I promised you all that I’d share the lessons resonating with me in my personal business once a month. Today, that lesson is conversion optimization. More specifically, not putting conversion optimization off.
I knew one of my niche sites was WAY under-optimized, but I just dreaded putting in the legwork because it’s not a project I enjoy working on very much any more. But lo and behold, I hit a standstill with one of my other projects. Instead of using it as an excuse to take some time off, I doubled my affiliate income from that site over the course of about two weeks.
If you have traffic, and you haven't optimized for conversions, you're flushing money down the toilet.
Pay attention to that qualifying statement, because it's important.
Spending a bunch of time focusing on conversions, sales funnels, email opt-ins, etc. doesn't do a whole lot of good if you're getting three visitors per day. At that stage of your business, you're much better off focusing on content production and increasing traffic.
But once you're getting a couple hundred visitors per day, you're crazy if you're not optimizing your site for conversions.
Optimizing your site for conversions does NOT mean...
- Plastering it with a bunch of banner ads
- Pushing a product that you’re not sure is high quality
- Capturing emails without any idea what to do with them
Conversion optimization is an entire field of study in itself. Even I’m far from great at it after years in this business, and I still sometimes contract help from experts. But I gladly pay high hourly rates to some of these professionals ($125 - $250 per hour), because this is one of the only places in your internet business that you can receive exponential returns on your investment.
For example, let’s say your site is making $100 per month as-is, without any optimization at all. If you optimize your site so that twice as many people are arriving on your most important, valuable pages, now you’re making $200 per month.
Now if you optimize that page to double how many people are buying through your affiliate links (or signing up, submitting their lead information, etc.), you’re now making $400 per month.
Then if you start collecting emails by offering a really high value, free giveaway and create an autoresponder campaign. If you double your commissions through that email list, you’re now making $800 per month.
And just like that, you’ve gone from $1200 per year in income to $9600. Not too bad for a few weeks of testing.
Now if you double your traffic by continuing to produce really high quality content, you've setup a much better "net", and you'll make $1600 per month with that site instead of $200. Getting more traffic is great, but getting more traffic with optimized conversion rates is what pro internet marketers cut their teeth on.
As I mentioned earlier, A LOT goes into conversion optimization. It’s WAYYY outside of the scope of a single blog post.
There are a lot of resources here at WA you can look up using the search bar, but here are the general best practices to keep in mind:
1) Never write a check with your advertising that your product can’t cash. Flashy headlines are great, but if you deliver a Ford Fiesta when you sold your follower a Rolls Royce, they’re not going to be following you for much longer.
2) Constantly A/B split test. Testing headlines, sub-headlines, banners, different email messages, etc. ALL can have a huge impact on your bottom line, especially when they’re added up. There are a lot of tools out there that will help you with this, some paid and some free. A simple Google search will turn up quite a few.
3) On that note, isolate the optimizations you’re testing. Don’t split test an entire page change at once. If your conversion rates go up or down, you won’t know if it’s because your headlines are converting better, the copy on the page is converting better, if it’s due to the new graphics, a different color, or something else. The only way to get truly valid conversion optimization results is by testing one thing at a time. Of course this prolongs the amount of time you spend testing, but it’s essential.
4) Getting 20 results isn’t statistically significant. Make sure you gather enough data during your A/B tests that the data is dependable. There are statistical significance calculators online for free as well - use them if you need to.
5) The more options you give someone, the less likely they are to convert at all. It’s generally a best practice to only have one major call to action site-wide, and then pitch other offers down the road after you’ve converted the visitor on the first call to action. This isn’t always the best way to optimize, but if you have a site plastered with 7 different calls to action in the right-side margins, you’re hurting yourself A LOT more than you’re helping yourself.
As I mentioned, there are some great resources on this topic here at Wealthy Affiliate that you can sink your teeth into if you have traffic and think this is something you should be focusing on. In addition to those, I highly recommend these three books:
- "Landing Page Optimization" by Ash, Page, and Ginty
- "Email Marketing by the Numbers" by Baggott
- "The Ultimate Sales Letter" by Kennedy
Those are excellent foundations for website optimization, email marketing, and sales copy respectively.
Back to Work!
Alright kids, I’ve gotta get back to work. But I made a commitment to you all and I want to do my level-best to keep it, so learn from my mistakes: don’t put off conversion optimization. I’d probably have another $50k in the bank if I hadn’t put it off as long as I did, and let me tell ya, I can think of a thing or two I’d do with $50k today ;)
Everyone have a wonderful weekend - stay safe out there!