Richard LeCount at USBMakers
The industry that I work in is a competitive one, whilst web traffic is of course, a top priority, converting that traffic sits a little higher, this seems to be a growing movement for many businesses.
Conversion rate optimisation or CRO is a growth technique, a process for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that will follow a call to action or complete a goal, whether that is placing an order, signing up for a subscription or requesting a quote.
Many companies are one-dimensional in their thought process, thinking that more traffic equals more sales. While this of course, is true, it’s an inefficient model. Your conversion rate may be 2%, and you only require another 50 visitors before the goal is completed again, but this means that 98% of your traffic isn’t converting.
The cost per acquisition will say the same as the site ranking improves, but as the traffic increases, the rate of conversion stays the same and you will end up paying for the users that don’t convert. Businesses must change their processes to one that is conversion-first rather than traffic-first.
To calculate your current CRO, you can use the following method; you take your current number of sessions and divide it by the number of unique times a goal has been completed or an order placed – this gives you your current conversion rate.
By delving into conversion rate optimisation, you can gain a deeper understanding of your website and how it works, both theoretically and in practice. You gain an insight of how traffic moves through the site, the actions users take the and what is preventing them from completing goals; 94% of businesses that engage in CRO agree that it improves their understanding of their customers.
Call To Actions
Are the call to actions (CTAs) on your website still being completed successfully?
Hubspotnoticed that their CTAs were no longer working, so rather than keep the CTA button as a static element on their blog, they introduced it as a slider that appeared when the user got three-quarters of the way through their blogs.
This small change increased their CRO by 192% and generated 27% more submissions.
We are used to seeing call to action buttons or links embedded on a website, and the slider increased its visibility and simplicity, put it in clear view of the audience. Great call to action buttons or sliders use words that clearly convey the action they want to drive and instil a sense of urgency.
The slider method won’t work for everyone, so of course, it important to test; by changing one variable at a time you can analyse what works for you to ensure you are maximising your conversion rate.
Often, we treat our marketing strategies as separate entities, and often lose sight of the common goal. For instance, we undertake content marketing, PR and PPC campaigns that are misaligned, but by aligning the PPC with landing pages you can also increase your conversion rate.
The chances are, you are running several PPC ads, using a different language or hook, but they all lead to the same landing page that may not necessarily reflect the message in the ad?
Optimisely were doing just this, running three ad campaigns that led back to one page that didn’t mimic the message or the headlines in the ads. They decided to create a landing page for each ad that used the same terminology and in doing so, they increased the leads from their PPC by 40%.
When we write a headline, a lot of the time, we overlook the impact that it can have. Headlines and titles are an opportunity to grab the audience’s attention and entice them to complete the goal.
By testing headlines on landing pages and contact forms, you can monitor the tone and language that resonates with your audience.
Iron Mountain found that their contact form wasn’t being completed, so they changed the headline from ‘contact us’ to ‘request a quote’ and saw a 140% increase in leads.
Web copy is a fine line, we want our business to have its own personality and be engaging with our audience, but we don’t want it to be misaligned with the brand and it can be difficult to protect.
Straightforward or generic writing styles don’t always pay off either, and this is where it’s crucial to carry out A/B testing; by writing content in two styles, for instance, one generic and one filled with tone and personality; you can then run both as ads to see which drives the most engagement.
This was carried out by an iPhone repair company in America, they ran one ad that read ‘iPhone 4 or 4s screen repair’ and another that read ‘Did your screen have a rough night out? The second variation led to 18% more repairs being scheduled, and this enables them to adjust the rest of their content accordingly, knowing that this style engages their audience.
This list isn’t exhaustive, there are many elements of CRO to be tested and explored, but from experience it is worth incorporating CRO into your marketing and growth strategies to ensure that you are consistently maximising your conversion rate and your bottom line.
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