Before we begin, we need to understand what Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) actually is. CRO is basically when you are trying to increase the number of your website visitors to take a specific action, such as opting into your list, buying your products or services, or anything else.
To be effective at CRO you really need to understand who your visitors are, how they move through your site, what actions they take, and what it is that is stopping them from completing your goals.
What is a conversion?
A conversion is the general term for a visitor completing a site goal and these goals come in many shapes and sizes.
If you use your website to sell products, the primary goal (known as the macro-conversion) will be for the visitor to buy your products(s).
There are smaller conversions that can happen before a visitor completes a macro-conversion; an example of this is to opt-in to your list to receive emails. These are called micro-conversions.
Examples of conversions:
- Buying a product from the site
- Requesting a quote
- Subscribing to a service
- Opting in to your email list(s)
What is a conversion rate?
Your site’s conversion rate is the number of times a visitor completes a goal divided by your site traffic.
If a visitor can convert in each visit (such as by buying a product), divide the number of conversions by the number of unique visits to your site.
If you sell a subscription, divide the number of conversions by the number of visitors.
Conversion Rate Optimization is part of the sales funnel strategy that’s increasingly being embraced by modern marketers.
It is incredibly important if you are buying traffic via paid ads to minimize initial ad spend and possibly make your offer a self-liquidating offer.
One of the issues are all the distractions that are present in the life of a potential customer. An average shopper might start browsing on their desktop, stop to make a cup of tea, continue searching on their mobile, lose their signal while on the go and revisit the page later in the day. This is where retargeting can play a huge role in bringing these visitors back to your offers, but you will still need to persuade them to take the action you desire.
Important Conversion Rate Optimization Metrics
Conversion rate optimization only works if you’re tracking specific key metrics.
As you are continually testing and making changes to your website and funnel, you need to know what specific impact those changes are having on your visitor behaviour, number of sales, opt-in rate, and more.
And there are a number of things you should be keeping an eye on.
The key metrics you need to be monitoring and analysing are:
- Bounce rate
- Average time on page
- Unique visitors
- User experience (UX)
- Number of Customers
- Page load time
The key to successful CRO is to be constantly be testing BUT only change one element at a time. Split-testing is the key to successful CRO
The good thing about many of the newer page builders such as Click Funnels, Convertri and OptimizePress 2 is that they do have some built-in split-testing functionality so you can quickly change an element and clone a page and run traffic to both versions to see which is converting better. Once you have a clear winner, you can change another element to see if the conversion rate goes up or down.
It’s this methodical and systematic approach to split-testing that will enable you to really optimize your conversions.
If you want to dive a bit deeper into split-testing you can use tools such as Split-Test Monkey which is really easy to use but very powerful, and then you can do all your split-testing from a single dashboard, rather than possibly jumping from one page builder to another.
Ok, so now you understand what CRO is and how important it is, let’s look at 4 ways to increase the conversion rate on your website.
1 — Eliminate Unnecessary Choices And Distractions
An important part of high converting landing pages is being crystal clear on your objective for that page.
Your page shouldn’t try to get people to do more than 3 different functions…
The page can quickly become overwhelming and confusing, and a confused visitor will quickly leave your page, it really is as simple as that!
3 conversion points are the absolute maximum, but if you can, try to have just one conversion point on the page.
For example, if you are creating a sales page for a product/service, you need to minimize leakage and there should be only one call-to-action and that is the buy button.
Everything else is a distraction form the objective which is to get the sale.
The honest truth is you’ll only likely to get 1 click at best on your page so you want to eliminate any unnecessary choices.
If you want people to download an eBook.
Or start a free trial.
Or schedule a sales call.
Make sure that every element of your page works towards that goal.
The only exception is your home page and possibly blog posts (when you’re not targeting specific content to attract opt-ins to collect emails).
2 — Eliminate Unnecessary Distractions
After you have decided on the 1–3 (hopefully 1) conversions you’re looking for on this page, you have to understand what’s going on while the visitor is on that page.
What’s currently acting as a distraction and taking away attention from your ideal conversions?
How do you figure out what’s going on with your page?
Well, there is a great free tool which can really help you. And that tool is…
There are a couple of things to keep an eye on in Google Analytics:
Firstly, there is On Page Time
A very general rule of thumb for “on page time” is between 1–3 minutes per page. If you have a look and see that the average on page time is under 1 minute you definitely need to try to improve that page!
This information can tell you a lot about what your visitors are experiencing and why they are behaving in such a way i.e. leaving!
People may be leaving your page because you’re revealing the price before they’re truly convinced and sold on your offer.
Secondly, there is the 1st page traffic sources send prospects to
What is your biggest traffic referrer? Google, social media, email?
Whatever your top referral channels are, you can analyse the data and create reports which will show you which pages people visit from specific sources.
This is really valuable data and allows you to compare relative volumes of traffic from different sources within the same dimension; e.g. the traffic from different search engines, or social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
Overall comparisons like this allows you to make some initial opinions about which channels are most effective or offering the best ROI (Return On Investment) if applicable.
You can also use it to work out other things such as:
- Are they warm or cold traffic?
- Where are they in their search process?
(Most search engine visitors are probably in the awareness phase of the buying process, but if most of the traffic to that page is coming directly from an email, those visitors are probably much closer to the decision phase.)
- Are they in the top or middle of the funnel?
- What’s their level of problem awareness?
(Think about it: someone who reads 1 page and goes straight to an offer is much closer to making a purchasing decision than people who go on to read 1–3+ informational pages after reading an initial informational page.)
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to the buying process but looking at this data should help you narrow down what the specific sticking points of the step you’re optimizing are and ensure that you are making the necessary tweaks to increase performance.
3 — Simplify Design
Part of the reason why people might miss important information on your website is that the design of your website is too busy.
It should be said, that it is much better to have an understated, fresh, modern and minimalist design especially on sales pages.
Understanding how people read on the web can help you make conversion rate optimization decisions.
Just think about how you act when you are on different styles of sales pages; which ones are you more likely to stick on and read the sales copy
Here are a couple of design guidelines to use as a starting point:
Less Style Is More
We’ve all seen really sexy looking sales pages, with animated image flying in left, right and centre, but even though you can appreciate the design, do they make you want to buy? Are they sometimes style over substance?
Many times, a sales page may use white transparent text backgrounds over images or white text on a black background. This might look nice and communicate your personal style, but it’s difficult to read.
If the image is important and serves a purpose, it should be featured outright. If it doesn’t, get rid of it!
Choice of Colours
Most of us aren’t professional graphic designers and it shows in our sales pages. One of the biggest issues is choosing the wrong combination of colours, leading to a clashing palette.
If you don’t know much about colour theory and colour wheels, then use a tool such as Coolors to generate colour combinations that work together?
How many colours should you pick? At most, it is best to stick to less than 6 colours. (Plus, Black and White.)
4 — Streamline Your Message
Once again, less is more. One of the mistakes that novice business owners make is to create pages and marketing assets that are not well organized
The sections don’t usually have clear functions and this leads to confusion and a lost (potential) purchase.
This goes all the way back to point one where you need to ensure that every element on the page directly supports your specific conversion(s) goal and if it doesn’t, you should remove it.
Okay, we have covered a lot of stuff in this post! Don’t worry; conversion rate optimization might still feel overwhelming to you even after reading a great post like this. 😊
The thing is, you are now more well informed than many of your competitors and you can start to put this into action on your pages and funnels.
Use the built-in split-testing functionality of page builders such as Click Funnels, Convertri and OptimizePress 2 or use a dedicated split-testing platform such as Split-Test Monkey to test and tweak your landing/sales pages.
Now the only way you’re going to get more clarity is to start! So, go to it and start optimizing your content and pages today. Good luck!