A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO CONVERSION RATE OPTIMISATION
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a step or two further down the digital marketing funnel than most SEO Agencies want to deal with – what happens to the traffic once its hit the website? Most SEO’s I know will retract in fear and repeat their T&C’s and stating that they only look after Rankings and Traffic – but what if the rankings and traffic aren’t bringing in any conversions? What’s the point of driving leads to a website if no one purchases the product?
CRO is a powerful tool and a powerful selling point for most digital marketing agencies these days – and it rightly should be. Getting pages set up correctly to ensure visitors know what to do on your website, where you want them to go and not want them to go, and how to get them to talk to you or purchase your product. If you didnt know about it before reading these sentences you might be sweating bullets because your current strategy may be about to be thrown out the window.
Let’s take a look at my predicted hottest trend of 2017 for digital agencies – Conversion Rate Optimisation.
SEO & CRO – ARE THEY THE SAME?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an important part of the puzzle that is internet marketing. SEO is always working towards getting you more traffic and higher rankings. In a nutshell its literally optimising your website for search – so people can find you and your products. You can do technical SEO, On Page SEO, Off Page SEO, Visual SEO, the list goes on – its all about driving people to your virtual doorstep.
A successful SEO Campaign doesn’t necessarily mean that your customers are loving the work – they might be seeing the best numbers in years via Google Analytics – but if they are not purchasing, then you’ve got a CRO problem. The amount of times customers have asked us why people aren’t inquiring is endless “I see the traffic but its not converting! Is this bad traffic? Is it my product? Is there something wrong with the website?” the response is generally the same, Lets take a look at what people are doing when they hit the pages.
WHAT IS CONVERSION RATE OPTIMISATION?
CRO is the practice of increasing the rate at which people complete a goal on your site, be it sales or leads. It’s about optimising the traffic you’ve already got to increase conversions. If you optimise and improve your web conversion rates, you will receive more enquiries from qualified leads or convert them to customers directly from your page.
WHAT DOES CRO MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
CRO would help you increase the total conversions which in turn would increase overall revenue, decrease your cost per acquisition and increase the overall ROI of your marketing efforts.
The specific definition of what your business considers a conversion is vital in the beginning of the process. For example, for an e-commerce company a conversion or a goal may be a sale, where for a service based company a lead, enquiry, contact form fill would be termed a conversion.
WHAT IS THE CRO PROCESS?
In a nutshell the process for CRO is:
- Start with an assumption – ‘People are bouncing due to poor on page copy’
- Measure the existing traffic observe their behaviours
- Analyse the data and investigate the information
- Review and Implement a test – Change the on page copy
- Measure the traffic again and repeat
This is a very simplified breakdown of the process – but you get the idea, you want to understand why the site isnt doing what you thought it should be doing. If you were any good with high school science, the process is similar – but you’re not mixing chemicals.
HOW DOES CRO WORK?
Simply, CRO involves changing elements on your website to improve the effectiveness of your website to influence a purchase or enquiry. A few techniques involved in CRO are:
- Call to Actions (CTA): A button or an instruction on your website that provokes immediate action from the website user.
- Conversion Funnel Testing: Testing different methods and pathways that users can take to buy a product or make an enquiry.
- A/B or Split Testing: This is testing two different versions of a web page or email. Elements on the two sites are different and the effectiveness of each element is tested. The most effective elements are then implemented and the least are removed.
- Multivariate Testing: The testing of multiple variations of many different page elements in various combinations to determine the best performing elements and combinations.
WHAT DATA DO WE LOOK AT FOR CRO?
A heat map or click map displays the on-page analytics of user behaviour on a site. Using different colours to indicate movement, a heat map will show the areas that visitors interact, or look at more often. The brighter the colour of a zone, the more people have focused on it.
This form of web analytics focuses on where users are clicking. Using click analytics, we can see where people are clicking, which helps determine the effectiveness of the website design and content.
Watch videos of people using your site! It’s one of the biggest eye openers that any site owner will see. If you’ve ever wondered why people arent going to the right page, or if they understand your call to actions, then you can watch them using your site.
Your analytics tool of choice will have some of the best information available about how people are using your website, most sites will be running Google Analytics and when you’re a certified Google Analytics professional or working with an agency, you’ll be able to discover a wide range of issues which could be affecting your conversion rate.
HOW DO YOU IMPLEMENT CRO CHANGES?
This test checks the performance of a combination of different variables to determine what works best. Testing the effectiveness of various headings and images, a multivariate analysis aims to identify the ideal combination of elements. A test like this can be useful when trying to determine which combination of elements lends itself best to a conversion goal.
A/B Testing or split testing compares a single webpage against a variation of the webpage. The test determines which variation is more likely to lead to reaching your conversion goals.
A visitor is shown either the original webpage or the variation. Their interaction with the page helps determine which is more effective in promoting engagement.
A/B testing isnt limited to websites – nearly every marketing program or platform will let you split test everything. Facebook Advert Manager, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Google Display Network – all of these platforms allow you to split test your ads, split test your images, split test your call to actions.
This strategic form of marketing is quickly becoming the norm as businesses develop personalised marketing that targets the individual. It involves the analysis of user data to develop an understanding of possible customers. Content is then tailored to fit their online preferences.
A great example of this is Marketo and it’s powerful features – dynamically generated pages based on users click behaviour.
WHAT APPS CAN HELP WITH CRO?
Depending on your budget and what you want to achieve there’s plenty of CRO tools out there – The list below is a great stack for beginners and most of them offer free versions.
There you have a very top level view of conversion rate optimisation and why its so important for online businesses. We’ll be looking at Conversion Rate Optimisation in some more blog posts and we’ll let you know our process for CRO and how we’ve found success with it for our clients and for our selves.
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