Up Close @ SMX Advanced: Conversion Rate Rockstars

upclose_adv14When you get right to it, all online marketing comes down to conversions — whether you define a conversion as a sale, a click, a whitepaper download or a registration. That was the topic covered in the “Conversion Rate Rockstars” session at SMX Advanced this year, which I’ll recap here.  

First, let me introduce the players on the stage:

Feras Alhlou

Feras Alhlou

Feras Alhlou: Co-Founder/Principal Consultant, E-Nor

The title of Feras’ presentation was “How Well Do You Know Your Customers?” (see below for an embed of the slides)

Feras began by saying marketers need to remove cultural roadblocks within the organization that prevent sales. All businesses want to be more data driven and need to be more comfortable with the numbers so they don’t get stricken with analysis paralysis.


He then introduced the concept of “Infobesity” and showed that “we are drowning in #analytics data.” Marketers are overwhelmed with data and need to know how to slice and dice all the data. Another challenge that Feras presents relates to People, Process & Technology. There is a huge talent shortage in digital marketing and companies are seeking passionate people who are able to successfully turn data into insights.

We live in a multi-device/multi-channel reality. Television no longer commands our full attention and online shopping is a multi-screen activity. Both of these developments present a huge challenge for marketers, according to Feras.

He contends that there is a lack of understanding as to how to measure and improve businesses. In many cases, a measurement strategy does not exist. Marketers are stymied by a lack of segmentation of data, so businesses can’t understand their reality.

Feras then delineates the Why / Who / What / Where / When of actionable data.

When: “When” refers to time-based data.

Where: “Where” refers to source-based data. He then showed an example of data that segments cost-per-lead by traffic source. Assessing multi-channel funnels/assisted conversions consists of looking at both the “When” and the “Where” and measuring the relative value of each.

What: What is the action that happens on the site? Events / Videos / Downloads / Outbound Links / Outcomes are examples of “What/”

Who: This refers to the characteristics of each segment of visitors. Developing a segmentation framework is important. Marketers need to change their focus from session-based analytics to a user-centric view.slide-19-1024

Why: To answer the questions, you need to “connect the dots” from your collected and collated information.

Surveys are excellent ways to help generate the information to answer these questions, according to Feras.

Chris Goward

Chris Goward

Chris Goward: Co-Founder & CEO, WiderFunnel

Chris’s presentation was really excellent. However, it was very case-study driven and therefore hard to take notes on. But I’ll do the best I can to list the main points he made. The theme of Chris’s presentation was “How To Be A Conversion Optimization Rockstar.”

• Best practices “suck” because they don’t take into account your audience, so rockstars don’t follow “Best Practices”. As a Rockstar, you need to figure out what works for your customers by testing your hypotheses — you need to focus your energy on asking the right questions for your audience.

• Chris described the Lift Model. Factors such as relevance and clarity increase conversions, while anxiety and distractions reduce conversions. There also must be a sense of urgency that tells people why they should act now, rather than waiting.

• He showed a slide about Click Heat Path Analysis software which shows how visitors are interacting with your page and whether your visitors are in sync with how you intend them to act.

• Rockstars Know Their Value Proposition. How do you find it? Gather up all your information and test, test, test.

•  Framework: You need to find the intersection of Prospect Desires, Competitors Features & Your Features. PODs: Points of Difference. POPs: Points of Parity. POI’s: Points of Irrelevance.

• Rockstars aren’t afraid to do it differently. Example: Website design. Rockstars continually improve their website via new features and testing (instead of doing total site overhauls).

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Conversion Rate Optimization | Features & Analysis | Internet Marketing Industry: Search Marketing Expo - SMX


About The Author: has over 10 years experience in search marketing and has used Google AdWords since its inception. He also is very visible in the SEM social media space and encourages people to connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group) and is a current board member.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+

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