Marketers and businesses know that even decent conversion rates sound abysmal; the average conversion rates across industries is around 2.35%. Leading landing pages have conversion rates that can reach 11-12%, but striving for higher is unheard of for many industries.
But every business wants to improve their current conversion rate; a higher conversion rate leads to more consumers moving along the buyer’s journey and making a purchase. Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rates. The steps to increase conversion rates were often buried underneath all of the other tasks on the digital marketing to-do list…until CRO came along.
CRO is one of the hottest focuses of digital marketers and businesses. But what is CRO, and how does it work to increase conversion rates?
What is CRO?
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of adjusting a landing page or other content to increase conversion rates. CRO is a self-explanatory concept, but can be a complicated process that isn’t always obvious to traditional businesses and marketers. Optimising conversion rates requires getting into the heads of active and passive website visitors and learning what will encourage them to convert. Finding these visitors and getting to know them on this level isn’t easy; after all, we generally only interact with them behind a computer screen.
CRO typically focuses on landing page content and email marketing, although CRO best practices can be carried over to your social media pages or overall content marketing strategy.
Is CRO The Same As SEO?
While search engine optimisation (SEO) and conversion rate optimisation are both vital to your digital marketing strategy, they are two completely different tactics. CRO looks at how individual consumers behave online: what makes them click, what makes them purchase products, etc. SEO looks at how Google and other algorithms recognise and rank websites and content. Don’t confuse SEO for CRO, or vice versa; consider them separate elements of a strong marketing strategy.
Why CRO Is Important to Businesses
If you can optimise your conversion rate, you will get more conversions and lead more consumers down the buyer’s journey. It’s as easy as that.
When you invest in CRO, you aren’t just investing in your current marketing campaign. The tasks and tactics that optimise your conversion rate will continue to appeal to consumers until digital trends shift. CRO is an ongoing process, but it sets your business and your marketing content up for success.
Let’s look at an example. Your business sets up a landing page that features a CTA asking visitors to sign up for your mailing list. Before focusing on CRO, the conversion rate was a measly 1%. Not many visitors wanted to subscribe after they visited your site.
After implementing CRO best practices, you were able to increase conversions to 3%. These best practices can be applied to other landing pages with CTAs and other copy that asks for readers’ email addresses. Any copy you write moving forward is optimised to build your subscriber list. Additional CRO best practices further increase the conversion rate of
CRO is still an underrated tactic in digital marketing. One in three companies are taking limited steps toward optimising their conversion rates or taking no steps at all. If you invest in CRO before your competitors, you will increase your chances at converting website visitors who have visited both your website and a competitor’s. Let the research stop with your company; convert users on your site with CRO.
How do CRO Agencies Optimise Conversion Rates?
Think you can’t get into website visitors’ heads? Think again. Businesses and marketers have many options when it comes to researching and analysing data from website visitors who aren’t converting. Focus groups, surveys, and other forms of market research can help you understand why consumers make the decision to purchase (or not purchase) your products.
Research can (and should) include analysing your individual website. Where do visitors enter your website, and how do they move through your landing pages or shop? Where do they drop off? Google Analytics, alongside other tracking devices like heatmaps, can track and analyse user experience and behavior.
Many CRO experts look at how users experience a company’s website, and how the ease and accessibility of the website influences conversion rates.
Once data is analysed, agencies and marketers can strategically invest in tactics or content that is converting more visitors. If, for example, data shows that boosted Facebook posts are converting more readers into leads, marketers may invest more money into boosting Facebook posts and generating more leads.
How do you know if your email subject line or if your call-to-action button can be improved? Test them out!
The most common tactic in CRO is A/B testing. A/B testing can be used to optimise big or small elements of your overall conversion rate strategy, but can have an enormous impact on lead generation or revenue. President Barack Obama’s campaign team used free tools from Google to conduct A/B testing during the 2008 election and raised an additional $60 million thanks to test results. If A/B testing can have such a large effect on a presidential election, imagine what it can do for your business.
Currently, only 52% of companies or marketers are using A/B tests to optimise landing pages. Only 39% of companies or marketers are conducting A/B tests on landing pages at least five times a month. CRO best practices include creating dozens of landing pages on your website; a handful of tests on each page is the least you can do to learn more about what influences visitors to convert into leads or customers.
How does A/B testing work?
This type of testing sends out two options and looks for a significant difference in response or reaction. For example, say you wanted to test out an email subject line strategy. The current subject line for your newsletter is “January Newsletter: Free eBook Inside!” You grab a small chunk of your subscribers send this subject line out to half of these addresses. The other half receives the same newsletter, but the subject line says, “Click here to read news and updates from January.” After two days, you look through the open and click-through rates and see which subject line performed better. If one is significantly more popular than the other, you send that subject line out to the rest of your subscribers.
A/B testing does not require a lot of work, but one or two tweaks can provide interesting insight as to what makes leads click and convert. Even testing a word or a phrase throughout your web copy can make a huge difference. Get ahead of the game and take advantage of consistent A/B testing on any landing pages that has a CTA or aims to convert visitors.
Some of the research and testing has already been done for marketers; all you have to do is use the results to increase your conversion rate. Research on CRO best practices, including guidelines for creating effective CTAs and improving user experience, is out there. For example, extensive research has been done on why shoppers abandon their cart. Ecommerce businesses can use these insights to improving their site and making the shopping experience easier for more customers.
Best practices can range from small changes to large overhauls of your website. When we say small, we mean small: a one-second delay can drop conversion rates by 7%. Before you do integrate best practices into your marketing strategy, critically look at how they appeal to different types of consumers. Customers of one industry may behave differently than customers of another industry. Implement best practices for your industry and your customers.
Experts who have knowledge and experience implementing CRO strategies are a great resources for optimising conversion rates. Consult CRO experts to learn more about how using best practices in your content and marketing strategy can lead to more conversions.
Reach out to a Leading CRO Agency
Investing in CRO allows your business to leave the research, analytics, and collecting CRO secrets to the experts. All your team has to do is sit back and watch how CRO best practices can increase your conversion rates and generate more revenue.
Digital Squad is a leader in conversion rate optimisation throughout New Zealand. Our extensive knowledge and research of digital marketing strategies has helped our clients meet their conversion rate goals and follow best practices as they develop marketing campaigns. We integrate our superior knowledge of SEO and content marketing to deliver landing pages, content, and other digital strategies that convert. Each of our clients is a partner; we want to work with you and see that your business succeeds for many years to come.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.