Why conversion rate optimization is crucial

You have probably heard about conversion rate optimization or CRO. But what does it really mean and how can it help your business succeed?

Conversion rate optimization is the process of using analytical data about your web properties to improve the experience that people have while visiting them and to increase the number of people who “convert”—that is, who make the transition from being passive visitors to potential clients.

A conversion is different for every business. For e-commerce sites, a conversion might be more straightforward: a visitor buys a product, or pays for a subscription. Other sites may define a conversion as a request for quote, or when a visitor signs up for a newsletter. Further still, some companies decide that a conversion is when a visitor shows intense interest in the site even if they don’t get in touch: for instance, if they visit more than three pages, watch a certain number of minutes of video, or follow you on social media. When the sales funnel is longer (for instance, with a realty company or for B2B commerce), it’s important to have a number of conversion goals along the way to the ultimate goal.

The Basics of CRO

One way to think of CRO is in terms of removing impediments and providing encouragements. By looking closely at how folks interact with our websites we can begin to diagnose what might be impediments to conversion, and we can imagine what useful encouragements could help people take the final step.

Impediments to CRO take as many forms as there are websites. We’ll list some common ones, but a clear-eyed audit (preferably by a third party) is always the best approach.

Design — including site speed, text design, graphics, navigation, security and privacy, ease of checkout, and more. When people get in the door are they impressed, are they unsurprised, or are they unimpressed?

Messaging — Do you make a strong case for yourself? Are you unique? Can you make a concrete connection to a visitor’s needs?

Clarity — Is it clear what you’re offering? Have you made a value proposition that no one can deny?

Proof & Trust — Maybe you have great messaging, but can you back it up with proof? Have you demonstrated why visitors should trust you?

Once you have worked on removing the impediments to conversion, it’s time to begin providing encouragements. Our advice is to A/B test different strategies before implementing. Some examples of encouragements:

Text-based call-to-action — Visitors ignore buttons sometimes, but a strong, clear text-based call-to-action can go a long way.

Added value offer — Can you provide an offer just when the visitor is thinking of bouncing away?

Chat functions — Can you add a chat function to help undecided visitors get their easy questions answered and then take the leap?

Follow-up — How do you integrate web analytics with your CRM in order to provide informed follow-ups?

Pop-ups — In some cases, CRO can be improved with pop-ups so visitors can take easy steps before they leave. Test out different strategies so you don’t annoy visitors, but you do encourage them!

There are billions of websites in the world and some people have ended up on yours. How you make their time and attention worth it is what CRO is all about.

Get in touch with Blue Skies Marketing for a CRO audit or to learn more about how it could help your business.

Laurie Macomber is owner of Fort Collins-based Blue Skies Marketing. Reach her at 970-689-3000.

You have probably heard about conversion rate optimization or CRO. But what does it really mean and how can it help your business succeed?

Conversion rate optimization is the process of using analytical data about your web properties to improve the experience that people have while visiting them and to increase the number of people who “convert”—that is, who make the transition from being passive visitors to potential clients.

A conversion is different for every business. For e-commerce sites, a conversion might be more straightforward: a visitor buys a product, or pays for a subscription. Other sites may define a conversion as a request for quote, or when a visitor signs up for a newsletter. Further still, some companies decide that a conversion is when a visitor shows intense interest in the site even if they don’t get in touch: for instance, if they visit more than three pages, watch a certain number of minutes of video, or follow you on social media. When the sales funnel is longer (for instance, with a realty company or for B2B commerce), it’s important to have a number of conversion goals along the way to the ultimate goal.

The Basics of CRO

One way to think of CRO is in terms of removing impediments and providing encouragements. By looking closely at how folks interact with our websites we can begin to diagnose what might be impediments to conversion, and we can imagine what useful encouragements…