Conversion Assists: How to Leverage Your Site's Most Influential Pages

    by Pamela Vaughan

    Date

    March 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    soccer assist advanced

    If you've ever played a sport that regarded the 'assist' as an important statistic, you know how valuable it can be. I grew up playing soccer for most of my adolescence, and although I was never the highest scoring player, I was always one of the most regular contributors to making assists. And to be honest, setting my teammates up for success somehow felt even more rewarding than scoring goals myself.

    In marketing, assists can be extremely valuable, too. So for you marketers who have always exercised a bit of a competitive drive as well as a love for analytics, you might just go into marketing shock from all the awesome stuff you're about to learn about the role of assists (and how you can leverage them) in inbound marketing.

    What Are Conversion Assists, and Why Are They Important?

    When we talk about assists in the marketing world, we're generally referring to what we call conversion assists. Simply speaking, conversion assists are pages on your website that your visitors viewed before they converted into leads or customers.

    Understanding a website's conversion assists can help marketers identify the most influential pages and interactions on their website. In doing so, they can learn a lot about why those pages are and aren't effective and apply those insights to both improving poor-performing web pages on their site and enhancing other components of their marketing to increase conversions. 

    How to Analyze Your Conversion Assists and Improve Conversions

    Want to start improving the conversion of your web pages? Analyze your conversion assists and start making changes for the better by following these 5 steps.

    Step 1: Identify your top conversion assist pages.

    The first thing you'll need to do is understand which of your pages are your best-assisting website pages. For HubSpot Professional and Enterprise customers, starting today you can access a new tool, Conversion Assists, in your Analyze tab. The tool will allow you to analyze pages by specific categories (e.g. landing pages vs. standard pages vs. blog posts) as well as by specific date ranges. Users will also be able to toggle between a tab showing conversion assists for leads (the pages leads viewed before they converted into leads) and conversion assists for customers (the pages customers viewed before they converted into customers). It will provide a percentage for each conversion assist page, which represents the percentage of leads/customers who viewed that page before converting. In other words, the pages with the highest percentage indicate your top-assisting web pages.

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    For Google Analytics users, identifying your conversion assist pages is a little bit trickier, though still doable. Click here to find out how.

    Step 2: Identify patterns among your top pages.

    There could be a number of reasons why your top pages are...well...your top pages. The trick here is to use some logic to identify what these reasons actually are. For example, it would make sense that your products/pricing pages have high assist percentages for customer conversions, because you'd assume that most of your customers would check out those pages before becoming customers, right?

    Draw conclusions like this for the rest of your conversion assist pages. Look at your top-assisting landing pages, for instance. What types of offers (webinars, ebooks, etc.) contribute the most to conversions? What topics do they cover? Do you notice that landing pages that are formatted a certain way have higher assist percentages than others? Apply similar logic to your blog pages. Do you notice that certain topics you're writing about have higher assist percentages than others? How does this vary between leads and customers? For example, blog posts about topic X might have high assist percentages for leads, whereas blog posts about topic Y might have high assist percentages for customers. Once you identify some of the reasons behind why your top-performing pages are top performers, you can start to make improvements to poor-performing pages and adjustments to other aspects of your marketing.

    Step 3: Leverage insights from top pages to improve lead nurturing efforts.

    Use the insights you've gathered from your top customer conversion assist pages to inform and improve your lead nurturing campaigns. Adjust the individual emails in your lead nurturing series to include relevant content (e.g. landing pages and blog articles) that have the highest assist percentages for converting customers. This will enable you to create more effective lead nurturing campaigns that increase lead-to-customer conversions.

    Step 4: Create more content on topics similar to those of top pages.

    If you've noticed that certain types of offers (e.g. ebooks vs. webinars) or certain topics covered in your content have higher assist percentages than others, this could indicate that your target audience prefers content in one format over another or wants to learn about certain topics more than others. Use this information to inform future content creation so you spend your time creating the kinds of content your audience is interested in -- and, thus, the type of content that converts them!

    Step 5: Improve the calls-to-action on poorly performing web pages.

    For this exercise, you'll want to switch it up and take a look at some of your worst offending web pages so you can improve the calls-to-action (CTAs) on those pages. The idea here is, if a web page is low on your list of conversion assist pages, it's probably not sending traffic to pages that are successfully converting visitors. The likely reason is that the page's CTAs either aren't getting clicked on in the first place, or the landing pages those CTAs point to aren't effectively converting visitors.

    To identify which of these problems pertains to your poorly performing pages, you need to first take a look at the individual CTAs on your pages. You'll likely encounter one of two problems:

    Problem A: If a CTA points to a landing page that has a high conversion assist percentage itself, what you likely have on your hands is a CTA click-through problem. Maybe the language of the CTA doesn't effectively demonstrate the value of the offer, perhaps the button isn't placed prominently enough on the page, or maybe the button just doesn't have an appealing or eye-catching design. The only way to find out is to conduct some A/B testing so you can isolate different variables and ultimately improve the click-through on your CTAs. Here's a great blog post to get you started with A/B testing your CTAs.

    Problem B: If your CTA points to a landing page that has a low conversion assist percentage, this probably indicates that the offer on that page isn't one of your best ones. In this case, try swapping the CTA on the page with one that points toward a landing page that you've noticed has a high conversion assist percentage.

    Marketers should take this analysis even one step further by factoring in the website visitor's likely stage in the buying cycle when they're visiting certain pages, and aligning that knowledge with the most appropriate CTAs for that stage. For example, if you're analyzing a product page with a low conversion assist percentage and you've identified that its CTA falls under the category of Problem B, the new CTA you choose should be one that both (A) points toward a landing page with a high customer conversion assist percentage and (B) also represents a more middle-of-the-funnel offer like a product demo or free trial. This is because someone visiting a product page is more likely to (A) already be a lead and (B) be closer to a purchasing decision.

    As you can see, analyzing your conversion assist data can offer a wealth of information and insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing. Taking the time to conduct this 5-step analysis can help you increase conversions and create a more efficient lead generation and lead nurturing marketing machine.

    Have you conducted similar analysis of your website's conversion assists? How did it help you improve your website's conversions?

    Image Credit: Jarrett Campbell

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