Optimizing your Website for Conversions

Optimizing Your Website for Conversions

In this presentation, Nizam Uddin, Head of Growth at Crowd Content, joins Cassandra Parsons, Vice President of Operations at ViziSites, to discuss ways to optimize any website for conversions. If you’re striving to turn visitors into paying customers, you’ll learn tips and tricks of the trade, such as:

  • Why content infrastructure matters
  • How to create effective calls to action
  • How to give readers what they want.
  • How to analyze website data so you can make impactful changes

A transcript of the conversation follows.

Nizam Uddin: Welcome, everyone. I’m excited to kick off our webinar today. We have a very exciting topic. In the webinars you’ve attended so far, you’ve seen that we talk a lot about content. How do you produce high-quality content and people-first content? Considering everything happening with AI, obviously, generating quality content is more important than ever.

Today, we’ll talk about something different from how you produce quality content. We’ll talk about what to do after you do all the work to drive traffic to your website. How do you convert those people to actual clients or generate leads from there?

We have Cassandra here from ViziSites. She’ll be joining us to talk you through what works for their clients. I don’t want to jump into your topic, but can you do an introduction and talk about what ViziSites does?

Cassandra Parsons: Absolutely. I’m excited to talk to you guys today. I think you gave a great explanation, Nizam. As you said, people have gone through the work of creating high-quality content. They’ve done their research, they’ve probably used your team and then it gets copy-pasted onto a page. How are they going to make sure those people turn into paying customers?

ViziSites is a web design and marketing firm, so we help clients with this day in and day out. We use analytics, such as heat mapping, to see what’s working and what’s not. We’ll dig into all of that today.

Nizam Uddin: Awesome. I’m excited to kick this off. As a reminder, you can use the chat feature to ask questions. There’s a dedicated Q&A feature, as well, which you can use to ask any questions you might have. We’ll take all the questions toward the end.

This webinar will be a bit tactical. I strongly believe that you’ll leave the webinar with some actionable items from my side and Cassandra’s side, which you can implement right away on your website or the project you’re working on. Since most of you are marketers, here’s your hook. Stay tuned for the presentation Cassandra is going to do.

Toward the end, we’ll also talk about the tools you can use to see what your visitors are doing on the site. We’ll also dig deeper into Google Optimize, although they are sunsetting it. But, while it’s still there, we’ll show you how to utilize it to do A/B testing and increase your conversion. That’s something we’ll also touch on toward the end.

I know Cassandra has awesome slides, which we’ll share in a bit. So, will you get started? You should be able to share your screen, and we’ll take it from there.

You Got Them to Your Website… Now What?

Cassandra Parsons: Perfect. As Nizam mentioned, many of you joining us today are marketers, whether you’re brand new to it or you’ve been doing it for decades. I want to see if this situation feels familiar to you.

By most accounts, your marketing efforts are performing great. Your social media engagement is increasing. Your ads are getting a lot of clicks. Your blog has a lot of traffic. But, there just isn’t any new business coming in. There are no new leads. There are no sales. Whatever your goal is, it’s just not happening. People are making it to your website, and they’re stopping there. They’re not making it through the finish line.

We’ve all heard that phrase “if you build it they will come,” but then what? We need people to play the game. We need them to interact with our business and then, most importantly, convert into paying customers.

My goal today, as Nizam mentioned, is not to discuss the SEO aspects of content structure. There are many. If you’ve been doing this for a while, you know that. Our assumption is that you’ve already gotten them to your website, whether that’s through organic or paid marketing. But now, how do all your hard-earned website visitors turn into revenue to make all that investment worth it? That’s why we’re talking about content infrastructure.

The Importance of Content Infrastructure

Cassandra Parsons: For the purposes of our discussion, when I talk about content infrastructure I’m referring to the basic framework of the information on your website. How do you take the content, media, and calls to action for your page, and structure them into something that effectively converts website visitors into paying customers?

Your website’s content infrastructure is really the number one player in what makes your website effective, but often, we stop at creating the content and don’t go past that. So, what do I mean when I say effective? Well-structured content has been shown to improve organic rankings.

As we talked about, a lot of elements of SEO come into this: decreasing bounce rates, increasing time on your website, increasing interaction with your content and, most importantly, increasing conversions. Let’s look at an example.

Both pages displayed here — A and B — have the exact same copy. Of these two examples, which page are your users more likely to spend time on? Which page is more likely to satisfy the user’s questions and which page is more likely to convert?

Looking at these two examples, hopefully, you can clearly guess which one is the better option for your page layout. But, can you articulate why? That’s what I want to break down next.

As Nizam said, we’re big on having actionable items, so by the time we’re done today, you should walk away with a clear checklist of what to consider when you’re laying out content on your page.

Give Readers What They Want… Fast

Cassandra Parsons: First, I have a pop quiz. If you have access to the chat, I want you to type in what you believe the attention span of a goldfish is. No Googling. While everyone types in their answers, Nizam, do you want to take a guess? Goldfish attention span — what do you think it is?

Nizam Uddin: I would say 5 to 6 seconds, but I see that people are responding: 3 seconds, 2 seconds, 0.05 seconds,10 seconds. It ranges.

Cassandra Parsons: Here’s the thing — goldfish are notorious for having short attention spans. We all know it’s ridiculously short. It’s 9 seconds. A couple of people got close. I saw 10 seconds there. That’s probably the closest one.

Question number 2: Now, type in the chat what you believe the attention span of an average human is. No cheating. No Googling. What do we think it is?

Nizam Uddin: I take my time and look through the site for maybe 20 minutes. I’m joking.

Cassandra Parsons: You’re the unicorn.

Nizam Uddin: No, I just go to a page. As soon as I don’t see what I’m looking for, I hit the back button to return to the search results. Then, I go to the next one and keep going.

Most of the time, which is interesting, I even go to the second page on Google to see the results there, as well.

Cassandra Parsons: You’re a lot nicer than me. I open the search result I want to click on in a new tab because I’m pretty sure I’ll have to go back to my search results at some point.

Nizam Uddin: I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they have the answer. People are saying 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 90 second, 6 seconds, 5 seconds, so some on the higher and lower ends.

The Average Human Attention Span and What It Means for You

Cassandra Parsons: I hate to break it to you guys, but in 2015, the average attention span of humans was 8 seconds. This is a while ago and there have been more recent studies that suggest it’s getting shorter, but we’ll go with 2015 because that’s the most recent reliable study. This is the average time before a person loses concentration and their brain goes somewhere else.

They’re a Nizam. They click the back button. They’re me. They go back to the other tab, and they start looking somewhere else. 

I like what Alex said in the chat. Ouch. It’s painful.

What does that mean for you? That means you have to give your users what they want fast — super fast. Aside from the 8-second attention span we just discussed, it’s been shown time and time again that the period of time before they form an opinion about the website, before they make a judgment call, is less than 1 second. So, they might stay on the site, but they’ve already formed an opinion about your business.

You might provide all the same information as the guy down the street, but if you’re not doing it in a way that, A, catches their attention and, B, satisfies them in seconds, they’ve lost focus, and they’ve gone on to the next option.

On top of that, the average website user now only reads about 20% of the words on a page. So, we have to make sure that users find the 20% they care about the most. To do that, we keep it easy for them to skim, navigate and act on your website. This really determines how much time users have to spend before they find the answer to the question they care about the most.

So, how do we do this? If you’re on a computer, get ready to take screenshots. This is the first list you’re going to want to save.

Keeping It Readable

We have some key factors of keeping your text readable or skimmable. I would say skimmability versus readability, but I don’t think that’s a word.

We’ll start with the basics. Make sure the font on your website is easy to read. As a general rule, you should avoid having all uppercase content, because it’s harder for our brain to process it as quickly. Yes, we’re talking milliseconds. But, as you saw, we only have 8 seconds total, so milliseconds matter.

We don’t want to use a font that’s too narrow or too thin. Those are harder to read. Most importantly, ensure that the color provides contrast to the background.

In North America, users read top to bottom and then left to right, so we want to structure our content that way by priority. Make sure they’re going to see the most important thing first. Then, we want to look at the menu and heading hierarchy to indicate topic groups to your users. I should easily be able to see different groups of information, find the page I’m looking for and the section that interests me the most.

We want to break up copy into evenly spaced short paragraphs. You might be thinking: are we really talking about spacing right now? We are, because even something as simple as text size and spacing has been shown to increase conversion rates by massive amounts. A recent case study showed one company with an improvement of 133% on their form conversion just from changing text size and line height. 

In the same vein, we want to talk about content width. What is the ideal content width? If it’s too long, it becomes overwhelming for those short attention spans. If it’s too short, they can’t find it easily with their eyes, so they just won’t read the section. So, our ideal content width is 55 to 100 characters.

We also want to have consistent text alignment in similar sections. This goes along with making it easy for the eye to find. We don’t want people hunting to find where their eyes should go next, because it uses up valuable time for that attention span.

Using bold or italicized text, or bulleted or numbered lists, to make the main points of the section stand out, will allow someone to see if that section covers what they want to know, so they can go back and read it in more detail.

Once you have these items in place, how do we make sure that they act? This is where your calls to action come into play.

Calls to Action That Convert

There are three main elements of calls to action to consider:

  • The location
  • The design
  • The text

First is the location. We want to place that call to action where it makes sense. Halfway through a thought in your copy is not the place for a CTA. Rather, you want to place them at the beginnings or ends of sections, and you want to use multiple CTAs as you scroll down the page.

You never know where a user will pause or how far they’ll go. You’ll have some users who are convinced to take action in the first landing section of your site because they’ve already done research about you, and then you’ll have users who scroll halfway or all the way down the page. Make sure there are calls to action in place for all of those navigation styles.

Next is design. The key is to make it obvious if something has an action connected to it. If something is linked to purchase, contact or call, we don’t want to apply that same action to something that isn’t linked. That’s where you end up with user confusion, frustration. They may click on things they shouldn’t be clicking on, which we’ll talk about more.

For example, if an icon has a hover effect, where it changes color or size on hover, users are going to assume it’s clickable. They might become frustrated if it’s not. So, hover actions should clearly indicate to your users that they can click there, and you should only use them for those items.

Then, whatever color you choose, make sure it’s easy to spot compared to the surrounding information. It shouldn’t be the same format or color as the regular text on the page. Think bright, contrasting colors.

Lastly, large and legible text works best. Again, we want it to stand out.

When talking about the actual words of your call to action, we want to use large legible text, so it’s important to keep them short and sweet. You can also create a sense of urgency by using words like now or today. For example, sign up now or call today are going to have higher conversion rates than just the sign-up, which basically says to sign up if you feel like it.

If the CTA needs more context than what can be provided in that short button, you can include it in the text leading up to the CTA. So, going back to our location, put it at the end of a section after you’ve already explained the action you want them to take. Most importantly, ensure the end result is what the user expects based on the CTA’s text.

For example, if the CTA says contact us, but it’s a click-to-call link and the user doesn’t realize they’re going to call you, that can throw them off and cause them to abandon the path altogether. You really want a click-to-call feature to say something like call now or call our phone number today. The gist is that the primary action you want your users to take should be the most obvious, clear element on the page.

Now that we’ve talked about text formatting and calls to action, let’s talk about the page structure as a whole.

Content Layout Checklist

This is the next checklist you’re going to want to take a picture of. We already talked about the first seven items on the checklist:

  • Font type
  • Top-to-bottom > left-to-right
  • Menus and headings
  • Formatting
  • Short, spaced paragraphs
  • Consistent alignment
  • Content width

We talked about that before. We just want to have the list in one place for you to view. So, let’s talk about a few final elements for success to round out your checklist.

First is content segmenting. This is one of my favorite things. It can be accomplished in a few ways.

One, even in Google search results, you’re probably seeing more and more toggled content, such as the Q & A feature. Tabbed or toggled content lets your users quickly view content groups and click on the one they care about the most. It lets users take in content in small, digestible chunks, and only the part they really want an answer for.

Another way of content segmenting is visual breaks. As you’ll see on the page here, using images or video help break up the content to show it as a small, digestible chunk at a time. It lets users skim each section to find what they’re looking for.

Last but certainly not least, we want to make sure the page layout is responsive on all devices. Make sure what you think is easy to find is actually easy to find on all devices. Hopefully, everyone listening today already knows this, but if we’re going to have it be a master checklist we have to include responsiveness, and use those effective calls to action.

User Data Analysis

If you’ve done everything on this checklist and you believe you’ve designed a web page that will bring in paying customers, how do you analyze it to know if it’s working? This is where analytics come into play — specifically two kinds of analytics. Google Analytics lets you view the paths they’re taking on and through your website. I think most of us probably use those. The second is heat mapping. This allows you to analyze how users are interacting with the page and then further optimize your content infrastructure.

Google Analytics

So, let’s start with Google Analytics. Again, this is the data that shows you the route users are taking to get to your website and then how they’re navigating through it.

Questions to consider when you’re looking at your analytics are:

  • Are your users following your intended path?
  • If they’re falling out on that path somewhere before they convert, where are they falling out?
  • What are the biggest exit pages on your site? If it’s not the contact page, or the thank-you page after they’ve submitted a contact, purchased something or booked with you — if it’s some other page earlier in the process — you’ll want to take a look at the top exit page and figure out how the content is laid out on that page.
  • Are there things that need to be improved on that page?
  • Do I have appropriate calls to action on my top exit pages?

If people are falling out in the path early on, there’s a reason why. You’ll want to look at your content infrastructure and calls to action, and make sure you really are optimizing that page to keep them moving on through your path.

Heat Mapping

Next, and my personal favorite, is heat mapping. We don’t see this one used quite as much. And I really think what should be as important as Google Analytics, in most marketers’ eyes, is having data that shows you the actions users are taking once they arrive to your website or the landing page that you’re hoping is going to convert.

Similar to Google Analytics, there are questions we should think about when looking at heat mapping. First, let’s say you set up heat mapping on an exit page where you can’t figure out what’s going wrong. One thing to look at is how far users are making it down the page.

If they’re not making it all the way down the page, this can be a sign of a few things. You’ll want to look at the page length, how content is organized down the page and the order of the content to determine if you need to make adjustments.

Alternatively, you’ll want to look at where people are clicking, along with the scrolling, because if they’re not scrolling all the way down the page because they’re clicking on a call to action higher on the page, that’s great. Let’s not panic about something that’s actually a good thing. If they’re clicking away from the page because they’re going to the next spot in the path, that’s a good thing. But, if they’re scrolling partway down and leaving the page, that’s something we want to fix.

Next, are they clicking on any areas that you didn’t intend, or are they not clicking at all? Heat mapping can help you make critical design decisions, such as adding links where users clearly think there should be links (and maybe you didn’t think it looked like something that should be clickable), or, alternatively, changing the link to something else that the user is more interested in.

One way we really love using this tool with our clients is this: Let’s say they start offering a new service. There’s a general services page, or, maybe the home page has a section that highlights their key services. They say, “Hey, we really want to swap out that button for one to this service instead.” Before we go ahead and make that change, we’ll look at the heat mapping on their website and determine the level of activity that link is receiving. 

If it’s getting a ton of activity, we’ll go back to the client and say, “Hey, you might not want to get rid of that button. Your users seem really interested in that topic. But, this button over here gets hardly any traffic, so let’s try swapping that one out and see if the new one you want to add in does better.” That way you can have more effective links on the page that your users are actually interested in.

Now, on the highest-clicked links on the page, are they exiting after they click those links? This can be a sign that your calls to action are not what the user expects. This could be a simple tweak of the wording on your call to action to make sure users know where they’re going next. It could be the introduction to the call to action. As we said, maybe the call to action or the title of the page that it’s linking to needs more context.

Maybe the link is headed to the correct action and the users know that’s the action they’re headed to or think they’re headed to. Then, they get to the page and the heading on the page isn’t clear, so they’re confused by where they are, so they go back, or they leave.

One thing I want to warn everyone about is this: If you haven’t used heat mapping before, don’t be alarmed by random clicks across the screen. If you look at the screenshot we have here, you’ll see random dots everywhere, accidental clicks from people with touchscreens, who are dragging. We don’t want to worry about the one-offs. You’re looking for patterns.

So, if you start to see clusters of clicks in one unclickable area, that’s where you want to look. Maybe you need to tweak it and either make it clickable to something or change the design slightly, so you’re not confusing your users.

Lastly, if you’re still not sure, you can always come to a company like us or Nizam. He’s going to show you some great tools to help you better understand your content and what’s happening there.

Nizam Uddin: Thank you very much. This is very insightful. Obviously, we notice the same thing watching some of the recordings in heat maps. That’s random dots everywhere. What are they doing ? What are they clicking?

Cassandra Parsons: All the time.

Nizam Uddin: It’s very typical.

Cassandra Parsons: Sometimes, I wish I could be in users’ heads when they’re clicking. But, as long as I don’t see a hundred users doing it, I’m not going to worry too much.

Tools of the Trade

Nizam Uddin: I’ll talk about two specific tools. As we promised, we’ll share the tools we use internally, as well, so you can implement those in your day-to-day work. 

Cassandra shared some great tips, tricks and to-dos for you to implement on your website or landing pages right now, so you can see the true impact. While you do that, you don’t necessarily have to make those changes directly on the site right now. You could use the optimization tool to see the comparison. An A/B test is one of the things we strongly recommend you do to see if something will work. The changes you’re making are something I think will work. Maybe you think it will work for your visitor. It might not work the same way we think it will work, which is why there’s no alternative to doing an A/B test.

There are some great tools — some paid ones, some free ones. I’ll talk about that. But, I want to continue what Cassandra was talking about with heat mapping.

What tool do you use, if any, for heat mapping or eye tracking? Why don’t you guys answer that? What do you do internally, Cassandra, for your clients?

Cassandra Parsons: We’re huge fans of Crazy Egg. There are a lot out there, though. Hotjar is one that many people use. 

There are all kinds of options, and thankfully, they’re all fairly easy to use. Some can be more costly than others. If you’re doing it yourself, you should compare your options. If you’re looking to go to a company like ViziSites, ask if they’re including it. We include it for our customers, so they won’t have additional costs.

Nizam Uddin: There’s probably a subscription that covers the CMS as well as the analytics that come with it. 

I’m going to share my screen and walk you through some tools you can use. Please let me know if you can see my screen.

Cassandra Parsons: It looks great.

Nizam Uddin: It’s Microsoft. This is a great alternative to the paid tool. I personally used Hotjar for many years, but recently they started capping the number of sessions you could record. If you delete the recordings, they’ll just cap how many people you can record per day.

So, I strongly recommend trying this out. I had the opportunity to meet the person behind the product at the Content Marketing World conference. He’s a great guy.

They’re doing a lot of work behind this platform, which is very similar to what Hotjar does. Hotjar has pretty extensive features, such as form tracking and funnel tracking, and you could probably use it. But, a free tool like this is a great alternative.

You sign up. It will give you a code. If you don’t know how to add the tracking code to your website, ask your developer. That way, once it’s added to the header section, you’ll be able to track it.

I’m going to show you, from behind the scenes, how it looks. This is one of our sister companies that we’re launching as part of the AI trend. The game is happening. Everyone is after AI content.

Today, Google actually released an official statement saying you could use AI. As long as it meets the needs of the user, it should be okay. So, I strongly recommend looking out for that news, as well.

Microsoft Clarity

Coming to Clarity, this is something you can see once you log in. You’ll see the dashboard, which has tons of data. You can see live users. One of the interesting things here is the rage clicks. Essentially, people click randomly in the middle of nowhere.

Another thing that I like about this is the JavaScript errors. If you aren’t tech-savvy, which is absolutely okay, take this information to your developer. They’ll be able to tell you what those errors are and how to resolve them. Sometimes, when we visit the site, because we have the browser cache, it helps us see the page the way we wanted to see it. But, sometimes the page might be broken. That’s a great resource.

You can see I have 1.2% of sessions that have JavaScript errors. I can see the recording of what errors are and how they’re breaking my site.

If I go to the recording, it shows exactly what they’re doing on your site. It’s literally recording each step and each click, and shows how they’re going through.

Obviously, this is just an example. This site gets quite a lot of traffic from the blog, and you can see what visitors are doing on the specific page.

Cassandra showed heat mapping, which I love, as well. Above-the-fold content is important, but you can see how far below the fold your traffic is going.

Just go to scroll from PC and that’ll tell you how far they’re going. You can see, for example, by three scrolls I lost 30% of my visitors. If I keep scrolling more, I’ll see that by the time I went to the pricing option, I already lost about 56% of my traffic.

For our site, we have a button at the top that takes you down to the pricing option. So, you can see all this information and make a decision based on everything you see.

Click-wise, we can also see what sections they’re clicking on each page. So, I strongly recommend trying out this tool and these options.

Cassandra Parsons: To add something about scrolling, I believe the study showed that about 80% or 81% of users now view the content in the first three screens-full. So, we’re talking about scrolling.

Users are trained to scroll now through social media, but it’s really the first three screens-full. So, when you’re looking at that scroll map and what percentage of users you’re losing, you’ll see it get lower and lower, and probably drop off after those first three big scrolls.

Nizam Uddin: That’s exactly what’s happening if I go towards the end, by the footer. Even the sign-up for the newsletter is only 27% of all the traffic I got. It’s hard data.

It might be different for your case. Maybe your industry is that unicorn we talked about at the beginning. However, I think the data and history are pretty generic and pretty standard across different Industries.

Obviously, that’s something that lets you see what’s happening on your site. You can make a decision that these are the changes I want to make, this is how I’m going to make changes — for example, the button or the text. Every little change you make can have a positive impact on your conversion.

Google Optimize

The next tool you could use, which is also free, is Google Optimize. I think they’re sunsetting it by September 30th. Until then, utilize it. 

There are other tools we could definitely use. There’s another tool called Mutiny. It’s pretty expensive. That’s a platform you could also use for website personalization. Again, with paid tools you have to pay a subscription fee. For now, you could use the free version.

Setting up Google Optimize on your website is a little tricky, but there are step-by-step guidelines. This is the link where it’ll show you how to add the tags. Again, if you’re not tech-savvy, ask your web developer. They’ll be able to help you.

You have to install Google Optimize with Google Analytics, so they work hand in hand. You can gather the data from there and they can communicate between platforms. I’ll show you exactly how to set it up.

Let’s assume you created an account, which is completely free. Then, you install the code and you have it ready. Once you go to your Optimize account, you’ll see something like this. You can see we’re running two different changes, on our website’s main page as well as our inbound lead form.

Now, I can just create a new one. When you create a new one, give it a name. I’ll do it for pricing, so let’s copy our pricing page and paste it here. Then, I’ll give it a name. Let’s just say pricing page A/B test. I’ll run an A/B test and then I’ll say: create. Then, it’ll give you a bunch of options. 

Here, there are setups you need to do. At the beginning, it might look as if there’s a lot you need to work on, but honestly, it’s very straightforward. All you have to do is select: add variant. You can give it a name, such as new version or changes. If you select done, it’ll add the options for you here.

I strongly recommend leaving everything as it is, including 50% weight, so if you get 100 visitors 50 of them will go to the original version and 50 will go to your variant, so you can compare the data. I’ll come back to editing this option in a bit.

Then, you have the page targeting. This is the page that changes are going to work on. You also have to connect your Google Analytics, which I’ll come back to in a second.

Here, I’ll just say this is the variant we’re creating, so we’ll select: edit. Because the code is in the back end or behind your website, the code can read the page as is. So, this is how a visitor will see your page. They can mimic your page exactly, including CSS, HTML and everything else.

This is our pricing page. If you want to make any changes to this specific page or any title — maybe you have a special offer — you can click on it. Then, on the right side, you can click edit element and then edit text. That will let you edit anything you want.

Similarly, maybe from this page you want to change the button. You can always do that. You can click on the button and select edit element and edit text. You can even change where the button links to. You’ll want to try different options.

I recommend being cautious. Don’t make a lot of changes at once, because you won’t know which changes will make that impact because there’s a lot to track.

Often, I personally get excited. Let’s change everything. Then I wonder what happened. I don’t know what’s causing the uptick or downtick.

Once you’re done making changes, select: edit, edit text. Then, I’ll probably say: create an account. Once you do that, you select done, and that’s it. Literally, make any changes you want on the page.

If I want to change this button, I can just click it and change the button and the link as well. I’ll hit save.

It will show you how many changes you have. Preferably, you’ll just have a few changes, such as button text. Look at the messaging on the page. It’s very important to see what messaging works for you. You can make those changes to see what’s happening on that page, as well.

Once you’re done, all you have to do is scroll down. It’s a little slow. That’s why they’re discontinuing the platform.

Then, you connect Google Analytics. You just have to link to Google Analytics and choose what view you’re linking it to. Once you’re done with that, then come down and choose objectives. So, what objectives are you trying to achieve from this A/B test? Are you trying to increase your conversions?

Because of this button change, I’m probably trying to send more traffic to our marketplace sign-up, so I’ll just select create custom. If you don’t have your objective created, it’s very straightforward. It’s exactly what you want them to do. I’ll just choose one from our existing one since we already have it, so marketplace, completed sign-up. That’s it. You don’t have to do anything else.

Go to the top and then select start. As soon as you press the start button, Google will start to show your new version to 50% of the people based on the variant you have. You can run the A/B test for 7 days, 30 days, 15 days or whatever period you want a report for. Once you’re done, you can see what variant is creating the conversion you want.

One important thing to note here is that the way Google summarizes the results is based on the objective. So, by making that change, are my visitors converting more to the specific goal I specified here? This is why you need to make sure there’s an objective. I don’t think you can even continue without the objective, so that’s crucial.

I don’t want to complicate things. All I wanted to share were those two things: the tools that can track what your visitors are doing on your website and the tool to make changes to your site without making changes to the actual page, because you don’t know what significant impact your changes can bring.

Try the tools. They’re free. Then, go from there. If you see that your changes are getting traction and making an impact, make them permanent. Change the button to exactly what you had during the A/B test and see what happens. If you don’t want to run an A/B test, you can just have one version running and then make changes. Run it for about a week and see how those changes impact your site and conversion rate.

If you want to make changes to your main site, it’ll take dev resources. You’ll probably need other people. If you don’t have a CMS, such as ViziSites or WordPress, it’ll probably be difficult for you to edit. So, I strongly recommend trying the tool. Then, go from there. If you have any questions, reach out to either of us, and we’ll be happy to help you.

Q&A With Nizam and Cassandra

We’re toward the end, but we have a couple of minutes to take any questions you might have. If you do have questions, please type them into the Q&A in the chat section. Then, we’ll take some questions.

I was making notes while you were presenting, Cassandra. One thing I wanted to ask you is this: Obviously, you have quite a few clients in different industries and different sectors — different types of clients. These days, we see a lot of top-of-the-funnel content, so we drive traffic to a blog page, and we produce more informational content.

So, they come, they spend, sometimes, and then they go from there. Obviously, bounce rate is significantly higher in terms of going to different pages. What scenarios do you see working for your client? How would you rectify this challenge? I’m sure many people have exactly the same challenges with their websites, as well?

Cassandra Parsons: To get them to spend more time on the page? Is that the question?

Nizam Uddin: Yes.

Cassandra Parsons: I love that question. I probably should have mentioned this at the beginning, when I talked about content structure. Why it’s helpful in getting people to spend more time on your page is because it makes your page more interactive. 

Not to harp on attention span, but as a society, we need stimulation all the time now. So, give them things they can click, open and close, hover over to view something, things like that, and just make the page more interactive.

You might have you heard the term gamify or gamifying in marketing, which is where you make it super interactive, so they’re almost playing with it. But, while they’re playing with it, they’re learning about your business. We see how those interactive elements cause them to spend more time and move further down the page.

Nizam Uddin: That’s awesome. One of the other questions I had was how does personalization play a factor in conversion rate and how do you go about that?

Cassandra Parsons: On the website?

Nizam Uddin: Yes.

Cassandra Parsons: Do you mean personalization for your brand or personalization to the person who’s viewing?

Nizam Uddin: To the person who’s viewing. If you have different types of audiences and you have dedicated landing pages for specific audiences, how do you see that place with your customers?

Cassandra Parsons: Yes, absolutely. I wanted to make sure I understood the question correctly.

I think one of the biggest things that affects is building trust with people. We talk a lot in marketing about social proof, testimonials and things like that, as a trust builder. One of the other things that builds trust is this. Do you know my industry? Do you know how to talk about my whatever? Do you know who I am as your client? Am I your ideal client?

As you were saying about content creation earlier, when I’m reading content and I see myself in what I’m reading, I’m much more likely to have trust right away. Something I didn’t talk about today, that’s huge as I’m sure you know, is video content. Using video content on the website to create that relationship and personal touch is huge. I tell our clients all the time, “Even if you can sit down with your phone in your office and film a 30-second introductory video that says, ‘Hi. Here’s who I am. Here’s why I do what I do’” people are going to eat that up more than reading that same paragraph.

Nizam Uddin: That makes sense. Those are obviously tools, if your business, in that capacity, could implement that. From a personalization perspective, we also use a platform called Clearbit, which is similar to ZoomInfo. They have proprietary technology that tracks the IP address and tells you what companies visitors are from, so you can actually personalize based on that. So, there are quite a few things we do in combination with Google Optimize, as well as the Clearbit technology, which actually work very well.

But, I don’t think there’s an affordable solution for that. It’s pretty pricey, I would say.

Cassandra Parsons: Yes. What you bring up is a good point about using tools like that, whether it’s ZoomInfo or something else, and you’re tracking the types of users coming to your website, their demographic and what types of users are converting. Maybe you just have a newsletter sign-up and you start to segment your audience. You can really personalize the messaging you’re sending them, because you know the person who came to you has recently searched an issue related to your industry. Now, you can send them messages about that issue. You see really, really effective things there.

You’re right. It is a little more costly, but it can be worth it if it’s used well.

Nizam Uddin: Absolutely, especially for ABM. There’s a lot of tension here.

Cassandra Parsons: We’ve been down that rabbit hole forever. 

Nizam Uddin: You’re definitely right. I think if it is for an ABM campaign, it might work very well. We tried ABM design, because you literally cannot make a landing page for every target account you have. So, you might as well use a tool that can help you customize those pages for each and every visit to those landing pages from an ABM campaign.

Cassandra Parsons: It looks like we have a question. I’m a Content writer for my company. Can you suggest any tips for organizing content that have been proven to increase conversion: multiple small paragraphs under one section, bullet lists, etc.? Our designers typically want us to write large paragraphs to ensure SEO, but this amount of text seems distracting to readers.

You’re 100% correct. It is distracting to readers. I probably shouldn’t make this joke in our industry, but I talk a lot about how we write content now for bots, not for people. We write content for bots. We design content for people.

That’s why my personal favorite solution to what you’re asking is toggles and tabs. Let’s say you have a ton of content. You do your competitor analysis and realize that, for a certain area, you really should have a thousand-plus word page, but you don’t want a page that’s scrolling forever. Whatever it is you’re trying to fit in the design boundaries, those toggles and tabs, where you’re breaking things up into smaller sections, can be helpful.

So, let’s say you have a list — a content group. Again, you have a list — I’m trying to think of an example off the top of my head — and each of those list items has a short paragraph under it.  Turn those into toggles and now, suddenly, what would have been three screens full of content for one thing is one nice, neat section. They can click to the area they care about, so your user finds what they want quickly and the bots have what they want, which is a lot of content.

Nizam Uddin: I appreciate you taking the questions. It looks like there are no other questions right now, but I think we covered a lot of information today. It’s very helpful and useful. The audience can implement the tactics you mentioned from today onward.

Thank you very much. Do you have any last thoughts you want to share with the audience?

Cassandra Parsons: As you said, I think we covered everything. With A/B testing, if you take the list I provided and the tools Nizam provided and use them together, even if you have to write 1,000 or 2,000 words of skyscraper content, like our participant, you’ll be able to do it successfully. I’m right there with you on that struggle, though.

Nizam Uddin: I love the analogy of skyscraper content. Thank you very much, Cassandra, for joining us. I really appreciate that. And, thank you, everybody, for joining in.

If you have attended late, we will send you the recording, so don’t worry about that. There are also some attendees who need to connect with us. I’ll email them, as well. You will hear from both Crowd Content and ViziSites in case you want to learn more about any of the things we presented today or anything else you want to learn about our companies or our services. By all means, do so. We’ll definitely see you next time.

Before I go, I just have one quick announcement. We have a very exciting webinar — that’ll be a fireside chat — scheduled with Google on February 28th. I’m talking with Martin from Google. He is the development relationship specialist. He will be talking about technical SEO best practices.

I strongly recommend you sign up for that. It’s already on our website. I will also send you an invitation, as well.

Until then, everyone, take care. Thank you very much, Cassandra, for joining us today.

Cassandra Parsons: Thank you. I had a great time. Thank you all for joining.Nizam Uddin: Thank you, everyone. Take care.