So much of conversion rate optimization relies on testing. “Test everything, test often” is a good mantra to keep in mind and will do you no end of good. But you can’t always test everything. In this post I discuss a few ways you might be able to uncover some of those conversion leaks that you might not even have been aware of before.
Parlez vous conversion?
This is often a hidden issue with sites which receive traffic from multiple languages/countries. Even if you have multiple language websites or multi-lingual sections on your site to help users, you need to check that visitors are using the right language section pages on your site. If they’re not then you might run into troubles. For example, take a look at this screenshot of analytics data from an international company. This is their UK, 100% English content:
In this situation there’s a very strong business case for not letting those little language selection links at the top of the page do all the work—you should consider investing in some geo-based redirection technology to take your non-English users straight to the correct language content.
Play around with auto-emails
Email marketing is a big topic, and an important component of many online marketing campaigns. Often overlooked is that you shouldn’t just consider email marketing as a once/month push (or once/week etc)—you should consider setting up an auto-schedule of emails for new sign-ups to your site. As soon as a new user enters onto your email list they should enter a cycle of emails which get sent out—above and beyond the initial email.
I’m not talking about spamming but some helpful emails can really help users convert. Pingdom does this very well—I signed up for a free trial of their tool and after a week or so I received an email asking if I was ok with everything on the service, asking if I had any questions etc. This kind of thing will help turn those passive users into active users and hopefully customers.
Monitor 404 errors & other site issues
This is web best practice anyway but you should always keep an eye on website issues, whether they’re 404 errors, site downtime (Pingdom has a good tool for this, see above!) or something else. Analytics packages don’t always monitor these things by default so this kind of traffic can often be overlooked. Imagine the (nonexistent) conversion rate of users who see a 404 page! So cleaning up these 404 errors and taking users to a better page can help to increase conversions. If you don’t have big development resources, Google Webmaster Central can help identify 404 errors on your site. If Google is seeing these errors then there’s a good chance that users are too.
If you’re running a dynamic site that runs off an ever-changing database then you should also monitor carefully for situations where a user hits a sub-optimal page. It might not be a true 404 error but if for example you have a dynamic product database then you should look out for any visits to category pages with zero products on. These kinds of hidden errors can often be a source of lost conversions.
Gather more data
In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, but in the land of the internet the man with most data is king. So alongside testing your website consider adding some extra data collection to inform your next test. A great place to start is with tracking how far users get through forms. My colleague Duncan Morris wrote a great post on how to easily do this using Google Analytics events. The best thing about that post? It works on any form using auto-binding!
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