The shift in consumer behaviour and the business landscape has compelled digital marketers to step up their game with conversion rate optimization.
Digital marketers are always on the lookout for ways to increase sales. But this does not only mean generating more organic traffic to a website. With the recent advancements in digital technology and the ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic, more and more people are turning to online platforms for information, entertainment, purchases, and other needs. The bigger concern now is how to turn these visits into a sale, a subscription, signup, or any other desired action that could lead to business growth.
This is where Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO comes in.
In a world where virtually every purchasing journey starts with a click on a website, increasing your Conversion Rate Optimization has never been more important. It offers many advantages that all businesses today must tap into. But before we get to this, we must first discuss what CRO is.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
In a nutshell, conversion rate optimization is the process of maximizing the percentage of users that take profitable action after visiting a website. This includes adding products to a shopping cart, filling out a form for membership, scheduling a service, or simply clicking on a link. These are all outcomes that every online brand wants.
How can you guide a potential customer from visiting your website to purchasing a product? The key is to analyze the behaviour of your target audience and identify what specific marketing elements compel them to engage with a brand and become paying customers. It is also important for businesses to understand what is stopping their visitors from completing an action so they can make the necessary adjustments to their content, their marketing strategy, or even their products. These are all critical elements of conversion optimization.
Things to Consider About CRO
One of the questions people often ask with regards to conversion rate is how much is enough? Depending on the source, this could range anywhere from 1% to 4%. But while this is an acceptable benchmark, it is important to note that you should not be overly dependent on these numbers.
For one, the conversion rate would vary greatly on whether you include signups for newsletters and clicks on ads or if you are strictly considering completed checkouts. The type of target audience or nature of the content also has an impact on the success rate. Besides, most online brands are not in the habit of sharing their conversion data with the public, which means that you can never fully trust the industry figure of 1% to 4% conversion rate.
The best course of action is to understand your target audience, find out what is important to them, and do your best to give it to them when they need it. This is the core principle of Conversion Rate Optimization. There is no need to get too hung up on the industry standards for conversion rate. All you need to do is focus on the process, and the conversion will take care of itself.
What are the Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices?
Consumer behaviour is driven by advancements in technology, emerging trends, changes in customer expectations, and other factors that are in constant flux. This means that best practices are usually past practices by the time you hear about them. They have worked before, and they have worked for some brands, but there is no guarantee that they will deliver the same results for you today. There are plenty of CRO strategies that can be implemented to your website in order to improve your overall conversions.
Some examples of commonly known best practices for CRO are:
- Using bold colours for your call-to-action or CTA button,
- Placing your call-to-action button above the fold,
- Displaying testimonials from previous customers,
- And using fewer fields for online forms.
While there is a good chance that applying these practices would work, there is a better approach: create a core set of principles instead of specific practices that could get outdated over time.
One example is to always invest time and energy in understanding your target audience. This should be top of mind when dealing with your conversion rate to the point that it becomes a way of life for you. This will keep you in touch with your target audience regardless of what new technology or trend emerges.
But how can you get this done exactly? It is true that you must understand your intended audience, but this statement is too abstract. Don’t worry. You can increase your conversion rate based on this principle using three simple steps:
Understand what attracts users to a website.
To increase your chances of converting a visit into a sale, you must first understand what compels a user to visit your website in the first place. These users are looking for something, and their search led them to your pages. Whether they stay on to make an actual purchase or bounce off after a few minutes would depend on whether they found what they came for. To do this, you need to create a buyer persona that will represent your target audience accurately. This will give you valuable insight into what they really need. You could set up a quick survey on one of your pages and use this information to create a realistic buyer persona.
Find out what hooks the buyers.
You can set up a post-purchase survey to help you understand what compelled visitors to buy something. This could include simple questions such as how their overall experience went and what you can do to improve this experience. You can also ask them if there was anything that almost stopped them from making the purchase. Based on the information from this quick survey, you can decide what you should keep on doing more of, what you should stop doing, or what you need to start doing to increase conversion.
Identify barriers against conversion optimization and remove them.
While you could learn much from completed sales, failed conversions can also offer a treasure trove of actionable information. It will give you an idea of why visitors leave or abandon their carts so you can make the necessary adjustments. To do this, you would need to look into your weaknesses. Find out which pages have the highest number of exits. You could then do an audit to identify the most problematic sections on these drop-off pages. From there, you can find out which key elements people are failing to see, whether it is a CTA, a link, or a button. Based on this information, you can fine-tune your website or your content to achieve the desired result.
As mentioned before, this principle should be ingrained into your culture. The whole process is iterative, which means that the work never ends, and rightly so. Customers are unpredictable and could change their minds on any given day. You should always try to understand them to stay ahead of the curve and your competition.
What Are the Benefits of CRO?
Conversion optimization is more difficult than generating more traffic to a website. It involves doing surveys, training your sales team, re-organizing your e-commerce store, or offering incentives, whichever is applicable. What is more, it is a long-term commitment.
Still, what makes Conversion Rate Optimization difficult is what makes it effective. There are no shortcuts to long-term success. But if you have the patience for it, it can open a lot of opportunities:
- Stay connected to your target audience
As mentioned above, conversion optimization inherently keeps you connected to your target audience. The process of understanding your customers’ intent and behaviour will unlock a wealth of information that you can use to guide your marketing and business decisions. It will also allow you to provide your customers what they truly need or want, which encourages brand loyalty and long-term success for your business.
- A more useful website
Having access to a lot of useful information about your intended audience will allow you to make the necessary adjustments to your website. This is very important as virtually all consumers today depend heavily on the internet for information, entertainment, and buying various goods or hiring services. In this new world, your website is your most potent tool to connect with consumers.
- Improve your brand image
With a higher conversion rate, you are able to delight more customers. The process of conversion optimization also gives you the opportunity to create more effective copies for your pages, build sharper designs or more intuitive layouts for your website, and improve user experience in many other ways. All these elements will help position your brand as a market leader.
- Higher return on your investment
If you focus on generating more traffic into your website, you could end up spending more and getting less in return. This is because you are drawing the attention of random browsers with little to no motivation to make a purchase.
Conversion optimization will help you attract quality leads with a high potential for sales. These are motivated users with the predisposition to use the type of product or service that you are offering.
- It offers long-term growth
With conversion optimization, the work never stops. Still, it is a better option than just increasing traffic since the result it generates is also sustainable. You can stay ahead of the competition even as new technologies or trends emerge and threaten the current equilibrium. It will help you ensure business continuity and growth for the years to come.
If marketing budget is not an issue, it is best to take both routes. You can try to increase traffic even as you optimize your conversion rate. This will give you maximum growth and profit. But if you have to start somewhere and you can only choose one path, it is often better to focus on increasing your conversion rate. Most of the users who visit your website are already searching for something that they need. The question is, can you actually give it to them or not?
Get More From Your Website with Conversion Rate Optimization
Don’t settle for a mediocre conversion rate or worse yet an unknown conversion rate. Let our Conversion Rate specialists review your website, set strategic objectives, integrate conversion best practices (plus some of our own secret genius) and measure the results. We think you’ll be floored with the results!
Call our 1st on the List SEO team today at 1-888-262-6687.