January 13, 2004, 12:00 AM

Palo Alto Software doubles conversions with analytics-driven site changes

WebSideStory’s funnel analysis highlights conversion roadblocks to suggest design improvements, driving the exit rate on the commerce site’s top-visited home page down to 38% from 47%.

Palo Alto Software, a developer and marketer of business planning software, saw its online conversion rates double to 2.39% within four months of implementing on-demand analytics services from WebSideStory, the company reports. The analytics service’s funnel analysis capability, which Palo Alto Software used on its commerce site, PaloAlto.com, as well as a related content site, tracks site visitors’ success in completing a defined function. In the process, it highlights any barriers in the path to completion and suggests improvements.


The exercise sparked site changes including changes to the home page of Paloalto.com, the site’s most-visited page. Analysis of the existing home page showed a high exit rate off the page, attributable to how information was presented on the page about the company’s two primary products. After a page redesign based on the analytic data, the home page lead with the common benefits of both products instead of pushing visitors immediately down a path for detail on one product versus another, as the old page had. That helped cut the exit rate off the page significantly, to 38% from 47%, says Noah Parsons, director of product marketing and sales at the software company.


Using analytics services from WebSideStory, Palo Alto Software also improved return on its keyword investment by more than 50%. The company analyzed the performance of thousands of keywords it purchased on search engines to narrow its selection and focus on the highest performing ones – those with the best conversion rates that produced the highest order sizes.


“WebSideStory has made a big difference in increasing online sales,” says Parsons. “We achieved significant results within just a few months.”


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