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5 Ways Top Marketers Are Kicking Your Butt in Conversion Rate Optimization
Posted By Larry Kim On May 28, 2014 @ 1:00 pm In Marketing Tips | 7 Comments
Once you’ve invested in driving traffic to your landing pages, you have to close the deal as many times as possible. This is the basic premise of conversion rate optimization: Finding the right formula to entice as many people as possible to take your desired action.
In our recent analysis of thousands of Google AdWords accounts with a combined $3 billion in annual spend, we discovered that some advertisers are doing this far better than others, on a consistent basis. These super-converters aren’t a tiny minority, either. We found that the top converting 10% of AdWords advertisers regularly outperform the average conversion rates for their respective industries by 3 to 5 times.
That’s thousands of people in your industry regularly kicking your butt. Are you okay with that?
I didn’t think so. But what can you do about it? If you want to make real, lasting changes to your conversion rate optimization strategy that can help propel you into this elite group of super-converters, you first need to understand what they’re doing that you’re not.
Conventional CRO dictates that you tweak and test any number of combinations of the following factors until you find the sweet spot: The button color, white space, line spacing, text size and color, image placement and variety, etc. In fact, you might switch things around and find that your conversion rates jumps!
There are two problems with this:
The above tactics are really just basic testing best practices that you should be employing anyway. They aren’t going to make a huge difference and certainly won’t get you 3 – 5 times above average results.
What is a good conversion rate? Traditionally, we’ve considered 2% to 5% pretty decent.
In our data analysis though, we tracked the conversions of thousands of accounts. Not individual landing pages, but performance across entire accounts. We removed low volume accounts and those that hadn’t set up conversion tracking properly. What we found is that about ¼ of AdWords accounts have conversion rates less than 1%. Pretty awful, right?
The median conversion rate is 2.35%, so if you’re achieving that, you’re middle of the pack. However, the top 25% of AdWords account have conversion rates across their account of 5.31% or greater.
See the last red bar, below? Those are the top 10% of advertisers and their conversion rates are 11.45% or higher.
Of course, average conversion rates vary across industries. For example, we found that the average in eCommerce is just 1.84%, while in finance, it’s 5.01%. Still, the corresponding top 10% are 3 – 5 times higher, regardless of the industry, so in eCommerce the top 10% threshold is 11.45% and in finance it’s 24.48%. If you’re happy with 2 – 5% conversion rates, you’re nowhere near reaching your potential, even in lower converting industries.
Here’s a major way the top converting advertisers break away from the pack: Their offers are incredible.
Marketers tend to go with what’s proven and safe. It’s how we justify our spend to clients and employers. However, safe often means you’re doing the exact same thing as everyone else. If you’re a financial advisor, you’re probably offering a one-hour consultation free of charge. If you sell software, you’re probably giving people a free trial. Boring.
The top advertisers put the legwork into testing new, completely different and highly creative offers. Ask your prospects what they really want from you before they commit to your product or service – their answers might surprise you.
Your offer should serve two purposes: Enticing visitors to convert, and helping you qualify prospects. Get brainstorming and testing some new offers.
You might be killing off conversions without even realizing it.
Have a test group of people who know nothing about your product or service try to get through your offer. Where do they become disinterested? At what point do they feel what you’re asking them to do isn’t worth what you’re offering? This is a common problem with sign up forms and eCommerce purchases alike.
You need to get in front of any potential roadblocks or objections and change the way your offer flows to get rid of them. To do that, you need to gather the intelligence necessary to understand how your ideal customer converts and how you can make it simple for them to do so.
Logically, if you want to break into that top 10% – that 1 in 10 best converting circle – you need to test at least 10 landing pages to find your winner. These advertisers who are achieving top 10% results across their account aren’t doing it with one winning landing page, though. They find one, then start over, replicating the process to find another one, until everything they’re running is in top form.
In fact, another interesting thing we discovered is that on average, about 85% of Web traffic goes to the top 20% of your landing pages (see chart above). Think about that: Do the landing pages that produce the remaining 15% of traffic combined deserve an equal amount of time and effort?
Cut the fat, quit wasting time changing button colors and moving text around on your low performers, and focus on replicating that one really awesome landing page.
I’m telling you, there is no reason you can’t break the top converting 10% in your industry on AdWords. The bar is really low when you consider how many of your competitors are barely optimizing at all.
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