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Aug. 14, 2020

Great Is Not A Goal – Especially When It Comes to Conversion Rates

Great Is Not A Goal – Especially When It Comes to Conversion Rates
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In this episode, Andy references Steve Sims' book Bluefishing - The Art of Making Things Happen. A major point of the book is that great should never be a goal and your goal should be to strive to be better today then you were yesterday.

Andy takes that philosophy in terms of what it means for eCommerce. Your goals need to be be more specific and based on getting better results than yesterday. For eCommerce that means traffic and conversion. 

Discover how you can improve both with ideas that will increase your profitability within this episode.


Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


Andy Splichal  0:01  

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast this is your host, Andy Splichal. One thing you may not know about me is that I like to read. Most of the books I read are about marketing. There's a bit of self improvement motivation books thrown in the mix, but marketing is really my passion. Now recently, I just finished the book Bluefishing, The Art of Making Things Happen by Steve Sims. The book is about an author's journey for as a bricklayer in England following his family's occupation, to a club bouncer to becoming an executive concierge running his  Blue Fishing Agency. Book is a fascinating read of a man that Forbes magazine dubbed the modern day Wizard of Oz. In his current position running his blue fishing agency, Steve works to deliver the most elaborate dream experiences for his clients. From becoming the lead singer on the for the band Journey for a night to playing a round of golf with Tiger Woods, the Formula 1 watching the Formula 1 in Monaco with royalty, Steve has delivered on some amazing experiences. However, the number one lesson I took away from his book is when he talks about great is not a goal. This is an interesting concept. Most people who own their own businesses, myself included, want to have a great company, our company is something that we have created. And why wouldn't you want that to be great. However, the point that he has makes in his book is that your goal can't be to have a great company, because it's simply too abstract. Instead, your focus should be to make your company better tomorrow than it is today. Now there must be 100 or even 1000s of ways you can make your company better tomorrow than it is today. But with most things for me, it circles back to Ecommerce and the number one way to make your Ecommerce company better today than it was yesterday is to improve your conversion process. working on improving conversion rates can be immediately rewarding because just the smallest change can make a really big difference. Increasing your average conversion rate, even incrementally can be the difference between a struggling company and a very successful one. So crunching some quick numbers, a company with a 2% conversion rate that's doing $2,000 could be doing $3,000 a day if they had a 3% conversion rate. Therefore, without adding any new traffic, it is possible to add substantial growth to your company, all by working to improve the conversion rate. So how do we improve that conversion? Well, we test and we measure, testing and measuring the results allow us to optimize to produce profitable results. So you're probably saying yes, I know to test. But what should I test and how? For ecommerce stores there are two types of testing you can test the sources that are bringing you traffic, or you can test the elements on your website to improve those conversion rates. First, let's start testing the vehicles that bring you traffic. So typical websites have many sources from where potential customers can discover their products. Common traffic sources include organic traffic, free placement on Google paid traffic, the Google ads or Bing MSN ads, social paid ads, the Facebook, Instagram, referrals, traffic from other websites, email traffic from emails that you send to your own customers, and direct traffic those customers who type in your URL. Now although your traffic arrives from multiple sources, some of those sources are going to be difficult to test. traffic generated from organic traffic for example is difficult to test. Managing your title tags and your meta description can quickly be changed where you can test what percentage of those potential clients are clicking on that change the listing or how changes are going to affect at least quickly are going to affect what order your listings will appear for a specific keyword search. Now I'm not saying that your organic positioning cannot be improved. And in fact, you know, there's 1000s of companies out there who provide SEO services that will be very willing to help you do just that. In fact, I think it's the SEO services that is is currently the number one export from India, I got three or four emails this morning on that. But being able to test it quickly, you cannot likewise direct traffic cannot be tested users and typically those return users either will type in your URL, visit your website, or they won't. Referral traffic also cannot be tested. So it's great to have websites refer traffic to you, and it's a great source of traffic indeed. A referral from a trusted source such as a partner or directory, or others commonly brings quality traffic, and the act is an affirmation source to their traffic. Now, since we cannot test organic traffic or direct traffic or referral traffic, that leaves us to testing paid traffic and email traffic. First paid traffic from my private clients. One of the most profitable traffic sources I use and continues to use is Google ads. Google allows multiple ways to test for your search campaigns to text ads that appear when you go to Advertisers can test multiple ads, at the same time, different types different length different headlines, Google will even serve the ad. More often that performs better that has the highest CTR Click-through rate. In addition, you can also run a Google experiment to test different elements of your campaign for search campaigns. Now, if you're looking for more information on that type of testing, I wrote an entire blog post on the subject using Google drafts and experiment doesn't mean you're a mad scientist. And you can take a look at it at blog dot true online So I won't go into full detail here. But Google is spare experiments are a great way to test different elements of your campaign such as the bid strategy, using the same time frame for your test. Now Google Shopping ads there prove a bit more difficult to test. At least side by side. I usually test in different ways such as changing the structure of the product title and some of the items or or test the effectiveness of using different promotions. Just remember, even in Google Shopping, where it is difficult to test, you do want to always be striving to improve. And then there are Facebook ads. Facebook was designed for advertisers to be able to test and it can be a whole lot of fun. Advertisers can not only test their their copy, aka their ads, but also segment their audience who sees their ads, by interest and by demographics. In addition, you can tag customers who have interacted with your ads, and focus on serving ads to those who have previously shown an interest. And and when it comes to testing your copy with Facebook. It is not just the words and the ad that can be tested. You can test static images to videos to static images made into video, Facebook allows for a variety of ad formats, all for basically the same price per click. Therefore to be successful with Facebook ads, it is an absolute must to continue to test to perform well. And testing your email. So regardless of which ESP email service provider that you use, you will have the ability to test I've never yet seen any ISP that doesn't have the ability to test at least the subject line of your emails. As long as you have a large enough list and you're sending emails regularly. There's no reason why you shouldn't be testing, trying different headlines with each email send. When you're constantly testing headlines, you're going to quickly discover which type of headlines in which words will provide higher open rates. And with email, it's all about open rates. The more customers who open your email, the more likely it is that your email will successfully generate sales. And also don't forget to keep a log with subject lines who have tried. After all, what gets measured gets improved. Keeping a log of different subject lines will help you determine which subject lines provide the highest open rates and allow you to continue to use those type of subject lines in the future emails. In addition to subject lines, you can test email layout, play around. By that I mean test different layouts to see which layout generates the highest click through rates. Because after those customers open your email. The next thing you want to improve is how many people click on the links inside of your emails. Whether using a starter program such as MailChimp, or use a premium service testing and consistency to your email sends are the keys to improving your email results. Next, we can move on to testing elements of your website. When you first build your website, you likely put a ton of effort into the planning of the design. Hopefully, the number one goal of that design was conversion. I say this because having a great looking website is absolutely great, but it doesn't pay the bills. Having a great converting website is what we all should be striving to have. In fact, it is what we all should be consistently striving to have. You heard me write consistently striving to have. This means that after your website design is complete, you are far from finished. If that sounds like work, well, you're right it is. However, as we discussed earlier, making a small difference in your conversion rates can add very large increases to your overall sales. When helping my private clients optimize your website for conversion, I always start with looking at the checkout pages, placing orders for yourself, putting yourself in the role of your customer, not only the role of your customer, but the role of a customer that is never purchased from your website, and does not know who you are. Now, does your website have all the trust factors that a customer typically looks for? Are you taking the opportunity to display testimonials stress positive aspects of your shipping, such as free shipping over such amount? And are you reinforcing the fact that your site is 100% secure? Now I realize that some ecommerce platforms limit the ability to customize and optimize the checkout process. And this is really a shame. website platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce, in my opinion, are doing a real disservice to those who use their platforms. However, even if you lack the ability to customize a cart, you typically will still have control over button colors and language to use and various fields within your checkout pages. Review your competitors checkout pages, see what they're doing. Google the term high converting e commerce websites, see what those sites are doing with a high conversion rates and compare them to your own checkout pages. You don't have to reinvent the wheel to see  what's working for Ecommerce when you are working to increase your conversion rate. Once you have finished working on your checkout pages, move on to your product pages. The most important element you'll find on your product pages is going to be no surprise drumroll, the Add to Cart button and what surrounds it. So on average, companies spend $92 to acquire a customer but only $1 on testing how to best convert those customers. Looking at yourself, how much are you spending to acquire a customer and then look at how much you're spending to test how to convert them. Beyond eyeballing it and improving your conversion based on your gut, which is better than doing nothing. There are services you can use to discover real time result. By using A/B testing, you can test anything from colors and placement of your call to action buttons to the images on your pages to headlines to elements of your navigation bar. As long as you've already have solid amount of traffic, you're able to make data driven decisions that will help improve your conversion rates on your website using a B testing and multivariate testing. There are companies such as VWO, Site Specs,, Puffin, just to name a few, and others that offer the ability to test all the elements of a webpage. And addition most of these companies offer a free trial. So you can get a good feel for their interface and how they work before committing any budget. Have you ever not been able to go to sleep because you think you may be leaving money on the table? Well, you might be and testing using one of these companies is going to be a great way to find out. Remember, great is not a goal. Not because great is not great, It is it's great. But because wanting to become great is not actionable. Instead, concentrate your efforts on becoming better than you were yesterday and you will put yourself closer to becoming great. And regarding ecommerce. The two most important things are your traffic and if your traffic is purchasing once they reach your website or conversion, you have the best website in the world. You're selling the world's best gizmos. But if no one knows about you, you're not going to do very well. On the other hand, you could be driving tons of traffic to your website. But if no one buys once they get there. Well what's the point? By clearly focusing on these two aspects Traffic and Conversion. You will be able to make those small improvements today. That will Lead your website into becoming better than it was yesterday, and perhaps even eventually becoming great. Well, that's it today. Remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave a five star review. And if you're looking for better results from your online marketing request to join my Make Each Click Count Facebook group. Remember, stay safe, stay healthy, keep safe, happy marketing, and I will talk to you in the next episode.