Before we delve into what Conversion Rate Optimisation is, let’s look at why it’s so important…
If you review your website’s performance, remember… you’re never “done” testing, ever!
Guesses and taking a punt at what’s working, and what’s not… are great starting places, but that’s about it!
When it comes to understanding what your customers need, data rules… opinions just dilute the facts!
Spending money on advertising without cleaning up any sticking points in the customer journey is literally pouring money down the drain
You need to test everything… just not all at the same time, or you won’t know which particular factor needs looking at.
So now you know why Conversion Rate Optimisation is important let’s look at why you need it in more detail.
CRO really is crucial to your overall digital marketing strategy. Your site may be doing brilliantly in many areas; traffic is coming your way via an effective SEO, paid search, social or content strategy. This is all 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; it can also be an email sign-up, the creation of an account, the completion of a survey, or a 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 rates the better. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of making small changes that will increase the likelihood your visitors will complete that specific action.
How does it work?
Conversion Rate Optimisation uses analytics and user feedback to determine where visitors are dropping off your website, and why. You need to be identifying areas to reduce the friction, anxiety and cost so that the value outweighs it, resulting in a conversion. These typically tend to be registration points, download areas or payment options. Simply put, CRO means figuring out what users are looking for when they arrive at your site and then making sure they get it quickly and easily with no barriers. The process takes many different forms; sometimes it involves making your call-to-action more obvious, or placing it on a more traffic-heavy page, or it may just mean a change of colour, font or image. At other times this means removing or moving complicated or time-consuming steps from the customer journey, as this unwanted friction can prevent a conversion from ever happening. By making often very subtle tweaks to these sticking points you can turn a passive visitor into a paying customer, and more importantly, the right kind of customer – loyal ones who will happily return or even better, refer!
Why should I care?
Anyone landing on your site has done so for one of two reasons; either they’re looking for something they think you may have, or they’re doing random browsing, and landed there accidentally. You should care about CRO for one of these reasons. First, you are most likely paying for traffic to your site in one way or another, and a high conversion rate means you’re not wasting that money. It’s also much more cost-effective to convert a higher percentage of the visitors you already have than to attract more visitors. This optimisation helps to defend against the limited attention span of your average visitor by giving them what they want before they tire of looking for it and move on. Visitor retention is what you’re aiming for and CRO will get you there.