Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a hot topic these days but what does it mean and how do you know you need to do something about it?
Conversion is when a visitor of your website actions something you would like them to do, such as creating an account or purchasing something on your website. Simply put; CRO is about improving the performance of your website through user feedback and analytics.
Why it’s worth improving your CRO
Before you find out your CRO rate I am sure you would like to know why CRO is so important and what you can get out of it. Spending more money on reaching your audience is not always the answer, especially as advertising is becoming more costly and competitive. By improving your CRO you will save and make more money by getting the right kind of customers and giving them what they are looking for. Improving your CRO is great because it is practically free and will lower your customer acquisition cost.
Although, it is the most effective to constantly keep an eye on your CRO there are times in which it is more crucial than in others. As with everything in life you need to start somewhere, so why not start now with the following 3 steps.
Step 1: Add Analytics to your toolbox
To be able to calculate your conversion rates and to find out what can be improved on your website you need to possess analytical tools. This type of software tracks and reports the traffic to your website and what’s happening on there. So get started and create accounts for Google Analytics (to tell you what’s happening) and KISSmetrics (to tell you who’s doing it). There are many more tools out there that you can use; the important thing is that you get your numbers.
Step 2: Calculate your Conversion Rate
Before you can start calculating your conversion rate you need to:
- Choose a time period that you would like to measure such as daily, weekly or monthly.
- Calculate your total number of conversions using analytics. You might be interested in actions such as the number of purchases, downloads and applications.
- Select the type of visitors to your website that you would like to use: unique visitors or total visitors. Keep in mind that people like to look around, check-out competition and can get distracted. The most important thing is that once you have made your choice you stick to it, as consistency is the key.
Once you have decided on the above you can calculate your Conversion Rate by dividing your number of conversions by the number of visitors to your website.
Conversion Rates are usually anywhere between the 2% and 12% although expert opinions vary. Find out what the average Conversion Rate is in your industry to figure out if you are under average, average or above average. Always aim towards a higher Conversion rate and remember that there is always room for improvement.
Step 3: Find out through analytics what else can be optimized
Analytical tools are not only great for finding out your Conversion Rate, they can tell you a lot more about your website and the visitors. The following 4 rates are definitely worth checking out.
- The Bounce rate: the percentage of people that leave your website after only viewing 1 page. If this percentage is high, think about why people leave your website after seeing this page. Most often this is the home page.
- The exit rate: the percentage of people that leave your website after viewing the page. This tells you what the last webpage was that visitors looked at before exiting your website. Think about if you are happy with the percentage of people moving on after making a purchase and so on.
- The average time spent on the website: tells you how long people spend on your website. If this amount of time is very short you will probably have a high bounce rate and people will not have found what they were looking for on your homepage.
- The average page views: tells you the average amount of pages your visitors went through. If this number is very high you might need to clarify your conversion funnel. This is the flow of the user experience to complete a conversion.
After these steps, you will have discovered that you have quite an amount of work to do or you might even be pleasantly surprised by the results. If you would like to get started straight away it is always a good idea to start small by doing further research with surveys. Although, please keep in mind; single tweaks will not solve all or bigger problems. Building a CRO plan is always the best way to go.
What is the first thing that you would like to optimize? For more information on CRO check out this video on how to create Conversion Rate easily.