Analytics CRO

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Site’s Conversion Rate

Photo credit: The Great Sigmund

Your site’s conversion rate can make or break your ability to generate sales and leads online. Site owners often spend countless hours, utilizing numerous A/B testing tools, to try and come up with the perfect headline, call to action and button color only to see their work result in very minor improvements.

Creating statistically significant improvements in conversion rate is more than just testing a red button vs an orange button, it’s making foundational changes to user experience that drive meaningful results. Here’s 3 ways you can quickly see massive conversion rate gains on your site with minimal work involved:

Shorten the Checkout

Many sites still use a multi-page checkout experience flow like this example

  • Account creation
  • Shipping
  • Payment
  • Review
  • Confirmation

Each one of these steps allows a user to leave for a variety of reasons and marketers have been obsessed with trying to plug leaks between each step vs taking a step back and trying to simplify the checkout experience.

First of all review pages shouldn’t need to exist, a review process (verifying name, shipping, addresses, amounts) should be within the checkout UI vs a dedicated page.

Second newer iterations of some of the world’s most popular carts have the ability to conduct the process within a single screen. In my experience, moving from a multi-page funnel into a single page can improve checkout rates by 25-50 basis points.

Add Payment Methods

We live in a world where people utilize Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Paypal and a host of other services to regularly conduct transactions and sites that let users leverage 3rd payment systems have an immediate advantage over their competitors.

Often the pushback we here from merchants when looking at 3rd party payment platforms is the swipe fee. These can be 25-40 basis points higher than their negotiated merchant processing rates and while this is important to factor from a margin perspective, consider the incremental revenue generated that would have otherwise gone elsewhere especially for people trying to checkout on mobile devices.

Furthermore adding payment installment providers like Affirm can generate significantly better checkout rates on higher AOV carts especially if your brand sells items that tend to skew toward younger demographics.

Give Options

With the first two recommendations we’ve focused heavily on the cart experience and now I want to focus on the product experience. The most common dead end on a retail site is a product being out of stock and for most sites the response is to provide an input allowing users to be notified when a product is back in stock.

That is by far the worst product experience you can provide because by the time you notify someone, if at all, that their product has been restocked, the momentum to drive a conversion is often gone and your happy to let you know email ends up in the trash.

A product being out of stock should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a liability. Consider carousels with substitute goods that are bought in place of that item, additional configurations of quantity and amount and what else users who view/purchase the product tend to buy.

Don’t let an out of stock product create a u-turn for your visitor. Instead use it and embrace it as a retailing opportunity.


My Favorite Changes in Google Analytics 4

Photo credit: The detail oriented Hakon Grimstad

Google Analytics 4 provides businesses with a fresh interface and new metrics with which to view their performance.  It’s a major change that’s been years in the making and we’re highlighting some of the new enhancements in GA4 that solve common reporting problems and provide additional insights to marketers.

The End of Bounce Rates

Bounce rate has been a core KPI for many businesses but the metric and thinking behind it was long overdue for change. The classical definition of bounce rate is how many people landed on your site but didn’t advance to another page.

It was supposed to be a barometer for both traffic and landing page quality but often reporting around it had to be filled with caveats because a high bounce rate does not always mean a poor performing page. If someone lands on your site and clicks to call or successfully fills out a form that doesn’t take them to a confirmation page, in both instances the bounce rate would be 100% even though you had conversions in each example.

Because of this brands began to use it as a directional metric that when layered with conversion rate by page was a better metric set. In GA4, bounce rate is replaced with engagement rate which takes into account actions on page and provides a measure of true engagement not based on page progression.

Events by Default

In the old version of Google Analytics, if you wanted to track events (button clicks, video plays, tab clicks) you had to add special code to the site that would fire whenever a user took an action. For sites with content areas that varied significantly between pages, implementing full event tracking was a nightmare for marketing and development teams.

The new GA4 can automatically track and standardize events eliminating the arduous work of setup under Universal Analytics. Marketers can still append custom parameters to each one if they need additional context but the days of page by page div implementation is now over.

Native Cross Domain Tracking

Another obstacle for marketers involved measuring ROI among campaigns that could include multiple domains. For instance if a client has their own careers site as well as a careers page on their main corporate site … measuring an ad click to one that resulted in a conversion on the other was difficult to implement and track.

GA4 can now track activity among multiple related domains which will help marketers truly measure their efforts among the entire brand spectrum. The days of caveating reporting to try and account for accretive conversions from other sites/campaigns are now a thing of the past.

Get Started Today

If your business has yet to migrate to GA4, you need to get that setup soon so that you don’t lose year over year data. There are a number of guides to get started as well as agencies that can implement it on your behalf.