Case Study: Optimizing Design for Conversion Goals

I wanted to share a case study about a new home page design that helped a client in the estimated tax business improve conversions. The results have been great so far – up 83%.

First, let’s get the background info on the client (Easy Estimated Taxes) out of the way. Easy Estimated taxes is a site that allows taxpayers to manage their quarterly estimated tax payments. Taxpayers can pay their estimated tax payments out of their bank account, keep record of their payments, and they get reminders of when their next payment is due.

Probably the most important thing to know about the business is that it’s seasonal. There are four payment periods per year and their traffic peaks during those four periods. That means those four periods are super important to them – it’s how the business sustains itself for the entire year. By now you’re putting 2 and 2 together and realizing that their site needs to perform during its peak period. If not, then they have to wait 3 months for another peak to come around.

The client had the following goal: get more of the existing traffic into their sales funnel. Put another way, get more of the people that visit the site clicking on the right call-to-action.

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How to fix wrong title tags in Bing & Yahoo.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the title tag in the search snippet for one of our clients completely changed. Well, that doesn’t sound too horrible or harmful you say. Normally that’s right. Sometimes titles in snippets can be altered by the search engines and in rare cases can improve click-thru rates (I still recommend controlling all information in snippets with custom META data for every single page on your site).

The issue in this case was that the title tag now included information referring back to a really old (and outdated) sponsor…like years old. Even though the META data and the code said one thing (and keep in mind hadn’t been touched for at least a year), the title tag said something completely different.

Check it out. Here’s a screenshot of the source code:

holiday bowl game

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How to Evaluate A Website’s Performance

website evaluation checklistHere’s a list of basic questions I use when performing a website evaluation or audit on a client website. It gets more technical and geeky than this, but my hope is that this fives you a good idea of some of the things I do to help turn websites around.

GENERAL: questions I ask directly of the owner, or team that runs the website
1. What are the goals of the website? I want to hear from the website’s brass what they are trying to accomplish. It’s not always obvious. And it’s not always what they should be trying to accomplish. Often time there aren’t even any goals.
2. What the history of the website? Tell me specific details about sales (or membership) trends?
3. What’s the history of the site’s SEO strategy? What effect has that had on the site’s performance?
4. Have there been any major traumatic events (like de-indexing or site outages)? How have those affected sales and performance?
5. What’s your keyword strategy? If they have a strategy, I’ll ask to see the latest data they’ve accumulated about what keywords they consider to be most valuable.
6. How well has the stated keyword strategy been implemented on the site?
7. What is your content strategy?

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The Quest for Qualified Traffic Starts With the Fundamentals of SEO

Qualified traffic.

Small business owners and startups who rely heavily on their website for sales all stress over how to get more of it. Oh, and they want it cheap. Quite the conundrum!

There are lots of ways to get more traffic. All involve some level of investment (either time or money). None involve some level of magic (unfortunately, because that would be kind of cool).

Success acquiring qualified traffic starts with getting the basics right first. And the basics don’t always involve hiring a super-expensive SEO firm that claims they are going to make you millions in 3 months (by the way if anyone tells you that, just hang up).

If your website can do all of the following, you’ll see more qualified traffic. And it won’t burn a huge hole in your wallet.

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