I am a huge fan of the TechZing podcast, a show focused on bootstrapped web entrepreneur.
In the last couple months Jason Roberts and Justin Vincent
have had a series of interviews focused on improving usability, web analytics.
The latest show (#98) includes Lance Jones as a guest and focuses on Conversion Optimization.
After listening to the show while driving I decided to replay it once more and take notes as I think it brings a lot of value for any web entrepreneur!
And since I could not fit all the contents and links in the comments I decided to create this short post. Enjoy!
The 3-Step Process
Before starting any A/B test or optimization it is important to really think through the goals and key performance indicators you want to optimize for.
Otherwise you will waste a lot of time or may not get meaningful information and probably not achieve your target goals.
To optimize the conversion process you need to:
- Track and analyze conversions
- Analyze and understand user behavior
- Optimize the user experience, the copy (key content), and affect user behavior
It is critical to have enough traffic to get statistically meaningful data from the tests.
You need probably about 100 conversions per bucket or test option.
So assuming different conversion rates you need quite a lot of users entering the funnel:
- a 2% conversion rate requires 5000 users
- a 5% conversion rate requires 2000 users
|Tools to tracking and analyze conversions|
|Google web site optimizer|
|Mixpanel||Great for tracking business/user events|
|Performable||Full customer experience and revenue tracking, reverse funnel analysis|
|Omniture||The Cadillac option for large enterprises|
|Tools to survey and understand user behavior|
|iperceptions||Define quick short surveys to understand user motivations and success|
|KissInsights||Prompt users for one quick simple question|
|4Q Survey||Prompts users for the 4 essential questions about their experience|
|ForeseeResults||Focuses on complete web effectiveness|
|Opinionlab||More sophisticated option with survey modules, reports,
|Getting input from real testers|
|UserTesting||Testers narrate their test using video|
|FeedbackArmy||You submit 4-6 questions about your site and you receive 10 answers|
|5secondtest||Testers have 5 seconds to get an impression of your landing page|
|Tools to optimize the site|
|Google web site optimizer|
|Optimizely||Great wysiwyg editing of your own pages|
|Unbounce||Great for testing different landing pages and starting A/B tests|
|Visual website optimizer||Rich functionality with a great wysiwyg interface|
Note: the list above and associated comments are just based on the show, not on an exhaustive analysis of all vendors and products.
So if you put all the concepts together you get the following approach synopsis:
Web conversion optimization is not “black magic”, try to follow the process highlighted above as well as the tools.
Providing you can generate enough traffic to your site to run multiple iterations, over time you will most likely see a positive change in your conversions.
References and Resources
- TechZing Podcast for web startup entrepreneurs
- Jason Robert’s blog
- Justin Vincent’s blog
- TechZing 98: TZ Interview – Lance Jones / Conversion Optimization
- TechZing 92: TZ Interview – Ilya Lichtenstein / insight.io
- TechZing 89: TZ Interview – David Cancel / Performable
- TechZing 87: TZ Interview – Luke Wroblewski / The User Interface Is The Product
- TechZing 79: Patrick McKenzie / The Long Tail of Optimization
My Other Related Posts:
- Visualize Application Metrics on NewRelic for your Ruby Camping Application
- A/B Test Your Ruby Camping Web App Using ABingo