Live blogging coverage of the SES NY session: "Turning Simple Change Into Big Profit".

Jennifer Evans Laycock - Director of Social Media, Site Logic; Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Guide

Kayden Kelly, CEO, Blast Advanced Media
Matthew Bailey, SES Advisory Board, President, Site Logic Marketing
Andrew Goodman, SES Advisory Board; Principal, Page Zero Media

Simple Changes, Big Profits - Matt Bailey

If users can't find it something, in their minds it doesn't exist.

Call to action needs to drive website. He gave many examples of sites whose call to action isn't clear or visible. Want to add to cart? Good luck with that!

Other sites have overpowering colors and visual elements that draw users away from the call to action.

Sites that do it well lead users to desired action with a clear call to action.

Many sites make site too complicated for users. Another problem is sites that don't have custom 404 File Not Found pages. If a page doesn't exist, and isn't customized, it basically tells users to go away. Custom pages have real content and help users find what they are looking for.

Many sites have navigation systems that are either unclear, confusing or downright useless. Navigation is one of the most important elements of site usability. Matt advocates redundant navigation, where the site uses multiple mechanisms to help users find way around the site. This can include main navigation, breadcrumbs, and links within the content.

With e-commerce, it is important to cross-sell on the product pages, and upsell in the cart.

Don't make user registration mandatory. Not everyone wants to create another account.

Only 11% of online users use RSS. Most people don't know what a feed reader is. Just putting an RSS icon is not a good call to action. Provide other options such as email subscription.

Increasing Conversion - Kayden Kelly

He points out the one area people overlook is simply to start by making sure nothing is broken on your site.

Some steps to follow:

  • Measure and analyze your site.
  • Get to know your audience.
  • Identify & Prioritize Issues
  • Make & Track Changes
  • Setup and run tests.

Analytics are key to figure out where problem areas are. Look at what top entrance and exit pages are, to see where users come in and where they leave. If users keep leaving on the same page, that might need improvement.

Click tracking tools can also show what areas of a page people click on and what parts they don't.

4Q Surveys can help provide insight into why users are doing what they do, and getting site feedback from users.

Usability tests can be cheap and eye-opening. He suggests Morae and Silverback.

You can start testing with free tools like Google Website optimizer.

  • Decrease your cost per acquisition
  • Decrease bounce rates
  • Increase a user's time on the site
  • Eliminate guesswork - use facts
  • Increase your conversion rate

Testing can prevent harmful changes. Sometimes things seem like a good idea, but end up hurting business.

Paid Search Conversion - Andrew Goodman

Homepages are good place to start with conversion improvement.

Even simply reducing the worst elements can help. Examples include reducing clutter, and trying to eliminate the worst elements of the site.

Q&A Key Points:

  • Keep in mind that a user may enter a site on any page, so it's important to strategize how to guide users through the site to destination pages. (Matt Bailey)
  • Look at online store like it's a physical store, and may require investing in it as if it's a brick and mortar store. (Matt Bailey)
  • Don't waste all your money on the ecommerce platform at the expense of having no money left for marketing, but make sure the one you get can last 5+ years. (Kayden Kelly)

March 25, 2009

Scott is the CEO and founder of Red Sand Marketing, a San Diego SEO and web design firm. A dynamic mix of marketer, designer, and developer, he thrives on all aspects of internet marketing and web development. Having been involved in search engine optimization and web design since 1996, he and his team consistently achieve top search engine rankings for clients in competitive markets, and have won multiple web design awards along the way.


Thaks for the report. Would have loved to be at SESNY but only managed the SES London this year.

Is sort of missing Bryan Eisenberg on the panel ... always great to hear what he has to say.

this is good info. I am re-checking my sites for the call to action theme

That was an amazing and complete information for us who's willing to gain profits from our websites. It is true that maintaining your websites is the first thing we must do. Thanks for sharing this report, I really appreciate it. Keep it up!

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Search Engine Guide > Scott Allen > Search Engine Strategies New York - Turning Simple Change Into Big Profit