Conversion rate optimisation (or CRO) incorporates a number of tools and strategies, all working towards the same goal: converting visitors into leads into prospects and customers.
While there is a lot of information available online detailing ‘best practices’ for landing pages, what works for one, or even most, businesses won’t necessarily be effective for everyone. For example, one detailed study found using long-form landing pages to increase conversions by 220%, however, others say that short-form landing pages are more effective for their audiences. Similarly, 84% of landing pages have navigation bars, but numerous studies have shown that navigation links can reduce conversion rate.
What this means is that in order to succeed, businesses have to invest in their own CRO process and learn from their own traffic by testing elements of their landing page to find out what works best.
If you’re wondering where to start, read on for an overview of Conversion Rate Optimisation from experts in the field.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)?
Let’s start right at the beginning with the definition of Conversion Rate Optimisation. CRO is simply the name given to the process of a business actively attempting to increase the percentage of their website visitors who convert on their landing page.
A conversion does not necessarily mean a sale. Depending on the business you run and the industry you are in, a conversion may simply be a visitor filling out an enquiry form for more information, downloading a resource from your site or signing up to an event that you are promoting. Conversion rate optimisation can help to increase all of these actions.
These conversion actions can be categorized into the following two areas:
- Micro conversions: This is when a prospect has engaged with the brand in some way, for example, by signing up for a newsletter, watching a video or following the business on social media.
- Macro conversions: A macro conversion occurs when someone converts for one of the main offers on your site, such as buying a product, subscribing to a service, or filling out a lead-capture form.
Obviously, businesses will generally want more macro conversions as they are of more value to the business. However, micro conversions can help move the prospect through their buyer journey.
How To Calculate Your Conversion Rate
Your conversion rate is simply the percentage of visitors on your website that actually convert.
The equation to work this out is pretty simple: Total Transactions / Total Site Visits * 100
Why Is Conversion Rate Optimisation So Important?
Every business can benefit from conversion rate optimisation. More conversions mean more sales, which means more revenue and a more profitable business. Basically, if you can increase the percentage of people who are converting when they get to your site, you can increase your number of sales without spending more budget on your ads. You are already spending money to get traffic to your site, so it makes sense to capitalise on it.
Some of the benefits of Conversion Rate Optimisation are as follows.
- Get more revenue from existing traffic
- Generate repeat business and, by extension, customer retention
- Attract customers over your competitors
- Reduce customer acquisition costs
- Increase revenue that can then be invested back into the business
- Get a better understanding of the wants and needs of your customers
What is the Conversion Rate Optimisation Process?
The CRO process is made up of four key elements. By using all four of these elements effectively, you can increase the conversion rates on your site.
- Conversion Research: Gathering information and data is the first step in getting the valuable insights that you need to improve conversions. This can be done using website analytics data, heat maps, surveys, user testing and conversion rate optimisation reviews from experts.
- Website Persuasion: It’s important to ensure your website isn’t just telling your visitors about your products or services but is actively persuading them. Copywriting best practices and influence techniques can help engage and convert more visitors.
- User Experience (UX): Improving the user experience for your visitors can help your business generate more conversions. This includes things like improving your website’s navigation, forms and user flow.
- A/B Testing: You won’t know exactly what works for your site without testing it. Carrying out A/B tests is vital to discover what elements are most likely to convert.
In order to get the best results from CRO, the above elements should overlap and feed into each other to inform your strategy.
What Metrics Should Be Used for Conversion Rate Optimisation?
In order to create an effective conversion rate optimisation strategy, you need a solid understanding of the digital marketing metrics that are impacting your campaign. You should be tracking and monitoring key metrics so that when you make changes to your landing pages, you can see the impact that these changes are having on things like consumer behaviour, sales and lead generation.
Some of the key metrics to take note of are as follows:
- ROI (Return on Investment): The benefit (or return) of an investment divided by the spend. ROI is expressed as a percentage or ratio.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page and not interacting with the site.
- Average Time on Page: The average amount of time a website visitor spends browsing your site.
- Pageviews: The average number of pages a visitor views when they come to your site.
- Unique Visitors: The number of people who visit a site at least once within the reporting period.
- User Experience (UX): The overall experience that a person has with your website, particularly in terms of how easy it is to use or navigate.
- Number of Customers: The number of people who have converted within the reporting period.
- Page Load Time: The average amount of time it takes for a page to show up on a user’s screen
All of the above metrics can be measured using Google Analytics. Once you have these as a baseline, you can start to work out the elements of your page that you want to optimise.
Different Tools for Conversion Rate Optimisation
There are a number of programs available that you can use for optimising conversion rates on your site. These tools give a range of detailed information about your website and how users are interacting with it. Some of the most important things you can look at to optimise your site are as follows:
- Heatmap: Showing web owners where the user’s mouse travels most often and where they click or tap when viewing a web page.
- Scroll Map: Identifying the point at which most users stop scrolling on a specific page.
- Recordings: Recording individual sessions of a user’s experience on a specific web page that webmasters can playback to identify trends.
- A/B tests: Conducting split tests that allow businesses to try out specific variations of their web page.
- Forms: Identifying the ideal amount of information to ask a prospect for (i.e. number of form fields) in order to make them more likely to convert.
- Surveys and Polls: Listening to your visitors is the most important thing for CRO. As well as using the analytics available to assess the way they are using the site, you can always go direct to them and ask them. A survey or poll can help you do this and find out what they like.
Elements to Test With Conversion Rate Optimisation
When it comes to conversion rate optimisation, there is no one quick change that will automatically generate results. There are numerous elements on your site that contribute to your conversion rate. The specifics of what works for your business will depend on your type of website, your value proposition and the characteristics of your audience.
While there are several things that will affect the conversion rate on your site, some will have more impact than others. The following things are a good place to start with testing and optimising your site, as they typically have a high impact on conversions.
- Call-to-Action Buttons: The Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons on your site are designed to drive action from your visitors, so are an excellent starting point for CRO. Some of the things that you can test on your CTA buttons are the wording, style, colour, size and their position on the page.
- Headlines and Important Text: Your headline text has to be effective in getting the attention of your visitors and convincing them to read the rest of your content. You should test your headlines and other key pieces of text to find out what is the most effective in driving conversions. Try simple wording in your headings and condense long blocks of text to use bullet points instead. Text that is easier to read is likely to generate more conversions on your site as it helps visitors scan content and understand it quicker.
- Shopping Cart & Signup Pages: These pages are particularly important, as they are where your visitor will eventually convert. Even if they have had a good experience with the rest of your site, if these pages are difficult to use, they are unlikely to continue to conversion. Ensure any forms on these pages are easy to complete, with as few fields as possible. With shopping cart pages, using elements to reduce risk like security seals, reviews guarantees and offers on shipping can also help increase conversions.
- Home Page & Key Entry Pages: These are the parts of your site that get the most traffic, so often have a massive impact on conversion rates. It is important to ensure they are specific, targeted and solve the needs of your visitor to encourage them through to conversion. In addition, if you can use targeting on these pages to personalise the visitor’s experience, you are likely to see an increase in conversion rates.
This is just a basic overview of conversion rate optimisation and what it can do for your business. For more information, get in touch with the digital marketing experts at Digital Squad.
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