Josh Braaten is the Director of Website Conversions at LeadPages. His work primarily consists of website projects, content strategy, conversion rate optimization, and website maintenance. He does everything from being the website “janitor” to testing marketing strategies.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to make your purchase process simpler and more effective
- How prospective customers can help find problems with your website
- Why usability issues affect your bottom line
To See The Transcript:
Tim: It’s no secret that companies can often get trapped behind the idea of branding. You know, we want to create something that has its own unique experience and separates us from our competition in more ways than just with our product. Unfortunately, the pursuit of branding can often take a toll on conversion results if the use of that branding sacrifices clarity.
At LeadPages, we work hard to be as clear as possible in our messaging but the only way to know if that effort is effective is through tasking and that’s exactly what Josh Braaten, our director of website conversions did. He found out one major point of confusion on our website, made an incredibly simple change, and increased our overall sales by 9.9%.
Not only will you get to hear what he did but he’ll share with you a really powerful crazy, easy way to find where your site’s sticking points are.
I’m Tim Paige, the senior conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
Hey Josh, welcome to ConversionCast. Thanks for coming on the show.
Josh: Thanks for having me on, Tim.
Tim: Yeah, happy to have you here. So I want to start by talking about the results that you were able to get from the tactic we’ll be talking about today. So tell us about the results.
Josh: Sure. So the results are two great stats. The first was a 9.9% improvement in overall sales on the website and the second is a 97% improvement in click through rate to a key page in the process.
Tim: That’s amazing and you know, I set the stage for this a little bit in the introduction but I want to make this clear. These are results for LeadPages.
Josh: Yeah, this is for the LeadPages.net website. Yeah.
Tim: Right. Just to kind of lay the foundation this is not a small website getting a little bit of traffic. You know, this is a successful company. Folks who listen to the show know all about LeadPages so I don’t have to kind of get into that. But I think it’s important to point that out because those are really fantastic results and that’s why I wanted to talk about it and we loved to kind of share what’s working for us like we do on the webinars and that kind of stuff.
I’m excited to hear that. First tell everybody a little bit about yourself, who you are and what you do here.
Josh: Sure. Well my name is Josh Braaten and I am the director of website conversion here at LeadPages.
Tim: I love it. Tell people what that means. What do you do for us?
Josh: Sure. So I get to work on all sorts of interesting projects on the website and other digital properties that we have. Some of them include overall content strategy and our conversion rate optimization test plan for the website. But it ranges all the way down to hey here’s a bug, can you have this fixed or you know, basically everything from testing to janitor of the website and working to make sure that things are working well for LeadPages.
Tim: Cool. I love it. So you know you’ve got a clear view of the things that we’re doing to try to continue to improve our results. So why don’t you tell us about this tactic that improved a cupola of different important metrics for us?
Josh: Yeah, absolutely. So the one tactic that we tried was basically doing a little bit of user testing. We showed our website to a you know, three or five different users and we asked them to kind of go through the shopping process. So we threw them in pretty blind. One of the things that came up was that people were having a hard time finding the templates that our authors create for us in our marketplace.
These templates are a key part of the purchase process for a lot of people because it gives them a chance to take a look at some of the landing pages that they might be able to use if they become a LeadPages customer. So what we found was that by changing the label in our top navigation from the word marketplace to templates, we were able to almost instantly double the amount of traffic into our template section from across the site and that led to a 9.9% improvement in sales for the time that we were testing.
Tim: It’s fascinating because it really speaks to the importance of clarity. You know, I think a lot of times companies make this mistake. I’m not convinced that this is necessarily the reason why we did this but I think a lot of times companies make the mistake of trying to brand all the things that they’re doing. You know, this is our special term for whatever it is.
Tim: You know, like I said, I’m not sure that that’s what we were doing but a lot of times in the name of trying to do that, we can lose a lot of that clarity that oftentimes is necessary to get you know, the highest conversion possible. Would you agree?
Josh: Yeah. I think that’s absolutely a side effect sometimes of trying to do good marketing. You know, you want to make sure that you’re creating great destinations, content that’s worthy of people’s clicks and sections of the product and the brand that really stand out for consumers. It’s a natural tendency I think and it’s almost a little disappointing to kind of know sometimes that like the most dead simple label that you can put on something is likely going to be the one that drives the most amount of clicks or conversions.
But I think that’s kind of like that classic like don’t make me think Steve Curb type mentality where it should be self-evident. If it’s not, you’re going to kind of lose out on getting some people to that part of the experience.
Tim: Right and templates in general for somebody who is on the LeadPages website that’s something that it’s a term they’re going to be pretty familiar with and they’re going to have a sense that you know, they can expect to see some templates. So I would imagine that that helps draw attention to that link that gets people there.
Josh: Sure. Yeah the context is really important. You know, if we’re on just like some general marketing website and you saw templates, You would think well is this like a business template, is that like a website template? What kind of template.
You know, but if you’re on the LeadPages website and you’re part of the shopping process already you know that we build landing pages and they stem from these amazing templates. Basically, you know, by saying templates it’s like okay great, that’s what I’m going to be able to start working with if I become a customer right?
Tim: Right. It’s hyper clarity. So if somebody is listening to this and they’re thinking okay let me find out where the holes are in my website, where the sticking points that people don’t seem to know what to do next or aren’t sure where to go, how would you recommend that they find out those things other than trying to look at it themselves? The reason why I asked this question is because a lot of times we need that outsider’s opinion. We have our tunnel vision. We’re so focused on what we’re doing and all those things that it can be difficult to know what things need to be changed.
So beyond just looking at analytics, what would you recommend somebody do to figure out those issues?
Josh: You know, I think there’s probably like two or three things that I can think of. The first is like heuristics. You know, just like what are the best practices and we have like our resources on the marketing library at LeadPages for like copywriting and layout and just best practices like that. you know, but beyond that I think sometimes we can get a little too close to our projects and we see them and then we kind of are walking in the forest and the trees become too close to us.
I think sometimes taking a step back and showing a page or a website that you’re working on just to an average user, a representative user maybe it’s a prospective customer, maybe it’s somebody who’s potentially in the market. Just say hey what is this page meant to do and how would you get started? Just kind of let them kind of go and see what they would do.
And then I think that you know, that’s a great anecdotal start but I would they say may be doing some user testing as well. There’s great services out there. Usertesting.com is a really great one and you can actually use a free version of their product called Peak. You could just go in and put in a website URL and you have like a user, real live user look at your site and kind of giddy you once over. So you know, a little goes a long way when it comes to user testing. I was once told that with three users they can identify about 50% of your usability issues on your website.
Josh: If you can get five, they can usually look at around 75% or they’ll identify like 75% of the issues. So you have to be smart enough to kind of spot them when they see them in the user test. But yeah like a said a little goes a long way.
Tim: Yeah that’s amazing and it’s something that I think if you look at the feedback that you’re getting just in general. If you’ve you know for folks that have been doing business for a while and have been actually having some level of success, you’re going to get feedback from your customers whether it’s positive or negative. I think that’s important to pay attention to as well.
So Josh man, thanks so much for coming on the show. It’s been cool having you on and sharing this little bit of guidance as to how we’ve been able to see such a great improvement. So thanks again for coming on.
Josh: Thank you Tim. I hope to be back soon with some more wins for LeadPages.