To understand Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and what it means for your business, first you need to understand what conversion rate is. Then how CRO factors in, and what the benefits are for applying it to your business, and lastly some tools you can use to optimize your CRO.
First things first, what is conversion rate?
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action. The most typical website conversions for ecommerce brands include:
- Online sales
- Visitor adding product to cart
- Visitor adding item to wishlist
- Email/Newsletter signups
A high conversion rate means your website is well-designed, formatted effectively, and appealing to your target audience.
A low conversion rate could be the result of a variety of factors related to either website performance or design. Slow load times, a broken form, or copy that doesn’t convey the value of the offer are common reasons for a poor conversion rate.
Okay, so what is conversion rate optimization?
Conversion rate is calculated by taking the number of desired actions (e.g.; orders, email sign ups, webinar registrations) divided by the total traffic and multiplying that by 100
Conversion Rate Calculation: 65 orders from 1500 website visits = 65/1500*100=4.3%
In this example, the order conversion rate is 4.3%.
Conversion rate optimization is the systematic process of improving the existing conversion rate through a variety of strategies.
Ways to Improve Your Conversion Rate
It can be something as small as AB testing different button colors (for example), all the way to redesigning the entire checkout process of your ecommerce website, and everything in between.
Typically each conversion type is looked at on a case-by-case basis to determine the types of tests and improvements that can be made for optimizing your conversion rate.
You just need to make sure that you measure every change to understand its impact on your website’s conversion rate because not all changes will have a positive effect. Data is vital!
Analytics and measuring the impact of new designs or conversion optimizations is a step many owners want to skip – but don’t be tempted to cut corners.
The data generated from users helps to determine the effect of each change, and the data should be examined before deciding the next steps on design or further updates.
What are some benefits of optimizing your conversion rates?
First, it helps you to get to know your customers – the more you dive into CRO, the more you know about them! Essentially it can eliminate the guesswork of creating more value for your business.
What do they want? What do they need? You can learn these things by testing various aspects of your website’s functionality – users will lend their vote.
Boosts website revenue – the better you conversion rate, the more money you make, and the stronger your business becomes. Consider investing some of that cash back into the business. Run ads based on what you’ve learned about your audience. Keep people coming back for more.
Leverage existing web traffic – since people are already visiting your website, you want them to convert. Use tools like Hello Bar, Crazy Egg, and Google Analytics to anticipate what they’ll do when they arrive. You can also get a better ROI from paid traffic.
Get more leads for your business -CRO also improves your lead generation results. You’ll capture more information about your visitors so you can market to them over time (again, data collection is key). Data collection can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be fancy, it just needs to be informative.
Enhance your website trust – customer trust is as valuable as currency, and if you don’t have it, you will be broke. So be consistent with marketing efforts, when your customers learn what to expect from you – they come to rely on you, which leads to trust. When a website is easy to understand and has very little friction for the end-user, your trust increases and so does your conversion rate!
Conversion Rate Optimization Tools
Use Google Analytics to understand what’s happening on your website.
You can gather quantitative data about your website traffic such as bounce rate, sessions, session duration, common exit pages.
This can help you understand if visitors are sticking around, how people are getting to your website and how different acquisition channels result in different behaviors.
For example, you may be running ad campaigns on two platforms, Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
With Google Analytics, you can segment each channel’s traffic to see how they behave on your website.
You may find that people coming from Facebook ads tend to spend more time on your website and make purchases more often.
This would lead you to likely allocate more of your budget to FB to help improve your overall ecommerce conversion rate.
Try Google Optimize for AB Testing different variations of your website to improve your conversion rates. You can test individual elements or even totally new versions of pages.
A/B testing, or split testing, presents 50% of users with an alternate version of a webpage in order to test the effectiveness of a particular variable. A/B tests are evaluated based on whether the alternate page achieves a higher conversion rate.
Here is an example of a test we ran on one of our websites where we updated the title of a landing page to see the impact on conversions. As you can see from the data, the title changes led to a dramatic increase in conversion rate.
Remember, you typically only want to test one variable at a time so that you don’t get confounding results and be unable to determine which variable led to better or worse results.
Four items you can AB test to improve your conversion rate include:
- Your Call to Action
- Button Colors
- Page Layouts
- One-step vs. 2-step opt-in forms
You can use Livesession for understanding user behavior.
Ever wish you could ‘put yourself in the shoes’ of your user? With Livesession you can!
Being able to see what’s working (or not working) on your website can be incredibly helpful to diagnosing what your next AB test should be, or if there are critical issues that you may need to fix. This is an excellent tool that is commonly overlooked by many people looking to optimize their website.
NextSale is for Social Proof and in most instances, social proof will help increase your conversion rates, but you should test to make sure.
Social proof, refers to the conformity of people to the behavior of what others are doing or have done. NextSale provides social proof notifications – shows sales and counter notifications. You integrate it with your preferred review platforms to display product reviews and consumer trust.
Increasing Conversion Rates on Your Website
CRO should become a huge tool in your ecommerce business plan for long-term growth. Start with a goal – collect the data, and then take measures, one variable at a time.
Utilize the tools that will help you reach these goals, and go out and raise that conversion rate.
Always remember, don’t ignore the data, your customers are speaking to you through their actions. This is your opportunity to listen and build trust, along with building your business.