10 Ways to Optimize your Website Conversion Rate
Growing your website traffic is always a good thing.
But while an increase in online traffic does not guarantee revenue; converting visitors into customers does.
This is where CRO comes in.
With the vast array of web optimisation techniques, we’re rounding up some of the key elements to boost your website conversion rates.
What is CRO?
The buzz worthy acronym has been floating around the web as a massive must-have for e-commerce marketers to improve web performance since the early 2000s.
CRO stands for ‘conversion rate optimisation’ and is a process to increase the percentage of web visitors completing a desired action (e.g. purchasing a product). This means understanding how a visitor browses through your site and resolving gaps that could stop them from completing an action.
So, what is a conversion?
Simply put, it is when a visitor completes a site goal. For instance, your primary goal could be a user fulfilling an order (also known as macro conversion) or you may have smaller goals, such as a user-signup to your monthly newsletter (known as a micro conversion).
On a high level, you can calculate the rate of conversion by dividing the number of times a user completes a goal by your site traffic.
10 Techniques for CRO
Customer Value Proposition (CVP)
The CVP essentially tells your customer base what you bring to the table and why they should use your products/services. It’s about clear, strong messaging.
A clear and strong message can be achieved through website landing pages.
- Including relevant imagery of your product or related service reduces the need to read too much text.
- Headline statements such as ‘The world’s top McGuffin provider’, creates credibility issues, however, should it be truly unique, adding social proof or article mentions will evoke a sense of trust.
- Cutting down the number of user input form fields has proven to increase conversation rates.
Uber’s landing page is a great example whereby the headline states ‘Your ride, on demand’. This tells us the ‘what’ (you will get a ride) and the ‘why you should use them’ (because it is on demand).
Pop ups are often seen as a hindrance with about a 3% conversion rate, however, done correctly can be boosted to 9% according to a study by Sumo.
Things to try:
- Create pop ups with varying offers, products or links to premium content.
- Add a time constraint as to how long each pop up is visible to a user.
- Ensure the pop can be easily closed should the user not be interested.
- Reduce the frequency of the pop-up per unique visitor.
Keep in mind that the highest converting pop-ups aren’t set to appear immediately. Adding context and creating event based appearance (e.g. once a visitor has shown interest to a product or page) is far more beneficial.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Depicting limited timed services or product offers on your website is a great way to force decision goals. It’s a classic sales technique but one that is still effective even today, if done right. You could, for example, list a product as “LAST STOCK REMAINING”.
This creates an immediate sense of urgency to convert a visitor to purchase your item sooner than later, for fear of missing out.
Another common method is seen on event booking pages by displaying ‘SOLD OUT!’ for various time slots rather than removing them. The urgency is further induced by adding a countdown timer and a limited discounted price.
Tip: Indicating sale prices or discount offers over a long period without change can lead customers to lose trust in buying now. Ensure these elements are used in intervals to depict true value.
Third Party Sign-ups
Implementing alternate account creation or sign-ups makes a world of a difference.
Integrating the ability to sign in via Facebook or Google email saves users a significant amount of time to complete a purchase action, and helps them feel more secure in their dealings with you.
Not only do they not need to worry about remembering their passwords, but it also ensures you have the correct email address to remarket to them in future.
Solidify CTA Copy
Buttons such as the ‘Download Now’ and ‘Sign-up’ CTA’s work well in many instances.
However, personalising them to the context of the page ‘Yes, I want my free copy’ or ‘Apply my 20% Coupon’ instantly paints a positive picture, and customers can find it harder to say ‘no’.
On face value, CTA copy can seem a minor element of a web experience, but experimenting with varying texts via A/B testing will ensure you are using high performing CTA’s.
Rule Out Customer Concerns
An interested visitor might visit your site a number of times, and each time bounce off without making a purchase.
Usually this failure to convert is due to a question or concern the user has that may not be clearly answered by your website.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Live Chat Box: Most common questions about products can be answered with either a live customer service agent or a bot.
- Testimonials & Reviews: Users have consistently rated social proof from services such as Trustpilot, as instrumental in their consideration of making a purchase.
- Money Back Guarantee: Offering customers their money back evokes trust and reliability.
Additionally, embedding client logos, detailed FAQ page or case studies builds significant credibility for any company.
Pricing strategies for your services or products play a vital role in driving conversions. For example, it’s known worldwide that the use of price figures ending with a ‘9’ or a ‘7’ helps customers to feel like they’re getting a good deal – which can be further boosted by displaying the old price!
Anchoring is great when you have a three tier package from basic to premium. The idea is to increase the perceived value by simply setting a higher baseline starting point.
For example, if the premium package is $999, then the basic at $199 or $299 looks appealing by comparison.
Usually, the mid-tier package is marked as a ‘popular’ package by showing the value of select premium features/services along with an affordable price.
There is nothing worse than a website that loads slowly or is poorly optimised for mobile.
According to a study by HubSpot, pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds experienced a 12.8% higher bounce rate than faster sites. This means a page slowdown of 1 second on Amazon could cost them $1.6 billion a year.
Optimize your web design to speed up performance. Handy tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insight can provide valuable insights on optimizing server responses, code changes, styling elements and more.
Employing analytics platforms such as GA (Google analytics) are invaluable to give you the hard stats on your users’ behaviours.
Embedding your tracking code into your website couldn’t be easier. Once the tracking snippet is implemented, you can gain insight on popular elements of your pages, demographics, where users abandon your site and much more.
Create a routine check to improve the stats provided and continually adapt to your users’ needs.
Once your conversion rates are up, you will want to take measures to maintain it.
Regular A/B tests of your web components play a big role in retaining a loyal customer base.
Page layouts and old content from previous years may not be effective for users any more. User needs and behaviours are constantly changing and websites need to adapt accordingly. For instance, a ‘10% off’ sign up offer is only a short term win; converted leads need to be engaged throughout a customer journey.
Consider updating your blogs, general content copy or promoting a new event. A redesign of the homepage for a long term customer will reinitiate the process of discovery. Communicate upcoming changes to motivate them towards your upcoming business goals.
Start optimizing Now
Now you know what CRO is and have a good set of options to work towards increasing your conversion rates.
A helpful way to track changes is to use heat maps as you go along the way. It allows you to know how your users are reacting on all the pages of your site.
If revenue is one of the key success metrics in your business, consider CRO as the next.