How 5 Conversion Optimization Experts would Spend Four Hours

Brian Massey, Niel Patel, Michael Aagard, Angie Schottmuller, Peep Laja

If you expect your entire business to be suddenly infinitely more profitable just because you spent a few hours on website optimization, you’re going to be disappointed:  website optimization is an ongoing process that requires ongoing attention and effort.

Your four hours don’t have to be futile, however.  You can look to experts for guidance prioritizing that precious time, and Angus Lynch from Rooster asked five experts what they would do with their four hours, and Conversion Scientist Brian Massey was among those weighing in.

Brian was initially – and hey, let’s be honest, still is – pretty incredulous that you can do much with that time. If I had only four hours to optimize a website, I would spend 5 minutes making myself a coffee, then 3 hours 55 minutes looking for another job.

But with a threat of bodily harm he relented and said he’d take a look at a landing page on his website that’s performing well and come up with several different headlines for it then create a page with each of those headlines.

There’s a pretty solid consensus among these five conversion optimization experts that website optimization takes commitment, not an afternoon, but they, too, shared some pretty practical advice.

Peep Laja of Markitekt and ConversionXL says, “I would check Google Analytics to find where the biggest drop-offs are happening, and would focus all my efforts on those pages” and Michael Aagaard of ContentVerve doesn’t disagree.  He frames his thoughts by saying “Check analytics for areas with the biggest potential lift.”

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Another tactic could be what Neil Patel of Quicksprout, KISSmetrics, and Crazy Egg suggests: “If I had only 4 hours, I would go through Webmaster Tools and fix any of the basic errors that they are showing. @neilpatel

So we have four folks focusing squarely on the technology, which is clearly necessary given the topic, but the fifth expert, Angie Schottmuller of Three Deep Marketing and Search Engine Watch, would approach this quandary by “interviewing actual customers or prospects to learn why they DO and why they DON’T buy.”

Read the full post, then ask yourself: what would you do with four hours to spend on website optimization?  Tell us what works and what was a waste of time.

Your clock starts now…get to it!

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  • Clock starts NOW. Love it! But MY EYES have fallen out…. Bahahwahaha! Great feature photo! =)

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  • I do agree with my fellow experts on the value of leveraging web analytics to identify obvious pain point bottlenecks and opportunities. In my experience with Google Analytics clients, the accounts are RARELY set up properly. Without proper filters (URL standardization, exclude internal traffic, etc.), channel groupings, adjusted bounce rate, and event tracking for CRO/UX (5-second view, 15-second view, scroll beyond fold, scroll to bottom, tab clicks, jump-to button clicks, PDF downloads, video views, etc.) … I find it difficult to make confident decisions from the data. The story is incomplete and would require too many assumptions. In that case I would prioritize immediate clean-up and updates to analytics configuration and tracking, which would likely take 4-8 hours to complete. I’d let that run for at least 1 month, when it would begin to provide more meaningful data for a 4-hour optimization frenzy.

    BTW, if you want the code for the GA event tracking for CRO/UX, it’s included in this SlideShare deck: http://j.mp/seocrostarwars

  • Make sure you actually have a call to action for pages that people are visiting.

  • Thanks for posting this Brian. I think for marketers who don’t have experience in CRO but want to dive in, the task can seem enormous/overwhelming at first (sometimes rightfully so!)

    My hope with this article is that it would inspire marketers to get their feet wet in CRO; that if they could see a small measure of success in just a few hours, it could motivate them to dive deeper.

    Also, I would’ve gone with orange flames shooting out of Michael’s hands. The purple is a bit too “My Little Pony” in my opinion.

    • It has to be purple. Star Wars, dude.

      Thanks for putting this article together.

      • Ah yes, now I see!

        My thanks to you for all your awesome insight/helpfulness on this article. Very much appreciated sir!

  • Samuel Douglas

    Yay, thanks for the info!

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