Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): The Beginner’s Guide

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing quality traffic to a website using tactics like keyword research, backlinks, and meta descriptions. SEO is well known. In fact, it was the No. 1 tactic used by marketing teams in 2019. Using SEO, you can drive great traffic to your website by capturing users who are already interested in your product. But how do you turn traffic into sales?

That’s where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes in. What is CRO? It’s the process of getting the maximum percentage of visitors to your business website to perform a certain goal. Using CRO, you can make sure that your website is designed in such a way as to make it appealing and easy for customers to do business with you. 

While SEO focuses on building more traffic for your website, CRO’s goal is to move quality customers through a sales funnel. CRO tries to capitalize on the website visitors you already have. While many companies use both simultaneously, CRO can greatly increase a company’s bottom line.

This beginner’s guide to CRO fundamentals will help you obtain a basic understanding of CRO’s processes and strategies. After reading this, you should have an idea of how CRO can help your business’s growth and profitability.

What Is a Conversation Rate? How Does It Relate to Conversion Rate Optimization?

A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who come to a website and perform a certain action or conversion. There are two main types of conversions you might want a website visitor to take: micro conversions and macro conversions. 

The action or conversion can be something small, like signing up for an email list. These are called micro conversions. They don’t make a sale, but they move a customer further along in the sales process.

If a visitor’s action is something big, like purchasing a service, becoming a paid subscriber to a website, the action is a macro conversion. This type of conversion represents the end goal of the sales process. 

It’s fairly easy to calculate your conversion rate. To get a CRO calculation, take the total number of conversions you have and divide it by the total number of visitors to your site. Then, multiply the result by 100. You’ll be left with your conversion rate as a percentage. For example, if you have 100,000 visitors to your website, and you’ve made 1,000 conversions, your conversion rate will be 1%. More specifically, check out the CRO calculation below:

(1,000 conversions/100,000 visitors) x 100 = 1% conversion rate

CRO is a way to give companies the best chance to convert traffic into sales. Whereas processes like SEO can take a long time to be effective, CRO can immediately work because it doesn’t rely on attracting more clients, and it can swell your company’s revenue. 

There are a few different ways to track conversion rates, including: 

  • Google Analytics: If you track your site metrics using Google Analytics, you can use the “Goals” feature to track specific conversions. 
  • Heat maps: There are several tools available that can create a heat map of a site page to visualize where people are clicking and scrolling on your website. This can help you determine not only where to put your calls-to-action (CTAs) but also reveal whether they are successful in driving conversions. 
  • Internal data: Depending on what programs you use to monitor sales or sign-ups, you’ll likely be able to pull this data to see which pages or specific CTAs are driving the most conversions. 

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Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

CRO has a lot of benefits for businesses. It’s all about making your company’s sales process more efficient. If you do CRO marketing correctly, you can make your website content highly targeted toward the customers who are most likely to purchase your services. 

Some of the benefits of CRO include:

  • You can maximize your company’s marketing ROI. CRO focuses on using resources that your company has so that it can cost less and result in better returns than other options for driving sales. 
  • CRO lets you understand your customers’ behaviors, patterns, and needs. To effectively market to the right clients for your business, you must develop a picture of who those clients are. 
  • It helps your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPS) on Google. CRO is all about meeting your customers’ needs, and Google rewards websites that offer what customers search for with more visibility. 
  • You can get a competitive edge over others in your industry. If your competitor is trying to increase sales by simply increasing traffic or spending without using CRO, you’ll have the advantage of appearing more able to meet your clients’ needs.
  • It makes it easier for customers to buy from you. CRO aims to get rid of anything that could make it difficult for a client to do business with you. You don’t want anything keeping you from making a sale.

8 Ways to Improve Your Conversion Rate

There are several things you can do to improve your conversion rate. CRO is all about making your website operate in a way that drives leads or sales. Learning these will ensure you’re not missing out on easy sales. – Read More

A Practical Guide to Building a CRO Roadmap

If you’ve recently embarked on your CRO journey, here’s a couple of questions for you: How do you prioritize your experimentation ideas? Do you work in silos, or do you see benefit in opening up experimentation to collaboration? If you do see benefit, how do you plan to go about achieving it? How do you plan to address resource issues in your testing plan? The answer to all these questions points to one strategic move that differentiates CRO experts from beginners – building a CRO roadmap. 

Building a sustainable CRO roadmap guides your efforts and ensures it systematically contributes towards your business goals at large. Whether you are an agency handling CRO for hundreds of clients or someone who manages CRO for your company, a roadmap will streamline your efforts and maximize throughput by avoiding redundancies and providing a clear step-by-step approach towards optimizing your site. 

Similar to a calendar, a CRO roadmap is essentially a detailed schedule that entails which experiment will be launched when, the time and resources it requires, and the expected outcome. A roadmap ensures that each tweak, change, test, and insight adds value to the next step and accordingly strengthens it to deliver improved results. With a dedicated roadmap to consult, you don’t rely on hope to get results from a few poorly planned and ill-executed experiments scattered across months.

Why do you need a CRO roadmap? 

You can think of a CRO roadmap as a step-by-step framework that you refer to for prioritization, test planning, and allocation of resources for all your CRO efforts, without which you would be completely shooting in the dark. Here are some of the major reasons you need a CRO roadmap to get started.

To switch from a fragmented to a strategic approach

If you randomly run a survey on your homepage this month and conduct a couple of tests on your product page the next month (and so on), you are not going to be able to make the most of the insights gathered or leverage the full potential of the results. To do so, you need a roadmap that dictates every process so you can feed every insight and learning into your pipeline and use it judiciously to drive more substantial results from your program as opposed to some scattered wins or losses.

Let’s say you want to improve your online store’s checkout rate. Needless to say, there are tonnes of tests you can run to optimize for the same. For instance, you could optimize the number of steps in the checkout flow, add social proof and trust badges, avoid the addition of surprise costs at the last step, and so on. Now, without a roadmap, you wouldn’t know which one to prioritize and you might just end up spending too much time running each one of them without getting the expected outcome. On the other hand, if you follow a roadmap, prioritize tests, plan and scope them out over a calendar month/quarter, you can be assured of more promising results.

To get a better hold of resource planning

Again, if you have a systemic approach to optimization, you can always plan your resources in advance, delegate projects, and overall function smoothly with little or no friction as opposed to facing a mini resource crisis every time you decide you want to run an ad-hoc test. 

Moreover, you can always learn from experience and incorporate your learnings of how you can allocate resources better to drive more significant results, efficiently. This is not possible if you follow a haphazard outlook towards optimization and don’t depend on any set framework to guide decisions. 

To improve the speed and efficiency of your CRO program

Needless to say, optimizing your digital properties methodically will only improve the efficiency of your efforts as you would be incorporating previous learnings and doubling down on what works well. Having an overarching roadmap also ensures your processes and tasks are aligned with the overall business goals, so there is minimum iteration, faster delivery, and more promising results.

For instance, if you follow a roadmap, you will know which tests you have to run in the coming month and have the liberty to start laying the groundwork (analyzing data, getting variations created, etc.) and plan your resources accordingly. On the other hand, if you are running sporadic tests, you will end up wasting time in deciding what to test next, ensuring it doesn’t overlap with another test, and planning your resources for it.

How to develop a successful CRO roadmap

Revisit your business goals

Take a step back to revisit your most pressing and current business goals so you can understand how CRO can help you achieve them. These goals will anchor your CRO program and ensure your efforts are not aimless or applied in the wrong direction. 
For example, an eCommerce company could have a business goal to increase the average order value, while for a media company, the goal could be to uplift the content consumption on their site. These will then help you deduce what your optimization goals (and their corresponding metrics) need to be.

Deduce corresponding website goals, KPIs, and target metrics from your business goals

Use your business goals to drill down upon what are some of the more tactical website goals you want your CRO program to achieve, what are the performance indicators you need to watch out for, and what would be the target metrics you need to measure corresponding to them. For instance, if increasing the average order value is your business goal, you can break it down further into:

  • Increasing upsell & cross-sell 
  • Increasing visits to product pages
  • Increasing checkout and ‘Add to cart’ rate

Now, these could be your optimization goals, each of which you can tackle using specific strategies and tests. The metrics to be measured could be revenue per customer, conversion rates, and so on.  – Read more

19 Must-Have Tools To Begin Your CRO Journey

A website is a home to many actions. Button clicks, form fills, purchases, and many more events collectively constitute engagement and conversions. Experience managers tend to look at these actions from both macro (site-wide) and micro (visitor level) lenses to understand their visitors and map their business’s overall conversion rate.

But there’s a problem.

Even though experience managers make sure to take every bit of information into account to analyze their business performance, many often don’t use the right conversion rate optimization tools, leaving room for flaws and glitches to breed. To avoid such hiccups, we’ve created a list of highly recommended CRO tools based on each conversion rate optimization stage to effectively enhance your website and business’s performance.

Before you add any CRO tool to your arsenal, evaluate them for the following carefully. 

How to choose the right CRO tools?

GDPR compliance

Since you’re engaging with visitor data at each stage, it’s essential to ensure that your data collection tools must be GDPR compliant.

Integrations

To avoid data silos when using multiple data analytics tools, ensure that the tool has ‘integrations’ with other tools you use or open APIs to build custom integrations. This helps prevent data duplication, confusion, and related uncertainties.

Security

If you plan to install supporting CRO software on your website, ensure the tool doesn’t get breached, especially when running experiments. Your CRO tools must be safe and secure to use. Single sign-ons, multi-step logins, etc. help ensure security. Check your CRO tool under consideration for these critical features. 

A multi-user friendly dashboard:

When selecting a CRO tool, make sure it offers an integrated dashboard where mapping your experiments and other activities is easy. A user-friendly dashboard also allows cross-team collaboration, which is a building block in CRO. 

After evaluating the tools, let’s now look at some must-have CRO tools based on different conversion rate optimization stages. 

List of some must-have CRO tools

The research stage

When it comes to conducting research, multiple CRO tools exist that help map both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data tools, such as web analytics, offer insights into what’s happening on your site. Qualitative tools such as heatmaps, scrollmaps, surveys, and the like give context to why it’s happening.

Mentioned below are some of the best CRO research tools you can use to collect necessary visitor data to form data-backed hypotheses for your CRO test campaigns.   

Google Analytics

Google Analytics[1] is one of the best web analytics tools that tracks website traffic and user activities, such as session duration, pages per session, bounce rate, and more in real-time, across various site pages. It also offers additional information such as traffic source(s), visitor location and demographics, page performance, and conversions. You can use its premium version, Google Analytics 360, to unlock more in-depth insights. 

Cost/month – Free

VWO Insights 

VWO Insights is a popular and must-have user behavior research product for CRO professionals. It helps understand customer behavior through heatmaps, session recordings, on-page surveys, and more. The qualitative user behavioral data you get from VWO Insights helps form thorough hypotheses for your CRO roadmap.

Cost/month: Growth Plan:$169/month for 10,000 visitors; $247/month for 30,000 visitors; $310/month for 50,000 visitors. Custom pricing for Pro and Enterprise Plan.

Heap Analytics

Heap Analytics[2] is another qualitative data gathering tool that captures visitor interactions, including clicks, form submits, and transactions, and helps identify behaviors and marketing channels that convert the most. Heap also has a clean data analytics dashboard that’s quite handy and easy-to-use. When using the tool, you don’t have to create additional ‘events’ to track basic website interactions, as in Google Analytics.

Cost/month: Three comprehensive plans, including Free, Growth, and Enterprise. Only custom pricing is available.

Mixpanel

If Google Analytics sheds light on what’s exactly happening on your website, Mixpanel[3] helps you see who did what. With visitor behavior tracking, you also get the advantage of viewing specific insights into which set of website visitors have entered your sales funnel, which ones are bouncing off, and so on.

Mixpanel also offers an additional second data channel to compare numbers against Google, as it’s never a good idea to trust one tool for all analytical data blindly. 

Cost/month: $0 for 1000 visitors; $174 for 5000 visitors; $304 for 10,000 visitors; $524 for 20,000 visitors. Custom pricing for 20,000+ visitors.Read more

Google Ads not Converting? Try These 4 Optimization Tricks

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Adwords is not converting and you feel like you may be wasting your money. Try these four conversion optimization tricks that are guaranteed to increase your Google ads conversion rates.

If Google Ads (previously “Adwords”) is not converting, you may feel like you are wasting your money. And you are right. One must invest in ad campaigns that convert. Your ad spend paired with a higher conversion rate means more sales, more leads or more subscriptions.

Whether your campaign’s cost-per-lead is too high, or your quality scores are stuck toward the bottom, these four conversion optimization tricks may bring your campaigns back to life. Give them a try.

Google Ads Optimization Trick #1: Take control of your landing page experience and ROI

You put a lot of effort crafting the perfect Google ad. People are clicking through to learn more about your offer. And unfortunately, your conversion rate is stinkingly low.

To avoid this, you must take control of your landing page experience and your ROI. Otherwise, your cost per conversion will skyrocket. And you want more leads, signups and sales, right? Let’s take a look at a few simple and easy ways to see if this could be your problem or barrier to conversion.

Improving your landing page conversion rate will lower your customer acquisition costs.

Make sure your landing page content is in alignment with your offer

This is one of the most common mistakes businesses make when it comes to Google Ad campaigns. You may be missing out on sales if your ad copy advertises a specific item on your ecommerce website, and then send clicks to a category page where the featured item is hard to find.

The visitor or prospective customer has to make an effort to find what they clicked on. Make it EASY for them to get what they came for. Your offer.

Check out these 20 Landing Page Best Practices to Kickstart Your Conversion Lift, where we explain how to do this in more detail.

The content of your ad tells you what a visitor expects to find after clicking. Give the user what they want right away. You can tell if your landing page isn’t satisfactory to your visitors by looking at click-map and scroll map reports. These conversion tracking reports are available from a number of vendors such as CrazyEgg and Hotjar. The example below belongs to one of our clients, the Turtle Bay Golf Resort in Oahu, Hawaii.

Google Ads not converting? If visitors aren't scrolling down your landing page, it may not be a good match for your ad.

Adwords not converting? Check your landing pages. Why wouldn't visitors to a golf resort landing page be interested in golf? Maybe their influential spouses don't play.

Adwords Conversion Trick #2: Improve Click-to-Call Conversions for Mobile Google Ads

Google research states that 70% of mobile searchers use the click to call feature. Moreover, 47% of those searching on mobile say that if a business doesn’t have a phone number associated with their search results, they’re more likely to explore other brands.

There is no need for landing pages when you use Adwords Call extensions. Users see your ad, and click to call immediately. To find success with click-to-call conversions, you’re going to need stellar messaging stuffed into thirty characters or less on your headlines. Try some of these ideas to boost your click-to-call rate: – Read more

How to Optimise Conversion Rates and Boost Sales

My Post (8).pngGetting visitors to your website can be challenging and expensive, so it is important that your site is optimised to convert as many of them as it can into customers. In this post, we’ll explain what conversions rates are, why they are important and how you can optimise your website to increase your rates and revenue.

Conversion rates explained

Conversion rates are not difficult to understand, but they are a crucial metric that lets you see how well your website is performing. Basically, a conversion rate is the percentage of your visitors who carry out an action that you want them to take. A website could have several conversion rates that it monitors, such as the per cent of visitors who buy products, subscribe to marketing emails, become members and so forth. Finding out what the conversion rate is for each of these actions can help you discover ways to improve them and increase overall sales.

Calculating a conversion rate is fairly straightforward. You simply divide the number of conversions by the total number of website (or web page) visitors and multiply this by 100. So, if 2000 people view your email sign up form and 50 sign up, your conversion rate is

(50 / 2000) x 100 = 2.5%

Ways to improve conversion rates

There are many things that websites do to drive their conversion rates upwards. Here are some of the most used and proven techniques.

A/B split testing

Sometimes, small changes can have a big effect on conversion rates, such as changing the colour of a call to action button, rephrasing a headline or showing a different image. Netflix, for example, has learnt that different movie images appeal to different people, so the images customers see advertising a movie will have been specially chosen to appeal to them.

The common way to test what works well and what doesn’t is to use A/B split testing. This allows two different versions of your web page (A & B) to be served randomly to different users. If one of these has better conversion rates than the other, you can ditch the poorly performing page in favour of the one which performs best. By constantly thinking up new ideas and split testing them, you can always work towards driving the conversion rate higher.

Some split testing tools are more advanced. They can use other data, like browsing histories, and add this to the mix. Like with the Netflix example above, this may tell you that one version of your page performs best with one group of visitors while a different version is better at converting others. This way, you can personalise your content to optimise conversion rates even more.

Remove conversion barriers

If the aim of your website is to fulfil your conversion goals, then you need to remove any distractions or obstacles that delay, prevent or put the visitor off taking the action you want. You can do this by removing any unnecessary content from pages, improving navigation so that finding content is easy, making it clear what your calls to action are and how to take them and streamlining the actions that need to be taken. This latter point is particularly important: if your user has to visit several pages and fill in a lot of information to buy a product, some of them are going to abandon your site in the process. The quicker and easier you make it, the more conversions you will make.

Make use of live chat

The use of live chat has increased dramatically over the last few years and for good reason, it has been shown to have an important effect on improving conversion rates. Its main use is that it enables visitors to ask questions there and then about products and services; helping them find information that’s either not on your site or that they have been unable to find. As this is given to them while they are still visiting your site, they remain potential customers during the conversation and, if happy with the answers and the quality of the chat, are much more likely to make a purchase. The simple fact that visitors use live chat means they are already thinking about purchasing, helping them at this point, before they look for answers on competitor sites, can be very beneficial.

What’s more, by deploying AI chatbots to operate your live chat, you don’t need a human to do the work for you and the facility can remain online 24/7. – Read more