New Conversion Strategies for Think Traffic from Derek Halpern

  • June 23, 2011 by Corbett Barr
  • 38 Comments

We all have different skills, perspectives and priorities. That’s why it can be so crucial to get an opinion of your website from an outsider, whether that be a professional or a friend.

Derek Halpern is an up and coming expert at driving traffic to websites and turning that traffic into leads and sales. He’s been making the rounds lately, publicly critiquing sites for people like Chris Brogan and Pat Flynn.

I learned a lot of new conversion strategies from watching both of those videos, so when Derek offered to critique Think Traffic in the same way I said “hell yeah.”

In this video, you’ll learn about a number of ways Derek thinks I can improve the conversion rates for this site. Check it out:

(if you’re reading this in email or otherwise can’t see the video, click here)

Derek also knows that all of you who read Think Traffic might also benefit from reading his site Social Triggers, so Derek is opening up his free private email list for any Think Traffic reader who wants to join. Just head over to Social Triggers to join the private list.

What do you think of the critique? I haven’t had a chance to implement any of Derek’s advice yet, but definitely plan to get some resource pages up soon. What else should I work on? Do you think his ideas will drive a lot more conversions?

Update on Think Traffic’s Metrics

Also, I wanted to update you all on my last monthly report. I mentioned that I wanted to improve the bounce rate here and the average time spent on the site. Well, there’s a little kink in that plan now.

You see, I was comparing my numbers to Pat Flynn’s at the Smart Passive Income blog. On average people spend over 7 minutes at Pat’s site and his bounce rate is a very low 25%. The numbers for Think Traffic were 2 minutes 20 second and 72% respectively.

All is not what it seems, however. Pat uses a great traffic monitoring service called Clicky and I’ve been using Google Analytics. Both have different strengths and it turns out that both report numbers very differently.

After 24 hours on Clicky, here are the numbers for Think Traffic: 5 minutes 15 seconds average time on site (125% difference vs. Google Analytics) and the bounce rate that Clicky reports is 32% (vs 72% at GA).

So there you go. Not all analytics services are the same evidently. I’ll report more thoroughly on the services in a full post, but I wanted to share the initial results with you here.

One of the coolest features of Clicky is that I can share my analytics with you publicly. Head over to Clicky and check out Think Traffic’s full stats for the past few days if you’re interested.

Thanks again to Derek for doing the critique, I really appreciate it, and I’d love to hear what you think of the session with Derek. Don’t forget to check out Derek’s site Social Triggers. I think you’ll like what Derek has to say about traffic and conversions.

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Dean Dwyer June 23, 2011 at 5:14 am

Hey Corbett,

Can’t watch the video my friend. For private viewing only. :-)

DD

Corbett June 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

Sorry Dean, it’s all set now.

Tikyd June 23, 2011 at 7:01 am

This difference of stats between clicky and Google analytrics is important. I was not expecting that. I have not been able to look at the video. It was still locked after I clicked on the link bellow the video.

Corbett June 23, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hey Tikyd, the video is working now, so sorry for the issue this morning.

John Muldoon June 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

Just wanted to say thanks to you and Derek for sharing this video. These are great strategies that we can all apply to make our sites more usable and increase our conversions.

Cheers.

Derek June 23, 2011 at 11:36 am

Thank you John. I’d love to see what you change to your site, after watching this.

Derek June 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

No problem man, thank you for watching, and I’m glad it helped.

Rob Cubbon June 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

That was even better than the one Derek did with SmartPassiveIncome – I really get the idea behind resource pages for 4 or 5 topics that you blog about. Cool vid!

Derek June 23, 2011 at 11:37 am

Glad you liked it Rob. I’m also glad you’ve watched both videos. It’s nice to see you over here, too. Corbett is a great, smart traffic guy.

Byron June 23, 2011 at 9:21 am

What a gread video, Derek is a genius. This sort of content is so motivating, I love it!

Sean June 23, 2011 at 9:44 am

Hi Corbett, thanks for mentioning us. I just wanted to point you to an explanation of why our bounce rate and time on site are different than Google’s or pretty much any other services. Check out this blog post here:

http://getclicky.com/blog/214/why-clickys-new-bounce-rate-is-the-best-in-the-biz

Ethan June 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

Always cool how another set of eyes can help so much when it comes to design. I think we all spend so much time staring at our own websites that it’s easy to lose perspective. I’m planning on asking some of my more savvy friends to do an informal critique of my site to see if I’m missing anything obvious.

David Thomas June 23, 2011 at 10:27 am

I agree with Rob above, this video is awesome. I especially like the stuff about resource pages and linking to them from within individual posts.

Tim Huntley June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am

Definitely makes sense to me. I spent the day working with some friends at Spring Metrics (a point and click alternative to Google Analytics) on the topic of resource pages.

…Tim

Dean Dwyer June 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I loved the comment about the insane resources looking like ads. I know from my own behaviour, I just skip over ads so it would make sense that those who are new would probably think they are ads and not your own home grown content. Love the psychology behind that.

I think he mentioned this in the interview with Pat, but Copy Blogger does an excellent job organizing their resource pages…in the sub-nav bar.

http://www.copyblogger.com/

OK my friend…you gots some homework to do…get to it :-)

Tim June 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Derek is right that blogs aren’t great at highlighting past content so the resource pages is a great idea. It’s a category or tag page done right.

Derek June 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

You’re right, there. IT’s a category page / tag page done right. I actually developed this strategy back when I was running entertainment sites, where I turned category pages into resource pages. And it worked + ranked better.

Niall Doherty June 24, 2011 at 4:06 am

Thanks so much to both of you for this video. I can apply a bunch of Derek’s suggestions to my own sites. Looking forward to seeing the results.

One thing I don’t quite get though is the no header test. I mean, I get what Derek’s saying: that people should be able to immediately know what a site is about even if the header is taken away. But they’ll never see the site without the header, right?

So why this test? Do people tend to ignore site headers these days?

Thanks again.

Derek June 25, 2011 at 5:10 am

Look at it like this:

Most people have their header, and navigation links. While their header is descriptive, their navigation links are generalized (Home, About, Contact, etc.).

So what happens when the header doesn’t intrigue a random website visitor? They often read the title of the first article, and if that doesn’t grab their attention, they’re gone.

I suggest the Header Removal Test because it shows you additional ways to show visitors what your site is all about. Then, you’re no longer relying on just your header and headline… but instead a whole slew of other options that might intrigue readers.

Vic June 25, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Hey Corbett and Derek, it was a pleasure watching this video!

I saw the one you did with Pat Flynn and this one was just as excellent and eye-opening and it’s always interesting to see real-life examples of what you’re explaining.

Best Wishes!
Vic

Floricel @ Starting an Online Business June 26, 2011 at 9:34 am

Derek’s a genius! He gives really good advice.
He mentioned About pages. And yes I do agree with him. In fact, I love reading “about” pages. I mean that’s really where I go first if I’m new to the website.
One idea I also learned from Derek is:
Using psychology will help for building traffic! It’s absolutely a great idea. Thanks Corbett for sharing this. Cheers!
And thanks to Derek too! :)

Jim Majka June 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

This is a great article, thank you very much! i will be back for more!

jim

Owen Marcus June 27, 2011 at 7:45 am

Excellent video. I love the idea of creating specific resources pages. I put it on my to do list.

Thanks Corbett.

Joseph June 29, 2011 at 6:43 am

How long has Clicky been operating? Do they have any serious bugs that we should know about? BTW, I use TypePad not Wordpress.

Brankica June 30, 2011 at 11:48 am

This was just awesome. I saw videos on Patt’s and David’s blogs before, and these three videos got me to pages and pages of notes as to what to do with my blog to make it better. I started applying some of his tips a few weeks ago and I love the results.

I also use Clicky, after reading Patt’s post about it and I even upgraded it after few days when I saw the premium stuff, like Spy tool. I can improve my pages by looking at what visitors are doing on each page as they are on it. Great tool

Can’t wait to see results after the changes you plan to make.

Adam Stanecki July 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Derek & Corbett,

Thank you for sharing this amazing discussion. Almost every point was immediately applicable to my websites. I will be (slowly) implementing these suggestions, then testing the results.

Derek, your “one page, one goal” approach is destined to become a mantra of mine when writing my content.

Cheers, Adam.

Matt Hooper July 24, 2011 at 4:48 am

Hi Corbett & Derek,

After watching this video and others, I had a WordPress plugin created that makes adding an opt-in form at the end of each single post page simple. I had a few people ask me for one and since I couldn’t find one that worked as I wanted, I came up with this: http://www.matthewhooper.com/wordpress-plugins/

Thanks,
Matt

Sergio Felix April 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hey Corbett (or Derek if you’re still monitoring this post),

I read every single word on this article and watched the whole video while pausing and rewinding it to make notes.

My only question is…

Why is there no header navigation on the “About” page?

Does it has to do with getting rid of EVERY distraction?

Whenever I start clicking on the menu navigation on a site for the first time, I normally check out every menu there.

If I click on the About page, I have to either get back or click on the header logo to fall in the Home page and continue checking out the rest of the navigation.

For me, that’s not a problem but if we’re all about usability here, then why remove the nav links for that page?

I really hope I can get an answer to this one, thanks in advance!

Sergio

Dean Dwyer June 23, 2011 at 8:38 am

No problemo CB. I am just making a cup of coffee now and getting ready to watch it. Gracias amigo.

DD

Tyrone Shum June 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hey Derek,

I implemented your tips when you recommended them on Pat’s site and my subscribers daily opt-in increased by around 15%. So they do work and the about page was something that made sense to change. I had too much about me for a while and n ow it’s about them. Anyway I’d love to know what your thoughts are and if I need to add anything else I may have overlooked?

Thanks for the great tips again!

Tyrone Shum June 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

@Corbett – I think Clicky is a much better metric in my opinion as Pat and I discovered we can “spy” on whose coming to our site. (I’m not being serious by the way about spying so take this as joke…)

What I like about Clicky is it’s instant feedback and not having to wait for 12-24hours to get stats in from Google Analytics. (correct me if I’m wrong). I know Clicky tracks different and is immediate, so that’s already a plus why I prefer and recommend it too.

Niall Doherty June 26, 2011 at 4:36 am

Thanks for the reply, Derek. That makes a lot more sense to me now.

Cheers!

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