Optimization is the key to conversions, which is the key to marketing excellence.
The art of increasing conversions is known as Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO for short. Through conversion optimization, a company can effectively double their sales output by making their content more appealing, both visually and in terms of value.
Unfortunately, conversion optimization is often neglected by businesses of all sizes. That’s because, by and large, marketers do not put enough effort into acquiring traffic.
But what are the best ways to implement conversion optimization? How do you determine your conversion rate? What effect will all of this work have on your overall bottom line?
Read on to find out how you can double your website sales through conversion optimization.
What is a Conversion?
The definition of a conversion differs based on the goals of individual companies. Regardless, conversion is an action that you want your audience to take while on your website.
Conversions come in many forms. Some typical conversions include restaurant reservations, sales, or filling out personal information on a web form.
The content of your website has to drive users toward that desired conversion. It is your job to guide the user toward the desired outcome with your design, language, and call to action. It helps to sweeten the pot with reward offers and contests
How is Conversion Rate Determined?
When figuring out your rate of conversion, it’s essential to first identify whether a user can convert multiple times or just once. A restaurant would be an example of a business wherein each prospect can convert on numerous occasions. However, something like a real estate agent looking to increase their newsletter subscriptions would likely only need single conversions from their leads.
If your business allows for multiple conversions per user, you would measure your conversion rate by determining the following:
- How many sessions did you receive? One session is each time a user visits the site
- Did the user convert at the end of the session?
- How many times did they visit? How many orders did they fill? Make sure you’re checking the actual orders overall and not the items ordered. If one order was for 10 items, that’s still just one order.
- Divide your orders by the number of sessions and you get your conversion rate
If each customer for your business can convert only once, you’ll measure your conversion rate by:
- Measuring the number of unique users
- Estimating the number of unique orders
- Dividing your orders by unique visitors to get your conversion rate
Once you understand your conversion rate, you can begin the process of optimization. There are two main optimization methods that work in conjunction.
1. Conversion Rate Optimization Through Analytics
Using analytics to optimize your site for maximum conversion rates helps you determine what to optimize and who to optimize it for.
The most effective way to begin a conversion rate optimization campaign is through the gathering of data.
To do so, make use of quantitative data analysis. Quantitative data involves quantifiable and easy to discern information.
Using a platform like Google Analytics to track information throughout your website can also be invaluable to this process. You should add tracking onto all conversions, that way you’ll understand who is converting, where they’re coming from, and what page they’re landing on.
Once you know this information, you can dive in deeper. For instance, where are they spending most of their time? If you can see what pages are the most popular among your base, you can also tell where you need to focus your attention.
It’s also important to know what kind of device are they using. If the majority of your traffic is coming from mobile sites, then you should ensure that your mobile design is elegant and easy to use.
What browser are they using? Knowing this will show you what section of the audience you’re reaching. If you’re seeing advanced interest coming out of Google Chrome, you’ll want to make sure that your functionality on Chrome is flawless and consider the development of a Chrome add-on, if appropriate.
You’ll also want to determine the demographic information of your audience. Once you know where they’re from, what age they are, their average income, gender, and interests, it will help you more effectively target your marketing efforts. This is particularly helpful when it comes to customizable ad platforms like Google and Facebook, which let you target your audience precisely.
This act of tailoring your website to your specific audience is known as personalization.
While it’s great to know where you’re doing well, you also need to understand where you are losing people. It’s not enough to only feed the strong, you have to improve on areas which might be frustrating customers or turning them away from your service.
Consider using session replay for this, which measures every action that users take on your site and recreates them in video format. You’ll be able to tell where a user clicks away from your content or whether your calls to action are compelling.
2. Conversion Rate Optimization through People-to-People Research
Once you know what people like or don’t like about your site, it’s time to determine why. This is also known as qualitative data analysis.
This people-to-people research should be undertaken after quantitative analysis is complete. Conversion rate optimization is a multi-step process, so don’t take a one or the other approach to it.
The best way to do this is to poll your ideal user. One of the best ways to do this is through a Net Promoter Score Survey, either on your site or via email. These surveys are a simple one question process that asks users to rate something numerically between 0 and 10. After that, they’re given a chance to expand upon their answer.
This will allow you to figure out precisely why the subject either engaged or did not.
Once you’ve determined your site’s NPS score and determined the strong and weak points of your web presence, you’re ready to start implementing positive change.
Using this method of combining qualitative and quantitative analysis allows you to paint a better picture as to what conversion looks like and how to acquire more of them.
The “Don’ts” of Conversion Rate Optimization
While conversion rate optimization is incredibly helpful in improving your bottom line, there are ways to abuse the process or cut corners in a way that could prove detrimental.
First off, never rely on hunches and guesswork. Keep everything fact based. Don’t presume to know your audience unless you’ve actually put in the work yourself and have data to back your actions up. Assuming that you know what’s working and what isn’t with no discernable proof is arrogant and could lead to your entire team focusing on problems that don’t exist. Meanwhile, the real issues will continue to deepen.
You also don’t want to copy your chief competitors. What works for one company may not work for another. What’s more, if you’re trying to draw the audience of your competitors away, passing yourself off as a cheap imitation of a product or service that they know and use only dampens your entire persona.
Keep your approach data-driven and don’t shoot from the hip. Conversion rate optimization can be a great approach to marketing and raise your business up to new heights. But you’ll never reach those heights through guesswork and imitation. Be your own company and go into your conversion rate optimization backed by hard facts that will carry you through the process.
You need web conversions to keep an online business going strong, and the most efficient way of getting them is to combine SEO and conversion optimization to drive people to your website and ensure that they’re completing the desired action while there.
Conversion optimization and search engine optimization are very different animals. While SEO is based on an existing algorithm, conversion optimization has no such rules to operate off of. Instead, it is a complex series of data mining, analysis, and implementation designed to increase your profits.
By employing the proper conversion optimization along your channels, you could see a doubling in your online sales.