Conversion Rate Optimization
So you've put a lot of time and resources into SEO, PPC and social media, and you're finally getting a solid stream of visitors to your site — your incoming traffic is like water from a faucet, and your website is the bucket that collects it. The problem is, your bucket is full of holes. Users come to your site and leave just as quickly.
And it's not just you: industry-wide conversion rates hover around 3 percent, which means that 97 out of every 100 visitors enter a site and leave again without taking any desired action. And as many as 70 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before checkout.
Driving traffic to your site will do nothing for your bottom line if you're not getting conversions from your visitors. This is why conversion rate optimization is necessary. You must plug as many holes in your bucket as possible in order to prevent all your hard work from going down the drain.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of researching your audience and their browsing habits, then testing different versions of your site's pages to determine how best to guide visitors toward a conversion and ultimately, give them what they want and need.
Know Your Audience
The first step in a successful conversion optimization strategy is research. Examine data from Web analytics in order to see who typically visits you, how they get to you and how they navigate within your site. With this data you can create personas based on your prototypical visitors in order to view your website through their eyes.
Remember, it's not about what you think works, it's about what actually works, and analytics data helps you to target your actual customers, not just those you think are your customers.
Now that you know your audience, you need to decide your goals for them. Define a conversion based upon your site and its purpose — selling a product, generating leads, customer service, etc. Plot out the step-by-step path to conversion and create a sales funnel so you can see where your customers are dropping off.
As any CRO expert will tell you, rigorous scientific testing lies at the heart of successful conversion rate optimization strategies. You may think up all sorts of ideas that could raise your conversion rate, but you'll never know whether or not they're effective until you collect and analyze hard data.
The two types of testing are A/B split and multivariate. With A/B split testing, you create two or more versions of a page and then divide your traffic between them. Does your new page produce more conversions, or is it being outperformed by the original page?
Multivariate testing involves creating different versions of individual elements shared across many pages. Because users are shown all possible combinations of elements randomly, multivariate testing requires a high volume of traffic to produce useful results.
Bruce Clay, Inc. offers CRO services that can help you fine tune your site and maximize conversions. Stop wasting your precious online traffic; start optimizing for conversions today. And to place this into perspective, you can easily exceed the competition by paying attention to the subtleties by focusing on emotional impact, persona, community, intent, and individualization of results. These are the elements that keep Conversion Rate Optimization exciting and differentiates us from our competition.