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Conversion Rate Optimization Thoughts for Jewelers

Over the last two weeks, we first covered email topics and then landing page concepts that could create a continued experience and answer questions presented in your emails. Let's now move on to the next step in your internet marketing for jewelers' education: Conversion Rates.

Way back on January 22, 2010 we published a brief vocabulary lesson explaining Conversion Rates. Here's the link in case you want to read it. That lesson names the following 6 potential methods of determining conversion rates:

1. Email Newsletter Signup
2. Question submitted through the Contact Us form
3. Registration for an event
4. Fill out a form to receive a discount offer via email
5. Comment on your blog
6. Setting up a wish list

Of course, with e-commerce the ultimate conversion is selling jewelry.

Just because you direct users from email (or other ads) to your website doesn't mean you will convert them into customers. We'd like you to follow the planning ideas presented in Friday's Golden Nugget, but you can't simply slap those ideas on a landing page and hope for the best.

Everything needs to be tested. Without continued testing, study of your conversion rates, and then modifications to your website you will only have marginal conversion rates.

Turning someone from a casual reader into a customer really is an advertising art. It's not the words, the imagery or the color scheme; but rather how you present it all. Everything about your landing page, and perhaps even your website, needs to persuade actions through easily understandable design principles.

That sounded complicated, so how do we actually do that? Well, first you need to prioritize what you really want the customer to do. If you want them to sign up for your event, then all advertising methods need to lead them to that action without distraction. If you want them to buy something specific, then don't interrupt their purchase decision with invitations to an event or other sale offers on the same page.

Once you identify your priority you then need to test your landing page (or entire website) against this goal. The least expensive way to do this is by constant review of the Site Overlay feature inside Google Analytics. That feature will show exactly what people are clicking. Using that tool you can keep tweaking the photos/words/layout of your website until the majority of clicks are on your prioritized goal.

"Tweaking your website" sounds a little ominous. You're probably thinking that you don't have time to update your website let alone "tweak" it once you finally get it live.

We do understand this dilemma, but consider for a moment that if you would trust the cooking from an executive chef who never tasted his food, but rather only judged it for its presentation. Would you really want to eat the food from a chef that only understands how to arrange round green things with long yellow things on your plate?

Ultimately, the responsibility of conversion is yours. It's your business and just like you should understand your own cash flow, you should also understand your own advertising conversion rates. It might have taken you a long time to learn QuickBooks or your POS software, but we assume you eventually did. Google Analytics is just another business software tool that you must learn for your website to be a success.

On the other hand, if you have a trusted bookkeeper and don't have an active role in your jewelry store's daily finances then you could consider hiring someone that understands Google Analytics and can provide you with reports. It's up to you to hire and fire people until you find someone that can demonstrate their understanding of conversion and how to continually test for it.

You could hire another employee to learn how to use Google Analytics and tweak your website, or you could have an ad agency or website designer do it for you.

We're going to make a bold statement and say that most advertising agencies don't understand online conversion rates. Advertising agents are more likely to convince you to use balance in your layout or graphical richness instead of considering if their presentations will actually convert. A typical agency will present 2, maybe 3 choices for an ad (or landing page) without any consideration for the end conversion goal. Odds are that single person ad "agencies" are not experienced enough in conversion design and testing.

The typical website designer also has their share of faults. Your designer is most likely an expert in graphic design and website coding. The "designer" usually doesn't work on a website months after it is launched and eventually is blamed when the design was ineffective.

The exception to this would be a designer who is also hired to follow through with search engine optimization. SEO can provide the initial understanding to conversion optimization, but still, without specific conversion testing even an SEO expert will not produce the best conversion rates.

In tomorrow's Daily Golden Nugget, we will give you some interview questions to ask your ad agency and your web designer to determine if they are experienced in conversion rate optimization.
AT: 08/29/2011 12:26:17 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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