PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

Tips on ways to improve your website conversion rate and sales with Justin Christianson

  • I'm in the conversion rate business, but to me, that's kind of a relative number. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and really just what's driving that audience.
  • When you come and look at it and actually break down the metrics, their homepage might be second or third on the list in terms of traffic but might be the biggest area of leverage. So they're focusing on the wrong visitor journey.
  • Your cost per acquisition, we'll see a 20% to 30% reduction in cost per acquisition without ever even touching the ads. Because we're just so focused on giving that visitor the best experience that we can on the site and giving them what they want, that it drives everything else.
  • So we look at things very holistically and try to optimize as a whole, but we generally will test separately on mobile and desktop.
  • We want to create that unique experience, and it's getting more and more so on the personalization aspect, that we're creating those unique experiences.
  • So answering the questions and building that relationship versus just saying, hey, you forgot something in your cart, here's 10% off, to help create a better lifetime and longterm customer versus just trying to get the sale day one.
  • We've got clients that even have separate sites, completely mirrored images of each other, that run in Canada versus the US because we just create a different experience based on that.
  • But really just get a 30,000-foot view of what the data is telling us and give you a bunch. And then we'll go through the user journey and pick out a couple dozen or so potential test ideas, and then just really go from there.
  • Some people think there's a magic theme out there that's going to fix all… That's going to convert like crazy. There's not.
  • Other bad advice is just thinking that there are best practices, which there aren't. There are ideas that might be ideal, but there aren't really any true best practices across the board. What works for somebody even selling the same exact thing will not necessarily work for somebody else.
  • That's the biggest thing, is there's a lot of people that are so close to their site and so close to their marketing that they can't see the forest for the trees.
  • The most exciting that I'm getting is people that are actually embracing the process of improvement.

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PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

[just click to tweet]

PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

I'm in the conversion rate business. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and what's driving that audience.

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Doug M: Well, welcome back, listeners. Welcome to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today we're going to talk about all things conversion, increasing your sales and profits by optimizing your website to make sure that you're responsive to what your visitors are looking for and what they're currently doing, whether it's an eCommerce site or a lead generation site.

Doug M: So joining me in studio today, I've got Justin Christianson. He is a bestselling author and he is the co-founder of a company called conversionfanatics.com. He's a self-proclaimed numbers junkie and a digital marketing veteran. He's a father, he's a husband, and as I mentioned, he's the number one bestselling author of Conversion Fanatics: How To Double Your Customers, Sales, and Leads, and Profits With A/B Testing. He's also the co-founder of Conversion Fanatics, which is a full-service conversion rate optimization company, helping companies like Burt's Bees, Dr. Ax, and many others improve their results.

Doug M: I think you'll really enjoy our conversation today. It should really shed some light on how you can get higher ROI, make more money from your existing website with your existing ad budget before you look at starting to scale and spend more money on advertising. So I'd like to welcome Justin Christianson to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today. Well, hey Justin, welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today.

Justin C: Hey Doug, thanks for having me.

Doug M: I'm so excited to talk to you because I spend a lot of time helping my clients market their businesses, and I always seem to be arm wrestling people saying, hey, we need to do some testing before we just keep spending money. And doing a little bit of a deep dive into what you do, you guys specialize in helping people increase their conversion. So do you want to give us just an overview of what services you offer and how you move the sales dial for your clients?

Justin C: Yeah, so we're a full-service conversion rate optimization company. Essentially, we take care of the heavy lifting around helping companies better connect with their audience, better figure out what drives their audience through testing and optimization of their sites and visitor flows to squeeze more juice from the orange, if you will. So we just try to move those KPI levers and really just understand the behaviors of the visitors, how they're interacting with the brand, and help to push them in the direction that we want them to go on the site, and hopefully spend some more money with our clients.

Doug M: Well, so in the simplest terms, people say, hey, do you build websites? Not really. I mean, we will for our clients, but lots of times in the marketplace, people think, hey, I've built my website, I've arrived. And I've said, no, you've built your website, now you're just about to start because your audience is going to give you some feedback. So just to make it clear for our audience, you're talking about taking and optimizing my existing website. So I want to leverage the traffic that's coming there, whether it's paid, organic, or however, it's getting there, to get the highest conversions. Is that correct?

Justin C: Yep. And I look at it a little bit different too. It isn't just the conversion rate. Obviously, I'm in the conversion rate business, but to me, that's kind of a relative number. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and really just what's driving that audience. And if the conversion rate is improved because of that, then absolutely awesome. But other metrics such as average order value cost per acquisition, lifetime value, all of those other metrics that go into it. We can obviously go down that rabbit hole, but I'll refrain from that. Is all of those things are impacted if you can just better connect and better engage with your audience, they're going to do more of what it is that you want them to do, and in turn spend more money with you. But that's a big piece of the puzzle that most people overlook, is they're so focused on, I just need more eyeballs on it and driving and spending money. Whereas they can be more effective with that advertising dollar if they were doing optimization on the site as well.

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PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

[just click to tweet]

PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

I'm in the conversion rate business. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and what's driving that audience.

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Doug M: Can you give us a glimpse of how somebody would take a look at this? Where's the low hanging fruit? You must talk to hundreds or thousands of different businesses and look at different businesses. Where are people usually missing the mark? There must be one or two major things that you're just going, this is it.

Justin C: Well, a lot of the things that I see, even more recently, are companies driving traffic, say you have an eCommerce store, is they're driving traffic to maybe a landing page. They're spending Facebook ad dollars or they're spending money on Google and they're thinking they're driving into the landing page. And you come in and you tell them, well, that's great, you're sending to a landing page. I want to do some work over here, or maybe on a cart or maybe on a homepage or something else. And they're like, well, I'm not driving any traffic there.

Justin C: Well, when you come and look at it and actually break down the metrics, their homepage might be second or third on the list in terms of traffic, but might be the biggest area of leverage. So they're focusing on the wrong visitor journey. And really figuring out where their visitors are at on their site and where they're falling off in that process, versus just hey, I'm spending money on this particular page, and thinking that we just need to put all of our focus and energy into that one page, instead of focusing on the bigger picture of where the journey is.

Justin C: But really, it just comes down to figuring out where the visitors are at, where they're going, where they're falling off on the site. It's probably the biggest thing, and a lot of companies and really don't look and leverage their analytics and the data that they're actually collecting. It's probably the biggest thing I've seen when people are falling short or looking to grow or get that exponential growth or scalability in their business.

Doug M: Well, it's funny when you said that they're focusing on the wrong customer journey. Because I think about even when I'm helping a client put together a campaign, we're often doing exactly what you said. We're focused on, here's a landing page or here's multiple landing pages, we're going to do some testing and some optimization on the copy and the offer. And here's where we're going to buy our advertising and we're going to drive them there. And we assume as marketers, I can't speak for everyone, I'm often assuming as a marker that the people are going to follow the path I've given them. I've got them from a Google ad to a landing page, and what may happen is, they may not hit the landing page, they might just go Google a company name before they go there anyhow.

Justin C: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, and I call it the path of least resistance to the end goal. And the landing page might be the first interaction. Maybe they land on that landing page and then they bounce. Maybe something isn't there from a trust or credibility standpoint or they aren't feeling comfortable, or maybe the attribution isn't day one. A lot of people fall on that. They think that I put a dollar in, I need $2 out day one. Instead of, oh, what happens if I open that attribution window up to 30 days? Maybe I haven't built that credibility, I haven't built that trust, they don't like me yet, they're not really sure yet. They haven't officially made that buying decision because obviously there's a lot of choices out there on where to buy stuff these days. Every eCommerce company on the planet is competing with Amazon. If you're not joining them, obviously, but then that's a whole different story.

Justin C: But so we need to just focus on where those visitors are at and look at things from a global picture rather than, oh, hey, I've got this landing page. If I change the button color or I change this headline, it's going to raise or lower my conversion rate, instead of focusing on the bigger overall picture.

I know I've said this a couple of times already, but I look at it from a scalability and evolution standpoint. Because the more you can test and tweak and understand and answer that question why, in regards to how your visitors interact with your brand, the more you can evolve and change as buying habits change. Distractions become more prevalent, mediums change. And at the end of the day, it's just dealing with people. It doesn't matter what you're selling, they all have the same thing, and you just identify what they like and dislike and what elements actually hold the most weight in their eyes. And then just give them that best experience, and then your conversion rate will fall where it does and your metrics will ultimately work out over time.

Justin C: I've seen companies where we've helped them scale 300% in revenue, but their conversion rates stayed relatively the same. Even though I'm a conversion rate optimization guy and we've been testing and proving and seeing improvements in the conversion rate, it just helped them scale their traffic that much faster and scale their product offerings that much faster, and just helped them expand a lot more easily and effortlessly, versus turning on a bunch more traffic and then seeing the conversion rate drop down to half of what it was previously. We were able to see and mitigate that downside of really opening up and scaling.

Doug M: I'm clear on what you mean by… So when you're saying scalability, so are you talking about new leads and traffic in the door? Or are you talking about more conversions at the back end? So what do you mean by scalability?

Justin C: Well, it's really that. I mean, that's the holy grail, really, isn't it in marketing? It's to be able to scale an offer.

Doug M: Absolutely.

Justin C: Really open it up to as many eyeballs as you can get on it and be profitable in that process. And a lot of companies will fall short because they're so worried about getting eyeballs on it, they're so worried about focusing on their Facebook ad campaign optimization, not really paying attention to true optimization on their landing pages or their site. And they go in one day and they turn on 50% more traffic or 30% more traffic, and their conversion rate drops and tanks. They can't sustain that increase.

Justin C: Everybody wants to be spending $10,000 a day and be profitable, but they can't go from $100 to $200 to $300 and scale up that very, very quickly. Whereas if you're better connecting and evolving with your audience on-site, that site on the ad site becomes much easier. So you can turn on more traffic a lot easier because you're so dialed in on what your visitors want on a page, and you can adapt very quickly because you're optimizing because you're learning because you're answering those questions why. It allows everything to be more effective.

Justin C: Because I've seen it before like I mentioned, that 300% scalability. This company went in, we were testing and optimizing and seeing improvements. We took their conversion rate from about 2% up to 3%, all profitably, and doing it that way. And then they went and turned on 70% more traffic in two weeks. And they were like, hold on, our conversion rate dipped now back down to 2.1%. Well, that was fine. They were freaking out. But when you explained it to them, it's like, hey, your conversion rate was 2%, then I moved it to 3%, and now it's back down to 2.1%, but you've got 70% more eyeballs on this and it's still profitable. You just hit the holy grail in two weeks. Literally in two weeks.

Justin C: We've done it again where we've doubled daily paying subscribers, in, like, 45 days, all because doing the same thing, and not even touching the advertising side of things. Which is where people don't understand is, if you're doing what you need to be doing on an optimization standpoint on-site, everything else becomes more effective. Your cost per acquisition, we'll see 20% to 30% reduction in cost per acquisition without ever even touching the ads. Because we're just so focused on giving that visitor the best experience that we can on the site and giving them what they want, that it drives everything else. So all the ad guys get super excited when we start optimizing and seeing improvements, because if 10% more people convert, that just gives Facebook's algorithm all sorts of love and stuff that they can use to help you increase and improve on that site too.

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PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

[just click to tweet]

PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

I'm in the conversion rate business. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and what's driving that audience.

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Doug M: Yeah, absolutely. So I have a question, then, around when you're seeing onsite conversion and the optimization that you're doing. Do you a difference in the traffic source, the way that people may interact with the site? We talked a little bit before we started recording around using heat maps and eye maps and scroll tracking. And I know, for example, if I'm doing something in the financial space, I'll get a better onsite visitor from Yahoo because of the legacy data from Yahoo Finance than I will from Google, but Yahoo is not as scalable. So do you notice a difference when you're working with your clients in terms of the customer's behavior onsite based on where they came from?

Justin C: Yeah, absolutely. Because you look at this, even look in the baby boomer environment, chances are, Bing is going to be good, you mentioned Yahoo, but Yahoo and Bing are going to be different because that's where most of them live. Versus, say, Google versus Facebook versus native ads versus organic. If people are searching out that solution, that journey is a little bit different, because they're looking and seeking the answer and they landed there because they knew they had a specific problem or they were seeking something specific. Versus Facebook, they're browsing their newsfeed and all of a sudden they see this advertisement, and being like, hey, this is cool, let's click over here. And then they're browsing, and they didn't even know they needed it, but then now they're into that journey and into that pipeline.

Justin C: So you've got to look at it from that standpoint, and look at it from an attribution standpoint. And the building of that trust, like I mentioned a couple of times, is expanding that because Facebook might be a little bit more nurtured. We see a lot more interactions on Facebook. Say they'll come to a landing page, and then they'll immediately click over on the about page to look and see and build that credibility, because they don't know what they don't know, and they're looking for some reassurance that it is legit and it is the way that it needs to be. Versus just hopping on Amazon and clicking, yeah, I need this product, one-click, add, boom, it's at my doorstep in two days or two hours.

Justin C: So yeah, you definitely have to treat it separately. But we generally like to optimize as a whole, because there's such a mix in the omnichannel environment that's coming on the site. New versus returning, mobile versus desktop. Tablet in some cases if you have an older audience, which is one thing that people overlook a lot if they have an older audience, is tablet conversions. Because that's about the only audience that actually has anything meaningful as far as data, is the older audience on a tablet. There are just so many things to look at. Email traffic coming in the door.

Justin C: So we look at things very holistically and try to optimize as a whole, but we generally will test separately on mobile and desktop. And there are often times where we'll test the same thing on mobile and desktop, a desktop will lose and mobile will win. So we'll just make that the new control on mobile, and desktop is the original. So we'll create that different environment based on the results that we're getting from our testing and our experimentation and all of our qualitative analysis to really build that ultimate experience. Because having a mobile responsive website isn't enough. You could have the things fall in place, but is it really best for your visitors? Things function and change in the mindset, and the buying habits and the scrolling and the behaviors of the visitors on mobile are completely different from desktop.

Doug M: In most cases, like you said, with a mobile responsive site, all you've done is taken what people are going to look at on their desktop and make it viewable on mobile, which doesn't mean it's optimized for mobile.

Justin C: Right.

Doug M: So question around content, then. So if you can attribute the visitors to the traffic source and the journey is different, do you ever get involved in or help your clients in terms of serving unique content based on the customer journey? So as people start to self-identify by the way that they're visiting your site, the journey can change to fit that profile or that persona?

Justin C: We do some personalization aspects of it. If a returning visitor comes back and they've been browsing on their site, say you've got a clothing store and they're looking at swimsuits, we want to serve them up more information about swimsuits, not t-shirts and pants. And the same thing, we can do some creative stuff in geolocations, too. So we're not going to serve up sweaters and gloves and hats to people that live in South Florida.

Justin C: We want to create that unique experience, and it's getting more and more so on the personalization aspect, that we're creating those unique experiences. One of the things that we're doing recently is doing a lot of stuff in the lead generation space, like a custom home builder. Doing some of that from a geo perspective. We're doing it also in the pet space. Splitting it up, dog and cat, and creating that unique experience from that standpoint.

Justin C: We also do advertising, too, so we'll manage paid media. That's a smaller portion of our business, but we'll do that on the ad side, too. So new versus returning, retargeting, content drip sequences, things to build and nurture. And then we'll also recommend to clients, in fact, I'm giving a speech on this the end of October, is nurturing that visitor on abandoned cart versus racing to the discount. And we'll help recommend that, too. So answering the questions and building that relationship versus just saying, hey, you forgot something in your cart, here's 10% off, to help create a better lifetime and longterm customer versus just trying to get the sale day one.

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PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

[just click to tweet]

PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

I'm in the conversion rate business. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and what's driving that audience.

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Doug M: That's really neat. The other thing that came to mind as you were sharing that was, do your clients or have your clients in the past taken this learning and applied it to their advertising? I'm assuming that once you start seeing some of the metrics come in, like you said, and you can see a trend, you should able to take, I'm assuming, some of that content, or as you're helping them to make their site better, and apply that to advertising to, again, to get a better result right from the beginning.

Justin C: Oh yeah, for sure. The more we can answer those questions upfront, the better. One example pops up. In fact, I was just working on their site before we hopped on to record this. We were wondering why people were bouncing on a particular element when they got to the product page. And we just ran an exit poll and just asked them, what question didn't we answer today? Why are you guys leaving? And they basically told us, I don't know which scent to choose. They had six different options or so for what the product smells like. The information, the scent guide, was on the page, but they didn't see it, it was too far down. So all we did was moved it up right next to the selection. When they selected it, it said smells like X, Y, and Z. Or every time it changed. And it increased mobile conversions 30 something percent because we were just answering that question.

Justin C: That's what we're doing, and then now they can take that and they can move it on because that was a big objection that their visitors had. And we can play that off into their advertising. Smells like this, and really play on that, what scents to choose from. Obviously, those visitors really care about the scent of that product. So we can leverage that in other areas and aspects and content, and do content around, why are products this or why do we choose these certain scents, and what goes into choosing these scents? And just really educate the audience around why our products are better. It's a multifaceted approach when you look at it that way, and all because we just asked the visitors what they actually wanted, or where they were getting hung up in that process, and it just spirals from there.

Doug M: What a crazy idea. Asking the visitors what they want.

Justin C: Amazing, isn't it?

Doug M: Yes. It's interesting listening to you talk about geotargeting in terms of what products to serve up because I'll still see eCommerce marketers that can't sell in a certain marketplace still sending email to those people that reside there. It's like, you should know that if you can't ship to Canada, you can't ship to the UK, don't mail your people an offer that lives there, because you're just frustrating them.

Justin C: You're just burning that bridge for when you do open up to the UK or you do open up to Canada. We've got clients that even have separate sites, completely mirrored images of each other, that run in Canada versus the US because we just create a different experience based on that.

Doug M: So is there an example that you want to share of a client that's a maybe a favorite client? Or somebody that was maybe difficult to get started with and you helped them see the light, and now they've probably swung over to the evangelist side of the equation?

Justin C: Well, there's lots of those. Really, conversion rate optimization is pretty new, really. I've been around the internet game for quite a few years, and it's kind of where SEO was 10 years ago. It wasn't really a thing, but it was a thing. People understood the importance of it, but now they're really, really starting to recognize the importance of on-site testing and optimization, and not so much… A lot of people do A/B testing, but they don't really do true optimization. And A/B testing is really just our way to prove or disprove any assumptions that we might have, or really help us solidify what our thinking was and really measure what it is we're thinking. But there's been a lot of companies that come in and know that they need to improve, but they're so focused or so hung up on one metric. Or that, hey, I know we can get our conversion rates up to 2%. It's like, well, that really doesn't matter to me, which we've already talked about.

Justin C: But one of the ones that I saw was, we did nine or 10 tests and didn't really see a meaningful improvement for this company. We were struggling. And we don't struggle with that often, at least not that hard, but nothing we tried… We were following all the data, we were trying past tests that we know were a 90% chance that we were going to see an improvement. Nothing was working. And then we finally got it clicking, and I think the 11th or 12th tests, we came out and we improved conversions over 52%. All because we were building upon… It just took us a little more time to really gather and understand what these visitors were going through and behaving. Because typically, we win probably 46%, 47% of the time on the tests that we conduct across the board. Some are more, some are less, but the average. And to go through that many tests and not see a winner was very hard to really discern and figure out.

Justin C: We see a few like that. But what we find is, if a company embraces the process of optimization, and I say that optimization, not just throwing some random stuff up against the wall and hoping that changing my button color from green to orange is going to improve my conversion rate, and really embracing that CRO process, that's when they can see the exponential growth. That's when they can see the advantages of changing and evolving and truly creating a brand legacy. Versus just, hey, I've got this product, let's blow out an offer and test as fast as we possibly can in hopes that we improve and get the most out of it that we can. Gone are those days if you want to build a brand and scalability from that side.

Doug M: I think often, we get just so busy looking at what everyone's doing on social media that we're looking for these double-digit or triple-digit increases in terms of our conversions. I've often looked, and we look at the whole process like you said. So if we can get an extra half percent on the ad conversion side, and then we can pick up a point on getting them to the website, and pick up another half a point at the sales cart, those things make a huge difference, because you're already spending the budget on getting the traffic there. And to me, that's like found money. That's like walking down the street and finding a bundle of $100 bills on the floor.

Justin C: Oh, yeah. And getting people to understand that it's not… They're like, oh, I'm not seeing the improvement. It's like, well, we've only been testing for a month. But if you look at it, okay, this is a 20% improvement. I'm not seeing that on my conversion side. They'll log into Shopify and they'll be like, but my conversion rate. You guys are saying that I got a 20% increase, but my conversion rate isn't showing that in Shopify. When there are so many other variables and fluctuations and things that are hard to quantify from CRO.

Justin C: But if you look at it annually, as far as the improvement. Say, oh yeah, we made you an extra $2,000, they're like, oh yeah, big deal. But if you compound that and look at it on, say, even a quarterly or an annual basis, that's massive. We've done millions of dollars in increases when you look at it from that standpoint. Probably over a hundred million dollars in improvements. One company we tested showed a $3.5 million dollar improvement. And once they embrace that and look at it longterm, versus one week time periods, like a lot of these guys teaching drop shipping, and you can become an instant millionaire and all of this stuff.

Doug M: They can become an instant millionaire by selling you their course.

Justin C: Yeah, exactly.

Doug M: So another question for you, then, in terms of how this works. I just want to give our audience an idea of what does this look like? We have people listening going, okay, that sounds cool. I've got a website, I've got, eCommerce, I'm selling a membership or a subscription, I'm driving some traffic there with Google and Facebook. What would an engagement look like with you guys to get started? What's the getting started process look like?

Justin C: Usually, we just come in and we'll do a complimentary analysis. So if you feel like you're fit, you've got some consistent sales and some consistent traffic coming in the door, then we'll go in and we'll look at analytics. We'll look back a three month time period, I think any longer than that's pointless. We'll just look for trends in that data, prove some assumptions you might have, find a few surprises in there. But really just get a 30,000-foot view of what the data is telling us and give you a bunch. And then we'll go through the user journey and pick out a couple dozen or so potential test ideas, and then just really go from there.

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PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

[just click to tweet]

PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

I'm in the conversion rate business. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and what's driving that audience.

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Justin C: And then actually getting started is just making sure tracking's in place. We started gathering some additional data, we start building our first experiment, and then we get off to the races and test as fast as the data will allow us. Usually testing anywhere between two and five tests at a time, depending on what we're testing, where we're testing. And then we just build up the queue from there. The setup period and that initial analysis phase, once we get started, it's just formality of making sure that we got heat maps in place, we got exit polling started, we're starting to track some things, our analytics is set up correctly. And we can then start developing more in-depth experiment plans, and going from there.

Doug M: Now, in terms of impact on the IT side, how do you guys work to make that as seamless as possible? So I'm thinking, okay, I've got a site and you've got a developer, you've got a web dev team. Is this stuff that your team would actually implement? Or is this stuff that you would work with the company and their development team to get implemented in the back end of the site?

Justin C: It depends on the site. It depends on the company. We work all the way up into Fortune 500, and they're not going to let us have access to their server. It's just not going to happen. Even though they put you through a very, very rigorous data. and security check, which I'm happy to say we passed. That was painful. But most of the time, if it's a Shopify store or something, usually they'll just let us have access. And we're very diligent about QA, because we're dealing with a lot of sensitive data. So we've got a very extensive QA process, usually three or four-part, depending on what we're testing.

Justin C: But yeah, we just install it, verify it, and then from there it's hands-off. So we like to say we take care of 98% of the heavy lifting, and that's usually the case. We do all the design and development. Sometimes we'll leverage some of their internal resources for questions. It's really just a preference at that point, but we like to control it because it allows us to do it faster than waiting. We've had clients that take 45 days to install a script because they just had to go through so many hoops, and that doesn't lead to a very good relationship for anybody.

Doug M: Yeah, no, that's funny. I can relate to the Fortune 500 company. We did some work with Hong Kong Bank at one point, and it was interesting going through the qualification process for working with the data.

Justin C: Once you're in, you're in, though.

Doug M: Yeah, but it took a while. I'm not going to get into that story. So when you're out and about and you're speaking, you're at conferences, you probably hear a lot of people talking about marketing and conversion, and some might be beating their chest, bragging a bit. So to steal a Tim Ferriss question, what's some of the bad advice you hear in the industry as it pertains to testing and optimization?

Justin C: Oh, the bad advice.

Doug M: You don't need to name names. I'm just saying that, because lots of times, listeners will listen to the podcasts, they'll go do some research, and then they're going to get a Google result that's going to come up. And so you're going have to sort through that.

Justin C: [inaudible 00:29:35] that I did is that there is a redesign. We'll help you fix all your conversion problems is probably the biggest one. I see a lot of companies, also in the Shopify world, it's that there's a magic theme out there that's going to fix all… That's going to convert like crazy.

Other bad advice is just thinking that there are best practices, which there aren't. There are ideas that might be ideal, but there aren't really any true best practices across the board. What works for somebody even selling the same exact thing will not necessarily work for somebody else. So following that will ultimately lead you down the path of demise. There's a lot of assumptions that I hear. Like you said, people pounding their chest at events being like, hey, I did this because of this, and then people following that.

Justin C: An example, you've probably been around this long, too, is the old yellow buttons. So on the landing pages, somebody said that the yellow buttons worked amazing. You go back even further to Perry Belcher and his Belcher button with the orange and the blue, and all of those things. People then all of a sudden gravitated, and everything was orange or everything was yellow. And they just thought that somebody else can do it, so, therefore, it must be the gospel and it must be what works.

Justin C: But probably the biggest thing is just following other people in saying that what they say goes, versus following what your visitors actually care about the most and what's in it. Because what you or I think at the end of the day really doesn't matter. You got to be unbiased when it comes to it, and dealing with 50 plus companies that we do at any given time, we have to stay unbiased. And all we care about is, what's the data telling us? What are those visitors actually telling us? It doesn't matter what you're selling, who you're selling it to. All we care about is what they care about and what their biggest pain points and problems are.

Justin C: I don't know if that specifically answered the question.

Doug M: No, you covered a number of points, and I think that's so great. Because the thing I that like about what you guys are doing and work that we've done before just using basic analytics is that we can debate all day long about what you think or what I think. And at the end of the day, you look at the report, and the report will tell you what your visitors think based on what they did or didn't do. So we can argue, but to say, here's the data… We had a client debating with us about the keywords we were using. He goes, my customers aren't that smart. Well, we're not suggesting how smart they are. We're just saying this is the term they're typing in the search engine to find you. Well, no, they wouldn't do that. It's like, this is the data. We're not making it up.

Justin C: That it is too, and just embrace the process of it. That's the biggest thing, is there's a lot of people that are so close to their site and so close to their marketing that they can't see the forest for the trees. And they can't understand… I give this example, too. We had a client that did NASA studies on their product, backed it up with all of this scientific research, but at the end of the day, their visitors didn't give a damn about any of that scientific stuff. All they cared about is, I can do X in Y time, and it's going to solve my problem. And literally, they did not care anything… Anytime we did anything scientific to try to support it, they didn't care.

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PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

[just click to tweet]

PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

I'm in the conversion rate business. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and what's driving that audience.

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Doug M: I mentioned to you when we were off the air that I was at this conversion summit that MarketingSherpa put on years and years ago in San Francisco, and they had one of the big companies in the US that makes x-ray equipment. they went and did this market research study, got a whole bunch of people and paid a whole bunch of money. Did the study, got the data of what the potential clients wanted to see for advertising, and then they ran a simple A/B test. So they took all the data from the market research, and the market research said they wanted to see doctors and nurses using this equipment and how it worked, and that was the control. And then the test was, a good looking male doctor and a good looking female doctor standing beside the equipment. And that one blew the other one out of the water. It was crazy.

Justin C: We've seen 75% plus improvements by just changing an image. We're doing one right now in lead generation space that's very, very, I'm not going to name the niche, but it's very, very expensive keywords. We're talking triple digits a click. We're very close to it. And that was one of those other struggles. We tried everything, the layouts, the function, the copy, all of the typical things that would typically move the needle. All that it came down to, our recent tests, I think, were showing us a 30% improvement in their mobile signups, all because we changed the button label. It came down to that. Literally two or three words.

Doug M: That's funny. That's the advantage of testing like you said, and being patient, and then getting those big winds. Because you'll take that away for… I don't know how long that'll stay the norm, but if you get a year or two years out of it, that's a great return on investment.

Justin C: Oh yeah, especially when you're spending that much click.

Doug M: So a couple of questions and we'll let you get back to helping your clients today. What are you most excited about in this industry right now?

Justin C: The most exciting that I'm getting is people that are actually embracing the process of improvement. Something I've done for… God, I've been split testing before there was software to split tests. So I guess I am excited about that. I'm getting a little bit excited about the personalization and artificial intelligence side of optimization. I don't think AI is there yet on the actual user experience, user interface type optimization. There is some software that claims they can do it, but I've yet to see one that can actually do it. So seeing the evolution of that in the machine learning side of things. And really just the more and more companies, I guess, that's what's really, really exciting, to see the evolution of the people embracing optimization. Having started this company five plus years ago and struggling to educate people on why optimization's important, to now people realizing, hey, I need optimization. It's been exciting to see. So I guess that's what I'm excited about.

Doug M: So who's one guest I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Justin C: One of my good buddies is extremely smart when it comes to social media marketing and advertising, particularly for small local. And I know he does a lot of work in microbreweries and beer industry and all of that stuff. But his name's Marty McDonald from Bad Rhino. A good friend of mine and he's ridiculously smart when it comes to all things social, and it's grown a nice little company because of it. But yeah, he'd be a fantastic guest.

Doug M: Awesome. I would appreciate an introduction when you get a minute. Now, where's the best place for people to track you down and learn more about what you're doing and how you're helping your clients make more money?

Justin C: I'm actually excited because just last week we rolled out a brand new website. It's our seventh iteration of a website since we started, but conversionfanatics dot com. And we actually went through a whole rigorous process, and it took us months to do this one. But we're excited about that. We're launching a whole new content campaign, so I push out a lot more in-depth, specific content to really help out people in all aspects of marketing, not just in CRO. So yeah, conversionfanatics.com. You can also find me on social by going to Clyxo, clyxo.com/justinchristianson, all one word, and you can find links to all my social things there, including YouTube. And then you can find a copy of my book by just searching my name on Amazon.

Doug M: Well, that's awesome. And I want to say, thanks so much for taking the time today. This was so cool. I can spend days talking about this, but it's more fun to implement than it is to talk about it.

Justin C: It is. Well, thank you, Doug, for having me, and hopefully, you found it of some value, and the pleasure was absolutely all mine.

Doug M: So there you go, listeners. There's Justin giving you some great tips on why you should invest some time and have someone like him and his company take a look at what you're doing. If you work from the shopping cart backward and take a look at the data and just follow your customer's journey, the data will show you what your customers want, what they don't want, what they like, and what they don't like. And if you're not looking at it, then you can't be responsive, and if you're not responsive, then you're not serving their needs. So we want to just keep serving your needs here. So thanks for tuning in. We look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

[just click to tweet]

PROVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE AND SALES

I'm in the conversion rate business. I look for the scalability and the sustainability of a company, and what's driving that audience.

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