SEO is all about driving traffic to your website. But what about once visitors get to your site? Traffic is great, and is an important piece of a successful internet strategy, but on its own it isn’t enough. The mere presence of visitors on your website doesn’t necessarily lead to customers, engagement or sales. This is where Conversion Rate Optimization comes in.
Conversion Rate is your metric for measuring what percentage of visitors to your site are going beyond just a visit and performing some deeper level action. This action (aka conversion) could be a sale, a newsletter signup, an ebook download, filling out a contact form, and so on. You can (and should) measure more than one type of conversion. But whatever kind of conversion you’re measuring, the more often people convert, the higher your conversion rate.
Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO for short, is the process of taking actions on your website to try and actively push that metric higher.
When it comes to CRO strategies, there are a lot of things you can, and should, try. However, a few strategies stand out as being some of the most effective, and implemented by companies with very high CRO.
Customer Journey Analysis
With so many potential sources of advertising and social media channels for customers to find out about your brand and products, the entire journey that a customer takes with your company is anything but simple. But, by tracking every step of this journey, from coming into contact with an advertisement or piece of content, to doing their own research, to visiting your site, to making a purchase, to providing feedback or requesting customer service – you can learn a tremendous amount about your customers’ behaviors throughout the process.
By collecting and analyzing data from every channel available, you can find out where customers are getting tripped up and what parts of the journey are happening most effectively, and use that information to streamline the process.
Not every customer is the same, which means that not every customer is going to behave the same way on your site. Some visitors to your site might be there for the first time, just figuring out who you are and what your company does. Others may have sought your company out specifically because they are interested in exactly what you are offering. Others still might not yet be prepared to make a purchase, but are very interested in the content you are generating.
By determining who the different groups, or “segments”, are that make up the total population of your visitors, you can then focus on optimizing conversions for just those groups. Frequently, focusing on specific segments can result in much higher increases in conversion rates compared to viewing your visitors as a single group.
A/B testing is the process of comparing two different versions of a page to your visitors. Basically, you create two different versions of an element on a landing page – it could be two different colors of a Call-To-Action button, two different versions of product copy text, two different background images, etc.
Then, simultaneously, half of your website’s visitors are served one version (A), and the other half are served the alternate version (B). By comparing the results between the two versions, you can determine if there is any difference in conversion rates between them. Obviously, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. You won’t immediately know if one version resulted in a higher or lower conversion rate because of the change in design, copy, etc., but it’s certainly worth a try to make the change permanent and see if the results will carry over.
Conversion Rate Optimization is not a one-time exercise. Like SEO, it is an ongoing process where most of the time, results will come in small increments. But by being patient and working at it continuously, you can see very real, tangible increases in your conversion rates.
Need help with CRO or other web design and marketing strategy? Contact 10twelve today!