Have you ever wondered why your competitor’s website is performing better than yours? How do they make it look so easy?
The secret is that they know how to gather valuable information about their audience and website that you haven’t even considered: Conversion Optimization.
What is Conversion Optimization?
Conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO), is the method of designing and marketing a website such that the goal of increasing the percentage of web visitors who convert into customers. This rate is directly tied to user experience. If a website visitor has a difficult time navigating your website or making a purchase, they will leave your site quickly and go somewhere else.
How Successful Websites Use Conversion Optimization
97% of websites FAIL at user experience.
The 2% however, are websites that are successful with converting web visitors into paying customers and have spent time experimenting with the layout of their design to find what works best for them. Experimenting with website design and content variations to determine which layouts, copy text, offers and images can all help to improve conversion rate.
The Role of Heat Maps in Website Conversion Optimization
The following is a screenshot of a heat map overlay of the Apple.com website. Red shows the most clicked on areas of the site, while green and blue are the lesser clicked areas.
As you can see in the heat map, the areas that are clicked most often related to the actions a visitor wants to take. It shows that a small percentage of people use the website’s search bar compared to people who click on images and product links. This type of information can help a website owner determine what features of their site are most valuable to their audience and maybe remove features that aren’t as usable.
Heat maps can also help show a website owner funny quirks in user behavior. Note the big red spot on the Snow Leopard! Why might people be clicking on the picture of the animal? perhaps to save the image? or hoping it would be clickable and take them to more information about the OS?
As a bonus, wouldn’t it be neat for Apple to make the hot spot an opportunity to do something fun, like embed an audio clip that when clicked, the snow leopard let our a big roar?
Successful Websites Test, Test, and Test Again!
Testing with just 5 sample visitors can find 85% of your website’s problems.
All successful websites, big and small, understand the importance of constant and consistent testing. A user’s experience can change over time due to cultural shifts, and new technology is released. Testing allows websites to maximize their performance at all stages. Web designers that focus on user experience, will usually run A/B testing processes for a new site design to see which concept will perform better before making a full design change.
Just think about all of the larger brand websites out there – how many times does Facebook makeover their design? Apple? Amazon? They are doing it for a reason. To optimize their website’s conversion!