Unless you’re a Marketer, you may not have heard of Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), but it’s actually a critical part of a successful marketing strategy and essential to maximise your opportunities for acquiring new customers.
In this article, we’ll start by explaining CRO and what it entails and as well as sharing with you our very best top 5 tips to improve your website conversions, which is essentially concerned with getting your website visitors to perform an action you want them to take, whether it’s signing up for a free trial, subscribing to a email newsletter or purchasing your wares. Of course, the ultimate goal is to convert website visitors into paying customers, so it’s pretty key stuff.
WHAT IS CONVERSION RATE OPTIMISATION (CRO)?
CRO is a structured and organised approach to improving the performance of your website and making the most of the traffic you already have on your website. It’s informed by insights, rather than hunches and it’s defined by your website’s objectives and KPI’s.
WHAT CONVERSION RATES ARE WE LOOKING TO IMPROVE?
- Your Total Conversions is number of people who performed the desired action (email newsletter, made a purchase etc).
- Conversion Rate – divide the above total number of conversions by the number of visitors to your site.
For example, a site with 1000 visitors and 10 conversions has a conversion rate of 1%.
WHY IS CRO IMPORTANT?
You may be doing rather well in getting new visitors to your website, whether through SEO, PPC or social media, or if you’re integrating your campaigns, a combination of all three. All this involved an investment in time and money and with paid advertising getting more costly and competitive, spending more is not always the answer to getting more enquiries. There may be problems in your conversion funnel and things can be tweaked and improved to get more enquires for the same or even less spend.
There is always room for improvement on a website, no matter how well designed it is or how many visitors you’re already converting.
There is more we could tell you about CRO and why it matters but we promised you our very best CRO tips, so without any further ado, here they are.
1. LANDING PAGE OPTIMISATION
This is a pretty meaty topic that really deserves much more attention than we can give it here. The key thing to know is that Google directs web users to pages within websites, such as product, contact us and blog pages so all of these pages need to be accessed for their potential to drive web visitors to an action.
KISSMetrics have developed an excellent “Blueprint for a Perfectly Testable Landing Page”, which guides you on how to construct an effective landing page. The key things to include are:
- The headline
- Hero Image
- Proof points
- Form or Call to Action
- Social Proof
- Third-party endorsement
2. A CLEAR CALL TO ACTION (CTA)
Without an obvious CTA, they’ll be no goals completed and your conversion will be dead in the water. It’s down to you to drive people to what you want them to do next by providing a clear CTA.
Once you’ve decided the goal, make it highly visible and really easy to complete. Don’t assume by having one CTA button at the bottom of a page, you’ve nailed your CTA, place it top, middle and bottom and offer it up in text and on a different coloured button. All CTA buttons should be a different colour and one that stands out.
3. PERSONAL INFORMATION – LESS IS MORE
You may think that whilst you’re asking for an email address from a web visitor, you may as well ask for their name, address and telephone number. But there’s no quicker way to distract a web visitor from engaging with you than asking for more information than you need. Keep forms short and snappy.
4. TRUST SIGNALS
Every website needs trust signals, especially e-commerce sites. Trust signals, put simply, are features or qualities of your site that inspire trust in the mind of the customer and this is what allows a customer to go from visitor to buyer. There are many trust signals such as address, telephone number, customer support, returns policy which are typically included on a site as a given and other’s which are actually more influential but often overlooked.
We’re talking about testimonials and reviews. These are when a customer talks about their experience with your company, often on a third party website such as Reviews or Feefo.
Research from E-consultancy found that 88% of customers will check out reviews before making a final decision on a purchase and according to the Local Consumer Review Survey, 2012, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Itsy bitsy plug – take a look at Calico’s reviews that we collect through Reviews.
5. USER EXPERIENCE
When we talk about user experience (UX), we are referring to the totality of visitors’ experience with your site—more than just how it looks. The sort of questions you need to ask with UX are:
- How easy is your site is to use?
- What are the page loading speeds?
- Is it obvious users need to scroll and in which direction?
- Is navigation made clear with breadcrumbs?
If you don’t have any in-house expertise to help evaluate the UX of your website, we can help with a free website evaluation. Just complete the details on this form, sending us your website address and we’ll do a free audit and email you with our findings.
So that’s our top tips in a nutshell. In future blogs we’ll attempt to delve a little deeper into some of the key areas of CRO. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.