as quickly as possible.

    If you have a local business, this will probably be the same for you.

    The same goes for if a customer lands on a blog post about how to scarify their lawn. They want to know what's involved, what equipment they're likely to need etc.

    You could optimise that blog post to encourage sales of lawn scarifiers, grass seed etc.

    Every single page, blog post and piece of content on your website can be optimised for something - you just need to figure out what that one specific goal is.

    Step #3: Create a Page Structure and Write the Sales Copy to Encourage Your Visitors to Complete that Page's Specific Goal

    Once we know why a visitor has landed on a specific page (remember, the page itself is a massive clue!) we can then optimise that page to encourage them to complete that goal that you have set for that page.

    Now going back to our pet care website, the goal we set for that was to get our visitors to our 'Services' section as quickly as possible.

    So we changed the button in the header to 'View Our Services'.

    When someone clicks on that, they get taken to the services section where they can pick the service they want to know more about:


    Goal Complete!

    Our services pages have their own goals which is to encourage contact from submissions to book consultations.

    Step #3: Set Up Tracking

    There are loads of tracking softwares on the internet, most are really expensive but there are some good free ones.

    Heat Maps

    I use Sumo Me: https://sumome.com/. I have the paid version as I'm a developer but the free version is really good too.

    They do a Wordpress plugin and a snippet of code if you're running a hard coded website.

    Heat maps give you so much information about how your visitors use your website. The more an area gets clicked, the brighter it glows.


    Out of 818 clicks on this page the blue 'View Our Services' Button has has 145, or 18%.

    The next test could be to get rid of that hero image and replace it completely with the services section.

    Split Testing

    Split testing involves creating 2 or more versions of the same page to see which version converts best.

    Google have a free tool to do this called Google Content Experiments: https://developers.google.com/analytics/solutions/experiments

    I could write a book about Google Content Experiments which could make this post really long so here's a guide on how to get set up: http://online-behavior.com/testing/content-experiments

    Step #4: Collect the Data and Make Amendments Where Needed

    I've actually only just noticed this while writing but look at how many clicks our email address gets;


    This isn't hyperlinked to open an email window so people can contact us which means we're making it hard for our customers to contact us via the footer. I now know to hyperlink that text which could increase conversions again.

    If you're running split tests, start with making 2 completely different versions of the same page and see which converts best. Once you have a winner you can use the data from your heat maps to make further changes.

    Step #5: Keep Testing

    One of the reasons Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and Ebay are successful is because their continuous use of conversion rate optimisation. They have employ teams of people who have hundreds of test going at any one time, all with the aim of increasing the maximum amount of revenue out of every person that visits that page.

    Never settle with a quick win, keep testing and tweaking.

    Yes, you might make a change that decreases your conversions, so what, just change it back and carry out another test.

    Also, don't be in a rush to gather loads of data.

    If your site gets 10,000 visits a day that's awesome because you can gather a ton of data in a short period of time and make changes quickly.

    But if your site only gets a few hits a day (our pet site gets between 15 -30ish a day) then gather your data for 3 months first before running a test. Then let the test run for 3 months so you've got comparable data to work with.

    Anyway, this post is getting long now so I'll shut up.

    Hopefully you'll have a crack and get some quick wins!

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    Jed, Jack Marshall, Gary and 4 others like this.
  2. ladyvgw


    Aug 14, 2010
    Wow amazing post Ben. Some really useful info here.

    Off to do a bit of tinkering!
    0754ben84 likes this.
  3. Cody


    Feb 17, 2016
    This is fantastic @0754ben84

    I'm going to post this onto our social media pages as it's incredibly helpful. :)
    0754ben84 likes this.
  4. 0754ben84


    Mar 13, 2010
    I'm glad you liked it Cody.

    I hoe it actually helps somebody though!
  5. 0754ben84


    Mar 13, 2010
    Any questions, give me a shout! :)
    ladyvgw likes this.
  6. consultant


    Jan 17, 2008
    Well done - common sense, once the obvious is pointed out - already jiggling my call to actions!
    0754ben84 likes this.
  7. Samuli Makela

    Samuli Makela Banned Member

    May 11, 2016
    Alright post, but due to terrible layout it was a bit challenging to read. Other thing, "Set up tracking" is not part of Conversion Optimization :D How you could optimize anything without proper tracking and data?
  8. 0754ben84


    Mar 13, 2010
    Wow, thanks for your glowing feedback!

    Firstly I'd love to see some of your expertise so you can help me make my layout less terrible. Other people seemed to read it ok so are you sure it's not just your terrible eyesight?

    Secondly, setting up tracking IS part of conversion optimisation. After all like you say, "How you could optimize anything without proper tracking and data?"

    An expert like yourself would know you cant.

    Oh wait, you're not an expert are you?

    You're a spammer with a bad attitude that uses his first post to try to insult someone and drop his own links, probably as part of some really, really bad SEO play.

    Dean likes this.
  9. Dean


    May 22, 2008
    You're right, their IP address was related to a spam source. Spammer banned ;)
    0754ben84 likes this.
  10. namphan1998


    Jan 3, 2018
    Wow this is incredible. Thank you so much.
  11. xoxoseo


    Apr 15, 2018
    you can never have too much knowledge. Thanks!
  12. Jack Marshall

    Jack Marshall

    May 20, 2017
    Some very useful information is mentioned here. I am looking for some more help relating to one website with Conversion optimization. Vital-tel.co.uk is facing issues with CRO. Can some one help with anything except website development which cannot be done presently.
  13. PEOCbackOffice


    May 17, 2018
    "Never settle with a quick win, keep testing and tweaking." I feel like that should be said for often. Anyway, I was researching about conversion rate optimisation when I came across your post and I'm very glad I did. Now off to do some more testing and tweaking. Cheers, Ben!
  14. ElianaBryson


    Jan 21, 2019
    My best tip to you would be to check your website heat map and then place your CTA's accordingly.
    Dan G likes this.
  15. AlbertDavid


    Jun 12, 2019
    Really the post is so informative. Will be helpful for beginners!
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