Optimizing Conversion Rates and Your Quality of Life

I help businesses get better results on their online efforts. I do this through a discipline called Conversion Rate Optimization. What this means, in a nutshell, is that I uncover numerous obstacles in the journey a user has to take on my client’s website in order to convert and then I come up with solutions to eliminate each obstacle.

How I find these obstacles in the user journey? I use a combination of quantitative and qualitative research — these may contain and almost always do: obtaining insights from analytics, going through session recordings, heatmaps, scrollmaps, a hundred customer surveys, website polls, talking to customer support, talking to every member of the team involved in the work, using my own intuition and experience on similar businesses and so on and so on.

Long story short — I identify the points where businesses are losing money by going through their analytics and then get the details and why’s through doing proper qualitative research.

What happens after I have the list of problems? Line up all the potential solutions developed and prioritize them based on:

  • the impact they will have on the overall performance of the business
  • the value of the learnings we get from them and
  • the amount of resources we will need to use in order to implement and test those hypotheses

As soon as that’s out of the way, I implement tests, one by one, in their pre-set order, helping clients get more customers and improve their products and services.

The key is to really have an iterative testing process and progress towards something, to help your customers improve their businesses, not just get small wins (if any in the long run) by changing a color on a random button. I don’t feel you learn too much about your customers when you do that, you’re just throwing stuff on there to see what catches on.. kind of like fishing, which I don’t get.

In the end, it’s about not leaving money on the table, not wasting resources, not letting your ego run the show while damaging your business and overall results.

As I was writing a report yesterday on the latest tests performed for a client, I started thinking about what you can do if you spend some time to look at what you’re doing and how! I mean, each hour of our lives has an ROI, we are investing time and effort with the hopes of getting something back, in most cases a happy, meaningful life. I also know how many of my clients started out with borrowed models that were not helping them reach their true potential.

Just like we do with our websites, we tend to do with our lives. We copy some templates we’ve seen somewhere else and implement them as we think is best. We have a broader or more narrow range of capabilities, depending on the technology we’re building on — good family, good education, growing up in a bad neighborhood, limiting beliefs / using shopify, magento, woocommerce, not enough money for advertising.. you get it.

So, why not apply some of the same techniques from conversion rate optimization to a “quality of life” optimization?

Let’s go through the same process, in very rough lines:

  1. First thing you need to do is to define your business objectives. What are your long-term goals? How do they translate in your daily routine? How far along are you towards those goals? What system are you using to track your progress? (I tend to go with notes in Evernote, I can access them from my computer and phone so it’s all I need).
  2. Do a thorough walkthrough of your normal routine, how you spend your hours every day of the week. Write down anything you thought could have worked better. Try and group things together (work, sleep, eat, self-improvement, exercise, socializing, etc.)
  3. Dig into the analytics of it all — how much time are you spending per each activity? What percentage of that is leading you to your goals? Where could you really cut down on resources wasted?
  4. Develop a testing plan with the changes you want to test in your life. Track where you are before you do them and then track where you are after some time.
  5. Learn from what you’ve experienced and reiterate the process.

Now, let’s look at some very simple examples of aspects in life where you could apply this.

Look and feel in shape —

I started working around 10 years ago and now I could not imagine my life without exercising at least 3–4 times a week. How I got started? I slowly eliminated all the obstacles that would prevent me from working out.

Problem: “I have no money so there is no way I could sign up for a gym subscription”

Solution: A cheap yoga mat and a pair of sneakers — I started working out at home, guided by youtube videos and I would go running whenever the weather was nice.

Problem: “I have no time to workout as I always have to work until late, when I am completely exhausted.”

Solution: I started waking up 40 minutes earlier than usual. I would fit in my 35 minute workout and then I was able to have a nice shower and breakfast, as any other working day.

Save money —

A big part of my life I spent trying to make due with the money I would earn and somehow I never had enough to reach my next pay day. The more I earned, the more I spent and I was always in a “poverty” mindset.

Problem: “I never have enough money from one pay day to the next.”

Solution: The solution came by identifying the actual root cause of the problem. It was pretty obvious that I had a limited earning at that point so the next thing was to find out: Where am I leaking the most money? Pretty straightforward thing to find out, you just write down all your expenses for a week. The key is to not alter your spending habits as you know you’re being watched, just spend the usual you would spend. After a week, you should be able to pinpoint exactly where you could save money without too much effort.

There is a great interview Marie Forleo took of David Bach on this subject, you can watch the whole story at this link here. He calls this “the latte factor”, from one of his students who asked how she could save money when she could barely have enough to live. The girl was holding a $5 Starbucks latte and she bought one every day. 20 days x $5 a day equals $100 per month that you could be spending on lattes alone.

Like David Bach says, “I also love coffee, I just choose to drink mine at home.”

Start your own thing —

Now this is the subject that is dearest to my heart at this point and I am excited every single day about new things to learn and do.

I started my own conversion optimization agency about a year ago, after working as an independent consultant for a while.

Problem: “I wish I could start my own business, if only I had the time and money to do it.”

Solution: Start a side-hustle. If you’re really motivated about doing something else, start something on the side. What is the core asset you think you have that could ultimately turn into a business? For me it was conversion optimization, for you it could be developing an app — start by offering to help out startups in your area with the expertise you have. Maybe you’re an amazing marketer and can offer to help out with the marketing plan. This will get you involved in other aspects of the business, get you connected to people and you can also learn from what they are doing.

Two great places to find side-projects are Upwork or AngelList.

As soon as you are confident enough in your own projects, you will be able to focus on developing your business, without the fear that you will not be able to pay your bills.

Bottomline is, any good solution will come after defining the problem and its cause very well.

These are just some examples of small things you can change to improve your quality of life. I would love to find out some other things you guys are struggling with or things you feel you’ve really optimized in your life.

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