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.

10 Reasons You’ll Love WordPress

If you’re considering building a WordPress site as a hobby, or for your business then it’s hard to go past the WordPress content management platform.  Using a system like WordPress means that you can focus on what you do (content) rather than having to employ expensive coders to build your site.   Yes, you may need someone to set it up for you, but afterwards, you can maintain the content yourself.  That’s a big advantage for any cost-sensitive business.  If that alone doesn’t convince you here are ten other reasons:

1. WordPress is free

Everyone loves free stuff.  The WordPress engine, as well as many of the plugins and themes, are free.  WordPress is completely free with full functionality which means you don’t have to pay for any hidden extras for this powerful content management tool. WordPress gives you the opportunity to manage your website yourself.

2. WordPress is user-friendly even for beginners

I say to people if you’ve ever used word processing software and the Internet then you can use WordPress.  The user interface is so intuitive that people who have never used a website can find their way around and do useful stuff. Creating a page or a blog post in WordPress is super simple, you type your words and press Post.

You’ve got loads of control.  You can type your content and modify it with colours, and different type styles like (bold, italics and underline). You can add headings, align text, and add pictures and hyperlinks too.

3. Add features easily with Plugins

WordPress has a lot of hand features built in.  That said, if you need WordPress to do more than it does ‘out of the box’, then you can search the WordPress repository for plugins that do the job for you. Many of these plugins are completely free and built by the WordPress developer community.

For example, if you need a contact form that emails you messages from visitors, there’s a plugin for that.  If you want to build a complete Learning Management System in WordPress, there’s a plugin for that too.
WordPress offers you plugins for just about anything you can imagine you want to do.

4. Great SEO options

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is easy with WordPress.  There are several popular plugins that will help you manage your content and ensure your website is SEO compliant. This is important to help you get great search engine placing that helps people find your website.

5. More themes than you can use

If you want a great looking site, then WordPress will help you do that.  WordPress has tens of thousands of themes for you to choose from. Some free, and some premium.  Developers can also easily build themes for your website to give you a unique look to match your brand.
WordPress Themes are skins that you add to WordPress to change the look of your website. With built-in access to the theme repository you can choose a different theme from inside WordPress – it’s very easy.

6. WordPress is built for blogging

You may think you don’t need a blog, but having the blogging functionality helps your website grow in a few ways – firstly even if you don’t ‘blog’, you may want to display ‘news’. The blogging function can be used for the same thing.

Blogging or the production of news on your site ensures that your content remains fresh and gives website visitors a reason to return to your site.  Visitors return to this site to read new posts we place here on a regular basis. You need to be doing the same thing.

Because you can do this from inside WordPress, you don’t need to pay a developer to add your post each time you want to make a content change.

7. WordPress is flexible and can be used for almost anything

WordPress is a content management system, but the plugins you can add will allow it to do almost anything – you can run a newspaper, build an online learning platform, sell goods or services or even run your a podcast network all using WordPress using plugins found for free in the WordPress repository.

Let your imagination run free, and you can do it with the help of WordPress, easily.

8. WordPress helps you to sell stuff

With great free plugins like WooCommerce, you can sell physical goods (things that get mailed to customers) or virtual goods (things delivered through the website, or via email) very easily. Add the plugin, create your products, setup a payment gateway like Paypal and you’re set to sell.  Online stores can be setup in just a few hours, and you can start making sales the same day.

9. Nearly everyone supports WordPress

WordPress is popular – many people use it, and many people build software plugins for it. This means that if there’s a snag, there are people who can help you out.

When you search Google, you’ll find a lot of forums, posts and support from web developers and designers because it’s one of the most commonly used web platforms in the world.

And even if you don’t want to do it yourself, there are people like us who can help you get the job done.

10. Nearly every host offers WordPress built-in

Most popular web hosts including Asporea Hosting offer WordPress as an easy one-click install which means that you can add WordPress with a few clicks – in five minutes you can be setting up your first WordPress website.  What are you waiting for?

What is Bounce Rate?

In this series of Analytics posts, I’m examining Bounce rate. It’s an important measure for site managers because it explains the number of visitors who leave your site after landing on it. In plain English it’s about who doesn’t find anything interesting enough to make them stay.

Bounce rates can be caused by a number of factors including:

  1. Hitting the back button on a web browser
  2. The user finished and closed a web browser window, ending the session
  3. The visitor clicks an ad on your website
  4. The visitor used the search box in their web browser
  5. The visitor typed a URL into their browser
  6. The visitor clicked a link to an external site, forcing them to leave your site

Bounce rates are calculated when a user takes any one of these actions before clicking on a second page of your site. So if a user clicked a second page before clicking on an advertisement then it would not be counted as a Bounce in your statistics.

Your site’s bounce rate can be calculated with the following formula:

Bounce = Visits that left after one page / Total number of visits

Website managers should aim to lower the bounce rate – as you do this it means you are engaging more of your visitors with your content and it’s an indicator that your content and design are correct, enticing people to click on more pages of your site each visit.

You can measure the bounce rate on your website using analytics tools like Google Analytics, which will automatically track these figures for you.

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.

How to build a better WordPress site

James Williams from Asporea explains how you can build your own valuable website using WordPress that will continue to attract visitors 365 days a year.

You can have a great WordPress site

Some websites are brilliant at attracting visitors and keeping them coming back each day for new content.  For some people having a high-performing website is just a pipe-dream; they treat their WordPress site like a hobby, but it really doesn’t have to be that way.  A well-designed website, hosted on reliable servers with good SEO and strong pillar content are the four keys to your success.

Find a professional designer

Whether you’re building a WordPress site for business, for pleasure or for a hobby – you are building it for someone.  This person or people are called your audience.  Consider your audience when designing your site, because their opinion counts.  It matters what they think about your website, because the site is for them.  If it doesn’t provide tantalizing and engaging content, on a brilliant functional site  then they will not return.

Hosting Servers Room Alley 3D Render Illustration. Internet Technologies Concept.

Don’t compromise on quality web hosting

Imagine a first date, you’ve got your best threads on, you’re groomed to perfection and then you turn up in your dodgy old pick-up truck.  That’s what it’s like when you’re create site and content are hosting on the wrong platform.  Your hosting provider must be able to support WordPress and serve it to visitors quickly.  If it doesn’t then you should be talking to us.

A fast reliable WordPress hosting platform is essential for your long-term success.  Without it, your visitors won’t think much of you and Google won’t bother to index your site.  More and more emphasis is being placed on site speed as a measure of index success in Google.  So you can be doing everything else right on your website, but if it doesn’t perform quickly then Google won’t rank it.

Spend some money on an SEO expert

It is true that you don’t need an expert to do SEO for you these days… but it helps.  An SEO expert has the skills and updated knowledge to expertly fine-tune your website for maximum hits.  Without good SEO, your site is more like a badly laid out supermarket.  Good SEO puts up signage in the aisles and starts to organise your content in a way that makes sense to readers and search engines… the result is a site that performs well in search engine rankings and delivers you more customers.  Recently we had a customer with an online store.  Over time their store which used to do well in Google, had been outranked by its competitors. A good dose of expert SEO and the sales started to return, double and triple what they had been in the past. All because customers could find them in search.

Web Design Online Technology Working Office Concept

Keep writing thought-provoking content

Writing good topical blog posts is good for your search engine rankings. The keywords and content will keep getting you listed. But there is a different type of content that you need to also plan and write.  Called Pillar content, this content is not time sensitive and it attracts the bulk of your visitors of specific key topics.

The reason why pillar content is so effective is that  good content is hard to come by.  People write articles all the time, but very few spend the time to really create that useful content that reads more like a ‘how to’ lesson than an opinion piece.

Keeping your website fast and fresh is key

The long term nature of pillar content means that it stays fresh forever, and offers real value to anyone who reads it.  Behind the scenes it will create back links to your blog which is useful for increasing the google ranking of your website.  Over time this will increase your ranking and drive more people to your website over time. Consider doing at least one pillar article every couple of months and over time you’ll find that you’ve generated some great topics that search engines will index and your readers will love you for.

How to do SEO

Thanks to Google and it’s leadership SEO is no longer a mystery.  It has taken SEO out of the hands of the self-proclaimed experts, with their cult-like language and nearly miraculous promises of keyword ratings.

Google has become the sense-maker once again.

You see the old world of SEO is dead and gone and it’s up to us who are left standing to make sense of the new world it has created in it’s place.

Google has taken away the manipulation of its search results and instead proclaimed that web users should “make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”

This means that Google has made content ‘king’ once again.  The days of scamming search engine positions by tricking the Google robots are over.  Instead google says that the key is to “create a useful, information-rich website and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”

Our series on Pillar content is key here.  To be successful you need to produce content that people love, that they find useful and want to distribute; sharing with their friends via social media, quoting in their own blog posts and emailing to their friends.

So the answer is simple… create good content and Google will reward you with a better placement.

Keep following our series on evergreen ‘pillar’ content for more tips and tricks on how to write compelling content.


Asporea Consulting work in both communication and technology and have been building websites for 20 years. Work with us to achieve your SEO goalsContact us for an obligation-free consultation.

Is Search Engine Optimisation for me?

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of creating, redesigning or restructing web pages and whole sites so they can be discovered and read by search engines in the most efficient way.

SEO is important for every website owner because it helps website visitors find your site.

People may visit your website from an address printed on your business’ vehicle, business card or letterhead.  You may even have taken out Pay Per Click internet advertising, or a radio or TV commercial but the reach of these mediums is restricted to who sees your advertisement.  It’s quite inefficient.

The truth about your website is that many more people could be visiting through search engine results.   Search engines provide a free way for people to find your website when they have a need – just-in-time – but many websites are just not prepared in the right way.

This means that without quality SEO Services many people won’t know you exist… simply because your website content is not appearing in their search results.

When people type your product or service into the search engine your website needs to be at the top of the search results.

That’s in-part what SEO is about… it’s about matching the descriptions of your products and services with the way people think, so that when they use a search engine your results come up more often and higher in the search results.

Why you should engage an SEO expert

Every search engine works slightly differently and has specific rules about what they consider acceptable SEO techniques. These rules are used to block deliberate ‘gaming’ techniques and keep search results as pure as possible.

Engaging an expert will not only save you time, but ensure that your results will not land you in virtual ‘hot water’ with search engines which could result in your site becoming demoted in search results or banned altogether.

When can results be expected?

Search Engine Optimisation does take time to see results because Search engines reindex websites at their own pace.  But generally you will start to see results within the first 2-4 weeks including:

  1. Improved position in search engine results
  2. Removal or demotion of less important website pages
  3. Matching your products and services with regularly used search terms

Our team work hard with our clients to ensure that we are across and know best practice SEO techniques.  We are happy to share this knowledge with you and start improving your website results.

Our SEO team are always available for an obligation free discussion about how we can help you with your next project.