Image Source: © OutStyle - Fotolia.comIt’s a new year and a lot has changed in the way people interact with websites and companies online since this time last year.

In the U.S. alone, over four million people will turn 18 this year and begin to start forming real relationships with brands, products, and services. The growth of tablet devices has been steep, and smartphone access continues to grow. New Web technologies, like HTML5, became standardized and old technologies, like Flash, became deprecated. As a result, the way people interact with your website needs to be reanalyzed and rethought. This year, make a resolution to improve your conversion rate on your sales funnel.


 

85% of marketing professionals intend to give more focus to conversion rate optimization in 2014

According to research released by Hanapin Marketing, 85% of professional PPC marketers said that they’d be focusing more on conversion rate optimization, while just 2% said they’d be focusing less on it. Why? Because content without conversion is just free publishing. This year, resolve to champion conversion rate optimization in your company and you’ll be a strong advocate for data-driven decisions and be able to show specifically how much revenue specific strategies have generated.

 

Use your 2013 traffic to determine how many variations to test

It takes between 500 and 1000 hits to your landing page to confirm statistical significance for a single change that you’ve made. Based on your sales page traffic for 2013, determine how many A/B tests you can run each month. Test the biggest changes first, like headlines, imagery, and layout, as these have the highest probability of showing significance.

 

Trends in 2013: Simplify, simplify, simplify

One of the biggest trends we saw in 2013 that’s brought increased conversion rates has been a simplification of the sales funnel. If you can, cut steps out of your checkout process, remove lines from your order form, and simplify the layout of your page. Analyze through A/B and multivariate tests how these changes affect your conversion rate.

 

Calculate your 2013 conversion rate for different traffic sources

Your traffic strategies for 2014 should take into account differences in conversion rates from different sources. Are your returning customers converting at a rate much higher than your new customers? Consider shifting some of your PPC budget (which tends to bring new customers in) into a retargeting budget (which tends to target existing customers) or towards social media (which tends to target recurring customers). Is your organic traffic converting better than referrals? Shift part of your PR budget into search engine optimization. Start calculating the cost of traffic from each source and determining a channel ROI and then invest the lion’s share of your marketing budget into the channels which earn you the highest ROI.

 

Update your analytics dashboards

If you use Google Analytics, you’ll be happy to know that the dashboard was updated significantly in 2013 to include many new features, including a major update in October to include an Acquisition tab and December updates to add the ability to segment your audience by Demographics. There was also a major shift away from showing organic search term information, instead offering “Not Provided” for up to 90% of search results. It’s worth reconfiguring your analytics dashboard for 2014 to address these changes.

 

Get ahead of the curve in 2014 with multi-device CRO

Consider optimizing your conversion rates for multiple devices and running separate tests for phones, tablets, and desktops. While this trend hasn’t been adopted yet, in 2014 and 2015, it’s going to be a major factor in conversion rate optimization given the different usability factors in each device. Get ahead of the curve this year by optimizing for multiple devices before your competitors do.

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