The goal of your digital marketing strategy is to bring in visitors to your website and generate leads, right? Actually, that’s just the beginning of the process. What really measures your success is how many of those leads convert to a sale. And if that number is low, you have some work to do. But with the right plan for conversion rate optimization, you can grow your business while working smarter, not harder.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the art and science of increasing the amount of visitors who complete a desired action. Your conversion rate is a critical measure of your digital marketing effectiveness. How many people who see your content and visit your website actually become a qualified prospect or customer by taking the action you want?
For ecommerce sites, this desired action would be making a purchase. In a service business, this could be picking up the phone to make a call. For a healthcare practice, this could be scheduling an appointment or consult online. It’s a little different for every business and every industry. But your conversion rate allows you to measure how your marketing efforts are connecting with your potential customers. Are they convinced and engaged by what they find on your site, or do they just leave?
Conversion rate optimization focuses on increasing the percentage of visitors who take action on your business website. Your site probably has more than one place you can have visitors do something, so CRO focuses on making all those places – your home page, your landing pages, and more – as efficient as possible to increase your conversion rates and gain more customers.
Why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?
Increasing your conversion rate is important for a few reasons. Growing your website traffic is certainly an important goal. You want to reach plenty of potential customers. If they can’t find you, they can’t make a purchase decision. But increasing your leads generated can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you’re relying on pay-per-click campaigns like display or search ads.
Increasing the number of visitors to your site has a cost, and it’s not the whole story of digital marketing success. What you need to get the maximum value out of that website traffic is a high conversion rate. If you have 1,000 website visitors a day but only 2 of them make a purchase, that is a lot of wasted opportunities. But if you have 500 visitors a day and 20 of them make a purchase, your business is doing better even though your website traffic is lower.
Get More Revenue From the Same Visitors
Of course, that doesn’t mean the number of visitors to your site isn’t important. If you stay stuck at attracting 500 visitors a day for a year while your competitors are attracting 5,000 daily and growing, you’re clearly at a competitive disadvantage. But without a high conversion rate, any extra traffic and leads generated are wasted. Raising your conversion rate lowers your acquisition cost, gets you more highly-qualified leads, and boosts your revenue.
A low conversion rate also indicates a fundamental disconnect in your marketing. If most of your website visitors are finding your page, looking around, and then leaving without taking an action, there is a gap somewhere. Maybe your website design or landing page is less compelling than your ads. Perhaps you’re not targeting the right keywords in your SEO efforts or search ads. Or maybe your site is hard to navigate or too glitchy to use.
To optimize your conversion rate, you need to figure out what’s keeping it low in the first place.
How to Optimize Your Conversion Rate
Conversion rate optimization has one goal: convert more website visitors to paying customers. But there are a few ways to go about doing it. It will depend on how your website and your business are set up. The process will look different for an ecommerce business than for a B2B services provider. But there are several common issues you should take a look at fixing to boost your conversions.
Calculate Your Current Conversion Rate
Your conversation rate isn’t simply the amount of conversions you get. It’s that number as a percentage of your site visitors. A common formula to calculate your conversion rate as a percentage is:
Leads Generated ÷ Website Traffic x 100 = Conversion Rate %
That will tell you how many of your web visitors turn into qualified leads. You can increase your leads generated without increasing your web traffic at all. Decide on a reasonable conversion rate goal to set for your business – this might be a good time for some competitor analysis to see how your rates stack up against others in your industry.
Check Out Your Existing Content
Conversions can happen all over your website, not just on your home page. Take a look at your existing content and see what tweaks you can make.
Your home page
This is where most visitors form their first impressions of your company – make it count. And be sure to guide them clearly through the process you’d like them to take so they make a decision. Emphasize links to product information, promote a free signup button, or use a chatbot feature to answer any questions they have before they leave the page.
If you have a strong content marketing strategy, your blog can bring in lots of interested visitors. Be sure you’re making it easy for them to take action right there. You can do this by adding calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout the article. Don’t just include it at the bottom since many readers won’t make it all the way there. Or offer additional information in exchange for an email address and get them into your nurture campaign.
Your pricing page
Your pricing page can be what makes – or breaks – a visitor’s decision to become a customer. You can optimize this page for conversions by offering pricing per month instead of per year to reduce sticker shock. Or provide additional product information so readers know more about what the price gets them. And if you want them to contact you for a price quote, be sure your phone number is prominent and easy to use.
Your landing pages
Your landing pages are specifically made to promote an action for your visitors. If these need a refresh, try writing copy specifically designed to convert using a customer-centric view, not just a description of how great your company is. Ensure your CTA buttons are eye-catching and easy to find. And consider adding video content or a preview of resources you’re offering.
Testing, Testing, 1-2-3
Once you’ve looked over your existing content and made some tweaks, you will want to run some tests to see what’s really bringing in results. Multivariate tests like A/B testing on your landing pages will help you discover what works to increase conversions. Check out your blog posts that have lots of traffic but low conversion rates and test out ways to increase that rate. Maybe try offering a more compelling resource as a lead generator, or add in different banners or anchor text links. Take note of what works in one post, and give it a try in a few others.
The goal of all this often time-consuming testing is to see what keeps prospects moving through the conversion funnel. Do they love reading your blog content but leave once they’re on your pricing page? Are they clicking through your home page and flowing through right as you planned until they hit a certain landing page? You won’t know until you get some data through testing.
Keep it Up
CRO isn’t a one-time process. Trends change, consumer behavior shifts, your website grows and your blog gets more content. This should be a process you go through at least quarterly to make sure your whole digital marketing campaign is doing what you need it to – converting visitors to customers. Keep track of the data from each cycle of CRO in a spreadsheet or database so you know what goals you set last year, and how you’re measuring up this year. Data and digital marketing effectiveness go hand in hand. Don’t waste the time or money you’re spent getting those visitors by failing to turn them into leads.
Expert CRO Services
Managing your conversion rate optimization process on a quarterly basis is a big investment of time. And time is one thing you probably don’t have a lot of, as a business owner with a lot on your plate. Schedule your free business review with ContentFirst.Marketing and learn how you can leave the CRO and digital marketing to us – get the data-driven results you want while you have time to run the business you’ve worked hard to build.