Semalt Expert Explains What Conversion Rate Optimization Is And How It Helps You In Sales
In digital marketing, many methods help a site increase its sales. Some of them, such as SEO, only contribute to the increase of traffic, while others, such as the CRO in this case, increase the number of customers. If the two methods are combined and both the traffic and the users who eventually become customers increase, the return is great.
So in this article, you will learn how to get more customers with the same traffic and without spending more money on ads!
The issues we will refer to briefly:
• What is the Conversion Rate?
• What is CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)
• What are the CRO implementation strategies
- A / B tests
• Practical examples of CRO
What is the Conversion Rate?
We can not explain what Conversion Rate Optimization is if we do not first explain what we mean by Conversion Rate and we can not explain what Conversion Rate is if we do not first explain what Conversion is!
In web terminology, we use the term conversion when we want to say that a user did something important to us. That is, a simple user turned into a potential customer or a user with more interest in our services.
An e-shop wants to convert users who visit it into customers, but there are other types of conversions, such as filling out the contact form, registering a member, adding a product to the cart, or subscribing to the email list. Therefore, it has to do with the goals that each site wants to achieve, which is the desired conversion.
For example, if it is a site that concerns a physical store with an offline presence, then the user to click on the contact page, to see the address, constitutes a conversion since he/she is then converted from a simple visitor to a potential customer.
Conversion Rate Optimization: CRO Calculation
Conversion Rate is the percentage of visitors who convert to customers or make the desired conversion depending on the goals set.
So, if an e-shop has 100 visitors and 3 of them place an order, the conversion rate is 3%. However, a more accurate calculation is to divide the orders (or respectively the times the target was reached) not by the unique visitors but by the sessions, because for each session there is a possibility to make a conversion, even if several sessions are made by the same user.
Thus, if the sessions are 312 per day and come from 200 visitors, if the orders are 6, the conversion rate will not be 3% (6/200 X 100), but 1.9% (6/312 X 100).
What is CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)
CRO is derived from the initials of the words Conversion Rate Optimization. It is a set of techniques, which optimize the site to attract the visitor to become a customer. Targeted changes are made to the text, structure, layout, colours, photos and general operation of the site, so that it becomes easier to use, more functional, and more convincing, which has a direct positive effect on the user experience.
The benefit of the CRO is impressive. Without having to spend any extra advertising money - since the goal, in this case, is not to increase traffic - the business profit increases simply because we lead the user to conversion through a proper Conversion Optimization!
If, for example, the conversion rate increases from 2% to 3%, this translates into a 50% increase in sales. This is done by experts in the CRO who have extensive experience in this field, but the important thing is that the company avoids the regular monthly expenses that it would spend in the case of advertising.
In fact, the CRO is an investment that has positive results forever. And most important; Although sales increase, the costs remain the same, as there is no cost of acquiring a new customer from the beginning!
Indeed, it is more difficult to acquire a brand new customer at the beginning of the chain, i.e. to attract them first as a visitor and then to turn them into a customer, than to use existing visitors and push them to take the step and complete their consumption.
Virtually any website that has visitors can take advantage of a CRO method to turn as many of these visitors into customers as far as possible.
The benefit of CRO in SEO
Finally, we see an indirect benefit of CRO in SEO (if you do not know what SEO is do not worry, you can read our article in which we explain it). If a user visits a site that has not been optimized to provide easy navigation to the user, then it is very likely that the visitor will simply leave without taking any action, which leads to a high bounce rate.
What is a high bounce rate?
The high bounce rate, i.e. the rate of abandonment of the website without any action within the site, is a sign for Google that this page is not relevant to the search term, something that "drops" it in the organic results. On the contrary, the combination of SEO and CRO is mutually beneficial, since high traffic comes to the site and a large percentage of it is converted into customers.
What are the CRO implementation strategies?
If you have read this far, you will surely understand how important the CRO is, but you do not yet know how it is implemented. It makes sense since it is a combination of complex methods that aim to extract as much data as possible and reach the desired result, i.e. the conversion of the user. The CRO follows specific steps:
Research is crucial in marketing and could not be missing from the CRO. Initially, quantitative research is necessary, where, as much data as possible is analyzed for site visitors. This analysis, which is done with various tools, such as the Dedicated SEO Dashboard or Google Analytics, provides information on the following topics:
- Which one is the most frequent page, from which visitors enter the site (landing page)?
- Which page do they spend most of their time on?
- Which channel did they come from (for example organic results, social media, direct clicking from advertorial, etc.)?
- What device and browser do they use?
- What are their demographics (age, gender, location)?
- On which page of the site do they leave it without proceeding with the conversion?
This data helps us to understand where we should focus our efforts, but it is good to combine it with quality research that includes questionnaires, with which it is possible to find the ideal customer.
Thus, we can better understand what attracted the users, what features of the site they consider to be its competitive advantage, and what they would like to improve.
Certainly, the CRO should not be based on assumptions, nor is it the practice that often happens, to guess what the problem is with your site based on a premonition. Otherwise, there is a risk of wasting resources and time on pointless experimentation that will go nowhere.
All you have to do is consider your options and choose a suitable partner with knowledge of the subject. Conversion Rate Optimization is a strategy for developing a company, which we would say is a little more "advanced" and more complex than traditional techniques.
A / B tests
A / B testing is the tool, to finalize the version of the site that we should keep, to increase the conversion rate. Once we have done our research, we will have come up with different versions of what will work best, but we will have to check that.
So, we create two versions (A and B), for example in the colors of a page or where the Call To Action button is inserted, and we test which variable works best and increases the conversion rate.
The experiments that can be done are infinite and in each of them, only one or more variables can be changed. When we see which version works best, then we finalize it.
Practical examples of CRO
But what exactly can we change on the site, to increase the conversion rate? There are hundreds of changes that can be made, but there are some very specific examples:
Optimization on the home page
It is good to emphasize product information. It is necessary to enter internal links that lead to the sales page so that the user can easily navigate within the site.
If the site is not an e-shop, then the desired conversion is not sales but the completion of user data, a signup button does the same job.
Optimizations on the price page
If the site concerns services or products that have a cost, an improvement within the CRO includes the creation of more complete descriptions of the benefits/products so that the user can immediately understand how each price is formed.
Theoretically, a user who has reached this point has enough value for the business and is close enough to become a customer. We must, once he/she has reached this point, "help" him/her in some way to complete the conversion and this is where the CRO comes in.
The blog is now essential on every site, in order to attract visitors through useful articles that facilitate the user. The point, however, is for the user to become a customer.
To achieve this, in the article and/or at the end, there must be appropriate CTAs (Calls-To-Action, i.e. buttons, links, etc.), so that the user clicks on and ends up on the product page, for which he/she read in the blog article.
The power of the blog is great, mainly because it helps us achieve several goals with the flexibility it provides. Similarly, if sales are not the goal, then a Call-To-Action may appear prompting readers to enter their email to receive a relevant e-book, for example.
The Calls To Action are an entire chapter in CRO, since they are the last step in any text within the site, whether it's product description or article on the blog.
General Optimizations within the CRO
The texts on each page must have a correct and simple flowing language. Headings should also be used that divide each text into small, digestible sections, grab the reader's attention, and push him/her to continue reading.
In product pages, where conversions are expected to be high, live chats, with which users are guided in real-time, can be useful. Even more, targeted is the chatbot, which displays a message to the user asking if he/she needs help since he/she is on a landing page for longer than usual without doing anything.
On the offers page, a text that will wake up the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) of the user, emphasizing that the offer is valid for a very specific period of time (e.g. "Take advantage of the 50% discount that is valid only until tomorrow) is considered one of the most cost-effective strategies in the CRO.
An effective strategy, especially on product description pages, is to add videos, which visualize the benefits of each product. Making the site fast and mobile-friendly is one of the most important strategies not only for CRO but also for SEO.
With organic searches now being done in the vast majority on mobiles and tablets, it is impossible to increase conversions if the site is not easy to use in the mobile version.
After all, how can this method help any business?
As mentioned above, the CRO is something complex, which can radically change the structure and operation of a website. Sometimes we can only talk about some minor changes and other times we may talk about restructuring a site or a complete redesign!
Before we start any action, we must first do research, collect data, which we will use to choose the right strategy to implement. With the right research, the ideal is to find areas on the site that are easy to optimize, but at the same time, the improvement will be spectacular and will bring significant profits.
Next, we need to choose the ways in which the strategy will be implemented, the individual actions that, as a whole, form the CRO strategy that we will implement, the practical part of the optimization.
In the digital challenge, we believe in a web in which Conversion Rate Optimization is essential. If you have a website and want to know more about CRO and how it can improve your website, you can always contact us for a more personalized analysis and real improvements!