Is your obsession with getting more traffic sending you broke?

Share Button

Been slugging it out to pull traffic to your site, but still living in the poor house?

Have you spent hours upon hours grinding away at all the regular traffic strategies (SEO, Paid Search, Facebook, affiliates …) but damn it, they just won’t buy!? Are you spending your hard-earned cash paying for traffic but going broke? 

It seems like there’s a million miles between the results we get and the “over the top” results folks pitch at seminars (have you ever found yourself wondering if this “making a living off the Internet” deal is just a pipe dream…?)
 
Conversion Funnel
A lot of folks I talk to think they have a traffic problem when they really don’t. What they really have is a conversion problem, and for some reason they’re blind to it.

This “conversion blindness” is sucking the life out of their online business.

I’m helping a friend at the moment who gets 10,000 visitors a day to his site and is going broke! Sometimes traffic isn’t the problem…

So today, and in a few posts to follow, I’m going to attempt to give a lesson on a critical, but regularly overlooked, topic – website conversion. Or to say it with a little emotion – “I’ll show you some stupidly simple ways to tweak your website that will consistently deliver a stack more cash”. 

Conversion is the measure of how many of your site visitors “take action” (e.g. buy, sign up etc). The very very good news is that you can improve your site’s conversion rates. Just because only 0.5% of your visitors buy from you now doesn’t mean that’s the ratio for ever. Conversion rates are most certainly NOT set in stone. 

You can use basic, proven techniques to see your sales go up and up and up.

With a little focus and the help of some free tools, you can out-sell your competition. 

Case Study: Doubling a site’s conversion rate!

Let me give you a case study that’s close to my heart. Since launching Market Samurai almost three years ago, we’ve grown the conversion rate of our site by approximately 200% (the videos and checklist in this blog series will show the steps we used). As you’ll see, we followed basic principles, and we ran a series of “split tests” (more on these shortly). These tests revealed the sales messages that you, our readers, best respond to. 

It is nasty to think what would have happened had we not worked up our conversion rates. Without that 200% increase in conversion, at a minimum: 
- We’d have approximately 200,000 less users
- Our affiliates would be making one third of the revenue they do (many would have quit)
- We’d have struggled to pay staff wages (keeping Market Samurai running is no small feat – we have 10 full time staff and a number of contractors). 
- Personally, I’d live in a lousy house
- Eugene (Samurai CEO), and I would be having those hard conversations with our wives about ‘getting real jobs’. 

Thank goodness that we worked on conversion!!

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you this stuff is important. If you’re focusing on traffic alone and haven’t looked at conversion, you’re in for a treat, and if you’ll take some action, a pay rise too! So pay attention. 

An overview of the first video…

In today’s video we’ll cover: 
- A quick overview of the basics (e.g. what split testing is). 
- Where conversion fits in your overall Internet Marketing processes
- A link to my personal conversion checklist (for the intent marketing professionals wanting to jump ahead). 
- The hidden benefits of increased conversion (once you understand these you’ll never neglect conversion again). 

So here’s the video.

YouTube Preview Image

Coming up in the next videos

- The big reason website owners tolerate poor conversion (I’ve never heard this talked about anywhere). 
- The mechanics – how split testing works. 
- Seven specific “conversion boosting” techniques you can apply to your websites. 

Stick around, this stuff isn’t hard to do, but the impact of consistent testing is, without exaggeration, life changing. 

Important – Before you go, have you got a comment? Had experiences with Split Testing? Share it with our community in the comments below…

May your sites out-sell your competition 10:1,

Ben

P.S. – This is a free series (I wish we had an awesome conversion product to sell you!!). Plus, we’ve thrown in my personal conversion checklist. If it’s been helpful please share the love by clicking the “Like” button below. 

P.P.S. – Here’s a link to the conversion checklist mentioned in the video!

Ben has written 10 post(s) for Noble Samurai

133 Responses to “Is your obsession with getting more traffic sending you broke?”

  1. I certainly like these ideas, but i’m still needing more traffic =)

    Once I get good at getting KW’s to rank on the first page of google… then I think these next steps will be most helpful.

    Any good ideas on getting more traffic?
    Lanceʼs last blog post… Social Media Marketing

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey Lance

    You’re right, you do need some traffic to start out. I’ve run split test campaigns for sites with traffic as low as 50 visits / day (although typically I’d say wait till you get to 100 per day so the tests come back in a reasonable time).

    With low traffic you want ‘simple’ tests, e.g. version A vs version B. You can always have a test running in the background while you’re back focused on traffic.

    Cheers

    Ben

    On
    Glen Allsopp replied:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    People usually wait way too late to run split tests.

    On
    Venkatesh Iyer@Blogging replied:

    I am concerned one dickens of a lot about traffic, yes, but I am more concerned about “targeted traffic” (what an overused term)! Like Lance up there, I think my big problem is with using the right keywords at the right places, even though I have been using Market Samurai for about 2 years now (no disrespect whatsoever intended, I adore it – the weakness is mine, not the software’s).
    Venkatesh Iyer@Bloggingʼs last blog post… Don’t kid with your blog’s security

    On
    Greg replied:

    One of the best strategies to getting more traffic is consistent follow up with converted traffic. When the customer experience is awesome, your customers will bring more traffic, and it comes with high conversion rates.

    On
    DougKirk@Inbound Marketing Consultant replied:

    This is some great advice that I need to adopt on my site. Since my traffic was low after launch I’ve held off but now it’s time to dig in.

  2. i have never experience with split testing….but i would like to know it if can help..
    kindleʼs last blog post… Kindle Wireless Reading Device from Amazon updated Sun Jun 5 2011 8-31 am CDT

  3. You’re totally right that traffic is not the only answer. One of the things that will help with your conversions is “targeted” traffic…simply giving people what they’re looking for is a great way to improve conversions. Even with less traffic, your conversions are high enough to warrant the cost…good post.
    Justin | AdSense Flippersʼs last blog post… Why We Secretly Hate Your Emails And What You Can Do About It

  4. Great stuff – nice list, I already do some of the stuff – but its definitely a nice reference :)
    Michael do Carmo@home loansʼs last blog post… Cheap Mortgage Alteration – Top 3 Reasons to Restructure Thru HAMP

  5. Guys,

    Great material. I am working hard to generate leads for my customer and I hope this checklist will give me lots of ideas.
    The most important I am excited.
    Peterʼs last blog post… Announcing Appointment Theme- Book &amp manage meeting requests from clients easily

  6. Sometimes you don’t even need a “product” site, to get a good conversion, since people not only buy products that they read a review on. It can be almost anything, that people want to pay for: service, advice, ideas – anything. But you have to get them to want to buy something on your site, and that’s when the money comes.
    Jason | funny life quotesʼs last blog post… Funny dog quotes

  7. 7

    Ben, do you have any thoughts/numbers around conversion rates from a free trial to a fully paid subscription?
    And thanks for even more great content.

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Paul

    Not sure how much this will help, but without giving away client secrets (e.g. without giving out links) the worst I’ve seen for a project that was done with the basics right was a 2% up sell rate and the best for really targeted traffic with a lot of pre-training was 50% (and yes, that’s a huge range).

    I seem to recall that Chris Anderson, in his excellent book “Free”, talks about the “fremium” model where you give away a free version and up sell people. Chris mentions that 5% is some kind of normal conversion percentage. Big factors are the cost of the up sell and the quality of the trial users, but my target has typically been more around 10% and we certainly do better than 10% for Market Samurai, although again, Market Samurai is a lower priced, once off product.

    Hope this helps,

    Ben

  8. Great Post Ben!

    Not sure if my other comment was considered spammy or something, it wasn’t my intention! or if I just didn’t post.

    Anyway, I love the content. My question is do you have a screen shot or archive of the 3 different sales pages you talked about. I’m getting ready to launch my own product(s) and would love to know more.

    thanks for the checklist!
    scott@Web Design Trainingʼs last blog post… Google Celebrates Les Paul

  9. HI Ben
    Good to see your back. Yes I remember those days, but you desereved everything you all got. Integraty is the key and you guys have it in spades. Enjoying the series. John

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey John!!

    Great to hear from you – hope WA is treating you great.

    Yeah, got a few posts coming up, so should be fun – be sure to come by next time you’re in Melbourne hey?

    Cheers

    Ben

  10. Great video Ben.
    The hard part is finding someone to do this split testing for you if you don’t have the expertise.
    You also mentioned software? What software can you use to do this split testing (Google Analytics or something else)
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Ronan
    Restaurant deals and discounts
    Ronan Leonardʼs last blog post…
    Restaurant Deals and Discounts

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Ronan

    This’ll be a four post series looking at what software to use and hopefully giving you the expertise to do the testing yourself. So without giving away the goodies from the series to come, can I suggest you stick with us and hopefully your questions will be answered? If not come back on the final blog post and I’ll see what help I can give.

    Cheers

    Ben

  11. My conversion rate is not good even through I get a bit traffic so I will be looking forward to the next videos. I have never try split testing because I don’t know how to do it.
    Pepperʼs last blog post… Pepper Fashion Jewellery

  12. Hey Ben,

    Great post, and looking forward to the next few in the series.

    I wanted to mention to those that were wondering, perhaps you will be covering this already anyway in later posts, about a great tool to do split testing without have to know complicated code or have your web team tweak things constantly.

    It’s called Optimizely.com and we use it all the time for our clients.

    FYI, and hope this helps.

  13. I absolutely love the article and its timing couldn’t be better. I run small internet marketing firm that specializes in helping small businesses. I only mention that because 95%+ of people in my niche are 100% focused on Building Traffic. Conversions are like greek to them. Listening to the lie that traffic equals cash is exhausting. I know “Tracking and conversions” aren’t sexy and the practice isn’t sold via the weekly million dollar launch. But it truly is the difference between keeping the doors open for business or not
    Ralphʼs last blog post… COMING SOON

  14. It’s a great idea. I hope that I can use this idea to increase traffic to my site.

    Thank a lot.
    okabemktʼs last blog post… วิธี Chat กับผู้ขายใน Taobao

  15. Hi Ben.

    Many thanks for starting this training series and share with us your experience.

    I hope we will get some information on how to manage split testing within a blog (php pages). My understanding is that split testing works only with static pages but I am sure there is a workaround.

    Fco
    Franciscoʼs last blog post… test2

  16. Ben – great timing. We just spent 90 minutes with Ed Dale today planning conversion and traffic strategies for our sites. Looking forward to your next videos and getting this stuff implemented.

    I love that you are sharing material of this quality.

    Greg

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey Greg

    Glad you went ahead with Ed – looking forward to hearing what comes out of it (and hope married life is treating you well!!).

    B

  17. I’m so glad you will explain about the conversion, a big problem for many bloggers, including me. Having 1,000 visitors each day but only one click of the sale, of course it is sad. It’s better to have 100 visitors, but 10 people click on the sale. This is not an easy thing. Thank you for the sharing.
    minka kellyʼs last blog post… Instant Credit Cards Approval for You With Bad Credit

  18. Thanks for your honest story. For me it makes a big difference in comparison to other seo tools that I sort of ‘know’ the real people behind market samurai and know that you determined to make the best seo software.
    Looking forward to the next video.
    martin@website optimaliserenʼs last blog post… Aanmelden bij 1340 gratis directories

  19. Some interesting points in this video about the importance of getting the best converting landing page through a comparison process. Of course it helps a lot to have a really good product like Market Samurai to make those conversions happen. Looking forward to your next posts in this series.
    Joe-On-The-Netʼs last blog post… Starting an internet marketing business the right way

  20. Excellent! This is absolutely the most common thing I come across these days….

    I have a client right now who if I mentioned the name you would know who they are, they are in probably every country in the world… Anyway I’m the SEO consultant for their local branch here in San Francisco and they approached me with the problem – they need more visitors…

    But they had 13k visitors a DAY… Problem was about 80% were bouncing… We reduced that by giving the searcher EXACTLEY WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR on the front page and BOOM bounce rate dropped to 40%…

    They have almost doubled their donations in the last 6 weeks

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Awesome! Well done. I can’t believe how people ignore high bounce rates! It’s like having the door slammed in your face!

  21. Thanks. I have bookmarked the page and expect to see the coming the rest of the coming videos.
    BrodNeilʼs last blog post… School Event in CIC – Mandaue Branch

  22. 22
    On June 22nd, 2011 at 6:23 pm
    margaret said:

    I have never split tested and do not know how to but would like to learn

    Regards

    Margaret

  23. Thanks for the video Ben and I am looking forward to the next post. I found myself realising this was one area of my web business I was neglecting without even realising it. I have avoided everything on split testing up to now because it appeared just too hard to do.
    Regards
    Steve
    steve freemanʼs last blog post… Buying Content For Your Website

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Funny, it seems hard, but it’s not. We find developers will say “this is hard” to their clients, so in response, we get the client to pay their developer to just read the Google Website Optimizer documents for one hour, and developers discover it’s really not that hard.

  24. Great.. thanx Ben

  25. I am a newbie to Internet Marketing so this information is of great interest to me. Not sure how to setup split testing though.

  26. I am very grateful for this series. In my business the hard part is knowing which keywords are best since the ‘buy’ keywords aren’t obvious. I think most of my visitors are really only looking for information rather than making a purchase.
    Lizʼs last blog post… Brainwave Entrainment &amp Depression

  27. You guys are great! I’m going to try whatever on my various sites and see.. cuz I have some good and some bad, but it’s all random :)

  28. 28

    Hey Ben,

    Thanks for an awesome post… it sure has me thinking! In fact you are so right that I want to get on to this as soon as possible.

    Do you recommend any particular split-testing software/service? (or what do you use?).

    Many thanks,
    Duncan

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Duncan

    We’ll talk about this a little more in coming posts, but short answer is we mostly use Google’s Website Optimizer (although there are some very nice paid alternatives).

    Cheers

    Ben

  29. Thanks for the info great points to follow
    in Orlandoʼs last blog post… Living large at the Ramada Suites Orlando Airport

  30. I have recently purchased the Market Samurai software with the hope it will assist me in getting traffic which will convert well for sales.
    jc@http://thebestskincare-products.blogspot.comʼs last blog post… How to Select the Best Skin Care Products

  31. I am always delighted to participate with anything Samurai place before me because its quality and informative and therefore beneficial time spent with people who know what they are talking about. Thank you Ben, for sharing your concept with us and I look forward to returning over and over again to be inspired.
    Johnʼs last blog post… The best forums too wealth

  32. Great video Ben.
    The hard part is finding someone to do this split testing for you if you don’t have the expertise.

    cheap3gwifideals
    cheap3gwifidealsʼs last blog post… Kindle 3 – Cheap 3G Wifi on Deals

  33. Hey Ben, thanks for this excellent resource! I look forward to the next parts.

  34. 34

    Thanks I’ve Been thinking about this for month and it helping me tremendously .”what is the point of driving tons of traffic to my site if I cannot convert a good percentage of what I have already.” it is then that I stopped trying to play the numbers game and shoot for the quality game…my numbers have gone up exponentially. I haven’t focus on seo for long time. I don’t even know if my MS still works, seriously. Can you imagine when I get back into the numbers game what gonna happen?

  35. Hi Ben

    Thanks for making and sharing this video. I am looking forward to the next issues.

    It is quite impressive to see and get demonstrated the impact of conversion. Yes, mathematically, we all know it is a factor, but emotionally it seems much easier to cry for more targeted traffic than to wrap your thoughts around conversions.

    So, well done, and of course “I Like”d.

    Best
    Urs
    Cash-In Worth-IT Rewardʼs last blog post… Saving for Retirement in the New Economy

  36. Thank you for the great post and video. Makes me feel that somebody is taking care of me and doing whatever he can to help.
    This is not obvious to me and for that I’m grateful.
    Cheers

  37. Ben – your company is so impressive!
    Quality training
    Quality content – so refreshing not to have to go through all the sales gumpf
    Quality Videos –

    Increasing your conversion rate no doubt added to the success of your company, but I would also say your philosophy, mode of operation and not selling out to the quick fix played a huge part. Can’t wait to become an Affiliate when the opportunity arises.
    Great stuff!
    Caroline

  38. This is just where im at in my business not enough conversions i look forward to the next post Market Samuri has excellent training for its keyword research tool and i suspect that this training will be just as good thanks for the help.
    Edward@internet home businessʼs last blog post… Subscriber Magnet Review

  39. I have been working on targeted keywords for a week now and finally its starting to work. Market samaurai is a cornerstone for my Business’s now. I love your videos! If I ever have a question – I go straight to the videos.

    Thanks Ben
    Paul Viauʼs last blog post… Business in Halifax – Helping with internet visibility

  40. This article and the video are enlightening! Increasing Traffic and Conversation Rate go together, but the latter is way too difficult to implement, it requires deeper knowledge, plus accurate research and skills. Look forward to reading the next articles and learn more about conversation rate techniques!

  41. I was just about to start some testing on my website to improve conversions, and your help came to the perfect time!
    Thanks and I will look forward for the next videos & tips!
    Erwin Konig@Airsoft Reviewsʼs last blog post… Dragunov Airsoft – The Facts

  42. I love this post because you 100% correct…

    I am 3rd for my main target keyword and make 3 times more sales than my conpetitor currently 1st on page one Google.

    I know this because I speak with him ( you know how the saying goes – “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” lol”

    Conversion is key! Make the most outta your traffic I say – why let a visitor go without creating an action that pulls in the revenue?

    Thanks for the post!

    Best,

    Leo
    Leoʼs last blog post… Home page

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Wow Leo – well done – if you know those numbers, then SEO’ing to knock your competitor off will be a big profit boost to you. Good luck!

  43. Love your work Ben :-)

    When I grow up, I want to be just like you :-) Seriously dude, I love the content you guys pump out. I was at a conversion optimisation event with Will Swaine the other day from Marketing Results (an Aussie guy in Brisbane) and he had a great saying “Traffic is vanity – Conversion is sanity”. Thought this was spot on and in line with your thoughts too. Talk soon mate.

    Dallas Kelso

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey Dallas – love you long time :-)
    When are you coming down to Melbourne to catch up? Hope the SEO biz is kickin’ butt.

    On
    Dallas Kelso replied:

    LYLT two mate :-)

    Soonish I hope and yes, kicking butt, taking names :-)

    DJK

  44. Hi guys,

    I was going to post just to say thanks for this, and a genuine thank you, not just for backlinks… It is really useful stuff and I can’t wait to see the other videos… Although I am frightened that you have mentioned a new product that you will probably make me buy!

    Then I noticed the “keywordLuv” which I have never come across before, so I hope you don’t mind me using this as a test!!

    However, I have a plug-in for Firefox that says that the comments are ‘nofollow’….. so I’ll give it a shot and see what happens!

    Thanks

    hotel marketing and photography

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey Glyn

    We make our comments no follow (as do most blogs) to avoid spam. You should comment on blogs to add value to the conversation, but from an SEO perspective, a few No-Follow links looks natural anyway (so this won’t hurt you :-).

    Cheers,

    Ben

  45. Great video I learned a lot. Ut where are the other videos

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Thanks Ralph, we’ll release the series at about 2 per week.

  46. Excellent post and video Ben. Thanks for giving insight that is based on REAL experience, it’s really appreciated.

    When I teach web marketing people often tell me “it’s easy for you to make money you have a lot of trafic”, but I keep telling them that the quality is much more important then quantity, and the conversion is also a huge part of the equation.

    Thanks again!

    Stephanie Hetu
    Stephanie Hetuʼs last blog post… Formation Google Adsense en création- participerez-vous

  47. Great Idea for a series. Not all traffic is created equal and I have learned that all the top converting sites use split testing on a constant basis. So thanks for the video and this series.
    My issue is know how to get the prospect ready to buy versus the tire kicker just looking for a freebie or not really interested at all? How do you filter the latter out of your funnel?

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Claude

    I can’t tell you how to always get to buyers (rather than tyre kickers) first time, but you should be able to see when you’ve found a source of good prospects who convert well. It might be a given keyword that brings converting prospects, or a given advertising channel that’s converting really well.

    Once you find that stream of quality prospects “MAX IT OUT…”, e.g. get the most out of it you can. Once you’ve maximised that stream of traffic, look for ways to duplicate it (e.g. what other traffic sources would get me to these same people…).

    If you’re not able to identify where converting customers are coming from, have a look at using Google’s URL builder to track your inblound links (see here: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578 ) – it’s pretty awesome (and maybe a topic for another post one day).
    http://www.noblesamurai.com/blog/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?apage=2#comments-form
    Cheers

    Ben

  48. The info was great and very important but your writing for this article was awesome.. Great job :-)
    karenʼs last blog post… Being The Number Two Karen Kramer Sucks

  49. I wish I could comment on the video, but for what ever reason the video was not on this site. I would appreciate the video and will leave my thoughts as soon as you guys post it so I can view it. So, please check out way I do not have access to your video for my viewing.

    Thanks
    Terry W Clarkʼs last blog post… Catfish Line 15Lb 660 Yds

  50. NobleSamurai is one of a handful websites/tools/companies that I use which present nothing but quality. When I see an email from you about new blog post I click right away and I don’t remember I’ve never felt disappointed to do that.

    Funny enough, I got two of our websites to where I want them to be in Google (#1 at least for 9 out of 10 main keywords) and I’ve been focusing all my time and energy on getting our Conversion Rate to the highest possible I can do right now.

    Looking forward to the rest of this series since I’m sure I’ll learn something new out of it.

    Thanks and Best of luck to all of you!

  51. A very good post, and video. I know that on my sites I have very poor conversions. I actually haven’t exactly mastered the traffic thing either, but I know that I should be getting more sales from the traffic that I do receive.
    Jeff@Juicer Recipesʼs last blog post… Juicing for Health

  52. 52

    Looking forward to the series, with 14 new sites about to be launched I will certainly apply some split testing .. from copy to colors I am sure you have some gold nuggets to share. Thanks for devoting the time to putting this together.

  53. Split testing is beyond sales conversions but can be literally involved in every step of the sales process. A successful conversion is certainly getting someone to subscribe to a free list. Split testing can help determine how to better do this. I recently used split testing to see which email I sent out would get someone to reply to my email, so I could take them to the next step. In cold call phone sales it is testing a script to see which gets the best response which might be getting someone to participate in a survey or request free information which converts them to the qualified lead position. I have used split testing to see what food makes me feel better! The point is, we can apply it to every aspect of our business, not just sales conversions. And every step along the way essentially does affect the end result, which is sales.
    Dr. Michael Haleyʼs last blog post… Live Beyond Organic

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Good point – we split test job adverts when hiring :-)

  54. This is such a great point. Honestly, if you can double your conversion and earn much more per visitor, you can buy any kind of traffic you want – not to mention affiliates will love you for it.

  55. Thanks for this Ben. Conversions are my stumbling block at the moment. I appreciate the effort you are putting in to produce these videos
    Georgeʼs last blog post… The Best Ab Workouts For Men- Women- And Lions

  56. samurai market is very meaningful to me. I know since 2010., when I find it difficult to conduct market research, Nobel samurai came to give a solution. I can target specific traffic and data with a more simple work

  57. Ben, thanks for the attention on this important subject. We try to explain to our clients the attention they need to place on conversion, but it can be an uphill battle when the feedback we get all the time is “we would really like you to focus on helping us get more traffic” (which we take care of as well, of course).

    And it’s interesting, even the first comment above is more or less “hey, conversion is great, but I really need more traffic. How can I get more traffic?”

    And another common pushback we deal with as well … “glad to work on conversion, but don’t have enough traffic yet to produce statistically meaningful test results”. To your point, you can start to see and gain meaningful conversion improvement even with low traffic numbers in the hundreds of visits/day or less.

    And great suggestion, have your split testing up and running while you build and increase your traffic. Why waste that valuable conversion testing opportunity waiting for the traffic to increase?

    Looking forward to the rest of this series …
    Bob@Local Business Marketingʼs last blog post… Mobile Landing Pages

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Bob

    I’ve had similar experiences, but when a client sees that you’ve just boosted their sales, they normally come around and fall in love with testing (particularly if you’re looking after it for them).

    Cheers
    Ben

  58. Conversion is certainly something I’ve thought of. I run two websites that sell the same products, one has low traffic and higher conversion, the other has higher traffic and lower conversion. Is it possible to split test a website that doesn’t have an opt-in, but a physical goods storefront?

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Neal

    Good question and something I’m wrestling with right now. You can certainly split test sites that sell physical goods, the question is what component of the site you actually test.

    Some of the options I’ve played with include testing the sales copy of your top selling products (good place to start). Often you can learn lessons that can be applied across the site. You can test the content of your home page (e.g. I’ve used home page changes to reinforce a key value proposition that was not being strongly promoted and seen general site wide improvements) or, you can test changing the entire site template (although this is where I’ve hit limitations with the software I use).

    Odly, I’ve had my best commercial outcomes on eCommerce sites by split testing the email subscription offer and then using email marketing to drive up sales (which is kind of a round about way to do it, but I’ve had a few stand out results with this tactic).

    I should also note, sometimes the technology of a shopping cart makes it tough to integrate Google Website Optimizer (although some nice apps like Interspire now claim to handle it out of the box!), so I’ve just started playing with the commercial software at http://www.reedge.com as an alternative to Google’s for sites like this.

    Watch out for the future posts as we’ll be asking our audience to recommend their favourite split testing software.

    Regards

    Ben

  59. 59
    On June 23rd, 2011 at 2:15 am
    Lynn Catoe-Emerson said:

    This video really caused me to measure our current methods with those used by the Noble Samurai. And, I’m afraid we fall short.
    This checklist is invaluable. Please let me now about future
    tutorials.

  60. I LIKE it – look forward to the next video.
    marquita heraldʼs last blog post… One Day in the World

  61. I get so many e-mails each day that it’s hard to know which ones to open or not. I am glad I opened this one I did book mark this site. Thanks for the training I will be back Great Information.
    Love The check List
    Thanks Chery

  62. Great video. I can’t wait to see the next one. Can you recommend the best software to split test?

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Spencer

    We’ll be recommending Google Website Optimizer to begin with, which we’ve used the most internally, however, watch the series as we’ll be asking our audience to comment on their favourite testing software.

    Regards

    Ben

  63. Thanks so much for posting this series. I recently realized I need to learn how to use spilt tests to get the most from my sites. For some reason I am intimidated by Google’s Webmaster Tools. These lessons are very timely for me. Looking forward to tunning in to the rest.
    Albert Hathaziʼs last blog post… Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Starting To Market Online

  64. Hello,

    Can I request an email notification when part two becomes available?

    Gracious!
    Hudson
    Hudsonʼs last blog post… WPTT 3881 – Improvement on the way we handle pretty link generation

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Hudson

    It’ll be a four part series and we’ll email when we release part 4 (but not part 2 & 3 as we don’t want to bombard our list).

    The posts are written now, so will be released at about 2 per week.

    Cheers

    Ben

  65. Funny, I was just planing to do something about conversion on my pages just a few days ago. Can you imagine how happy I was today to see your email about this video?

    I’m running only affiliate sites and I got better conversion by just adding “call to action” on the right places. Conversion went up almost 25%. Can’t wait to see rest of the videos, so I can implement even more tactics for better conversion.
    Janez@Berry White Greatest Hitsʼs last blog post… Berry White Greatest Hits updated Wed Jun 22 2011 10-49 am CDT

  66. Great Story, Ben. Looking forward to future website conversion posts. When I finally started to focus on other things rather than just getting traffic, especially website conversions, I felt like I had an epiphany.
    Wesʼs last blog post… How to Approach Link Building for Quality Links

  67. You nailed it, Ben. There’s little reason to get a ton of traffic if you’re not converting that traffic into dollars. I’m very much looking forward to this series.

  68. I’m relatively new to market samurai (about a month) and am still getting used to the metrics the software produces to allow me an intelligent understanding to increase our sites placement.

    I’ve watched the videos in the dojo several times and modified our site to come from the depths of position 600+ to 13 in a couple of instances.

    This series looks promising and I’m sure I’ll get something new again!

    Thanks and Best Regards

  69. Hi
    I have been trying to do an A/B test on my WP site.

    My main objective was to get people to stay longer as sales were very slow and about 92% of people were leaving within 5 seconds.

    I only get about 40 a day so it takes a while. However I was able to find the better of the two and now I am using a different text comparison to try and improve it more. Great learning experience. IMO – Everyone should try it.
    Paulie
    Paulieʼs last blog post… Boot Scootin’ Boogie Step Sheet

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Paulie

    Well done – are you able to share, in general terms, what you did to get the improvement?

    Regards

    Ben

  70. 70

    Thanks Ben, nice video – look forward to the next parts!

    Just one thing I noticed after updating Market Samurai today…

    In the SEO Competition module when I click the dropdown arrow to see a sites backlinks and analyse the anchor text, out of the several hundred listed in yahoo, only a few links are collected and displayed, you used to be able to see all of them – is anyone else having the same problem?

    any idea what’s going on?

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Ally

    As I write this it’s 9:00am in Australia and I’ve arrived at work to a flurry of emails overnight from our programmers talking about problems in SEO Comp (I’m guessing Google changed an interface somewhere). None of the staff are in yet, but it seems a partial fix has been put in place overnight and I suspect when they get a little more sleep, our devs will be working on it later today. Fingers crossed.

    Regards

    Ben

  71. For small websites (<15 visits/day, maybe a few/month for convesrion pages), I find A/B testing too constraining. One must make ONE change, wait weeks or months for enough statistically SIGNIFICANT data to arrive, without any tweaks in the meantime!

    It's better to implement "best practices" such as page speed, no bad links, relevant content, etc…these are known to increase the CR from experiments in hundreds of websites. Why wait to implement these?
    Safaei@SwampscottDentistʼs last blog post… DntstSwampscott- Acid-producing oral bacteria are most aggressive with carbs that are sugary candy- cookies or sticky pretzels- cake

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Thanks Safaei

    You’re right – doing good marketing will increase conversion by bringing in quality prospects (who will be more likely to buy). I’m actually a fan of putting up a good website that follows best practices and building in a test from day one and then just leaving that to run while I go and work on traffic. I agree that at 15 visits per day (which is a very low traffic volume) it’ll take a very long time to get statistically valid results.

    Cheers

    Ben

  72. This is a very timely series for me. I have been reviewing several features of my site to convert better including banner changes, color schemes, and text links vs graphic links. Problem is, I am just changing items, not split testing and I am making too many changes at once, so I can’t tell which changes are having an impact. Hopefully i can learn to split test correctly from this video series and optimize my conversions.

  73. Great job with all the content. I really look forward to the rest of your video’s.

    Thanks again and keep it coming
    Gates
    Gatesʼs last blog post… Your Indirect Ophthalmoscope Instrument Set Review

  74. Great info Ben, looking forward to the rest of the series. Split testing is something I have always avoided!

  75. Hi Ben,

    Really appreciate what you had to say about split testing, something I have avoided thinking it was too difficult. I understand how split testing to increase conversions would be important for a product sales site, but what about for review sites or content sites built for monetizing through Adsense? Could you even run a split test on such types of sites?

    Enjoyed the video and thank you for sharing such important information for FREE!

    Barry

  76. Hi Ben.

    I too look forward to any posts you guys create. Apart from your excellent software I find your video tutorials and articles are no fuss, no mucking around information that speaks to people in real terms, not marketing hype.

    Please keep up the great work and I look forward to the next installment.

  77. I currently don’t do email marketing. Do you think having two pages optimised for the same keyword on a blog is an ok way to split-test?

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Ayou

    Optimizing two pages for the same keyword won’t work as a split test as ultimately one page will rank and get the traffic and the second won’t see traffic. Instead, you’ll need to use testing software to trial different content inside the page in order to run a test. We’ll cover this off in the posts coming soon.

    Regards

    Ben

  78. Hey Ben

    even I never got MS to work well I never gave up on you guys as you always deliver great infos like this.

    I have questions tough (If you don’t mind).

    - What would be the Split test software you recommend (G. Optimizer?)

    - What was in your opinion the reason the sales page #3 converted better? A quick explanation please.

    Thanks a ton for your feedback

    G.
    Quickbooks Tutorials Onlineʼs last blog post… Welcome to Quickbooks Tutorials Online!

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey G

    I’m embarrassed to say the example I gave was from the early days of Market Samurai where we kept our test data but didn’t actually keep the pages, so I wish I knew. With that said, since then we’ve done lots of tests and the checklist essentially represents my consolidated list of things to look for.

    We use Google Optimizer, but in future posts we’ll invite users to tell us about alternaties they like and why, so keep an eye out for that.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  79. 79

    This article hit home for me. One of my blogs is getting around 45,000+ visitors a month and hardly makes me any money. I seem to have no trouble getting visitors to my blogs and ranking well, but the conversion part is killing me. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  80. Loooking forward to read more about split testing.

    Thanks.

  81. 81

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the post!
    Would you be covering how to do split testing on eCommence sites with multiple products displaying on the same page?
    That would really be a big help as I don’t know the best way to go about doing split testing on such a site.

    Your input will be much appreciated!

    Brian

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Brian

    Some shopping carts now ship with split testing built in (e..g Interspire) but I’m loath to recommend a good testing product without seeing the site (particularly as multi products on one page can be quite complex). If you’re feeling game, post the URL back here. I’ll have a quick hunt and in one of the posts coming over the next week I’ll be putting out a call to active testers to recommend their favorite software and we’ll see if we can’t find someone who’s tackled a similar situation.

    Cheers

    Ben

  82. Looking forward to the series, with 14 new sites about to be launched I will certainly apply some split testing .Thanks for devoting the time to putting this together.
    sewnkeʼs last blog post… 35MM STEREO HEADPHONE HEADSET FOR HTC EVO 4G PHONE

  83. Ben, Looking forward to the continuation of the series. I understand how important it is to maximize conversion.
    I used Market Samurai to research appropriate subject matter for our blot. And after only five posts, we arrived at the top spot on page one for certain kew word searches. Previous to that, our main website couldn’t be found even after searching the first ten pages.
    We’re still learning about the process and eager to know more about conversion.
    Thanks,
    Francis

  84. This is a great checklist. One thing I find when I work with B2B websites is that they often forget to tell people what business problem they are solving. The site gets right into the solution, features and so on. However, if the visitor isn’t sure if they have the problem the vendor is solving, they get confused (per your checklist), and bounce rates increase. At a minimum, a link explaning what the company does is required on home pages, harvest points, landing pages, and lead pages.

    Bally
    Bally Boodramʼs last blog post… Google- Knowlegde is power

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Agree 100% – orientate visitors, engage them in a conversation then sell….

  85. Hey Ben,

    Great post looking forward to the rest of the series, I didn’t realise split testing could be accomplished with low traffic websites until I read your first comment.

    Is there any plugins you would recommend for a wordpress site to handle split tests.

    Regards
    Dave
    dave@backlinksʼs last blog post… Organic Links

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Dave

    I don’t know any word press specific ones (although we’ll be asking for user recommendations in coming posts, so that may flush out a few). The likes of Reedge.com will allow you to overwrite content with javascript after the page loads, so should work on most platforms (although I’ve only toyed with the software at this stage, so go in with your eyes open).

    Cheers

    Ben

  86. Thanks for the great tips Ben. Your post couldn’t have been more timely for me. I’ve been wondering what to do about conversion. Looking forward to implementing some of your tips. Cheers.
    Quitting Smoking Timelineʼs last blog post… Quit Smoking The MP3 Way

  87. Thanks for the information. I am still learning and would love to get enough traffic so I could do a split test. Hopefully it will happen soon.
    Oakley Radar Sunglassesʼs last blog post… Radar Range

  88. Hello,

    Thank you for opening my eyes to understanding the importance of conversion rate. I’m looking forward to the other videos on this topic.
    Laticiaʼs last blog post… A New Science In Network Marketing

  89. I couldn’t agree more. A few weeks ago I tested two different calls to action on a client’s landing page: “Download Your Tickets” and “Claim Your Tickets”. The latter got 103% uplift in conversions.

  90. Split testing should be elementary – but it’s not!! while I’ve been studying and doing IM for a couple of years. I have no idea how to split test a sales page or versions of a website. I know I need to but…
    What do you recommend? I guess Google Webmaster tools has one way to do it (don’t understand it) but what other software can we use for those who may be trying to stay off of the Google radar?
    Adi Philpottʼs last blog post… Star Trek TOS Enterprise NCC-1701 Firing Phasers 3D Print

    On
    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Adi

    Other popular tools are Optimizely and Reedge.com, but apart from a brief play with Reedge (which looked awesome), I can’t vouch for either. We’re geeks at heart, so for years we used our own testing scripts and for the past two years we’ve worked with Google’s Website Optimizer.

    Hope this helps,

    Ben

  91. I’m really looking forward to your series. I am still in the “traffic” phase, but I have seen very little on conversion. Thanks for your efforts.

    I am a happy Market Samurai user and look forward to your next product.

    Scott Jones

  92. Hi Guys,
    I need this series of posts! Conversion has been difficult for me. I will be happy to get some pointers to help me with it.

  93. Love the website conversion cheat sheet.

    The biggest challenge I have is deciding how to split test.

    One of my successes has been to have the sales objective of the site be available to the visitors regardless of how they arrive at it. I am always on the hunt to improve the bounce rate.

  94. I have seen an unprecedented traffic increase to 26K/day with home & sales pages, testing A vrs. B. But everything based on using Google Analytics tool. I think I will try your system right away and report/publish the results within next 30 days.

  95. Great vid Ben and great information.

    Pitty you don’t have the copywriting courses – you could really cash in.

    Cheers mate.
    Keith Davis@Publiuc Speaking and Presentation Skillsʼs last blog post… The Coolest Voice on the Internet

  96. As always Ben, great content – clear concise and some real pearls to remind ourselves that fundamentals remain fundamental!

    Great to hear a familiar accent in the industry too.

    Cheers.
    Simon J Richardsonʼs last blog post… Internet Marketing Business Incubator – Incubator Software

  97. Thanks for devoting the time to putting this together.

    Thank You
    cheappowershotsdʼs last blog post… Buy Ipad2 – Cheap Powershot SD Black Friday online Deals

  98. Tagetted traffic is key but also using keywords that potential customers are using in the sales cycle or ‘sales funnel’.
    Using the right kind of keywords may result in lower traffic numbers to your site but produce higher sales. Split test your landing pages for optimum conversion rates
    Perry Stevensʼs last blog post… How to Tweet to The Number One Spot

  99. Thank you for “conversion blindness”

    cheaplaptopdeals

  100. Thank you Ben and Noble Samurai team.

    I’m about to start using Google Web Optimizer for some split testing. It’s free so I think it’s a good place to start.

    Does anyone have experience with either Visual Web Optimizer or Optimizely? I’m researching both as paid options.

    Cheers, Adam.
    Adam Stanecki @The Practice of Uncommonsenseʼs last blog post… 6 steps toward a location independent lifestyle

  101. This is the Best way to maximize profits. Don’t be afraid to try and fail because without trying again with new add copy and split testing we would have missed out on some huge wins.
    Tanya Links
    Tanya Linksʼs last blog post… The BEST Networking Event Ever is Big Conferences & Seminars