What is conversion rate optimisation (CRO)?
Defining conversion rate optimisation
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors to a website or mobile app who complete a desired action. These actions can include making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a form.
CRO is important because it can allow you to get more value from your visitors. And increasing your conversion rate can help you increase sales.
What is a call to action?
A call to action (CTA) is a prompt that tells people what to do when they have an interaction with your brand. For example, visit a website, read an email, or view an online ad. It could be a button or a link with words like ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up’.
The goal of a CTA is to get people to take a specific action, like buying something or signing up for a newsletter.
CRO is all about making a business interaction better so that more people do what you want them to do. CTAs are a big part of CRO because they guide people to these actions.
How to write a strong CTA
- Use clear, direct language and avoid jargon
- Keep it short and snappy
- Employ action-oriented verbs such as ‘discover’ or ‘start’
- Create a sense of urgency by making your CTA time-sensitive by using terms such as ‘limited time offer’ or ‘while stocks last’
- Highlight the benefits of your offering in ways that help customers understand what’s in it for them
How to measure your conversion rate
You can calculate, track and measure your conversion rate with the following steps.
- Decide your goal. Determine what you want your customers to do. And how you will measure success. Is it buying a product? Signing up for a mailing list to receive your monthly newsletter? Or maybe you want to direct customers to another webpage.
- Count your total visitors. Count how many people visited your website or saw your marketing message during the same period.
- Count your conversions. Keep track of how many people complete the action you have chosen. For example, if you're advertising a product and 50 people buy it, you have 50 conversions.
- Calculate the conversion rate. To calculate your conversion rate, divide the number of conversions by the number of visitors, impressions or ad interactions and multiply by 100 to get a percentage. The result is your conversion rate.
Conversion rate formula
(visitors ÷ conversions) x 100 = conversion rate
Tracking your conversion rate helps you measure your digital marketing performance
Tracking your conversion rate over time helps you see if your marketing efforts are paying off. If your conversion rate is going up, it's a good sign that your strategies are working.
Tracking your conversion rate can also help you identify areas for improvements. You can see which marketing tactics are effective and which ones aren't. This can help you focus your time, resources and budget on what's working.
The limitations of calculating average conversion rates
Average conversion rates should always be treated as a guide. They don’t always tell the whole story of the customer interaction.
Different marketing campaigns, channels, and sources attract diverse audiences. These audiences may have varying levels of interest, intent, and familiarity with your product or service. Averaging conversion rates across these different groups can obscure the true performance of individual campaigns or segments. Seasonal variations may also affect conversion rates.
Furthermore, not all conversion actions are equal. Some may have more significant business value than others. Averaging all conversion actions without considering their respective value can skew decisions about where to focus your efforts.
A single average conversion rate may not provide a comprehensive view of your conversion funnel. It doesn't reveal where in the funnel people drop off or where they're most engaged. This lack of detail can make it challenging to identify and address specific issues in the conversion process.
You can avoid these issues by adding more granular data points to your marketing analysis. These can include traffic sources, demographics, geographic regions, and user behaviour. This will help you get a better understanding of your unique audience, which you can use to optimise conversion strategies.
Strategies for effective CRO
There are many different strategies for optimising your conversion rates. We discuss some of these below.
Create clear and compelling CTA buttons with text that encourages users to take specific actions, like ‘Redeem Offer’ or ‘Register’.
You can draw attention to your CTA by giving the button a contrasting colour and placing it prominently on your webpage or ad.
Use lead flows
Lead flows enable you to capture potential customers' information, like email addresses, so you can follow up with them.
One way to use a lead flow is to design a pop-up form that appears when visitors show interest. Offering an incentive, such as a discount or valuable content, may increase conversion success.
Keeping forms short and straightforward can help to reduce friction and encourage customers to sign up.
‘Heat map’ your website
A heat map is a visual representation that displays areas of a web page where users interact or engage the most. Heat maps help you understand where visitors move while on your website. They can also help you learn where users spend most of their time.
Once you have a heat map, you can see the most and least engaging areas of your website. This data can help you optimise your page layout and CTAs.
Use A/B testing
A/B testing is the practice of using two different versions of the same content to test which is more effective. You can use A/B testing on web pages, email marketing and social media posts.
You can start by identifying the element you want to test. For example, you may want to test different wording on your CTA button. You may want to trial different images to see which creative asset your target audience engages with more. Or you may want to experiment with sending the same email marketing campaign at different times of the day to see which delivers the most success.
To start A/B testing, create two versions, one with the original element and the other with a variation. Show each version to a different group of users. You can then analyse the results to see which version generates more conversions.
Make your sites and content mobile friendly
You may be able to improve conversion rates by ensuring your content and websites are optimised for mobiles.
Many websites have responsive designs to adapt automatically to various screen sizes. Test your site’s mobile version to ensure everything works correctly. You may want to consider if you can simplify navigation on the site. Removing unnecessary elements on mobile pages can help deliver a better user experience.
Small improvements in CRO can have a big impact
CRO is a useful tool for small businesses aiming to boost leads and sales. Optimising your conversion rate, monitoring your progress, and fine-tuning your strategies may help you increase revenue. Even small improvements in your conversion rate can make a big difference.
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