Cryomach Machinery Corporation specializes in cryogenic pumps and cryo-machinery. The company owners, Pete and Lisa Ungar, came to us last year for help managing their Google Adwords pay per click (PPC) online advertising campaign. The Ungars had been spending about $50 per day on Google advertising with disappointing results, to put it mildly. They told our search marketing team that, after a number of months advertising, they were getting only about 27 clicks per day and spending close to $2.50 per click. Most disheartening, during that time, they received zero conversions from their own in-house advertising efforts.
So, we took over the PPC management for them. Not only were we were able to improve their ad performance dramatically; but, perhaps more importantly, we were able to counsel them on Conversion Rate Optimization.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO, for short) is the art and science of improving a website's form and function so that it generates more conversions. A conversion, as we define it, is any measurable or trackable web event taken by a visitor that leads her one step closer to becoming a customer.
Examples of conversions include
- Completing a contact form
- Calling a phone number on the website
- Subscribing to a blog
- Downloading or uploading a document
- Registering for a free account
- Clicking a live chat support module
These are not the only examples of conversions, but they are a few of the most common.
What's Wrong With Cryomach's Website?
One of the things we suggested to Cryomach was to add a contact form to the website. Prior to hiring us, they didn't even have this very basic conversion element on their website. They merely had a contact page with an email and phone number.
We made a number of additional recommendations to the owners about how to improve the conversion potential of their site. Best practices in CRO means ensuring a website has at least these three categories of information on it:
- Credibility Enchancing Features
- Trust Enhancing Features
- User-Friendliness Enhancing Features
If you learn nothing else from this blog, learn this: Ninety percent of all CRO improvement falls under these three basic categories.
Credibility Enchancing Features
As the title implies, credibility enhancing features include items that give the company an air of believability in the claims it makes concerning its products and services. There are any number of credibility enhancing objects, such as awards, certifications, professional memberships and the like. In future blog posts, we will go into detail on these features to show precisely how they influence website user choices.
Unfortunately, if you peruse the Cryomach site, you will see that there are very few (if any) credibility enhancing features on their site.
Trust Enchancing Features
Trust enchancing features are slightly different from credibility features - although they are related. These are items that engender trust on the part of the web visitor, items that influence the visitor to believe that you offer a quality service or product and that your company can be trusted to deliver on its brand promise. One of the most crucial trust enchancing features any website can have is honest testimonials from real customers. In future blog posts, we will drill down into the role social media plays in evoking trust.
Regrettably, the Cryomach site has few (if any) trust enhancing features.
User Friendliness-Enchancing Features
These are features that make for an enjoyable, pleasant and easy web navigating experience. Studies show that the more difficult a site is to understand, manipulate and navigate, the lower your conversion rate will be. (It's common sense really, but still overlooked by many business owners in designing their websites!)
If you take a look at Cryomach's site, you'll see that much of the site is built in framesets. Frames unfortunately are ... well ... out of vogue. And, yes, visual appeal and esthetics are a big part of user-experience and, by extension, user-friendliness. Additionally, framesets cause inordinate scrolling and conflict with the side scrollbars on newer browsers, making it more difficult to see and read the content on the webpage. Whole books have been written about User Experience (UX), and we will delve into this vast subject more in subsequent blog posts.
So, What Did Cryomach Do?
Despite consulting Cryomach on these CRO items, they actually authorized us to implement only one of our suggestions: adding the contact form. We built and added the contact form to their site, and we tracked the number and quality of leads that came in through this contact form. Even this small addition - coupled with improvements we made to their PPC ad campaign - made a significant impact; Cryomach enjoyed 2 to 4 inquiries per week while we were managing their PPC campaign, up from zero per week when they were managing the campaign on their own - and all at a much reduced ad spend.
Unfortunately, the company didn't implement any of the other important CRO items. As a result, their website will likely not perform at "maximum capacity." Instead, the company chose to focus on PPC ad management and improvement. But even the best optimized Adwords campaign is not a substitute for optimizing the conversion rate of your website's landing pages.
After our first meeting with Lisa about the CRO problems we identified and her company's poor Adwords performance, here was her reply:
"Well the numbers are not looking too encouraging for sure ... We do agree however that our website is poor. I am not sure what is involved in improving it ... We were considering changing our front webpage to this, or a modification of this. Perhaps you can tell us what your thoughts are?"
What do you think? Do you think that this homepage design and layout is better than the current homepage?
Would You Like Us to Analyze Your Website?
Perhaps you would like us to review your business website and offer friendly suggestions on how you can improve it. Or, maybe you need some help improving a Google AdWords campaign. Or, perhaps you want insight into your web analytics or online e-commerce store. Whatever you need, so long as it pertains to "E-Analysis", we're here to help. If you would like us to review your business website or answer a question pertaining to your website in one of our blog posts, just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org