CRO = Conversion Rate Optimization.

๐Ÿ”‘ CRO is key.

This goal of this post is to 1) share proven conversion rate optimization techniques + data and 2) leave you with ideas and resources to boost your conversion rates real nice.

Sections

  1. How to measure conversion rate
  2. 19 Proven ways to improve your conversion rate
  3. How to do a conversion analysis
  4. Appendix of resources mentioned

How to measure conversion rate

Conversion Rate = transactions divided by sessions.

You could also measure as transactions divided by users. Both Shopify and Google Analytics use transactions / sessions so I use with that benchmark.

Check your conversion stats in your Shopify admin at Analytics > Reports > Online Store Conversions. Shortcut link: add /admin/reports/online_store_conversion to the end of your site’s url.

shopify ecommerce conversion rate

If you’re on the Basic Shopify plan you won’t have access to detailed reports but you can get the same data with Google Analytics at Conversions > Ecommerce > Overview.

Improving conversion rate has a huge pay off because it increases the value of all traffic to your site.

What’s a good conversion rate?

Here are some averages per channel:

average ecommerce conversion rate by sales channelSource: Ecommerce Conversion Rate Benchmark by Compass metrics app

You might hear things like under 1% is bad or 2% is a solid benchmark, but it depends on the channel, quality of your audience, and brand / product.

There’s always room for improvement no matter where you stand. Measure, analyze, and test to improve rates on your channels. I typically like to focus on high converting channels first and mature those funnels.

19 Proven ways to increase conversion rate

I’ve implemented all of these methods and limited the list to proven tactics that improve ecommerce conversion rates for Shopify stores.

Guaranteed are data backed strategies that should work for every site. Maybe not 100% guaranteed but they should work for most stores.

Usually good are winning strategies but might not work for every store.

Guaranteed

  1. Reviews
  2. Free shipping
  3. Focus on high converting channels
  4. Email capture
  5. Retargeting
  6. Collect pre-orders for out of stock items
  7. Load speed
  8. Easy navigation
  9. Quality photography
  10. Quality content
  11. Be a brand
  12. Social proof

Usually good

  1. Free returns
  2. Related products
  3. Lifestyle images
  4. Loyalty program
  5. Mission / social cause
  6. Live chat
  7. Blog

Guaranteed Ways to Increase Conversion Rates

1. Product reviews

Every store should have a product reviews app. If you’re brand new and worried about not having any reviews, you can at least install an app to start collecting them.

Displaying reviews can increase conversions by 270%source: Spiegel Research Center: How Online Reviews Influence Sales (2017)

That sounds on the high side to me but I think we can all agree that if you’re comparing a product with no reviews vs a product with reviews, you’re buying the one with reviews.

And having reviews on products all over your store gives a more lively community feel, sense of trust, and social proof.

Negative reviews are good too. Welcome them as critical feedback to improve your product or process.

For Shopify sites, Judge.me is my go-to reviews app.

I wrote about why JudgeMe is the best + some installation tips here: Best Reviews App for Shopify.

You can use Judge.me to set up automated review collection, automatic coupon rewards, questions / answers, and rich snippets for search results.

If you want more stats about reviews, that report from Spiegel includes details into categories like:

how ecommerce reviews affect purchase behavior

2. Free shipping

Everybody loves free shipping.

people love free ecommerce shipping

Free shipping experiments to try:

  • Set a free shipping qualifier for 1x – 2x your Average Order Value
  • “Buy any 2 products get free shipping”
  • “Add product X to your cart to qualify for free shipping”
  • “Join our loyalty program to get free shipping”

If you’re worried about margins, you might experiment with product prices to absorb the shipping costs.

3. Focus on high converting channels

Do you know what your best converting channels are?

If not log into Google Analytics then go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

You’ll see a report like this:

conversion rates by channel using google analytics

Based on this store’s data we crafted a plan invest more into referral marketing and email marketing.

Email and Referral are commonly the 2 highest converting channels for eCommerce sites.

Email marketing because you typically have an existing relationship, and referral marketing (or affiliate marketing) because people trust recommendations from people that use the product.

Best email marketing app: You’ve got a lot of options here. I’ve used a few and my current favorite for eCommerce is Klaviyo.

I prefer ConvertKit for non-eCommerce (it’s what we use at Speed Boostr if you subscribe at the end of this blog post). If you like a simpler style ConvertKit might work, but it doesn’t have good connectability with Shopify stores.

Privvy and MailChimp are worth checking out if you’re comparison shopping. I’ve used both but switched to all Klaviyo after I got a taste for the automation and data focus.

I wrote about my experience + 30 day results + why I switched to Klaviyo here: Automated Email Marketing with Klaviyo

Best affiliate marketing app: There’s not a huge difference with apps in this space. The 2 apps I currently use are Tapfiliate and Refersion.

I love referral marketing because:

  • Easy inbound traffic
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Low risk traffic – pay per commission
  • It naturally builds backlinks
  • You pay people that love and use your products, rather than paid ads
  • Side bonus you’ll get more product pictures, videos, reviews, and community engagement

4. Email capture

Continuing with email capture, it increases conversions because you’re establishing a more personal relationship with visitors.

Everyone that enjoys email marketing success says the same thing: “I wish I would have started collecting emails earlier“.

With an app like Klaviyo you can set up automated email flows to engage with your visitors based on rules and various data points.

3 winning flow ideas to try:

  • Abandoned cart flow is easy money (experiment with 1 vs 2 vs 3 email sequences)
  • Birthday email (or anniversary of first purchase)
  • Cross sell (if you liked PRODUCT A that you bought, you’ll love PRODUCT B)

You can also get creative and use data to target people that purchase a lot, engage a lot, haven’t engaged in awhile, etc.

You can experiment with pop ups, slide ins, announcement bars, exit intents… they all work to some degree.

Try offering an entry level discount (like 10%) to capture more signups and increase conversions.

You can A/B test your messaging and timing but one thing I’d avoid is instant popups. Those are annoying plus could hurt your SEO according to Google.

You’ll probably have more success if you allow visitors to absorb your content for a bit first before you ask them to join your club.

5. Retargeting

Also known as “remarketing”.

Abandoned cart emails are a form of retargeting that work great. Even better if you do a 2 – 3 email sequence and offer a discount on email 2 or 3.

Retargeting with paid ads works great too. I prefer retargeting over cold ads, especially for social media.

Facebook in particular is difficult to convert cold ads unless you have a rockstar product or a well defined audience. On the other hand retargeting ads on Facebook is quite profitable.

Visitors typically need to interact with your brand a few times before making a decision. This is where retargeting helps get you extra touch points.

The best retargeting ads are personalized or include social proof. For example you can set it up so that if someone browses a product, they recieve a retargeted ad later showing that same product + a 5 star review from a real customer.

I’m not a pro with ads but I’ve worked with pros and it’s such a common request that we have experts on call in our network. If you need help setting up retargeting contact us for an intro.

Retargeting rules! โœŠ

6. Collect pre-orders for out of stock products

Being out of stock sucks!

But you don’t have to lose the sale forever.

Here’s a cool app to automate the process: Now Back in Stock.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Set your messaging and turn the app on to show an email capture on the product page when it’s out of stock.
  2. The app collects the emails and shows you how many people are on the waitlist for each product.
  3. When the product comes back in stock, the app automatically sends an email notification + link to everyone on the list.
  4. People get super pumped and come back to buy ๐Ÿ‘

That app is $5/mo for unlimited emails. Smokin deal if you ask me.

If you’re into SMS text reminders, you can upgrade to higher levels to unlock that feature.

If you’re not collecting out of stock pre-orders you’re leaving money on the table.

7. Load speed

Faster sites make more money.

Here are some case studies about how performance is related to conversion rate:

Walmart saw up to a 2% increase in conversions for every 1 second of page speed decreased.

Through A/B testing, Zalando found that a 100ms improvement in load time led to a 0.7% increase in revenue per session.

A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% decrease in conversions

To see more case studies and get an estimate on potential gains from performance optimization check out our ROI Calculator for speed gains.

That tool calculates theoretical increased sales based on a 2% increase in conversions per 1 second of improved load speed. That formula derived from analyzing a bunch of case studies.

Results in real life will vary depending on how slow your site is currently.

Measured speed gains will depend on the tool you use to measure, connection speed, location, and randomness like current server load of your site and 3rd party apps.

If you’re asking Hey Joe how do I make my Shopify site load faster? then you’re in luck – Speed Boostr started as a Shopify performance optimization agency. ๐Ÿš€

We’ve got free resources you can use + experts in our squad if you want it done for you instead.

Run your site through the Shopify Analyzer to get a scorecard and see what can be improved.

Refer to our Shopify Optimization Guide for a full guide to optimizing your Shopify site.

If you want to learn more about performance optimization, check our performance optimization articles.

If you want our team of experts to optimize your site for you, check out our Shopify optimization services.

If you want your site analyzed for free or just want to say hello, contact us.

One thing to keep in mind is that some 3rd party apps slow your site down, and that’s OK.

The goal of an eCommerce site is to sell products, so if apps are boosting your sales don’t stress about getting a low score in a performance analysis tool.

My philosophy with performance for online stores is to optimize what is possible and regularly analyze your apps to make sure they’re bringing in a positive ROI… but don’t obsess over a computer generated grade in any performance tool.

8. Easy navigation

Don’t make me think.

That’s the concept behind the legendary design book Don’t Make Me Think by usability expert Steve Krug.

That one sentence sums up good usability:

  • Create clear calls to action
  • Make it obvious what’s the next step
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Create clear navigation links
  • Provide easy access to answers that customers ask

Some tips to make things easier for your store’s visitors:

Create a clear call to action – make your add to cart and checkout buttons stand out promintently. Make them a different color than the rest of the page. Make them large and proud, command that click!

good add to cart example

bad add to cart button example

These are general examples. A black and white button might work for your site. The only way to know for sure is to run an A/B test.

Consider the idea of having 1 goal for each page. This is why I don’t like having social share icons on product pages. I’d rather have people use their click muscles on adding to cart rather than sharing on social media. How many people use those links anyway?

You can A/B test to be sure but I consider extra links like that distractions from the main goal of the page.

Make navigation easy and obvious – be careful with mega menus and a ton of top level links. Too many choices can make it harder to make 1 choice.

Fun experiment: ask someone to browse your site and watch them cruise through your site. Start with letting them generally browse, then ask them to find something. Where do they navigate? Do they get confused at any point? Do they quickly find what they’re looking for?

Make checking out easy – most Shopify sites have an easy checkout but every once in awhile I’ll see a forced “create account” or required phone number. These aren’t essential to making the sale, and might cause just enough friction to bounce.

Create a good search experience – Definitely have a search bar in your header. Take it a step further to design a nice search page – include fallbacks for empty searches like “suggested products” and a link to “contact us if you can’t find what you’re looking for”.

9. Quality photography

You know what good photography looks like. Don’t cheap out on this one. It might be tempting to save money if you’re on a budget, but you’ll lose time and probably lose out on sales.

Amazon likes a pure white background, while some brands like lifestyle images with people in the pic. Both are good, but deciding which one is your main image is probably a brand preference. If you want to know which is better, A/B test them both to see which gets more clicks.

10. Quality content

This comes in many forms, lets start with blogging.

4 million blog posts are published every dayInternet Stats & Facts for 2019

Busting out quick low quality blog posts might help your traffic / SEO a little, but if you invest time + research + solve problems or entertain your audience you’ll get more engagement, time on page, and links and shares (which all help SEO)… plus you’ll gain trust and a be more memorable with your audience.

It pays off to deliver quality content. I’ve tried both methods (busting out quick blog posts for the sake of content vs researching and providing longer high quality) on different niches. Content is great to help SEO but hiring for cheap articles on Fiverr probably isn’t a good strategy.

If you don’t have any writers on your team here’s a good way to hire writers for eCommerce sites:

  1. Create a Google Form (this is the application form) and connect it to a Google Sheet.
  2. Embed the application on a page on your website.
  3. Send an email to your audience to tell them you’re hiring, ask them to share with their writer friends.
  4. If your list is small, try creating a Facebook or IG ad to your target audience (assuming you have content their so people get a feel for your brand).
  5. Filter through the entries in your Google sheet, pick the top 5 – 10 candidates, hit em up for an interview, choose your favorites, then pay them to write a test article.
  6. With good luck you’ll get a few winners and a new content generating channel.

Invest in well written product descriptions and brand messaging.

Grammar is especially important if your target audience is English speaking and English is not your native language.

I speak Spanish pretty well but no way can I craft a good story with solid grammar for a Spanish website. Pero quien sabe, quizas el proximo articulo escribirรฉ aqui seria en Espaรฑol!

Blog posts give you some leeway because they’re more conversational (unless your site is super sciencey), but product descriptions should be well thought out and shared for feedback (and of course tested to see which style works better).

If you ARE your target audience then writing product descriptions, emails, and brand messaging will be a lot easier. Even then you probably can’t match a professional copywriter when it comes to making sales with words.

There’s special hint of magic that a good copywriter can let loose when crafting content for your brand. If you don’t like to write or don’t speak natively in the language of your target audience, consider hiring a pro.

Quality design helps improve conversion rates.

If you designed a basic text logo yourself you might be hurting your conversions. If you don’t have a go-to designer, a fun way to get logos is by doing a “design contest” to get ideas and submissions from multiple designers. Here’s how: Fun Way to Get Logos and New Designs.

Web design and usability is a learned skill. I recommend starting with a good professional theme (here are my favs and where I find themes) to make sure your site has a strong foundation.

Once you have a good theme you can modify your color scheme and layout to adhere to the vision of your brand. This is a safe, low budget way to ensure your website design is at least pretty good.

If you have a nice budget, consider hiring a designer for custom icons and cool graphics that give off the energy of your brand’s vibe.

Preempt customer objections. What causes customers to say nah and bounce from your site? If you don’t know utilize automated email marketing (with Klaviyo) or do a poll (with Hotjar) to find out why.

Once you know why, answer those objections people have in their head when viewing your product page.

Example objections:

  • What is the shipping time and cost?
  • What happens if it doesn’t fit me?
  • Do they have a good return policy?
  • Is this product safe? (healthy, pet safe, kid safe, etc)
  • Is this company trustworthy?
  • Is this product vegan friendly, or made ethically?
  • Is there a warranty?

This strategy applies to any niche.

At Speed Boostr, we know we work hard and care about our clients but a random new visitor to the site has no idea who we are, so we created things like an about page with pictures, a what to expect post linked from our services page, customer reviews page, and resources like the Shopify optimization guide that give away our methods for optimizing sites, for free. These (I hope) show we’re knowledgeable, trustworthy, and genuinely care about our community and customers.

Those all arrived on the site from an evolution of ideas by listening to customers.

Create strategies to get customer feedback, then listen and improve your product / content.

11. Be a brand

Seems like everyone has an eCommerce site these days. Be different, be unique, give people a reason to shop at your cool store and you’ll rise above the crowd ๐Ÿ™Œ

Google favors brands. It makes sense, brands can typically be trusted more than some RandomProductSite.com.

Getting branded search queries and even unlinked brand mentions can both help your SEO and authority as a brand. For some ideas, metrics, and references to Google and brand ranking, check out this detailed Q and A: Brand Authority as an SEO Ranking Factor #SEMrushchat.

Make a good About page – I’ve done heatmap testing and a common factor is that if you have an About Us link in your header, it’s getting clicked on a lot. This tells me that people are interested to know who they’re buying from.

I get a lot of requests on the Shopify Experts site for marketing and business guidance, and a common complaint is “I’m driving a lot of traffic but getting no sales”. On probably 70% of those websites the about page is a paragraph or two of generic text (ex: “we offer quality products at an affordable price”) with no strong brand message or mission, and often without a professional logo.

It’s hard to gain trust with a weak About page + no mention of the brand’s unique selling position or “why you should buy from us” anywhere on the site.

Your About page is a great opportunity to establish a connection with your audience.

I think more personality is always better – go hard on your brand’s image. If your brand is kind of hippy, go extra hippy in your messaging, if your brand is fun, be funny and goofy. Be more memorable than the next brand.

Here’s one of my favorite examples of taking branding to the max: Liquid Death. They sell canned water.

Here’s their home page greeting video:

HAHA WHOA!

Sure it’s not for everyone but I think taking a risk and trying to be funny makes them more likable and is a key element in their business success. Side note I think it’s hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Here’s a review from one of their customers:

“A bit over the top. The fact that you have an option to ‘sell your soul’ is deplorable. Try a new sales pitch that isn’t for satan worshippers.”

That nails it for me. They embrace the branding to the max, making this “negative” review actually a secret glowing positive review.

Unique branding with personality helps you stand out and develop a bond with your audience.

12. Social proof

Also known as social influence, or everyone raves about this product it must be awesome.

Social proof describes a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation.Source: Wikipedia

Social proof comes in many forms:

  • Reviews
  • Community activity
  • Links to your site
  • Ambassadors / Influencers
  • Pictures of customers using your product
  • Video testimonials
  • Awards

Setting up reviews creates a solid foundation for social proof.

Building a thriving community around your brand is the ultimate social proof.

Assuming you have a good product, work on building a community with your content.

60% of users discover products on Instagram so let’s use that for an example.

Here’s a social proof building roadmap you can try on Instagram:

  1. Post content every day (80% lifestyle / 20% product, or even 90/10 to start).
  2. Follow accounts and people in your niche, comment and like, engage.
  3. Find people in your audience / niche that have a following. They could have 1,000 fans or 1,000,000 fans… I like about 5k – 20k as the sweet spot.
  4. Introduce yourself, share your brand, ask them if they’d like a free product in exchange for some Instagram posts and pictures. If you have an interesting mission or product this is WAY easier.
  5. Start an affiliate program (see Focus on high converting channels above for apps to use). Invite those ambassadors to your affiliate program so they can share in your success.
  6. Reach out to blogs and “best of” lists in your niche and invite them to your affiliate program. You might have a 10% success rate but you’ll get people on board to write about you and link to you if you have a good story.
  7. Set up automated order follow up emails (I use Judge.me in tandem with a review ask) and ask the customer to tag you on Instagram (to get more action, offer store credit or discount on next order).
  8. At this point you should have some Instagram action rolling in and people sharing pics with your product, so now it’s time to hook up an app like Covet Pics to pull in Instagram photos to your website.
  9. You can use Covet Pics to automatically pull in your Instagram feed and hashtags, then tag those photos in the app to make them display automatically on the correlating product pages (here’s how I do it).

That’s the summary. The concept is to create a likable brand with good products and find people that vibe with your vision to help promote.

Side bonus: you’ll build up a community of people you can share ideas with, get feedback, and help promote your product launches.

The key to accelerating the growth is the affiliate program – financial incentive is a strong motivator and turns it into more of a partnership.

Conversation Rate Optimization Strategies Worth Trying

These have all worked for me at some point, but not in every case. They should work on a lot of stores so I think they’re worth testing.

13. Free returns

Everyone loves free returns!

free shipping and free returns is a good conversion strategy

If you’re worried about too many returns / losing money on shipping costs at least consider doing a 1 month experiment and measure the results – compare conversion rate and sales vs number of returns.

You might find returns barely go up, but conversion get a nice jump. That’s the big win โœŠ

And if you get a lot of returns it’s still a win if you’re asking why each customer returned it, then creating a plan to solve that problem.

Free returns increase conversions by:

  • Removing barriers (what if it’s not what I expected / don’t like it)
  • Showing you have confidence in your product, giving a higher perceived quality
  • Making you a cool brand with free returns ๐Ÿ˜Ž

As digital store owners / marketers, it’s hard to put a tangible value on the power of word of mouth, but it’s strong.

I’ve done surveys and active campaigns to find where people hear of a brand, and included in the responses are things like “Instagram”, “my sister / brother / friend”.

Those are hard to track an exact ROI but the more cool things you do as a brand the more people will talk about your brand.

Person 1: Yooo that’s a cool jacket where’d you get that?

Person 2: Aw man, it’s from coolbrandsite.com. They do free shipping AND free returns I buy from them all the time.

Person 1: Niiiiice. Have you ever returned anything?

Person 2: Actually no LMAO ๐Ÿ˜‚

People are going to talk about your brand, make it be good.

I bet most sites have this already so I’ll just share some ideas and solutions I’ve used.

Hardcoding vs Apps

I’m always a fan of hardcoding public facing website features (coding them directly into a theme instead of using a 3rd party app).

Why? Because each store facing app you install slows down your load speed. It’s a law of computing – more requests and more resources slow your load time.

Most themes have a stock related products widget, that’s a good start. I’ve also created a few custom solutions, for example showing matching product styles for the same design like this.

custom related product styles widget

That widget is coded directly into the theme and shows up on all related product pages by using rules in the code to show dynamically. No 3rd party scripts or files needed to slow it down.

If you need a custom solution or have an idea for a feature on your store contact us.

If you prefer an app for related products, check out LimeSpot. I’ve used a lot of related products apps but this is the one I’ve stuck with for the longterm.

One benefit of using an app like LimeSpot is that they use machine learning for dynamic recommendations + analytics to track the ROI.

15. Lifestyle images

Lifestyle image = a photographic image of someone using your product.

A person using the prouct vs a standard product image.

lifestyle image example

Which of these do you like better?

As with anything in web design and advertising, you’ll want to A/B test your images to see what YOUR audience responds to.

I like a mix of “product shots” with lifestyle images for product pages. Deciding which should be the main image (that you see in collections) is brand specific.

Lifestyle images increase conversions becaus they help:

  • Show your product in real life
  • Increase social proof
  • Help the customer imagine what they’ll look like with your product
  • Tell a story about your brand

Try testing lifestyle images on your website, ads, and emails.

If you’re having trouble getting images check the Social proof section above for ideas and a roadmap.

I like the combination of Instagram promotions, the Covet Pics app, and working with brand ambassadors to generate lifestyle images.

When you work with ambassadors or people posting on Instagram, ask them for permission before sharing the photos.

16. Loyalty programs

Some brands LOVE these, other brands have a more meh feeling.

You can use an app like Smile.io to make easy to create a program with points, reward tiers, emails, and onsite program details.

Here’s look into setting up a program with Smile: Start a Customer Rewards Program.

Reward programs are great but they’re not for everyone.

If you do start one, be prepared to invest some time into creating the reward system and experimenting to find the right balance between incentivizing rewards, setting points for rewards and price tiers, and creating engagement with the program.

17. Mission / social cause

Creating a mission for your brand helps you develop an emotion connection with your audience. It also brings more meaning to your biz rather than just selling products to make money.

For inspiration read Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms and a pioneer in the “1 for 1” movement (giving back for every product sold).

I read that book a few years ago and got inspired to start an eCommerce company that gives back to the Earth – Tree Tribe, an eco focused apparel brand that has planted over 400,000 trees on Earth through product sales.

I can tell you first hand the benefits of having a mission driven product business are HUGE!

I was looking at your product and a similar, lower priced product and chose yours because of the mission. Thank you for doing what you do. And oh ya, I love the product!– Common customer feedback about why they purchased

Benefits of a mission driven product business:

  • Connect on a deeper level with your audience
  • Giving back feels great โค๏ธ
  • Get free press easier
  • People will link to your site and talk about you more
  • Build a strong community
  • People appreciate when companies share the love and give back
  • You’ll get more reviews
  • People will reach out a lot more to collaborate with you

Plus you might get cool opportunities like podcast interviews and maybe speaking engagements like this: Social Enterprise: Why Giving Back is Awesome.

I didn’t apply for that, the event organizers approached us because they thought what we were doing was cool and unique.

I used to have a more active role in that business and the social enterprise community, but I have the curse of the startup entrepreneur – I’m addicted to starting new projects – so I like to hit my goals, create a system, then move on to the next idea.

I’ve started a handful of business in various niches, the difference between a give-back business and a non-give-back business is night and day. The businesses that give back get much more love and opportunities.

20-something consumers are EXPECTING a social component from a company they do business with”– Mark Cuban

Ideas to give back:

  • Plant a tree on every sale (here’s how Tree Tribe plants trees)
  • Donate a % of sales to help educate children (through organizations like Pencils of Promise
  • Donate a can of pet food for each order (like if you’re in the dog business)
  • Doante a % of sales to the Earth with a foundation like 1% for the Planet
  • Donate a % of sales to your favorite charity, or let your customers choose a charity to contribute to
  • Donate food to the homeless (if you’re in the food biz)

Any business can do this. The key is finding a mission that relates to your business / model.

At Speed Boostr we’re working on a program to create scholarship opportunities for aspiring developers.

What’s your passion? What would make your customers happy to contribute towards?

18. Live chat

This is another one that I’ve seen have split reactions.

People that use it usually love it. Others don’t care for it.

I helped one of my clients use live chat to up their conversion rate by 45%Neil Patel

I think any level can benefit from a chat app, but it depends on the brand whether you want to use one, and whether you have someone willing to be “always on”.

I researched and tested a few apps on this site, and really like Intercom.

Ultimately we decided chat apps are great for our Shopify apps (we use Intercom still), but not a good fit for our website flow.

Speed caveat: we’ve analyzed and optimized a LOT of websites, and often see chat apps as one of the highest contributors to requests, weight, and page load (especially if it’s a Facebook Messenger chat widget).

This is another case of weighing the benefits. If your chat app is heavy but generates engagement, increases conversions, and your customers like it, maybe it’s worth keeping.

19. Blog

Whoa hey we’re on a blog right now ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I’m a huge fan, obviously… not only because I like to read and write but also content marketing is an excellent model.

Blogs are great for product businesses, partly because a lot of people aren’t doing them, but also because it gives people a glimpse into your brand’s personality and helps you get more pre-customers (people searching for information but not yet ready to buy).

How does blogging increase conversions?

  • Establish more trust with your visitors
  • People prefer brands with personality over generic websites
  • Answer their questions from Google and you’re the first person they’ll look to buy the product
  • Shows your brand is active, thriving, and engaging with its community

Check the Quality content section above for tips on hiring writers if your team isn’t up for the task.

One complaint I hear from Shopify store owners is that the blog functionality is weak on Shopify. It is compared to a dedicated blog platform like WordPress, but Shopify is also highly customizable so you can probably build the functionality you’re looking for.

If you need a custom blog feature or wish there was an app for that, give us a shout. We like to build things.

How to do a Conversion Analysis

We have a Conversion Analysis service here: Shopify Development and UX Services if you prefer it done for you.

If you want to fly solo DIY style, read on to see the tools and tactics we use + our internal checklist.

What is a Conversion Analysis?

A conversion analysis is a technical and usability audit of your website with the goal of identifying areas to improve conversion rate.

When we do a conversion analysis we focus on 3 key areas:

  • UX Audit
  • Cross Browser / Mobile Testing
  • Foundation SEO Analysis

User Experience Audit. We go through each page template on your site and compare with our checklist of over 80 items.

Example audits:

  • Check for console / JavaScript errors
  • Check for layout glitches
  • Analyze content (outdated content, misspellings, brand story, etc)
  • Analyze conversion affecting areas like social proof and email capture
  • Look for key elements like help / FAQ, ToS, Privacy Policy, Blog / relevant content
  • Give conversion improvement ideas based on the analysis

Cross Browser / Mobile Testing. We use tools like LambdaTest and device emulators do test your website on a range of devices and platforms.

If you’re not familiar with web development, you might not realize it but different browsers render elements differently. They’re mostly pretty standardized but not 100%.

We run a range of tests to sniff out any bugs so you don’t manually have to do it.

Foundation SEO Analysis. A full SEO analysis is larger separate project, but what we do in the Conversion Analysis is check that your key technical SEO elements are in place.

We also do some keyword research and give recommendations that will increase your traffic for free via SEO.

We use tools like Ubersuggest to analyze keywords in your niche to find both high traffic opportunities.

Once we’ve identified good keywords, we compare with what’s already on your site and give recommendations to get that extra free traffic and rank for more keyword phrases.

We also check things like your title tags, meta descriptions, alt attributes and make sure they’re present according to best practices.

We use resources like The Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO and Backlinko’s Definitive Guide on How to Become an SEO Expert.

We also look for and recommend tactics like the strategies outlined in SEO Tools and Tips for Shopify.

How can you perform a conversion analysis?

You can hire us! Haha but no here’s how we approach it if you want to keep it in house:

First create a checklist of what you intend on analyzing. I’ll share our checklist that evolved over the course of this year below to give you a head start.

You can also brainstorm with your team to add more items. If you think we need to add more share them in the comments at the end of this post.

Once you have your checklist ready, start knocking through each point one by one.

If a test fails, we include recommendations directly under the checkpoint in our report. If you’re doing it yourself, add relevant notes under the point and include an @reference to the team member for that area to investigate or fix.

We do our reporting and checklists with Notion. It’s also our team’s internal home base and project management software.

Notion is an essential part of our business, and one of my favorite apps!

Here’s a preview of what our checklist / report looks like when generated from Notion (and convertible to PDF).

example conversion analysis report by Speed Boostr

This checklist has evolved based on experience, case studies, and best practices.

If you’re an agency or freelancer feel free to use this checklist for your clients, just give credit to back to SpeedBoostr.com. Thanks ๐Ÿ‘. By the way if you want to partner with us check out our referral program.

Ok here’s the checklist in bullet points, enjoy:

Home Page

  • Pop-ups should be delayed to allow user interaction
  • Pop-ups should not excessive in number
  • Site appearance and content should reflect brand values
  • Content on home page should be current
  • Copyright information should be visible and current
  • User should view call to action near email subscription form in footer
  • Home page should use image carousels sparingly

Site Navigation

  • Site logo should be served in appropriate size, format, and resolution
  • Search feature should be accessible within header
  • Collection options should be included in header
  • Navigation should include links to featured pages
  • Links to home, contact, about, login, and cart should be present
  • Mobile users should view expandable hamburger menu
  • Navigation should be consistent across all pages and devices
  • Mobile navigation menu should contain “Support” link
  • Menu navigation options should be easy to read

Collection Pages

  • Users should be able to use filters and sort results
  • Sortable collections or product tag labels should be appropriate and relevant
  • Collections, sub-collections, and sortable product tags should be logical (if available)
  • Product images should be uniform
  • Product images should be scaled appropriately
  • All collections should include a description
  • 24 or fewer separate product tiles should be loaded on collections pages
  • Many collections still use the Shopify image placeholders

Product Pages

  • Product names should be unique, short, and descriptive
  • “Add to Cart” button should stand out from rest of page
  • Product description should be customer-centric
  • Product benefits should be clearly displayed
  • Description should include product FAQs or technical specifications where applicable
  • Multiple image views should be available for each product
  • Customers should view high-quality product images
  • Images or video of product in use should be included on product pages
  • Pricing and purchase options should be visible
  • Shipping information and cost should be displayed
  • Customer reviews should be visible below description (if this feature is available)
  • Related products, bundles, or special offers should be visible (if this feature is available)
  • Customers are able to purchase or pre-order all products displayed
  • Product images should be scaled appropriately

About / Contact Page

  • Brand story should identify and connect with target audience
  • Company information and mission statement should be visible
  • Biographies should be included where team members are shown
  • Client or customer testimonials should be displayed to enhance company image
  • Contact link or information should be easily accessible

Blog

  • Blog should be active and current
  • Blog should offer instructional how-to or general advice where applicable
  • Blog should walk through product features
  • Company news or newsletters should reiterate core values
  • User should be able to easily share post on social media
  • Blog topic ideas (include recommendations based on keywords, niche, competitors)

Cart

  • Prominent checkout link should be displayed within cart
  • Product name, image, price, quantity should be shown
  • Customer should be able to add, remove, or change quantities within cart
  • Accepted payment options should be clearly displayed
  • Cart should include links to security, guarantee, or shipping pages

Help / FAQ

  • Help and/or FAQ sections should be available for customer self-help
  • Additional product or customer support options should be offered
  • Site should have ToS, Privacy Policy, Return Policy
  • Order lookup should provide clear instruction
  • Items listed in index should link to appropriate sections of lengthy pages
  • Content in Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, Return Policy should be meaningful

Overall Content Issues

  • Errors and typos should not be present within content
  • Social proof and social media should be displayed prominently
  • Social media content should be current
  • Site should not contain broken or erroneous images
  • โ€œBrand voiceโ€ and tone should remain consistent
  • All pages should include an h1 heading

Cross-Platform Issues

  • Site should not rely heavily on third-party plugins
  • Mobile users should be able to use zoom or swipe in features or product images
  • Mobile users should view a unique navigation bar
  • Site should be an optimal size for viewing on mobile devices
  • Site should contain no graphical glitches when viewed on Desktop platform (1000px+)
  • Site should contain no graphical glitches when viewed on Tablets platform (750px)
  • Site should contain no graphical glitches when viewed on Mobile platform (400px)
  • Site should contain no functional glitches when viewed only on Chrome
  • Site should contain no functional glitches when viewed only on Safari
  • Site should contain no functional glitches when viewed only on Firefox

Other UX / UI Issues

  • Domain name should be used in email addresses provided on site
  • Search queries with no results should produce suggestions
  • Site should use a limited number of fonts
  • All external links should open in a new tab
  • Automated marketing funnels should be used (retargeting, abandoned cart, email notifications, etc.)

This last section is the Foundational SEO Analysis

Title Tags

  • Home page should have a good title tag and meta description
  • Product pages should have good title tags and meta descriptions
  • Collection pages should have good title tags and meta descriptions
  • Blog posts should have good title tags and meta descriptions

On Page SEO

  • Site should contain no dead links
  • Product descriptions have some length and include relevant keywords
  • Images should include alt text
  • Pages should include a language declaration

Keyword Research and Analysis

The goal with this is to deliver data driven suggestions on keywords that can help the site rank higher and get more organic traffic through use of additional keywords.

We don’t have an exact checklist to share for this because it requires experience + creativity. If you want to learn how to do keyword research like a pro start here: Moz Guide to Keyword Research.

To give you an idea about keyword research, in our report we do analysis and recommendation like this:

keyword research analysis example

Conversion Analysis summary

That’s our framework for our Conversion Analysis service designed to unravel opportunities, identify issues, and generate ideas to improve conversions and SEO traffic.

You might have seen some things like copyright information should be visible and current and think, “that’s obvious”. But if it’s in there, it’s an issue often enough that it’s worth keeping.

Sometimes analysis work yields major results, sometimes you find that mostly “everything is ok ๐Ÿ‘”. We’ve never found a site with 0 issues, and the exercise alone should sprout new ideas.

From our developers (about pass rate):

Most of the time I have a 60~70% pass rate and find some solid nugs from that remainder. The passing and failing test cases are actually pretty varied, I’ve noticed that some that should be obvious still fail on many sites.

I usually see a low-70% to high-80% pass rate.

Consider these facts and questions to put a value on professional analysis work:

  • A single glitch can have a negative effect on conversions and lost customers.
  • Losing a single customer can have a negative long term effect (non-customers can’t use your product and tell their friends).
  • You see your own site all the time so you may overlook some details.
  • Our team works on Shopify sites every day and we interact with a lot of sites from a technical standpoint, so we approach analysis from an experienced position.
  • You might not have thought of everything. For example have you ever ran heatmaps on your store? We have, and found that sites with an About link in the header get a lot more engagement and generally convert better. These are the type of recommendations we can provide.
  • We do an SEO foundation analysis + keyword analysis. There might be a highly popular searched keyword that you’re not using. If you’re only using keywords that you think of, without data backed tools, you’re missing out on free traffic.
  • Do you just leave the default title and content for the SEO section of your product and collection pages? If yes, you’re missing out on free organic traffic and increased click through rates.
  • How often do you test on different devices and different browsers?
  • How often do you check your website pages for console / javascript errors?

The next step is to implement the recommendations and level up your site ๐Ÿ’ช

Conversion Analysis + Performance Optimization

An important part of conversion rate optimization is performance.

Conversion optimization + performance optimization is the 1-2 punch to getting your site niiiiiice and optimiiiiiiized.

For performance we offer the same deal. You can follow along with our Shopify Guide to a Faster Load Speed or you can hire us to have it all done for you.

If you want to work with one of our experts you have some options:

Analyze your site and order specific service(s). You can run your site through our Shopify Analyzer app to see where you stand and what can be improved. Then you can order any service here.

Get our full optimization package. The Entrepreneur package includes all of our performance optimization services. Use that if your site is older, you score a 0 on the Shopify Analyzer, or you just want to make sure everything that can be optimized on your site is taken care of.

Get our Entrepreneur Plus package. This is our best offering. It combines the Entrepreneur package with the Conversion Analysis service. This package gives the developer assigned to your project max time to really dive deep into your site and do the best job optimizing and finding ways to improve your online store.

You can purchase the Entrepreneur Plus package on our Shopify optimization services page.

What customers say about our Entrepreneur Plus package:

I noticed an immediate traffic boost after we started implementing some of the suggestions.

This is something we had no idea about [alt attributes], and since you have fixed that we have seen increased traffic!!”

Wow our title tags were really neglected!

Speedboostr team helped us to improve the speed of our website drastically. The process was so fast and the team is really responsive. They will provide you with in depth analysis report after the completion of work and will give you the best recommendations.

Here’s what your score might look like in the Shopify Analyzer before you work with us:

shopify analyzer score before optimization

And here’s what it might look like after doing our full service package:

shopify analyzer score after optimization

It’s worth noting that we optimize as much as we can on Shopify sites, but sometimes apps will prevent full optimization. You will still probably see warnings in other analysis tools. Those tools are usually general tools that don’t factor in eCommerce goals or sites with 3rd party apps.

Hasta la vista!

Thanks for reading, I wish you epic success in your business ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ

If you need any help with optimization, apps, analysis, or custom features let us know how we can help you.

Resources mentioned

Apps, tools, and articles in this post to help level up your Shopify business:

Apps and Resources

Speed Boostr Guides and Tools