Conversion Rate Optimization Tutorial
What is Conversion?
Conversion is when you can get a visitor to your website to complete an action that moves them to, or closer to, a sale. At the least you have caused a change in that visitor – perhaps brand recognition is the goal, or them actually buying something. Each is a conversion… that visitor is changed.
There are micro-conversions as well, small steps like signing up for a newsletter or downloading a report. Maybe you just want them to call you. So there are many kinds of conversions when it comes to your website.
So why is Conversion important?
Traffic has increased, keywords have enhanced content relevance, and your site is as snug as its silos. Life is good, right? Think again. Without a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy, the countless hours of SEO work are not being taken advantage of. It’s important to keep in mind that traffic does not necessarily equate to conversions. SEO drives traffic to the site, but conversion optimization supports site performance by increasing sales, click-through rates and other defined goals.
As a part of Internet marketing optimization, Bruce Clay, Inc. offers CRO services to help funnel conversions on your site and achieve lasting goals with continuous research, development, testing and reporting. Our CRO experts understand that conversion optimization and SEO are two pillars of an overall marketing strategy. Without conversions, there is only traffic, which is no bottom line at all.
Step 1: Research
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. A conversion is what you want a user to do once he or she reaches a page. Every site has different conversion goals and it is essential to determine what a conversion means: a phone call, a subscription to a newsletter, purchase of a product, a download — anything that is most valuable to your business.
With that in mind, the first step to implementing a healthy CRO strategy is research. In order to set goals for site activity and conversions, you have to know where to begin. Start by data mining with current analytics to establish initial traffic, bounce rate and conversion metrics. Also take note of top landing pages within the site. The more clear the intended conversion is for a site and its landing pages, the better the CRO professionals at Bruce Clay, Inc. can channel traffic into conversions.
Compare your site to that of your competitors to not only determine what elements might be missing, but also to see how they fit in the market space you occupy. Review pricing structures, offerings and how your competitors engage with your mutual audience. Also examine if your competitors are following best practices in CRO strategy to gauge a baseline for yourself.
Establishing a successful sales funnel is elementary to our CRO services, and it starts by combining analytics and competitive research with landing page optimization (LPO). By identifying top-performing landing pages you can begin to create a funnel for conversion and test accordingly for optimal results.
Note: We use Invesp as our CRO partner and we have made great advances. One additional activity was to visit clients after 2 months with us and to interview them. In particular, why did they buy? Knowing that it was because we were all experts is critical, or our custom programs, or our service structure, or they were prior clients is a very valuable resource when writing content.
Step 2: Creative Development
It’s important, as CRO experts, to understand that in the conversion process, users go from researcher to shopper to buyer when looking to buy online. Generally speaking, a user researches products, then make a choice and turn into shoppers. The shoppers become buyers once they have decided on one of the handful of sites that sell the product they are shopping for. Which site a user decides to buy from can be based on many factors. This is why CRO and landing page optimization are crucial to sales.
No detail can be overlooked in conversion optimization. Even small changes subjected to testing can prove to have big impacts on conversion:
- Shape (of call-to-action buttons, for example)
- Proximity (grouping related elements on the page)
- Contrast (of the color scheme)
- Fields (types of questions you ask in a form, for example)
- Confidence building
The ultimate goal of a website is conversion, and if done correctly, CRO will also reduce bounce rates and abandoned shopping carts. However, it is opinion of Bruce Clay, Inc.’s CRO professionals that no one should fly blind. Any change made for the purposes of conversion optimization must be tested to fine tune your conversion tunnel and the audience you’re trying to reach.
Step 3: Testing
As a CRO company, we practice and advocate continual testing because any changes to a page can potentially have a negative impact on conversion rates. When negative results are produced as a result, it’s improtant to keep the learning experience in mind. This is, after all, testing. However, educated testing seldom produces negative results, and even in the instance that negative results occur, you are not bound by those results in a live Web environment.
There are a number of ways in which our CRO experts approach testing and measuring of changes geared toward conversion rate optimization. Two of the most notable are A/B split testing and multivariate testing:
A/B Split Testing
- Develop a series of redesigns for the entire landing page in need of conversion optimization.
- Traffic is split randomly and equally between the redesigned landing pages, and actions are recorded.
- Develop a series of redesigns for specific elements on the landing page, taking into consideration how elements may interact with each other.
- Traffic randomly but equally experiences combinations of targeted elements, and actions are recorded.
Should the need arise to execute more of a navigational CRO strategy, other measurement tools include reviewing site analytics, flow chartsand heat mapping, which records where users click on a page.
Step 4: Reporting
Testing of added conversion elements to a landing page often results in substantial improvements in your site’s conversion rate optimization. Bruce Clay, Inc.’s CRO professionals will generate a findings report that details the strategies employed, changes made, the methodology involved in the changes, and the achievements of strenuous testing.
Keep in mind that traffic without conversions is bad for the bottom line. Proper CRO implementation involves research, identifying landing pages to optimize, developing a series of changes for them, and extensively testing those changes to find a best-fit-scenario for the audience you’re trying to engage.
Done successfully, conversion rate optimization can have a lasting effect on the longevity of your site and your business. CRO is a continual process and can change at a moment’s notice. The better equipped you are, and the more in tune your are to the goals of your site.