June 7 Clinic Notes

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NOTES:

These are the notes for our interactive May 10 clinic on Landing Pages. The recording of the event will be posted here in a few days.

If you are participating in the live teleclinic, we will ask you to refresh your page several times through the call as we add data and other notes. Data will appear below this sentence.

Conversion Rate Trends
Month Conversion
December 2004 2.00%
January 2005 1.79%
February 2005 1.90%
March 2005 2.17%
Four-Month Average 1.965%
 
June 2005 0.75%
July 2005 0.65%
August 2005 0.57%
September 2005 0.62%
Four-Month Average 0.648%
 
January 2006 0.45%
February 2006 0.56%
March 2006 0.62%
April 2006 0.52%
Four-Month Average 0.538%
Months with Added Media Attention
Month Conversion
April 2005 2.69%
October 2005 0.74%
May 2006 0.77%
Landing Page Copy Optimization
Month Clicks Sales Conversion Monthly Change in Conversion
February 2005 40,047 159 0.40% N/A
March 2005 43,154 147 0.34% -15.0%
April 2005 39,528 110 0.28% -17.6%
May 2005 38,997 138 0.35% 20.0%
June 2005 34,581 117 0.34% -2.9%
July 2005 33,931 113 0.33% -2.9%
August 2005 33,157 103 0.31% -6.1%
September 2005 34,064 112 0.33% 6.5%
October 2005 40,696 100 0.25% -24.2%
November 2005 35,981 101 0.28% 12.0%
December 2005 36,080 97 0.27% -3.6%
January 2006 37,878 105 0.28% 3.7%
February 2006 36,830 65 0.18% -35.7%
March 2006 33,296 102 0.31% 72.2%
April 2006 25,843 73 0.28% -9.7%

Guidelines:

1. Continue to test. What works one month may not continue to work as the market evolves. Do not become complacent in your success.

2. Develop a marketing schedule. Our merchandising calendar and marketing blueprint may be useful here.

Merchandising Calendar

2006 Marketing Blueprint

2006 Marketing Blueprint in Practice

3. Use your web metrics system to pinpoint the channels, keywords, ad copy, and landing pages that were producing the majority of your sales. If you keep track of trending on those pages, you will be able to identify specifically where many declines are taking place. Many times we discover that a specific source of traffic such as one of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN) has changed their search rankings, and traffic on key terms is no longer ranked as high as it was, so the overall conversion average goes down.

4. Monitor your paid advertising placement. Staying on top of competitors, especially in saturated markets is essential and can be detrimental to your business if they are not constantly monitored. The old 80/20 rule comes into play as many campaigns drive 80% of their traffic from 20% or less of the keywords. If bids change, placement changes, or there is more competition your traffic will be nibbled away slowly but surely.

5. Build your email list and relationships with customers. Your customer list is one source of traffic that is not affected by competition in the marketplace, paid advertising, or natural search engine results. Continuing to build your list and market to customers you already have is one of the best ways to minimize the peaks and valleys in your conversion rates.

6. Analyze your search logs. If you see significant changes in your conversion, many times analyzing searches performed on your site will provide evidence to what might be causing the decline. If you are a retailer, for example, you may discover that people are searching for a specific product that has been discontinued and is no longer available. If that was a top selling product and you do not have a suitable replacement, then in many cases you just lost a key source of revenue.

7. Review your product mix to see if certain product types or definable categories have slowed specifically. Many times, an “unnatural” increase or reduction in conversion will be very specific to a product, ad campaign, etc. whereas seasonal and behavioral changes are spread out more evenly across your product line or offering.

8. However well your page is doing, test and create new versions of the page in advance of any decline in conversions. Also, broaden your sources of traffic across the new pages. If you depend on PPC alone for high conversions, you are vulnerable to competition and increasing bid prices. But if you have a back-up page that is attracting organic search traffic, for example, it can make up for any losses experienced by the PPC page. Strong organic search pages appear to be far less susceptible to loss in traffic and declining conversion rates.

9. Conduct an analysis of your competitors once every six months. This will help you understand what your competitors are doing well, and why they may be taking sales away from you.

Online Competitive Analysis Tested

Learn from the MEC Research Team How to Test and Optimize Your Website

Become Professionally Certified in Online Testing! We have just 12 spots left for the upcoming certification course starting on June 15. If you have not yet enrolled, and are planning to, you may do so here.

URLs:

  1. National Alert Registry
  2. Online Competitive Analysis
  3. Merchandising Calendar
  4. 2006 Marketing Blueprint
  5. 2006 Marketing Blueprint in Practice
  6. Hansens Clothing
  7. Seth Godin’s Blog

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