Conversion rate optimization (CRO) describes the translation of website views by visitors into desired actions, or, more simply put, converting views into buys. The process is based on user experience feedback, and the aim is to ensure that the website is as user-friendly and conducive to sales as possible.
This type of project is usually undertaken by a conversion rate optimization company, as they will have the necessary skills and industry know-how to get the job done quickly and effectively. There are many elements involved in this process, and this ultimate conversion guide explains all of the factors to consider when optimizing your website or landing page for a better conversion rate.
The conversion rate of a website is the percentage of visitors who take action. If a website or landing page records a hundred unique views in one day, and one of those views results in a sale or sign-up (whatever the website is offering is bought), then it can be said to have a 1% conversion rate. If you can increase that percentage to 5%, then you have increased the conversion rate, which translates into more sales.
The way to calculate your page conversion rate is to divide the number of sales by the total number of visitors, and then multiply by 100 to get the percentage.
A good conversion rate will vary, depending on the industry niche your website occupies. Sometimes higher traffic will not automatically translate into more sales, especially if you are not attracting the right viewers for a niche market site.
It is important to understand the dynamics of the user experience (UX) of the site, which can be reflected in the data analytics for each page. A sound conversion rate optimization strategy will rely on good data to inform the process. Therefore you will need to know what you are looking at. You should know how your visitors are interacting with the page, for how long, and at what point they are choosing to move along, instead of staying to buy. This will be evident in the analytics, and you can also augment this information with a survey or poll.
Having analyzed the data for your website, as well as your resulting sales, you should then consider what you would like to achieve, and create a set of realistic, measurable goals which can be reflected in your conversion rate optimization strategy.
Armed with an accurate picture of what needs to improve on each page, and what you intend to achieve, you can begin to optimize for conversion rate by focusing on the following areas: landing page, pricing page, copy, call to action, forms, speed. These elements can all become factors responsible for your visitors moving on instead of buying.
There are a number of tools available to optimize a page for a better conversion rate. The traditional call to action (CTA) as a banner at the end of a page may be ineffective, but a text-based CTA in the middle of a page is an eye-catching and useful tool for increasing conversion. Similarly, although some pop-ups can be annoying, creative use of a pop-up or slider can actually increase uptake amongst visitors.
Forms can also be tedious and will lose customers’ interest, but given the right context, a streamlined, simplified form will win out over a lengthy series of selections and box-checking. You can also create various conversion pathways for your customers, dependent on their product knowledge and intent. Those who know what they want and who simply want to do business without the introductions should be given the option to proceed to the point of sale or similar stage. Streamlining the process in this way can improve the productive time that customers spend on the website.
Every strategy should go through an evaluation phase, in which data is collected and analyzed to determine if the plan was effective or not. Ideally, this phase should take the form of an iterative process, in which ineffective details of the strategy can be identified and adjusted whilst the campaign is in progress. When this is not possible, however, data analytics will point to any ineffective elements which can be adjusted or corrected for the next campaign. In any event it is always important to have a set of data against which to measure performance to assess success or failure. In this case, conversion rate numbers, as well as the other datasets used to analyze the site performance before the campaign, should be compared to offer a complete and accurate picture of the campign results.
Ideally, you should see a higher conversion rate, and a bettter flow of traffic from the landing page through to the checkout and confirmation of payment, and ending with a positive customer feedback rating at the end of the process.