Psychology and Design for Conversion Rate Optimization: Bobby Hewitt on Marketing Optimization Podcast

Bobby Hewitt on Marketing Optimization podcastview at full size

Bobby Hewitt explores many aspects of conversion optimization in this podcast episode.

In a recent episode of the Marketing Optimization podcast, Bobby Hewitt, CEO and owner of Creative Thirst, offers a range of insights on conversion rate optimization for your website.

Bobby’s unique yet multi-faceted perspectives on testing and conversion rate optimization provide food for thought and many actionable takeaways.

The Marketing Optimization podcast is a very useful resource – since I came across it a little while back, it has been a mainstay in the lineup on my iPhone.

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Decrease Visitor Anxiety through Credibility Indicators

Why should your visitors trust you?

Web users deal with a bewildering number of choices on a daily basis, and trust can be a critical factor in deciding which websites they engage with. Especially if your company or organization is not well known, credibility indicators can help to build trust and boost conversions.

Credibility indicators can appear in several forms, such as:

• Better Business Bureau or other industry trust seals

• credit card trust seals

• testimonials

• case studies

• photos and bios of management or customer service teams

• privacy and security policies

• money-back guarantee

Can we know for sure that these credibility indicators will increase conversions? No, but we can measure their effectiveness by:

• setting up content experiments to test page versions with and without credibility indicators

• measuring any increases in page value after you add credibility indicators to a page

• speaking with your customer service team – and your customers – for feedback on the credibility indicators (and for ideas on additional credibility indicators that may also be effective on your website)

• recording additions of credibility indicators as annotations

and subsequently checking conversion rates and other metrics

Make sure to try out a variety of credibility indicators on your home page, purchase page, and other pages on your site, and make sure to measure their effectiveness in building trust and increasing conversions.

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Identify Your Eisenberg Customer Modality: Competitive, Methodical, Spontaneous, or Humanistic

Eisenberg quadrants

The Eisenberg buyer modalities are based on the logic vs. emotion axis and the speed axis.

For conversion optimization, it’s useful to identify the basic buyer type that you’re optimizing for.

In Waiting for Your Cat to Bark, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg and Lisa Davis segment buyers into four fundamental personality types based on logic vs. emotion as one dimension and speed as the other:

Competitive: Competitive buyers want to perform smart, quick, and decisive actions as a competitive advantage.

Methodical: Methodical buyers review all technical information to assure themselves that they’re making the right choice.

Spontaneous: Spontaneous buyers enjoy the thrill of a quick purchase and the perceived emotional benefit that it will generate.

Humanistic: Humanistic buyers are also motivated by emotion, but want to understand more about the organization they’re buying from and the individuals who comprise the organization.

For most websites, you can start with some basic assumptions about the buyer types: a website that sells life insurance probably does not have the same buyer profile as a site that sells jet skis.

These assumptions can drive some initial design and messaging decisions for your site. For continued optimization, you can take advantage of ongoing visitor feedback, and also run content experiments within Google Analytics.

In many cases, your audience will include multiple buyer types, or a single prevalent type that spans across more than one quadrant. In this case, you can design your site to accommodate multiple modalities. The best design for the life insurance site might incorporate both methodical and humanistic elements, both readily accessible.

While we can never know the exact motivations of our visitors, we can make some reasonable assumptions and test them as part of our ongoing optimization efforts.

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12 Google Analytics Resolutions for 2013


1) Set up goals for all form submissions.

Goals aren’t retroactive, so make sure to set them up for all form submissions as early as possible in your Google Analytics implementation. Without conversions, there are no conversion rates.


2) Learn the ins and outs of funnels.

Once you have a goal, it’s very useful in many instances to build a funnel on top of it so Google Analytics can calculate metrics such as Abandonment Rate, but to use funnels most effectively, you should understand a few of their idiosyncrasies and limitations.


3) Don’t ignore Page Value.

The unassuming and underused Page Value metric (formerly $index) is indispensable in determining which pages are pulling their weight towards goal conversions and e-commerce transactions. (For this reason, make sure to assign values even to non-monetized goals, in a separate profile if you don’t want to skew actual e-commerce and goal monetization.)


4) Tag all inbound links with campaign parameters.

How effective is your monthly email newsletter at driving visits and conversions? How about your press releases? There’s no excuse to be in the dark on these basic questions – tag those links!


5) Track PDFs views and external links with Virtual Pageviews or Events.

It’s easy to forget that views of PDFs (and most other document formats) and clickthroughs to external sites are not captured with the default, pageview-based Google Analytics Tracking Code. Virtual Pageviews and Events provide an easy solution.


6) Avoid the built-in “Non-paid Search Traffic” Advanced Segment.

Lumping branded organic traffic and non-branded organic traffic is, for most purposes, a very bad thing. Define your own non-branded organic Advanced Segment. (And define other Advanced Segments of your own as well – better segmentation generates better insights.)


7) Track different social actions differently.

A Facebook Like that originates from your website can mean two very different things. Understand how social actions differ and track them appropriately.


8) Keep a chronology with Annotations.

When did the new home page go live? When was our company mentioned in the Wall Street Journal? You can’t make correlations between your Web data and relevant events if you don’t remember when those events happened. Maintain a comprehensive timeline with the convenient Google Analytics Annotations feature.


9) Incorporate qualitative evaluations into your conversion optimization plan.

An in-person or online user test can quickly reveal a conversion pitfall that could otherwise lurk in your Google Analytics reports indefinitely.


10) Run Content Experiments regularly.

Nothing like a head-to-head contest to tell you quite definitively what works better for conversions. If you haven’t yet run a Content Experiment or used a third-party A/B testing tool, start now.


11) Establish core KPIs (key performance indicators), and check them at least monthly.

As Brian Clifton says, Web analytics is like going to the gym: if you don’t do it regularly enough, you’re not going to be satisfied with the results. Consistent scrutiny of meaningful KPIs will lead to useful and actionable insights across the board.


12) Use Those Same KPIs for Daily or Weekly Custom Email Alerts

Don’t wait unnecessarily to find out that visits or conversions have dropped by 20%. Take advantage of Custom Intelligence Events to actively monitor your essential metrics and receive email alerts for substantial deviations.


Best wishes for a customer-focused, data-driven, conversion-optimizing new year!

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Love Thy Visitor as Thyself

Today’s post is dedicated to the 26 adults and children lost on December 14th in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, USA. May we honor these individuals, and all victims of war, violence, oppression, and cruelty, by striving each day for greater consciousness and compassion throughout the world.

Love is not usually thought to be a required element of Web analytics, but there are at least two reasons that it may be essential.

First, a person who has chosen to visit your website among the millions and millions of possible options has already made some connection with you and your organization. Their time and attention, even before conversion, is worth some genuine gratitude and recognition.

Secondly, for conversion optimization, a little love for our visitors helps us build the type of experiences that we would like to have ourselves. Is your website organized for ease and clarity? Have you removed friction from your user processes? Have you reassured your visitors that your organization is trustworthy and that you will completely fulfill the promises of your product or service? Have you made them feel good overall about interacting with you?

Let’s be grateful for the time that visitors spend on our websites, and compassionate enough to provide a positive and beneficial experience. Before the specific tools and tactics of Web analytics and optimization, let’s start with some basic love and respect for all visitors. Only good things can come of that for everyone.

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Find Out Your Google PageSpeed Score

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PageSpeed Insights provides specific recommendations for minimizing page load time.

Since the tip on checking page load time was posted, Google has increasingly promoted PageSpeed Insights, a new tool that analyzes your pages for load-time issues and scores them on the basis of 100 points.

PageSpeed Insights prioritizes very specific recommendations to minimize HTML, CSS, and JavaScript load times and thereby enhance user experience, conversion rate, and – at least in theory – search engine rankings.

YSlow, a browser plugin discussed in another previous post, provides similarly specific page-load analysis. Your search engine optimization team, however, may be particularly interested in PageSpeed Insights since it comes from the horse’s mouth, so to speak (Google, that is).

Whether or not you’re in a position to fully interpret or implement the PageSpeed suggestions yourself, it is wise for you, as a Web analyst, to stay abreast of page load issues and even specifically track your PageSpeed score on a regular basis.

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