Oct 3, 2014 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Customer conversion is the ultimate goal of search marketers. They have to set right dynamic landing page testing and tuning, persona development, search funnel and user navigation path sculpting. The conversion rate rockstars on this panel showed how to make the connect with the visitors.

Conversion Rate Rockstars: #SMX New York 2014, Day 3!


Ginny Marvin – Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land (@ginnymarvin)

Q&A Coordinator:

Grant Tilus – Inbound Marketing Manager, Collegis Education, (@granttilus)


Paras Chopra – Founder & CEO, Wingify (@paraschopra)

Khalid Saleh – CEO, Invesp, (@khalidh)

Luke Summerfield – Director of Inbound Marketing, Savvy Panda, (@savvyluke)

Luke Summerfield

Luke insisted on brain-based marketing. Goal of the marketers is to drive human behavior.

Targeting unconscious brain

Human brain has two parts – conscious and unconscious, which don’t communicate very well together. Marketers have to focus on the unconscious brain where the emotions lie.

This is where marketers make the mistake. All their endeavors – user tests, focus groups, interviews, surveys, feedback explore the conscious brain. They fail to impress the part that actually drives behavior.

Luke advised to look at data and the psychological reasons of people behaving in certain manner.

Brain-Based Design

Authority is the keyword. People tend to get more influenced by persons holding a position of power. A business can demonstrate authority by:

Providing customers with testimonials and case studies.

  • Getting awards and highlighting them.
  • Showcasing high profile clients.
  • Partnering with authorities and feeding off their credibility.

Social Proof

Conversion Rate Rockstars: #SMX New York 2014, Day 3!

People tend to get influenced by decisions taken by groups of other people. You can take mileage by:

  • Showing the number of customers you have helped.
  • Flaunting community favorites by using user photos and videos.
  • Incorporate reviews and ratings


People are more likely to take action when they are provided with something of value. Businesses can launch their campaign by building reciprocity by:

  • Creating high quality blog posts.
  • Putting up Thank You page offers for secondary conversions.

People with similar core values

We are at ease with people having similar core values. You can ride on this by:

  • Using images demonstrating the persons visiting it.
  • Publish testimonials from customers that your targeted audiences will be able to relate to.

Reticular Activating System

It conveys to the brain what we should and should not focus on.


Human mind is hardwired to see things that are moving. Rather than depending on only text, use video/JavaScript animation/ slide ups for your most important parts of content. Use actionable words that elicit mirror neurons.

When human brain sees something happen to another person, it lights up with similar emotions. This is the reason there are laugh tracks on sitcoms.

Using images brains are attracted to

Humans naturally get attracted to people, particularly beautiful people and babies. You can use these images to your favor whenever possible at conversion groups.

Gravitation to individuals

People are also likely to gravitate to individuals rather than groups of people. Users also focus on where the subject is looking. If you are using a beautiful woman in your marketing efforts, have her looking in the direction of your most-prized content. It will bear results.

Paras Chopra

Paras Chopra’s address was focused on – ‘How to graduate from tactical A/B testing to research-backed conversion optimization process?’

Red button

There is no red button that you can press to make your landing page working. He talked about a typical ineffective A/B testing process.

A/B testing process

You read an A/B testing case study and get struck that you ought to test your colors. You A/B test a random page and decide in a flash that the colors on your homepage suck. When the results don’t work, you are heavily disappointed or if you are lucky and the change works, you take it for granted. One quarter ahead. No A/B tests are conducted.

Why tactical A/B testing doesn’t produce consistent gains?

Paras mentioned two reasons:

  • Businesses are different.
  • Consumers are different.

Your users may not be having the same problem as others and you have to come up with something unique.

Random ideas – random results

Blindly done A/B tests won’t produce great results.

A/B testing: the right way

Paras suggested adopting the scientific process of conversion optimization:

Step 1: Research the users. Map user flow, use analytics and open ended user surveys.

Step 2: Form hypotheses and list potential problem set. Find if it is content or design problem.

Step 3: Prioritize the problems through estimated ROI.

Step 4: Generate ideas of improvement.

Step 5: Do an A/B test.

Step 6: Implement the changes and repeat the test every week.

UX optimization process

The cycle begins with researching users. This is followed by forming hypothesis and listing problems, prioritization of problems, conducting experiments, delivering personalized experiences, and measuring and benchmarking metrics.

Example of UX optimization process

Paras termed it with eating our own dog food. He explained how it is done at visual website optimizer.

Explaining the Process

He elaborated how to research users with open ended questions and user flow analysis. He also spoke about hypothesis and prioritization.

Generate ideas

Marketers could tap into their team to generate ideas. Case studies and best practices can also be used.

A/B testing: calendar and process

Creating A/B testing calendar will be helpful. As for the process, he suggested three points:

  • Have weekly meetings to review existing experiments and plan new ones.
  • Give someone responsibility for running A/B tests.
  • Random A/B testing is of little use. Put in time for conducting proper research.

Conversion Rate Rockstars: #SMX New York 2014, Day 3!

Khalid Saleh

Khalid Saleh focused on three principles for higher conversions. He acknowledged that increasing conversion rates was a complex problem and the average conversion rate was just 3-4%.

Sophisticated analysis

Increasing the rate requires sophisticated analysis. Focused solutions have a high probability of success, so you must work hard to arrive on them.

9-12% conversion rate is achievable and you must aim for that.

Where to focus?

CRO is a long-term process and a marketer needs to focus on pages with high exit and bounce rates. You need to work on the checkout process as well.

Best Practices

There are best practices which you will do well to remember:

  • What works for one website may not necessarily work for others.
  • Usability principals are good in theory, but hard to follow in practice.
  • Move beyond simple analytics metrics to ascertain starting points.
  • Pin down KPIs before beginning.
  • Conduct monthly assessment.
  • Create goals in Google at the start.

Conversion Rate Rockstars: #SMX New York 2014, Day 3!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic Buzz as one of the well know digital marketing blog.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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