What is Conversion Rate Optimization and Why is it Important?
Imagine you're a store owner. You see people walk into your shop, browse a few things, and walk right back out without buying a single item. Every time this happens, you miss out on revenue. The same can be said for traffic to your website. The good news is that you can fix this by making your website work smarter, not harder through conversion rate optimization.
But before we show you how to increase your conversions on your site, let's establish some key definitions so you can fully understand our conversion rate optimization guide.
Defining Conversion Rate
A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to a site or page that complete a certain goal.
So, what can these goals be?
Two types of conversion goals exist: macro and micro.
Macro-conversions are your site's bread and butter. They're the conversion of a website visitor into a paying customer or subscriber.
Examples of macro-conversions:
● Buying a product
● Subscribing to a service
Micro-conversions are incremental steps on the visitor's path towards your macro-conversion goal. Think of it as the warm-up before a sprint.
Examples of micro-conversions:
● Signing up for an email newsletter
● Creating an account
Defining Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing your website or landing page to increase the percentage of website visitors that convert into customers or take any desired action on a webpage. It's comprised of four main elements –conversion research, user experience (UX), website persuasion, and A/B testing.
Now that you know these key definitions, read on to learn about the origins of conversion rate optimization and how it works.
The History of Conversion Rate Optimization
Think back to the good old days of the early 2000s. Having a hard time remembering? Let's paint a picture for you. George W. Bush was president. Smartphones were non-existent.It took 20 minutes to download your favorite song onto a CD. And every morning,you heard the sweet sound of dial-up internet. (Anyone else feeling nostalgic?)
We were just on the brink of discovering this whole new online world when things went wrong. The dot-com bubble started to burst, and many online marketers went out of business early. In the aftermath of this bubble, online marketers quickly realized that only focusing on generating traffic isn't enough. They needed to also focus on conversions.
Traffic is great for bragging rights, but your goal is sales. This brings us to our next point.
How Can I Convert Website Traffic Into Sales?
- Create compelling content.
Content is arguably the most integral element impacting your website's conversion rates. In the kingdom of online marketing, content is king. Entice your customers to move through your sales funnel by writing compelling, more engaging content. Consider the following when drafting your content:
People read online content differently than they do offline content. It’s best to break down the content into paragraphs so it’s easier to read. Plus, use subheading and bullet points to break up the content into digestible chunks.
● Writing Style
Although including keywords into your content is important for SEO purposes, you MUST write for your audience. Good website content reads like a well-spoken person talking to their friend. It should also be clear, concise, and to-the-point.
2. Map your buyer's journey.
The purchase journey continues to evolve, and customers interact with brands in different ways across all types of devices. Google Analytics provides you with valuable nuggets of data that help you gain insight into a customer's journey. Are they reading your blog posts? How long do they stay on each page? Where did they come from? Answering these questions can make sure you're providing relevant and educational content to create the best experience for the user.
3. Conduct A/B Testing.
A/B testing is essentially a research study where two or more variations of a page are shown to users at random. Statistical analysis is used to determine which page performs better for your specific conversion goal. Although there are dozens of website components you can multi-variate test, here's where we like to start:
● Colors of buttons
● Placement of buttons
● Page layout
● Offers and product pricing
● Images and Videos
Multi-variate testing is so beneficial, even presidents do it. During Obama's 2008 campaign, he raised$60 million dollars by running one simple experiment. His team used A/B testing to rethink the elements of his websites. Their conversion goal was to turn website visitors into subscribers and eventually donors. After breaking the page into its component parts and preparing a handful of variations of each,they were able to conclude that the words, "Learn More" garnered nearly 19% more signups per visitor than the default button that read "Sign Up."
Plus, a black and white photo of the Obamas outperformed the default image by 13%. By using both the family image and"Learn More" button, signups increased by 40%.
4. Add Call-to-action buttons.
Another important element on your site are CTA buttons (which President Obama proved in his 2012 campaign). Your CTA button doesn't have to be wildly creative. You just need to make sure they're easily recognizable as buttons and have copy that inspires your prospects to take action. If we didn’t make this clear enough, A/B test your calls-to-action.
5. Checkout pages or signup flow pages.
If your website visitors struggle to checkout or subscribe, they'll abandon your website, thus killing your conversion rate. Make your forms simple to complete, remove non-mandatory fields, and add checkout buttons to the top and bottom of the page.
6. Create urgency.
How many times have you seen "only a few left!" or "sale ends at midnight!" on a website? This sense of urgency helps customers make a buying decision. No one wants to experience FOMO and miss out on a great sales opportunity, especially if others are grabbing it. To create urgency, pick a deadline and use words like "now," "hurry," "instant," and"immediately."
And since color psychology overlaps with customer psychology, consider using urgent colors like red, orange, and yellow.
Bottom line, you're in business to make money. And minor changes can make a significant impact on your conversion rate, which can increase your profit. While there are a ton of best practices, we recommend continually testing, analyzing, and optimizing to see what resonates with your audience.
Get Started With Conversion Rate Optimization
If you’re ready to optimize your website and achieve the greatest return on investment, Max Connect can help. Give us a call at (801) 260-2835 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!