We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Neil Patel, entrepreneur, angel investor, and analytics expert. He is best known for his work in digital marketing, and as the co-founder of the analytics companies KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout.
Needless to say, I think Neil’s thoughts about conversion optimization and personalization are right on. In this roughly 10-minute interview, we got to cover some great topics:
You’re the founder of two successful SaaS companies with a focus on web analytics and optimization. What does it take to build a great product from ground up?
Research and fast execution. As you are building your product you need to do research on your customers. Find out they want and what solutions you can provide to solve their problems. In essence, you need to keep iterating. Think of it la minimal viable product. You want to create the most minimal version, keep getting feedback, iterating, until you reach your product market fit. People should be upset that your product did not exist. Then you know you have a done a good job.
How do you spend your time when you have two successful companies?
I spend all my time on crazy egg and hello bar. They are both the same companies. I also blog at Quicksprout in my spare time. But my main focus remains the crazy egg.
How does the future of web analytics and optimisation look like?
It's all personalization. The analytics, when it comes to the future, is all about personalization. Companies don't wanna read reports and tell: "Oh these are the changes I should make based on reports". What companies want is when the system tells them "hey, John, this is what is wrong" and fixes it automatically. That's where the web is going.
In your opinion, how does design affect conversion rates? Is User Experience and Usability an important factor?
It does. If the things are hard to use or the text is hard to read. And people don't understand how to navigate through the site then you are not going to get as many conversions.
For example, if an e-commerce site has a cluttered checkout process with too many steps. And it makes it really hard for people to complete the order you are going to get fewer sales.
In a SaaS company, if it's much harder to onboard people, you still may get the sales on the front end, but you will get many cancelations. So instead of your customers staying one year, they may stay three months because your product is not usable.
Usability affects your conversion. Maybe not just on the front end but it also refers to back end too. Front end being the value you are getting right away, back end meaning lifetime value of that customer. And both are very important for businesses.
As an eCommerce manager with a 100K unique visits monthly - where do I start optimizing my platform the Neil Patel way? Do I focus on traffic, or CR, or both?
It all depends on where you are at in your business. For example, if you are getting only ten thousand views to your website, the meaning you are not getting enough transactions, in that case, you should focus on getting more traffic.
If you are getting thousands of sales on your website a month, you should focus on conversion optimization because now you have a volume to test with. If you are only getting a hundred conversions month and you are trying to run an A/B test, it will take you a long time until you will reach statistical significance.
So that way A/B testing can end. Because if you don't hit 99% uncertainty, and you are at 70%, you have to keep running the test. Because you don't know how much of lift you will end up getting when you finish running the test.
For more information about optimizing your webshop, check out this blog post where we cover each of the psychological barriers that prevent your customers from converting.