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Old 08-10-2005   #1
rustybrick
 
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Session One: Day Three: Converting Visitors Into Buyers

Detlev Johnson moderating this session, he let people bring up business cards so that the panel can review sites live. I think that will happen later in the session, which I will leave for, since I need to head over to WebmasterRadio.FM to do an interview with Gary Price. Should be fun, I think it airs at 11am California time. So let's talk about converting...

Bryan Eisenberg from Future Now is up first, that popular book. 12 Quick Tips:
(1) Persuasive Online Copy-writing: People do read on the Web. If the content is useful, people will read and you will get results. You can't write effectively to your whole audience, you need to focus on that "one reader" and write to that reader. If you focus on averages, you will get average results.
(2) Know Your KPIs (key performance indicators): He asks how many people use Web analytics? Then said keep your hands up if you make weekly changes to your site based on those analytics. See his point? You need to look at sitewide conversion rates, % of new and returning visitors, book ratios, sales per product impression, sales per visitor, average order value and so on.
(3) Improve Your Navigation: He shows some examples of bad navigations and good navigations. 80% of your traffic drop off after the 2nd pageview. He then discusses the concept of "scent", good scent versus bad scent. It is basically important to have the descriptive words that people are looking for on the page. Links within the content are critical. There are two types of links, call to actions and points of resolution.
(4) Prioritize your Traffic: He shows how the more specific the keyword search, the longer the latency to order. Query language refers intent. Categorize your traffic by traffic potential, prospect's intent, stage in the buying process, and likelihood to convert.
(5) Use Eye-Tracking Principles: He discusses the magic square, people look at the sides of a picture and not in the middle. Eyes scroll across the top to the right and then back to the middle down portion. So what happens is that people are missing some of the content.
(6) Point of actions, call to actions: Nordstrom has verbiage about exchanges and so on right in the shopping cart. So you do not need to find it, during your buying process. LandEnd.com has the same information on the right hand side.
(7) Keep them in the process: Adding to cart, keep them on the same page but show them it was added to the cart. He also shows how enlarged images in new windows are not as good as keeping you on the same page.
(8) Reduce Download Time: Page load time is a huge issue as well. Downsize those images.
(9) Substance over style: He shows lots of sites that do well with blue hyperlinks all over the place and boxed out. Dont be too fancy
(10) Give them what they came for: Give them as much information as you can right away about the product.
(11) Recapture Lost Sales: give them discounts.
(12) It is never About You: understand the motivations and outcomes.

Mike Sack is the last speaker, from Inceptor. Why focus on conversions? Conversion for the sake of conversion has lost its luster, but conversion for the sake of profit is where it is at. Retail industry average conversion rate is 1.8% - not so great. In a store, the rate is 30%. Two Sides of Lifting Conversions: The Outside-In, which is getting traffic that is better and more qualified and the Inside-In, which is getting your current traffic to buy more often. It's a 4 Step Process to improve conversions; (1) Prepare Your Site (2) Target Your Traffic (3) Implement Conversion Tracking (4) Test, Analyze and Adjust...
(1) Preparing your site; compare your site within the industry who do it best. Emulate best practices, imitate the best. Identify the conversion points, make sure you measure all conversions. Now you need to do site side optimization (market research on how people search, make your site fit people's searches, you will not change how people search).
(2) Target your traffic. Target right keywords and products. More specific keyword phrases the more likely people will convert. Target more search phases, steam popular keywords, use match type options and comb your logs. Remember that it is not what you think, it is what the searcher things. He then puts up a graph that explains the keyword tail... Make sure to target the delivery of that traffic, directly to the page that is most relevant to the search query. Watch those click paths to best determine the best path for that specific search query and referrer.
(3) Conversion Tracking: You must be able to track a conversion back to a search query and a specific search engine. You need to be able to follow those click paths to the sale. You must be able to track both direct and deferred (latency) sales. Need to associate cost per click with a transaction and the revenue it generates. Must be able to calculate at least a "Gross ROI." And it is wonderful to track offline conversions (9 out of 10 are offline). He then shows some reports you should be using. Key metrics: impressions, click throughs, conversions, revenue, and ROI. Track offline conversions also (there is a session about this alone, and I have covered that session probably twice, check archives).
(4) Test, Analyze and Adjust: He gave a case study, to test various pages against each other. He tested different landing pages on various cases.
He then asks why is milk always in the back of the supermarket? Because that is the product most people seek out, so you drive people through the supermarket, and they are likely to buy other items. Offline tactics are very similar to online tactics.

Other Session at www.seroundtable.com to be discussed here ---- Executive Roundtable (Ben Pfeiffer)
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