If you find yourself getting plenty of website views every month but very few conversions, it’s time to start maximizing your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies. Crafting optimal CRO strategies will help you turn visitors into engagers of your site, whether it’s through getting email subscribers, form submissions, or purchases.
Mastering CRO has other benefits as well. Not only can it save you plenty of time and money when it comes to marketing strategies, but it aids you in further understanding what both drives or stops users of your site from going through with an action. These useful visitor insights can help you create a more user-friendly and effective website overall.
Fortunately, figuring out how to increase conversion rate is much easier than it seems. In this guide, we’ll break down the various components of CRO and how to implement and test the best strategies for you.
Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization, at its core, refers to the process of optimizing your site to increase the percentage of visitors who perform an action. The types of actions that site visitors take will depend on what products or services your website offers, but some of the more common examples include:
- Signing up for email newsletters
- Filling out information forms
- Sharing website content to social media
- Going through with a purchase
- Clicking on call-to-action buttons
- Initiating a chat through your website
CRO is in constant fluctuation as consumer and technological trends change over time. Customers will come across new pain points and develop new desires that will influence how they perceive many aspects of your website, whether it’s the layout or the keywords you use. Therefore, CRO requires regular monitoring and analysis to ensure that you are meeting current customer demands.
Benefits of CRO
Carrying out CRO strategies is not just about pumping up the number of people who fill out a form on your site — it also provides your company with many other advantages:
- Lowered customer acquisition cost: A study by Econsultancy found that…”for every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them.” Your company can save precious financial resources that could be wasted advertising to individuals not interested in your site by investing in those who already are. By putting your budget into visitors who have some interest over those who may not, you are increasing the likelihood of website engagement.
- Greater customer lifetime value: If you provide a great website experience for customers, chances are they are more likely to come back for another visit and interact with your site. Furthermore, customers are more likely to spend more on future transactions with a company they have a good experience with, rather than take a chance on a new company. This financial factor is especially beneficial for eCommerce sites.
- Deeper trust: Finally, by taking the time to optimize your website, including by creating a clear and organized layout, removing any slow-loading or glitchy plug-ins, and emphasizing security and privacy measures, visitors are more likely to feel secure providing you with their information. After all, nearly 80% of American consumers are concerned about what companies will do with their data.
Before jumping to any CRO methods, you can first find out your conversion rate to see where you stand now.
How Do You Calculate Your Conversion Rate?
The first step to answering the question of “how to increase your conversion rate” is figuring out what it is right now. Luckily, calculating your current conversion rate only requires using a simple formula.
You divide the number of conversions you receive by the number of site visits, and multiply by 100 to get your rate. For instance, if you made 20 sales and received 500 visitors, you would divide 20 by 500 to receive .04, and multiply this by 100 to get a 4% rate.
Calculating your rate will give you a good idea of where you are with conversions now and give you a goal you can work toward.
How to Collect CRO Data
So you know what CRO is, why it’s great for your site, and your current conversion rate. Now it’s time to start the CRO process. The first step is to collect the necessary data that will give you an idea of what you need to focus on to improve your site. You can split data collection strategies into two different categories: quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative data refers to the hard numbers related to the user behavior on your site. Many CRO strategists use Google Analytics to track and record data that can, in turn, aid them to develop sites that are more likely to inspire customer engagement.
By using a tool like Google Analytics, you can look at data like:
- Your site bounce rate
- Which landing pages have the highest drop-off rate
- Which pages have the highest traffic
- Where your traffic is coming from, location-wise
- Where customers leave your conversion funnel
- The number of mobile conversions
- Your site speed
These numbers help you discover the what, where, when, and who behind your site, giving you an idea of what areas may need improvement to see more traffic and conversions. However, they don’t answer the how and why behind your site, which is where qualitative data comes in.
Qualitative research will help you better understand how visitors feel about your site and why they are choosing to engage/not engage with it. The best kind of qualitative research for CRO strategies can be gathered by getting feedback directly from visitors themselves. This feedback is invaluable because you are receiving the reasons directly and don’t have to rely on hunches.
You can do this in the following ways:
- On-site surveys or polls
- Follow-up customer questionnaires
- Review social media posts/comments about your site
- Review blog posts about your site
- Ask your customer service team
With surveys, questionnaires, or polls, you can ask users what drew them to your site, what appealed to them while they were there, and what made them lose interest. Now, you have the data and the reasoning, and you can move onto implementing the best CRO practices.
The Best CRO Practices
While there are a number of different CRO practices you can experiment with, there are a few that are more widely used to increase conversion rate.
Improve Your Landing Pages
The average conversion rate sits at nearly 10% for landing pages. This impressive percentage makes landing pages a pivotal factor for you to focus on as you improve your CRO. There are several essential factors that every landing page should incorporate, including a simple and easy-to-use layout, clear language, use of imagery or video, and a singular call to action.
Landing pages that are over-filled with information are distracting and confusing, giving users a good reason to exit out. Above all else, a great landing page will help the user understand how your product or service is the best solution for overcoming the obstacles they are having
Nothing is more frustrating for a mobile user than to come across a website where important information is cut off from the screen. Many websites miss out on the mobile-user market by optimizing their site purely for desktop without considering how the layout may show up on a smartphone.
Ensure that any mobile user of your site gets the exact same seamless experience as your computer users by using mobile-friendly site themes and templates, scaling down your image size, and sticking with standard fonts.
Add Superb Website Copy
While having a nice-looking and mobile-friendly site is important, weak copy can stop visitors from further engaging with your site. The most effective copy is personalized towards a site user, addressing their pain points and offering them solutions in an easy-to-understand and persuasive way.
Address the site visitor as “you” and briefly and easily explain what your company can do for them. Break up long blocks of text using subheadings and bullet or numbered lists, and scale down call-to-action phrases for a greater effect.
Build Social Proof
Thanks to the phenomenon of social proof, individuals tend to copy the behavior of others in order to fit in. The more people engage with your site, the higher the likelihood that others will as well.
You can build social proof in a variety of ways, whether it’s by featuring customer/user testimonials on your site, showing how many people have purchased your product or service, or providing case studies with a holistic view of your customer’s journey.
Create a Seamless Checkout Experience
If you are an eCommerce shop, offering a seamless checkout experience is a must.
The best eCommerce checkout experiences consist of the following:
- No required registration: Allow users to check out as a guest. Many users may not want to go through the entire sign-up process when just wanting to make one purchase.
- Offer incentives where possible: There are many opportunities to include financial incentives when checking out, including offering free shipping once a customer reaches a certain price threshold, or giving discounts/coupons during designated times.
- Emphasize security: Customers want to feel secure sharing their payment information, so displaying the security measures you take during the checkout process will make them feel at ease. Display any security badges you can.
Different CRO Testing Strategies
After you’ve honed in on which practices you wish to implement, you’ll need to utilize some testing strategies to see whether your efforts are leading to an increased conversion rate or if you should try another approach instead. There are several ways that you can go about testing CRO.
A/B testing, or split testing, is one of the most popular CRO testing strategies. Using this method, you will test out two potential changes to see which gets better results. You can find a variety of online A/B testing tools that allow you to test out two different versions of your site, with one audience seeing one version and the other seeing the second version. The A/B tool will collect data on user behavior for you to then analyze.
For instance, if you want to test out two different call-to-action phrases, you can create two versions of a web page with each featuring one phrase.
See how many visitors click on each call to action and compare results to see which call to action to go with. You can A/B test just about anything, including page layouts, pop-ups, and the use of images or videos.
Another invaluable online tool for testing your CRO approaches is to use heat mapping. Heat maps give you a visual representation of user behavior by showing you where site visitors clicked, where they moved their mouse on the screen, and how far down they scrolled.
You can see which parts of your web pages are getting engagement and which features you can change or even delete. This tool is especially useful if you are testing out your page layout, pop-ups, and the placements of buttons like call-to-action or sign-up forms.
Continue to Check Analytics/Feedback
Lastly, be sure to keep checking your Google Analytics and continue to ask for feedback from customers throughout this process. Analytics will continue to give you the raw numbers, while customer feedback will continue to give you the “why” and “how” behind your changes.
Boost CRO to Get the Most From Your Site
Conversion rate optimization is one of the most cost-friendly, in-depth, and viable ways to increase your revenue and turn visitors into regular users of your site. By understanding what factors are currently affecting your conversion rate and implementing methodical strategies to bring in more leads, you will enjoy a more effective and successful website.
Furthermore, CRO is a process of testing and trial-and-error, with data and results transforming as customer needs change. Undergoing CRO testing gives you plenty of time to figure out what works best for your site, providing invaluable customer insight as they develop. So, if you’re ready to start getting the leads your site deserves, check out Redstitch today to see what a conversion-dedicated team can do for you.