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Here are some handy tools that we use in our conversion rate optimisation service that could help readers understand this process better.

Tool one: Understand customer intent, and determining if your pages and calls to action support this intent, is key to getting results.

Attention Wizard is an eye tracking simulation tool that can give you an indication of how people may interact with each page of your site. We are using it in private beta at the moment and it is a quick and effective way of gauging how good your design are at directing attention. Unlike traditional eye tracking this is inexpensive and requires no extra hardware or expensive user groups.

Here are some examples: 

Our PPC page with clear route and call to action:

Before Shot

Attention map:

You can see how images draw the attention of the reader but the ultimate focus is directed to the call to action bar near the bottom of the page.

Compare that to a client's site we are working on who has a less well directed page:

Before Shot

And this is where attention is drawn to, you can see how distracted and confused visitors will be:

Attention Map

Tool two: Clearly understanding what 'outcome' you want your page to generate is essential. Once you have it in good shape and have some decent traffic levels going through it, get it tagged up with a tool like clicktale.

This tool can video user sessions and is a step further than eye tracking because you see in real-time how a user interacts with your page. The beauty of clicktale is that you can store a vast number of video sessions and then filter them by specifying that you want to see all sessions that started on this landing page, reached a certain conversion page but did not convert. This way you can direct your attention to information that is critical to success and not be overwhelmed by endless amounts of data.

 

Tool three: Once you have a page or number of pages that are converting to an acceptable standard and you have enough traffic going through them so that you can start to run multiple versions of them in tests, then you can make consistent improvements to conversion rates that will continually drive your site forwards. A multi-variate testing platform is the easiest way to do this.

I will recommend Google's Website Optimizer for a number of reasons.

  1. We are a certified Google Conversion Professional Agency and know this product inside and out.
  2. It's FREE!
  3. It does a great job and is very reliable.

So this tool lets you trial different calls to action, imagery, headings, layouts etc. and you can safeguard existing conversion rates by specifying what percentage of your traffic is directed down the trial routes.

Here is a screenshot of the basic report you see when a test is running:

Website Optimizer Screenshot

Hopefully these tools will give you a glimpse into what can be achieved and where to focus your attentions. We currently have a suite of more than 20 tools and tests that we use to drive our clients conversion rates forwards and this is all under-pinned by our proven methodology that we have been working on for over two years now.

We are currently running a no win, no fee conversion rate optimisation service that is open to a maximum of five clients every three months.

Shane Quigley

Published 9 November, 2009 by Shane Quigley

Shane Quigley is Co-founder at Epiphany Solutions and a contributor to Econsultancy.

8 more posts from this author

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Robert Smith

Thank you for this great information. I have been looking for an analytic provider formy online business and clicktale looks like what i have been looking for. all of the features you mentioned are the best i have seen of all the web analytic providers. cheers for that- saved me a lot of time and money!!

almost 7 years ago

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Andy Headington

Good info Shane.

I was looking at Clicktale only yesterday as I'm interested in learning more about usage of websites other than click tracking tools.

However, looking at the pricing of the product, do you a. feel that it can be used to demonstrate ROI easily? Just because you see how one users interacts, doesn't mean you get an overall picture, don't you have to watch dozens of playbacks? and b. are you aware of any alternatives which are priced in a different way?

Look forward to your thoughts

almost 7 years ago

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Shane Quigley

Hi Andy,

The way we help bring about rapid ROI is that we have a license that we can use as and when needed for each of our clients - they only pay for it for the duration o fthe test. Also, because they're filtering system is so good at directing you to the video's which demostrate any problems, it doesn't take long to see what is happening.

Video is just the tip of the iceberg in clicktale, there is far more functionality and therefore value to be had from it.

Hope this helps.

Shane.

almost 7 years ago

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John Dumas, Director of Usability & Accessibility at RedEye optimum.web

Really interesting article on these tools Shane.  Because we are constantly testing client designs with actual eye tracking on real customers in our labs, Attention Wizard throws up some immediate questions for us:

1) Would the algorithms be able to replicate the well known phenomenon of "banner blindness"?  Depending on some very subtle style changes and the context of use, clearly prominent items on a page are often ignored.

2) Web pages are as much about content and keywords as they are about graphics and styling.  It would be interesting to know if the tool can analyse text (or text in images) and whether keywords relating to relevant tasks can be set as a parameter.

3) Heatmaps often mask the fact that customers are focusing on an object or area because they don't understand what it is or think it is something else.

4) The context and the task someone is trying to accomplish has a significant impact on where they look (and what they actually "see").  Heatmaps and other visualisations of real eye tracking data can be extremely different depending on the task, and the sequence of how customers assess a page is often the most important.  It would seem a tall order for a software algorithm to incorporate these factors.

5) Having observed hundreds of tests in the past year alone, we know that certain page "patterns" and layouts can become learned by web users and therefore this could help to predict how customers may approach them.  As these patterns can be quite subtle it would again be interesting to know if the software tries to assess this first, or even if this could be a parameter the analyst can set before running the tool.

Regards,

John Dumas

www.redeye.com

almost 7 years ago

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John-Scott Dixon

Great article - of the three you named - If I could only pick one, it would be Google Website Optimizer. I like the simplicity of breaking things down to a split test and picking the winner. Nice job!

almost 7 years ago

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bilgicity

thank you very much

over 6 years ago

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Richard Wilde

Can anyone else not see these images? It's a real shame that i can't

about 5 years ago

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Chris Cook

We've had a company that we spend loads of money with to do exactly that. Well now I know what to do next. Thanks for sharing.

about 5 years ago

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