The Complete Guide For CRO

Source: Unsplash

Not so long ago, an increase in website traffic, higher search rankings for targeted keywords, and a lower bounce rate would exhilarate marketers and business owners alike. The notion of optimization was zeroed in on making the site’s analytics report green.

As UX, slowly but surely, found its way into the digital sphere, new web aspects began coming under the scrutiny of optimization experts.

At that time, strong colors of CTA buttons, copies evoking urgency or testimonials as a sign of social proof became the norm, and marketers were thrilled to integrate the latest findings into their digital strategies. It marked the beginning of a holistic, user-centric approach towards website creation.

Nevertheless, countless studies didn’t do much in making a website conversion rate optimization a less vague notion for both marketers and entrepreneurs.

In 2021, the average website conversion rate was just 2.35%. It means that out of 40 visitors on a website, only one will perform the desired action.

However, certain industries and businesses have managed to discover their golden goose.

According to Statista, eCommerce conversion rates on luxury goods and home furniture websites were under 1%, whereas food and beverages topped the list with a conversion rate of 5.5%. In 2021, catering and restaurants and media and entertainment industries went sky high with a conversion rate of above 18.2% and 18.1%, respectively.

Now, you might be perfectly content with a conversion rate around the average. Yet, with so many prospects interested in your services and products and industry leaders nailing their conversion strategies, why not go that extra step and tap into the world of CRO.

Without further ado, let’s discuss what conversion rate optimization entails, why it can be a powerful tool for your business, and the tips to get you started.

What is a Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate represents the number of conversions on a website divided by the total number of visitors – during a set period and expressed in percentages.

In other words, 50 website visitors performing a desired action on your website, out of 1000 visitors, is a conversion rate of 5%.

As a marketing term, conversion is primarily associated with eCommerce, i.e., the act of purchasing; however, website visitors can convert pretty much on any website.

Conversion, in general, is a completion of a website goal: filling out a contact form, downloading a flyer, signing up for a newsletter, purchasing a product, booking a service, etc. To be more precise, it is a user’s response to a call-to-action placed on a website, whether in the form of a button, ad, offer, or anything else.

Depending on a website, users can perform macro-conversions, such as purchasing a product, requesting a quote, subscribing to a service; and micro-conversions – signing up for a newsletter, creating an account, and adding a product to the cart.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

In the simplest terms, conversion rate optimization, i.e., CRO, is a process of optimizing a website to maximize conversion rate. More specifically, CRO implies a data-driven and systematic process of enhancing a website so that it generates more qualified leads willing to convert.

A high conversion rate indicates a website is intuitively designed, effective, appealing, user-friendly, etc. Users can access the desired information quickly, like what they see, and act on it.

On the other hand, a poor conversion rate usually results from a combination of factors related to the website’s design and performance, content presentation, and ineffective marketing strategy.

Thus, conversion rate optimization can entail various website improvements, such as reducing page load time, tweaking site copy, or reframing website features and customer journey. As conversion can happen anywhere on a website – on a homepage, product page, blog, landing pages, etc., optimization practices should apply across website pages.

Conversion rate optimization can benefit your website, and business in general, in a multitude of ways:

  • Raises your website traffic
  • Increases your profits
  • Deepens your understanding of your target audience
  • Improves your ROI
  • Boosts website performance and search rankings
  • Minimizes trial and error costs and time
  • Enhances brand awareness and brand equity
  • Enables data-driven decision-making

Source: Unsplash

Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

Online shops, company presentation websites, and cooking blogs are all built differently, with unique user behaviors and desired actions counted as conversions. Therefore, specific conversion rate optimization steps will differ depending on the type of your website.

So, think of this guide as an outline of your conversion rate optimization strategy, the must-does which you will further build on.

1. Assess the Current Status

For your CRO strategy to yield results, you will need to understand everything that happens from the moment a user encounters your website in the online realm to the moment they decide to put trust in you.

One of those is the driver, the thing that attracts a user to your website – an eye-catching image, ad copy, blog title, etc. Once visitors engage with your site, they will face either a barrier – a reason to abandon your website – or a hook – a motivation to act and convert.

Thanks to many qualitative and quantitative tools, understanding the user journey on a website is no longer guesswork but rather a data-driven, strategic data analysis and interpretation process.

Here are some of the best tools to discover what is happening on your website:

  • Analytics tools – the household name, of course, being Google Analytics, these tools allow you to collect, analyze and report in-depth website data: keywords that drive traffic, user demographics and interests, visitors’ journey through the site, pages they bounce off, etc.
  • Website heat map tools – these tools allow you a color-coded representation of the website elements that get most and least interacted with. Heat maps show where users click, how far into a page they scroll, what they look at and what they ignore.
  • Funnel tools – funnel tools track and analyze user actions through each step on your website, highlighting areas for improvement in the customer journey.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) toolstools that allow you to measure customer satisfaction
  • Website feedback tools – tools that help you create an on-page or external link survey to question visitors about their website experience

2. Run A/B Tests

Once you’ve discovered the pain points of your website, it’s time to address them.

Split testing, or A/B testing, is a well-known marketing tactic aimed at creating a digital strategy based on understanding what works among users and implementing those findings into a website.

A/B tests help remove hunches, opinions, and assumptions out of the equation and allow for a digital strategy based on real-life data.

You can perform split tests across your digital presence: in a newsletter copy, cold emailing, landing page design, CTAs, ad copies and visuals, paid campaign target audience, etc.

Successful A/B testing requires you to:

  • Select a single variable to test – in case you create two landing pages with different images, copy, and CTA, how will you know which element was crucial for an increased conversion?
  • Define the goal you wish to achieve – increasing your website’s conversion rate is only the end goal you will reach by accomplishing improvements in metrics such as lower bounce rate, higher CTR, longer sessions, etc.
  • Split the sample group equally and randomly – yield the most precise results of your A/B testing by determining a comparable audience.

Once your testing is done, carefully analyze the findings, integrate them into your design or marketing, and set out to test another of your website elements.

3. Don’t Neglect Blog Conversions

A blog is a major aspect of your website, carrying a massive load of your site’s content, keywords, and backlinks whilst providing visitors with useful information, advice, and tips. So, how come, on average, a conversion rate on the blog was only around 1%?

Unfortunately, many marketers observe blogs as a means to ramp up site content, thus boosting the ranking for certain keywords and growing website traffic. What they miss is the amazing opportunity to nudge blog readers deeper into your funnel and closer to making a conversion.

But how can you do that?

  • Publish original, unique, useful, informative content that readers will find valuable and worth putting trust into your brand
  • Integrate keywords and their synonyms in a natural manner
  • Use descriptive and truthful anchor links – instead of “click here” or “read more” or use specific ones, such as “web development company Chicago
  • Implement the feature of signing up for a newsletter to retain users while they are interested in what you offer
  • Offer materials for download after the user sign up for a win-win situation
  • Create eye-catching CTAs to draw user attention
  • Guide users to relevant landing pages – if your blog discusses an issue, transfer them to the page offering a solution
  • Simple and intuitive design with a minimum of ads
  • Short, preferably auto-populating, sign up fields

4. Leverage Remarketing

Remarketing implies tracking your website visitors across the Internet in an effort to serve them your ads. The goal of remarketing is to “remind” past visitors about your brand and nudge them to complete the begun action.

Depending on your audience, goals, and industry, you can retarget prospects on social media, around different websites, and even while they are using apps.

For remarketing to be particularly impactful, you need to determine whom you will retarget. Visitors to your highest-converting web pages, returning users, those who abandoned a cart – these types of users, who are deep in the lead funnel, are your best chances.

Remarketing to everyone who ever visited your website might prove as throwing money down the drain.

Moreover, in a successful remarketing, regular inbound rules apply – a well-crafted copy, engaging visuals, and a compelling offer that combined create a unique call-back message.

5. Enable Instant Communication with Prospects

We, as Internet users, are growing increasingly impatient. We are less prone to search through a website to uncover needed information and more expectant to find everything we need a click away.

Source: Unsplash

Once they arrive at your landing page, your users might not be able to find everything they need, or they might have additional questions your copy doesn’t address. This is where live chat software comes in handy.

Chatbots provide your website visitors with real-time support and guidance. As a conversion rate optimization tool, integrating live messaging features will allow your leads to communicate with your brand, thus making their experience on the website more pleasing and personal.

Add chatbot to high-performing pages, e.g., pricing and product pages, or develop messaging options, so that it automatically offers help to anyone who spent a certain time on your site.

6. Start with Micro-commitments

In reality, not many visitors will transform into your brand ambassadors after a single visit. Even after reading online reviews, getting a recommendation from a friend, and thoroughly reading the product description, many will still find it difficult to finalize their conversion.

So, instead of losing valuable leads by asking them to immediately marry into your family, offer them a simple yet irresistible date night.

Micro-commitments you can integrate into your conversion rate optimization process are providing a free quote, offering a free product trial, sharing free materials for download, etc.

7. Decide on a Single Conversion Event Per Page

Imagine you land on a page that offers you to subscribe to a newsletter, watch a product demo, contact the business for a free quote, and buy the software. What do you do?

Well, you’d probably leave without doing any of these things and without ever looking back.

The crucial thing about a landing page optimized for conversion is that it focuses on a single conversion action. Asking your prospects to test a free trial and purchase the product on the same page is completely valid as both these actions practically lead to the same outcome, i.e., buying your product.

However, buying a product and subscribing to a newsletter are two completely goals of your business. Thus, avoid confusing your visitors with opposite requests and direct your messaging and design to what matters.

Author’s bio:

Ellie Northcott is a long-time marketer, currently working as a freelancer in Miami, Florida.

Editor at Digital Strategy One.

She is also a passionate writer and loves to explore new, innovative and digital news.

In her spare time, she is an eco-activist.