If you're like the majority of site owners, then you're probably not satisfied with your eCommerce store's conversion rate. According to eConsultancy, only 22% of companies are satisfied, and that number has been trending downward for the past four years.

To make matters worse, companies say that conversion rates are getting harder to improve. The percentage of website owners who were unable to increase conversion rates has risen by 17% since 2010.

All the while, the importance of conversion optimization has been steadily increasing, and it's now prioritized above social media marketing and brand building, and tied with content marketing, as seen in a recent Digital Trends Report from eConsultancy.

There is something wrong with this picture. Why are companies struggling to make improvements to this vital part of their marketing plan?

Marketer gut feelings and so-called "best practices" are to blame

Does your website have a carousel or "slider" on the homepage? Do you prominently feature your site security badge? Scientific testing by WiderFunnel has shown that both of these "best practices" can actually hurt your conversions. While they may seem like an obvious solution to the problem of how to feature several important offers, homepage carousels have proven to hurt conversions rates in many cases. The prominent site security badge can be a problem when it focuses your customers on security, rather than completing their purchase. So why do so many businesses emphasize them? Best practices and gut feelings.

You should base your strategy on scientific marketing instead. According to eConsultancy, when companies use a structured approach to conversion rate optimization, they are twice as likely to see increases in sales.

This should come as no surprise. The scientific method is the source of a lot of the world's knowledge. Advances in healthcare, education and technology did not come about by using gut intuition or best practices. Why would your website be any different?

But instead of embracing the scientific method when it comes to conversion optimization, 63% of companies are still relying on the habits they're used to, or the so-called "common sense" of their peers. This is your chance to break out and get ahead of the competition. Continue Reading Article…

About The Author: Chris Goward was one of the first people to look at online content and say: "We should test that!" From that revelation he founded WiderFunnel - the marketing optimization agency that pioneered conversion rate optimization methods for companies such as Google, Electronic Arts, SAP, Shutterfly and He is the brains behind the LIFT™ and Kaizen™ methods and speaks at conferences and seminars around the world to evangelize how marketers should test their marketing to get more leads, sales and profit. Chris is author of the conversion optimization book, "You Should Test That!" published by Wiley Sybex in 2013.


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