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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Why Delighting Your Visitors’ Subconscious is More Important than Their Conscious

Conversion Optimization

Digital marketing focuses a lot on research and implementation of specific strategies, all designed to get a specific result. But nothing is really more important than delighting your visitors. Yeah, you have to draw in visitors before you can delight them, but what’s the point of getting them through the door if they are going to leave dissatisfied?

There are two components of visitor satisfaction. The first is user experience (UX) optimization, and the second is conversion optimization. The first focuses more on the visitors’ conscious experience. Conversion optimization, however, focuses more on their unconscious experience.

And if you asked me which matters more, I’m inclined to think it’s the latter. One can argue with their own consciousness. They can agree, explain, and justify things away. But you can’t really do that with what goes on behind the conscious thought. That’s because it’s about the feelings that one has about your website and, more often than not, they don’t even know why they have them.

Delight the Subconscious

User experience is the big picture of visitors’ engagement with your site. Conversion optimization, however, is the fine tuning of a very specific process: the conversion funnel. Where UX testing can be an important, yet optional, part of your digital marketing campaign, conversion testing should be nothing short of mandatory.

Once a visitor enters that conversion funnel, you want to keep them there. The goal is to grease that funnel, removing every obstacle to the subconscious that might cause them to leave.

When dealing with the conscious, you can ask questions to see what people prefer. But that option isn’t available with the subconscious. The only recourse is to actually see what people do. And that means testing.

  • Does a red button work better than a blue one?
  • Does one call-to-action work better than another one?
  • Are the images making visitors more or less likely to buy the product?
  • Do you have the right elements in the right places, making the visitor feel secure about the purchase?
  • Are there too many or too few options?

These are just a few of hundreds of things you can test to see what improves conversions and what doesn’t. But the point is, you have to test to know.

In fact, when it comes to conversion optimization, you can’t even rely on what works for someone else. You have to find out what makes your visitors more compelled to convert on your site. It’ll likely be different on another site.

Conversion Optimization Checklist


  • Look for conversion best practices and determine what your existing site “fails” at.

  • Perform one test at a time, and make sure you collect statistically relevant results before deciding which variation wins.

  • If you have a lot of tests to perform, set up multi-variate tests, but only do so if you have enough traffic to support it.

  • When you have a clear winner, roll it out site-wide and move on to the next test(s).

  • Never stop testing. Once you’ve tested everything you can think of swing, back around and try a new test against previous winners. Always be looking for ways to improve!


Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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