In today's episode, we take a deep-dive into Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for your eCommerce store. CRO is such an important aspect of your advertising strategy and can be optimized starting with your ad copy, and moving on to your landing pages, product pages and even in the checkout process. Get some in-depth advice on how to audit your ads and eCommerce store and what changes to make to ensure you're getting the highest conversion rate.
Episode Transcript — Increasing Your Conversion Rate Between Your Ads & Landing Pages
00:01 Announcer: You're listening to The Spend $10K a Day podcast. Brought to you by the performance marketing experts at MuteSix. This is your source for cutting edge insight into the world of online advertising. From the team with more Facebook case studies than any other agency on the planet. Here are your hosts, Steve Weiss and Stewart Anderson.
Stewart Anderson: Welcome back to the Spend 10K a Day Podcast. I'm Stewart Anderson, here with Steve Weiss, my good buddy. We're talking about conversion rate optimization, CRO today. The principle being, of course, that if you're sending great traffic from your Facebook ad campaigns, you want that traffic to convert well. That's what we're talking about today, is how to make the landing pages, check out funnel, all the parts of your website that your ad drive is gonna hit, convert really well and end up in customers rather than bounced traffic.
Steve Weiss: So one of the questions I always get, actually before I jump into this, hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. Everyone listening. Hopefully you and your valentine enjoyed or if you don't have a valentine, hopefully next year you'll have a valentine. So hopefully, everyone enjoys post Valentine's Day. Well, getting back to it. A lot of questions that's always asked to me specifically is, I have pe ... I have partners, people I work with who have multi-SKU eCommerce sites. What type of ad can we use to bring people in the funnel if you have multiple SKUs. From a conversion rate optimization, how do you optimize that user experience on your website to really match the Facebook ad? I always say to that, is how do you build evergreen ad units. Try and figure out which specific product, your kind of hero product, that most people are gonna want to come in the funnel with. Then, start building content around your specific hero products. Number one, always remember that people are going to come in with your most popular product, what you're known for or what you're best at. Number two, beside that is, always make your CTA buttons. I know it's not a very visual thing on a Podcast, but also make your CTA buttons very simple. I always love using the word next, you know something like that, just next. People will click on ... They're used to clicking on next or go. I think a lot of people use the buy now button, you just press buy. I think making CTA buttons is very simplistic is very important. Then number three, which is the obvious one, making sure that you have CTA buttons above the fold. It might be sound like a no brainer but, you know above the fold is very important.
SA: Yeah I mean, don't make it hard for somebody to figure out how to go to the next step in a process. Make it as easy as possible.
SW: Number four, I think a lot of people use video on their landing pages. I always say, instead of using video on your landing pages, test out videos versus images of your product on your landing page. You'll be surprised that in some instances, video doesn't convert as well as still images on your home page. Because you're measuring the click through rates of the people on your home page, that's actually your shopping cart. So split testing video versus images, it might sound like a no brainer but it's very important.
SA: Yeah. No, I completely agree. So let's talk a little bit about some of the onsite things, landing pages for one thing. I get a lot of questions from people about how to optimize product pages. We're talking about multi-SKU eCommerce site or even just single product eCommerce site. When you're on that page that displays information about a product, Steve what do you see as the most common mistakes that a lot of eCommerce companies are making on their product pages?
SW: Number one, a lot of words. I've seen lots of giant word blocks on their eCommerce. I've seen way too many images. I've seen companies using 10 images to describe one product. That's just too many images. You want to simplify it. Again, having a CTA button that literally people will resonate with that'll add to cart. I think that's very, very important. Also, price testing. I feel like a lot of people aren't price testing enough. We try at MuteSix to do a lot of price testing. You know sometimes we'll price test based on even a very granularity in audience on Facebook. We'll take an audience and we'll price test. If we were targeting a lower commit audience or a lower demographic, we'll try and price test that specific audience to see if this price will resonate with an audience. Obviously, you don't want to do too much of it because if you're price testing a lot, people are going to start complaining. If they saw that product from another place at this price, et cetera, et cetera. So something to be very aware of from a usability perspective. But I'm always in big favor of making ... Another little tweak to the product page is, if your product is sold out, make that very, very bold. I've seen so many companies allow people to buy stuff only to hit the shopping cart and say it's sold out, which frustrates people. I've seen companies just literally take products off the site that are sold out, which is another strategy. But you have to make sure that if you do have a product that's already sold out or you do have a product with limited sizes, I've seen that a lot, limited sizes. I like to put that on the product page before you hit the product description page.
SA: Yeah. How do you feel about a notify me when it's available option for people when the product is sold out? Like the ability to leave their email address and get notified?
SW: Yeah, I think that's a no brainer. I think that if you allow people to really show intent for a product, then really return the favor. Reach out to them when it's available, I think that's a very simplistic behavior for people. To brands that do a lot of gifting, I think one of the biggest conversion rate hikes that we've seen has been simplifying the gifting process. So if you're buying something, you press gift. It automatically, you can put in the gift recipient and boom, boom, boom. Very simple. I think that a lot of people are doing gifting. Gifting is very, very complicated. So looking at the process in which people buy your product and the purpose that they buy your product for. I think from a psychology standpoint, it's the number one thing when it comes to optimizing conversion funnels.
SA: I want to actually go back a little bit to something you said first when we were talking about product pictures. We use too much text. People are putting too much content on sites. I couldn't agree more. One thing I've noticed some really savvy companies do is, they're gonna have all the necessary stuff there to convince you available right when you land on the page. That text is there, you can read it, it's all the really key information. Then, they might have little toggles. If you're one of those people who want to know about the ingredients, or the specs, and how long it is, and wide it is, all that little information that just isn't really essential. But the nosy super throw person wants to know, it's in a toggle and they can click a button that says specs and it expands out. It enables people to access all that information, but it doesn't make it immediately display it.
SW: Yes, it doesn't congest the page.
SW: I think when I go and try to check out, I just want a simplistic check out funnel. I think that I don't want too much content, I don't want too much words. I think that's what confuses me. When I go to an eCommerce site ... Like today, I was trying to buy tickets to the Hearst Castle on the California page. This is the worst buying experience ever. Press buy now and it took me back to the store to buy more stuff. I'm like, no I just want to buy now. Allow me to buy now, allow me to buy.
SA: Yeah, it's like ... I've never been a huge fan of some of the recommended products, suggested products things that happen in the check out process. Even on the cart page. I get the principle, but a lot of times I'm just like, hey I want to buy this thing right now. This recommended products, which it was also on the product page, it was on some other pages I checked out. Like, I haven't added it yet, let me buy the thing I want to buy right now. Obviously, that something you probably want to test. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But that's a really, really good point. How about let's talk guarantees. Guarantees, social proof, any sorts of graphics that kind of help convince people. Where do you think the best place to have some sort of information about a guarantee? You would think product page? Check out page? Both?
SW: I think product page. It depends on what type of guarantee, but product page next to the product image. Social proof on the homepage. Just showing places that it has been written up. Or the publishing houses. On top of that, I just think even at the check out cart. If you're able to provide some form of scarcity of how many products are available. Obviously, the timers work great. Everyone loves timers. As a consumer, I never really understood. What does a timer mean? Is my computer going to just stop working? What happens when it goes down to a minute? Do the pages die? I think the timer is kind of one piece of it, which is kind of like no one knows what it means. It's kind of like a gamification, but not actually being gamification. I think that you have to test. I think this is a really good segway into what to test. Everyone always asks, what do I test. So number one, the obvious. One of the biggest hikes I've seen is just by stripping the navigation off of the checkout page. I've seen so many brands with Magento or Shopify put navigation tabs on their checkout pages, which is always a big, big no-no in my opinion. Number two, testing one variable at a time. Testing the CTA buttons underneath all the images. One test over X period of time, just seeing if what the lift is. You can do a lot of these tests, if you use visual website optimizer, you could optimize lead. But very simplistic test from a user behavior perspective. Number three, testing video versus testing images on your homepage. What's going to increase the click through rate. Test four, testing prices, prices and ads. Put a price in an ad versus not put a price in an ad. I think that's something that a lot of people don't do a great job of. They market their product, but no one knows how much their product is. They go to the page, they're like wow, that's a $200.00 product. I'm not gonna spend $200.00. So price testing on both the website and price testing in the ad. Number five, obviously mobile experience. Testing out specific types of mobile templates and Shopify, I think is huge. Being able to really understand what's gonna speed up the site in mobile. Speed up the shopping cart experience.
SA: Yeah. It's a really, really good lesson. I think the other thing, too, I would add for testing. You covered all the big ones, in terms of what to test. I think principles of testing. Understanding how to test and how to approach testing, too, is really important. When I talk to people about CRO, especially people in eCommerce and they're optimizing towards that sales funnel. A lot of people think, I'm gonna run this test and it's gonna get me a 50 percent lift on what it was doing before. I have to explain to people, I'm really happy you're excited and there's tons of possibilities. But most tests, they might get you a 10 percent lift in that conversion rate. Five percent lift in that conversion rate. They're like, oh well, okay. That seems like a lot of effort. I say to them, "Well, here's the thing. Wouldn't you love a 10 percent increase in sales? Or even a five percent increase in sales?" If you're making a million dollars a month, if you increase your conversion rate, that's gonna be another $100,000.00 a month that you're making just from this one test right there. So, it's scale, it's incrementally running a bunch of tests and getting a little bit of small boosts here and there. But over time, that can produce significant results.
SW: Remember, the tests don't always have to be about the expanded conversion rate. The tests could be ... You could be running an email test about email capture. We run a lot of email capture tests where we're testing out specific topics on the exit pop. The exit pop is key, so testing out exit pops. Testing out post purchase surveys. I think post purchase surveys are a treasure trove of data really from a consumer insights perspective. Of really understanding the consumer of why they're making this decision to make this purchase. I think not a lot of brands really understand what consumer insights mean. It's like this big word that no one really understands. I think doing tests to really understand the consumer behavior when they get on your website. What their expectations are from actually clicking on an ad to actually browsing through your website is really, really interesting. Maybe you might want to do a test around email capture. Maybe email capture is hurting the onsite behavior. We're always a big proponent of saying, oh do an exit pop. Gather those emails. Well, what if that pisses people off? What if people won't come back? What if they're really unhappy with this? We've used a lot of different email capture tools. We've obviously used Whelio, we've used JustUno, they're all great tools. But there's not a solution for everyone. If you have a very serious site, you have a very serious user base, maybe some people don't want to see a flipping wheel. Maybe that's just the reality. I would say be very thoughtful with your tests. Test one thing at a time and don't always focus on the conversion rate. Test stuff to improve site usability. I think that's the key. If I were to give one advice of what I learned as a marketer, if you improve the usability of the site, you're gonna inherently improve the conversion rate. I think a lot of people don't really ... People I talk to aren't really focused on. They're just focused on conversion, conversion, conversion.
SA: Yeah, it's definitely really important. I think what's really cool for Marketers or eCommerce people out there that want to test and figure out is this test really driving a better user experience. If you're tracking conversions on your site, let's say you're using visual website optimizer, which I love. If you are measuring the email conversion rate, you can also ... If you're in eCommerce, you should be tracking sales checkouts as well. You can track both of those metrics in the same test. You can say, well I know if I'm doing a test about email capture. Then, I want to see what's improving the email capture rate. But keep an eye as well on if I change this, did this also result in a pretty steep decrease in sales. That tells me that whatever we're doing has, as you said, pissed people off and made them not want to checkout. All really important things.
SW: Yep. So this Podcast, we're talking about mainly conversion rate optimization onsite. This has been focused on that. The next Podcast, we've been talking about doing one, we're doing email conversion rate. How to do specific split tests in email. How to connect your email funnel to website funnel and to your Facebook funnel. So the next Podcast, I'm excited really to sit down with Jason who runs our email marketing department. Talk a little more about email conversion rate optimization. But for today's Podcast, I think it's really important to really understand what the user's expectations are when they check out in the funnel. What is their expectations, how do you manage those expectations all the way up to the ad side.
SA: Yeah. If you have any questions about conversion rate optimization or as always Facebook ads, eCommerce, whatever's on your mind, you can always email us. Steve@mutesix.com, S-T-E-V-E@mutesix.com. Or email@example.com, S-T-E-W-A-R-T@mutesix.com. We'll be back again for our next episode, as Steve mentioned. It's gonna be about email conversion rates. Our Head of Email, Jason Volle will be joining us. We'll see you again next time for more great eCommerce and Facebook ads content.