How to test the conversion rate of your website…

Increase your New Websites Conversion rate

Designing a website can be very subjective – everybody seems to have an opinion, even the mail boy. Through years on the job I have developed this fail-safe methodology which makes things a whole lot easier. Firstly, set an objective. Most simply, your objective with each page should be to persuade the user to take “Action”. Your job is to determine the role of your website and the desired action that users should perform.

Whilst this process is best performed on a new site design, it can also be applied to existing sites. Follow these 9 basic steps to analyse the performance of your website and design it right.

9 Quick Questions to test your website design

Take a close, fresh look at your homepage. Here’s how: Pretend you are a new visitor to your website. Make your website is full screen (Press F11 on your keyboard). Look away from your screen and pause for a second. Look back at your screen and ask yourself the following questions.
The ideal answer follows each question. If your website does not match these descriptions then its time to get to work!

  1. What is the first thing you look at? – The attention grabber is a picture or a strong headline at page centre. It should be something which immediately engages, enticing the user to want more.
  2. What did you immediately think the company did? – Your users should be able to see immediately what your company does and how it can help them. State your products’/services’ core benefit up front.
  3. What is the second thing you look at? – Offering support to the headline (generally subheads or product thumbnails) these statements should now be leading the user towards the desired action. Often they will be entry points into your major product/service categories.
  4. What is the last thing you look at on the page? – This last item catches the user’s eye before they click and is often found in the side columns. Use these takeaways to start building trust and credibility.
  5. Where is the first and second place you would click? – These optimal click-points should be taking the user one step closer to the ultimate desired action on your website – whether to call, engage, make an appointment or buy. The role of your website will determine which of these actions is most appropriate. For instance: is the site a brand-building exercise (engage), an online shop (buy) or an information portal helping build your sales channels (call, make an appointment). Every website will suit one, perhaps even all, of these options and a successful site will drive appropriate user actions.
  6. What would you expect to be behind those links? – Take a look at your sitemap before you ask this question and look at what page sits behind each of the clicks. Then look back at your design and ask, “If I landed at the page, would the content satisfy me?” i.e. has the promise in the call to action been lived up to? E.g. If you sent a user to a page that said “Free whitepaper” can they get the free whitepaper? Secondly “Does this page help convert the user to a customer?” i.e. Is it continuing the user along the buying process?
  7. What did you spend the most amount of your time looking at? – Whatever it was that kept catching your eye, make sure that has a strong invitation to interact. Thousands of visitors are going to be doing what you do so try and persuade as many of them as you can to take the action you require. Don’t make your users search all over the page for ways to get into your site. If its too hard they’ll give up before they get started.
  8. What did you expect to be behind each of the navigation buttons? – Do a sanity check and make sure that there is relevant content behind each navigational link. Don’t use obscure language or untitled imagery as click-throughs. Time is precious and few users want to waste theirs trying to second guess your creative interpretation of content.
  9. Did all of the questions match your answers? – If yes then you are on your way to internet marketing success, but beware, there are going to be more tests when you actually launch the site! If no, note the changes required and chat with your online marketing agency to create a results-driven website.

Make your opinion count. Post a comment.

This article was also features in SmartCompany Website

Online keywords

How to write a website article to increase search…

How to write a Search Engine friendly article for your website

By applying this formula to writing website articles, you will get great success with the search engines. Follow these 5 easy steps and experiment for yourself now.

Fred Schebesta’s Article Writing Formula

Step 1 – Choose your Keyword
To begin, choose your article’s keyword target. I suggest focusing on getting results for just one keyword for each article. Use a keyword selection tool or check your web stats to figure out which keyword you want to rank highly for.

Step 2 – Research what is out there

Go to Google and research: type in your keyword and figure out what other people have already written and see what websites they are referencing. The internet is filled with plagiarism so you will usually find common source articles. Once you have the core idea, give it your own spin. I include my own experiences to talk directly to my intended audience.

Step 3 – The idea and the benefit
After researching , I come up with my article’s main theme. It usually comes from extending another article, a wacky idea I have been thinking about applied to the topic, or a question a client has asked me during the day. From this idea I focus on what key benefit a person could get out of this information and make that the title of my article.

Step 4 – Title, article, links, pictures and resources
My next steps just flow:

Title – Write the title of your article. I might adjust this during this process or at the end, depending on what might work better for the target market and what type of content I write.

Article – The actual body of the article. I try and write like I am writing to one person. I think about that person reading it and also imagine myself reading the article and what I would want to know. I try and use dot points and bolding to communicate key points.

– Links to related pages are gold because you don’t have to rewrite supporting information, allowing the focus to remain on your core subject. I try and keep these to a minimum so as not to distract the reader.

Pictures and Diagrams – I love putting a picture or a diagram in because it brightens up the piece and makes it less boring. I hate big wads of text. I want pictures and diagrams because I know a lot of people are visual people.

Resources and Call to actions – At the end of the article I normally include either related resource links or a relevant call to action. Normally if you write an article a call to action to browse another page of your website is easy to sell because you have built trust and credibility.

Step 5 – Proof read, send it live and promote it
I always give my articles to someone else to check. Other people see things you don’t and their final finesse can turn your article from being good to great. Also consider how you might promote the article.

3 quick ways to promote your article:

  1. Post it on a free articles site – is an example
  2. Send it as an enewsletter – Send a mail to your database describing a problem your article will solve.
  3. Give it away to a related website

How to use Google to brainstorm your popular keywords…

Keyword Discovery with Google’s Free Tool

Mervat is starting a new website called “Viva La Frock” and is struggling to brainstorm her website keywords. She wrote me an email below:

“Hi Fred

I attended the seminar on Tuesday about Online Marketing which you did a great job of presenting!

I wanted to ask you, I am currently in the process of setting up my website and would like to start brainstorming my keywords for search engine optimization, and you were talking about some stats Google provides regarding most popular search words?? Did I hear this correctly? Or were you actually suggesting we jump on and search each of our own keywords to see what result it yields?”

Quick step guide to brainstorming your keywords

Here is a step by step guide to help you out:

  1. Yellow Pages Technique – To begin open up Microsoft excel and write down in the cells all the keywords you can possibily think of that might be relevant to your business. An easy way to do this is to imagine all of the categories your business might fall into in the Yellow Pages. They are normally pretty relevant keywords.
  2. Use some tools – Mervat when I said to use Google’s free tool what I was suggesting was that you use their free keyword suggestion tool ( . It basically provides you with suggestions on what keywords are related to a keyword you enter and what keywords other people are typing in to search for with that keyword. If you use the keywords you brainstormed above and type them into the tool you will get a huge number of ideas.
    Google’s keyword suggestion tool
  3. Related keywords – Use a thesaurus or a lexical dictionary to figure out words that your target market might be interested in that you might want to also target. Like if you were selling “golf clubs” you might want to put “golf ball reviews”. Anyone who buys golf balls will need a golf club to hit them with!

I hope that clears some things up and points you in the right direction?

Another Keyword Discovery Tool
WordTracker is a more professional tool for keyword discovery although you need to pay for it. I would highly recommend it.

Online marketing

How Does the History of the Internet Affect Your…

The history of the internet and how it affects your marketing

Remember back to when you first logged onto the internet and the first types of things that you used to do. Compare that to the things you do with the internet these days. Now think about the internet as an object and think about the feelings that come about it? When you start something you have initial experiences and these experiences tend to guide your feelings about it. Notice how you still have some latent feelings about the internet and how to use it. I can assure you now that many users are the same. What I have discovered is that these feelings also tend to guide the way in which you use the internet and therefore dramatically effects what marketing you are exposed to.

Here are my first impressions of the internet:

  1. Slow to download things
  2. Sent emails and wanted someone to send me one.
  3. SPAM was always in my inbox.
  4. I would search the search engines for basic terms trying to find information or things of interest.
  5. Normally I would be given a homepage and the extent of my browsing started and finished with that website I began on.
  6. Banner ads opened my eyes to different things that were available on the internet.
  7. I looked at pictures and quickly scanned for links.
  8. I was always in search of something that was out of this world that would interest me. It was like there was a treasure hunt on for things which were undiscovered on the internet.
  9. When Google became available the results were much cleaner and so I decided to set it as my homepage. Cleaner in that less spammers came up in my results.

What were your first impressions of the internet? I met a girl yesterday who said she bought 20 minutes of the internet and just sat in front of her computer and waited for something to happen!

Mobile marketing insights for your internet marketing

I spoke at Cebit last week and met a mobile marketer there and I learnt something that will help you clarify this idea of the internet. He was telling me about the early people who are using mobile as a content source and what types of things they do. He said most of them are just starting from the website they are provided with and clicking on links. The reason I would infer from this is that most people who use a new medium are not quite sure how to use it and what is possible. They are more just thrown into the deep end and just asked to have a crack. People don’t know what is possible and how to locate places that are of interest to them. Super early users are less likely to search for things and find them, although with the internet as they have become a little more experienced and seen how some other people use the internet they will learn to search. This brings into play search engines and I can imagine the first search engine to crack the mobile market perhaps only spidering .mobi domains will be a real winner. The key here will be having a very light page weight and being exceptionally fast as these users will be on the run.

3 insights to consider for your online marketing

  1. Target your marketing to where the fish are already swimming – Are your users basic or advanced? Do they search.. If not cover those early portals and websites that users are provided when they join an ISP or first get a computer. Usually in Australia that will be Ninemsn or Any of the ISP websites.
  2. How can you take advantage of the mobile revolution on our doorstep? Is there are part of your business that will adapt well to people on the go. Is there a little niche that your business can own? Just like with the internet the first movers have done the best. Google may not be a better search engine that Yahoo although now it has the brand and people use it because they THINK it’s the best. Remember that a mobile website is just like an internet website only its smaller, the same principles will apply to getting traffic and getting repeat visitors.
  3. What is the history of your market that everyone remembers and still perceives your market to be like? In the website development game our first clients used to come to us not knowing why they needed a website or what they were going to do with it but they knew they just needed one. A lot of businesses are still at that point and haven’t learnt much more and that is why we give seminars to teach marketers how to use the internet as a tool for their business. When I first got a mobile phone I thought text messages were impersonal until I realised they were a quick way to tell someone what is going on without disturbing them now as they might be in a meeting.

What other insights have you gained from this idea?

* Picture from The History and Future of the Internet