If you have a web-based business, blog or even just a simple static website you will, no doubt, heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and in all likelihood heard the promises that more traffic to website will apparently lead increase sales and bountiful profits!
Sadly, as most naive web entrepreneurs have found these promises don’t always add up. Some may experience dramatic increase in web traffic but this does not necessarily lead to a surge in sales or floods of new customers. In fact, what they usually find is that all it leads too is having to increased resources in website management and a drain on the balance sheet.
After making substantial investment and time in all practices, such as SEO, paid search, social and content marketing i.e Blogging, Case Studies etc. All you’re left with is a bump in your web analytics but no significant improvement in you Sales column!
Web traffic is vanity, conversions are sanity!
People visiting your site aren’t achieving the goal you actually intended them to achieve in the first place. They’re not converting.
Your website is not delivering on its intentions, Marketing & Sales!
A Conversion may not be necessarily defined as a purchase or sale, although more often than not it is. However, organisations may define conversions as any action you would like your website visitor perform such as,:
- email newsletter sign-up
- Account Creation
- Survey Completion
- App download
- Request for quote
- Webinar Sign Up
conversion : successful completion of an action by a website visitor
Conversion Rate (CR) is a key metric, as it reveals the percentage of your site’s total traffic completing a specific goal. The higher the conversion rate the better.
In his book, Why We Buy : Science of Shopping, Paco Underhill provides insights, observations and lessons learned on how consumers behave and their motivations behind buying products.
It is not enough just to be where are customers are, you also need to give them a reason and provide the right experience in order for them to buy your products.
Most retailers agree, it is one battle to entice a customer into your shop, it’s another to convince them to make a purchase.
In order to successfully make a sale, you will need to completely understand and deliver what it is the customer wants. You can only do this by studying customer behaviour, how they use your site, what attracts their attention, what distracts them , how they respond to signals and over 40 other nuances that lead to a sale or conversion.
It is in this paradigm where Search Engine Optimisation and Conversion Rate Optimisation can at times be two completely opposing forces. An aspect which works for one, will have a completely opposite effect for another. It becomes a fine balancing act that website owners need to perform.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of ensuring your web pages are optimised to increase the likelihood that visitors will complete a desired action.
CRO main driver is to increase the percentage of website visitors who experiencing the Eureka moment, converting them from passive browsers to valuable customers.
Fundamentally, CRO is all about figuring out what users are looking for when they arrive at your site and then giving that to them. CRO takes many different forms, based on which Key Performance Indicators (KPI) you’re seeking to improve.
In some cases this my involve making your Call-To-Action (CTA) more apparent or placing it on a traffic-heavy page. At other times this means removing or relocating unnecessarily complicated or time-consuming steps from your conversion funnel, as the added friction can prevent a conversion from ever happening.
What’s involved in CRO
- A structured and systematic approach to analysing the performance of web pages on your website
- Informed by insights—specifically, analytics, user monitoring and feedback
- Defined by your website’s unique objectives and needs (KPIs)
- Ensuring that the traffic your site currently attracts performs the desired actions
Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimisation
Constant testing doesn’t just mean a possible increase in conversion. It will also lead to a better user experience. Removing barriers, simplifying forms, clarifying navigation, all these things lead to an improved customer journey and therefore making your site a better place to browse.
The goal of CRO is not to manipulate visitors into converting. It’s to ease the journey of already interested or engaged visitors through your website until they’ve achieved the outcome they desired themselves.
If a user has searched for ‘blue Nikes’ and they’ve landed on your product page, chances are they want to purchase the product, it’s not trickery to make it as simple or even enjoyable as possible. That customer will come back for future purchases and recommend you to other users.
Why Conversion Rate Optimisation ?
CRO is not only about ensuring customers buy products on your website, it is primarily focused on ensuring the over all User Experience of your website or mobile application is a pleasurable one. In CRO we look at optimising the experience through multiple tools and continuous experimentation.
Improving the customer experience is the primary objective. Whilst the end goal is always about improved results, those can come through better engagement, better and more interactions with your customers and an improved cross device experience.
Brand loyalty is being replaced with experience loyalty, which is something gained by continuously evolving the customer experience.
If marketers aren’t careful, they are likely to make incorrect assumptions about what visitors want and what makes them buy.
CRO is heavily dependent on data and data analysis. One of the key metric used as a guide to performance, is the Conversion Rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of people taking an action by the number of people who are asked to take an action.
This enables understanding how well an email or page or advertisement is performing regardless of how many people see it. However, if visitors to your site increase by 20% at the same time, then our conversion rate will actually go down.
This may lead to an increase in sales, yet something is causing you to sell less as a percentage of visits.
In email marketing, for example, there are a number of conversions that take place. Recipients of the emails must open them. Those who open must click on an offer and be brought through to a landing page. Those who see the landing page must take action.
Each of these is a conversion and each can be improved with the right process.
It takes time, discipline, research and experimentation to find the right process for your business and products. But, when you do, it will be a source of revenue over extended periods of time.
Optimising your website for conversion is a complex task, which is often-overlooked during website design process. Businesses will often spend more time worrying about being On Brand and ensuring the right corporate image is projected, but why waste money having an aesthitically pleasing website designed and driving traffic to it, if that traffic just doesn’t convert?
Conversion optimisation will help you gain a competitive advantage.
There is no such thing as a one size fits all solution. Conversion optimisation won’t work if you don’t have a good understanding of the needs of your target audience and your own product proposition.
To ensure your website appeals to your target market, you need to test, test, test. Asking yourself questions like
- Is your landing page relevant to its target audience?
- Are you communicating your company USPs effectively?
- Are you giving your prospective customers a sense of urgency?
The book E-Commerce Website Optimization: Why 95% of Your Website Visitors Don't Buy, and What You Can Do About it, highlights why Conversion Rate Optimisation goes beyond simply increasing traffic, helping to improve conversion rates, increase ROI from online marketing campaigns, and generate higher levels of repeat business.
It combines usability, analytics and persuasion to offer a straightforward and detailed 5-step methodology of how to use the tools and techniques of Conversion Rate Optimization to increase the e-commerce value of websites.
Backed up with a range of invaluable case studies, E-commerce Website Optimization is perfect for those seeking to implement a data-driven ethos to their organization’s e-commerce programme, based on market-tested and robust split-test methodology used across a range of commercial businesses.
E-Commerce Website Optimization: Why 95% of Your Website Visitors Don't Buy, and What You Can Do About it
Conversion Rate Optimisation is process of understanding your customer. Their needs, wants and desires and ensuring your website, business, products and services caters to those needs.
The focus should be overall experience.; Think about how you can create a better experience for your users, and ensure that you are offering value for your product or service in return. Using this approach will result in long-term brand advocates with higher individual value attributed to repeat custom.
Conversion insights can also be applied across the business, not just the website.
If you would like to learn more about Conversion Rate Optimisation, or simply would just like to simply hire a dedicated experienced team to get started on improving your website conversion get in touch
A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.