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6 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tips For Low Traffic Websites

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6 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tips For Low Traffic Websites

Website traffic is an essential resource for every online business. Yes, for the obvious reasons – because more traffic can convert to more customers and therefore more money in the till.

But traffic is also essential for data-driven optimization practices like conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Common CRO testing procedures rely heavily on website traffic for data to run conclusive tests.

Deriving insightful data from web traffic is no big deal for established enterprises like Amazon and Microsoft, which get millions of users every day.

But conversion optimization is more challenging for low-traffic websites.

That doesn’t mean these small businesses should give up on conversion optimization and resort to implementing random hypotheses.

The CRO tips and techniques below are proven to work for low-traffic websites.

The Difficulty In Optimizing Low-traffic Websites

We know how critical testing is to ensure that a website runs optimally and generates revenue.

Tests rely on data and to get a significant result, we need lots of data.

Improving a website’s rank to get more traffic can help in data acquisition.

But going this route can be quite expensive and time-consuming for new and small businesses.

You cannot wait for your website to rank organically and then implement CRO best practices.

However, performing CRO when your website barely gets any traffic is also challenging.

Such websites have smaller sample sizes, and it takes an inappropriately long amount of time to reach statistical significance when running tests with small samples.

Additionally, calling a test before it reaches statistical significance runs the risk of implementing a false positive and shooting yourself in the foot, potentially ruining any progress you may have made over time.

This is why A/B testing and optimization for low-traffic websites is challenging for most marketers.

CRO Tips For Low Traffic Websites

If you Google [Proven CRO Tips], you will come across plenty of generic CRO best practices that work well on high-traffic websites.

But what if you’re just getting started with a new website or struggling to build your audience for other reasons?

1. Run Tests With Low Confidence Level

The confidence level is a critical part of statistics that indicates how true your test results are for the entire population.

In simple terms, it tells you how reliable the test findings are and how safe you are from implementing false results.

The higher the confidence level, the higher the likelihood that a test result is true.

For example:

  • A test between the samples A and B runs at 95% confidence.
  • This tells us that sample A is better than B.
  • That means we have a 95% chance of this result being accurate and sample A actually being better than B.
  • And we have only a 5% chance of this result being false, where sample B being better than A.

When running tests on different samples, you are required to choose a confidence level that ultimately decides the sample size.

A 95% confidence level is the industry standard when performing CRO tests. This leaves only a meager 5% or one in 20 chance of the CRO tests results being false.

This is a risk everyone is happy to take.

However, being 95% confident in the accuracy of your test results requires a large sample size and when running tests on low-traffic websites, sample size is a scarce resource.

In this case, it almost makes sense to lower your confidence level to reduce the sample size needed to reach statistical significance.

Reducing confidence level also speeds up your test and helps you achieve results in a smaller time frame than running tests with the industry-standard confidence level.

Be aware though that when you lower your confidence level, you may compromise the accuracy of your test results.

It is up to you to decide whether you are willing to trade the accuracy of your tests with time.

In my opinion, you should not be afraid to test at 85% or even 80% confidence level.

It is better to test different variations in a shorter time frame rather than waiting for a large sample size to run a test with 90% or 95% confidence.

2. Track Micro-conversions

Conversion is a spectrum with lots of micro-conversions leading up to one macro conversion – the ultimate goal of your website.

Micro-conversions are incremental steps that represent a user’s interest in your brand.

Tracking micro-conversions could be a good idea when optimizing low-traffic websites because smaller conversions occur more frequently and hence are larger in number than the one macro conversion.

For example, an ecommerce website may have a higher add-to-cart rate than completed orders.

Or, a SaaS product may have higher free-trial signups than premium signups.

Tracking these smaller conversions will give you a higher baseline conversion to build your test around.

It is common knowledge that increasing baseline conversion decreases the sample size needed to reach statistical significance and run a successful test.

However, tracking micro-conversions, once again, trades accuracy for the possibility of conducting a successful test.

A micro-conversion may not necessarily contribute to your bottom line, and optimizing your website for these variables may generate misleading results.

Consequently, you can end up doing more damage than good.

So, how can you track micro-conversions while ensuring your efforts will prove profitable in terms of website conversions?

Focus on micro-conversions as a part of the whole user journey and optimize these variables to uplift the entire user experience of your website.

3. Go For Major Changes

When attempting to test a low-traffic website, you don’t have the liberty of testing minute elements and gaining granular insights into your users’ preferences.

And honestly, at this point, you can survive just fine without it.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t A/B test at all.

Going for drastic changes in your variation can lead to an increased lift in your primary variable.

In other words, if you implement a major change in your variation, you are more likely to see a more significant change in baseline conversion.

Let me explain.

If you test minor changes between samples A and B of your website, the difference in conversion would be extremely small.

Sample A may have 5% conversion, while sample B may represent 5.5% conversion.

Image created by author, January 2022

With a lack of a large sample size, the 0.5% lift in conversion is not appreciable enough to conclude that sample B is better than sample A and implement it.

However, if you implement a massive change on your website, you may notice a bigger lift between control and variation.

Sample A (the control) may have the baseline conversion of 5%, while sample B with a considerable change may generate a 45% conversion.

This would show a 40% lift and indicate that sample B is better than A, and you can work your way up from there.

webpage version conversion rates comparisonImage created by author, January 2022

So, in short, if your test variation generates a higher lift in conversion, either positive or negative, it will be easier for you to declare a winner.

4. Use Personalization With Dynamic Data

Almost 66% of customers expect online engagement personalized according to their previous interactions and online behavior.

Website personalization is a critical CRO strategy that can lead to increased conversions, regardless of how much traffic your website gets.

Website personalization entails serving dynamic content to web visitors, as this content is more relevant to their preferences and better resonates with them.

Serving dynamic content is also a data-driven approach that does not rely on web traffic.

It builds on data retrieved from various sources such as a user’s:

  • online behavior,
  • search history,
  • website interaction,
  • location,
  • demographic information,
  • social interactions,
  • CRM data,
  • and more.

Netflix is a prime example of a business serving dynamic content.

It sends push notifications and emails with personalized content recommendations and adjusts the content on the Netflix home page based on your watch history.

Of course, personalization also needs testing and optimization. But tests, in this case, are not as reliant on website traffic as they otherwise are.

Linio, an ecommerce marketplace we’ll use for example, had more than 4 million products. They wanted to optimize their customer journey and better guide the customers to the right items.

For that, Linio employed a personalization engine and created highly personalized experiences.

Their website personalization efforts led to 30% increase in conversions and a 23% boost in revenue per user.

5. Deploy Usability Testing

User or usability testing involves testing a website to reveal its friction points and identify how well it serves its target audience.

It can help discover critical areas for improvements on your website, and enhance the overall user experience.

Usability testing is imperative for websites of all scales.

But it is particularly helpful for low-traffic websites as it only requires a handful of people to carry out tests and still yields meaningful results.

The sole purpose of enhancing UX is to increase conversions. Therefore, improving UX with usability testing should be a critical part of your CRO arsenal.

You cannot (and should not!) rule out usability testing just because it’s a qualitative approach.

Additionally, qualitative data is largely underutilized, so usability testing for optimizing conversions can give you an edge over your competitors.

You do have to be careful when choosing participants for your usability test.

It is ideal if your test participants align with your target buyer persona.

But if that’s not possible, it is important to ensure that these people know a bit about what you are doing to give context to your tests and contribute to meaningful results.

The Polish Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, to use an example from Torsten Tromm, was struggling to gain donations from their web visitors.

They wanted to figure out the reason why online visitors weren’t making any donations and for that, they deployed usability testing.

The tests they performed led them to the realization that people found their website confusing and difficult to navigate through.

The visitors wanted to donate but didn’t know how.

Therefore, they redesigned their website to shift the donation button higher on the side menu and replaced the donation button copy from “Support it” to “Pay Online” to eliminate any confusion.

As a result of these adjustments, their donations increased by 420%.

6. Use Integrated Feedback Forms

The purpose of CRO is to optimize your website for an enhanced user experience.

And understanding your audience is important for good UX and hence should be considered in conversion optimization.

Brands spend millions of dollars trying to understand their audience so they can optimize their customer touchpoints to be more relevant for the users.

Deploying on-site feedback forms help you understand users’ behavior and won’t cost you millions, either.

Using these forms, you can get insights into how your target audience feels about your website and about their needs.

With closer inspection, you may uncover user behavior trends that can then guide your optimization process.

However, you have to make sure that you ask the right questions to ensure that the feedback you collect propels your optimization campaign in the right direction.

Additionally, you have to build and time your feedback forms appropriately so as not to frustrate the user.

Final Words

Conversion rate optimization is a data-driven process that, when done on websites, largely relies on data collected through website visitors.

But with low-traffic websites, this data is limited, which means you have a small sample size to work with, and quantitative tests may seem unreliable.

That’s no reason to give up on CRO entirely.

There are many quantitative and qualitative optimization tips and strategies you can implement to increase conversions, regardless of how much traffic your website gets.

These strategies include statistical approaches like lowering the confidence level or reducing variations.

Even if your traffic is too low for these tips, you can go for usability testing or feedback forms, which offer equally valuable insights.

More resources:


Featured Image: Griboedov/Shutterstock




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Five things you need to know about content optimization in 2023

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5 Things You Need To Know About Optimizing Content in 2023

30-second summary:

  • As the content battleground goes through tremendous upheaval, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance
  • ChatGPT can help content marketers get an edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content
  • Making sure your content rank high enough to engage the target audience requires strategic planning and implementation

Google is constantly testing and updating its algorithms in pursuit of the best possible searcher experience. As the search giant explains in its ‘How Search Works’ documentation, that means understanding the intent behind the query and bringing back results that are relevant, high-quality, and accessible for consumers.

As if the constantly shifting search landscape weren’t difficult enough to navigate, content marketers are also contending with an increasingly technology-charged environment. Competitors are upping the stakes with tools and platforms that generate smarter, real-time insights and even make content optimization and personalization on the fly based on audience behavior, location, and data points.

Set-it-and-forget-it content optimization is a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know to help your content get found, engage your target audience, and convert searchers to customers in 2023.

AI automation going to be integral for content optimization

Technologies-B2B-organizations-use-to-optimize-content

As the content battleground heats up, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance as a key source of intelligence. We’re optimizing content for humans, not search engines, after all – we had better have a solid understanding of what those people need and want.

While I do not advocate automation for full content creation, I believe next year – as resources become stretched automation will have a bigger impact on helping with content optimization of existing content.

CHATGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language generation model that leverages the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture to produce realistic human-like text. With Chat GPT’s wide range of capabilities – from completing sentences and answering questions to generating content ideas or powering research initiatives – it can be an invaluable asset for any Natural Language Processing project.

ChatGPT-for-content

The introduction on ChatGPT has caused considerable debate and explosive amounts of content on the web. With ChatGPT, content marketers can achieve an extra edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content. It offers assistance with generating titles for blog posts, summaries of topics or articles, as well as comprehensive campaigns when targeting a specific audience.

However, it is important to remember that this technology should be used to enhance human creativity rather than completely replacing it.

For many years now AI-powered technology has been helping content marketers and SEOs automate repetitive tasks such as data analysis, scanning for technical issues, and reporting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI also enables real-time analysis of a greater volume of consumer touchpoints and behavioral data points for smarter, more precise predictive analysis, opportunity forecasting, real-time content recommendations, and more.

With so much data in play and recession concerns already impacting 2023 budgets in many organizations, content marketers will have to do more with less this coming year. You’ll need to carefully balance human creative resources with AI assists where they make sense to stay flexible, agile, and ready to respond to the market.

It’s time to look at your body of content as a whole

Google’s Helpful Content update, which rolled out in August, is a sitewide signal targeting a high proportion of thin, unhelpful, low-quality content. That means the exceptional content on your site won’t rank to their greatest potential if they’re lost in a sea of mediocre, outdated assets.

It might be time for a content reboot – but don’t get carried away. Before you start unpublishing and redirecting blog posts, lean on technology for automated site auditing and see what you can fix up first. AI-assisted technology can help sniff out on-page elements, including page titles and H1 tags, and off-page factors like page speed, redirects, and 404 errors that can support your content refreshing strategy.

Focus on your highest trafficked and most visible pages first, i.e.: those linked from the homepage or main menu. Google’s John Mueller confirmed recently that if the important pages on your website are low quality, it’s bad news for the entire site. There’s no percentage by which this is measured, he said, urging content marketers and SEOs to instead think of what the average user would think when they visit your website.

Take advantage of location-based content optimization opportunities

Consumers crave personalized experiences, and location is your low-hanging fruit. Seasonal weather trends, local events, and holidays all impact your search traffic in various ways and present opportunities for location-based optimization.

AI-assisted technology can help you discover these opportunities and evaluate topical keywords at scale so you can plan content campaigns and promotions that tap into this increased demand when it’s happening.

Make the best possible use of content created for locally relevant campaigns by repurposing and promoting it across your website, local landing pages, social media profiles, and Google Business Profiles for each location. Google Posts, for example, are a fantastic and underutilized tool for enhancing your content’s visibility and interactivity right on the search results page.

Optimize content with conversational & high-volume keywords

Look for conversational and trending terms in your keyword research, too. Top-of-funnel keywords that help generate awareness of the topic and spur conversations in social channels offer great opportunities for promotion. Use hashtags organically and target them in paid content promotion campaigns to dramatically expand your audience.

Conversational keywords are a good opportunity for enhancing that content’s visibility in search, too. Check out the ‘People Also Ask’ results and other featured snippets available on the search results page (SERP) for your keyword terms. Incorporate questions and answers in your content to naturally optimize for these and voice search queries.

SEO-and-creating-content-in-2023

It’s important that you utilize SEO insights and real-time data correctly; you don’t want to be targeting what was trending last month and is already over. AI is a great assist here, as well, as an intelligent tool can be scanning and analyzing constantly, sending recommendations for new content opportunities as they arise.

Consider how you optimize content based on intent and experience

The best content comes from a deep, meaningful understanding of the searcher’s intent. What problem were they experiencing or what need did they have that caused them to seek out your content in the first place? And how does your blog post, ebook, or landing page copy enhance their experience?

Look at the search results page as a doorway to your “home”. How’s your curb appeal? What do potential customers see when they encounter one of your pages in search results? What kind of experience do you offer when they step over the threshold and click through to your website?

The best content meets visitors where they are at with relevant, high-quality information presented in a way that is accessible, fast loading, and easy to digest. This is the case for both short and long form SEO content. Ensure your content contains calls to action designed to give people options and help them discover the next step in their journey versus attempting to sell them on something they may not be ready for yet.

2023, the year of SEO: why brands are leaning in and how to prepare

Conclusion

The audience is king, queen, and the entire court as we head into 2023. SEO and content marketing give you countless opportunities to connect with these people but remember they are a means to an end. Keep searcher intent and audience needs at the heart of every piece of content you create and campaign you plan for the coming year.

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Headings With Hierarchical Structure An “Awesome Idea”

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Headings With Hierarchical Structure An "Awesome Idea"

Google’s John Mueller discussed heading elements with a member of the SEO community where he affirmed the usefulness of using hierarchical structure when using heading elements.

Background Context to What Mueller Said

Heading elements <H1> – <H6> are supposed to be used to indicate what a section of a webpage is about.

Furthermore the heading elements have a ranking order, with the <H1> being the highest rank of importance and the <H6> being the lowest level of importance.

The heading element purpose is to label what a section of content is about.

HTML specifications allow the use of multiple <H1> elements. So, technically, using more than one <H1> is perfectly valid.

Section 4.3.11 of the official HTML specifications states:

“h1–h6 elements have a heading level, which is given by the number in the element’s name.

If a document has one or more headings, at least a single heading within the outline should have a heading level of 1.”

Nevertheless, using more than on <H1> is not considered a best practice.

The Mozilla developer reference page about the use of headings recommends:

“The <h1> to <h6> HTML elements represent six levels of section headings. <h1> is the highest section level and <h6> is the lowest.

…Avoid using multiple <h1> elements on one page

While using multiple <h1> elements on one page is allowed by the HTML standard (as long as they are not nested), this is not considered a best practice. A page should generally have a single <h1> element that describes the content of the page (similar to the document’s <title> element).”

John Mueller has previously said that it doesn’t matter if a webpage uses one <H1> or five <H1> headings.

The point of his statement is that the level of the heading isn’t as important as how they are used, with the best practice being the use of  headings for indicating what a section of content is about.

What Mueller Said on Twitter

A member of the SEO community was joking around and gently ribbed Mueller about using more than one H1.

He tweeted:

The SEO followed up by sharing how he preferred using the best practices for heading elements by using only one <H1>, to denote what the page is about and then using the rest of the headings in order of rank, give a webpage a hierarchical structure.

A Hierarchical structure communicates sections of a webpage and any subsections within each section.

He tweeted:

“I’m too traditional with header elements. (HTML 4 for Life! lol)

I’d still recommend using just one H1 element on a page.

I patiently go back to pages to implement header hierarchy for fun.”

John Mueller tweeted his approval in response:

“I think that’s an awesome idea & a great practice.

Header hierarchy is not just useful to Google, it’s also important for accessibility.

(Google still has to deal with whatever weird things people throw up on the web, but being thoughtful in your work always makes sense.)”

Hierarchical Page Structure

In the early days of SEO, <H1> used to be counted as an important ranking factor, one that was more important than an <H2>.

So, back then, one always put their most important keywords in the <H1> in order to signal to Google that the page was relevant for that keyword.

H1 used to have more ranking power so it was essential to use the <H1> to help rankings.

Google’s algorithm was using keywords as a way to “guess” what a webpage was about.

Keywords in the anchor text, keywords in the title tag and keywords in the <H1> helped Google guess what a page was relevant for.

But nowadays, Google doesn’t have to guess.

It is able to understand what sections of a webpage are about, and consequently, what the entire webpage is about.

Despite those advances, many SEOs still believe that using an <H1> is some kind of magic ranking factor.

Headings are no longer about shouting what keyword you want to rank for.

The role of heading elements are now about telling search engines what a section of content is about.

Each section of a content is generally about something specific.

Heading tags make it easier for search engines to know what a page is about.

And that helps them rank the page for the topic.

And according to the official HTML specifications, that’s technically the proper way to use heading elements.

Lastly, Mueller mentioned a quality of the heading element as a way to better communicate for accessibility reasons, like for people who use screen readers.

The official HTML specifications say:

“Descriptive headings are especially helpful for users who have disabilities that make reading slow and for people with limited short-term memory.

These people benefit when section titles make it possible to predict what each section contains.”

So thank you John Mueller for calling attention to the benefits of using headings with a hierarchical structure, for calling attention to how hierarchical structure is useful for Google and for accessibility.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero



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The Challenges & Opportunities For Marketers

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The Challenges & Opportunities For Marketers

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., reported its fourth straight quarter of declining profits.

It made $76 billion in sales over the past three months, but it wasn’t enough to meet Wall Street’s expectations.

Google’s revenue was down 9% compared to last year, and its biggest business, Google Search, saw a 1% drop in revenue. Even YouTube’s advertising sales fell by nearly 8%.

Alphabet has decided to cut its workforce by 12,000 and expects to spend between $1.9 billion and $2.3 billion on employee severance costs.

This latest earnings report shows tech giants like Google are facing challenges in the current digital advertising landscape.

But Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, believes that the company’s long-term investments in AI will be a key factor in its future success.

In a press release, Pichai says he expects major AI advancements to be soon revealed in Google search and other areas:

“Our long-term investments in deep computer science make us extremely well-positioned as AI reaches an inflection point, and I’m excited by the AI-driven leaps we’re about to unveil in Search and beyond. There’s also great momentum in Cloud, YouTube subscriptions, and our Pixel devices. We’re on an important journey to re-engineer our cost structure in a durable way and to build financially sustainable, vibrant, growing businesses across Alphabet.”

Alphabet’s CFO, Ruth Porat, reported that their Q4 consolidated revenues were $76 billion, a 1% increase from the previous year. The full year 2022 saw revenues of $283 billion, a 10% increase.

Going forward, Alphabet is changing how it reports on its AI activities.

DeepMind, which used to be reported under “Other Bets,” will now be reported as part of Alphabet’s corporate costs to reflect its increasing integration with Google Services and Google Cloud.

What Does This Mean For Marketing Professionals?

It’s important to stay updated on the latest developments in the tech industry and how they may affect advertising strategies.

Google’s declining profits and decreased revenue in their search and YouTube platforms are reminders that the digital advertising landscape is constantly evolving, and companies must adapt to keep up.

Marketers should consider diversifying their advertising efforts across multiple platforms to minimize the impact of market swings.

Additionally, Google’s focus on AI and its integration with Google Services and Cloud is something to keep an eye on.

As AI advances, it may offer new opportunities for marketers to target and engage with their audience effectively.

By staying informed on the latest tech advancements, marketers can stay ahead of the curve and make the most of these opportunities.

Despite Google’s recent financial setbacks, the tech giant is still a major player in the digital advertising landscape, and its investments in AI show its commitment to continued growth and innovation.


Featured Image: Sergio Photone/Shutterstock

Source: Alphabet



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