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How to Improve Conversion Rates on Your Website: Article 4 of 4

by Sean Ellis  |  
September 10, 2013

In the previous installments of this series, we considered testing methodology, identifying the must-have user experience, and optimizing your conversion funnel. I discussed how to use analytics to unlock pinch points and areas of opportunity for performance improvements. And finally I explained how to go beyond data to identifying true visitor intent through surveys.

In this fourth and final installment, I'm going to cover ways to implement those insights in the conversion rate optimization process while avoiding the all-too-common trap of getting bogged down by minutiae.

Conversion Rate Optimization Based on Insights

Now that you have insights from your data and surveys, you can build and execute an informed conversion rate optimization program—one designed to address the most important and promising areas of improvement. Gone are the days of testing button color for the sake of testing. You now have intentional targets that have a real opportunity to improve your business. Here's how to act on them.

1. Prioritize the biggest pain points

You can't optimize everything at once. Your first job is to prioritize the areas of opportunity based on the data and insights you've gathered. You're the ER doctor, and you need to triage the patient.

Force-rank each possible optimization and determine which ones have the highest likelihood of moving the needle for your business. You can build your ranking based on the likelihood of the optimization to improve whichever metric you care most about— revenue, user acquisition, you name it.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What metrics are the most important to me?
  • What are the most important conversions to influence those metrics?
  • Which pages mean the most to the success of those conversion funnels?
  • Which flows are most critical to improving the metrics that matter to me?

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Sean Ellis is the founder of and CEO of Qualaroo, a technology company that helps marketers better understand the needs of website visitors and improve conversions. He has held marketing leadership roles at breakout companies, such as Dropbox, LogMeIn (IPO), Uproar (IPO), Eventbrite, and Lookout.

Twitter: @SeanEllis

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  • by Vinay Bhagat Tue Sep 10, 2013 via web

    Sean - great series. Very sound and practical advice. Especially, the idea of focusing of striving for the big wins.

  • by Sean Ellis Wed Sep 11, 2013 via web

    Thanks Vinay. Good luck with your conversion rate optimization efforts. A big win can motivate your whole team to stick with CRO.

  • by Alon Even Tue Sep 17, 2013 via web

    Thanks for the great posts.

    When we are talking about mobile apps and website, we should put more emphasis on the optimization tips due to the UX constrains. In other words, you should measure, understand and improve the user experience (UX) on mobile web or within mobile app, using visual in-app analytics tools, which enables to see exactly how users intearact with your app/web and optimize the UX. Improving the UX will increae conversions, engagement and web/in-app monetization. Appsee is a good example of an in-app analytics platform that provides both visual (user recordings and heatmaps) and analytics reports (


  • by Gracious Store Sat Sep 21, 2013 via web

    Thanks for these great series on improving conversion rates

  • by Tamar Wed Oct 2, 2013 via web

    Hi Sean,
    I second Vinay on staying clear of the big wins. I liked your metaphor of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Many companies focus on buttons, colors, graphics. One way to focus on the holistic approach is by segmenting the market based on digital behavior and digital profiling (even anonymous prospects) and targeting them with the right information according to the right context. Tamar, Insightera

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