Conversion writing and SEO copywriting is pretty straightforward stuff. Write the right words, plug some keywords in, make sure you’ve got proper backlinks, and start cranking out content. Once you start showing up more in searches, you should start seeing more conversions.
If your website is too difficult to use, or your potential customers aren’t able to navigate their way to your conversion opportunities, it doesn’t matter how much optimization you do. You could have the highest search ranking on the planet, or the biggest wealth of awesome content, and still not see your conversions rise if your website is too tough to figure out.
Conversion optimization is a little-known practice that small business owners and marketers can use to make their websites perform excellently. Here’s a list of our five favorite optimization products and services you can use to quickly reorganize your site for better conversions, or steadily hone your presence in the long-term for consistently better results.
Formerly known as the Google Website Optimizer, Google Analytics Content Experiments is a free, easy way to run A/B and multivariate tests with your Google Analytics-enabled website. You can run up to five different versions of a page, then determine which of the five produced the most conversions.
Pros: It’s FREE!! And it’s built in to Google Analytics, something just about every SEO loves. You’re in complete control.
Cons: You’ll have to crank webpage variations on your own: no easy menus, no simplified WYSIWYG editors. Total control is kind of a downside, too: you have to interpret your own data without any simplified, “pretty” metrics.
Small Business Notes: If you’re a web developer or you at least know your hand around a site editor, you can use Content Experiments to your heart’s content. If you’re not technologically-inclined, you should maybe choose a more expensive, simplified conversion optimization system.
KISSmetrics is all about digging up actionable data you can use instantly. With KISSmetrics, you’ll be able to valuate and monitor the potential price of your conversions, and drill your data into actionable metrics you can use to make important decisions. KISSmetrics focuses less on your site data, and more on the people using your site: track visitors’ lifecycles, improve your visitor retention capabilities, proactively A/B test, and see how your improvements contribute to all of your data all at once.
Pros: KISSmetrics is one of the most trusted names in conversion optimization, and their products are perfect for just about any business. Their services help you analyze visitor behavior based on your current data so you can identify patterns that are helping—or hurting—your conversion efforts.
Cons: Their lowest monthly plan is cheaper than most other competitors, but beyond that, prices are higher than average. You most certainly get what you’re paying for, though!
Small Business Notes: KISSmetrics will actively work with you to decide what plan is best for your business during your 14-day free trial. You can also have a demo customized specifically for your business if you’d like.
Optimizely is an awesome WYSIWYG A/B testing suite that lets you visually reorganize your webpages and actively track the results of your modifications. Optimizely makes conversion optimization easy by letting you manage and run A/B content tests quickly and easily on your own.
Pros: Dead-simple drag-and-drop modifications to all your webpages let you reorganize for better conversions on the fly.
Cons: Optimizely is strictly an A/B testing service. If you’re a data person, Optimizely may not provide the wealth of data that other services like KISSmetrics offer. The price tag is also relatively steep if you don’t know what you’re getting into.
Small Business Notes: If you’re in charge of all your own conversion optimizations, this can be an excellent all-in-one optimization suite. No website coding experience required!
UserTesting is an entirely different approach to conversion optimization. Instead of using your website’s analytics data, UserTesting puts a real person in front of your website, and lets you see the results while they simulate a conversion event. Real live people are recorded while they browse your website, and you’re given the user video to determine how you can improve on that visitor’s experience.
Pros: It’s exactly like looking over your real customers’ shoulders as they follow your conversion funnel. You get a full video with audio of the user talking you through their experience from their perspective, along with a written summary of problems they encounter.
Cons: You’re looking at a one-time fee of $39 per visitor, and your results are entirely based on how specific you are when you plan the test. If you’re too vague, you might not get the results you want.
Small Business Notes: If you’re curious for an objective third party’s opinion on your website, this is the place to find that extra input. UserTesting will help make your results as valuable as possible, and if you think you can benefit from their services, it’s worth a shot.
CrazyEgg is another visually-oriented optimization app suite. Instead of giving you one-time results from a user, though, CrazyEgg helps you track all of your visitors and plots out a “heat map” of their usage results. With CrazyEgg’s services, you can see where your users click on your website, where their eyes land most often, and what visually engages your customers on each of your webpages.
Pros: Visual user tracking over time can show you exactly where your users go first, what they look at, and where they’re most focused. Analyze your current effectiveness and future modifications and see the results for yourself.
Cons: Your results from CrazyEgg are going to be entirely visual. You’ll have to have the design sense to fix your webpages so users click where you want them to click, and look where you want them to look.
Small Business Notes: CrazyEgg combines the visual aspect of UserTesting results with the data-based results of KISSmetrics. If you want a little bit of real user data and a little visual feedback to give focus to your webpage iterations, this is a great product.
Conversion optimization techniques like multivariate testing and content reiteration are some of the most widely overlooked practices in online marketing today, and using them is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your website’s performance. If your site content isn’t up to par, we can help you write what your customers want to read. If you think your webpage design just isn’t cutting it, one of these services will give you exactly what you need to rake in more conversions each month.