Radu Vrabie is a full-stack online marketer that’s currently in charge of delivering the message of Omniconvert.com, the all-in-one CRO tool, to a global audience. We had a chance to sit down with Radu to hear some examples of real-world advice about A/B testing, analytics usage, behavioral targeting, and many other online marketing topics.
Tell us a little about your background. Why are you so passionate about conversion rate optimization?
I started the marketing journey back in 2009 when I discovered my passion for this field by doing search engine optimization. What first began as a hobby quickly turned into a profession when I got my first job in the industry as an SEO consultant for an online insurance company. But SEO was just my springboard. As my interest in online marketing, in general, grew ever stronger, I started getting into PPC with AdWords and Facebook campaign management while studying copywriting techniques; and in the end, I discovered conversion rate optimization.
What I like most about conversion rate optimization is the fact that it sits at the intersection of the most important skills of online marketing. This trait provides a huge amount of diversity, which is a big motivating factor for a curiosity-driven marketer such as myself.
For people who aren’t very familiar with A/B testing, could you explain how long a typical “test” needs to run before it can deliver actionable data or results?
First and foremost, before running any A/B test you should start with a situation assessment – or a conversion audit, to be more precise. During this phase of the project, the main aim is to discover bottlenecks in the conversion funnel through various means: quantitative & qualitative data analysis, heuristic interpretation, etc.
Based on the findings of this process, you create one or more hypotheses that should be clearly formulated. One example of such a hypothesis could be “by eliminating the navigation menu from the checkout page, fewer people would navigate away from their carts, thus driving down the cart abandonment rate and increasing the conversion rate.”
Once armed with such clear hypotheses, you can go ahead and implement A/B tests in order to see if your suppositions will be validated or not. An A/B test is ready when it gets enough visits for drawing a solid conclusion. This can happen within a day of launching the test or after several months, depending on how much traffic the website has. Ideally, any A/B tests would get at least 2,000 views before being stopped; but the more views it gets, the better.
Give us one example of a minor change or tweak that a small business owner can make to his or her website that can potentially have a substantial impact on the site’s conversion rates.
There’s no good-for-all formula in conversion rate optimization that can work for all websites. Each site has its particularities, so applying templates is not the best idea.
But to offer at least a hint, I’d say to focus on removing clutter elements from the website that don’t help the user go further down the sales funnel. You can easily discover those by running some heat map experiments or some user recording sessions. Pay attention to what the users are doing and see which elements get completely ignored, or which ones confuse users and deter them from their path.
What are some analytics that small business owners should be measuring on their websites but aren’t doing so?
In terms of data, what I see very often is that the Google Analytics accounts are not properly set up. GA is an extremely helpful tool if used correctly; but unfortunately, the vast majority of business owners don’t give it the attention it deserves.
I’d say the priority for any online business is setting up the Google Analytics account by:
- Implementing different views & filters
- Linking Adwords & Google Search Console accounts
- Implementing site search
- Filtering out spam and self-referral traffic
- Implementing and setting up enhanced e-commerce
- Adding and tracking goals
- Creating custom reports
- Setting up alerts
Do all of these correctly, and you’re light years ahead of most of the competition in terms of analytics.
If a site’s analytics indicate that users are reading the site’s content or blog and spending lots of time on the site BUT conversion rates are still low, what are some possible explanations for this phenomenon?
Well, if they are reading the company blog which is a separate entity from the company presentation website, then the readers might not be aware that the presentation even exists, or know what the company actually does. Unfortunately, I see this quite often,
where companies invest a lot in their blogs and manage to bring in organic traffic, but they don’t do a good job in turning those visitors into leads or clients.
Some techniques aimed at transforming readers into clients include:
- Focusing on micro-conversions such as newsletter signups
- Adding a company description with a call-to-action link at the end of each article
- Creating website overlayers that are triggered in various moments of the visit (on-load, on-scroll, or on-exit)
- Designing well-implemented AdWords and Facebook remarketing campaigns
How much of a problem is shopping cart abandonment, and what are some of the common reasons why this happens?
Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for e-commerce websites. In fact, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is close to 70%. That’s a lot of potentially lost business!
There are a lot of reasons why users abandon their carts, some of which are on the user-side and some of which are on the company-side. Some user-side reasons might be that they don’t currently have the money for completing the order or they might have gotten interrupted by an event while in the process of ordering. Some company-side reasons might be conveying a low sense of trust, having few or no social signals, increasing the price unexpectedly on the checkout page by added previously unannounced taxes, etc.
Could you provide an example of behavioral targeting and explain how it can improve the chances of conversion?
As the name suggests, behavioral targeting aims to personalize the users’ experience according to their behavior on the website. For example, let’s take a segment of users that visit at least 3 blog pages and scroll more than 80% of the last visited page. It’s safe to say that they are engaged users and they are actively consuming the content – much more so than visitors who see only one page and leave after a few seconds. So for these engaged users, we might want to display a website overlayer asking them to download a content upgrade of the article they’re just reading in exchange for their email address. This way, you’ll end up with a highly targeted and responsive email list that you can nurture and eventually turn into enthusiastic clients.
Given the ongoing advances in technology, how will websites be better equipped to analyze and improve conversion rate optimization in the future?
Like so many other industries, conversion rate optimization is very likely to be influenced by the dawn of artificial intelligence. Some CRO companies have already started to implement machine learning in their software. In fact, one of our roadmap priorities is developing our own AI-based engine.
It’s difficult to predict just how the AI wave will influence how conversion rate is done, but it’s clear that it will be able to do automated user profiling, apply dynamic content without any human intervention, and deliver the best possible messages and products for each and every user. Basically, websites will be able to just plug in the software and have instant access to the equivalent of a conversion rate optimization team and more. This will be a whole new era of optimization where machines do all the hard work and the role of human input is uncertain.
How can better content marketing improve your conversion optimization? Contact us today and find out.