The Conversion Approach to End All Guesswork


As a conversion specialist I am constantly coming up with new ways to increase conversion rates and reduce bounce rates for online stores.

A typical issue that I find is when an online store that generates a great deal of traffic, has competitive prices, is still not converting despite all those strengths.

So what makes a store like that underperform in terms of conversions?  We can’t always give an immediate answer – at least not with confidence (especially in statistical terms). The only way to do so is to test and get the factual data!

From my perspective, the Conversion Testing Process incorporates 3 major steps:

  1. Analyze- Look at the data and research the different user types to find opportunities to increase conversion rates and reduce bounce rates.  The data you have acquired through analytics programs can help create a much better sense of the strengths and weaknesses of your store and identify both opportunities and threats to act upon.
  2. Take Action- Create and run tests to find out what may or may not motivate the user to make a purchase.  What I mean by this is use actual, statistically-validating software to test a strong hypothesis against the control, or your current site.  If your test proves to increase conversion rates, then it’s like Chemistry 101 all over again… remember the scientific method?  If you prove a hypothesis, it is considered fact.  Until it is proven, it’s just a good idea.
  3. Wait- Be patient and let the tests run. The longer a test runs, the more factual data you’ll receive.  This gets back to the “statistical” sense of the word confidence.  Confidence in statistical terms is achieved in intervals – when you reach complete significance (because of volume of test runs), you are actually proving beyond a reasonable doubt, that the assumption is actually correct.  So your idea about changing the navigation, if it improves conversion rates significantly by 10% or so, was not just a good idea, but a sure thing once tested.

Note: Testing takes a great deal of patience, but the knowledge received will take any store owner a long way.  If tested to statistical validity, you are guaranteed that the distance gone is in the right direction.

Conclusion: Stop wondering and start testing!