While most online marketing tactics concentrate on driving traffic to websites, conversion optimisation is about what happens when visitors get there.
Ultimately, conversion optimisation is about converting more of your visitors into customers.
A structured approach is essential to ensuring the best results. Often individual improvements to your site may not revolutionise your business but a series of incremental improvements can add up to have a significant effect.
Conversion optimisation relies heavily on analytical data. Web analytics can help identify weak points in your site design or sales funnels - for example by identifying a step in your checkout process with a high dropout rate.
An analysis of such web data can help you identify and prioritise areas on your site for improvement enabling you to focus on areas likely to have the biggest impact.
Further analysis, best practice and qualitative inputs - such as usability testing, the development of personas or "voice of the customer" research - can then help improve understanding as to why certain pages are underperforming.
Fundamentally - conversion optimisation is about experimentation. It involves the structured development of hypotheses on how to improve performance and then goes on to rigorously test these to see what works and what doesn't.
Scientific rigour is needed to ensure that any resulting improvements are statistically significant and not due to chance. Experiments typically involve comparing the performance of two different version of a page ("split" or "A/B" testing) or multivariate testing ("MVT") - a useful technique for sites with higher traffic that can allow you to test a number of ideas at once .
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