Conversion Rate Optimisation Myths

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the method of using statistics and analytics to determine how you can optimise your website to encourage desired visitor behaviour. This behaviour can range from clicking through to accept an offer to sharing content with peers.

Often, the recommendations from professionals are very simple; like the changing of the colour or text of the call to action button. Another common recommendation is the CTA’s placement on a page or swapping the image for something that is more appropriate to the offer.

The change to your website is then compared to the previous version by a method known as A/B testing (or split testing). This is the process where half your visitors are sent to the old webpage and the other half are sent to the new version. The behaviours of these two visitor groups is recorded and analysed. The version which returns the best results is kept.

If you effectively introduce a CRO campaign, you can see good business growth and an improved ROI on your online marketing investment. Not implementing it properly and your business will stagnate.

The problem is that there are many sources across the internet that tell you exactly how you can improve your content, landing pages, social updates, etc to gain more ‘desirable behaviours’; yet these articles only tell part of the story. In some cases, you might be misled with common myths about online marketing or your target market.

These myths may help you gain some positive improvements in your landing page conversions; but, they are unlikely to truly optimise your site. Only by understanding the myths, will you truly recognise the work needed for CRO. Then you can take your business to the next level by systematically analysing your site’s current properties and how you can implement improvements.

So what are the myths of Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Myth One: CRO Is About Making Changes On Your Website That Follow Best Practices

As previously mentioned, there are a number of blog articles and white-papers online that will detail exactly how you should create landing pages, design your website, write a piece of content or what colour your call to action needs to be. While these can be useful insights and implementing them can sometimes make a positive difference – CRO is not about following these best practices.

There are other conversion barriers that need to be addressed in addition to page design; for example:

  • Your visitor is not encouraged to trust your brand.
  • You have a lengthy conversion process that seems like too much work for the visitor.
  • Your site is too slow.
  • Your content is confusing the visitors.
  • Your call to action is obscured by other elements on your website.
  • Your adverts, copy or page title makes the visitor believe the offer is something you are not giving and they are disappointed.

The above list is not extensive, but it gives an idea of other factors that you might need to address.

Myth Two: CRO Is A Quick Action Followed By An Optimised Site

CRO is not a quick fix for your website or online marketing campaigns. It takes time to optimise your site and as time goes by, the behaviour of your audience is likely to change. Therefore, it is important to consider website optimisation as a continuous project. As soon as one A/B testing session is finished, you should assess what other changes are needed and start the process again.

While for some people this may seem like a waste of time, especially if you have achieved a positive response with one testing cycle, it is the only way you can truly optimise your site.

Myth Three: CRO Is About Guessing What Your Website Visitors Want

There are a couple of variations to this myth which include: “I know my users, so surveys aren’t necessary” and “testing isn’t necessary because my site is better than anything else on the market”. These variations and the original statement all stem from an opinion that your target audience is clearly defined and their opinions do not change.

The problem is that the internet is constantly evolving and as technology develops, so do the trends and demands of the users. Therefore, what may have been true five years ago is probably not now. For instance, scrolling was not popular a few years ago, but with the rise of mobile technology, it is now considered to be an integral part of good website design.

Likewise, you cannot guess what your users want. You need to ask them. Only by interacting with your target audience can you truly understand what emotions they are experiencing when they are accessing your site. If you can develop a design and create content that taps into their thoughts and emotions: you’ll have a better performing site.

Myth Four: Too Much Content Does Not Work

This is one of the biggest myths. It assumes to know the visitor without asking them for their preferences and forgets that customers who are interested in something tend to want more information. That is why they often visit up to 12 sites before making a purchasing decision.

As long as your content is clear, concise and informative; you’ll probably find it will be persuasive enough for your target audience.

Myth Five: Copying A Successful Website Is The Key To Optimisation

Apart from being morally wrong; copying a successful website is not going to guarantee you success. There are many elements (i.e. trust) that impact the decision of a visitor to comply with a desired behaviour.

Unless your organisation is exactly the same as your competitors’, you cannot guarantee the same design will achieve the same results. You should also consider your brand image. Not being consistent with your image can confuse customers, resulting in poor sales.


CRO is a powerful tool for improving the performance of your website and ensuring your visitors are taking desired behaviours. However, there are many myths about CRO which limit its effectiveness if people believe them.

By understanding these myths and knowing how to correctly implement CRO, you can improve your business’ website, gain more leads and better revenue while limiting barriers.

Gamification for Business Growth

Gamification is one of the new techniques now being used by businesses to attract audiences to their websites and engage them.

While a relatively new industry, the growth and value of gamification is already substantial. By 2016, the industry will be worth approximately $2.6 billion and by 2018 it will be worth $5.5 billion.

That is an outstanding 50% increase year-on-year but it is not surprising, according to some surveys, more than 50% of all large corporations will use gamification in their marketing strategy and business processes by the end of 2015.


What Is Gamification?

Gamification refers to the application of gaming elements to non-gaming processes. There are many reasons to do this, but one of the strongest and most successful applications is within marketing to interest and engage an audience.

Often, when a target audience interacts with gamified content, they feel an adrenaline rush, a sense of competition and the desire for victory.

Including elements from the gaming industry into your business strategy will result in a mixture of fun and business. This makes mundane tasks more attractive and can significantly impact your business’ marketing return (and employee performance).


What Is The Success Rate Of Gamification?

The success rate of gamification is rather dependent on the implementation like with any other strategy. Unfortunately, with gamification being so new, there are few organisations who understand how to properly use it to the best effects. For instance, many marketers believe it is all about winning prizes or virtual awards. While these are elements, they do not describe gamification entirely.


Defining Game Mechanics And Game Dynamics

For gamification to work you need to have a solid understanding of two crucial terms: game mechanics and game dynamics. Game mechanics is the fundamental actions, processes and control mechanisms which turn a normal event into something more ‘game-like’. Examples of game mechanics include:

  • Points
  • Challenges
  • Leader boards
  • Levels
  • Virtual goods, prizes and awards
  • Gifts and charity.

Game dynamics are what make the game challenging so the user feels the emotions that the designers intended. Game Dynamics include:

  • Rewards
  • Achievement
  • Competition
  • Status
  • Self-expression
  • Unselfishness

If you understand the above definitions and are able to implement them within your campaigns, you’ll create a more engaging campaign.


Learning From The Oldest Gamification Programs

While gamification as an industry is relatively new, gamification has been around for a considerable amount of time in many forms. The best of these campaigns have often been found to be very popular with customers and have entered cultural status.

From these early adopters of gamification, you can learn a lot about how to run your campaigns. So what were these early programs and what lessons can you implement in your own campaign?


Frequent Flyer Programs

120 million airline customers are collecting frequent flyer points on a regular basis. The success of the frequent flyer programs is so high that it has reached legendary cultural standing. Very often within a television program a character will mention about collecting their frequent flyer points on trips.

The frequent flyer program looks relatively simple. The consumer collects the points when they make a trip with a certain airline. However, in reality it is a lot more complex. There are different levels of consumer (i.e. Bronze, Silver and Gold) giving the customer satisfaction when they have moved from one level to the next. Then there are the bonus rounds, such as giving the customer bonus points for flying on certain days or within a certain amount of days.

All of these tactics means that customers often stay loyal to a certain airline, even if they are dissatisfied with the level of customer service. At the same time, customers often go out of their way to accumulate points to get to the next level or receive the next award.



The coffee chain has many different tactics for rewarding customers for their loyalty. One of the main reward options they have is by giving every tenth coffee free.

Another is their virtual rewards system. This is where customers can collect virtual points, which have no monetary value, to collect virtual awards. Customers can use their phone to check into different Starbuck locations and announce they have arrived there. Then customers are given challenges (i.e. visit five different stores in one day) to achieve more points and better rewards.

While there is no actual physical gain by the customers, there is a significant feeling of satisfaction from customers as they enjoy the challenges.


iPad Games

Games such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush are an excellent example of modern day gamification. With many iPad and mobile device games there are free options to play; only they aren’t truly free. During the game, the player will be presented with several videos or adverts. The user can ignore these and continue playing or proceed to see what the advert is about. In some cases (namely sport management and strategy games), premium points, features or currency are provided when the player completes a transaction or an action through the system.

For instance, Trophy Manager, the largest online football manager game, has a premium feature known as Pro Days. The player gets special abilities during any period of time they have Pro days. They can also spend pro days for other advanced features. The user can buy pro days or accumulate them from accepting offers or watching videos. While the whole game cannot be counted as gamification, the reward of Pro days for completing actions is a good example.


Turning Your Hand To Gamification

With these examples it is easy to see how you can create a gamification experience for your customers. The gamification system can be as simple as a reward for being a loyal customer and making regular purchases or as complicated as rewarding customers who complete various brand related tasks (i.e. taking a photo of themselves with your product at a famous landmark).

With these ideas in mind, you should be able to create a gamification campaign and with it drive audiences to your brand and keep them engaged until they convert. Afterwards you can retain their loyalty by engaging them further with more cleverly executed gamification campaigns.

SEO Predictions For 2015

Search engine optimisation is forever changing. Every year, there are new predictions about how the industry will unfold and what impact it will have on businesses and their websites.

Part of the ‘prediction game’ is considering what changes Google is going to make to their algorithms. During the past few years, many businesses have seen their online shop fronts jump and drop in rankings because of changes in the Google algorithm.

Some of the most familiar changes have been the Florida, Penguin and Panda updates. In 2014, there was the Pirate update that targeted content hosted on known torrent and illegal file sharing sites (i.e. pirated films, music and books). But it isn’t just these actions that are important. It is also critical to consider new entrants to the market and other changes made by search engines that will impact how internet users will find the websites they want.

For instance, Google announced late in 2014 the abandonment of their Google Authorship experiment. For some people this was a huge blow; they had significantly invested in their profiles and online reputation, only to be told Google was no longer interested.

So what changes are there likely to be in 2015 and how will they impact how you should manage your website to get users finding you?


Prediction One: SEO Will Become More Technical But Will Not Drive Search Rankings

Some people have used SEO and content marketing terms interchangeably. While your content marketing was useful as a way to demonstrate your expertise, it was also useful for building an SEO profile. During 2015, these two aspects of online marketing will diverge and SEO will be more about the technical elements of your site, like meta tags and indexing.

At the same time, the amount and quality of your content will directly impact its rankings. If you produce lots of content that is highly readable and commented upon numerous times, your ranking will be high. Otherwise you’ll find yourself further down the search engine ranks and it will be harder for users to find your site.


Prediction Two: Mobile SEO Will Be Important

The traffic websites receive from mobile devices now outranks that from desktops. Yet for many website owners, the process of optimising their site for mobile devices is still ill considered. In 2015, this will have a significant impact on the ranking for those websites. We’ve already seen the move by Google to place mobile friendly icons next to search results and their own Speed Insights has a mobile test score.


Prediction Three: Optimising Your Site For User Intent Is Key

Through the past couple of years we’ve seen a shift in the demand from search engines for keywords to be long-tailed. This is directly related to how users are now using Google. In the past, they would use one or two keywords like “SEO best practices” to find content. Now they are using more complex search queries, for example “best SEO practices for Auckland software companies”. This change in user behaviour requires a different keyword strategy – long-tailed keywords – so all variations of the keyword can be matched to a search query.


Prediction Four: Brand Name Is Just As Important As Inbound Links

It was recently revealed in a patent submission that Google wants to differentiate between ‘express links’ and ‘implied links’. Express links are the traditional URLs linking content from one site to the content on another site, as in the case of an article referencing sources of information on another site. An implied link is the mentioning of a brand or website, without the URL linking the content to a site.

This move is directly related to the misuse of links (i.e. link farming). Although Google has taken steps to reduce the impact of these; they believe the best option is to put more emphasis on the brand name rather than links. According to some experts, this will be harder to manipulate.


Prediction Five: Social Signals Are More Important

The demise of Google Authorship may have consequences for Google. Businesses have become angry at the continued quick trigger finger of Google and how they can quickly discontinue a service.

With the anger of Google’s cut to the Authorship program will come reluctance by businesses to invest in other products like Google Places and Google Plus. This has led to some SEO experts believing that it won’t be long until these programs are also cut because of a lack of interest in them.

To compensate for the lack of interest, Google may have to analyse the influence of content another way. One solution would be to use social signals from other social media networks like Facebook or Twitter. The more likes and retweets a piece of content has, the more popular and higher it is placed in the rankings.

This means that if you don’t have a good social media manager, your SEO campaign could fail badly.


Prediction Six: Social Interaction Will Be Just As Important

Just as the social signals generated from content will be important, so will the personality of the brands. By reaching out to others in the community and conversing with influencers in the market, brands will be able to improve their search rank standings.


Prediction Seven: Negative SEO Is The Threat

Black hat SEO used to be about building websites to point to another site that the person wanted to promote. Now the battleground has shifted and instead of the link spam target being the company employing black hat techniques, it is the competitor’s site. In theory, this should delist the target.

There has been a surge in the use of this negative SEO technique and it can have a significant impact on your rankings in the long term. According to Google’s John Mueller, the only way to win this fight would be to disavow the links; which could take up to nine months.



Search engine optimisation is going to change in 2015, like it has every year previous to this. By understanding the changes and keeping up to date with Google news; you can improve your rankings quickly and your website will rank higher than your competitors. This will increase the traffic to your site, your leads and sales.

Responsive Website Design

If you want your business website to look good on a mobile device it needs to be responsive. Although customers are generally more forgiving on the load time for a website when using mobiles, they still demand good performance. Bad performance can force your customer to leave your website and in many cases never return.

Therefore you need to ensure your website can be accessed on mobile devices and perform within expectations. Learn some of the best techniques to creating a responsive website in this blog post.


What Is A Responsive Website?

A responsive website is one which can be viewed easily on any mobile device. Every mobile device is different both in terms of actual size and the pixels it can display. Having a website which can adjust its look so it can appear professional no matter what it is viewed on is essential.

If you are not familiar with the concept of responsive website design, here’s a video we made that might help:



Furthermore, if a web page is not able to load within 7 seconds, it is likely your mobile visitor will leave your site. Although this is longer than the 5 seconds which is generally attributed to desktop visitors, it is still a short period.

Careful design can cut down the load time of your website.


How Many People Use Mobile Technology To View Websites?

Mobile technology usage is constantly on the increase. According to research, about 90% of French mobile owners will use their devices to browse the Internet every day. In America at least 55% of smartphone owners go online.

It is not just those who are on the go who use their mobile devices for online activity. The rise of mobile technology has allowed families to spend more time together in the living room while still being online. That is why one of the most popular places for surfing the web while using a mobile device is at home.

Here is a breakdown of the top five locations people surf the web using their mobile devices:

  • Home: 96%
  • On the go: 83%
  • In store: 76%
  • At a restaurant: 70%
  • At work: 69%

In the US, mobile technology is also being used to make purchases. On Black Friday, a traditional high consumer spending day, one in five online purchases were made using a mobile device.

Therefore, without a responsive website, your company could be making a huge loss.


The Challenges For A Responsive Website

There are many challenges to overcome when designing a responsive website.

The first is keeping the content readable. Scaling is a particular issue: 14-pixel font size on a 1920 pixel wide screen is likely to seem much smaller on a 320-pixel wide iPhone screen. Equally, text on a desktop site should be designed to accommodate scaling. Therefore a balance needs to be found between the desktop and mobile ready sites.

The second challenge is to make sure the site is easy to browse. Too much text in one column can be difficult for the user to read. Therefore at times, elements need to be hidden.

The third problem that responsive websites often suffer from is keeping them touch ready. For a website to work on mobile device it needs to allow the selection of links. Apple recommends buttons be about 44 pixels square, although buttons of about 25 pixel squares are often the industry standard.


How To Create A Mobile-Ready Website

Creating a website that works across many device touchpoints can take various paths.

One method is to create one site where no matter what device is used; the website looks aesthetically pleasing. This is called Responsive Website Design (RWD).

Another method is to create two or more website designs. One is for the desktop, the other for mobile devices. This can often create more personalised experiences for users of different devices, but also means maintaining more than one site, and all that entails in terms of content, SEO, etc.

Either way can be used, and your choice will depend on a number of different factors:

1. Does your site have lots of interactive points?

2. Do you want to maintain content and marketing efforts in just one place?

If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then the first option may be best. In this scenario you are looking to create a media query.

A Media Query might look like this:

media=screen and (max-device-width: 480px)

This query, which is embedded in your CSS, has two components. The first is the media type (the screen) and the second is the condition (whether the screen is less than 480 pixels in width). If the condition finds that the device has less than 480 pixels width, it would show the visitor certain styling for that size of screen; otherwise it would show alternative styles.


How To Build A Responsive Website

If you are looking to build a responsive website then you need to consider several functions to ensure they are mobile optimised. The first thing to do is to contact your web developer or hosting platform and check they support mobile ready websites. If they do not, you need to look elsewhere.

Then you need to look at these elements to maximise the responsiveness of your website.

Target Devices: Have at least three different sizes for your site, to target different browser widths. This way you can have a website which is best for phones, tablets and desktops, and always allows your visitor to freely roam your website – increasing the chances of converting them.

Content: On each version, decide what content you want to keep. You might decide to hide certain elements for smaller screens to decrease load time and the length of the page.

CSS Constraints: Design your website so that it allows as many page elements to be in pure CSS as possible, as opposed to images. This allows more flexibility when resizing pages and reduces load time.

Images: Ensure you are using minimal graphics on your website. Images can take up as much as 70% of the load time.

HTML: Where possible use the same HTML for all resolutions. Start with the biggest version and then reduce down elements when creating the smaller resolutions.

Links: Limit the number of linking text and buttons in your content.

Use Gzip: Use Gzip to compress your website and allow it to load faster by using less bytes per page.



Mobile internet usage is continuously on the rise and many individuals will use their mobile devices to browse websites, even in their own home. Having a responsive website which matches their expectations is a must if you want to convert them into a paying customer or sign them up to your email list.


Action Steps:

  • Use your mobile device to look at your website. Does it look good, is it functional?
  • Go through the above checklist and see if you can implement any of those changes to create a more responsive website.