In the 1989, Greg LeMond overcame a 50 second deficit in the final stage to win the Tour de France by 8 seconds. He clocked the second fastest time trial ever recorded in the Tour de France. So how did LeMond secure a stunning victor after 3 weeks and 2025 miles?
Optimization. The optimization of his equipment, including aerodynamic handle bars and helmet, allowed LeMond to shave crucial seconds from his time and ride to victory in front of his less well optimized competitors.
Optimization results had a big impact on this race and they can have a big impact on business as well. I recently attended a session by Mikel Chertudi, Senior Director of Marketing of Adobe on Conversion Optimization: From Strategy to Execution. He offered strategies for businesses to optimize their digital marketing, in order to move ahead of the pack and secure a victory.
Conversion Optimization: 3 Key Takeaways
1. Alignment & Strategy
The path to successful conversion optimization begins with linking optimization goals to your overall business strategy. This may seem like an easy one, but the fact is, not everyone is doing this.
In order to do so, think in terms of how conversions impact your overall business results. That is how you tie number the impact of more conversions to your sales and marketing budget, relevance and revenue. Create an optimization strategy statement which clearly states your goals and secure buy-in from key players within your organization to move forward. This ensures that conversion optimization is a focused effort for your organization and you have both the funding and buy-in necessary to support conversion testing and implementation.
2. Process & organization: Once you have aligned your strategy, the next step is understanding the processes, organizational design, and elements to create a true culture of optimization.
Creating an optimized organization and process is vital at this stage. Focus on process design, change impact, organizational design and end user training. Also consider the roles and responsibilities of the people who will be involved.
In addition to process, you must create a culture of optimization. Not only do you have to have buy-in from your executive team, your organization must be willing to invest in people, training and technology in order to facilitate testing. In order to ensure ongoing impact, create processes to perpetuate culture, like weekly optimization update emails.
3. Tactical Execution: Now that you have laid the ground work for conversion optimization it is time to get started.
Our recommendation is test, test, test! Testing is the only way to truly know what is working and what is not when it comes to your digital strategy. If you are wondering where to get started, here are top five areas which offer the most impact.
Top 5 Conversion Opportunities for Maximum Impact
1. User Experience Design and Site/Page Layout: Design and site layout out are huge opportunities to impact the overall user experience. Page layout can impact what content is read, clicked on, and how much time the visitor spends on the page. Try testing these aspects:
- Auto-sizing/movement of content: The size of the browser window and design can impact how content moves around on the page. Try testing moving around certain page aspects to determine if conversion rate goes up.
- Pop Ups vs. Static content: Test offering value added content, like a download, on the page instead of through a pop up.
2. Lead Form and e-Commerce Process Testing
- Lead form: Once a user has clicked on the lead form, the form itself can have a huge impact on whether or not they fill it out and submit or simply exiting the site. Test the pre-population of certain fields based on IP address in order to determine conversion changes.
3. Headlines and Bullets In Body Copy
- Question versus Statement: While a question may seem more engaging, test leveraging a statement instead.
- Bullet Points: Summarize copy using easier to read bullet points to determine impact on conversion.
- One Offer versus Two Offers: Create a test leveraging multiple versus a single offer to determine which is most successful. Although a single offer is more targeted, multiple offers may win out.
4. Relevant Images
- Beautiful versus Easy to Read Images: The look and feel of your images can be highly influential on conversion rates. Test the preference of your audience for images which are beautiful, compared to easy to read when it comes to conversions.
- Call to Action with Marquee: Try adding a call to action within your Marquee image rather than next to it. This small change may have a big impact.
5. Calls to Action
- Button versus Link: Testing switching a link to button. Buttons tend to be more attention grabbing and easier to read.
- White paper versus guide: Finesse the wording of your call to action to determine what works best for your target audience. For example, update ‘download white paper’ to ‘download guide’ to test the psychological impact of wording.
You can use these tests to get you started but one of the most important ideas here is that you can and should test everything. Every audience is different, so try testing some best practices you assume are true. You may be surprised on the impact conversion optimization can have on your business results.
What type of conversion testing are you doing in your business?