Using Conversion Funnels to Improve Your Site

When customers buy your products and services online, it isn’t a transparent process. You can’t physically see your customer. You can’t talk to them, and you don’t get any queues about what they like and don’t like about your site. To an outsider, just looking at sales figures, it seems like a very binary process – you either get the sale, or you don’t.

Analytics is a good way to see important facts like where your customers come from, how long they stay and what site information they feel is relevant.  But what about the path they take to buying your product?

How do you know which pages on your website are most convincing for customers? Sure you can ask those customers who purchase a product, but what about those clients who hit low performing pages and leave your site without a purchase?

Analytics has a feature commonly called a Conversion Funnel which describes the journey the customer takes from an advertisement or search result, through the various pages of your site, and finally converting to a sale.  The metaphor of a funnel is important because at every stage customers will drop out of the process – the funnel shrinks from a large entry at the top to a small exit at the bottom signifying the low number of potential customers who convert to a sale.

The advantage of funnels is they help us see the sale process easily and allows us to:
•    See where a customer might be confused or get into trouble
•    Work out what copy might be changing a customer’s decision to buy
•    Surfacing bugs in the code, browser issues or other technical problems which could prevent a client from buying

Funnels work in conjunction with Goals.  Simply put, Goals are end points you want your client to reach, like a checkout page, or a thank you page after a customer subscribes to your newsletter.  Goals describe those activities you want your customer to complete when visiting your website.
Once you have a goal setup, you are ready to setup a Funnel.

Let’s use a simple case study to bring funnels to life. Your site offers a subscription site for authors to access an exclusive member site – the primary call to action for your website is to sign up for a newsletter so you can entice them to become a member.

First, you need to setup your goal – which will be a thank you page once a user has subscribed. We use the thank you page because it is AFTER the subscription process is complete.

  1. Log into Google Analytics, drill down into one of your profiles, and click Admin in the top navigation.
  2. Click the Goals tab.
  3. Enter a Goal Name, such as Subscribe to Newsletter.
  4. Enter a Goal URL, such as /thankyou-page.php.
  5. Leave the Match Type as Exact Match
  6. Enter a Goal Value (even if it doesn’t have a cash value) because it allows Google to calculate Page value and Per Visit Goal Value.

You can create your funnel after you’ve created your goal.

  1. Select the Use Funnel checkbox.
  2. Enter URLs and names for the funnel steps (these are pages that lead to your goal):
    /about-us – About us
    /newsletter – Newsletter description
    /signup.php – Sign-up page
  3. Select the Required Step checkbox for the first funnel step.

Once Google Analytics has collected some data, the Funnel Visualisation Report will show a raft of data including the Funnel Conversion Rate, which shows the percentage of visits, including a step page view which leads to the goal.  This shows you how successfully your page is converting.
Congratulations on making your first step into conversion funnel analytics. If we can help you with further steps, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

What is Responsive Web Design?

As you’ve been exploring web design, you may have heard about responsive web design. You may be wondering what it is and whether you need it for your website. Let’s explore Responsive Web Design and why it’s one of the most important investments you’ll make in your site. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or ready for a remodel, you can’t overlook this critical design approach.

Simply, Responsive Web Design is about building sites to provide an ‘optimal’ viewing experience across all devices, whether mobile, tablet or desktop. Responsive websites resize and rearrange page elements depending on where that website is viewed. When it’s on a desktop, you’ll see a full-size website, on smaller mobile devices you’ll see a cut down version that displays the essential content and elements at a size that is easy to read on that device. They key element of responsive web design is that these change happen automatically and your website will optimise the site to give you the best viewing experience ‘on the fly’.

Responsive Web Design has gone from a fancy nice-to-have to a must-have. In fact, Google now examines responsive design when it determines search engine placement. These days, Google’s search algorithms weigh how easy the content is to access, as well as how good the content is. If you examine Google Analytics results for any of the popular websites we build and manage, we can see that the bulk of users are now viewing the site on a mobile device. The number of people using smartphones and tables to search and shop on the web, continues to grow.

Implementing responsive web design on your site is becoming a necessity rather than an option. To help customers make this transition we offer a free 30-minute assessment of your site, to determine how to make your site responsive. Feel free to take us up on this offer.

If you are interested in having a responsive website, we provide fully responsive web design on content management platforms that put you in control of your site once the design is complete. We’d love to chat with you about your web project. Email us anytime for an obligation free discussion.

How Faster Hosting Improves Your Search Rank

Better web hosting – and the choices you make – can give your website a big advantage – here’s how.

Most people now visit websites from a mobile device. According to a Hitwise research paper, they are visiting sites in every industry via their phone or tablet.

This has been evident to Google for some time. Google Analytics tracks the types of devices people use to visit websites.  As a result of their finding, Google started to downgrade search rankings for sites that didn’t build mobile-friendly sites.

Businesses are taking mobile visitors more seriously now, but this alone won’t raise your search engine rank. The paradox is that as your site attracts more visitors, your ranking is at risk of dropping – not from the traffic itself – but whether it can cope with the influx of visitors.  If your site starts to perform poorly with increased website traffic you are directly at risk. If you’re responsible for managing your website, you must consider ‘what happens when I become internet famous?’

Web hosting text on keyboard button

Clearly, a popular website is a gift! More traffic to your site means increased chances to share your products and services. More people on your site means more conversions into consumers, subscribers or shoppers. Google introduced the concept of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which means your site must be optimised for mobile devices, keywords and speed and having your site optimised for these three factors is crucial.

Google started with simple things like image size, removing keyword stuffing and mobile compatibility. As Google walks us along this self-improvement path, now your web server needs to be blisteringly fast.

Google’s focus has shifted to delivering technical server perfection and a smooth-running site. Site speed and page rank are no longer just about optimising images; it’s about how your theme and plugins are coded as well.

Skimping on hosting is like spinning the barrel and pulling the trigger, and you can’t afford to play Russian roulette with your search ranking. When you choose sub-par hosting, your site is shoved on a server with thousands of other websites. All of those websites scramble for the same server resources, and site bandwidth. If you are lucky, you’ll be on a server with hobbyists who don’t use hosting bandwidth and resources. As more people move towards shared hosting like GoDaddy, DreamHost and HostGator, you want to be going in the opposite direction to find the right web host.

You can find hosts that offer the right balance of performance at a reasonable price. It’s not about avoiding shared hosting either. You just need to find someone who does shared hosting in a fair way. You need to balance a well-maintained web server at a reasonable price – it doesn’t mean avoiding shared hosting altogether.

Asporea has inexpensive shared hosting plans with strict server quotas to prevent overcrowding. We cap our standard servers at 400 customers because we believe this offers our clients the right balance of performance for cost.

Our shared hosting plans start at $9.99/month with free transfer from your current web host and a 30-day money back guarantee.  Subscribe to our newsletter for an additional 25% off any of our hosting plans.