CRO Starts At The Very First Step

Conversion Rate Optimization

There are many ways to monetize data traffic. Understanding where your web traffic comes from and what visitors do on your site is the first step to determining the best ways to monetize that traffic. Here, knowing your visitors is essential. While understanding your web metrics and statistics is essential, you should not neglect the people behind those metrics. Who are your customers, and from where do they come? What do they want or need? Is there an opening in the market that only you can supply?

Coupled with this, offer your site visitors and customers the best possible user experience. This builds trust in your brand, driving up conversion rates.

Average conversion rates are around 2%, although many sites have conversion rates as low as 0.1 or 0.2%. To put this in perspective: a conversion rate of 2% means that you gain two customers for every 100 visitors to your site. In contrast, to gain one customer at a conversion rate of 0.1%, you need 1000 site visitors. That’s a bleak picture.

Optimizing your conversion rate can be divided into three categories: drivers, barriers, and hooks.

Drivers bring visitors to your site, while barriers drive them away. Hooks persuade visitors to act, turning their visit into a conversion. The key here is to optimize drivers and hooks and eliminate barriers. Below we outline steps to improve your conversion rate, bearing in mind these principles. 

Utilize Pop-Ups Effectively

Pop-ups have more efficient conversion rates than websites, averaging at 3.09%. When used effectively, pop-ups can have conversion rates of up to 10%.

Optimizing your pop-ups takes a bit of work but is well worth it in the long run. The first step is to find an offer that translates into higher conversion rates. Test offering premium content, free products, PDFs and other downloadables, and any other offer you can imagine, until you find one that outperforms the others.

Pop-ups can be incredibly annoying, deterring visitors from your site. To circumvent this, add a 30-second delay to your pop-ups, and make them easy to close. Also, ensure that pop-ups appear only once per user – using the correct cookies allows you to do this.

Streamline Forms

Online forms are an effective way of increasing your loyal customer base, but only when used correctly. Forms that have too many required fields or look overwhelming at first glance scare off users and decrease conversion rates. A/B testing on sign-up forms indicated that conversions increase by 10% for every field removed from the form.

Optimize your forms by removing all unnecessary fields, keeping only the ones essential to reaching your goals. Don’t whittle your form down too far – ensure that you still collect enough information to achieve meaningful follow-ups.

Optimize Testimonials, Reviews, and Logos

Testimonials increase trust in your brand. When other trusted brands underpin those testimonials, it boosts customer confidence even further. Practically, this translates to displaying your customers’ logos in a prominent position on your home page, accompanied by copy along the lines of “trusted by thousands of companies.” This social proof, when used effectively, can boost conversion rates by 400%.

Additionally, display testimonials on every critical page, accompanied by the customer’s logo. When customers know and trust this associated brand, they automatically feel more at ease with your brand.

Eradicate Distractions

Busy landing pages are frustrating and lead to a higher bounce rate. To avoid this, remove distractions, only keeping the bare necessities. A good format to follow includes

–          One headline and a few subheadings

–          Outline your product’s benefits and features

–          Testimonials

–          Show what you’re offering through visuals and context

Fortunately, there are various tools available online to help you determine your site’s efficacy. Heat maps indicate what people click on. If you find something that your visitors aren’t clicking on, remove it. This simplifies your page, which usually translates into better conversion rates.

Make it Easy

For this step, we harness psychology. People generally prefer finishing something that they started. Making the first step in conversion easy and as simple as possible effectively entices potential customers into starting the process.

Instead of requiring visitors to fill in a complete sign-up form off the bat, ask for an email address. Then, send the sign-up form via email. Since they’ve started the process, most people tend to finish it by completing the form. Even if they don’t complete the form, you still have their email to use in your mailing list. 

Use Third-Party Sign-Ups

Creating a user profile is often tedious and time-consuming. This annoyance leads to higher bounce rates, as many people would instead find an alternate site than fill in a sign-up form. Using third-party sign-ups eliminates sign-up forms. 

Here, users can log in using their existing Google, Facebook, or other social media accounts. It streamlines sign-ups and collects all the data you need for effective marketing. This streamlining translates into greater conversion rates almost instantly.

Optimize CTA Copy

CTA (call to action) is a crucial aspect of digital marketing. Unfortunately, most CTA copy is weak, saying something generic like “sign up” or “start free trial.” Improving this copy doesn’t take much time and will drive your conversion rates more effectively than the generic version.

Here, we tap into psychology once more. Starting your CTA copy with “yes” paints it in a positive light. Use a formula like “Yes, I want [your offer]!” Simply the text, and use a heat map or other similar tool to evaluate your CTA’s effectiveness. Vary your CTA buttons and evaluate which ones receive the most clicks. This will also show you when users are actively avoiding your CTA buttons.

Use a Live Chat Function

Live chats allow visitors to interact with you, resolving the last remaining doubts about your product. This function is easy to add to your site and will generally boost conversions.

Experiment with Different Offers

Sometimes, you get many visitors to your site, but your conversion rate remains low. This could indicate that your offer misses the mark. Experiment with different offers until you find one that drives conversion rates. Finding what your customers want is the most effective way to increase sales.

Utilize Purchase Upselling

Upselling doesn’t necessarily increase your conversion rates, but it increases the revenue per conversion. Add a product or service to your offering that displays right before the customer completes the service. They should be able to add this to their cart with one click. Typically, this increases the average order value by 10- 20%.

Here, experimentation is vital. Try various offers until you find one that consistently adds value to your orders.

A/B Test Headlines

Headlines are crucial in boosting conversion rates. When your headline misses the mark, your bounce rate will skyrocket, decreasing your conversion rate and eradicating your revenue. Research has shown that 80% of site visitors generally read the headline, while only 20% read the rest of your landing page.

Factors to consider when experimenting with your headline include 

–          Length

–          Tone

–          Statistics

–          Numbers

With these in mind, carry out A/B testing, determining which headlines lead to greater conversions. Unfortunately, these headlines will vary depending on the industry, customer demographic, and other factors, so there is no overarching fool-proof formula.

In Closing

Optimizing your conversion rate is essential in driving revenue. CRO best practices help with this process, but you should not follow them blindly. Overdoing it has the opposite effect, driving visitors away from your site, thus decreasing conversions and revenue. When following these best practices, do so wisely, keeping your customers in mind. Before implementing anything on your site, ask, “will this serve my customers? Is this in their best interest?” If not, don’t implement it. Customers know when your site is there to serve them and when it’s there simply to drive revenue. Sites that serve them will keep them coming back for more.

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