Conversion rates are something marketers have been aware of for years, giving professionals a reliable indicator of how well they are engaging consumers. The industry has evolved at an incredible pace over the past few years, forcing many professionals to focus on the latest trend over more basic principles.
However, these basic principles are the foundation of marketing and should be at the heart of any new strategy you're developing.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has become an important part of digital marketing because of the benefits it offers revenue and success.
Sean Ellis, who has played a key role in the growth of Dropbox and Uproar as well as others, said CRO makes all marketing campaigns better;
But why is it so important?
1. Even small improvements in conversion rates can mean big money
Most of the visitors coming to your website are an investment on your part. Whether you're doing paid advertising or just marketing, you earn your web traffic. As your conversion rate increases, you'll get a better ROI and this is one of the most important metrics you need to be tracking. It ultimately means more money in your pocket and less wasted.
2. It rewards customer loyalty
Conversion rates tell you more about the consumers you are engaging. Web analytics can show you how customers are interacting with your webpage and when they’re dropping off. Looking at the ways you can help these visitors progress through the funnel and transition into conversions is much more cost-effective than trying to draw new people to your website.
3. Google likes conversion rates
Conversion is about as far away from black hat marketing as you can get. It works on making the consumer journey as simple and streamlined as possible, which is something search engines like Google love. Even better than that, it's something they reward.
The inner workings of how Google's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) functions is a little vague but it's clear that a positive customer experience is rewarded. Upping your conversion rates and reducing your bounce rate are two great ways to help you achieve this.
4. It's fairly simple to improve
Conversion rates are one of the easiest metrics to track and, although improving it may be slightly more complicated, it's simple to build a strategy to increase the number of visitors converting. Of course, there are many different types of conversion, such as downloading a whitepaper, signing up to a newsletter or buying a product. The important metrics and KPIs will depend on what you’re looking to measure but total conversions, conversion rate, bounce rate and average time on page are some of the most common.
5. Paid advertising is more competitive than ever
A conversion rate is a good indicator of how many visitors are coming to your website via organic search. With PPC campaigns and paid advertising becoming more competitive and therefore more expensive, CRO can offer a cost-effective option.
If you focus attention on paid advertising, you may just be throwing more money down the drain. Instead, by tracking conversions rates and CRO you're able to see how your efforts are engaging - or not - with consumers. This allows you to adapt and modify your strategy, while simple A/B testing can allow you to find the best solution right from the start.
6. The pay-off can be immediate
Marketers are used to having to wait months for the results of a campaign or SEO changes to take effect. However, CRO can pay off almost as soon as you make the necessary changes. Once you work to streamline your funnel, you'll find that the conversion rate increases.
Of course, you'll need to keep tracking and modifying your website to get the most from CRO, including the best conversion rates, but it can deliver both long and short-term results so is worth prioritizing.
7. You can improve your lead generation
A growth loop is created when you start applying a CRO strategy to your site. The cost of customer acquisition goes down as you see more traffic come in, as well as increased conversions and profits. You’ll then have a large audience to base your ads on, which will enable you to outbid and outgrow the competition.
What areas of your site should you optimize?
Conversion rate optimization best practice suggests there are two types of pages on your site that you should focus on. The first of these are those that get the most traffic and could include blogs, your homepage, landing pages and paid ads, but it’s worth having a look at your analytics to get an accurate picture.
Turning readers of your blog into leads can be as straightforward as placing calls to action (CTAs) throughout the copy. Another useful CRO strategy is to ask your audience to submit their email in return for an ebook or industry report to find out more on the blog topic.
Implementing CRO techniques on your homepage means ensuring it retains visitors and guides them on to other areas of your website. This can be achieved through links to product information, signup buttons or even a chatbot to help answer questions.
According to HubSpot, landing pages have the highest average conversion rate of any signup form at 23%, so you must take advantage of this potential. Do so by adding videos and content previews of free resources to encourage downloads.
Secondly, high-intent pages that suggest a user is seriously considering making a purchase should also be a priority for optimization to boost conversion rates. To do this, you may want to add images, videos and reviews to your product pages and set out transparent cost plans on your pricing pages.
How to make your CRO strategy a success
To make your CRO strategy work, there are a number of common methodologies you can put in place across different types of pages. They include:
Reducing the number of form fields on your landing pages
Collecting data is important for all businesses, but it can be more beneficial to focus on the most relevant information, knowing you can collate data from other sources later on. Trying to get everything out of a potential lead in one go with a large number of fields on your forms can be off putting and leave you with nothing.
Creating better headlines
Without leads there’s no opportunity to qualify or convert them, which makes attracting users to your website in the first place a vital part of the process. Well-optimized headlines are key to being discoverable in search and attracting your audience with content that is shareable and informative.
Writing effective CTA copy
CTAs should guide leads onto the next part of the conversion funnel, but there are a number of factors that can have an impact on their effectiveness. This includes their placement on the page, but just as importantly, CTAs need to be written in compelling language that encourages the user to click on them.