3 Best Practices of Conversion Rate Optimization

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Conversion rate optimization is “everywhere” these days, from Twitter, to publications, to conferences and beyond.  But while it’s gaining steam in the industry, it’s still a relatively new initiative for many marketers.

So what exactly IS conversion rate optimization, you ask? Conversion optimization, often referred to as landing page optimization, is best defined as the on-going process of refininig and testing the post-click experience to optimize for conversion goals. It can be anything from testing a microsite against a landing page, to testing hero shots within an experience, to optimizing shopping cart forms. Conversion goals include a lead, purchase, download, social interaction and more.

And as obvious as it my seem, conversion rate optimization is the most efficient way to generate more revenue & improve return on online advertising spend.

So whether you are new to conversion rate optimization or already have live experiments up and running, here are 3 key best practices of conversion optimization to ramp up your online marketing performance:

1. Inject speed into your marketing culture

The faster online marketing gets — from PPC, to banner, to social — the faster your conversion rate optimization programs need to be. So when you optimize your ads, you must optimize your post-click experiences with the same velocity. Whether that’s testing an image, changing a headline, or creating a completely new experience, speed doesn’t stop after the click. It must continue from the click all the way to the conversion.

2. Take a holistic approach to pre-click and post-click

The disciplines of PPC, banner, and social media, should work in tandem with your conversion rate optimization initiatives — not in a vacuum. Whether you manage your PPC in-house or outsource to an agency, the driving strategy of your PPC marketing should be completely in sync with your conversion optimization strategy. Your keywords determine your ads, your ads determine your landing pages, and the learnings that you gain from optimizing each should be applied to your overall strategy.

3. Start with A/B testing, then refine with multivariate testing

A/B testing is the best way to find page champions. MVT is the best way to refine those champions.

A/B testing is a methodology that tests completely different experiences against each other to find champions — think apples to oranges. Multivariate testing optimizes one experience to find a winner — think Honeycrisp to Macintosh. Once you find a winner with A/B testing, you can further optimize it with multivariate testing. But don’t start a multivariate test until you’ve determined whether an apple converts better than an orange.

Now, I’m just tipping the iceberg here with these 3 essentials of effective conversion rate optimization. Stay tuned for more posts where I will dig into more actionable how-to’s and tactics to apply to your online campaigns.

Megan Leap
Megan Leap is Marketing Manager at ion interactive, a leading provider of advanced landing page software. As Marketing Manager, Megan manages search, email, webinar, and... Read Full Bio
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  • Maciej

    I agree, it is all about leading the visitor down the path to your ultimate business goal. That means following through the entire process so the conversion actually happens.

  • alexandra gresham

    Great points Megan! Especially point 3 – to determine the champion page with A/B testing prior to jumping into MVT. In my experience, too many testing points at campaign launch leads to loads of data and no conclusions. It's important, and sometimes a challenge, to keep clients focused on what information is critical at various points during a campaign. Any thoughts on how long or how much data should be compiled before tweaking based on an A/B test?

  • bortokali

    I would add a little simple process:

    1. Analyze your stats and your website, and identify possible issues.(A/B testing)
    2. Fix any problems based web design & content
    3. Do your multivariate testing, choose your winners.
    4. After a few weeks or days (depending on the volume of traffic on your website) identify the elements that convert the best, and implement the necessary changes.
    5. makes more money & live happily ever after (only for a few weeks)
    6. Start the process all over again!

  • davefinkelstein

    excellent. simple a/b testing is great way to start and refine.most smaller/medium businesses don't test at all.

  • davefinkelstein

    excellent. simple a/b testing is great way to start and refine.most smaller/medium businesses don't test at all.