If you’ve ever used Google AdWords or Analytics before, there is no way you could have missed the word conversion or conversion rate. You might have read something about it and you know that it is the most important part of your Google Ad Campaigns; but what is it really and how can you make sure people press the right button? Or even, What is the ‘right button’?
Wonder no more…! Here is a brief introduction to CRO.
A Definition of CRO
CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. Breaking this down into three separate words, Conversion stands for a wanted visitor action, Rate is the amount of times this happens, and Optimisation is getting the most out of these two combined.
Basically, Conversion Rate Optimisation means increased Return on Investment. You could try to just get more visitors, but making the current visitors take the action you want them to is much more effective. Taking steps towards improving that is CRO.
Determining and Tracking Conversion
Make sure you know what way you want to measure conversion. Are you selling a product? Then your wanted action is most likely getting people pushing the Purchase button. If you are selling a customised service, for example product storage space for web shops, it would be difficult to add a product page with a buy button. In stead you might call the people requesting a proposal through an online contact form (incoming leads), your conversions.
To be able to Optimise your Conversion, whatever it might be in your case, you need a tool that gives you data about your website visits and visitors. This can be Google Analytics (analytics.google.com), KISSmetrics or any other Analytics tool. Make sure you get your settings right and connect the account to your website to allow tracking.
Understanding Analytics Terminology
You will come across the following terminology when looking at your Analytics data. Here is a short explanation of each and what they might mean:
- Bounce Rate: This percentage shows how many people leave your website after visiting just one page. If this score is high, people are probably not finding what they are looking for.
- Exit Rate: The percentage of people who leave after viewing a specific page. If a lot of people are leaving on one specific page, this is a bad sign and the page should be improved.
- Average Time on Site: Is exactly what it says it is. A high bounce rate naturally means a lower average time on site. Depending on what action you want people to take on the page, the higher or lower the average time.
- Average Page Views: Similar to the last one. This percentage shows how many pages people on average view before leaving your website. A high score does not necessarily need to be good. Your site might be unclear and people might need to spend a long time to find what they need.
Some Important Fundamentals to Start With
Without going too deep into the CRO jungle, here are some important basics you should start with:
- Where is your Call to Action located? How easy is it to find? Make it clear to people what it is you want them to do.
- Is your site secure to i.e. buy from and is this stated? A secure payment page is essential or having a https:// URL.
- If you are selling a product: How easy is the checkout process? Are there countless (unnecessary) pages that need to be gone through before reaching the end of it?
- Can your visitors quickly and easily find what they are looking for, aka. is there a clear logic to your menu and submenu etc.?
- Is your SEO well done? Things like titles and keywords need to be perfectly clear and relevant for people being able to find what they are searching.
Optimising the Landing Page
Take a critical look at your landing page. What do you see? If you have no headline or the headline does not make you read on, it’s useless. Make it grab your visitor’s attention. Another important aspect is your graphics and images. You should use a clear creative element that reinforces your business style and proposal. It will make sure people are drawn towards your call-to-action.
Also make sure clear benefits of buying your product, signing up or getting in touch are stated. Why should someone buy your product/sign up/contact you? Your contact form or call to action should also be situated on the landing page as well as your Social Proof. This means for example customer reviews or testimonials that prove you are worthy buying from.
If you have business partners or you sell specific brands, make sure to state these as well. If these companies and brands are recognisable to your audience, it will re-endorse your brand as well and makes people trust you.
The following mnemonic by Beth Morgan for Landing page conversion perfectly summarises how to make a converting landing page:
To dig deeper into CRO, please read the complete “The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization” “…an in-depth tutorial designed to help you convert more passive website visitors into active users that engage with your content or purchase your products”.