Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy For The Win

It’s 2020, so having a quality website is just a normal cost of doing business these days (but most especially during a pandemic when we’re confined to our homes). There are a lot of strategies you can use to get traffic to your website, like Facebook ads, SEO, or skywriting. 

But, with the exception of SEO, those tactics stop doing their job once they’ve brought someone to your website. The job of a paid ad is to entice the right audience towards your offering over your competitors. But the ad isn’t supposed to sell the product itself, your website should do that through your content, images, and more. Conversion rate optimization can be used to get a higher number of people to click on those ads and to actually convert once they’re on your site. 

What is CRO (conversion rate optimization)?

As always, definitions first! There are two terms at play here when it comes to CRO. The first is “conversion rate.” This is the percentage of users who visit your website and convert to a customer or lead. 

What exactly counts as a conversion depends on your business. If you have an eCommerce store, then a conversion is a sale. If you provide services like us, you might consider a web form submission or call to the office a conversion. So if 1,000 people visit your online store and 100 people make a purchase, you have a website conversion rate of 10%. 

In the digital marketing world, “optimization” refers to the process of making updates, adjustments, and edits to improve the overall performance of that piece of your digital marketing strategy

CRO is the process of working to increase your overall conversion rate. To turn that 10% into a 20% conversion rate (or more, but one thing at a time here). 

Why it’s totally awesome

Some products and services are universally appealing (socks, toothbrushes, etc) which means you have a huge potential audience to sell to.  You’ll still have to work just as hard to get them to convert, but overall having a larger sales pool is a good thing. More to sell to can mean more total conversions. 

But some offerings are for niche audiences or very specific problems. This is great, your customers will be thrilled to have your product or service available to them, but it can mean a limited number of total possible conversions at any given time. So, to make money you need to capture and convert a larger amount of your audience. 

Increase your website conversions with CRO

CRO helps you make the most of your marketing money. Did you know it costs 10x as much to bring in a new customer, as it does to retain an existing customer and get them to repurchase? Instead of busting your butt and spending a ton of money constantly trying to pull new customers into your sales funnel, you can spend less getting previous buyers to repurchase, and ensure a higher number of browsers become buyers in the first place.  

Basically, effective CRO equates to a higher ROI. Are you so sick of all these acronyms yet!?

You can do CRO at every stage of  the sales funnel

Conversion rate optimization work can be done on every piece of your digital marketing funnel. You can do CRO for your email marketing campaigns to improve the open rate and click-through rate. If you have an agency like us managing Paid Search Ads this is something that’s done as a normal part of the process for our work. 

Two items of note about effective CRO work:

  1. The trick with CRO is that for you to really know what works, you need to be testing one thing at a time. If you change multiple variables at once, it’ll be hard to know which one was effective in changing customer behavior. This is just like testing your hypothesis in high school science class. You have to control all the other factors, and change one variable, or the whole experiment, and your findings are compromised. 
  2. You need to test your variable long enough/on enough website users before you make a determination of its success or failure. This means, depending on the amount of traffic your site gets, you might need to run a test anywhere from a month to six months. We’d recommend running a test as long as it takes for about 10-15% of your traffic to be exposed to it. 

What kind of things can you test for CRO?

I mean, you can test just about anything on your site but here the types of things we do most of our testing and optimization work on because they’re the things that matter to your users. 

Calls To Action

On a website, your “call to action” is most likely a button or link that is telling the user to do something. Common CTA’s are: Learn More, Buy Now, Get The Checklist

This is an easy one to test, throw something new in there, and see if the conversion rate improves. If you’re interested, here’s our blog all about website CTAs

Images

Savvy internet users are able to quickly identify stock photography, and while it can be used effectively, it’s not your best option. You need to make sure you pick images that will speak to whomever you’re trying to sell to at that moment. Your imagery should convey an appropriate emotion to help encourage users to convert to customers. 

This is SUPER important when you are selling products. I’ve been looking for the perfect floating shelves for months, and having images that show the product from multiple angles is what sold me on my final choice. 

Some products look great in images all by themselves, some you need to see in action with people using the products. Twig and Stone does an incredible job photographing their product. It is visually interesting, clearly displays the item, and keeps the brand vibe in full effect. Take a variety of pictures, and start testing. 

Colors

There is already a ton of literature out there about color theory for a website. This test is exactly what you’re thinking it is. You change the color of something, like a button, and test to see if that increases (or decreases) the percentage of users who click on it. 

Tools we use for CRO 

The goal of CRO is always to figure out how to get a larger percentage of people to convert. So we use some tools, and do a lot of testing and data analysis to find what works best and then move on to the next thing to optimize to continually try to push that conversion rate higher. 

Hotjar

Hotjar is a heat mapping software that we love.  It shows you how far users scroll down the page and what links they click on. You can also set up conversion funnels to see where exactly people are dropping off. 

For example, if you have a really confusing checkout process, you can find out that everyone is abandoning their purchase at the shipping info section because they get confused, or can’t move past something. If you make it hard for people to give you their money, they are going to give it to someone else. 

Google Optimize

This is a tool that lets you run variant tests on something directly on your site for a subset of the website visitors. This is usually how we run tests like CTA wording to match search engine results page content and ad copy. Or different hero images. 

Maybe your homepage already does a great job converting users over 50, but it doesn’t seem to be converting users in the 30-50 group. We would use Google Optimize to make a slightly different version of your homepage for this demographic specifically. Then we let the test run and see what happens. 

Unbounce is amazing because we don’t need to involve any web developers to build them. We can build whole pages that meet your brand standards in their platform.  By creating pages for specific target personas addressing their unique needs ensures that users have an experience that is as tailored specifically to them as possible. And the more personal it gets, the more like they are to convert! Unbounce also has a mobile feature that allows us to create totally different LPs for mobile, so that we can also cater the experience to the device the user is on.

Unbounce PPC Landing Pages

Unbounce is amazing because we don’t need to involve any web developers to build them. We can build whole pages that meet your brand standards in their platform.  By creating pages for specific target personas addressing their unique needs ensures that users have an experience that is as tailored specifically to them as possible. And the more personal it gets, the more like they are to convert! Unbounce also has a mobile feature that allows us to create totally different LPs for mobile, so that we can also cater the experience to the device the user is on.

The Proof is in the Pudding

So you want to know if CRO really works, or if it’s just a way for marketing companies to keep you on retainer. I can’t speak for any other agencies, but for us, we do it because it works. In fact, we won an award this year for PPC work we did utilizing Unbounce landing pages and CRO tactics for one of our partners. Wondering if that could be you? Let’s talk.

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