Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Gabriel Ryan

also recommends the Evergreen Email Challenge

Updated:
December 12, 2022
Created:
November 9, 2022

Everyone has the fantasy that building a website or landing page will automatically increase conversions, help us reach our sales targets, and result in steady traffic growth. However, this is only sometimes the case. The typical website conversion rate is only 2.35 percent.

Having a website that doesn't convert is common. Your website may not be performing as well as you would like, but rather than getting discouraged, you can take steps to boost your conversion rate and overall success. This article will explain how to improve your website's conversion rate. Keep reading to find out more.

What Does Conversion Rate Optimization Mean, and Why Is It Important?

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, involves implementing changes to your site to boost conversions. While monetary transactions are the most visible form of conversion, even advancing a visitor to the next stage of the sales funnel or collecting contact information counts.

What Are CRO Tools?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools track user behavior on your site to help you learn about your visitors' experiences and find areas for improvement.

 With the help of conversion rate optimization tools, you can:

  • Find out why your website traffic isn't resulting in any leads or sales.
  • Find out what could be improved on your website to boost sales.
  • Optimize your site for maximum conversions by testing various elements.

There Are Three Primary Types of CRO Tools:

  • Web analytics CRO tools: allows you to know and analyze website activity.
  • Behavior analytics CRO tools: know your website visitor behavior
  • CRO testing tools: compare, measure and optimize your website

Lots of different conversion rate optimization tools exist, such as:

  • Google Analytics (and GA 360)
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Heap
  • Hotjar
  • Crazy Egg
  • Google Optimize
  • VWO Testing

What Is a CRO Strategy?

CRO, or conversion rate optimization, refers to the process of continuous testing and implementing changes to your website to enhance the visitor experience and increase conversions.

 If you want to achieve such a massive objective, you'll need a well-defined conversion rate optimization strategy and plan of action for converting your website visitors into paying customers.

What Is A Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate is the proportion of users who take the desired action after clicking an ad or asset. The conversion rate is the proportion of site visitors who actually purchased out of the total number of site visitors. 

The more people who convert after reading your content, the more effective the content is. When a user clicks on a CTA, this is known as a conversion in the marketing world. This could imply:

  • Opening a message you've sent
  • Completing a sign-up form on your site
  • Purchasing an Item

Ideally, you'd like your marketing and customer-facing content to result in as many conversions as possible.

Calculating Your Conversion Rate

Finding out how effective your conversion rate is is simple. Simply divide the number of conversions by the total number of people who interacted with a specific piece of content. Use something like an email or a webpage on your website. Which number you use to divide to get the conversion rate for a specific content type is up to you.

Let's say that you just sent out an email campaign to 10,000 previous customers announcing the release of your new product. A total of 10,000 people were sent the email, but only 500 of them took the time to pre-order. If you divide 500 by 10,000, you get a 5% e-commerce conversion rate from that email.

What Is a Good Conversion Rate?

Your conversion rate is a measure of how well your content is received by the general public. Your website is 6% effective if it converts 6% of visitors into subscribers or buyers. 

Here's the thing though: that's pretty fantastic. The "sweet spot" for conversion rates on websites spans between 2 and 5 percent, regardless of sector. The conversion rates used in different fields can vary even more widely.

Website performance is particularly poor in some industries, such as industrial equipment. While the average conversion rate is lower for some industries, others, such as those dealing in electronics or business services, tend to be quite high. If you want to know where you stand, it's best to do some research and avoid making inappropriate comparisons.

The Tactical Triangle

You can always count on the Tactical Triangle to guide you, and the 80/20 in its center will keep you focused on the areas where you can have the greatest impact. 

According to the Triangle, to sell something, you must first attract traffic, then convert that traffic, and last, to be economically viable, you must earn a profit from the goods you offer.

This is why you started your business in the first place. You reinvest your earnings into expanding your traffic and conversion rates and refining your economics.

 It continues in a continuous circle, moving clockwise. The cycle of traffic, conversion, and economics just keep on going.

In this example, we'll use Google advertisements as our source of traffic, a website sales page as our conversion point, and the sale of clothes as our economic driver:

Traffic: the number of viewers the ad gets (impressions)

Conversion:  ad copy and clicks

Economics: offer price (cost per click)

The Tactical Triangle encompasses all aspects of marketing. And any change you're looking to make can be identified by responding to the question: "What is the most important area I need to focus on right now—traffic, conversion, or economics? You'll always be on the right track with that question.

Where to Implement a CRO Strategy

Here are four places on your website where conversion optimization can potentially have a significant impact.

Homepage

Website homepages can benefit greatly from conversion rate optimization. Your homepage is where visitors land, so it needs to be engaging if you want to keep them around and encourage them to explore further.

You can do this in several ways, including by highlighting links to product information, providing a free signup button, or even incorporating a chatbot that solicits questions from visitors at any point during their browsing experience.

Pricing Page

Many website visitors will decide whether or not to continue with a site based on its pricing page. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) can increase sales from a pricing page by: 

  • making changes to the pricing intervals (such as price-per-year vs. price-per-month)
  • describing the features of the product for each price point
  • providing a phone number to call for a price quote
  • adding a simple pop-up form

Blog

When used properly, a blog can bring in a lot of potential customers for a website. A blog can use conversion rate optimization best practices to turn readers into leads in addition to publishing insightful and helpful content about your industry.

One way this is accomplished is by encouraging readers to submit their email addresses in exchange for a free ebook or industry report. Another blog conversion tactic is by adding CTAs (calls to action) strategically placed throughout articles.

Landing Pages

The fact that landing pages have the highest average conversion rate of all signup forms, at 23%, is understandable, given that they are essentially made to encourage users to take action. 

Optimizing a landing page for an event, for instance, with a video from the previous year can entice visitors to sign up for this year's event. Preview content from a free resource on a landing page can increase the likelihood that visitors will take advantage of the offer and download the full resource.

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Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices

Any optimization effort can be difficult. The sheer number of factors involved in optimizing a website, from keywords to conversion rates, can be intimidating. 

Here, we'll simplify things by outlining eight conversion rate optimization best practices that, when applied diligently, can dramatically increase your conversion funnel and rates.

Incorporate Data into Decision-Making Rather than Preconceived Opinions

It's tempting to evaluate site performance using only your internal metrics, but you should rely on outside experts to point out any problems. Additionally, ensure the quality of your data. 

Insights from services like Google Analytics can provide you with a comprehensive, real-time view of your site's traffic and usage patterns, allowing you to make informed decisions. Let's take a look at some of the Google Analytics metrics you can track to pinpoint areas for improvement.

  1. Bounce Rate: You can learn a lot about your website from its bounce rate. Finding out when, where, and why users are leaving your site will allow you to better utilize what you already have to keep them there. If your website's bounce rate is a statistical significance of over 56%, you may want to investigate further. According to the analytics platform Semrush, a good bounce rate has a statistical significance of anywhere from 26% to 40%.
  2. Exit Pages  Exit pages are the final pages that visitors see before leaving. You can check to see if there is a problem with the experience or if there is another factor that might be influencing a visitor's choice to leave by identifying these pages. When you have collected this information, you can use it to enhance the existing content on those pages as outlined in the preceding section. Put some thought into adding a call to action and more internal links to keep them on your site.
  3. Cost Per Conversion WordStream reports that the CPC for search ads is 4.4%, while the CPC for display ads is 0.57%. How well do your numbers convert against the standard? You can see exactly how much each conversion is costing you by enabling conversion tracking in Google Analytics. This KPI will tell you if your money is well spent on advertising. In case they aren't, you can adjust your targets accordingly. If you have a high conversion rate, you may want to examine the sources of your traffic and the extent to which you are exploiting the various levels of your marketing funnel.

Research Your Competitors

Furthermore, your competitors can be a great asset. Check out your leading competitors' websites to see what they are doing to convince their target audience to buy. You shouldn't try to copy their strategy, but you should learn from their success. It would be best if you considered performing both qualitative and quantitative research about your competitors.

Now that you have gathered quantitative data and know what's working for the competition, you can evaluate their metrics using your brand as a filter. It will allow you to make brand-appropriate adjustments to your site and improve the site's conversion rate. You can run a content audit, and check their SEO and social media strategy to gain more insight.

Set Specific Goals

Before making any changes to your current site, it is important to establish clear, measurable objectives. For instance, your objective shouldn't just be to increase traffic. Instead, you should use a precise plan to boost your traffic by a specified quantity in a specific amount of time.

If you don't know how to develop quantifiable, sustainable goals, use the SMART goals system to come up with benchmarks you can monitor. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based are the five components of a SMART goal. Using this method, you can develop realistic, achievable goals.

Learn About Your Website Visitors

While it's beneficial to gain insight into user habits, it's even more essential to get to know your users and potential customers. It's time to delve deeper if you only have a general concept of who sees your website.  

You can better tailor your content, CRO program, and website experience to meet the needs of your specific audience by creating buyer personas that correspond to your various visitors. Here are a few easy methods:

You can learn more about your client's goals, needs, and expectations for your product by combining the data gathered from the above four methods into a comprehensive profile to benefit your own site.

Track CRO Strategies Using Multivariate and A/B Testing

Don't stick to one type of testing method while evaluating the components of your website. Although they serve different purposes, A/B and multivariate tests can both help in data-driven decision-making. You can mix the testing methods and testing elements to evaluate a wide range of features on your website.

A/B testing, also referred to as a split test, enables you to compare various aspects on two pages directly. This test can produce incredibly useful on-page results and is perfect for calls to action (CTAs), headlines, content, and pictures.

The performance of changes across numerous page parts or elements can be evaluated using a multivariate test. You may optimize one-off page elements by using multivariate testing, which identifies the factors that will have the biggest influence on audience engagement.

However, this is an ongoing process to achieve long-term results. Utilizing both testing techniques can help you determine which optimization and content marketing efforts will be effective.

Patiently Wait for Conversion Rate Optimization Results

Like many other aspects of digital marketing, conversion rate optimization takes time to implement. If you want to make a well-informed decision, you should give your tests at least two weeks to run. You may need to run your tests for even longer than two weeks if your site traffic is rather low.

Wrapping Up

Once you've identified the areas where conversion rate optimization is possible, you may be thinking about whether or not your company is ready to begin the conversion process. Conversion rate optimization is crucial for every online enterprise.

Regardless of your company's size or history, you want to maximize the percentage of your website's visitors who become qualifying leads, paying customers, and enthusiastic brand champions. Conversion rate optimization helps you make the most of your current website traffic by focusing on the right kinds of visitors to achieve increased sales.

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