Most of the digital businesses today run on a common strategy: use tactics to drive more website traffic and grow their business. What most of them overlook is that the traffic that they build needs to be converted into customers—and then repeat customers. So, they often ignore a relatively underutilized tactic that drives long-term, sustainable growth: conversion rate optimization (CRO).
CRO helps businesses turn existing traffic into leads as well as ensure all potential traffic also converts into customers. Studies have found that conversion rate optimization offers a ROI of 223%. Yet, only 68% of organizations follow a well-documented CRO plan.
Only the top companies allocate 5% of their marketing budget on CRO.
It’s time for you to do the same.
Are you on board? Then this guide is just for you.
Let’s start with the basics. Conversion rate optimization is the process of optimizing your website by incorporating online customer behavior to influence customers into performing certain desired actions. These actions can range from clicking on a link to purchasing a product. A smart conversion rate optimization strategy helps save your time and money in acquiring new customers and instead make your site ready to convert all visitors into customers. CRO believes that the best way to earn more revenue is by understanding your customers better. Hence, it’s an ongoing process of analyzing and optimizing.
When you switch your perspective from just selling to prospects to helping them solve their problem, your business automatically becomes successful. This is what conversion rate optimization achieves by improving your website usability and, subsequently, the user experience.
There’s a simple way to calculate your conversion rate optimization (CRO): by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of visitors and multiplying it by 100.
This is a traditional formula used by most businesses. However, it’s not enough for you to just calculate how many conversions you receive from your website. You need to complement that data with other data. That’s why you’ll need to calculate 2 other things:
Divide the net revenue goal by the average sales price
Divide the total number of new customers by your lead to customer close rate (i.e., conversion rate) and multiply it by 100
Invariably, an increase in the number of new customers and leads generated is going to reflect in an increase in your conversion rate.
Conversion rate is an extremely important metric for your business. However, your conversion rates can vary across various industries, devices, and geographies.
Here’s the latest shopping conversion rate as per Statista’s research:
If you’re an eCommerce business, you’d be more concerned with the eCommerce conversion rate. As per the latest data, the average eCommerce conversion rate is 2.27%.
As a business, you’d be interested in how visitors are converting on your website. Geographically, here’s how the website conversion rates stand:
It also matters which device your visitors are using. This is the average conversion rates by device:
The conversion rates vary based on the channel as well – email, ads, etc. So, to understand the average conversion rate for your business, you’ll have to determine which factors matter to you the most.
CRO can help you boost sales and increase your conversions. But for that to happen, you’ll need to be aware of the pitfalls so that you don’t end up losing time, effort, and money.
Here are some best practices to guide you in the process:
It’s important that you don’t get carried away by visuals or other impressions. This because these are going to mislead you. You should always work on data.
For example, you may have used a clean and beautiful website design which makes you feel it’s going to be visited by a lot of visitors. However, unless you get the solid hard numbers pointing that way, you shouldn’t start celebrating.
Testing, experimenting, and analysis is going to give you all the information you need to lead your business to growth. Hence, instead of being biased and impatient, you should rest all your faith in statistical data.
It’s one thing to create well-written content by the best of writers as per the SEO guidelines. However, the aim of your copy is to ultimately lead customers to take action. If this is the end goal, your content is going to encourage them to do it. So, it should tie specifically to your business objectives.
Here’s how you can make your content add value to your site:
Most businesses starting out with CRO feel that you’ve to keep running small tests. While it’s important to keep checking various elements on your website, you also need to think about your conversion rates. Small tests won’t make much of an impact on your conversion rates. Big tests will improve your conversion rates big time over a period of time.
Some of the big tests you can carry out are:
You may need to consider the timing and location of your tests. Carrying out a lot of tests in the same period of time and on the same page can hamper results adversely. You’ll hardly get a good accuracy from your test results in that case.
Again, the quantity of your tests can severely impact the user experience for your customers. Some pop-ups or intrusive elements can even make them abandon your site and never visit again. You shouldn’t also jump to multivariate testing right away since it works ideally for sites with high-traffic. Taking a step-by-step approach makes more sense.
Your website design elements exist to make it easier for your customers to browse or make a purchase. So, you should avoid all superfluous design elements on your site. One of the most important elements to avoid are automatic sliders. Although visually, they may look better, however, they don’t lead to good conversions. This is because they don’t let the customer consume information in peace. They impede the visitor’s user experience and leads them to miss out important messages.
Using touch carousels can lead to a better user experience.
Another important factor is images and videos. Blindly using stock photos can hamper your brand experience. Adding personalized, human elements can help you see better conversions. Using photos of customers experiencing your product is also a great idea. Videos can be an important element for your website too. Using product videos can also positively impact your conversion rates.
You’re probably already aware of the importance of call-to-action buttons (CTAs). They help your customers take decisive action. However, used the wrong way, it can make you lose potential conversions.
For example, using the wrong colors for your CTA buttons can negatively impact your conversions. Studies reveal that red converts better than green or blue. However, you may also need to consider the background while choosing your CTA button color.
The copy of your CTA is also very important. Using power words can increase the chances of conversions. Some of the power words you can use are:
See how Trello uses their CTA color and copy strategically?
Placing the CTA strategically is also a factor you’d need to consider. There are equal opinions to place them both above and below the fold. This completely depends on your customers and your business goals.
If your customer is already convinced about your brand, you can use the CTA above the fold. If your customer is considering, then placing the CTA below the fold makes more sense.
Urgency is a tool that takes into account buyer psychology to improve your conversions. If you offer your visitors a time-limited offer, then there’s a higher chance that they’ll avail it now rather than later.
Using the Principles of Persuasion, many businesses have seen positive results for their business.
For example, this is how ASOS creates urgency on their website by using a countdown timer.
There are several plans, strategies, and frameworks to make your conversion rate optimization process a success.
Most of them have some or all of these elements in them:
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can carry out the conversion rate optimization process:
If you want to achieve success with your A/B test results, you need to carry out thorough research. It’s easy to copy case studies that work for other brands. If you don’t customize it to match what fits your brand, you’re not going to see results.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind during research:
What are my users doing? - You do research so that you can gather facts. The first data you need is about your visitor behavior. You can collect a number of data points from various sources such as bounce rate, website traffic sources, demographics, location, device data, onsite activity, etc. Google Analytics is a treasure trove from where to collect all this data.
How is my site doing? - You can use several tools such as heatmaps, session recordings, customer surveys, net promoter scores, etc. to gather how your site is featuring in influencing user behavior. These insights will help you figure out which elements to keep and which to avoid.
Am I using persuasion? - Customers are prone to cognitive biases. For example, if a product is extremely popular among the masses, there’s a high chance that many customers will want to purchase it out of peer pressure. Adding elements such as social proof and reviews can augment this to a great extent.
Am I taking customer behavior into account? - If you’re designing your website as to how you’d like it and not how your customers will like it, it’s a failed cause. Most customers don’t read through the entire content but just skim through. Making your content scannable can help appeal to them much more. You can get more information on which elements they like and which they don’t by conducting interviews and surveys.
Next comes gathering data based on your research. This will help you make sense of your research. It can also help you set a benchmark against which you can measure future improvements.
There are 2 types of data you need to collect: quantitative and qualitative data.
Quantitative data helps you understand your business performance whereas qualitative data helps you understand your customer sentiments.
Some of the best channels to gather data from are:
With your research and data, you can finally create a hypothesis. It generally comprises of 3 parts:
You can carry out the hypothesis either on an entire page or certain elements.
There are several factors you need to consider while carrying out the test.
The first is to understand whether running the test is actually going to improve conversions on your site.
For example, if you’re running a test on a certain page and you find that the conversions increase by 10% from before the test, you’ll want to implement it.
A statistical significance of 90% is enough to ensure that you don’t need to carry out any further tests.
How long you need to run the test is also important. Since visitors will always be included in the test while it’s running, the numbers may differ. So, to get the accurate results, a timeframe is important.
Finally, you’ll need to decide which test to carry out. A/B testing, split testing, and multivariate testing are the 3 different types of testing you can do.
A/B testing is the simplest of all. You can choose it for simple design changes. For more complex and heavy ones, split test makes more sense. You can choose multivariate when you want to test multiple elements on a page individually.
In the final stage, you analyze the data and draw conclusions from it. You will also have to note the results so that you can use them for future testing.
Don’t just look for data that tells you if the test was a success or a failure. All the data from the tests can offer you insights that’ll help you improve your site.
Before we move on to the tools you’ll need to complete your conversion rate optimization process, it’s important to know what the tools will do for you:
Here are the different kinds of tools that you’ll need:
There are multiple stages in the CRO process. Throughout the entire process of research, data gathering, hypothesis, and experimentation, there are some elements that’ll remain constant.
There are several benefits to adopting a conversion rate optimization process for your business.
Conversion rate optimization is ideal for all sorts of companies from all industries. Here’s how CRO can impact various businesses and industries:
Get the best hands on the job. Brandstory.in offers the perfect combination of conversion experts, state-of-the-art technology, and data-driven process. All so that your business can achieve higher conversions and sales.
Our 3-fold conversion optimization strategy aims to improve your website user experience to achieve higher conversion rate, average order value, and customer lifetime value.
Start maximizing your revenue through CRO optimization today. Schedule a call with the BrandStory team!