Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is one of the most talked-about and sought-after digital marketing strategies. It may sound like a highly technical term; however, it is a simple concept at its core. Understanding what Conversion Rate Optimization is and how to implement it will boost your sales without spending extra money on generating more traffic. The basic idea behind CRO is to make the most of the existing traffic.
Conversion Rate Optimization is a broad term that refers to the practice of increasing the number of users who perform a desired action on a website. These practices may consist of different processes, procedures, tips, hacks, strategies, and techniques intended to increase the conversion rate.
What is a Conversion?
A conversion is one of the final stages in the digital marketing funnel. It can be defined as the point at which a lead or a website visitor takes the desired action and fulfills your desired goal.
For most e-commerce businesses, a successful sale is considered a conversions point. However, this does not apply to all businesses. Other examples of conversion include:
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Online donations
- Webinar registrations
- Completion of online forms
What is the Conversion Rate?
The Conversion Rate is used to define and quantify the number of successful conversions. It is a ratio of the number of visitors who took the desired action to the number of visitors who visited the landing page.
CRO = (Number of Sales/Total Number of Visitors to The Web Page) * 100
A higher conversion rate indicates the success of your digital marketing strategy. It also tells that your web pages are well-optimized since more people are taking the desired actions.
We have developed a basic understanding of conversion, conversion rate, and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Now let us explore some best practices and expert tips for Advanced Conversion Rate Optimization.
Best Practices for Advanced Conversion Rate Optimization
(CRO)Chalk Out Clearly Defined Goals
- Major components of CRO are continuous testing and experimentation, both of which are used to discover which web page version results in maximum conversions. A well-defined goal should support each experiment. Goals will help to track overall progress and whether, or not, the experiment is being carried out in the right direction. Goals also define the parameters that are measured for each experiment.
In addition, there should be alignment between each goal and experiment, and necessary actions should be performed to meet these goals. For example, if the goal is to gain more e-book downloads, targeted actions, such as optimal placement of the 'Download Button', should be performed to meet this specific goal.
- An experiment can have more than one goal or objective. However, a good practice is to have one primary goal, which should establish the success or failure of the test, and secondary goals. Secondary goals are more like markers that are used for tracking any adverse effect of the action, but they should not be preferred over the primary goal.
The following are examples of some common conversion goals:
- Expansion of sales
- Increase in the number of form submissions
- More PDF and software downloads
- More email sign-ups
Understand The User's Thought Process
The primary goal of CRO is to subtly nudge your visitors towards your intended direction of achieving your goal. In order to do this, you must first understand who your users are, and optimize your web content to appeal to those users that you’re looking to attract. Most CRO experts recommend delving into the user's thought process and creating a fictitious persona for each valuable visitor. Divide your visitors into different categories and then answer the following questions about them:
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What are their occupations, nature of work, and job titles?
- What common problems may they face at their jobs?
- What is their average annual income?
After drawing these conclusions, you can work on optimizing your content to attract a larger volume of valuable visitors. E.g., if you own an e-commerce website, be sure to summarize your product's usability and unique features in a few sentences. After reading these sentences, the visitor should understand that your product is a solution to their problem.
By understanding the visitors' demographics and psyche, you can create unique and personalized content that will compel users to take the desired action, which in this case is making an online purchase.
Highlight The Value Your Product or Service Offers
After establishing your user demographic, focus on highlighting the value of your product or service offered. Most businesses believe that to convince the visitors, they have to highlight the best features of their product or service and present it as an irresistible solution. However, instead of blowing your trumpet, you should focus on your product's value and how it solves your visitor's problem.
Most visitors are looking for answers to their problems. If you present your product or service as a feasible solution, you are likely to see conversions. Be sure to tailor your content using a customer-focused approach, and address your customers' wants and pain points.
- E.g., if your company sells electronics, an appropriate product description would be:
Our products incorporate the latest technological developments, ensuring maximum power. They are easy to use, and require little maintenance. The battery life on our products is guaranteed to last for long periods of time, which makes them ideal for those who are on the go.
- In this product description, the focus remained on the product and its features. Instead of making your content company-centric, make it more product-focused and highlight the value it brings to your visitors.
Write a Clear, Detailed, and Creative Call To Action
- A Call to Action (CTA) is an important part of the digital marketing campaign. Its purpose is to guide the visitor into taking the desired action. CTAs are particularly crucial when it comes to increasing your conversion rates. A clear, detail-oriented, and creative Call to Action can make all the difference in converting a visitor into a customer.
Detail-oriented CTAs guide users into taking the next step. A CTA that is not specific enough can be counter-productive. E.g., you own an e-commerce website and sell different products. If your CTA contains just one word, i.e., 'Add,' it may confuse your users, as they may not be sure where the 'add' command will lead them.
- Due to a lack of detail and clarity, a reluctant visitor may return without making the sale. A detailed and more conclusive CTA such as 'Add this product to my cart' will convey a clearer message to the visitor, and avoid confusion. Don't forget to offer further directions such as: 'continue shopping or checkout' after a product is added to the cart.
If you offer any discounts for your products, come up with clever phrases to draw your user's attention to the promotion. E.g., upon making the first purchase, if the user gets a discount, you can write a promotional phrase such as "Avail Your Beginner's Discount Now."
In short, use clear and specific CTAs to help guide your users every step of the way.
Evaluate User's Experience With The Help of Heat Maps
- In the context of digital marketing, a heatmap is a tool that is used for the visual and two-dimensional representation of data. It uses different colors to represent how visitors engage and interact with a webpage. For instance, high traffic sections of a web page will be represented by a red color., whereas areas of lower activity will be represented by a blue color.
By using a heatmap, you can calibrate and evaluate users' experiences for different sections of the webpage. For example, heatmaps will indicate whether most visitors reach the bottom of a webpage and how they interact with CTA buttons. By analyzing the data generated through heat maps, you can modify the placement of the CTA button to generate more clicks.
Make The Forms More User-Friendly
- Sometimes low CRO can be due to the forms that are present on your website. Forms are complex, lengthy, or take too much time to load, can be a turnoff for potential customers, and prevent leads from converting. Critically analyze forms present on your website, and understand from a user's point of view how they can be a nuisance to your visitors.
Use heatmaps to understand what is causing a hindrance in completing them. The heatmap can identify troublesome areas; for example, point no. 5 on your online form is too complex to understand or may require a one to two-line answer. Most people prefer objective-type questions over opinion-based explanatory questions.
- Make amendments in your forms by analyzing the results of the heatmap. To find the form which guarantees maximum conversions, test, and experiment with the length and questions of different forms. Use A/B testing to analyze how different versions of the form may underperform or lead to improved results. It will guide you in creating the most effective and efficient form with the highest Conversion Rate.
Mention Positive Reviews From Previous Clients
- To make your products or services more convincing to visitors, offer social proof of their credibility. This social proof can be in the form of recommendations and positive reviews from previous customers. The positive testimonials of your customers can improve the conversion rate by a considerable margin.
An even better trick is to offer exclusive proof for a particular product. E.g., one of your products has an exceptionally high rating. You can highlight the product's star rating at the top of the page, where it can be easily seen. People trust the opinions of other customers more than what the brand speaks for itself.
- Likewise, if your target is to get more software or e-book downloads, provide testimonials from previous clients highlighting your product's positive attributes and how it helped them meet a specific goal. Displaying snippets of social proof boosts your visitor's trust in your product and your business.
Recurrent Iterations and Constant Trial and Error
- The golden rule for CRO is constant trial and error, experimentation, and testing. This applies to all web pages, forms, campaigns, etc. Only through regularly testing each element of the website can it be optimized to achieve maximum conversions. You may get the best results with the first version of an experiment; however, that is rare, and usually, more iterations mean better results.
The following testing techniques help optimize the conversion rate:
- A/B testing is one of the most popular methods for achieving Conversion Rate Optimization. Approximately 77 percent of businesses run this test on their web pages and websites. During this testing, marketers create two versions of a landing or web page and test both these pages for a different audience. Both versions are tested against some marketing objectives to understand which page outperforms the other. Marketers then implement the version which gives better results.
Also known as a split test, A/B test is usually performed for comparing different elements on two pages. This test is commonly used for optimizing the headlines, images, copy, and call to action.
- During this test, multiple variations of different elements present on the webpage are tested to analyze which combination of the elements gives the best results. This test indicates which elements generate the highest traffic and engagement from the audience.
Use both these tests to make your optimization efforts more successful.