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WHAT IS CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION?
Let’s say your site is doing brilliantly in many areas. Traffic is coming your way via an effective SEO, paid search, social or content strategy. Great!
Unfortunately the people visiting your site aren’t achieving the goal you actually intended them to achieve in the first place. They’re not converting.
‘Conversion’ may not necessarily be a purchase, although more often than not it can be. A conversion can also be an email sign-up, the creation of an account, the completion of a survey, an app download.
Whatever the ultimate point of your website is, a conversion is the successful completion of that action. Conversion Rate (CR) is a key metric in ecommerce as it reveals the percentage of your site’s total traffic completing a specific goal. The higher the conversion rate the better.
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of optimising your site to increase the likelihood that visitors will complete that specific action.
E-COMMERCE STORE CRO CASE STUDY
Through my agency Pearl Lemon, I’ve managed dozens of successful CRO campaigns for clients in a huge range of niches and of all different sizes. Here’s an example of a case study from The Sweat Store, where we optimized their conversion rate leading to a $20k increase in sales in 2 months.
To see more case studies like this, check out our YouTube channel.
CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION FAQs
What is a conversion?
A conversion is any action that a visitor takes on your site as a result of your call to action. It could them booking into a call from clicking on a “Book Me” button, or it could be a download of a free resource from clicking a popup.
Why is conversion rate optimization so important?
CRO is a crucial component of any business’ marketing strategy, as it allows you to profit from the visitors that you already have. Because of this, you can spend more time focusing on these prospects, instead of wasting time (and money) on visitors who may not even be interested.
Why would I need a conversion rate expert?
To be honest, there are not a lot of conversion rate experts out there. There are lots of SEO experts, lots of content specialists but it takes a certain mindset to learn how to zero in so intensely on the consumers take on your website. So, if you understand the importance of CRO, if you can get the ear of a CRO expert they are only going to help you get more out of any efforts you make.
What do CRO Experts Do That SEO Experts Don't?
If you don’t learn about your target audience, you’ll never know who it is you’re optimizing for. SEOs focus on search engines. They do take the consumer into consideration, but not as a primary concern. A CRO expert understands that SEO is almost pointless unless you understand what the human audience wants, and so that is what they focus on.
What is a conversion funnel?
A conversion funnel is a model to display people’s connection with your business or brand from the time they become aware of you until the time they become customers. This is usually broken down into 4 stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
Awareness is pretty straightforward; it’s when persons become aware of your brand and what it can offer.
Interest refers to when persons recognize that your brand can solve a problem they have, and begin looking into you.
Desire is when they decide that they seriously want to inquire more about your brand, seeing it as a plausible solution.
Action is when persons actively opt in to what you’re offering.
How can I calculate my conversion rate?
Calculating your CRO is a fairly easy thing to do. You will need two variables: the amount of visitors that your site gets and the amount of those that actually take action and convert into customers.
Your CRO is thus a percentage. For example, if you have 300,000 visitors, and 170,000 of them convert, then your CRO is 56.67% (170,000/300,000).
What would be an ideal CRO rate?
This actually depends on a variety of factors, one being the industry that you’re currently in. As industries vary in their target market and products/services offered, there isn’t a clear answer to the ideal conversion rate. But there are a few noted guidelines. Namely, good rates tend to be in the single digits.
It’s also important to note that your conversion rate is also dependent on what it is you’re trying to convert; be it a free e-book or an actual sale.
What is a conversion goal?
A conversion goal is basically the end product that you are expecting after running a CRO campaign. Put simply, it’s some measurable metric that may have influenced the campaign in the first place, such as increasing the amount of visitors, reducing your bounce rate on emails and increasing the number of free trial signups.
What is a CRO hypothesis? How can I use one?
A CRO hypothesis is basically an idea about what’s not converting and how to fix it. This is where the data you’ve collected via analytics or customer feedback comes in. Once you have that data, you’ll formulate your hypothesis with a format similar to this:
We think that changing [item on page] for [audience] will [achieve desired outcome].
For example, you could say:
We believe that by changing the colors on our landing page, we can increase the click rate of our “Book A Call” button.
What are some conversion rate optimization best practices?
Testing is another important factor for securing a high conversion rate for your website. With that in mind, you need to ensure that however you choose to run your tests satisfy a few common guidelines: Your tests are set up correctly, they’re run for a long enough period of time, and the results are reliable enough for you to use as a future reference.
What testing methods can I use for conversion optimization?
The most common method that you can use to test your conversion rate optimization process would be A/B testing, also called split testing.
With A/B testing, your original web page (or email) is called the “control.” A single element is changed to create a new version of the page or email, called the “variant.” Then you divide your traffic or audience so that half your traffic sees each version. At the end of your testing period, the version that gets the most conversions is the winner.
There’s also a spin on A/B testing called A/B/n testing, where you simply test more than 2 variants at once.
Then there’s usability testing, where you get real users to do tasks on your site, and see how well they are able to achieve them.
Is there a way I can check the reliability of my CRO tests?
Yes, there is a way that you can use to determine the reliability of your split testing. By using this A/B calculator, you can see how the variants of your split test is doing, as well as their statistical significance.
Can I use analytics to aid with CRO?
Yes; in fact, it’s an ideal combination to have CRO with an analytics tool such as Google Analytics. This is because Analytics can get you information about the behavior of visitors to your site. There’s also the ability to set up goals and funnels to determine what’s working with your site in term’s of its conversion rate, and revamp what isn’t. This can lead to forming hypotheses and eventually split testing to determine the ideal course of action.
What are ideal aspects of my website I should focus on for CRO?
You need to focus on elements that are most likely to garner attention from visitors. With that said, it’s recommended to test your content, images, email sign-up forms, videos and calls-to-action (such as buttons).
How often should I run tests?
When it comes to testing, you should do it every time you make a change that will potentially affect conversions. If you change the copy buried on a customer service page on your website, you don’t need to test to see what effect it has, but if you change the copy or design on a prominent page, particularly one that’s part of your conversion funnel, then you should run a test.
How will I know if my content is successful?
You can determine if your content is successful if it answers the following questions: Does it reach the goal that you were trying to achieve? Is it of value to your target audience? Is it something that your audience can apply to their daily lives?
Always strive to provide value. It’s what keeps your visitors coming back for more.
How much traffic to a site do I need to do a/b testing that will matter?
It’s possible to test with as little as 1,000 monthly visitors, though you should be prepared for tests to take a very long time to complete with statistical significance.
Regardless of your traffic volume, there’s no downside to running a test. It can stay running for as long as you need. Even the longest-running test is better than none. When you have higher traffic volumes, your tests will complete more quickly and you can run more tests. And, with a higher traffic site, you should have more revenue to justify the added investment in creating more frequent tests.
I work with someone who believes content is important. But isn't writing an essay to explain a paragraph dangerous?
Content is only valuable when it’s interesting. Content marketers and SEOs often fall into the same trap of measuring their success by the volume of content produced rather than the value of the content. But it varies a great deal from site to site. So probably the best way to end this argument is to tell your colleague “we should test that!” and then do just that, to determine what content – and what length – works best for your unique audience.
How long should my tests run for?
There’s a very simple answer here; for as long as it takes to a statistically significant response.
Should I run a test before making any changes to my website at all?
If it’s more than a very small change, yes Sometimes, the most dangerous changes that you can make on a website are ones that you made on a hunch, your opinion, or your feelings, or even past experience. You may be wrong, because you are not the consumer. A test never lies. Rely on data.
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