It is time to give something back. A short word about me: I am more online marketer then SEO, I like it much more to have the traffic and convert it. Many people here are crazy about traffic. The golden day comes sometime and they get it. But the sales don't increase. Your traffic and your #1 ranking has a value of 0 if your site does not convert your visitors to do the action you want them. So here comes help (in sexy pink): subster's Conversion Optimization 101 This course will show how to optimize your site step by step. I hope the forum allows me to edit OP as I will add knowledge more and more with the time. Let's start with ease... 1 - What means "Conversion" A conversion happens if your sites visitor does the action you want them to. This can be to fill out a form, make an order (e-commerce), ask for an proposal, complete a survery and so on. 2. The formula for conversions The conversions happen on your website. Therefore it is mandatory to get traffic on it. This can be made by multiple ways. Many purchase SEO services (that hopefully work), others investing in Search Engine Advertizing (SEA/SEM - like adwords), in displays or media buys. There are many ways to achieve traffic, but it is never free. Even for organic traffic you will have to pay for services (or for tools, proxies, captcha breakers, servers if you do it yourself), obviously you pay als for adwords, media buys ect...) Now the part of traffic generation is critical. Why? You have to drive the right traffic! Isn't every traffic good? No, it is isnt. If you buy direct traffic from PTC (Payed to click) or from expired domains chances equal zero that this traffic will convert. You want to drive traffic from interest to your site. A good mix of traffic sources is important. Mine (eCommerce= is splitted like the following: 40% from brand name searches (most converting with "buy" prefix), 15 % SEA (switched ful budget to Product Search Results, mainly from organic searches listings), 22 % from media buys and organic links (forum talk and so on), 10% from email campaigns, rest from various sources. Crucial: You have to drive traffic FIRST before you can start with conversion optimizing. Good conversion optimizing is always customly targeted on YOUR visitors, so you need the traffic first to optimize! Crucial #2: Sure you can drive more traffic as solution. If every thousands visitors converts you simply drive 10,000 visitors to your page to get 10 conversions a day. But didn't you miss something? Exactly you are killing your ROI (Return on Investment). Upwards we have bespoken, that traffic is not free - you have to pay for it, in one way or in another. So you better optimize your site, once you have traffic and milk conversions then. Otherwise cutting down traffic, will kill your conversions. Crucial #3: The possibility to drive good traffic is not endless. After amount x the traffic quality will water down. Note: Driving more traffic alone is not sustainable for your business. Turn on Tune in Drop out - The Drop Outs! The Target of Conversion of Optimizers [video=dailymotion;xlcb90]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xlcb90_freak-power-turn-on-tune-in-cop-out-the-word-1995_music[/video] Every site has much mor drop outs than conversions - that is totally normal and nothing to be frustated about. Drop outs are visitors that leave the site without doing the action you want them to. The visitors that don't convert. Let me visualize: Your site has 100 UVs (Unique Visitors) per day. 95 of them are drop outs who leave the site without doing what you want. 5 of them do it. This is the screw we are pulling on. We kill the reasons to drop and reduce the drop outs, so 15 are converting and 80 are dropping. You can't convert all the 100 UVs as some are info searchers, accidental visitors, cheapskates. Rule: Decrease Drop Out Rate = Increasing Conversion Rate = More Conversions After we reached that goal it is time to increase the traffic and squeeze that screw. Vroooooooom - The Traffic For the next steps we have to take a deeper look at the traffic: - Only Unique Vistits count - The visitors behaviour must be measured on YOUR site (not a similar one that you have lying around...) - We have to segment the traffic (where is the visitor from? Organic, affiliate, SEA, media buys) - Don't use the data of usability laboratories or surverys. - The actual visitors count. Nobody nows the exact the data of the UVs (You don't know if male or female, how old, ect...) And because you don't know them you can't work with your usual target group. The solution is TESTING. TESTING is the lifeblood a conversion optimization. For TESTING you need the right amount of traffic. You get really valuable data with about 1K UVs/ data, below that it is hardly representive. In artificial situations people act artificial. If we have those visitors, they are real people we can test with - Every scientist is dreaming of that situation and has to take apes for that. We are in a golden situation! The users are acting different, coming from different sources! You can see what you visitors does if he comes from a price comparison site or a organic search for a brand name. Targeting those with custom messages depending on their traffic source can become handy. Calculation of the ROI of conversion rate of the optimization A simple example: UV's per Month: 100,000K Conversions per Month: 2000 (equals a conversions rate of 2% - the normal average of an unoptimized site) Revenue with an average order value of $100 = 200,000K per Month If we lift the CR now by 30%, we get 2,600 conversions per month (equals a conversion rate 2,6%) If the average value of a conversion is $100 and we lift the CR to 2,6% we have an revenue of 260,000K / month, which means we make 60,000K more! Now more complex: If our CR also increases the average order value as a new factor and we lift the value from $100 to $105 we have an increase of 73,000K more! Now even more complex: The CPO factor (cost per order). If we increase the conversion rate it automatically means it lowers the CPO = more budget for more traffic generation! In the next part: What is a good conversion rate? Note for the next part: An increase of your conversion rate means ALWAYS an increase of your overall websites value!