#124 – Conversion Rate Optimization with Kurt Philip

What you will learn

  • The most common mistakes people make during A/B testing
  • 3 actionable CRO tips you can easily apply to your site right now
  • Why knowing your audience is crucial for optimization
  • When it’s a good idea to approach an agency for CRO help
  • Kurt’s thoughts on various optimization tools

Today’s guest is Kurt Philip from Convertica. You might remember our recent post about his CRO work on Health Ambition.

Kurt’s been in SEO since the early 00s and got involved in consulting around 2008. Then around 2013 he started focusing his attention on affiliate sites. After seeing the revenue gains on his own sites through tinkering with CRO (and how little other sites were doing in this area) he started his own agency and hasn’t looked back since.

Most affiliate sites don’t utilize CRO at all, so we decided to have him on the podcast to talk a bit more about his methods and maybe grab a few tips for our community.

This interview is packed with goodies from effective A/B testing methods to 3 things that anyone can do right now to make more money with their affiliate site.

If you want to find out more about Kurt and his agency, visit Convertica.org.

When Is It a Good Time to Start Working on CRO?

Understanding the foundations from day one can help a lot.

  • Have nice and clear comparison tables
  • Be super mobile friendly
  • Have the right products for your tables

Picking the Right Products

You need to be aware of your incoming demographic. There are many user groups when buying a smartwatch for example:

  • Some might want a sporty watch
  • Some might want the best brand
  • Some might want the cheapest price

When comparing products with these small but significant factors in mind, you can potentially increase your conversions by 30-50%. People will see that you know what they are looking for, instead of just copying templates and content from other sites.

The Most Common CRO Mistakes

It seems like a lot of site owners these days don’t learn coding and would rely on plugins instead. This means every site has TablePress or AAWP or something like that, with similar layouts and looks.

In truth, coding tables and customizing them is a lot easier than people think. Each page will convert differently and might requires a uniquely designed table. Doing so much customization is incredibly difficult with most plugins.

People often want one design throughout their site, but simply put, it doesn’t work like that.

Tip: Getting someone to click is not always as important as solidifying their intent to purchase. If your tables help the buyer make a final decision, you might get much higher revenue with the same clickthrough rate, since the user has decided what to buy before even clicking.

A Note on Amazon’s Rules

Amazon is very tricky when it comes to CRO. In general, it’s best to try to follow Terms of Service to the letter.

In the old days we tried doing incentivizing buttons like “Click here for the Lowest Price”, etc. which we found out later on was a big no-no from Amazon (even though their reps said it was okay…..).

3(+1) Conversion Rate Optimization Tips Anyone Can Apply Right Now

#1 Research Your Products and Your Demographic

Know what your target audience is looking for. Example with LCD Monitors:

  • Gamers will want fast response times
  • Graphic designers will want good color coverage
  • Some people will want an economic option

Another example is that people in the military will prefer raw text over fancy images.

#2 Help People Choose

Shortly describe product features in your comparison tables (2-3 details) to assist users in making a final decision before clicking.

#3 Go Mobile

Sites are not optimizing conversions for mobile…they should. People use smartphones differently from desktops/laptops and placing a button to another part of the table can have a huge impact.

+1 A Golden Rule

If you review more than 2 products, add comparison tables. People with buying intent just want to do a quick product comparison, they usually won’t read your 4,000+ word SEO-friendly article.

Also, data should win over personal taste. If it looks stupid, but works, it ain’t stupid.

Optimization Tools

We get a lot of people pitching their products. Then there’s Google Optimize, but it seems a bit clunky. We also know about Optimizely but we have a platform we’ve been using for more than a year now.
 
At Convertica, we swear by Visual Website Optimizer. Then again, it’s $60,000-$70,000 per year…so it’s really high end.
 

Tools and 3-Page Split Testing

In general you should customize your tools to do 3-page split testing, without which your entire CRO experiment will fail. Most A/B testing tools don’t do this by default.
 
You can read more about 3-page split testing (and many more) in Kurt’s Step-by-Step CRO Guide.
 

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