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How to Get Better Conversions by Letting Your Customers Design Your Website

Analytics tools  have left us swimming in data about company websites and if you’re not careful, you can waste a lot of time analyzing it and end up not very far from where you started.  This is because this data tells us what happened, but it leaves out the most important information:  Why it happened.

If you don’t have data to back up why something is happening, the door is left open to opinions; and the one who wins isn’t necessarily the right one, but usually the highest paid one.  This can cost lots of money.  No matter how you slice and dice the data, you can’t answer the why question yourself without imparting your own biases into the answers.

Let’s say your homepage was totally redesigned and the conversion rate for its primary conversion goal dropped by 2%.  Each person that has any say in the company probably has a different opinion about what the problem may be.  “The picture should be different” or “The headline should be different” or “It should be my picture there instead of the CEO’s” or whatever.  Well, who’s right?  Who knows.

The good news is, there are two ways to gain truly accurate information about why something is happening on a website that most companies simply are not taking advantage of … surveys and testing.

With surveys, instead of guessing what will make your visitors happier or what is missing that they may be looking for, you ask the customer what you should do.  You can find out things like:

  • why visitors are coming to your site and how well you are servicing their needs
  • if they found what they were looking for or had to go somewhere else
  • points of frustration that made it harder to complete the purpose for their visit

With testing, you basically let your customers design your website by allowing them to vote with their actions on what works for them and what doesn’t.  You can find out things like:

  • what parts of your website pages affect conversion rates the most
  • how pages flow to make the conversion process easier for your visitors
  • what conversions specific pages are designed better for

These allow you to get ultra-quick and ultra-important guidance into making your site better for your business.

The common theme here?  Your customers guide your website decisions with their words and actions.  And both surveying and testing are cheaper, easier and quicker than ever before.


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Mike Fleming

Mike Fleming stays on top of the latest strategies in Paid Search and Web Analytics to make sure every campaign he manages for Pole Position clients brings measurable, profit-maximizing value to their company and their website visitors. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a beautiful, sweet, caring and admirable girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him. Read Mike's full bio.

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3 Responses to How to Get Better Conversions by Letting Your Customers Design Your Website

  1. Interesting idea Mike. Just wondering what you would recommend when a survey leads to many different opinions and not one that stands out in terms of popularity? Would be interesting to see how you would design your survey and still allowing for people to freely give their opinion.

  2. I think the best thing to do would be to have some very pointed multiple choice questions about some specific questions you need answered. For example, “Which topic is of most interest to you? A, B, or C.” A series of questions like these will give you a controlled set of responses. If there is no cleared favorite, you know that A, B, and C are of equal importance. You can finish off your survey with a free form field to allow your customers to express anything that you didn’t specifically ask about.

  3. I dont think that surveys are very effective unless you have a rough idea of what went wrong. If you have a rough idea, you can ask people about it and change the layout. Otherwise people tend to fob off when they get options like Excellent, Good and Poor.

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