Beginners Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)?
Media buyers and marketing agents are under constant pressure to generate new leads for clients’ websites. The most natural approach to achieve this goal is to increase traffic to the site. Sadly, this strategy is a standard marketing playbook that does not always generate the desired results. While traffic is essential, creating a consistent conversion path for website visitors is the best way to increase leads. That’s where conversion rate optimisation strategies come into play.
Before diving into the main topic, there is a need to understand what a conversion is and how it occurs. A conversion happens when a website visitor completes a desired action on the website. It may be a click-through to the products’ page, subscription to a newsletter or buying a product. The rate of conversion is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors to the site over a particular period. For example, if a products page had 100 visitors in the past day and 20 of them made a purchase, your conversion rate for that day is 20%.
Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimisation
CRO aims to increase the conversion rate by researching audience behaviour, analysing what stops them from converting and adjusting specific features to increase this rate. The process offers several benefits.
Enhancing your conversion rate means you have successfully convinced your visitors to sign up for a newsletter or other such action. It creates a platform for nurturing them until they are ready to purchase your product.
Paid Advertising becomes more effective
Marketers use this strategy to complement their organic SEO efforts. CRO not only helps increase exposure of your brand and attracting new visitors but also tests out keywords used. Given that paid advertising is a pretty expensive venture, increasing the conversion rate makes your campaigns worth the money.
Capture better leads
CRO does not include all the visitors to a website; instead, it focuses on high-quality visitors. This way, the marketer has a better chance of converting them to customers.
Reduces Customer Acquisition Cost
Increasing the conversion rate is the first, effective way of getting cash for projects such as social media marketing campaigns. When you optimise a website, traffic from other campaigns improves as well thus, reducing the customer acquisition costs.
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How to Perform CRO
The first step to a successful CRO is to define objectives. Do you want to convert visitors to actual customers, lead them to sign up for a trial or fill a form? Next, you need to identify gaps in the conversion path and employ strategies that optimise it accordingly. As such, you need to conduct thorough research on your visitors and their behaviour. Marketers achieve this by performing quantitative and qualitative user research.
This research focuses on data and user behaviour. Marketers can use tools such as Google Analytics to gather useful metrics, including the most visited pages; the pages visitors spend the most time, devices used to access the website, demographics and other data. You also want to add conversion tracking to the site to determine the number of visitors converting, their demographics and the path they follow.
Here is a small example of what research and optimisation can do if done correctly. This is a website ranking nationally for specialist mortgage services.
It refers to research from channels like review websites, customer interviews and focus groups to understand the customer’s experiences. You can perform an online survey distributed via email where you ask customers questions such as:
- Why they visited the website
- What they were looking for – Online Reputation Management advice?
- Whether they found it – check bounce rate
- Whether the experience was hassle-free or confusing – fire events when reaching specific parts of a page
- Why they decided to convert – A/B test different CTAs
- Why they left the site – didnt answer their question? Price?
The research methods should help you make intuitive observations and create strategies for CRO. You need to evaluate each approach by assessing the potential improvement it offers to the site, the value it brings to a page, and the resources required implementing it before choosing the best strategy for your CRO objectives. Here are useful CRO strategies online marketers should consider applying.
Include Lead Flows in the Blog
Lead flows are high-converting pop-ups designed to capture the attention of the visitor and create value. It’s a win-win situation where the visitors have a flawless experience when getting content and you get the conversion. As a result, the marketer can easily customise the fill-out forms according to the visitor’s preference without engaging a developer.
Use Text-based CTAs
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CTAs (Call-to-actions) are a great way to entice visitors to take the desired action. However, this strategy has become pretty ineffective as most website visitors don’t always read to the bottom of the post. Banner blindness is another feature that causes people to ignore banner-like info on sites. Text-based CTAs help capture the attention of the visitor, leading him or her to convert. For example, you can include a link to a landing page styled as another heading to see if the traffic converts to leads compared to regular CTAs.
Optimise with A/B Testing
The test compares the effectiveness of one version of an element or page to another version. A/B testing is a continuous process that allows online marketers to test a landing or other page with different features. For example, you can create two versions of a landing page and check it against your audience to find out the version that performs best or test how a red and blue CTA button performs. If the blue CTA button increases conversions, use it and move to another feature. Be sure to run tests for one element at a time, avoid overwhelming your audience and identify the variables that drove most results.
Optimise Your Landing pages
They are an essential part of the modern online marketer’s toolkit. It is where an existing lead engages more with your brand, or the visitor becomes a lead. An A/B test comes in handy to help you identify the version that generates most leads. The objective is to create a simple path to conversion that does not overwhelm visitors. Essential features that will help you optimise a landing page to increase lead generation include:
- Using a catchy headline
- Using simple, and clear texts and images
- Including high-quality and relevant images
- Using language and design that match ads
Develop a Consistent Workflow
You can create automated workflows your colleagues in the sales department will find useful. For example, you can send emails on behalf of the sales representatives to allow leads to arrange a meeting with them at the click of a button. Alternatively, the sales reps can receive email notifications when a lead makes a high-intent action, e.g., adding a product to the cart or viewing the price page. You can also send emails to the visitors who abandon the shopping cart.
Optimise High-performing Blog posts
If you have been writing blog posts for a long time, it’s likely that you have posts that outperformed others. Blog posts remain a great CRO tool as you can quickly identify those that attracted high levels of web traffic. However, if the conversion rates are not impressive, find out the reasons for the low rate. For example, the CTA may be unclear or the content you are promoting may not be aligned with the blog post’s content. You can update the content to keep it fresh and relevant or optimise it for search engines or social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. If the user experience improves then so should the conversion rate.
Re-target Website Visitors
Most visitors won’t take the desired action. Retargeting allows you to remarket your site to visitors who left your website. Marketers achieve this by tracking visitors to the site and creating targeted ads as they visit other websites. The approach comes in handy when you want to retarget people visiting high-converting web pages, especially when they are within your target market.
Social Proof – or Trust
In order to gain those extra few sales, focus on providing anything that brings trust to your products or service. This can be in the form of:
- Reviews – Most people are inclined to read reviews before making a purchase. If your page has a review section, you are providing the social proof needed for the user to take the next step in the buying process.
- Wording – Word your products or services in a way that makes the user feel like everyone else is already buying such as a “most popular” tag.
- Influencers – Getting an endorsement can be costly but someone with 500k+ followers who are your target audience on Instagram endorsing your product not only brings in sales upfront but the endorsement can be placed on your product page to help boost future sales.