Increasing Sales Webinar Series: Design & Conversion Optimization
This free webinar was presented by Attracta on August 26th, 2014.
The second in our “Increasing Sales” series, this webinar will go over the basics of how your website design can impact your sales. We’ll review best practices when it comes to laying out your web pages, as well as how your layout can be tuned to help guide customers to buy your product. We’ll also look at ways to test your site as well as track visitors and conversions.
Joe Knipp Attracta Managed Services Team
Phil Murphy Attracta Managed Services Team
Important Links & Resources from this Webinar
ThemeForest offers themes for WordPress and other systems at low prices, and their large designer community means that you’ll find a unique design for any niche
WooThemes offers powerful and commercially supported themes for WordPress, plus they are the creators of the popular WooCommerce plugin – perfect for use with their themes
The Genesis Framework allows you to build an advanced WordPress site with a custom design – without having to learn how to program.
Track visitors and their behavior on your site, as well as identify popular or problematic pages with high bounce rates
CrazyEgg lets you generate a heatmap of your site, showing where your visitors look and click – to help you determine what parts of your site need optimization
Visual Website Optimizer
Visual Website Optimizer lets you create A/B tests on your site to determine what changes you should implement to increase sales & conversions
FluidSurveys allows you to create a survey as a website pop-up or for emailing to your customers – perfect to get feedback on your site
PageSpeed Insights gives you recommendations on how to decrease the load time of your site – which increases rankings and conversions
Pingdom Tools’ Full Page Test loads your website from a random location in the world, showing you the exact load time and how large each page element is – great for optimizing performance
Joe: All right. Thanks for joining us on today’s webinar on Increasing Sales: Site Design and Performance. We’re going to give you some tips on setting your website up for success. My name is Joe Knipp. I’ve been doing web development for the past 15 years with the focus on the marketing side of things for the last 6. With me today is Phil Murphy.
Phil: I’m Phil. I’ve been doing SEO for four years.
Joe: Today we’re just going to go over a few things for you. Today’s topic is going to include design do’s and don’ts. Just give you a basic overview of best practices, things to avoid, stuff like that. We’re going to show you some design resources, places where you can find good design for your website.
We’ll go over some tracking and A/B testing, basically viewing stats, who’s viewing your site and how you can better optimize your site. Then performance optimization. Increasing your site’s speed so it loads well. Things like that. We’ll also be posting this webinar online when we are done so we’ll include any links to any resources that we discuss, anything like that, any services that we may offer that can help you without these things. We’ll be posting links to all of that as well as this entire webinar and a text copy of it.
Let’s get into it. Design Do’s. Good things for your website. Page titles and meta description. When you’re setting up all your page titles you need to have good solid page titles and meta descriptions. Real quick let me just show you this page titles. They’re displayed at the top of your browser. If we’re looking at our page here up here is the actual page title. This Attracta SEO Tools and Managed SEO services. That’s the page title.
It’s not actually displayed within this page content but it is displayed in Google Search queries. See here we have a search for managed SEO services. Here’s our page here and that’s the page title that I’m talking about and this is the meta description that I’ve highlighted right here.
You want to make sure all your page title should be unique. You don’t want your pages competing with each other in search results. They should have a good keyword focus. If you notice, the words that you search for in a Google query are returned to you in bold in the page titles that are displayed so that’s why it’s so important to optimize your page titles.
The meta descriptions that should just be a good concise description of what that page is about. Maybe include a call to action to increase interaction with your result once it has returned search.
Relevant and unique content. This is also very, very important for your website. Essentially, you want to be the authority on whatever your website subject is. If you’re a bike shop, list all the types of bikes that you sell. If you repair bikes make sure you go into detail about what you do for bike repair, different services that you may offer. Just really cover the details of what you do, what you have to offer, what products do you sell or what services you offer.
The navigation of your website, you want to make sure that it’s very easy for people to find what they are actually looking for in your site. Your menu should be very concise, very obvious to lead your customers where you want them to go or where they want to go to find the information that they’re looking for.
If you’re selling anything on your website you want to make sure you’re including a security badge on any check out pages. This increases users trust. Google has recently made SSL security a ranking signal in their search results. This is going to increasingly become a standard on the web. Users are getting more savvy too whether or not a page is secure. You just want to show them that your page is in fact secure so they feel that they can trust your website with their sensitive information.
Within your web design again, you want to lead the visitor to a conversion. With conversion what I mean there is if you’re selling something on your website a sale is a conversion. If you’ve got a form you’re hoping for people to fill out to collect their contact information, filling out that form is what’s considered a conversion for your website.
Use different things within your design. Good contrasting colors to lead the visitor’s eye and guide them to where you want them to go on your website.
Phil: Here are some things in terms of design that you don’t want to do when figuring out how to maximize sales and conversions on your website.
You want to make sure that you don’t build in barriers to sales which could be too many form fields or too many steps. Each time you add a form field, it can cut the chances of the person filling out that form by half. More form field means more cognitive load or the amount of thinking people need to do to put in or to finish the form on your side. The more work, the more thinking, the less sales you’re going to get so you want to keep it simple.
Don’t use Flash because it can’t be indexed by search engines and it won’t work on mobile browsers so it really is going to add no value to your site.
Some other things are don’t hide important content after the fold. What I mean by after the fold is if it’s a form that you really want them to fill or a button you really want them to click, put it at the top of the page before scrolling so that you can capture that lead immediately and you don’t have to alienate users right away.
Don’t use hidden text. It’s an old SEO technique and Google could penalize you. You want to avoid anything that Google can penalize you for. Avoid read more to display content. You don’t want to give your visitors time to talk themselves out of the sale. You want to hit them with the information. You want to hit them right away when possible.
Don’t build your HTML by hand. We recommend using a CMS like WordPress or possibly Joomla or something like that although WordPress is the most easy to use and the most ubiquitous across the internet.
Joe: Just to expand on that a little bit. We’re big fans of WordPress here. There’s a huge community that supports WordPress. It’s an open source system. People build plug-ins, all sorts of themes of WordPresses. There’s a lot of value in WordPress, a lot of community support to it, a lot of good things there for your website.
That gets us into design resources for beginners. Again, if you’re using WordPress there’s all sorts of resources for you to get themes. If you’re a beginner, ThemeForest is an excellent resource for affordable themes that have very, very updated modern designed good looking websites. There’s pre-built designs for pretty much any kind of market or niche that you’re in.
If you’re a real estate agent there’s tons of real estate agent themes on there. Pretty much anything. If you’re an e-commerce site there’s plenty of e-commerce themes on there where you can integrate your products right into your website very easily.
This all manages your content in a very, very manageable way in a different site links and stuff like that. If you change a page you don’t have to go to every page that you use to link that page to update the link. It just handles it much, much easier.
Something that we do suggest if you’re setting up a WordPress installation, before you set up your main website set up a WordPress installation on a different URL. If your website is yoursitedomain.com set it up on yoursitedomain.com/test and then import all the data from the theme as well as the example content.
Most WordPress themes will come with lots of example content and pages so you can actually look at it as you’ve seen the theme and see in the back end there how the pages are actually built and configured. You may even just be able to then replace the existing information with your information so that can make it very, very easy for you.
Some intermediate design resources. Woo Themes is a pretty good one. A lot of really high quality themes. The themes look great. They integrate well with popular WooCommerce shopping plug-in. It’s very easy to install. You’ll get all the Photoshopped files so you can customize everything on your site. The support for Woo Themes is excellent.
If you need specific design adjustments you can contact the support and they’ll work with you to adjust the site exactly how you need it. Very easy set up and installation. It’s about $400 per year of unlimited access and support. This gets you access to all the themes they have available. Just lots of good stuff at Woo Themes.
Phil: Another advanced way for WordPress design is Genesis which is what’s called a framework which is a support system to build themes on top of. It covers the base of SEO and some other way that the sign interacts with itself and then you build themes on top of that.
Building child themes is relatively advance but with a little bit of designing and coding knowledge it’s not that hard. They are highly flexible although they require that design experience. The price starts at $60 just for the framework. For $400 you can get access to their library. Forty or more themes already made that you still need a little bit of design to do but it really maps out how everything interact with each other.
Joe: Let’s get into conversion optimization a little bit. We’re going to go over Google Analytics, Heatmaps, A/B testing and some surveys that you can do for your users to just really understand how your users are using your website, where things are maybe going right, maybe going wrong for your website.
First, Google Analytics. This is a free tool. This should be installed on every website. Without Google Analytics Google doesn’t have any way to tell what users are doing on your site. When you add Google Analytics it’s possible for Google to determine how long people spend visiting pages of your site which can signal that the content is engaging and should rank higher.
You can also see where exactly are these users coming from. If you’re business exists in Cincinnati, Ohio and you’re only trying to target people in Cincinnati, you can see where exactly are these people coming from. In what areas around your location are people actually coming to your website. Then you know. Are you targeting the right visitors for your website.
It allows you to track goals. You can set up certain goals even as simple as one of my goals is I want someone to visit three pages on my website. Every time somebody visits three pages on your website you’ve accomplished that goal.
You can also track conversions. If you have a thank you page after somebody has bought, every time that somebody essentially lands on that page you know that they’ve purchased something. This is one way that you can help track conversions.
You can also identify any pages that have a high bounce rate. When I say bounce rate that means if somebody comes to that page and they don’t interact with the page at all. They just close the browser and go find a different page. That helps you identify pages.
If somebody is going through your site looking for information and then they get somewhere and you see that a higher rate of people are just getting stuck on that page and they just close the browser and they don’t interact with your website anymore. You can know that okay maybe I should redesign this page or reconfigure this page in a way that better interacts with the users.
Phil: Next we’re going to talk about a pretty interesting tool that you have at your disposal which is Heatmap. What a Heatmap does is it lets you view visually the user interaction with your site and where users are clicking in different pieces of your site.
They’re pretty easy to use and what it does is it shows you if there’s a logo on your site somewhere that maybe doesn’t have a link or one of the buttons that are used to complete a form or something that. It shows how often people are clicking in and around it and if you’re using your design correctly or if that people are interpreting your design correctly.
CrazyEgg is a great tool for this. It’s easy to use, cost-effect at just $9 a month. You can use it only when you need it. You don’t have to keep it all year. You can just have it for a month and track the clicks for a month and then use that information to design your site differently.
Joe: Real quick let me expand on that by showing you an example of a Heatmap. Here you see this is a website’s Heatmap. I believe that the lighter colors, the more yellow colors, that’s where more users are clicking. These bluer colors some people are clicking random places. You can see that this whole part of the website doesn’t get as much interaction as this, here the video on glass or the touchscreen links.
This is a good example of this is where users are clicking mostly on this website. If there’s any problems, if you happen to see somewhere that users were clicking where they couldn’t actually click and interact with the site you’d know that okay, maybe I need to reconfigure that page a little bit.
Phil: When you have some information like this you can use it to A/B test. What A/B testing means is just two different versions of the same page and you can see how those changes help conversions. You can change colors or text or layout and design and show the difference between the conversion. Show what your conversion percentage changes when you make those changes.
We recommend not to over test. It could lead to a lot of useless data. If you’re going to change a button color just change that button color don’t move it somewhere because then you don’t know which one of those things is realistically causing the increase or decrease in conversions.
A great tool to do this is the Visual Website Optimizer. It lets you do minor changes without needing a designer or an IT person to help you with it. You can run this variation simultaneously and you get real world testing. You make these changes and then they go live on your site and then 50% of your visitors are served with either one of the versions and then you find out in a real world scenario which one of these is working better.
Joe: Just to give a quick example of that, here is our website of Attracta. This is how it’s set up, but say we wanted to do A/B testing. This is just a crude example, but if we wanted to switch the way that this is displaying? It was just backward. What if we switched the graphics over here and the buttons now over here? Would we increase conversions? Would there be any significant change?
We could set this so half of our users would see the site one way, half of our site would see the site the other way and then we could track which performs better. Better example of this might be changing the color of the button or changing the placement of the button that you actually click to get the product there.
This just gives you an example of we’ve had our website this way or this way. Which way happens to work better? That’s just a little example of A/B testing there.
Surveys. Some things you can do, and a lot of people do this, ask your customers what you want to know with a pop-up survey or if somebody’s bought something from your site send them an email or a link to a survey and then ask them. Did you find what you were looking for? How was your experience on the website? Did you have any trouble, anything like that? You get some real feedback from users.
We do recommend FluidSurveys for this. Excellent platform for surveys. You can offer incentive to your users too to encourage them to give you thorough reviews, to give you good information. We’ve actually sent things like free movie passes if you finish our survey and stuff like that. It might cost you a little bit of money for the information but that kind of information from actual website users, you just can’t get that anywhere else so it’s really, really good solid information.
The last thing I want to touch on here is performance optimization of your website. PageSpeed Insights. This is another free tool that Google provides. PageSpeed does factor into search rankings. It’s not a main factor but if there’s two websites with identical SEO value but one site loads faster than the other, the faster site is going to appear in search higher than the other site. It is a little bit of a factor in rankings that way.
Real quick let me give you an example of PageSpeed Insights. This is a test of our site. You just come to Google’s PageSpeed Insights page. We’ll link to this at the bottom of the page once we’ve posted this webinar online. Here it gives you some mobile PageSpeed Insights.
Also the user experience for mobile. This is becoming very important. On a mobile device you want to make sure that people can actually access the content on your site. It is very, very important to have a mobile-friendly site these days.
Then you can see from desktop, what’s the desktop speed. Here we’re 84 out of 100. It’s pretty good. You rarely, rarely see sites in the 90s. At 85 you actually get to the grains so we’re just 1 step away from that. You want to be at least in the 70s. We see a lot of websites below the 70s.
The longer it takes your page to load, the more visitors that might close the browser without even seeing your page. There’s some studies that say for every second your page takes to load, you lose 30% of your visitors. I believe that’s after 2 seconds.
There’s another tool called Pingdom Tools. This will show you how long does it take your site to load. It will also drill it all the way down to what elements of your page are taking long time to load. You can see if there’s a particular script of your page that’s performing a function that is very heavy and takes a very long time to load. Are there any images that are just taking a long time to load you could better optimize?
Pingdom Tools you can go there and get a real detailed analysis of every page on your website, what takes the longest to load and give you an idea of what you can optimize there.
That’s the information we have for you today. Hopefully you can use this information to better your website, to increase the sales from your website. If you need any help please give us a call. Again, we will be posting this webinar on the website so if you’re watching this webinar not live you can just scroll down right now and you should be able to see the links on the page to any of the tools that we’ve referenced, any services we may offer that could help you with this if you need some help with these different things.
We appreciate you joining us today and have a great afternoon.