Considered a “global phenomenon”, the most downloaded show worldwide, talked about pretty much non-stop on social media networks…Game of Thrones and HBO certainly have a thing or two to teach us about digital marketing that’s for sure! What we perhaps haven’t realised though is that the characters from the show themselves also have a few lessons to teach us on how to optimise our sites in order to increase conversion rates…and profits!
- Always question your assumptions: “you know nothing”!
“You know nothing, Jon Snow”… the phrase that stayed in everyone’s minds just as much as the tantalising Ygritt-Jon Snow coupling: there are many who would have loved to be the ones the beautiful savage was talking to…and many others who would have loved to be in her shoes! Their seductive prowess aside, these two characters are a good example of questioning assumptions: starting out as enemies, ending up as lovers, they didn’t hesitate to put certain assumptions into question and to realise they were stronger as allies. Certainly a wise attitude that is also fundamental to Conversion Optimisation: in online marketing, even more so than elsewhere, being able to question assumptions and not get stuck in your ways is essential otherwise you can quite easily fall victim of your own knowledge and expertise. The internet is constantly evolving and, in order to follow the ever-changing trends, it is necessary to “unlearn” every day. To optimise your site, you need to constantly be thinking about your visitor expectations rather than just your own ideas and always, always, test your hypotheses.
- Rely on statistics rather than unfounded beliefs
It can be tempting to simply rely on our beliefs and to follow positive predictions that promise us the results we want without taking the reality in front of us into consideration… Even more so when they come from the hypnotic red witch! And yet…the example of Stannis should be a warning to us all: (mis)guided only by the unfounded beliefs of Melisandre, he went into battle against Ramsay and his army without taking into consideration the statistical unlikelihood of victory due to his vastly inferior number of soldiers. Don’t make the same mistake: you don’t want to be the Stannis of Conversion Rate Optimisation! Don’t draw hasty conclusions from your tests before ensuring their statistical significance (meaning that they comply with the criteria necessary to have a reliable and accurate test result). Your hypotheses for improving your site should be based on a statistical truth rather than your own optimistic predictions.
- Give your site many faces!
In 2016, the Many-Faced God should be your optimisation inspiration: with the explosion of the mobile device market, adaptability is key to ensure you don’t lose visitors. Your site must be fully mobile-responsive and don the multiple faces required (a subject Jagen Hagar knows a thing or two about!). Did you know that in 2015, our mobile device usage officially overtook our computer and laptop usage (based on Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report)? If your website doesn’t display well on smartphones and other mobile devices, you could be losing a large portion of your potential traffic!
- Don’t abandon your ideas too soon: “what is dead may never die”!
You have an idea for something to improve your website, you test it, the results aren’t as significant as you expected, so you cast it aside… Mistake! Follow Fer-nés’s motto instead: “what is dead may never die”. It’s wise to remember that each test you run is particular to a certain page, audience, and period of time during which it was run… now, when it comes to Conversion Rate Optimisation, context is king! Meaning that just because an idea didn’t produce results during one test, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good idea but was perhaps just applied to the wrong context. So a test that didn’t work out so well on your homepage could in fact have excellent results applied to your product page instead, or perhaps your idea would be more effective during another time of the year, or targeting a different geographical zone, etc.
- Stay alert to what’s going on!
Who better than Varys to teach us how to stay alert to the goings on around us? Thanks to his “little birds”, the Master of Whisperers keeps an eye and an ear on everything. When it comes to optimisation, you’ve got your own little birds in the form of your customer behaviour and data analytics tools: analytics, heatmaps, scrollmaps, funnel tools, etc.… This information will show you the way in which your visitors use your site, where they encounter difficulties, which elements are engaging them, etc. This is all crucial information to help you know the best ways to optimise your site.
- Don’t underestimate new arrivals on the battlefield
Whilst everyone is arguing over The Iron Throne, there is a new adversary on the scene who is being mostly ignored and underestimated for the moment but who is due to make serious waves next season: the White Walkers. On a similar (but undoubtedly less blood-thirsty) note, there is also a newcomer to the optimisation tool market that will be making its own waves: Scenario is coming!