Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the practice of increasing the percentage of website visitors who performed a desired action, such as filling out a contact form or buying a product. A high conversion rate is important for any business, regardless of size or industry.
If you’re new to CRO and you’re still trying to understand how it works, we at Distribute Digital have created this quick guide that will teach you the basics of optimising your website for conversion to increase your bottom line.
In this Guide:
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Conversion rate optimisation aims to improve the number of website visitors to take the desired action, which can include product purchases, filling out contact forms, subscribing to a newsletter, phone clicks or calls, email clicks, map clicks, etc. Both small businesses and corporations benefit from getting a high conversion rate. It is one of the determining factors that keeps your business going and leads you to growth.
Several factors contribute to a high conversion rate, such as website performance, personalisation, value proposition, relevance, clarity, reducing distractions, and urgency.
- Website Performance: A high-performing website is essential for achieving a high conversion rate. Factors that contribute to great website performance include page load times, the responsiveness of the design, and the overall website functionality. If your UX is bad, your conversion rate will suffer.
- Personalisation: To increase your website’s effectiveness, you must personalise your content and messaging based on each user’s preferences and behaviours. This can be done by using data collected from in-app or online behaviour through tools like heat mapping software or Google Analytics.
- Value Proposition: Your business’ value proposition is what convinces a potential customer to use your product or service. It should be clear, concise, and compelling.
- Relevance: The content on your website must be relevant to your target audience. If it’s not, they will leave, and you will miss out on a conversion. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce site, you need to ensure that the product descriptions and images are relevant to your target audience.
- Clarity: To increase conversion rates, you must make your website as clear and easy-to-use as possible. This means using concise, persuasive copy and having intuitive navigation so that visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.
- Reducing Distractions: One of the key principles of conversion rate optimisation is reducing distractions on your website. The more distractions you have, the lower your conversion rate will be. This means getting rid of anything that doesn’t contribute to your goals, such as adverts, sidebars, and pop-ups.
- Urgency: Injecting a sense of urgency to your messaging and calls to action can be an effective way to increase conversion rates. This can be done by using language such as “act now” or “limited time only” and providing special offers, discounts, or free shipping.
Ultimately, to optimise your website for conversion, you need to create a great user experience tailored specifically to your target audience. You can significantly grow your conversion rate, as well as boost your bottom line by considering the abovementioned factors and putting them into practice.
Why Optimise for Better Conversion?
Many businesses spend time and money getting more people to their websites, but few invest in ensuring that their website converts. So often, a company will be spending thousands in driving traffic to a site that is poor at converting potential customers into enquiries or sales.
In fact, a VentureBeat study revealed that the average ROI of using CRO tools is 223%. Around 3,000 marketers participated in this study, and only 5% claimed they did not generate ROI, while more than a hundred marketers confirmed gaining returns higher than 1,000%.
On the other hand, a study by Ascend2 stated that 57% of B2B marketers testified that conversion rate is the most critical factor when analysing landing page performance. Landing pages are generally used for paid search campaigns. By tracking your conversion, you can make better and strategic decisions to improve your revenue.
An optimised website can often be the difference between marketing that is a cost to the business and marketing that delivers real value and a positive return on your investment, helping you grow your revenues.
How to Start with Conversion Rate Optimisation?
The first thing is to understand what you want users to do when they visit your site. What are your goals? What actions will deliver value to your business?
Often this will be simply a case of phone calls, enquiries through website forms or, if you sell products online, sales. Defining which actions you want users to take will help shape the design decisions that are made to improve your website conversion rates.
In addition to understanding your goals, it is helpful to understand other business KPIs (key performance indicators). For a services business, some KPIs could be how many leads it takes to get a sale, what is the average value of a sale, and if customers typically purchase services once or if they take an ongoing service contract. This is important to calculate the lifetime value of the customer, which is often needed to understand the true return on your marketing.
If you have an e-commerce site, you will need similar information: the margin of the products, the average basket value, and a customer’s lifetime value.
The reality is that many businesses don’t know all of these numbers. If that’s you, don’t worry. You will learn some of these numbers, and you can take an educated guess as a starting point. One of the benefits that often comes with working with a reputable digital marketing agency is getting a better understanding of these numbers.
How to Calculate Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate is dividing the total conversions by the total website visitors. A conversion can be a sale, enquiry, or phone call from your website.
For example, if you had 1,000 visitors to your site and 10 sales, your conversion rate would be 1%. It’s that simple!
Generated Leads/Traffic from Your Website x 100 = % Conversion Rate
How to Calculate Number of Net New Customers?
Net new customers refer to the number of new customers or clients you have gained through your website compared to the total number of customers you currently have.
To figure out how many net new consumers you’ve acquired, divide your net sales goal by your usual sales price.
New Revenue Goal/Avg. Sales Price
= Total of New Customers
How to Calculate Lead Goal
A lead goal is a target or an objective for the number of leads you want to generate from your website.
To get the value of your lead goal, divide the number of new customers by your lead-to-customer close rate (total number of leads/total customers) percentage.
Total New Customers/Close Rate of Lead-to-Customer%
= Lead Goal
How to Implement Your CRO Strategy?
There are many areas on your website that can be optimised to help improve conversion rates. Commonly, it will be the landing pages, web forms and calls to action that need attention.
You can also find optimisation opportunities in other areas such as navigation menus and e-commerce checkout processes. Optimising these individual elements will improve the overall conversion rate, making the marketing you do more effective.
Once you have optimised your website and increased conversions, it is vital to measure the success of your efforts. You can do this by reviewing all of your KPIs and comparing them before and after your CRO improvements. This will provide clarity of whether or not your efforts have delivered a positive ROI.
- Homepage: Optimising your homepage is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates. This is where users decide if they want to read more or move on. By testing different versions, you can determine what design layout will have the highest likelihood of getting a user to take that next step.
- Landing pages: Landing pages are often used for paid search advertising and/or Google Ads campaigns and are designed to get a user to take a specific action. By testing different versions, you can determine what wording, images and call to action buttons will work best to get users to convert.
- Web forms: Web forms are commonly used to capture leads or enquiries from potential customers. By testing different versions, you can determine the optimum number of fields to get users to convert and the wording used for each field. You may also need to balance higher conversion rates with more qualified leads, as more fields/questions will help better ensure leads are more qualified but may reduce the total volume of leads you receive.
- Calls to action: Calls to action are words or phrases that tell users what you want them to do on your website. Commonly, this will be “Buy Now”, “Download”, “Get Quote” or even “Submit”. By testing different versions, you can determine what wording will entice users to take that next step.
- Pricing Page: One of the most valuable pages on your website is the pricing page especially when it comes to conversion rates. This is because it’s where users will make the decision to purchase your product or service. By testing different versions, you can determine what pricing structure, payment options and call to action buttons will work best to get users to convert.
- Checkout Process: The checkout process is where users will take their purchase decision to the next level. By testing different versions, you can determine what information they need to complete their purchase, as well as what payment options will work best to get them across the line.
- Blog: Your blog is a great way to attract new visitors to your website and increase conversion rates. You can use it to target specific keywords and generate traffic from search engines. By testing different versions, you can determine what type of content, layout and call to action buttons will work best to get users to convert.
It’s important to remember that CRO isn’t just about improving conversion rates. Also, ensure the quality of your leads are not sacrificed in the process. This means that you need to strike a balance between getting more leads and getting better quality leads.
Start with a small test on a specific page or element on your website. Once you’ve determined what works, you can then roll it out to the rest of your website.
It’s also important to remember that CRO is an ongoing process. This means that you need to continuously test and measure your results to continue to improve your conversion rates over time.
Confused on how to start with CRO, or you would like some help with your tests, contact our SEO team today.
What you don’t measure, you can’t improve
The first thing that is required is making sure you can measure the actions that you care about. If you want phone calls then you need to be able to track how many calls are being made and where the traffic comes from that results in a call. If you can’t measure this it is impossible to understand the return on investment from your marketing.
List the important things you want to measure, then implement the necessary tracking to ensure you can establish a benchmark. You need to understand how your site performs before making changes, this way you can clearly understand the impact of any changes.
There are several free and paid CRO tools that we would recommend looking into to help with this task:
- Google Analytics (GA) – GA is a free tool that is incredibly powerful. Guiding you through the full set-up of analytics is a full tutorial in itself. In simple terms, you can track goals and events. Goals can be ‘thank you’ or ‘confirmation’ pages that a user is sent to after completing an enquiry form or events that are triggered by performing a certain action e.g. clicking on a button or a phone number. Once these are configured you can measure the number of times these happen and where the user came from that performed the action. Put simply if you have 10 enquiry forms submitted you will be able to see where the users who completed the forms came from.
- Call Tracking Platform – If you want to put your time and resources into the most efficient campaigns, it’s critical to understand which marketing channels are generating your incoming phone calls. There are many call tracking providers out there to choose from but we love https://www.whatconverts.com/ – it is simple to set up, the reports are great and it is reasonably priced. Their support team is top notch too.
- Visual Analytics – Understanding how your users navigate your website is really important and watching real users scroll through your site is often more informative than looking at raw data. Tools such as Microsoft Clarity and Hotjar allow you to see recordings of users looking at your site. As well as providing heat maps to show you which areas of the site get the most interest, which buttons get clicked the most and even how far down a page most people get before losing interest. This can often reveal useful insights that can help you improve your site’s conversion rate. Often small changes like moving a CTA button or making your navigation clearer can yield big results.
These are a few of our favourite CRO tools that we use to help our clients get better results from their digital marketing.
If you would like to understand more about how you can improve your marketing and generate more enquiries or online sales, why not book a free consultation with our friendly team of SEO experts.