By: Cameron Hendrick of Endai Worldwide

Our friends at AdRoll have been kind enough to offer us a guest blogging spot, so we’re going to spend some time talking about what’s on the other side of that display ad: site optimization for conversion.

Website conversion optimization is a topic that has been thrown around a lot lately, and for good reason. mentioned on their blog recently that 64% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with their site visit will go somewhere else to shop next time.

Why is conversion optimization so important?

Most companies are working with a limited marketing budget, so getting the most return on every dollar they spend becomes a top priority. Utilizing a retargeting campaign produces a much higher ROI than a dollar spent on traditional display advertising in many cases, because of the ability to zero in on potential customers who have already visited your website and shown interest in your products or services.

However, to really squeeze every ounce of potential out of that ad spend, you need to consider where that ad is leading your customers because the higher your conversion rate and the lower your cost per action, the higher the final ROI you’ll get on your campaign. And that’s where website conversion optimization comes in – making sure that every visitor that lands on your site has the highest possible chance of turning into a paying customer.

As website analytics guys, we’ve got some quick, actionable ideas on getting the most ad-bang for your ad-buck.

Here’s a quick run-down, in order of least difficult to most difficult to implement:

1) Direct their attention. Do you have a clear direction towards a conversion point? A lot of companies, in an attempt to seem subtle and less pushy, make their conversion unobtrusive and difficult to find. Don’t. Create a call to action that is not only highly visible, but that draws attention to itself and uses plenty of cues to lead customers there. The internet is not a subtle medium.

2) Eliminate roadblocks. Internet users are picky. If your site loads too slowly, they’ll leave. If your conversion process is too long, they’ll leave. If something is broken and they have to refresh multiple times, you bet they’ll leave. Use behavioral analytics (Google’s new “Visitor Flow” section in GA is great for this) to identify where visitors are leaving and run tests to see how you can improve their experience.

3) Build a Landing Page. Visitors who come to your site through display ads have different needs and wants, and are in a different part of the sales cycle than organic visits. Treat them as a unique segment and make sure that when they land on your site, they land on a page that is built just for them. Initially, a single landing page for all non-direct/non-organic traffic will do, but eventually you’ll want to move on to something that’s more personalized.

4) Get personal. In a perfect world, every visitor to your website would immediately be greeted by a friendly salesperson and taken by the hand to exactly the information they were looking for. Since that’s not how the internet works, the next best thing is to grow your landing pages to meet the needs of targeted segments.

Start by focusing on channels, with separate pages for display, organic, paid search, and social. Then as you collect information you can begin breaking these segments down further. The more you can analyze your visitors’ behavior, the more you’ll know about what they want. The more you know about what they want, the more likely you are to turn them into a customer.

With advertising campaigns becoming more and more competitive, converting as many website visitors as possible into paying customers is going to become a primary goal for many companies. These tips can help you get a jump on the competition and begin taking advantage of the traffic influx that results from a well implemented retargeting campaign.

Cameron Hendrick is an industry expert in Google Analytics and Enterprise Email Marketing. His company, Endai Worldwide helps brands like Spiegel, Newport News, E-Trade and Ruth’s Chris Steak House generate millions of dollars of additional revenue through smart analytics and targeted email strategy. Endai is the only Google Analytics Certified Partner in the world that also owns an Email Service Provider.