Points of Failure

So many sites let themselves down over simple matters where they force the user to jump through hoops.

I’ve just booked a train journey, something that is difficult in and of itself as rather than have one central booking system for National Rail each time you purchase you’re taken to the local train company and have to learn their checkout system, complete their unique registration process and finally, hopefully, checkout.
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Mobile Roadblocks

I just bought a book, Making Ideas Happen, from my local Waterstone’s bookshop. However it was £9.99 and a whole penny shy of their £10 limit to get a loyalty card stamped I missed out on getting a stamp closer to a ten pound token.

Slightly aggrieved, and perhaps with some buyers remorse as I sat down to read a chapter from the book in the local park with an ice cream I wondered how much it would have been be online. I fired up barcode scanner and was soon at Google Books where I saw that Waterstone’s own online bookshop was selling the book three pound cheaper at £6.99. As some shops do a collect in store service, I thought I’d visit the site and see how easy it would be to order online on my phone and then pick up in the local shop so next time I can support my local bookshop, but still benefit from a discounted price.
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Onclick Event as a Conversion With Google Website Optimizer

Often in testing scenarios the conversion is either gong to take place off site or the goal is a download and you therefore can’t install the tracking code.

To test that you can use the onclick event in the link(s) to record the click as the conversion. I’d tried Google’s suggestion previously and couldn’t get it to work for me.

With some experimentation I found the following code works using Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics with one page being both the test experiment page and the conversion / success / goal page.
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A Little Goes a Long Way – How Small Increases in Conversion Rate Add Up

One Percent Improvement Per Month Over Five Years

Sometimes a small month-on-month change in the conversion rate will seem disappointing given the gains that are often spoken about in conversion rate optimisation of 50 or more percent.

Not every site can be increased by large amounts straight away, but even a one or two percent change every month can add up to a significant difference to your company.
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16 Web Design Tips for Higher Sales

Improving Conversions With Informed Design Choices

The following sixteen pointers provide an overview to improving the conversion rate and general customer satisfaction with your businesses website and landing pages.

  1. Focus on what’s in it for THEM using clear benefits and your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
    1. USP must be unique and specific
    2. Example of weak USPs: using lowest or best price (no longer credible)
    3. Example of great USPs:
      1. Fed Ex: “Get it there overnight” (was unique when they first used it)
      2. Domino’s “30-minutes-or-free guarantee”
      3. Strongest reasons why buying from you is best FOR THEM
  2. Headline packed with specific, measurable benefits (not features)
    1. The more specific the more believable
    2. Improved headlines can increase sales by 400-1000% or more
  3. Up to two sub-headlines with the second and third strongest benefits
  4. One-click navigation
    1. No more than three clicks to order – two is better
    2. Navigation in the same place on every page – left side or top only
    3. Buttons must be clear on what they do
  5. Use all your strongest benefits above the fold
  6. Have a clear “Call to Action” clearly telling visitors what you want them to do
  7. Establish Credibility
    1. Use Testimonials that include:
      1. Specific, measurable results
      2. Use first and last name
      3. Web site address
      4. At least the state and ideally city and state
      5. Photo of person
      6. Use 1 minute video clips for the ultimate testimonial
    2. Explain why you’re qualified to help them or solve their problems
    3. Show that you’re “just like them”
    4. Make it interesting – tell a story
  8. Place Your List Opt-in offer above the fold on every page.
    1. Writing Your Offer
      1. Make it compelling
      2. Emphasize the benefits of joining
      3. Use a clear Call to Action
      4. Link to your privacy policy
      5. Request first name, last name, and email address (other sources recommend first name and email address only)
    2. Following Up
      1. Use your list to build relationships over time.
      2. Send a free monthly newsletter
        1. Information with a strong benefit
        2. Entertaining or informative
        3. Highlight the contents in bullet points at the top
        4. Generate back-end sales with member only discounts and special offers
        5. Include link to privacy policy
        6. Include unsubscribe information
  9. The Sales Copy on Your Site IS Your Sales Person
    1. Long copy is best if:
      1. You sell only one product
      2. You sell a service
      3. You have one type of product with limited variations
      4. Use separate sales letters/pages for multiple products
    2. Short copy is best for sites with many products
  10. Transfer Ownership by writing your site as though they already have the products/services offered
  11. Remove the risk
    1. Compelling, powerful “no risk, 100% money back” guarantee
    2. Do not limit the guarantee to 30 days – 60, 90 or one year is best
  12. Create added value for buyers with free bonus items such as e-books
  13. Create Urgency and encourage immediate sales with:
    1. Limited time discounts and offers
    2. By rotating free bonus items regularly
  14. Make it easy for customers to contact you in multiple ways
  15. Use effective formatting techniques
    1. Scannable
    2. White space
    3. Limited number of fonts and colors
  16. Consider using Hover Ad technology for:
    1. Opt-in mailing list
    2. Contests
    3. Surveys
    4. Last minute offers
    5. New product announcements
    6. Coupons
    7. Time limited offers

Written by PPC Think and reposted with permission.