My Notes from Day 1 of Berlin’s Conversion Conference

Here are some of the notes I pulled from Tuesday’s session of the 2015 Conversion Conference, part of the greater Data Driven Business Conference in Berlin. The conference concludes today with another full session of speakers.

Morning Keynote – Bang! 15 Cases of Real CRO Impact

While case studies are always fascinating, Bart Schutz and Ton Wesseling’s morning keynote was especially memorable for their anecdote about getting started in conversion optimization. Early on, the two Netherlands-based CROs were tasked with improving bookings on a hotel’s website.

Problem is, the hotel’s booking page was buried within the site’s organizational structure, listed as a daughter page in a menu widget somewhere.

Their fix was to simply put a huge button on the homepage that could take visitors to the booking page. Crude, but it worked.

It produced an immediate ROI for their client, but that was more or less the extent of it. On-page optimization can work well as a stopgap in a case with glaring holes in the funnel like this, however a more methodical and more refined approach would provide more lasting value. The story as a great reminder that CRO is a lot like chess. It’s possible to make quick defensive moves if necessary, but lasting success comes from thinking two or three steps ahead.

Here’s their Slideshare:

Collecting Meaningful Data for Conversion Optimization

It says something when absolutely everyone packs into the secondary conference room to watch your presentation. Even the morning’s keynote speakers observed from the floor.

The short of Simo Ahava’s presentation on meaningful data collection was that Google Analytics is a tool developed to work for everyone, but because of that, it requires quite a bit of customization to get meaningful data for specific situations.

Take the issue with sessions. Session-based statistics are treated like gospel to many stakeholders, yet:

  • Timeouts longer than 30 minutes register new sessions.
  • All sessions are cleared at midnight local time, at which time they refresh
  • Analytics does not consider same-user, different-device sessions by default

In itself, that’s enough to throw off most of your KPIs. Even more, what about bounce rate? What if all someone needed to fully interact with your business was to look up your homepage and find your telephone number from their cell phone. It’s a bounce, but at that point, they’re really not a bounce, right?

This presentation covered ways to control for all of these bugs within Analytics and to actually get some good, usable site metrics. For example, Ahava attaches e-commerce goals to words on his blog, so he knows exactly how many words are getting read as he writes.

As far as I know, the Slideshare isn’t posted yet, but once it’s live, I’ll post it here.

Your Results Are Invalid: Advanced Statistics for CRO

Distilled’s Tom Capper carried the conversation into the next session with a superb talk on the nuts and bolts of frequentist statistics collection and common pitfalls to avoid.

Check out his slideshare:

Mobile CRO: Performance Tuning and Content Optimization

Volles Haus auf der #ConvCon – Danke an alles Zuhörer!!

A photo posted by André Goldmann (@pixeldreher) on

I’m keeping my eye out for Andre Goldmann’s Slideshare from this presentation, because I think I might’ve experienced at least 20 “Aha! I wish I thought of that!” moments.

Just like Ahava’s analytics presentation earlier, this covered way too much to fit into a wrapup blog like this. The Munich-based COO of 121Watt presented a checklist of mobile optimization tactics. After covering the usual site speed and responsive design stuff, he delved into an area where CRO overlaps with SEO: There is a short list of schema markup that can be used on mobile homepages to make it easier for mobile users to convert directly from the SERP.

Obviously, this works best with local businesses. Implementation and case study will have to be the subject of a future blog here, so stay tuned.