In today's digital market, it’s not enough to get customers to visit your website; they need to take specific actions for it to actually benefit your business. Marketing teams focus on moving traffic toward websites to build potential sales leads, by utilizing Conversion Rates Optimization (CRO). Companies can achieve long-term, sustainable growth, by getting the most value from existing users, while also pursuing potential leads.
This article will explain the benefits of utilizing CRO, by answering the fundamental questions of when, where, why, and how to improve your website's conversion rate.
- What is Conversion Rates Optimization (CRO)?
- Signs your website needs CRO
- How to build a CRO strategy
- Where to implement a CRO strategy
What is Conversion Rates Optimization (CRO)?
A conversion rate is calculated as the percentage of visitors who complete a specific action as indicated on a website. In this regard, Conversion Rates Optimization increases your website's chances of turning visitors into paying customers.
While the definition of conversion may differ depending on the business - for example it could be filling out a form, subscribing to a service or blog, or purchasing a product - in each case, a business is utilizing the traffic they already have to increase growth.
High conversion rates indicate that your website is designed optimally to suit the needs of your target audience. Low rates indicate poor website performance, like slow load times, nonfunctional forms, or inconsistent CTAs, which could affect the customer's desire to complete an action.
Website traffic is essential to gaining more views on your products; regardless, this could prove futile if those views do not result in the desired action. CRO is key to boosting your company's revenue, because the more people that subscribe to a service or purchase an item, the better your chances of growing a sustainable enterprise. Particularly in industries with high competition or increased threats of new entrants, CRO could be a huge determining factor in the success of an upcoming business.
One significant benefit of a good CRO strategy is that it improves digital growth. Marketing teams can measure the performance of online campaigns and tweak the content design strategy, copywriting, and audience targeting to improve Returns On Investments (ROI). As a growth process, it’s important to take each phase of CRO one by one, instead of trying to take on the entire process simultaneously. This gives businesses a clear understanding of which areas to focus on, while trying to get the most out of available resources.
What is a good conversion rate?
Depending on the industry, several factors can influence conversion rates, like the company goals, traffic channel, and market demographics. According to Statistica, 2.3% of visits to ecommerce websites in the United States converted to purchases in the second quarter of 2022.
While there's no fixed ratio of a good conversion rate, it’s up to businesses to decide what percentage matches their current standing in the digital market. Similarly, conversion rates occur on different parts of a website, from the landing page to the blog and purchase pages, so it’s vital to optimize all aspects of the website to increase conversion overall.
To calculate a conversion rate, divide the total number of conversions on the website by the number of visitors, then multiply by 100 to get the percentage.
Signs your website needs CRO
Identifying when your website needs CRO is the first step, before you start developing a good strategy. Here are some ways your website might be affecting CRO:
- High search ranking with low conversion rates: This occurs when you experience increased visitors to your website due to ranking high on search engines, but these visitors don’t complete the desired action and instead bounce off from page to page. This indicates that a feature or function affects your visitor's interaction with the webpage. To prevent your search ranking from dropping, you need to map out your user journey and isolate the bottlenecks causing increased bounce rates.
- User research doesn’t match consumer behavior: Consumer behavior is constantly changing, and it's essential to let this reality inform your ideas and business goals. If users don’t respond the way you want, your product may not match consumer demands or trends. One way to confirm this is through Heatmap testing, which shows user behavior on specific web pages or templates. By identifying the pages that need more clicks, you can easily modify them to attract more attention.
- It’s been a while since you updated your website: Updating your website is crucial if you intend to keep existing users and attract new ones. Users tend to lose interest or get turned off when a website remains stale with outdated features and designs. Similarly, search engines rank websites based on their relevance in the digital market. While revamping your website might be the best solution to stay on trend, adding relevant features to update the branding, like new colors, photos, fonts, or client testimonials, keeps your users interested in product upgrades.
- Your website just had an upgrade: After an upgrade, your website will look fresh and attractive; however, some new features might require a little tutorial or some getting used to for new visitors. Running an A/B test to ensure the new updates align with the user's taste is a great temperature check for the changes you’ve made. Examining how the new version replaces the old process, and highlighting its benefits to users, is an excellent way to increase conversion.
How to build a CRO strategy
If you're contemplating a CRO strategy for your website, you've already taken the first step in the right direction. The following is a guide to building a robust CRO strategy:
- Define the objectives - The key steps to identifying your CRO objectives are defining your purpose, importance, and accessibility. By starting here, you can determine how much potential the project offers, its value, and how easy the implementation process will be.
- User research - As stated earlier, knowing what your users are asking for is essential. You can quickly identify which areas require more attention than others, by conducting thorough research. Similarly, customer behavior analytics helps you understand your users’ interests and restrictions and how to optimize their experience with your product. Retargeting is also a strategic way to build upon your user research. By retargeting your audience, you're redirecting active users through online ads to your highest-converting web pages. This way, you can re-engage visitors who left your website, by reaching out to them on their most active platforms.
- Introduce CTAs in text - Calls-to-Action are indicators for a customer to take or complete a specific action. By seamlessly introducing CTAs in blog texts, as stand-alone text that redirects to a landing or contact page, you can convert more traffic into leads than with regular CTAs at the bottom of a web page. As part of a description on a product page, you can introduce a one-liner CTA that directs your users to complete the desired action or visit a new page for more information.
- A/B testing - Testing different changes or upgrades lets you know how much your CRO updates impact your website. By A/B testing each page, you can identify how best your design and content features fit your audience's demands, helping you to optimize the value proposition conveyed to customers. When initiating multiple changes on your website, A/B testing helps you understand which change(s) best interprets your CRO strategy.
- Update operational flow - Automated processes help you initiate changes and communicate both internally and with customers. While CRO affects the frontiers of your website, an updated operational flow makes it easier for your business to integrate new changes without interruptions. For instance, in an eCommerce business, automated progress is introduced to email customers who have items in their cart to remind them about possible discount deadlines at checkout.
- Measure progress - It’s not enough to initiate a CRO strategy; you should subsequently examine the progress of each implementation, to determine how much has changed. Through analytical tools, you can determine the success of your campaigns and track conversion rates by comparing your total traffic numbers against new conversions. You can make any necessary adjustments to improve your conversion rate, by monitoring analytics that track your campaigns or web pages.
Where to implement a CRO strategy
Depending on the type of business, your CRO strategy can focus on any or all of these pages:
- Homepage - Typically, the homepage gives your website visitors the first impression of your business. It conveys information that can influence their decision to take further action on your website. By emphasizing product information and highlighting a discount or signup promo, you can pique visitors' interest and enhance their overall experience.
- Landing Pages - many often confuse the roles of a landing page with a homepage. The fundamental difference between the two is that a homepage introduces a website, while a landing page is set to accomplish a specific goal. Designed to urge visitors to take a particular action, optimizing CRO on a landing page can be as simple as offering a free resource with a preview that encourages visitors to complete a download.
- Pricing Page - Many businesses have found that the pricing page records a high number of drop-offs among visitors, which begs the question, what’s keeping them from pulling the trigger? Consumers like to be given choices; for example, a product could offer flexibility, like a discount for purchasing an annual or monthly plan or the opportunity to opt out without commitment. In other cases, a business could introduce a free trial, to encourage users to sign up for a test run, before opting in.
- Blog - A blog publishes informative content about your industry or company that can help convert readers into leads. Introducing a targeted CTA mid-text, or adding a link to a form encouraging users to learn more by signing up, increases the chances of conversion.
A key takeaway from understanding the value of CRO is that you can do everything right in building your website, but the chances of turning visitors into paying customers are slim without a solid CRO strategy.
It can be challenging to outline and determine how to then implement a strategy that will work best for your business, which is why Outliant is here to help. As a startup consulting company, we execute the best strategies that optimize your CRO campaigns, by implementing analytical and marketing tools that increase sales and conversion rates. Schedule a discovery call with our analytics team, and let’s increase those conversions!