When it comes to user experience and customer journey, everything can be optimized. Just like SEO, in which you optimize your site’s relationship with search engines, the same can be done for your site’s conversion rates.
CRO is such an important part of your business’s success that if you haven’t gotten started on your strategy yet, it’s time to map it out. But first, let’s dive into what this multifaceted marketing term entails.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
A business’s conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who perform a given desired action on a site. Whether it is signing up for a newsletter, clicking on a link that leads to a funnel, or downloading a digital product, getting visitors to accomplish your goal for them equals a higher conversion rate.
A conversion rate of between 2-4% is generally considered average but every business owner knows that it’s better to be higher. The more conversions you have, the more sales and loyal customers you make too.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), therefore, is a strategic plan or program to help increase conversions on your site by testing and using the data to modify your visitor pathways. After all, an increased conversion rate means a better bottom line for your business.
Best Practices for CRO Success
The best practices for optimizing your conversion rate are not a one-size-fits-all package. The type of business or website you have will determine what type of optimization techniques make the most sense to utilize.
For example, you wouldn’t use an “abandoned cart” feature on a lead generation site but it would work beautifully to improve an eCommerce site. Tailoring your best practices to your particular trade is just as important as the methods themselves.
Since we can’t go over every industry in detail, today we’re going to cover the most important general and comprehensive CRO approaches that will work well on any site.
#1. Refine Your Copy
Keeping the tone of your site’s copy consistent throughout every step on every page is one of the best things you can do to improve your conversion rate.
- Use compelling headlines
- Integrate user-generated content on your site
- Keep everything short and sweet
Your site’s visitors will come to recognize your tone and respond to it, helping to build a loyal customer base over time.
#2. Research, Research, Research… and Implement
Perform both qualitative and quantitative research on and about your target audience to determine the best ways to appeal to them and solve problems for them. This includes demographics, geography, likes and dislikes, and pain points.
Once you’ve acquired the data, make sure to implement it on your site, and constantly adapt.
#3. Analyze and Test
Take a look at what pages your visitors are spending the most time on, your traffic numbers, your page load times, your bounce rate, and all of the other measurable means for gathering data on your site.
Testing, especially A/B testing, is a crucial part of improving your site and conversion rate. Keep specific goals in mind as you test, adjusting elements like banners, calls-to-action, social proof, and even content.
#4. Streamline Your Navigation
Navigating a website in 2020 should not be tricky for a new visitor to do. When modifying your site’s layout, keep in mind the goals of the page:
- How is this page benefitting your visitors?
- What do you want the customer to learn from this page?
- What actions do you want them to take on this page?
Once you’ve answered those questions, build sensible navigation paths for your visitors to easily accomplish your goals. Keep CTAs (calls-to-action) above the fold and clearly communicate the value that you are providing to visitors to your site.
#5. Showcase Relevant Imagery
Highlighting your logo front-and-center on the top of the homepage is always a good start. That way, you’re constantly reminding your audience of your name, your brand, and also helping with navigation. Using your logo as an easy one-click way to get back to the homepage accomplishes this well, taking care of two things at once.
Make sure that any imagery you use on your site is helping to tell your story in some way, adding to the informational journey, rather than distracting from it. Consider A/B testing hero images, thumbnails, and graphic icons to see what your audience responds to best.
Let’s Get Technical
Beyond these common-sense best practice techniques, there are some industries that go even further.
Take iGaming and online casinos, for example, that utilize artificial intelligence to analyze and learn from player behavior to better improve each player’s unique experience on the site. Online casinos are constantly looking at how they can maximize the number of registrations they can get from their affiliate (example here) and other marketing channels.
Proven Methods for 2020 Success
CRO can benefit your website in all sorts of ways and it’s certainly not limited to one part of your site. Your homepage, landing pages, pricing page, or product pages, and your blog can all be optimized to assist with improving the conversion process.
It’s not an exact science but with systematic prioritization and an organized strategy, improving your conversion rate can be a straightforward and painless path to even greater success.