If your website has a 1% conversion rate (1 in 100), then you only need to convert 1 more visitor to double the conversion rate to 2% (2 in 100) and double your ROI.
At a time when budgets are tight, maximising profit is pivotal. In this article you will discover:
- The practical actions needed to improve your conversion rate and ROI.
- The potential revenue returns when focusing on this digital tactic.
Conversion Rate Optimisation – or CRO – is the art and science of increasing the likelihood that a user will take action on your website, by providing them with a more efficient and personalised user journey.
It is one of the most exciting opportunities in Digital Marketing.
With CRO, you can identify opportunities for plugging sales leaks in your website. You can then confidently fix those leaks by combining proven methods (best practice) with evidence gathered through research.
This means that you can focus less effort and money on acquiring more website visitors and more on making your website experience enjoyable and also more effective at converting visitors into sales.
CRO is about improving functionality as well as the user experience.
There is a propensity to naturally get wrapped up with the ‘look’ or UX (User Experience) of your website, rather than the functionality. Websites need to be easy to use but also functional, practical and results-focused.
Think of a website as you would a high-street store. The homepage is the shop window, the category pages are the shop experience inside and the product/service is what the user actually picks up or enquires about. You want an attractive shop window and a positive user experience inside the store. That is what you want to replicate on a website.
If a customer has a more positive experience accessing your product or service, and the purchase process is fast and easy, the likelihood of them going on to buy increases substantially.
Track website activity
Check that you are tracking all activity on your website. Without tracking you cannot measure website performance; track the user journey, ensure that the website speed is optimised across all browsers and devices and understand whether there is any return on your investment.
Our motto here at Fountain is:
“What you can Measure, you can Improve”.
With tracking added to your website you can tell whether things are improving or declining, and ultimately make informed decisions about how to improve.
When it comes to CRO, one-size doesn’t fit all, that’s why you need to track activity. Your website traffic is comprised of unique people so what works for one site won’t always work for another. The main priority is to make the website as easy to use as possible. The website may look amazing, but if it isn’t working to its optimum potential for your customers, there is less likelihood that they will buy from you and will quickly click away.
What is a CRO audit?
An audit will tell you how well your website is performing against competitors and will reveal performance “leaks”. Gap analysis can be used to look at a range of key performance indicators on your website and then score your website against competitors to see how it performs, and if there are any gaps to fill.
A typical audit would also include checking the speed, performance and resolution of your website to make sure that everything works swiftly on whichever device or browser the customer is using. Simply improving the speed of your website, for example, can make a huge difference to conversion by “plugging a leak” so users experience a smooth journey on your site.
With tracking installed on your website the data from Google Analytics – or other analytics software – provide useful insights about how users find and use your website. In an audit it is used to highlight opportunities for improvement and optimisation, and also for quick-wins.
We approach our audits using neuromarketing principles. Keep an eye out for our forthcoming blog post where we will look deeper into the technical aspects of running a successful CRO audit.
Testing is an important part of CRO. It involves taking information such as heuristics, customer personas, analytics data and user session recordings, in order to create a hypothesis. Tests such as A/B, Multivariate and Split URLs are then run in order to determine the winner or preferred solution based on that hypothesis.
CRO is all about providing evidence, so tests should be run until they reach around 95% statistical significance. This means running the test until it has been shown a certain number of times, usually for a minimum of two weeks. This ensures the results of the test are due to the test itself and not due to outside forces (uncontrolled variables). To do this in a timely manner you require a high-traffic site. The higher the volume the quicker, and more conclusive the testing.
For smaller, lower-volume sites it can take much longer to reach 95% significance. In this case it is better to make an informed decision based on existing data, then make the changes directly on the website and monitor its performance. You will start to gain the benefits much faster than taking weeks and weeks to run one test if you have a low number of visitors to your site.
User journey tools
Another way of looking at the performance of your website is through your user’s eyes. Software such as Hotjar and Mouseflow enable you to actually watch the journey of visitors to your website. You can see where the ‘hot spots’ are (where your users are spending the most time) and also where users decide to click away from your site (Click rage!). Google Analytics is an excellent way of gathering valuable statistics, but user recording software allows you to see what your visitors are actually doing – in real time if you like.
Exit polls or customer feedback questionnaires are another excellent way of gaining feedback about the functionality and enjoyment of your website. Negative feedback can actually be positive if actioned. The feedback provides obvious steer – particularly if the same comments are reoccurring – to make changes to optimise and improve the site.
Why you should invest in continual CRO
Driving more traffic to your website won’t necessarily result in an uplift in sales. Your new visitors will likely ‘leak’ out in the same way that previous visitors did. Traffic requires a continual monthly investment. CRO can be a one-off investment that will bring dividends in the months to come.
CRO is an incredibly powerful device for increasing sales. But, imagine if you made a continual investment in CRO? How would this look over time?
It’s entirely possible for you to move your conversion rate into double figures. Once you have optimised your website you can drive more traffic into it knowing that it can convert effectively.
Getting started with quick-wins
It’s likely you want to start improving your website straight away. Here are some immediate actions for you, that we see consistent return improvement in:
- Small changes such as the colour of buttons, background imagery and copy size can offer quick-win solutions and do not necessarily need to be tested. Rewriting headlines and restructuring the calls to action (CTA’s) can be tested and modified appropriately.
- Other ways to optimise the performance of your website could include adding a sticky navigation bar, mini contact form or live chat. The sticky navigation and mini contact form can move around as the user scrolls or clicks through the website.
- Live chat can provide an immediate boost to conversion rate, as long as it is used in a measured and appropriate way. Demographics also play a part in the use of live chat as does placement. It is good to have your Live Chat set to half-way down the screen or set to trigger when someone is a bit lost (factoring in a time delay), or at checkout abandonment intercepting users pre-drop off.
- Don’t forget about your web content as this also plays an important role in CRO. It needs to be impactful and answer your users’ pain points. You must address why the user is on the website in the first place and answer their question directly (e.g. we are going to do this for you, your life will be better off because of this, etc). Take, for example, your About Us page. While the history of your business may be important to you, this is actually a great opportunity to talk with your customers to discuss how your service or product will benefit the customer. Make it about them and you’ll almost always see a return.