All you know about conversion optimization is not true

  • Tutorial
Friends, we want to share with you an adapted translation of the revolutionary article by Larry Kim on the WordStream company blog . The article will turn your idea of ​​conversion, testing of landing pages and what needs to be done to increase efficiency.
The article provides tips on improving site conversion with examples from the Witget project , a site conversion enhancement service.

Conversion is a key indicator of the effectiveness of contextual advertising: if you do not turn traffic from contextual advertising into buyers, then why advertise at all? Conversion optimization allows you to convince more of your potential buyers to complete a targeted action.

But what is the highest conversion rate?

If you have already achieved a conversion of 3%, 5%, or even 10%, is this the level that suits you?

We analyzed the sites of thousands of AdWords customers with a total annual cost of $ 3 billion and found that for some advertisers site conversion exceeds the average by two or three times. Do you want to be on an average level or are interested in having your site show better results, increasing exponentially compared to others in the same industry?

The analysis of a large amount of information about landing and conversion allowed us to identify some common characteristics of landing pages with high conversion. What do they have, what do not you have? Believe it or not, there’s no border between you and the conversion two or three times higher than what you see today. However, the method by which such results can be achieved is completely opposite to the generally accepted idea of ​​conversion optimization.

This article describes the step-by-step process of increasing conversion, confirmed by the data of statistical conclusions from the best (and worst) current advertisers in the market.

Today we will cover the following topics:

- Why are generally accepted ideas about conversion optimization unjustified?
- What is a high conversion?
- How to achieve a high result?

Ready to find out why everything you know about conversion optimization is wrong? So, we begin ...

Why are the generally accepted ideas about conversion optimization unjustified?

To find out that the experts you respected turned out to be wrong is similar to the fact that if the child first found out that Santa Claus was not real. Under a smart suit, an ordinary unshaven guy is actually hiding. Everything that you learned about conversion optimization is just that: sparkling and attractive on the outside, but with serious flaws inside.
How can everyone perceive conversion optimization so wrong? This is obvious: if you sing the same song that everyone else sings, you really can never achieve results above average. When all gurus preach the same optimization principles that all your competitors listen to, how can you be different from them?

The classic methods of conversion optimization do not really work

Ladies and gentlemen, we offer you a fairy tale about the Great Conversion Optimization. Once a homegrown marketing guru told how important website optimization is. He cited as an example such developer actions as changing the color of the keys or the font size or placing the picture, and as a result ... Attention! The advertiser’s conversion "rapidly" increased by 2-7%.

Amazing, isn't it ?! No, really nothing surprising. These are generally accepted basic, recommended A / B testing methods. Such optimization should be done regularly, and perhaps as a result there will be a slight increase in conversion - but this is unlikely to lead to an increase in conversion of 10% or more.

Let me show you what happened to the achievements that were made possible thanks to these small changes on your page.

We offer an example of split testing for landing; the bottom gray line is the first version of the page we are working with. The blue line is the second option that we are optimizing. First, the new page is far superior to the old in terms of performance. Great, isn't it?

Except that progress does not last long. Indeed, the “best” page ultimately stops showing growth. We began to conduct tests for a long time and at a time and saw this trend. We call this the dilemma of prematurely stopping testing. You see the potential customer expected in the near future, but he soon disappears.

This, of course, is not always true. However, we found that in most cases, small adjustments, such as changing the spacing between lines, font colors, and more are equal to small achievements. If you want to achieve a fast, serious and long-term increase in conversion, then you need to leave these crutches in the past, which only increase the conversion by a couple of days or weeks.

Why it happens? Often because you are looking at small amounts of data that are not representative. If you consider 50, 100, or even 200 conversions as a result of all testing, small changes may seem more effective than they really are. A pair of conversions can mean a 4% increase in conversions if the total number of conversions is 50. This is because your sample is not large enough to start with.

It's time to stop moving chairs from place to place

When optimizing the landing, it may turn out that you are actually busy performing minor actions with low efficiency, as if you were rearranging the chairs from place to place on the deck of the Titanic. We need to leave this approach in the past, replace it with effective tactics and optimization actions that will significantly change the results and revenues.

The first thing we need to know:

What is a good conversion?

Hint: it is much higher than you might think.

According to popular belief, a good conversion is somewhere between 2% and 5%. If you are at the 2% level, an increase to 4% looks like a significant jump up. You doubled the conversion! Well, well, congratulations. However, you again stopped at the level of average indicators.

In this study, we started with all the accounts that we could analyze, and returned to the period of the past 3 months. We excluded those accounts in which:
- conversion tracking was not properly installed,
- there were low conversion volumes (<10 conversions per month),
- a low visit rate for accounts (<100 clicks per month).

We left hundreds of accounts for our analysis. Then we displayed on the chart accounts that corresponded to a specific conversion rate.

So what is a good conversion? About 1/4 of all sites have a conversion of less than 1%. The average figure was 2, 35%, and 25% of the best sites have twice as much - 5, 31% - or even more. Look at the far red column on the right - the first 10% of AdWords advertisers have a site conversion of 11.45%.

Remember, these indicators do not belong to separate landing pages - these advertisers convert at the level of 11, 45% and higher on the entire site.
It is obvious that this is not an exceptional situation - it is quite feasible. If at the moment the conversion is 5%, then you are ahead of 75% of advertisers ... but still have great potential for growth!

You should increase the rate to 10%, 20% or even higher, increasing the conversion 3-5 times higher than average.

But in my industry, the conversion is lower ...

This situation is quite possible. We organize conversion data by industry. And here is what we found when analyzing four main industries:

There is a difference in conversion by industry. E-commerce loses noticeably in terms of average conversion, especially compared to finance. But do not compare by industry. Better look at the conversion rates of the top 10% in your industry and you will see great potential for growth.

Of course, there is a flip side to the coin: if you work in an industry with high rates, such as finance, then 5% is really not a fantastic conversion. Therefore, looking at the average in a hospital is a mistake. For finance, 2-3% is just a shame.

In general, the best 10% show indicators five times higher. That's where you need to grow!

Even if average conversion rates are lower in your industry, the best advertisers are 3-5 times ahead of you or more.

Top 10% of Landings: what makes them work?

What do the best 10% of landing pages look like - and how do they win in the competition? We examined 1,000 landings and performed a qualitative analysis to find patterns.

I bring to your attention the five best tips that will help to achieve the best landing results:

1. Change the offer.

Considering all the landing pages with high indicators, we see amazing creative and individualized offers.

Often companies offer free what competitors have for money. Lawyers, for example, offer a free initial consultation. Software companies will offer free trial versions. Such offers are ordinary and not creative.

How to make an offer unique?
Our client, in the Witget constructor, made a widget - a pop-up window with a contact collection form, where he proposed to receive an e-mail dictionary intended for potential clients. While new clients enter the site on average 300 people a day, from 7 to 10% of them leave a request for a dictionary per day. Further work with potential customers is carried out through e-mail marketing.

How to find out that an offer has become ineffective? If the conversion stops at 2% or lower, not everything is hopeless. To find out how bad the offer is, you need to ask the customers about it. For example, you can place a special dynamic widget, which is located at the bottom of the page and offers help.
Witget in expanded form:

Such a widget allowed the client, the company that is implementing CRM systems, to understand what the site visitors are actually missing before the target action is completed. It turned out that the primary information is collected by the office manager, who needs to provide management with concise information about what kind of system it is and how it is better than others. As a result, the company prepared a manual and competitive comparison in pdf format and made it possible to download it on any page of the site. Office managers saved time on compiling comparative tables and sent the manual to management. Since the manual represented the company in a favorable light, the number of meetings scheduled to demonstrate the system increased by 23%.

Brainstorm, ask your customers, and you will have more unique offers that you can try to implement. You will never know which one is better until you try new ones.

2. Change the sequence of actions

Sometimes you set limits to increase conversion without even realizing it.

In the above example, the first version of the landing page is presented, which demonstrates how much information people are forced to learn before downloading their version of the software for trial use. Obviously, this is too difficult for most customers. Such a waste of time is disappointing, it is unlikely that the user will be interested in such a landing.

Here is the result of the client’s work with a new version of the landing, which, as it turned out, is much more effective than the previous one. They changed the sequence of actions so that anyone could download and install the file. At the last stage, the user is asked to register the software. At this point, they spent 10 or 15 minutes on the software and are likely to spend time filling out the information form.

The changes were so effective that the page received a large number of conversions. Changing the sequence of actions helped to increase conversion, and in addition, allowed to control the quality of leads in a much more efficient way.

We offer another good example in which the site owner works immediately with three categories of potential customers: those who are in search, those who want to help relatives, those who need urgent intervention.

This is extremely effective not only for conversion, but also for segmentation during remarketing and attempts to process leads.
So what is the main point here? Do not be afraid to contact different groups of your customers with different offers.

3. Use remarketing as a tool to optimize your conversion.
On average, 96% of people who visit the website will not become potential buyers or will not sell. Remarketing helps you reach these people with targeted, relevant messages on various resources: in mail, in YouTube videos, in social networks, in search engines, on various thematic sites.

4. Work through 10 landings to find 1 effective.

If you want to achieve the same indicators as those of the top 10% of landings, you need to repeat the above steps several times and perform testing regularly.

On average, you should test four unique landing pages - making changes to the offers, the sequence of actions and the distribution of messages. If you want to find the best page that will help your conversion be 3-5 times higher than average, you need to test at least ten landing pages.

Here we analyzed an account in the e-commerce industry with 1000 unique landing pages. About a third of the traffic is spent on the best landing pages. If we dig deeper, we will see that about 80% of the traffic goes to only 10% of the landings.

You do not need to create thousands and thousands of landing pages. You need to find the best of those that you already have and focus your efforts on them. How can you prove their effectiveness? Discard unnecessary, stop wasting time on pages with low indicators - just get rid of them. If you have only one excellent landing page, it would be more correct to focus your efforts on it.

I offer one more proof that working at night, creating hundreds of landing options, is not the best use of your time.

The bottom line is that we compared thousands of sites with unique landing pages in terms of conversion rates. We do not see a strong correlation between an increasing number of landings and an increasing conversion.
If you focus on the best pages, quantity does not necessarily mean quality.

5. Scroll to the conversion rate.

This heading is designed to sober you up. You don’t need conversions for the sake of conversion. If you offer a million dollars in the offer and 100% of the people fill out your form, can this be rejoicing? The question is not how much they filled out the form, the question is how much they bought later! Soberly look at the indicators and think first of all about profit, and secondly about how to come to this profit.


So, what did you learn from the above? I hope you will be consistent in using the following guidelines to optimize your conversion:
1. A large number of ways to optimize your landing is like moving chairs from one place to another on the deck of the Titanic. Small changes = small results.
2. Extremely focused and strategic optimization of landing pages will lead to a 3-5-fold increase in conversion and improve the quality of leads.
3. In some industries, conversion at even 5% is not impressive. If your conversion is delayed at 2-5%, you have something to work on.
4. Offer creative offers and constantly test them to find the one that is most effective for your audience. But do not stop developing. Always offer something new.
5. Identify obstacles that prevent potential buyers from taking actions, and remove these obstacles from their path by changing the sequence of actions. Test various options to see exactly which conversion path works best for your audience.
6. Use remarketing to catch the attention of people who left the site without completing the targeted action.
7. Perform quality testing. You need to test 10 options for a unique landing to find the best one, but testing should go beyond the primitive font color change.
8. Remove excess on the site and exclude pages with the lowest rates. Focus your efforts on the 10% of the best landing pages that give 80% of the leads.
9. Always, always follow your goal, which is to achieve large sales or generate more leads, which are most likely converted into sales. Do not let high conversion take precedence over lead quality, otherwise you will lose leads that are more likely to be converted into a purchase. You need to find a middle ground when everything works as a well-oiled mechanism.

Editor - Anna Chashchina .

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