Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

It’s jargon you need to know because it’s at the heart of your online sales (if you’re not optimizing your conversion rate, you’re not optimizing your sales). So, let’s break down the lingo.

What’s a conversion?

You may remember from last month’s post on retargeting, a conversion is when a user visits your website and takes an action. This could be following you on Instagram, signing up for your newsletter, or—the ultimate end-game—buying from you.

What’s the conversion rate?

Your conversion rate is the percentage of users who actually take an action on your site—and it’s lower than you may think. Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%*. But thanks to conversion rate optimization, we can increase this.

So, what’s conversion rate optimization?

It’s a mouthful for: Increasing your conversion rate (the number of users who take the action you want them to on your website) by optimizing your online sales funnel or marketing pathway. In layman’s terms: Increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert browsers into buyers.

Every step of your marketing funnel can be optimized, from page impressions and clicks to landing pages, sales pages, you name it. If it’s on the yellow brick road of your customer’s journey to buying, then there’s an opportunity to optimize it.

Take your landing page for example. You can increase the statistical likelihood it will convert by optimizing its page elements, like copy and information hierarchy, user experience and interface design. If these words are all gibberish, let me spell it out for you.

Five ways we can optimize a landing page

  • Clear hierarchy of information
    • That’s fancy speak for using clear headings, sub-headings and body copy so users know what information is most important.
  • Minimal visual elements
    • As Princeton neuroscientists determined, the more visual elements, the more they compete for your attention**. So, keep it simple to focus attention on the most important information.
  • Social proof
    • Social proof like testimonials or reviews reinforce the legitimacy of the offer and build trust; it’s the online version of word of mouth.
  • Urgency
    • Using words and phrases that imply a limited time or quantity offer are proven to increase conversions. Heck, even adding “now” to your call to actions will help.
  • As few form fields as possible
    • Because the more fields, the less likely we’ll take the time to fill them out. And, of course, the most important field of your form is actually a button—your call to action.

Here’s the thing: Increasing traffic to your site isn’t enough. Because traffic doesn’t increase revenue unless you’re converting that traffic. In the words of Jeff Eisenberg, a grandfather of Internet marketing strategy and a conversion rate expert, “It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.”

So, do your research. Analyze your traffic to understand where you’re losing users in your sales funnel. Then go forth, and optimize.


*https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/03/17/what-is-a-good-conversion-rate

**https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21228167

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