In this Conversion Rate Optimisation Guide, we are going to drill into Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) and provide you with our top 10 CRO tips that can help improve your conversion rate on your website, meaning you will generate more leads and subsequently, more revenue for your business.
The first thing you hear when you start a business is that you need a website. But what is the point in having a website? One thing that is pretty consistent with businesses, whether you are selling something on your website or simply have it up there for informative purposes, is that you want it to be able to help you convert potential customers to paying customers.
At GLO, we understand that in order to generate leads online, you need a website that converts web traffic into customers. Understanding the importance of CRO is the first step in the process. After all, the higher the number of ‘converters’ in relation to web visitors, the higher your conversion rate is. You may have thought to yourself in the past:
“I get a lot of visitors to my website but I haven’t got any enquiries from them.”
“My website is just my online business card.”
“I get all my business from referrals, I don’t need a website.”
This reminds of a saying from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. I mention this because all the people who believe their website is not there to generate their business more leads are probably right! And the reason for this is most likely that they are unaware of their conversion rate and the ways to optimise it. If the website wasn’t designed with the purpose of convincing people to convert then it’s not likely that potential customers will convert, or even having anyways their customers can ‘convert’ in the first place.
Firstly you’ve got to start asking yourself, what do I want my website to do for me? You may want to sell more of your products, increase subscriptions to your mailing list or get people to enquire about your services. What is the point in having a website if it’s not working to achieve the goals you’ve set for it?
What is a conversion?
A conversion is a point at which a visitor on your website completes a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out an enquiry form or subscribing to your email newsletter. The conversion rate of your website is, therefore, the percentage of web visitors that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors.
Micro Conversions vs Marco Conversions
Your ‘Macro Conversion’ is the end goal that you are looking to achieve after your website visitor goes through the different levels of your marketing funnel.
It is important to note that this ultimate goal looks different for every business. An e-commerce website will be looking to get a purchase from its visitors. However, a service provider may wish to focus their efforts on getting visitors to request a quote for one of their services.
To get to a ‘Macro Conversion’, the visitor may take a series of smaller steps which can be defined as Micro Conversions. These can then be further split into categories, known as Process Milestone and Secondary Action.
As the name suggests, a process milestone is a significant step on your potential customer’s journey where they take an action that brings them closer to a macro conversion, i.e. your ultimate goal. Some examples of process milestones include a visitor inquiring further about your products and services via live chat or adding products to their wish list.
Secondary actions are still desired actions taken by the user but are seen as more distant from reaching a macro conversion. An example of a secondary action is a user coming to your website and downloading any free resources you are offering by entering their email address, commenting on your blog posts or signing up to your newsletter. Your website managed to get their attention and create some interest, but it may require a bit more nurturing to bring this particular user to a macro conversion.
What does Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) mean?
CRO is an umbrella term used for all of the tools and methodologies digital marketers use to optimize their sites and campaigns. In this article, we’re talking specifically about website CRO and things you can do on your website to improve your conversion rate.
Traffic may be coming your way via an effective SEO, paid search, social or content strategy, which is great! Unfortunately, the people visiting your site aren’t achieving the goal you actually intended them to achieve in the first place. They’re not converting. It’s time to think about conversion rate optimisation.
Digital marketers track the percentage of web visitors that are converting (conversion rate) in order to assess how well your website is getting web visitors to perform your goals (completing a conversion). Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of optimising your site to increase the likelihood that visitors will complete that specific action.
This continuous process of tracking the user browsing behaviour and adjusting the website elements accordingly, to get an increased percentage of users to perform your desired actions is known as Conversion Rate Optimisation.
Marketing Funnels & CRO Strategies
Every business has a marketing funnel in place. This is essentially your customer’s journey with you, and it usually includes the following steps: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Conversion, Loyalty and Advocacy.
Converting a lead will mean something different at every stage of the marketing funnel and so each stage may need a different CRO strategy.
Furthermore, CRO strategies vary from business to business but there are some best practices we can offer you today that can help optimise the conversion rate of your website.
As a business, you are out there to make a profit. Spending hundreds or thousands of pounds on a website that isn’t converting is not going to help you achieve that goal. Conversion rate optimisation is an ongoing process that will transform your website into a lead generating tool, helping you earn more revenue.
10 Website CRO Tips – Our Conversion Rate Optimisation Guide
Understanding Your Customer & Adding Value
Develop and express empathy for your target audience. Walk a mile in their shoes during every interaction and step, but go further. What brought the potential customer to this specific page? For the visitor to convert you need to show them you fully understand them. You, as the business owner, most likely do. But your website, as an extension of the business, needs to translate that understanding.
It is a good idea to go back to your buyer personas and make sure you understand who your ideal customers are, what their pain points are and how your product or service solves that issue. This reminds me of when I used to work in telesales (please don’t judge me). Every prospect I spoke to had sales objections, or reasons they’re hesitant to buy the product. If the buyer didn’t have reservations about the price, value, competitors, product fit, relevance to their situation, or their purchasing ability, they would have already bought it. To be successful in sales, reps must learn how to both discover and resolve these objections. This is exactly what you have to do to optimise the conversion rate on your website! These objections could be organised easily in a FAQs section, where you list common objections in a question format and responding in a way that changes their mind or alleviates their concerns.
Once you refresh your understanding of your customers, visit your website as a potential client with a specific problem in mind and observe how easy it is for you to find what you need, and how convincing and encouraging is the value proposition on your website.
Note the places within your marketing funnel where perhaps you could add more value. Would your potential customer appreciate a free downloadable PDF with your ‘Top 10 Tips on how to…[input your expertise]’? Or perhaps showcasing some case studies of how your product or service helped someone else could help you win their trust?
Harness Web Analytics & Behavioural Analysis Tools
To fine-tune these strategies you need real data. You may have a good understanding of how your customers browse your website but gathering data with the use of tools such as Google Analytics will give your CRO efforts more precision. From this information, you can begin to learn about the target audience segments that convert the most. This information helps us to modify the content and user experience to improve the conversion rate for the buyer personas you attract.
You can analyse user behaviour with snapshots, heatmaps and recordings with platforms such as Hotjar or CrazyEgg. This helps you to understand at which point a specific type of customer drops out and can even show you how customers interact with your website. This information will help you rethink your content, web design and how you add value.
Before you even think about changing the design of your website to optimise the conversion rate, you need to focus on your copy. It will be your words that will evoke the emotions needed for the lead to convert. Therefore, catchy headlines are vital to capture their attention fast. You can use a headline analyser to see how those headlines will appear to visitors – many people only read the beginning and end of a headline!
Remember to always start your SEO copywriting with the end goal in mind. What is it that you want the user to do on this particular page? This will make your content more structured and will reveal where you should be putting your ‘Call to Action’ buttons.
You should also always lead with the benefit in mind. How is your product or service helping them to solve a problem? How is it addressing their pain point? If you are still unsure what those pain points are, you should go back to Tip #1.
Optimise for Mobile & Page Load Speed
Each year the number of people visiting websites from their phones vs desktop raises. The percentage went up from 16.2% to 53.3% between 2013 and 2019 and is predicted to keep increasing. What this means is that your website needs to be mobile optimised. You need to make sure the user experience on mobile is just as effective as it is on the desktop.
What’s more, pages on your website need to load fast on mobile and desktop. Slow websites frustrate visitors and negatively impact your conversion rate. A study by Soasta showed a decrease of 20.5% in conversion rate on mobile pages that had 1 second slower experience. That one second could be very costly when is comes to your conversion rate.
In the digital marketing world, pop-ups are overlays that appear on your screen and draw your attention to something different than you have been looking at on the website. For example, they are often used to get the visitor to sign up to an email list.
Many people find pop-ups annoying but there are many different pop-up types. Some appear the moment you open the site, others after a few seconds and then there are exit pop-ups that would only appear when you’re about to leave the website.
This latter type is considered as one of the most effective ways to keep your visitor happy whilst they’re browsing the website, yet capture them and make a micro-conversion when they’re about to leave.
When considering adding a pop-up to your site, make sure you:
- Make it relevant to the page on which it pops-up
- Make it easy for the visitor to close the pop-up
- Make the design consistent with your branding
- Use a compelling CTA
Congrats! You’ve attracted a visitor to your website – we could say this was one of your micro conversions, as if you have a Facebook Pixel, you can use remarketing to show them relevant ads to get them back to your website and to convert in the future.
So they’ve landed on your website, now what? What are you trying to capture next? Perhaps it’s their email address. How and where on the page will you entice them to do that? To lead them through a series of micro-conversions towards a macro conversion you will need to use visible, clear and effective ‘Call To Action’ buttons (CTAs).
This is why the strategic placement of your CTAs is so important. Think about your micro and macro conversions and the behaviour patterns of the visitors in the different stages of your marketing funnel. If they’re not yet at the stage of requesting a quote from you, what else can you do to stay connected with them?
Consider using the language of the prospect and including multiple CTA’s to speak to different audiences at different points in the funnel. Make the CTA buttons stand out by playing with their design, as well as the copy. Benefit-oriented copy, such as ‘Get my free eBook’, ‘Request call-back’ or ‘Stay connected’ perform better than a button that simply says ‘Click here’. And remember to split test your CTAs. Monitor what placement, design and copy work the best and adjust over time.
SEO your Inner Service Pages
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps people find your products and services online from search. However, time and time again I see businesses ‘SEOing’ their homepage for their services and giving very little effort put towards their inner services pages. A customer is a lot more likely to convert if they are displayed the service information they’re actually searching for. Here’s an example:
The customer searches “web design Ipswich” into Google and they click the first link. The website displays the homepage of the digital marketing agencies website which shows all of their digital marketing services, including; SEO, Google Ads Management, Social Media Marketing and then finally has a link to their web design services. In finding this link to the information your potential client was initially searching for, half the amount of searchers may have given up and chosen one of your competitors.
This is why it is important to pay just as much attention to your inner product/service pages as your homepage when it comes to web design and SEO. We pay close attention to getting service pages to rank higher than the homepage for service related searches, to improve the conversion rate. Someone searching for ‘web design’ may have different pain points as someone searching for a ‘digital marketing agency’, so your inner service pages need to reflect this.
Build Authority & Credibility
One way to increase the conversion rate is to build trust with your potential customers. In order to do this, you can add qualifications or trust stamps your business has, such as a high number of good reviews. This helps to build authority and makes you stand out against your competitors.
People trust other customers who took the time to review your products or services. Showcasing testimonials that relate to a particular service or product when the lead is in the ‘Consideration’ stage of the marketing funnel could convince them to move towards conversion. As with almost everything on this list, you can split test the effectiveness of your trust stamps, qualifications and testimonials to optimise your conversion rate.
One of the things that can kill your conversion rate is visitors not being able to get the information they came to find. If they become frustrated they will simply leave your website. To keep them from doing this, you could provide extra support with a Live Chatbot plugin.
Adding a live chatbot to your website makes your website visitors trust you and give them an impression that there are real people behind the chatbot 24/7, ready to support them with their queries. It is a cost-effective way of improving customer service.
Providing that extra reassurance is not only convenient for your website visitors when requiring extra information, but could also help them make a decision on whether they’d like to try your product or services. Live Chats are the most popular way for customers to request support. We recommended LiveChat or ChatBot, depending on your need for automation.
Now let’s not get CRO and A/B Testing mixed up. CRO is about using tools and methods to optimise the number of conversions from your website. Testing is about verifying these tools and methods.
A/B testing is used throughout digital marketing. The glory of digital marketing, after all, is data. It is especially used effectively in paid media campaigns, by showing different variations of an advert to determine which gets the best click-through rate.
For website CRO, A/B testing is a popular method of comparing the effectiveness of two different versions of the same website, by showing different content or designs to visitors and analysing the data in order to find out the version that brings the most qualified leads. It helps you identify what works and what doesn’t.
We have ended our ‘10 Website CRO Tips’ on A/B Testing to show you that with testing, conversion rate optimisation is never-ending and you can constantly test different variations of every one of our CRO tips to get the best results from your website.
Request a Callback
Are you already applying any of the above ideas on your website? Request a callback below to get free advice about how you can improve your conversion rate.
As a business, you are out there to make a profit. Spending hundreds or thousands of pounds on a website that isn’t converting is not going to help you achieve that goal. Optimising your conversion rate is an ongoing process that will transform your website into a lead generating tool, helping you earn more revenue. It was a pleasure to write our ‘Website CRO Tips’ to help you to survive COVID-19. Please get in touch if you have any questions.