When you boil it all down, every marketer really only has one job:
Win more customers.
So when push comes to shove, every marketer needs a crash course in conversion rate optimization (or CRO). Because in the end, CRO is the one aspect of marketing that tells you how and why you got customers in the first place.
In this article, we’ll see 5 basic conversion optimisation techniques that you should try to improve your conversions.
But first, let’s dig deeper into why this is such an important task for every marketer.
Why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?
Conversion rate optimization is a methodical process that lets you improve the rate at which visitors to your site do what you want them to do. That’s a rather broad directive, too. What you want could be a sale, an email subscriber, or a return visit. Any of those can be considered a “win.” Someone “doing what you want them to do” is really just another way to say “conversion.”
It’s an act that pulls them further into your sales funnel.
You can also break these down further into:
- Macro-conversions: high-level wins like getting a customer or subscriber.
- Micro-conversions: low-level wins like getting more clicks or better time on site.
In the end, the goal is to methodically increase the rate of your “buyers” output. That means more customers, more revenue, and more data to crunch in order to repeat the CRO process.
And speaking of data crunching, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll need to equip yourself with some reliable analytics tools in order to succeed in the long run.
Your mileage may vary, but the point is set in stone. Small steps lead to big leaps, and CRO is the foundation of that. So without further ado, let’s look at some of the best CRO techniques that every marketer has to try.
Technique #1: A/B Test
At its most basic level, A/B testing is a way for marketers to compare two versions of the same marketing collateral in order to see if one performs better. It’s about sustained growth through diligent testing.
This is typically done in sequence, too.
For example, when you start out your A/B testing, you’ll put an “A version” against a “B version.” Then, you’ll put the winner up against a “C version,” and so on. Some great examples of how this works in practice are well-documented and widely-shared studies on how changing colors can affect call-to-action performance.
Of course, you’ll need to test the effectiveness of something like that for yourself because it may not work for your brand. If you were to take a study like that at face value, you would immediately make all of your CTA buttons red. But that would be silly since it could very easily damage your current conversion rates and set you back indefinitely.
To that end, you’ll do well to avoid common mistakes like jumping the gun on your data or not continuing to test after you see improvement.
And to cap it off, you’ll want to make sure that you have a reliable A/B testing editor like Freshmarketer’s that will help you make and track changes to your site.
Since your customers come to you via their phones, web browsers, or even voice searches, you need to ensure that you test and optimize for each of these areas. Failing to do so will leave you wondering where your customers are, and it will put you a step behind the competition.
Technique #2: Increase Website Speed
They say that speed kills, but on the Internet, the truth is that lack of speed is the real killer.
It only takes four seconds of loading for you to lose 25% of your potential traffic. As the wait time grows, so does the rate at which your audience leaves. If your site’s speed is preventing you from winning customers, then that’s a major problem.
In order to measure where your site’s speed is currently at, plug it into Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool.
Once you know how fast or slow your site is, you can take the pointers that PageSpeed Insights gives you and create a plan to speed everything up. A brand made some changes to their website and saw a drastic dip in site speed and visitor traffic.
When they tested their site on PageSpeed Insights, they found that they had two big issues. One was a technical problem with their WordPress site, and the other was that their images were too large to load quickly.
Once they compressed the images and fixed the backend problems, their traffic returned to normal levels.
That’s priceless information from a free tool, and every marketer should use it.
Technique #3: Use Testimonials and Social Proof
When it comes time to make an online purchase, there are plenty of elements that you need to consider. But in recent years, the power of testimonials and how they seriously impact buying decisions has become undeniable.
A few positive reviews may not sound like much to you at first, but they can make an appreciable difference in your conversion rates.
For example, consider WikiJob. They’re a job website based in the U.K. that saw an impressive 34% improvement in conversions when they added a small, seemingly insignificant social proof section.
By adding three lines of text, they saw the kind of growth that many companies only dream of.
If you’re struggling to find ways to improve your CRO, it’s worth the effort to win a few good reviews and then add them strategically to your website.
Technique #4: Fine-Tune Your Landing Pages
Landing pages are the do-or-die element of your conversion rate optimization. Often, they contain the last step that a visitor needs to take in order to move further into your sales funnel and potentially become a customer. In other words, this is your “sales pitch.” You want it to be good.
That’s why you should start by ensuring that you have the basic building blocks of a solid landing page in place before you push it live.
The last thing you want is for your sales efforts to fall short at the last moment.
Start by making sure that you’ve nailed the basics, and then start conducting those A/B tests that I mentioned earlier. Eventually, you’ll build a landing page that will make your audience say “yes” and make your competition jealous.
Technique #5: Utilize a Heatmapping Tool
Last on the list of top CRO techniques is heatmapping.
If you’re unfamiliar with what heatmaps are, they’re tools that allow you to see actual customer behavior on a given page. You can see where users are clicking, how often they click there, and whether or not your intended design is working.
With this type of information, you can assess your design and copy elements to ensure that they’re working as intended. For example, if tons of users attempt to click on an image that doesn’t lead them further into your funnel, you can use that info to either change or remove that element. In the case of the online marketplace LeadsMarket.com, they were able to conduct 20 simple tests that led to a 25% overall increase in their conversion rate.
Without the capabilities of a heatmapping tool, you’ll never be able to truly see what’s happening on your site. If you want to quickly hack your way to CRO greatness, this is a great place to begin.
Conversion rate optimization is a broad, widely-researched topic with tons of advice and techniques that can either help you or hurt you. But if you want to be a good marketer, you need to take a deeper look at CRO techniques and find ways to implement them for your brand. The five techniques in this post are a great place to start, and you should absolutely try them out. Start building and implementing A/B tests if you want to see progress that’s completely customized for your brand. Don’t skimp on website speed and follow the direction of PageSpeed Insights when and where you can. Obtain and leverage positive reviews for a quick CRO win. Take some time to analyze and fine-tune your landing pages to ensure that everything is up to your customers’ expectations.
And finally, start utilizing a heatmapping tool to get real-time data about what’s happening on your site. With these techniques in place, you’ll be much better at winning customers. That’s the job of a marketer, after all.