Conversion Elite 2017 – A Full Day Write Up of The First Conversion Event

Conversion Elite is the first Conversion Conference organised by Go-Events. It took place on July 7th at the Trampery, Old Street. A big shout out to Craig Rayner, Jackie Bissell, Sarah Brown, Andy Brown for organising this fantastic event.

Tim Stewart kicked off Conversion Elite with the the day with his presentation “Test with Intelligence”.

Conversion Elite

What will you get as a result? The business problem is your problem. You can do something about it if not getting the results you want. Because you solve the customer problems.

Tim then shared some of the tools he recommends us using:

Tools and Stacks

  • Google Sheets
  • Google Analytics
  • Tag Manager
  • Google Query
  • Google Data Studio
  • (Supermetrics)

Analytics is very good, you can also put things into the cloud. If you want somewhere to crunch the data from the SQL server, put in excel

There are some free and cheap tools such as Clicktale, hotjar, mouseflow.

If you want to be really fancy, use Hit level in Google Analytics– and choose measurement protocol. There is a tool that came out of beta called scitylana  will track every single hit on the site.

Tim Stewart

We are here  because we care about conversions. Traffic is vanity But conversion rates is also vanity. It is just a portion of the traffic.


BUT Profits are sanity. So what Tim started to talk about was Relationships. Relationships develop value. How can we measure and influence them.


  • Conversion is like dating not shopping.
  • If you are talking about project and growth, it is about customer relationships.
  • Particularly important if talking about life time value from e-commerce.
  • Relationship works better as a metaphor.

What type of conversion?

  • What type of relationships are we trying to model?
  • Is it a casual basis?
  • Or we looking for fun?
  • Or loyal?
  • Seeking longer commitments. Are they looking for this too?

Metrics and Measurement

  • Important to have micro conversions. Try and get “yeses”.
  • How do those first touches on the site feel? Which segments and what devices are people using? Do they still seem a little unsure?
  • Don’t disappoint with an over eager CTA. Yes they are trying to direct people towards action, but need to direct people with reason.
  • Have patience, the results will show.
  • Think on that journey “what are you going to measure?”


Quantity Value of Changes

  • If fixed then that is the range of potential value or risk avoided, not a quick fix.
  • Identifying optimal value is a longer term process.

Intent and attraction

  • Need to test.
  • Sometimes may get more visits, but they might be the same person just using different devices.
  • Attraction is subjective.

Landing pages

  • It is the S of your advertising AIDAS . (Sell)
  • Does the page you landing on deliver what you promised?
  • If it doesn’t that is a challenge. 

Home page

  • They can be noisy.
  • It is the worst page to optimize
  • Unless you have a clear offering
  • What is your desired outcome?
  • Trying to please all people like new customers and returning visitors


What is the most important thing on the site for the business and the user? So look at see what has the most clicks

  • Need to get rough idea.
  • Business Focus – every business prioritise above the fold – which device are people using?
  • User Intent Focus – Tim recommends.
  • Which path for me? Your user Journey is Not Theirs

Measuring Lost?

  • You can measure where people drop off.
  • Lots of pathfinding – what can you do better to sign post?
  • Look at difference between returning and new.

Great presentation from Tim, we were short on time, so I could not take down all the notes. Please refer to his presentation which he has uploaded onto Slideshare.


We were Promised JetPacks

Next on stage was Craig Sullivan who has more than 32 years of experience in the industry.  He gave an impression presentation about the sheer number of bad websites, the bad user experience and what we can do for our clients.

Craig Sullivan

Craig went through many websites including one from British Airways where user experience was terrible on a mobile phone. Someone really had not thought that one through.We can do Persuasion, Motivation, Usability  – but bigger problem is what stuff doesn’t work. How much do product defects costs?

Product Defect Costs

Craig recommended carrying out AB Testing, this is what you should think about before you do AB Testing.

  • Do you have testing bandwidth?
  • Stop copying stuff blindly – your customer is not the same. Your UX is not the same. Your analytics are broken in different ways.
  • Get with statistics
  • Estimate Testing Time and Power (Run a test calculator first.) If
  • Prioritise testing and Ideas
  • Get a proper Test Hypothesis
  • Record the Design people “see” The design you see on your mobile, is different. You are not the user, see it from their perspective.
  • Ads
  • Test Ads
  • Test across 3 horizons
  • Get an analytics Audit now – you need it
  • Make a device list
  • No more excuses – rent, buy steal, cloud base testing
  • DO Rapid Usability testing and Guerilla testing and multi channel and cross device study
  • Install Session Recording
  • Run a customer survey – still good to do.
  • Install Voice customer tools
  • Get copy skills – it costs more money if you don’t have a copy writer.
  • Invest in Analytics
  • Add Form Analytics does tests before they make a real change to their website and there is a reason they are so successful.


Arnout Hellemans spoke about Checkout Optimisation

Arnout talked about “ABO” – Always be optimizing. You need a conversion mindset,  there are no rules.

Arnout Hellemans

Check out optimisations – what is that about?

  • It is about practical tips.
  • What is the main checkout function? = to calm down and reassure the customer
  • Why are check outs slow?


  • Use pagespeed insights chrome plugin
  • Check GA page timings
  • Fix loading issues
  • Optimize pictures

Remove Friction

  • Show validation rules (fix the basics)
  • Correct labels
  • Placeholders


  • HTTPs for trust
  • Number of past customers
  • Payment possibilities
  • Pricing statement


Getting ahead

  • Pre-connect, pre-fetch, pre-render
  • You can instruct the browser to do certain things before the user clicks.
  • This is not specifically CRO but increasing load times will decrease drop off by 20%

Arnout Explaining PreFetch

Let’s get practical


  • In the Netherlands, they have payment gateways on external site. Want to prefetch.preresolve DNS external payment provider.
  • Prerender next checkout step all the time.
  • Also autofill name, address, telephone, this helps a lot.
  • So many great tips, read the presentation for more detail:





Stephen from Branded3 was up next and presented “Conversion is a Ranking Factor”

Stephen started the presentation by stating two facts:

  1. SEO is a business case – not a channel
  2. Google is playing catch up

Stephen from Branded3

  • They use CRO as a business case too. How much could you increase revenue by per second?
  • Consideration is everything for SEO.CRO only works if start with conversion
  • A story about location extensions.
  • PPC location extensions worked well for Stephen’s clients.
  • Build a knowledge base and build one of all the questions being asked.

Knowledge Base


Then Stephen talked about a Case Study with Virgin Holidays

  • 2013 – The search engine for cruise information.
  • Need to make information more easily available.
  • Make sure that content is structured for conversions.
  • You will rank better if put content in products. But not looking to convert.
  • Once have the content hub then keep them there.
  • What happen when navigation gets taken away? People are less likely to navigate sites compared what they did before.

What is the most important factor in the design of a website?

  • It is ease of use.
  • Content is high friction, it is hard to browse and find the information.

Conversions ad Site Search

  • This site search is huge for conversion.
  • 30% of visitors will perform a site search
  • Searchers generate more revenue than non searchers
  • 84% if companies don’t measure site search.

Set this up in GA


New settings, turn on

Then get great report  

How to audit your site search

  • Which product/platform tool powers it?
  • Whose job is it?
  • Was it implement in house or externally?
  • Functions on site search – is there auto suggest? Can it cope with typos? Can you sort the results?


  • People want to use search to research.
  • Eg search for fixed rate mortgage.
  • Responsed AI – what is APR?
  • Consulative AI – Am I libel for this?

Loads of great tips, more can be seen in the presentation on slideshare.



Paul Rouke used a case study about Moss Bross to talk about How a Company Built up their Optimisation Culture.

Moss Bross has now seen a 25 % increase in desktop CTR.


Conversion Optimisation is within most businesses but there are many areas CRO has to break:

  • CRO is misunderstood.
  • It is under appreciated
  • Means it is a lack of investment in people
  • Lack of User Research
  • Lack of intelligence in the CRO strategy
  • Lack of integrity in terms of reporting and test results
  • So this leads to a lack of learnings
  • Little to no impact
  • Losing faith in CRO and this is the biggest shame of CRO when should be part of their growth strategy.


The Five Levels of Maturity in Conversion Optimisation

This is not a yes or no, there are 5 levels in the model. As you look at the model you can see where you are

  • Beginner
  • Aspiring
  • Progressive
  • Strategic
  • Transformative

So what has Paul been doing with Moss Bros to move through this and has a positive impact on their business?

There are 4 pillars of optimization

  • Strategy and Culture – If we are not influencing their culture then we will hit road blocks
  • Tools and Technology
  • People and Skills
  • Process and Methodology

Conversion Optimisation Maturity Model

Pilar 1 – Strategy and Culture

  • Looking at the business mindsight, do they have a growth mindset?
  • Product vs customer led, many companies are product led.
  • CRO should not be seen as a tactic, it needs to be embedded in the culture.


  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Passion
  • Positivity
  • O


It has been interesting to see this being picked up. Paul worked with Matt at Moss Bross.  They said that they had the senior and influential champion.

Strategy and Culture, – lessons learned from Moss Bross:

  • Customer Centricity stars with user research
  • Experimentation should be valued business wide.
  • Evolving from being product to customer led is key
  • Testing shouldn’t be used to settle design arguments
  • Optimisation can answer major strategic questions

Pillar 2 Tools and Technology

Conversion Optimisation Maturity Model, see below:


Conversion Optimisation Model


Lessons from Moss Bros

  • The most important tool is people’s brains
  • Enterprise technology needs people and process
  • Sharing experimentation learnings is key
  • Google Analytics should be continually optimized.
  • Testing platform expertise drives true value

Pillar 3 People and Skills

Moss Bross said they had the technical capability to build complex tests directly. This helped a lot.

People and Skills – Front End Development Resource

Front End Dev


  • Dev resources is scarce. Engagement with developer is v crucial.
  • You need the technical resource.
  • Such a limited amount of people for front end development.


Lessons Learnt

  1. Behavioural research skills are invaluable
  2. Advanced data analysis skills are integral
  3. The re-invented HOPPO traits play a key role
  4. A true multi disciplinary team drives real value
  5. Technical capability using the testing tool is key.

Then look at the summary

  • Intelligent, insightdriven
  • It is people not technology.
  • How advanced


What a great case study, the full details are on slideshare:


John Woods then shared his experience on working with B2B websites. His presentation “Mining for gold – Optimising for Niche B2B” had some golden nuggets.

John works for Oxford Innovation who run a network of innovations in UK. Most B2C, millions of potential customers, but in niche B2B much smaller

Time for decision in a B2C is minutes but time for decision in a niche is days.

Niche B2B  Get close to the decision maker.


The goal of the marketing optimizer

  • Maximise the business value of marketing activities
  • Maximise the Return on investment (ROI) of marketing campaigns
  • = CRO

Out of 100 people looking at your ad, there are some not convertible. B2C clicks are not convertible because:

  • Misunderstood ad
  • Clicked on by accident
  • Can’t afford your project

Niche B2B clickers are not convertible because:

  • Competitors checking you out
  • Job seekers
  • Students/market researchers
  • Existing clients kicking tyers
  • Own team/agency testing the page

Two ways to get b2b optimization wrong


  • CTR percentage
  • For B2B it is  Optimisation pipline
  • Pipeline optimization value (PVO)
  • Many leads are bad
  • Real world optimization, you need to follow Best Practice



Connor Wilkinson from Asda spoke about “Conquering The Perfect Storm”

The Perfect Storm

Connor addressed “How to combat the Perfect Storm”


There are many areas to address:

  • Technology
  • Resource
  • Accurate metrics
  • Commerciality
  • Innovation


  • You can be capable in resource which are your people.
  • Get close to your tech team
  • Review what you have regularly
  • Be open to change

Capability in Your Process

  • Prioritisation is key
  • Be visible how you score that visually
  • Be impartial
  • Be open – no idea is a bad idea
  • Be clear how to request a test

Capability in Metrics

  • Track the right stuff
  • Conclude the right stuff
  • Don’t be tempted to find a positive result when there isn’t one there
  • A negative result is as important as a positive one – learn from it
  • Make your results meaningful.

Capability in Your Innovation

  • Innovation is doing something differently
  • Be careful with buzz




  • Don’t worry be capable
  • Prioritise, simple tasks
  • Be meaningful, always have reason to test
  • Beware of the buzz

See the full presentation on Slideshare.



Testing Beyond the User Journey, Stephen Pavlovich presents the last big case study of the day.

How can we apply this to pricing, company strategy?

  • Stephen then told us about when companies put a a strategy without experimentation.
  • He talked about McDonald’s who in the mid 1980s was at peak of success.
  • They had 40% market share in USA
  • Most of their customers were coming in for lunch.
  • Mc Donald’s wanted to do dinner
  • They tried to launch pizza
  • They wanted to come up with an oven to cook a pizza in two minutes
  • Spend 2 years to build and cook pizza in 2 minsSpent a lot of time remodelling the restaurants
  • They launched the product, they found out people do not want to go to Mc Donald’s to get frozen pizza
  • They spent so much time to do this, but then wasn’t successful.

Stephen Pavlovich 

This approach is typical

  • Success is a result of the choices we make.
  • If we take one option, we do not know what happened if did a different route.
  • Experimentation lets us evaluate that choice

How can we measure and iterate?

Experimentation – we do not for sure the result but we can challenge the assumptions.  So need to have ability to track and gather data and iterate on that.

What is the minimum viable experiment?

Test if the product makes sense commercially before going ahead.

What’s our hypothesis for affecting user behavior?

  • Understand the quant and qual data. Eg many people wanted to have different gift wrap
  • We believe that “lever” for “audience” will result in “goal”
  • We’ll know by testing “test concept” on “area” and observing “KPI” for “duration”.

Some great insights and tips from Stephen Pavlovich. Thank you for sharing.

See the full presentation here:

Did you enjoy the first ever Conversion Elite? The next one is now taking place in Manchester, November 2nd. See the speakers line up and book your ticket !

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