Don't set up your website shop and then dive straight into paid marketing until you've listened to this episode. It could literally be money down the drain. We will walk you through best practice website optimisation and will give you several tangible things you can implement right now to keep users on your site longer, and moving towards that sale!
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Anna: Welcome to episode number seven of The Elevatory podcast. Today I'm joined by The Elevatory's head of optimisation, Jo Kanaris. Hi Jo. Now Jo teaches and coaches our clients, everything from website optimisation to email marketing, sales funnel integration, CRM management, SEO, Google ads, like all the techie stuff. Jo: Yep. That's me. I'm a nerd deep down. Anna: You are deep down, but I love it. And I couldn't do business without you. Now you've been with us since 2016, and I've got to say you are one of the most patient humans with our clients because tech definitely is one of those areas, which is pretty complicated don't you reckon?
Jo: Yes, absolutely. And to have someone just sort of guiding you through the ins and outs makes everything a lot smoother.
Anna: It does, but I mean, hats off to you, because I know quite how painful it is, some of the tech, not just what we did with our stuff, but seeing all the different scenarios that you have with current clients, all on different website platforms, email marketing platforms, integrating all sorts of wonderful, different apps and the like, and you're very patient. So I thank you for that in advance. Now today we're going to talk through, eight strategies to improve your conversion rate optimisation. But before we actually get into the actual crux of the show, can you give everyone a bit of an overview in your mind, what conversion rate optimisation is and why it's so important.
Jo: Yeah. Sure. So conversion rate optimisation is the process of increasing the percentage of website visitors that convert on your website. So it's a huge topic, but we're going to drill down on the usability, which will help increase conversions by removing friction on your site. So if we use the Shopify average conversion rate as an example, it's 1.4%. So imagine if you could convert 3, 4, 5, or six or more people per hundred once they get to your website.
'So if we use the Shopify average conversion rate as an example, it's 1.4%. So imagine if you could convert 3, 4, 5, or six or more people per hundred once they get to your website.' - Jo
Anna: So it makes a huge difference doesn't it, like just increasing your conversion rate ever so slightly in terms of volume.
Jo: And the, the thing is we've got between one and three seconds to keep the user's attention when they land on your website. And as soon as they land, they need to know who you are, what you do, what's in it for them and what action you want them to take. So it's like taking the user on the journey. We're going to give them clear direction. We're going to keep them interested. And part of that is making sure that the journey on the website is intuitive and that they can easily find what they've come to buy or to book in for.
Anna: Totally. And I think a lot of people, I mean, from our experiences, especially with clients, miss this sort of stuff on their website. They just get a Shopify site set up or they get a website set up and then they just focus on their marketing, but they haven't actually gotten clear on whether their website is doing what it should be doing. And on top of that, as you know, I rant about this regularly. My bugbear is when young businesses don't have optimised websites and they go hiring ad agencies because the ad agency will get them traffic. But if their website is not converting, it literally can be money down the drain. And, you know, you kind of got to like get your I's dotted and your T's crossed first and make sure your all your infrastructure from website to email marketing is in place first. So that's my view. Anyway.
Jo: Yes. I totally agree. It's all well and good to have a beautiful looking website and you know, you can send thousands of people there, but if they're not finding what they want, when they get to your website, it's not going to translate in sales on the other end.
Anna: Exactly. All right. So what we need to do today is get you to share, cause this is your jam, your area where you coach our clients, some really valuable points on what people should be doing to improve their user experience so that we can hopefully get them to basically increase their average conversion rate. And we're going to run through eight points, just some top line information, and then we're going to give them some awesome tools that they can use as well to help them get their conversion rate optimisation right. And I'm going to say, having listened to many podcast episodes on this topic, I feel like no one ever really gives away the good stuff, but I'm hoping that today we're going to give some good information. So that for listeners, they actually can go away and implement. What do you reckon, Jo?
1. Main Menu
Jo: Yeah, let's start. So number one is your main menu. So the purpose of the main menu is to help users find what they're looking for. And they should find what they're looking for not more than three clicks away. So for example, for an ecommerce store, imagine having a main menu, if you sell women's clothes. So imagine having a menu with women's tops, women's jeans, women's dresses instead of shop So not only does it give the user a great snapshot of your product range, but they can get there quickly. Or if you're a service business. Instead of just having services, you could have copywriting, blogging, SEO. So depending on your business, if you've got a lot of products or a lot of services, have a look around for some good mega menus. Also a good tip here is to avoid using cute or cryptic menu names So a very sort of fun example, I suppose, is if you sell socks, call them socks. Don't call them toe warmers. Cause people aren't going to be searching for toe warmers . This will also help Google when it's looking for relevant pages to rank.
Anna: I love it. Who says toe warmers? I bet you've come across people that have used weird stuff on their menus.
Jo: I haven't actually, but it's just an example that I use to show that the stark difference, between, you know, trying to get a bit cutesy and brand-y on some terms, which is fine, but the people gotta be searching for them.
Anna: Totally. I totally get you. Can I just say, I completely agree with you that some people's menus are a mess when they come to us, they have way too many categories or too much information, or when they have their mega menus, it's overwhelming. But can you give people a very quick overview of what I'm making menu is?
Jo: Okay. So a mega menu is a menu that's specifically created for large catalogues. So you might still just have that one shop button, and then the next level, the dropdown is all your categories And even in some of those categories may have more drop downs So we try not to have more than one dropdown. But in the case, if you have a look perhaps like Myer, you've got a mega menu, some of them are necessary. So it's just making sure you order stuff, um, you know, maybe alphabetical order or maybe, you know, making sure that the menu items in the dropdown aren't long just keeping them brief, dresses, tops, pants. So a lot of the themes in Shopify and WordPress they'll have some themes that are specifically designed for mega menus. So they've already gone through like some testing processes and making sure that those mega menus also translate on mobile.
Anna: Okay. Awesome. So anyway, a good place to start your main menu. As we work down the page, some food for thought there, make sure that you are, if you've got less items, you get them in your menu so that people can get there quickly. And if you've got lots of items, we use a proper mega menu, so that users can find their way there intuitively. All right. So let's move on. How about what's after your main menu? Let's dive down into your hero image.
2. Hero Image
Jo: Yep. Sure. So once a user arrives at your website with, as we said, you've got less than three seconds to show them who you are, what you do and what do you want them to do next. So that hero image should portray what you offer It should also have on it, your USP, which is your unique selling proposition and your call to action and a call to action of what you want them to do next. Is it to shop all, to learn more? Is it to contact you? Is it to book in for a 20 minute call? So as part of the process at The Elevatory, we help clients craft and define these USPs as well as the points of difference. So the lead can see straight away why their business is so special. So the thing about the hero image though, the recommendation is to avoid animated, sliding or carousel images. And we'll talk about that a bit more in the next point.
Anna: Yeah, I was going to say, I was going to ask you about that because I know how many people come to us with carousels and all those wonderful things. And it's always like, Nope. Get rid of it. So go onto your next point. Site speed.
3. Site Speed
Anna: Okay. Sounds amazing. I was going to say for brains like mine who is good with numbers, this sort of techie kind of stuff is like, woo. But so important. And it's amazing too, when we see the optimisation work on a website, and then we start sending traffic to it. I mean, we have lots of data and metrics that we track to see just how different the conversion rate can be. And the user, you know, the user flowing through to check out, as well as obviously an uplift in just general site visits, which is amazing. So lots of information there to help you guys increase site speed and get rid of distractions and be really clear on what you're all about. And next up talking of distractions, let's talk about social icons.
4. Social Icons
Jo: Yes, this is a bugbear of mine. And this is something you can implement right now. So they don't belong in the header. Social icons should be in the footer. And the reason is, is that you spend a lot of time, money, and effort trying to get people to your website. So don't give them a reason to click off onto your socials, because what happens when we go on our socials, we start scrolling and we get lost in the rabbit hole of the scroll. So put your icons in the footer. I'm also not a fan of Instagram feeds on websites. Not only can it slow down the website, but again, why do they need to leave your website and go to Instagram? Socials should be bringing in the traffic to the website and it's not the other way around And so when they get to your website, your website should have all the info necessary for the lead to make a conversion.
'Social icons should be in the footer... you spend a lot of time, money, and effort trying to get people to your website. So don't give them a reason to click off onto your socials, because what happens when we go on our socials, we start scrolling and we get lost in the rabbit hole of the scroll.' - Jo
Anna: Yeah, I agree. I must admit like I can understand why people do the Instagram feed because in some instances it can look pretty and add a bit of flavour, but we're so distracted by so much stuff going on, completely, you know, off you go click and four hours later, you've lost that lead, especially when you pay to get them to come to your website. So super important.
Jo: Oh, and just adding to that, you can still have those pretty images on your website. Just don't have them clicking through to Instagram.
Anna: I hadn't even thought about that Nice. All right. And now let's talk about the call to action.
5. Call to Action
Jo: Yep. So again, this is another one that you can implement today. So your call to action buttons, so buttons like shop now, learn more, add to cart, check out, apply now, download now, they should all be the same contrasting colour across your website and even into your email marketing emails. People mostly skim read websites. So they're looking for visual cues on what to do next.
Anna: Yep. I was going to say it's interesting, isn't it? We've seen a lot of people where they have colours for some of their buttons, and then it's white with an outline for other buttons. And even when you're talking about highlighting text, right. So if you want people to click text, you want that text exactly the same colour. So for us at the moment, our website has got a bit of yellow on it and if you see yellow, yellow text, or you see yellow call to action button and what you're gonna do, the view is that you are going to click it. And I'm sure that when we speak to Dora overcoming episodes, she'll talk a little bit more about some of the language that you can use on those call to action buttons as well. Especially with service businesses to make people actually take the next action. Yep. Alrighty. What's next Jo?
6. Product / Service Pages
Jo: The next is your actual product or your service page. So we've got the lead, the lead has found your website and you're a potential match for what they're looking for. Right. So how do we get them to add to cart or to apply now? For ecomm businesses, this would be an add to cart button beneath the product title and the price. So on some websites, you'll see the price. a huge column of copy, and then the add to cart down the bottom. So as soon as I land on your page, let them see the image, let them see the price, let them see where they can purchase.. If they want to read the description, they will scroll down. Also under the price, it's also good to have a little line of copy about the shipping. So for example, on all your product pages, you could just have one line that says something like, you know, $10 flat fee or free over a hundred dollars. So don't make the lead leave the page to go and look for your shipping charges. And by having the free shipping thresholds here, it even encourages cart additions. So, you know, how many times have you added something else to your cart because you were close to the free shipping threshold? I know I have. And along with this, so beneath that is having a robust product description okay. With the benefits of the product ie how they can use it and how it will make them feel. Not just the features. All right. So write something that resonates with, with the lead, you know, will they be able to take it from day to night? Is it good for summer? Is it good for colicky babies, whatever it is, you know resonate with the lead. And also on your product pages, don't go crazy with the images. Only have the ones that are going to aid conversion. Some themes will allow you to add a small video too, which is also a great selling tool. You should also have, you know, related or recently viewed products at the bottom of the page, so that lead can quickly navigate back to the other product or a similar one if the one they've landed on isn't quite what they're looking for.
And with service businesses, there's a structure that you can follow that will sort of answer the questions that a lead has when they come to your page. The first thing you should address is who the service is for. And what problem are you solving for them? Then how will you solve the problem what's included, what outcomes the lead can expect. Do you have any proof or authority? Have you got testimonials on that page and what do you want the lead to do next? You know, what is the call for action? Do you want them to book in for a 20 minute call, let's chat or do you want them to apply?
Anna: Yeah I mean, it's an interesting one for service businesses because ultimately I think it depends on the type of service, if it's a local service, if it's a program or a course, and sometimes you need a long form sales page, which in itself is a whole other kettle of fish. But essentially it's the same thing you have. You're answering a series of questions or delivering a specific amount of information to help people to make the decision and, you know, find that they're a match for what you're offering. And then again, you're getting them to do something. I think back to your product, one thing that is something I've noticed a lot, especially with clients as well is sometimes the user experience on desktop can be one thing when it comes to like, especially clicking the images of like the products. And then when you get onto mobile, it can just be an absolute nightmare and the images aren't clicking, or you're not able to zoom in. And I think that it's so important for people to kind of test all this stuff out. Right. Check it all through and see how they go, because just because the theme set up and you've added things in doesn't mean it's working as it should.
Jo: Definitely. You need to go through your mobile experience or get some friends or family to do it, who aren't so close. And it's just simple things like are the menu items too squished together. And then, you know, people with fat fingers, can’t actually click the button or are the add to carts or the apply nows not easily seen, is the contrast colour not right. Can they easily add to cart and get to the checkout? Okay. So it needs to be tested.
Anna: Definitely. It's really strange isn't it? We talked about this before. Quite often, we encourage people to do a test purchase on their site. And people are a bit weird about buying through their own site. It's like, do it. Or but just get outside opinion. I mean, obviously we do website reviews and audits with people and give people a real good prescription of what needs to change, but certainly go and chat to various people, because you might find when people are going through the motions, you get feedback from them because you're so deep in it, right? When you're in your website all the time, even we had this conversation the other day, someone gave us feedback that was new to the team and it's like, wow, we've been so in the website for so long that you don't realise that other people aren't navigating it the way that you do, like you might think it's intuitive. I was talking to a couple of our service clients and the same thing. I was on their website, and I was like, how do I even get to your service? And they're like, well you do this, this, this, this, this, and I thought that was seven steps, that's seven steps. And I've got no idea how to do that, or remember that. And I'm not going to find it on my own. I'm going to spend a long time doing it. So let's make it quick and easy for them. Awesome. Thanks, Jo What have we got in terms of cart pages and checkout pages?
7. Cart Page
Jo: So cart pages and checkout pages. So the sort of the end of the journey So, you know, when they've added to cart and they're in their cart, what is it that you want the lead to do next? What action? So the cart page should be pretty clean of distractions and any unnecessary information. Have a continue shopping link and a proceed to checkout button. And you might also have your related products on this page, so you can increase basket size. And also on the cart pages, there is some advanced techniques. So you may not be able to do this with your theme or on your own, but a developer may be able to help you, but things like if you offer a discount, add an automatic discount code in the cart, so that the lead doesn't have to go looking for it. So quite often we'll send them a discount code in their inbox. If it's not handy, at least let them apply it automatically. And in addition, I have seen a lot of cart pages and checkout pages with those humongous Google Pay, Shop Pay and PayPal buttons. They don't need to be on those pages. What you can do is just add a line of copy that lets them know what the payment options are available and that they'll be available on the checkout page. So why we do that is so if they get to your cart page and then they go and use one of those other payment methods and they don't complete the order, then we can't send them an abandoned checkout email. And if we can't send them an abandoned cart checkout email, we can't even attempt to recapture the sale.
8. Checkout Page
So, let them get to the next page where, which is the next point, which is a checkout pages. Similar to the cart pages, keep the page clean of distractions, no headers and footers, no large Google Pay, Shop Pay and PayPal buttons. And here, if the lead has an option of adding their email address or their mobile number to complete the checkout, just change that so they've only got the option to leave their email address. And by leaving their email address, If they back out, at least you've got an email address to contact them all, to send them an abandoned cart email. The other thing too, on your checkout pages is don't have the shipping and the billing sections both expanded. Leave one and let the user click the box or tick the box if the shipping address is different from the billing address. So just so the page looks smaller and it's easier to navigate.
Anna: Less to fill out right? You always feel like 'oh I've got to fill out all my details.' Awesome Is there anything else you wanted to share on the cart pages? I mean, we've given them a lot of information here.
Jo: Yeah. I think that's, um, a lot of stuff. And as I said, For example, the Shopify cart and checkout process is pretty smooth, but you know, there are little tweaks that can be done. So should we talk about the tools?
Anna: Yeah. Yeah. So I think that lots of food for thought here guys, across all of these different areas. There’re eight things we've talked through to help you kind of improve your user experience. So flow between pages all the way through to checkout and obviously through to purchase. So I'm sure there's some snippets there that you can have a think about what you're doing well and what you're not doing well, and I would definitely be encouraging you just from a tracking perspective is to keep looking at your analytics, whether that's Google analytics or your Shopify analytics, depending on the platform you're on, to see what your conversion rate looks like over time, so that you can see have you made changes, and if you do make changes, what impact does that have? You'll also see that, I guess, conversion rate generally, um, might. Decrease when you're going through like a black Friday sales, for example, when there's a huge amount of traffic coming through and people are kind of window shopping, you might find in periods like that, your conversion rate drops dramatically. Um, this is just worth keeping your eye on these metrics so that you can see what's going on and you can make better decisions. Now talking about metrics and tools yet let's move on to some of the stuff that tools that are out there that also can help you to understand a bit better. what's going on with your website. The first is Hotjar, which is one of my favourites, but I'll let you tell everybody about why it's so amazing.
Jo: So it's, it's a website heat map tool. So what it does, it records the page sequence and button clicks the user takes on your website and it's colour coded. So points on your website that are really clicked a lot are like a bright red colour. And in contrast, as people get to the bottom of the page, if not many people are getting to the bottom of the page, you'll see that the heat map has gone cold and it's a blue colour. So this heatmap and colour signal gives you feedback that explains your user's behaviour while they're browsing.
Anna: You can also, it also takes videos or record videos of screen user experience, because I've been in there with some of our clients and we've been watching videos and it's been really interesting. Cause you can see that people are coming in and they're clearly looking for something and they don't know how to find their way there. Or they're looking for more, you know, more products and more information perhaps and in this instance our client doesn't have it. You can see that the user is confused or, you know, it's brilliant to actually watch people in real time and watching these people on video.
Jo: Yeah, absolutely. The insights, they're mind-blowing and you know, some of the things that you see, you go 'oh yeh why didn't I think of that?' Right. So, um, the next tool is Google Analytics. So a note on Google Analytics actually Anna, and that is the current Google Analytics, which is known as Universal Analytics or Google Analytics 3, is going to be retired by Google in July next year. And it's being replaced, with Google Analytics 4. And it's come about because of all the privacy changes that have been happening in the last 12 or 18 months. And so Google has had to change the way it collects information and how it shows information. So in the current Universal Analytics, you can go to your account and go to conversions, ecommerce shopping behaviour and you'll see a graph of the shopping progression. So the total number of website sessions on the given date range, the proportion of those that are product views of those that have added to basket, those that have added to the checkout page. And finally those that have actually completed a purchase. So you'll be able to see from there if you've got a leaky path to purchase where you might need to go and look at the pages and analyse them a bit more to see how you can rectify it. Also in Google Analytics, you can drill down to specific segments such as mobile and desktop, you know, maybe mobile's got a higher abandoned cart rate. So that's a key indicator that there's a problem with the mobile experience, it could be browser related, you can look at different channels so you can see perhaps if the people coming in through your social channels are any different to the ones that are coming through organically. So there's various things that you can dig into there. And the Google Analytics 4 that's actually going to be picking up some other behaviours, which will be handy. So that will also be measuring, like scrolls down the page, almost like Hotjar. And you know, if you click on file download, if you engage like on a video on your website, if you've got an embedded video it's gonna measure, the engagement of that. So there's going to be other things to measure there.
Anna: Oh, awesome. Love it. Like, Hey, if you haven't guessed, sorry. As in Jo said, she's a nerd. I concur in terms of when it comes to data and analytics and I'll have to say, I love getting into the analytics dashboard, whether it's Google analytics or even the Shopify analytics, because both sets are worth having a look at to see what information there is. And if you don't know, there are other tools out there as well that you can kind of have linked up to help give you these metrics if you don't have the sophistication of some of this stuff. But yeah, there's just so much information in all of this that is worth you taking the time to look at time and again, so yeah, so much gold. Okay. Last point before we overwhelm everyone with all this amazing information, I think that they're going to have like three weeks’ worth of homework after this.
Jo: The last tool is, Kissmetrics and essentially, the cool feature of the tool is behavioural. So as opposed to web sessions, so this is sort of like what Google Analytics 4 is doing so it allows you to see your customer's or user's full journey across devices. So you can discover, drop off points of every flow on your site. And it goes further than the traditional page views, bounce rates and time on site.
Anna: Now, if you're interested in some of the numbers that we've taken you through and some of these analytics today, then I encourage you to come and join our Facebook group, Master your Product Marketing: For Ecommerce Businesses, because I've actually got a numbers training in there, which kind of looks at everything from capturing your email marketing data, through to website traffic and conversion rates. And so if you want to nerd out with us on some of this stuff, then come and join us and I will tag you on a free training. It's about 10 minutes long comes with spreadsheets, and it will help you look at some of this stuff as well. So come and get your nerd on with us, please. We love jamming with you on this stuff.
Alongside that if you want to know more about how we might be able to help you, we alluded to that a few times a day with some of the work that we do with regards to conversion rate optimisation, website audits, and the like, if you know that your website needs a bit of an overhaul amongst other things, then please head on over to theelevatory.com to learn more. And you can book in a discovery call with me anytime. Now, Jo, you said there was going to be some show notes and you were going to leave some extra tech, where can they find that information?
Jo: So they'll be able to find all that information at theelevatory.com/podcast.
Anna: Awesome. Okay guys, you've got some homework to do. We look forward to hearing how you get on and we hope we'll see some of you in our Facebook group shortly. Have a great day.
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