Conversion Optimisation for Global Finance School

A client Global Finance School is Online Education Provider offering online courses focusing on the major aspects of the financial market. These include Stock market, Micro Economics, Macro-Economics, etc.


  • Large bots traffic

  • High cost / low quality of inbound traffic

  • Poor Adsense performance

  • Low eCommerce conversion rate


Over a period of the first 2 month I have delivered:

  1. botish behaviour excluded,

  2. traffic spending reduced 850%,

  3. AdSense CTR: +14.58%.

  4. e-Commerce conversion rate: +48.50%

Landing page user experience

Landing page shall make it easy for visitors to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or do other things you want them to do on your website. Three core factors of the successful landing page experience are:

  1. Relevant, useful and original content

  2. Transparency and trustworthiness

  3. Ease of navigation

The Home page is the busiest page on your site in terms of events – it accounts for 15% of all of your site’s events.

The high bounce rate above results in only a small portion of visitors moving at least a page deeper than the first page of your site.

Take a look at the engagement pattern of the survivor group. They interacts with the following pages of your site (by number, descending):

  • Courses,

  • Sign Up (Login),

  • Blogs,

  • A free course.

These are your site’s Top 'through traffic' pages. As a rule, Top 'through traffic' pages channel interested visitors to where they ultimately want to get – Free content or ‘Buy it Now’ page!

If the visitors can’t find what they are looking for, they drop. Let’s see how far you users want to go till they find what they want or drop.

50% of visitors trying the Courses page will drop after step 2 deeper within. Notably, it was mostly visitors of Fundamentals of the Stock market Course who were willing to buy from you. Others needed more information before they could make a decision and visited other pages – free courses, about us, etc.

Almost 70% of those who Signed up will also drop after step 2 deeper within. Significantly, the remaining 30% were apparently lost as regards what content they need on the site, so they tried different pages and some of them returned to the Main page. And they would exit your site from here.

Roughly the same behaviour pattern persists with Blog readers. Notably, they were mostly interested in finding how to contact you and reading FAQs!

So, people who click may give up and leave your site prematurely.

Main recommendations

You can improve your landing page experience by:

  • Providing relevant, useful, and original content,

  • Promoting transparency and fostering trustworthiness on your site (for example, by explaining your products or services before asking visitors to fill out forms sharing their own information),

  • Making it easy for customers to navigate your site, and

  • Encouraging customers to spend time on your site (for example, by making sure your page loads quickly so people who click your page don’t give up and leave your site prematurely).

1. Relevant, useful and original content

Obviously, the Main page is your most important landing page. So, here you shall be very specific as regards your value proposition. What unique things do you offer – a free trial online course or a unique selection of reasonably priced online courses? Or even free ebooks? Presently you offer a bit of both.

So, avoid sending conflicting signals to a visitor. Otherwise, a visitor won’t find your page directly relevant to your ad text or keyword, which results in high bounce rate and a low conversion.

Consider Google Adwords results for a term ‘finance courses online’.

Let's compare the quality of Accenture (the competitor 1) and Wall Street Prep (the competitor 2) landing page quality (see below, image might be omitted).

Accenture’s landing page neither gives information on finance courses, nor shows what a potential customer can do next.

By contrast, Wall Street Prep’s landing page is clear on the purpose thereof (buy courses now) and leads to the where you potentially want to go. Also, further down the page it gives a potential customer a safe option of a free trial, which is good for prevention of the page’s bounces / exists (see below).

This page's structure is also implemented on other pages where the site’s owner wants to convert a potential customer, for example, Courses list.

Studies have shown that you only have a few seconds to convince a potential customer to engage with your site. Therefore, you shall let potential customers know what you want from them next.

On average you have more than 3 events per each session; while ideally there shall be one most relevant event – Sign Up (if that’s what you want them to do). Alternatively, there can be a simple sequence of events: Courses List - > Course name -> Enrol now (if that’s what you want them to do). Instead, your visitors Search the site, Sign up, see Promotions and seek Support all in one.

I recommend you stay very clear if you want the potential customers to learn more about your proposition. To that end, you give them a free trial into one of your courses. So, the landing page shall speak that you sell the Courses AND is confident enough to let potential customers try one for free. Under this scenario, large navigation blocks promoting Free books as well as Courses list can only distract potential customers' attention and mislead them as to the main purpose of your site.

Alternatively, if you want potential customers to buy your services now, you should not give them your content for free. You would not want them to register either. All you want is for them to buy NOW. To that end, you shall give them a professionally looking list of courses AND a quick look and feel of how it’s going to be ONLY to prevent their early drop offs. Also, you shall have a credible list of reviews by real people that have taken the course. Presently, your Main page reviews (WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT US) does not look like they were written by real people.

2. Transparency and trustworthiness

If you request personal information from customers, make it clear why you’re asking for it and what you’ll do with it.

3. Ease of navigation

Don't make people hunt around for the information they might need. Make it quick and easy for people to sign up for the offer promised. Make sure people can easily find information to learn more about the offer. For example, out of 302 potential customers who visited a Free course page only ...

Here go insights

The data shows that you are not specific as to the content of a free course or don’t give information about you necessary to convince a potential customer to dedicate a time to engage with your service.

Other recommendations

  1. Also track the sub-domain with Google Analytics to see how users interact with your Free content including Page Exits.

  2. Make it easy to return to the site’s main page from the subdomain page, which is currently not properly implemented.

Content Experiments

With content experiments, the site’s owner can test which version of a landing page results in the greatest improvement in conversions (i.e. completed activities that you measure as goals) or metric value. Presently, you have 9 variations of the Sign up for a Free Course page. However, the Experiment is not working as the page above is not currently accessible from your site.

Bearing in mind the landing page user experience above I recommend setting an experiment testing a New Layout of the Main page.

As was said earlier, it shall only include content most relevant to your value proposition. Therefore, you shall create several versions of the Main page – each testing a feedback to a specific value proposition.

So, those will be:

A) a list of courses a customer can buy and

B) a Free Course sign up.

Also, reconsider the relevance of showcasing the benefits of the online education video on the Main page. Is it really something a potential customer wants to learn? Probably not, if you target users that are ALREADY may be interested in online courses. If you don’t, then check your lead generation strategy. Probably, you are going an extra mile where you should not have to. Because it’s easier to sell an online course to an interested person then first convincing him that he really needs it.

In the second place I recommend setting a content experiment on the Courses page too as it’s going to be your actual shop window. As noted above, a site shall be specific as regards its value proposition. If you offer a potential customer to buy your courses now, you shall amend this landing page too.

I recommend setting a classic shop window page. It includes:

  • a well written Company pitch - Learn What You Can't Learn in School that tells why you actually need those courses;

  • professionally looking set of courses that’s comfortably to browse

  • another piece of reviews from real people

  • and only in the bottom - an option to sign up for a free trial course (a last chance to stop a potential customer from bouncing).

I recommend setting the A variant of the Courses page that will will correspond to an A variant of the Main page:

  1. Include a Selling Pitch and feature Learning Finance is easy on the Courses page itself to show why a potential customer really needs those courses

  2. Make the look of courses more professional – feature only 9 of them per page; make them bigger, etc.

  3. Feature your Facebook fans

  4. AND include an option to sign up for a one free course.

With a B variant I can suggest simply removing Free course sign up and leaving just the way it is now.

Also, each individual course page shall be changed. First, consider if featuring a Learning Finance is an easy video on a course’s page is relevant. Is it something a potential customer want to learn after he /she has clicked through your Main page and your Courses page? Is it really relevant to non-Finance related courses? I think no. Besides, it occupies the most notable place on the page.

I recommend that you:

  1. Feature the course video samples instead of Learning Finance is easy video

  2. Get About this course information closer to the top of the page so that a potential customer can see at least the Header of it without scrolling with a mouse, see example below.


Events are user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. The ultimate task of Event tracking is to spot a user's interest in content on a certain page. Your site’s content shall be organised so that a simple sequence of events will lead to a conversion (a goal conversion or e-Commerce conversion).

Your site’s most popular content is Sign Up (header button) and Free eBooks (except for Messages). Still, users can seldom find their way to the content they want as a second step after Signing Up. Instead, they go through a series of clicks to sort out where they want to go until they lose interest in your proposition.

Notably, the FAQ page is the second most popular Events Page on the site, which shows that users can only figure out what page they want to see once they go through a FAQ!

I suggest that your site shall be clear on the purpose of signing up. Make users understand that he /she can read books or take free courses though Signing up. That’s why it’s a good idea to remove the sign up option from the Header and make it accessible from Free Course or Main page only.

Presently, only Header Click events are counted. So, I recommend:

  1. Setting separate Events on Main page / A Free course page sign Up

  2. Setting separate events to track users who view video on the site

  3. Make a Separate Event to track Ad clicks on Blogs pages, for example,

Also note that a course link a user gets after the Sign up event, for example, is broken.

Goal conversions

Goal conversions are the primary metric for measuring how well your site fulfils business objectives. A Goal conversion occurs once a user completes a desired action on your site, such as a registration or download. Obviously, if you want to know how effective your lead generation strategy is, you shall primarily track visitors landing on a 'Sign up - Thank you' page. That’s how you’d know that your content was interesting to potential customers.

According to your Google Analytics data, only

Here goes stats

Obviously, there’s something wrong here.

As set forth previously, the header Sign up button misleads potential customers as to the practical purpose of it. Particularly, once signed up, a user finds himself / herself a Buy now page, which is 99.9% not what they expect. Bearing in mind that a simplest conversion path shall include Main -> Courses -> A certain course -> Enrol, a Sign Up button on the header is really something that intrudes into this logical sequence of action and breaks it up.

Supposedly, a potential customer wants to either Sign up for a free Course (new user) or Login (existing user). Both of them shall be counted as goal conversion. Still, neither of them is now. In other words, you presently don’t count those potential customers as your leads even though many of them ARE leads so far as the Free Course registration goal is concerned. AND you don’t do that simply because they are not forwarded to your 'Free registration Thank you' destination page.

So, I recommend dismantling Sign Up bottom from the top all together. There’s no sense in registering an Event by clicking Sign Up on the header if you don’t specifically count it as Free registration Goal Conversion. Either there’s no sense in registering an Event of Login in (for existing customers) once you don’t have an Event-type of Goal for it. As I said, presently you don’t discriminate between those types of users. So, 362 clicks (instances) of a Sign Up event don’t convey any particular information except for this header button is popular.

Therefore, first, I recommend splitting Sign Up and Login buttons. That will split potential customers who want to register for a Free Course from Existing Customers who want to log in. To that end, I recommend removing a Sign Up possibility from the header at all. Though, you may leave the Login Now button there if you want to.

Such wise, the Sign up for e Free Course button will only be accessible from the Main page, or Courses page, or Individual Page, or all of them. Accordingly, you need to establish separate events for clicks on Sign up bottom on the pages above to see which of them is more effective. And importantly, each user clicking on the Sign Up for e Free Course button regardless of the page shall be forwarded to a single Thank you page that’s your Destination-type Goal Conversion.

Also, you need to set up a separate Goal to track those who log in to your site (existing users). I recommend registering events of clicking on the Login button and counting them as Event-type Goal Conversions.

Traffic generation recommendations

Historically, Google Adwords (Search and Display Networks) has been a most effective way to bring potential customers to Buy now shop window pages. And they still are. Your Google Analytics data show that April – June 2014 you have been using Paid Search tools. Although, not too effectively. Destination pages in the majority of PPC / PPV your campaigns were either blog posts, or free ebooks. Notably, you used Display networks with automated placements and content targeting mostly.

I recommend setting:

  1. A cost-effective Search Network campaign targeting online education keywords based on a Quality Landing Page as well as Cost per Acquisition bidding

  2. A precise content targeting automated placements Display Network campaign with a Quality Ad copy that leads to a Shop Window Landing page, and

  3. additionally or alternatively, manual placement Display Network campaign, as well as

  4. remarketing campaign targeting previous site’s visitors and offering 10% discount coupon.

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