Twin Cities Drupal Camp talk: "Change your customer's behavior with a brain-based, data-driven approach"

Change your customer's behavior

This talk was presented by our CEO, Seth Viebrock, at the 2018 Twin Cities Drupal Camp. The title of the presentation has been changed.

When we say we “optimize conversions” it doesn’t really get at the heart of what we’re doing – we’re changing customer behavior. We’re also learning about deep, emotional values that our customers possess. While there are many qualitative means to this end, there’s a ton of data that’s quicker to obtain and more readily available when we just don’t have the time, budget, or precision to delve into qualitative studies.

Whether you’re doing an evolutionary or revolutionary website redesign, or optimizing your ad traffic and SERPs, data is crucial. If it’s there, why not look at it?

Just like stereotypes can misrepresent reality, best practices can misrepresent what actually works for your particular site redesign. Be an advocate for archetypes (data-backed) over stereotypes (your own opinion). Whenever possible, favor data-informed decision making over “best practices”, egos, and the latest idea your boss dreamed up. Of course data is only as useful as the insights you draw from it, but why not look at it rather than ignore it, before spending your client’s dollars and putting your relationship with them on the line. Perfection does not exist in web design, but practicing data analysis can sure make things better.

Although this presentation is technology-agnostic, Drupal is a highly customizable, data-friendly platform, so let’s take a look at how we can use data for a better redesign, a better experience, and better KPIs and end results!

Here are some data concepts and sources we will cover, which can inform a successful redesign:

__Data-driven personas__ 

* What’s the difference between a stereotype (an inference based on personal experience) and an archetype (based on individual data points from a given demographic)? 

* What kind of data sources are available to support and build these personas? 

__Persuasive data__ 

* Your new redesign touts that this business/organization/institution can deliver a product or a set of promises…but what supporting data do you have to “prove” this to the end-users, and what does this mean when planning your data structures / content types? 

* How do you leverage and position testimonials, data-driven badges, and other “social proof”, as well as data from authority, liking, and scarcity (there are only X seats left to see this presentation!).

__User-centric, data-driven UX/Usability__ 

* The main goal of usability from your client’s perspective is more profit (or a similar KPI). How does something as simple as the prioritization of content on a page equate to profit? 

* What data exists right now that you can look at and use, without heading into a usability lab? 

* How does this data solve for the “ego problem” of web design? 

* Some of this data only takes a few minutes of your time – learn a few tips and tricks, too.

__What data do you have on the end-user?__ 

* Are there valuable opportunities for personalization of website content, even if it’s just the weather, referrer, or country of origin? Why would that matter?

__ Data-driven copywriting__

* So your client wants a website, but all websites need copy. Learn about what kind of data can inform copy-first design, even if it’s not always realistic, and at least think about what kind of data you or the client can collect to inform the usage of space on the page. 

__Analytics__ 

* Simple tricks for evaluating website performance in analytics (i.e. detecting a bug in Chrome without ever looking at the page, based on user completion of page goals), how to set your website and client up for success, and how to continuously improve.  

About the author: Seth Viebrock is Founder and CEO of Origin Eight, a Drupal and WordPress web design and digital marketing optimization agency based in Minneapolis.

Digital Marketing Brain: Your website may be losing people’s attention

Digital Marketing Brain

Think about it: some guy named Joe lands on your website from an ad campaign that both interests him and aligns with his awareness, and 5 seconds later he’s gone. He was looking for a product just like the one you sell, so why would Joe leave your website so quickly? You have a beautiful website that you poured a ton of money into, highly valuable products, he clicked through an ad that interested him, costing you $5 or even $50…and now he’s gone. What percentage of your web traffic is made up of “Joes”? And if you’re paying that much for your traffic, what can you do about the Joes of the world?

Next, Jane comes by through the same channel, with the same level of awareness and interest…and she spends 60 seconds browsing around. She even visits your “contact page”, because she briefly contemplated reaching out to you. She’s looking for a company like you, and she has some questions…but you never hear from her. Why didn’t Jane contact you?

What happened in each of these scenarios? Joe and Jane both made largely subconscious choices about how to spend their time –– their brains decided what to do, and for the majority of the decision their brains were on autopilot. So, how do brains make choices on websites?

Another name for a “choice” a user makes on the web is a “conversion”, and the verb form of that is “to convert.” So, how could we do a better job of getting Joe and Jane to convert? The formula below gives us some insight.

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) - 2a ©

where:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of the user
v = Clarity of the value proposition (“What’s in it for me?”)
I = Incentive to take action
f = Friction that prevents taking action
a = Anxiety present in taking action

This is a copyrighted formula from MECLABS, an independent research facility that focuses on how people make choices, that is widely used to describe how people “convert” or choose to take action. You can see that user motivation is the largest factor here – it’s the motivation that brought the user to your website in the first place. However, you can’t change a user’s motivation — all you can do is optimize the copy, visual messaging, experience, and design so that it is speaking to and aligned with with the user’s motivation in the best possible way, which, according to this formula, is the most important thing to get right.

The second most important factor is the clarity of the value proposition. It’s a difficult yet highly essential thing to get right. Think of the value proposition on your website’s homepage for example. Do you have one? Is it clear and front-and-center? It’s the text that, from the perspective of the user, answers “what’s in it for me, and why should I care?” Not only that, but it answers the question, “why should I choose you over an alternative?”

The third most important factors are incentive, friction, and anxiety. Incentives are little things push the user towards action, like “free shipping” or “discounts” or “get this item gift wrapped.” Friction is anything that psychologically or physically impacts a user’s ability to act. Examples include a bad or difficult checkout experience, long forms, forcing the user to create an account during an eCommerce checkout experience, website bugs or a bad user experience, copy that is confusing or unclear, and the like. Finally, there’s anxiety. There will always be perceived risks, costs, and benefits running through a user’s head before they complete an action, such as “Why do you need my phone number if I’m just downloading a product?” or “What happens after I give you my credit card?” or “If I fill out this contact form will I get hounded by a sales rep or will I get to talk directly to someone who has the expertise I’m looking for?”

So, we have a formula, but how do we actually do the work of optimizing conversions? Find a brief overview at our Digital Impact Optimization page.