Once your website and digital marketing tools are running smoothly, Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the next vital step. CRO is a data-driven process focused on increasing the rate at which visitors on your website take a desired action. This is the art of streamlining your customer’s path to conversion.
But it’s much more fun than it sounds. These actions, known as conversions, occur when a user completes a nominated activity, such as filling in a form, making a purchase, or a number of other actions. Depending on your business and marketing objectives, a conversion could include, online sales, enquiries and leads, email sign ups, newsletter sign ups, or downloads. In order to assess the success of a conversion goal, conversion tracking must be set up so you can observe the valuable clues your visitors’ digital footprints leave behind. Thanks to tracking, we can observe exactly how your prospects are navigating through your pages and find what, if anything, might be potentially stopping them from following through with a certain action. Where conversion rates can be improved, we undertake a systematic approach to get better results.
How do you calculate your conversion rate?
To determine your conversion rate, we take the number of actions completed by each unique user and divide it by the total number of times they have visited your site, then multiply this by 100 for a percentage. I know what you’re thinking, that maths you learnt in school is finally serving its purpose. So, if Billy visits your website four times, and makes one purchase during one of those sessions, you have a conversion rate of 25% (1 divided by 4 = 0.25 x 100 = 25%). Using the same formula, if you had 6,000 visitors on your website and 450 took certain actions that you’re measuring as part of your conversion, then the equation will look like this:450 / 6000 x 100 = 7.5%.
As part of your CRO process, you would look closely at what worked well for the 450 ‘action-takers,’ and try to identify any patterns that may indicate why the other 5,550 visitors dropped out of their customer journey without converting. Using this data, you’d implement strategies to keep these users on your webpage longer, or persuade them to take action. This doesn’t always involve trying to make conversions in the moment with new customers, enticing old customers to return is ideal in a well-informed CRO plan.
What are the bottom line benefits of CRO?
When you successfully follow your customers breadcrumbs to track and improve the user experience, big outcomes are possible. By testing and tweaking different elements of the customer journey you can uncover what your customers like and want; this essentially, helps us find and eliminate potential conversion killers.
CRO also helps:
- Increase quality leads, enquiries and sales
- Improve on-site metrics, such as engagement and goal conversions
- Increase average purchase values
- Up your return on investment
- Improve outcomes on certain measured user actions
- Build consumer trust and confidence in your brand
How does CRO help SEO?
CRO is not directly related to generating organic traffic or improving your appearance in search, however, Google wants their customers to be happy, so the happier people are when interacting with your site, the more favourably you’ll be considered by the world’s most powerful engine. CRO has a number of benefits to support your SEO. If you want to learn more about SEO strategies, click here.
CRO helps you better understand your key audience, so you can fine tune your language and messaging accordingly. More of the right customers landing on your site improves your overall metrics and conversions. Well looked after traffic makes you look pretty good in the eyes of Google.
Elevated User Experience
CRO is intended to help your customers take action by improving their user experience. A positive user experience has become increasingly important for SEO. SEO is heavily impacted by site load speed, mobile friendliness, and relevance. Poor visitor metrics such as a short time spent onsite, or a high bounce rate, informs search engines that your audience may not have had a useful experience...so why would they want to rank that?
Beat the Competition to It
The more visitors you convert through CRO, the more you prevail over your competition. When you improve your conversion rates, your customers are less likely to visit your competitors. Conversely, if your customers have a poor experience, they will search elsewhere. The more happy customers you have staying, and converting on your site, the more likely you will appear ahead of your competition in the SERPs.
CRO Strategies and Why We Love Them
At risk of sounding like a broken digital record...data is everything. If you use the information your active customers provide, you will have a wealth of important information at your fingertips to help you most efficiently optimise your conversions. It’s important to note that CRO covers every aspect of your marketing funnel, which includes your website of course, but also your blog content, paid advertising, landing pages, social media profiles and email marketing campaigns. CRO is about tightening your efforts across the board so your marketing is working like a well-oiled digital machine. If you’re unhappy with your current conversion rates, here are some strategies that may help.
Identify key demographics and understand them. Observe their behaviours, note their interests, find out where they hang out online and in real life. Once you have your ideal customers pegged, you can work to personalise your messaging to speak directly to their needs.
What you can do:
- Create buyer personas for each market segment
- Develop messaging strategies that speak to your prospects
- Implement this voice in blogs, emails, social media and paid advertising for a clear and consistent message.
Nurture Your Existing Customers
Chasing new customers is always exciting, but don’t forget your existing customers. If they feel valued and have enjoyed their experience with you, they’ll be all too happy to buy from you again, and maybe even become ambassadors of your brand.
- Don’t focus all your efforts on finding new customers
- Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customers
- Personalise your communication with your existing community
- Offer discounts and specials with ads and products based on their purchase history
- The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-67% vs 5-70% when selling to a new prospect
Check your ROI
Perform a return on marketing investment analysis, so you can shoot for the stars following your CRO efforts.
- To calculate your current ROI subtract your marketing expenses from your sales growth, then divide this figure by your sales growth again for your percentage return.
- Sales growth - (minus) marketing cost / (divided by) marketing cost = ROI
Analyse your overall website metrics
Using Google Search Console or Google Analytics, analyse the data to help you understand your ranking in Google, and which keywords may or may not be working for you. Search console will help you fix any issues regarding your webpages, such as broken links, site speed or responsiveness issues.
What this can do:
- Tune technical aspects of the site
- Optimise images and files
- Improve keyword relevancy and usability
Developing a content strategy using blogs, videos, and other useful materials is a great way to answer customer questions, help them solve problems and build trust and excitement about your brand.
You may also want to consider:
- Developing a video marketing strategy - it is projected that by 2020 video content will account for 80% of all global internet traffic
- Video content genres include:
- Explainer videos
- Video Blogs (vlogs)
- Live Streams
- Product Demonstrations
- Customer Testimonials
Work on User Experience (UX)
Not all that long ago it was sufficient to have a well-functioning, fast-loading website where all links are in place and working. Now our empowered customers are more fussy with their time and browsing efforts. They expect more. It is becoming increasingly important to design a visually pleasing and logically structured website that is enjoyable for customers to visit, regardless of their stage in the buying journey. If a customer is having difficulty navigating your website, can’t find what they’re looking for, or find the aesthetics of your site poor-quality, it’s an invitation for them to leave quickly and look elsewhere.
What you can do:
- Research effective UX designs or talk to a designer
- Test various landing page designs, button colours, images and headlines to find what most efficiently hooks your best customers
Our Favourite Thing About CRO
CRO is not an added expense like Google Ads or time-consuming SEO. It’s a process that involves using the information you already have, that your customers have so kindly left you. Performed well, it can make a world wide web of difference to your overall marketing efforts. Best practice marketing strategies that focus on customer preference and experience will always win over exorbitant PPC budgets and a virtual traffic jam of unqualified disinterested leads. Remember to personalise your content to your segmented audiences, and give the people what they want! They’ll reward you with a conversion and their loyal patronage.