2020-10-07

Drive Christmas sales with these four free conversion optimisation tools

This Christmas will be an interesting one for ecommerce. But one thing is certain, it will be even more important to convert the people landing on your site into customers.
While everyone’s watching the pennies, you’re likely to attract fewer leads and need to do more convince potential customers your products are worth investing in.
There’s definitely no point blowing your precious marketing budget on driving more traffic to a site that won’t convert them.
In a recent article, I explored the four main reasons people don’t buy from you.
If you want to get started with conversation rate optimisation (CRO) and increase Christmas revenue, those are the key things to focus on.
It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
To help you on your way, I’d love to introduce you to my favourite CRO tools. All of which are free.

1. Google Analytics (GA)

How do you know where your leads are coming from?
What does a typical user journey look like on your site?
Where and why do you lose people across that funnel?
Analytics is a vital part of the CRO process. You can’t start improving conversions if you don’t know what to fix, what to change or what to test on your site.
That’s where Google Analytics comes in. It’s the number one tool you need to be using - not just installing on your site - actually using! It will help you understand how users are behaving and help you generate hypotheses for site changes based on that behaviour. The very essentials of CRO.
It will also help you measure results and improve on them as you go.

2. Web.Dev

Is your site too slow to load? Could it be faster?
How well is it optimised for search?
Is it well structured and built for accessibility?
Web.Dev is an incredibly versatile tool that will help you measure site performance right across the board – and show you how to improve it.
As I covered in my last article on what stops people buying, speed matters. Crazyegg also discovered that speeding up a page by just one second boosted conversions by 7%.
Of course, you can’t improve conversions if you don’t have the traffic. Search is still a hugely important area of growth.
And improving accessibility is also something every website should be working towards. Done well, this can also help improve search rankings and conversions, too.

3. Hotjar

What motivates your users? What are they most interested in on your site?
What do they find irrelevant? What might they be missing and where might they be getting stuck?
Hotjar allows you to see and analyse how your site visitors are interacting with your site by viewing heatmaps of their usage. It shows you what they’re clicking on and how far they’re scrolling down your web pages. Those interactions can give you ideas on how to improve your site and maximise conversions.
For example, if they’re not scrolling down the page and that’s where your calls to action are, then you’ll definitely be missing out on sales.

4. Google Optimize

Contrary to what many people expect, AB testing - testing different variants on the same web page with different audiences - comes quite late in the CRO process.
This is because the bulk of your time should be spent understanding how your users behave on your site.
Once you’ve combined the data from Google Analytics, Hotjar and Web.Dev, you’ll have solid ideas of what you should be trying to improve and test.
Google Optimize is a great tool for running tests and measuring results. Not only is the basic version free but - as you’d expect - it integrates natively with Google Analytics.
The paid version also offers sophisticated personalisation and targeting tools when you’re ready to dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of CRO.

Conclusion

With the current economic downturn set to impact Christmas revenue, it’s vital to build the right funnel to turn your leads into sales. And to do so without spending a fortune on software.
You don’t need all the (sleigh) bells and whistles, particularly if you’re just getting started with CRO. In fact, you’ll receive a much more tangible benefit from choosing a free tool and using the money you’ve saved to implement the insight it gives you.
Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what usually happens! When it comes to conversation rate optimisation (CRO) there’s a real tendency to get stuck in the weeds before mastering the fundamentals.
For example, you could have the most persuasive, fully AB tested, landing page on the planet but if the site is too slow to load then many customers will click away before they’ve set eyes on it. But when you take the time to get the basics nailed and use data to make incremental improvements, sales will naturally follow. And not just for Christmas.