Conversion rate is a metric that every web manager pays attention to. The number of visitors who convert on your site, whether it means signing up to a newsletter or purchasing a product in your e-commerce store is is highly important. Each web manager has a goal of increasing conversion rate. Experts claim conversion rate to be a science and that it requires an understanding of customer psyche and behavior, I disagree. This post will explain how one website increased conversion rate by 390%.
A multi-channel approach
At the end of the 2011, the global conversion rate of a travel company was 0.43%. At the start of the year, the conversion rate dropped to 0.20%. Travel industry professionals know that January is the busiest sales month of the year and we quickly set an action plan to increase our online efforts. The focus was to improve on-site SEO and PPC, increase email marketing activity, conduct usability testing and implement customer survey on the site. Each week we monitored our progress.
In February 2012, the conversion was 0.20%, with approx 30 transactions per week and revenues of approx €35,000 (value of €1.8 million per year).
The improvements quickly made an impact on the bottom line and as of today, the conversion rate is 0.98%, with approx 100 transactions per week and revenues of €120,000 (value of €6.2 million). That’s a 390% increase in conversion rate.
Sales continue to grow to now more than €100,000 per week and year on year revenue is up by 31%.
Conversion rate has increased by 390% since February
Travel is a very seasonal industry. However, the chart below compares this year’s increase with 2011.
2011 conversion rate between Jan-Jul was 0.34%.
Four channels to improve web traffic quality
Here are the exact steps we took to increase conversion rate as per each marketing channel:
Search Engine Optimization
- Sign up to SEOmoz and fix issus found under crawl diagnostics
- URL rewrite with user-friendly keyword URL’s
- Improved page titles and meta descriptions
- Uploaded XML sitemap to webmaster tools
We now rank top of the SERPs for our most competitive keywords
Search Engine Marketing (PPC)
- Signed up to Wordstream’s AdWords Performance Grader
- Improved ad texts using dynamic keyword insertion
- Included Trademark symbols in ad copy
- Launched site-links for all campaigns
Click through rates have increased by more than 700%
- Launched 4Q customer survey
- Emphasized the benefits of booking online
- Added guest reviews to key pages
- Launched a pricing calendar
Users can now complete tasks on site much quicker
- Newsletter sign up on front page
- Emphasized the benefits of signing up
- Monthly email marketing activity based on segmentation
- Personalized newsletters
High open rates and click through rates with low unsubscribe rates
Having a clear goal and focus
These efforts were not the result of a highly experienced online marketing team. In fact, the team that lead us to this remarkable achievement had no prior online marketing experience. Through self-educating, a clear direction and implementing like hell, conversion rates and sales have increased.
When this project was started, the goal was bring the conversion rate back to a minimum of 0.43%. By having a clear goal, online sales have tripled and the approach will now be rolled out globally and implemented on several websites, which potentially could lead to more than €42 million in increased sales.
How has your conversion rate increased in 2012? Post your comments in the section below.