Looking for Website Conversion Optimization guidance ? A must-read book to help you out!

Looking for Website Conversion Optimization guidance ? A must-read book to help you out!

Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing & Tuning for Conversions. 2nd Edition. by Tim Ash, Maura Ginty and Rich Page.

Though I haven’t finish the book yet, I’ll nevertheless share a glimpse if what I read so far. Out of five part, I just finish the 2nd and there is already a lot to remind. This book is a must-read guide to help you understand how to improve your website, why you should do it and how you should measure it.

Let me rewind quickly: When I first bought this book I was expecting to read about landing page optimization as the book title stand what was my suprise when i realized that I’ll learn far more in this book. To be fair, it’s totally possible that my definition of landing page was far too restrictive.

Let’s first define landing page!

According to Tim Ash book, “a landing page is any webpage on which an internet visitor first arrives on their way to an important action that you want them to take on your site”.
According to me in light of this book and my work experiences, a landing page is in a digital marketing context any page of your owned online presence where a user will land regardless of the fact that he was searching for it or that you pushed the content to him. Hence this will regroup your site homepage commonly, your top entries page for organic searches, paid searches, online advertising… but also your standalone paid search landing pages, your Facebook page… Well this almost every page online 🙂 yes and no, it’s great to think that every page deserve your attention and need to be optimized but just stating the obvious you kind of need to focus your attention on what matters which is what’s driving your business and what is bringing money as when we speak about landing page optimization at the end of the day we speak about bringing value for your customers and  $$ for your business to grow. In other words: optimizing your site conversion.

Things to Bear in Mind:

This a very complete book hence I can just suggest you to read it.
Nevertheless, you’ll find below some tips that need to be remembered and hopefully will be helpful in your analyst/webmarketer every day life:

What is conversion? Persuading users to take the desired action(s).

To get there, you’ll need first to follow a simple 3 steps methodology:
1. Define your business goals – For instance if you are an e-commerce website, your main business goal is to increase your online revenue & profit.
2. Define the way to measure achievement / success and the associated metrics / KPI – For instance, you’ll want to measure your daily online revenue, you conversion rate (orders to visits), your AOV and your ROI.
3. List few digital initiatives to get there – For instance, you’ll want to increase the proportion of users who checkout or increase the average order value per consumers.

The inherent challenge here is to know to whom you are adressing these digital initiatives, the book identified them as the ‘Maybes’ : those who may take the desired action. In opposition to the Yesses, who will always take the desired actions or the Noes who will never take the desired actions. The maybes are gold and where lies a chance to increase your conversion.

Which conversion actions for which business models?

Landing Page Optimization : Extract "Which conversion actions for which Business Models"
Each of these conversion actions which are macro-conversions, needs to be split into micro-conversions & associated with their metrics.
For instance, here is a schema of the entire methodology to define your conversion optimization scope:

How could we influence the users actions?

Now that we know what we are trying to improve and which landing page to focus on: in our example, each step of the purchase funnel. We need to define the how-to.
In this step come out your old business school memories: AIDA…
AIDA is a marketing concept by E. St. Elmo Lewis that describes a common list of stages that may occur when a consumer engages with your brand or products.
In Tim Ash book, this concept is used as a framework to follow to get a better understanding of the user decision-making process and to put up a checklist of does and don’t in your optimization journey.

  • A for Awareness
    “Awareness is the stage where your visitor just arrived and is looking for reassurance, recognition and a clear path to follow”
  • I for Interest
    Interest is the stage when you need to capture the user attention and transform is scanning mode to a commited mode.
  • D for Desire
    Desire is the stage where your visitor is paying attention and is in a research mode, you’ll need to trigger the right buttons to increase his desire: make it easy for him to compare, read reviews…
  • A for Action
    Action is the stage where you want your visitors to complete the transaction.

The 2nd part of the book gives excellent tips about details area of your landing pages that commonly need to be optimized or so-called in the book ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Landing Page Design’. This is an excellent starter kit checklist to begin with:

That’s where I will stop, I won’t spoil your pleasure to read the book and learn a lot of useful tips & tricks to improve your website, nor unveil all the secrets ingredients of the entire book here !

Stay tuned for the following part of the book summary and if you liked this article, please don’t be shy spread the love…

AdobeSummit 2013, as you were there even though we are not :)

AdobeSummit 2013, as you were there even though we are not :)

Despite not being there, I challenged myself to cover the event as much as I could. I’ll update this post daily with my findings, especially today and tomorrow which are the main seminars day (being in Hong-Kong, I have a bit of delay…).
I’ll cover Digital Analytics and Targeting & Optimization which are my topics of interest and more than enough to cover ! By cover, I mean, I’ll gather all useful information we could gain from going to the summit: videos, whitepapers, case studies, killing sentences, what’s new, best practices… anything that could help a digital analyst real daily life.

What’s all the noise about?

  1. Adobe Summit: Facts & Data first:
  2. Just looking at 2 hours on Twitter…

    but I could also be looking at Google Alerts, Facebook, Blogger… and I will.

  3. Adobe Summit: General Overview:
  4. What is the Adobe Summit ?
    The Adobe Summit is a digital marketing event hosted by Adobe in Salt Lake City and London every year. It’s a 2 day session with a lot of digital marketing oriented conferences, I guess that if you are not always researching on last trends, news… it may be a good though expensive way to stay tuned with a lot of digital stuff in one go. Give you enough food for thoughts for a year.


    I do really hope that I never speak like that…

  5. Adobe Summit: What will I be covering?
  6. Well, I picked my topic for sure, here are the conferences, I’ll virtually sneak into :
    Digital Analytics
    – Solving the attribution dilemma: Five keys to cross-channel ROI measurement
    – Site Catalyst advanced: The time-saving tips you’re not using
    – New innovations for Mobile with the Adobe Marketing Cloud
    – Predictive Marketing: Unearthing hidden behaviors and data patterns
    Targeting & Optimization
    – Adobe Test&Target: Essentials for building relevant, high-converting entry page experiences
    – Adobe Test&Target: Closing the loop: A personalization blueprint for B2B & lead-gen marketers
    – Adobe Test&Target: 2013 Conversion ROI All-Stars: trues stories of optimization success.

    So please be my guest, stay tuned and I’ll share with you everything useful I’ll find from those conferences !

    #1 Update | Adobe Summit, who to follow on Twitter or who are the noisiest ?

    @rwang0
    @MicheleJKiss
    @epilkington
    @AdobeSummit
    @SocialJulio
    @kristaseiden
    @colltodd
    @thirsty_crow
    @BrentLeary

    The good news is most of them are analytics people or at least digital people, no click waisted!





#2 Update | Adobe Summit, key takeaways are here!

2013 Digital Analytics Roadmap

2013 Digital Analytics Roadmap

Scroll down for a larger version
Analytics Roadmap
Happy New Year everyone!
Let’s kick off this year with a list of wishful thinking and future articles, I certainly hope I will be able to work deeply on all those subjects and more but I do realize that not everything will be achievable !
I am sharing this list as I intend to write about all those topics this year, so stay tuned if one those items – segmentation, landing page optimization, cross-platform analytics, campaign performance measurement, site search… – is a previous, present or future topic of interest.




  1. Segmentation based on Personae

    In a recent article, When Analytics is King, Segmentation and Targeting are Queens, I was giving my opinion on how important segmentation is to do a better analytics job. There is various ways of doing segmentation and one of the efficient one is to based your audience segmentation on personae. Personae concept goes beyond demographic segmentation, I will soon dive deeper into this subject in the meantime, this article helps to understand the usage of personae in digital marketing.

  2. Landing page optimization : almost there…

    This topic is very large, my objective here is to finish Tim Ash’ book: Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions, this book covers how to prepare all types of content for testing, how to interpret results, recognize the seven common design mistakes, and much more.(Amazon quote). I start reading it few weeks ago, it’s a highly valuable book, can’t wait to share with you a full review of it.




  3. Attribution Modeling & Testing : How to improve campaign allocation performance measurement ?

    Hopefully, performance improvement is a journey, not a destination. When it comes to digital marketing and campaign budget allocation, the equation gets more and more complex as the channels are numerous (Search, Display, Facebook etc.) and understanding each channel contribution to your performance (revenue, micro conversions, user experience…) is a tough job. Attribution models and testing is a step in this journey.

  4. SiteSearch Optimization


    This hilarious video of Google Analytics reminds me, how important site search is, I remember reading in a usability study that approx. 30% of your visitors will ignore your navigation, content links and hero images and use ONLY your internal search tool to look for what they are searching.

    Well, I do hate common views however this one worth taking the time to dig a little deeper and capture the main metrics to help your visitors find what they are looking for in your website in a efficient way.

  5. Cross-Platform Analytics

    A few articles this month claims : 2013 is the year of mobile analytics or 2013 is still not the year of mobile analytics, 2013 is the year of … Well, i don’t really care as the platform of today is certainly the old man of tomorrow’s platform. So I want 2013 to be the year of cross platform analytics : mobile, tablets, desktop, Tv… Whatever ! Where your clients/prospects are, you want to be looking at!
    About that, I wish to use and write about and compare those unified audience cross-platform audience measurement tools :
    Media Metrix® Multi-Platform from comScore
    Universal Analytics from Google Analytics

  6. Participate as much as possible to Analysis Exchange

    I joined the Analysis Exchange as a mentor last year, I didn’t have the chance to participate yet, well I hope that 2013 will be the year of my contribution. This exchange is a pretty exiting project run by Web Analytics Demystified to increase practice of web analytics by providing free web analytics consulting to non-profits and NGOs around the world.

Thanks for reading so far ! If you liked this article please spread the love…

Tracking checkout conversion rate with Google Analytics or Omniture Site Catalyst

About conversion rate, I would like in this article to dig a little deeper into checkout conversion rate and how to measure it. Currently, I’m doing an AB Test to compare the performance between a classic step-to-step checkout with a less classic “accordion checkout” (not to be confonded with one-page checkout).
Few things to define before talking about tracking with either Google Analytics or Omniture Site Catalyst.

1. Conversion rate

Well, this design should do the trick

Conversion Rate illustration
Illustration from the great great Conversion Rate Experts blog

Our subject being checkout, we will assume that the website is an ecommerce one and as a consequence the main goal/action we want the user to take here is “placed an order”.

2. AB Testing

Also here i think an illustration will express it better than words

Few words about the AB testing subject here.








3. Checkout ergonomy and design

Just want to highlight the difference between : accordion checkout, classic step-to-step checkout and one page checkout. The checkout being the step just after the basket, not to be considered lazy but once again examples is better than words:

  1. Accordion checkout: Following the principle of an accordion, this kind of design hide and show the step following the user progression without leaving the page, it’s a “vertical” design using Ajax most of the time. When the user is taken to the checkout the first section is open and he can see the titles of the following sections just below.
  2. Classic checkout: The classic checkout is more a “horizontal” design, each step of the checkout = one dedicated page.
  3. Single Page Checkout: This kind of checkout design can be horizontal or vertical, the principle here is having everything on the same page and every fields open, better option for short checkout process > everything is visible at a glance.

Context being clear now, lets get quickly to measurement! First of all, most of the checkout being in multiple steps – whatever the kind of design you choose – I would advise to measure 3 things:

  1. Checkout conversion rate = sales / number of carts initiated
  2. Overall conversion rate = sales / unique visitors
  3. Fall out step by step = % of visitors who drop on each step
  4. The 2 first performance indicators can show you trend and the 2nd expecially allow you to compare your rate to market conversion rate: knowing that the formulas can depend but either way the 2nd formula is supposed to be the one the market use and communicate about.

    The fall out indicator is the one you should/could take more time to analyse and set up on your webanalytics tool.

    With Google Analytics

    You first have to set up your goal. In our case, you goal is the last page of the checkout, usually the Thank You page then you have to set up the funnel which is each page/section of your checkout process. This is useful only if your checkout is a multiple page checkout : new step = new page. For one page checkout or accordion checkout, I would implement events tracking to get info about the steps within the page, but I will dig into this in a later article. Here is what you should get from GA:

    Why do I love Google Analytics: because it’s flexible, any webmarketer can do this without involving development team!















    With SiteCatalyst

    You will first have to set the “pagename” in the tracking page properties. But most of the time, this should have been done when implementing Omniture SiteCatalyst the first time. With this, it’s also really easy and flexible as you just have to drag and drop your pagename into the “Fall out report” to build your report!
    Here is what you will get:
    What I do love about SiteCatalyst fallout report, is that you may need developement team help but you will be able to track PAGE and SECTION in a page so any kind of checkout design can be tracked!








    Well, tracking is the first step of optimisation: go this article to learn more about few tips to enhance your checkout flow and decrease your checkout abandon rate.