With all the updates to our company, one of our key marketing metrics took a backseat over the last few months: conversion rate optimization.
Considering how many blog posts we’ve created over the last two years on the topic, we began to realize a sorry fact: we weren’t following our own advice!
In fact, outside of eBook landing pages, we hadn’t optimized our Home page, Tour page, Join page, and a few more worthy of a face palm or two.
While we’ve developed (and are still in development of) many great product features like our Custom Audiences Sync, PDF reporting, and WordPress Plug-In, we decided it was also time to hire one of the best conversion optimization agencies in the world: ConversionXL.
With their help, we are going to dive head first into CRO, and we’ll be transparently blogging about the experience.
We understand not all of you have the budget for a premium agency, but with these posts, you’ll be able to implement and learn CRO techniques along with us.
For a start, we’ll go through the initial discovery phase, the tools we implemented to create our site’s “benchmark”, and the now-obvious mistakes we endeavor to fix and improve by the next post.
If you’d rather watch a video instead of read, check our Facebook video that goes through our post:
The Tools for Conversion Rate Optimization
Here are the tools we are using for CRO
HotJar – For the heat maps, click maps, and on-site/exit surveying
Visual Website Optimizer (VWO)
Typeform – To send direct surveys to those who Free Trial
Formissimo – analytics for forms
Google Analytics – measuring conversion rates
MixPanel – on the back end and mobile
What’s Wrong? Quantitative Research…
Just like with your advertising, someone might say they “like” your ad or product, but until they take out their credit card, or click on your artistic advertisement, it’s all just words. In the same vein, we wanted to see what people were actually doing on our site. The best way to do that? Data analytics tools.
Over the last two years, we’ve spent a lot of time making sure our content on-site was brilliant, simple, and colorful: from the fold to the footer. Heat Maps (and their associated Click Maps) allowed us to see, in detail, how people were interacting with our content.
“The Fold” is what appears on your browser by default. In other words, when you begin to scroll, you are going “below the fold.”
As our marketing team had written about Heat Maps before, we were quite surprised ourselves when we found that only 50% of people go below the fold on AdEspresso’s home page!
This means that half of the people who visit our home page don’t even scroll. They make their judgment based on what’s there on whether to click or leave.
They’re missing all of our value propositions, testimonials, and features!
So just how far do the rest of the people go?
Of the 50% who do adventure downwards, we found some even more sobering facts…
Only 25% reach our testimonials!
As we are strong proponents of social proof marketing, this was a reality check. We always include testimonials in our eBooks and ads, but unfortunately, we didn’t realize how few people saw it on the home page.
So only 25% reach the testimonials…*gulp* what about past that?
Only 7% of people scroll all the way down to reach the AdCompass – the only spot on the home page where visitors even have the opportunity to give us their contact information. To re-iterate, 93% of people who come to our home page don’t even see a place to give us their email (outside of signing up for a Free Trial).
While we do have information “below the fold” here, what mattered most to us was how people were interacting with our price package offerings.
Based on our initial click maps, it seems that the blue highlighted “Premium” plan is deceiving to the visitor: when you click on another plan, the blue highlight doesn’t move, as it seems that it should.
Additionally, click maps show that people are clicking the “thumbs up” icons under each plan, along with a strong fascination to click on our “time frames” for the lead ads and custom audiences data sync. Except nothing happens when they click.
The “hottest” click, by far, is our Tour page. So clearly the flow from Pricing -> Tour is strong, but we’ll discuss flows a little later in this post (and much more in further ones).
While subtle, this is one of our most important pages on the site.
And, as we expected, very few people scroll past the form. Typically people reach this page after browsing other pages on our site. However, this becomes a very big issue when this is a user’s first interaction with our site/company.
By utilizing “click maps” from HotJar, it’s clear that users think all forms are obligatory. Surprise! They’re not. First/Last Name is, but Company is not.
To dive even deeper, we decided to install Form Analytics. Formissimo is handling this, and as of this writing, we have it installed! Get ready for some data soon…
Google Analytics Audit
Conversion Rate Optimization isn’t just about how people click or interact with pages on your site. It’s also how people flow through multiple pages on your site.
While we have solid “last click” and “first touch” interaction data via HubSpot, we don’t have a full sense of how people went through the site. Luckily, ConversionXL got us to throw away that procrastination, and create our first set of Google Analytics goal flows!
Conversion Rates of Paid Traffic
This is where we had to face the difficult truth… we have AdWords driving people solely to the Join page. Yes, you remember, that one where only 75% of people don’t even scroll past the form submission box.
As expected, very few people convert. The average “bounce rate” (people who immediately leave the page) is 83%, with some ad campaigns even generating 90 – 100% bounce rates.
It’s definitely time to create a unique Join page for our paid traffic visitors.
What’s Wrong? Qualitative Research…
With data, you learn a lot, but sometimes, you also need to hear what people are thinking (and feeling). After all, it’s not robots coming to our site and clicking/scrolling, it’s human beings! To get real answers from our visitors, we implemented a few creative querying tools.
To get real answers from our visitors, we implemented a few creative querying tools.
In order to get a good base of qualitative research, we sent out this exact email to everyone who signed up for a free trial within the last week:
And while we aren’t accepting survey responses anymore, this is how it looked to those who partook:
I’m still compiling the results and discussing them with the ConversionXL team. Hopefully, for Part 2 of this series, we’ll have some delicious pie charts of responses.
On-Site “Exit” Polls
While quite effective on the Join page, we installed this site-wide. These polls deliver on “exit intent.” In other words, when someone seems to be leaving the site.
We had a lot of people who thought it was a chat-box. Plenty of “Hi”s, “What’s up?”, and even a few propositions for inappropriate activities. Thanks, but no thanks, we’ll stick to our core value proposition of Facebook ads software.
Of the quality responses we did receive, we’re using these in conjunction with the quantitive data we collected mentioned above.
ConversionXL is now combining what we learned in the discovery phase – quantitive and qualitative research – to do something most A/B testing fanatics would throw their Macbook out the window over… we’re going to change everything about our site at the same time!
Coming from a company that constantly talks about A/B split testing, this is a big leap of faith for us. The plan is to implement this multi-change test, and then narrow to split-test from there.
The FIRST website CHANGES will GO LIVE in 24 hours max from the publication of this post.
Get ready, and feel free to chime in on the methods used and results thus far!
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