Sep 1, 2022
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is at the core of any successful digital marketing strategy and is used to increase the percentage of visitors who take a desired action (conversion) on your website. It will, essentially, encourage more of your website visitors to become engaged followers and purchasers.
It can be challenging to start a conversion rate optimization strategy, but the benefits it offers can help you:
Before we dive into exploring how CRO works (and offer 8 great tactics to guide you), let’s look first at what a conversion is.
Many marketers associate a conversion with a sale. However, a conversion is actually any desired action that visitors take on your website. This desired action is very often a sale, but it could also be a smaller action that moves a person further along the sales funnel toward a purchase.
A conversion action might involve a customer doing one of the following:
Whatever the desired action may be, it’s valuable to your business and it’s measurable.
The conversion rate is simply the percentage of visitors to your website who complete a conversion. So, if all visitors complete a conversion, the conversion rate is 100%. If it’s only a quarter of visitors, then the conversion rate is 25%.
What is a good conversion rate? According to Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, the average landing page conversion rate across industries is about 2.35%. However, the top 25% of companies have a conversion rate of 5.31% or higher. And the top 10% are converting at a rate of 11.45% or higher.
You should aim to perform better than the average performers and try to break into the top 10%. You need a conversion rate of 11.45% to do this. A good CRO strategy or program can help you double or even triple your current conversion rate relatively quickly.
To reach your desired conversion rate, you’ll need to monitor and improve your website’s overall performance. Use Google Analytics or other reporting tools to monitor these key areas:
To reach your desired conversion rate, you’ll need to monitor and improve your website’s overall performance. This involves tracking and measuring your conversion rates and finding ways to improve them.
You can use these eight tactics to improve your website performance and increase conversions:
According to research from AWS, 88% of online shoppers said they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience – so optimizing UX is key to CRO.
To improve UX, consider using these tactics:
When it comes to optimizing your messaging, the first step is to review your buyer personas (see below). Make sure you know and understand your customers, and are aware of their needs, wants, and intentions.
You can then optimize your messaging for your ideal customers using these tactics:
To improve your customers’ experience on your website and encourage them to convert, it’s critical that you know who they are and understand what motivates them and what they want your product to do. You can build buyer personas to help you uncover this information and apply it to your content, site layout, and CTAs.
A buyer persona is a profile of your ideal customer. To develop a buyer persona:
Top Tip: download our Buyer Persona Template to get started with mapping your strategy.
Optimize your website based on high-quality data, not on feelings, emotions, or instincts. You can use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to generate hard data on your bounce rate, exit pages, cost per conversion, and other key metrics and then take concrete actions to optimize these areas.
Top Tip: Download our Funnel Conversion Toolkit to help visualize your conversion data.
Always set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals to help you improve CRO performance.
You can use both A/B and multivariate testing to test your CRO strategies. For best results, you can use both test types together.
Tip: Check out our A/B Testing Toolkit and tutorial to get a better understanding of this key activity.
Remember: Like anything else in digital marketing, CRO testing isn’t a one-off activity. It’s an iterative process that requires time to demonstrate results.
You can use a variety of tools to help you conduct your tests. Three popular tools for testing changes to your site include:
Here are some best practices for CRO testing:
Assess your competitors on a continuous basis and find out what tactics are working for them. Your goal is not to copy their high-performing strategies and techniques, but to get inspiration from them and put a new twist in your own activities.
To assess your competitors, you can carry out three types of audit:
Read more about how to do a competitor analysis.
Your goal with this type of research is to find out exactly how visitors interact with your website. You also want to know how they got to your site. In addition, it’s essential to find out if they encounter any obstacles while using your website, particularly any that prevent them from converting; and conversely, which aspects of their visit run smoothly.
During your user research, you’re also going to analyze:
You can use different tools for user research, including:
Top tip: Check out our full list of digital marketing tools.
Here are some best practices for conducting user research:
When you’ve completed your user research, you can use the data you’ve uncovered to identify CRO testing opportunities and objectively prioritize them. The optimizations you focus on should align with your business goals and make the biggest impact on your business.
You can think big and take an ambitious approach but pay attention to the fundamentals when considering CRO changes. Remember, well-designed web pages, engaging content, and intuitive navigation build trust with customers and should always be your main priorities.
As marketers, we all know how important it is to create landing pages that engage customers and prompt them to take an action. Understand how to use digital marketing tactics including content marketing, SEO, email marketing, website optimization and digital strategy by enrolling in DMI's Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing. This globally recognized certification will help you attract and retain customers for any business.
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