As scientists, we like to break things down to their essence, to understand the things that make them work. This works well when we’re optimizing websites.
Now it’s St. Patrick’s Day. What are the components of this rowdy holiday?
We decided to create our own website optimization holiday modeled on St. Patty’s Day. Our analysis indicates that we need two things:
1. A Patron Saint
Here’s what we did for today’s celebration.
Select a Patron Saint
Tell us who your patron saint will be.
In selecting a patron saint for our holiday, we considered a number of the saints of the Web.
St. Phatty is the the patron saint of online apparel stores. St. Maverick is the patron saint of industry changing online services like Amazon. St. Splatrick is the patron saint of online paintball vendors. St. Hattrick is the patron saint of magician websites. Can you guess the what St. Latte is the patron saint of? You pick your own patron saint and get ready to celebrate.
We decided that St. Buyschtuff would be the patron saint of online business. We created a mythology for St. Buyschtuff.
St. Buyschtuff: The Patron Saint of Marketers and Advertisers
St. Buyschtuff is a mythical figure frequently credited with influencing important purchases. For example, St. Buyschtuff is credited with selling both the watch fob and brush set detailed in the classic story “The Gift of the Magi”. When the three wise men were debating what to get the future king of the Christian faith, who did they consult? St. Buyschtuff is often credited with recommending the Frankincense and Myrrh, but thought the gold a bit garish.
St. Buyschtuff’s name is invoked whenever transactions are made. He is rumored to have been the original Easter Bunny and to have worked under the pseudonym “St. Valentine.” Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) is said to have consulted with him about how to best use flying reindeer. Historian Herman Sellers said, “History is rife with bad deals and ill-advised transactions. However, whenever there is a purchase or transaction that results in great good for both buyer and seller, St. Buyschtuff’s name is frequently invoked.”
Tell us who your patron saint is in the comments.
Before we can have a party, we have some work to do. The second step is to “make beer.” For this article, “make beer” is a euphemism, like “make bank”, “print money”, “rev the revenue”, or “buy papa a new pair of shoes.”
If you’re St. Patrick and just had a long day of driving snakes out of Ireland, you want a cold brew with a little kick.
If you’re St. Buyschtuff and just had a long day driving abandoners out of websites, you want cold hard cash with a big kick.
St. Buyschtuff’s Day Brew
St. Patty’s brew is created in a boiler with hops and malted barley. Heat is applied at key points and carefully monitored to bring out the starches. Then yeast is introduced as a catalyst that turns the starch into buzz-inducing ethyl alcohol.
The St. Buyschtuff brew, in similar fashion, is created on a website rather than a boiler. It is filled with content and offers instead of hops and barley. The heat comes from traffic. Trust and proof are the catalysts that convert visits into buzz-inducing conversions.
Content and Offers
Before you begin brewing your content and offers, you need to go through a process of cleansing the content of self-serving, posing and irrelevant messages. You want a pure value proposition, enticing offers and nothing more. We’ll add some of your company information into the mix near the end of the process.
Don’t neglect images and video. Avoid filler images and stock photography, what we call “business porn”. Instead use images to better communicate your value proposition.
Turn on the heat
Our mix is heated in the fire of live traffic. Traffic may come from search engines, paid ads, email or social networks. Each of these kinds of traffic burns at different intensity levels.
Our beer-brewing brothers and sisters must maintain the temperature of the flame in a tight range. We try to control our traffic quality as well. We may get less traffic than we could, but bringing qualified visitors is key to keeping the right temperature.
StumbleUpon traffic is the wrong traffic for most businesses. Social media networks deliver visitors who were doing something else, and work mostly for spontaneous purchases. Where are your qualified visitors. Yes, this is the question we are always asking. We never stop asking this.
Add some Catalysts
To drive fermentation, beer brewers introduce a bacteria called yeast. It processes the sugars extracted from the barley and convers them into CO2 and ethyl alcohol. The CO2 is vented off. The alcohol is kept.
Likewise, we need to add a catalyst to our website. We choose trust and proof. If your brand, company and products demonstrates proof or builds trust, now is the time to introduce this to the site.
Proof and trust process the content on the site and convert it into abandonment and conversion. Abandonment is, by definition, vented off. It is an inevitable part of the process.
Conversion is kept and will give us a nice “checkbook buzz” on the celebratory day of our patron saint.
Brewmasters experiment with their mix, and they can’t just test one stage. They change the process, the temperature, the length of each stage and even add unexpected elements like fruit to the process.
But they always complete the beer before judging their changes. They can’t sample the “wort” or the “trub” and predict how the final beer will taste.
Likewise, we must test our website to the dollars. We like metrics like Revenue per Visit and Revenue per Click when testing. Testing to “engagement” or email “click-through rate” doesn’t let us test the right result.
We always measure to the dollars.
Happy St. Buyschtuff Day!
We celebrate our wins like the Irish celebrate the St. Patrick’s driving away of the snakes. We summarize the results, take the credit, and slap high fives.
Then we start working on the next conversion rate increasing brew.
Tell us what you’re brewing up for your day of celebration in the comments.
Brian Massey is the Founder and Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences. He is the author of Your Customer Creation Equation. His rare combination of interests, experience and neuroses were developed over almost 20 years as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, corporate marketer, international speaker and writer.