What is CRO? Complete Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation
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It’s easy to get so focused on driving traffic to your website that you devout your entire time and resources. However, sending a ton of traffic to your website is only half the battle in digital marketing; converting those visits into actions, such as purchases, account creation, business calls, and whatever business goals you have, is where the real work lies.This is where Conversion Rate Optimisation, CRO for short, comes into play. This post will teach you what CRO is all about and how best to go about it. So stick around!
What is CRO?
Conversion rate optimisation is exactly what the name suggests: optimising your website for better conversion. There is a myth that CRO is all about traffic, and well, it is not. The thing is, you can try to drive as much as you want. Still, your visitors won’t magically become customers or subscribers unless you set up an effective conversion funnel to optimise your conversion rate. The conversion funnel here refers to tools and strategies you’ve implemented on your web page, landing page, or e-commerce site to move website visitors from one stage in their customer journey to another.
But what’s the deal about CRO, and why even bother? Studies have shown that the average conversion rate for e-commerce websites is about 2.6%. To put that in a broader perspective, less than 3 in every 100 persons that interact with your website will likely convert into paying customers.
Though these figures might look abysmal, to say the least, the truth is that if you don’t have a solid strategy to increase conversions on your site, your site’s conversion rate can be way worse. To develop an effective sales funnel to convert your target audience into satisfied customers, it’s important that you understand what constitutes a conversion.
What is a Conversion?
In digital marketing, the term “conversion” can mean anything. It can mean converting your website visitors into leads and buyers. It can also mean getting them to sign up for newsletters or trial your SaaS product. However, those are the narrow definitions of conversion. In a broader sense, a conversion can happen when visitors watch a video on your page, click through to another page on your site, share your post on social media, leave a review, and many more. It’s entirely up to you to decide what you want your visitors to do.
Conversion is when your website visitors perform desired actions that add to your bottom line. For example, you have an e-commerce site and want to get visitors to make purchases. Conversion will happen when they add products to their carts, even if they don’t complete the checkout. This is micro conversion. More on that later. But if they complete their checkout and pay for their purchase, then a macro conversion has occurred.
Is this to say that there are different types of conversion? Well, yes!
Types of Conversion
There are two major types of conversions, and knowing them will make it easier for you to determine your conversion rates. They are macro and micro conversions. Let’s discuss each type in detail.
Macro conversion occurs when visitors perform your primary desired action. By primary desired action, we mean the action that matters the most to your business. A typical primary action can be making a purchase. Another could be booking a demo or subscribing to your service. Let’s get into details a bit with some examples.
If you sell products, whether physical or digital, on your website, getting visitors to make a purchase will naturally be your ultimate conversion goal. Achieving this goal will require crafting catchy product descriptions, creating concise product pages, optimising your web pages to load fast, generating positive reviews for your store, using stunning imagery, and many more.
Macro conversion also happens when potential customers call you to inquire about your products and services or request a quote. The more business calls you get, the better your chances of making sales and generating revenue for your business. For best results, you need to add an attention-grabbing call to action, such as a click-to-call button on your web pages.
There are times when you want visitors to click through to a specific page after arriving on your landing page. This, too, is a form of macro conversion. Website visitors who click through to another page on your site are qualified leads and will likely convert into paying customers. These are the visitors you should be targeting.
Micro conversions, on the other hand, are smaller conversions that eventually lead to your primary business goal. A good example is when a visitor signs up for your email list. Although this might not translate into a sale, you can convert that sign-up into sales with careful nurturing and a lot of CRO efforts. Below are some examples of micro conversions.
Hard selling your visitors is always not always the best practice. The reason is that visitors coming to your website are not ready to make a purchase, especially on their first visit. Trying to hard sell them right off the gate won’t work well. As such, you are better off getting their emails by getting them to sign up for your mailing list. So sign-ups, too, are a conversion goal.
Site engagement is another metric digital marketers use to measure average conversion rate. A high engagement rate means your blog articles and website content addresses your visitors’ pain points, and they find your website useful. The result is a lower bounce rate and better performance. Plus, site engagement is a major search engine optimisation metric for search engines like Google to rank a website.
Adding Products to Carts
If you run an e-commerce website, you know that getting visitors is only half the job, and getting them to add products to their carts is a major milestone. The reason is that customers that add products to their carts will very likely complete their checkout. Converting visitors to potential customers is the way for them to become paying customers.
App Downloads and Installations
App downloads and installations also pass for conversion goals. Creating apps for your business enables you to connect with mobile users. And as you know, people mostly access the web using their mobile phones. Getting them to download and install your app allows you to boost user engagement and gain more customers.
Did you know that websites with many social shares enjoy a good ranking on a search engine results page? This is because when people start to share your content on social media, search engines will begin to believe you have good stuff on your site and rank your web page high on search result pages. So getting your visitors to share your content with friends on social media is a worthy conversion goal to aim for.
Where to Implement a CRO Strategy
A CRO strategy only makes sense when implemented on the right pages of your website, and exceptional web development for great web pages is critical. The strategic pages to implement CRO for best results are as follows:
You need to put a lot of effort into optimising your homepage if you want to make an excellent first impression on your visitors. The reason is that your homepage is often where first-time visitors will land when they arrive on your website. Even if they come through other pages, they will want to navigate to your homepage to understand your brand.
To drive more conversions on your homepage, you need to use CRO tactics such as popups to capture emails, chatbots to boost engagement, catchy CTAs to encourage navigation, a solid value proposition to boost your credibility and many more.
Digital marketers understand how powerful a pricing page can be. This is because a well-designed pricing page can be a significant deciding factor for prospects considering purchasing from your website or moving on. Tracking conversion data from your pricing page will give you deeper insight into your website’s conversion rate.
Implementing an exit-intent popup is an excellent way to optimise your pricing page. Exit-intent popups, as the name suggests, are opt-in email popups that appear just when a user attempts to exit your website. This popup enables you to win back abandoning visitors and follow them up with emails. You can increase your conversion chances by offering discounts unique to exit-intent popups.
Sending visitors to your homepage after they click on your Google or Facebook ad is a bad idea, especially if your goal is to win many paying customers. As such, it’s best to send them to a landing page solely dedicated to the product or service you are promoting. For example, if you want web users to subscribe to your software service, you are better off sending them to a landing page that explains your service and details the benefits instead of your homepage.
To optimise your landing page for maximum conversion, first, employ accomplished copywriting services, then consider adding videos, testimonials, social proof, and anything else that will make prospects see more reasons to get your product.
If you are using content to promote your business, chances are visitors will find your website via your published blog posts. Therefore, optimising your blog page for conversion makes a lot of sense. One easy what to do this is by adding a floating email opt-in bar to the top section of your blog page.
Unlike email opt-in popups, floating bars don’t take up much space and are more powerful tools for capturing your visitors’ emails and converting them into subscribers.
Pros and Cons of CRO
Putting effort and time into optimising your website for maximum conversion can pay off big time. If nothing else, it will help you gain more leads and customers for your business. And you know, the more leads and customers you get, the more revenue and sales your business would generate. Though CRO means better performance due to improved metrics, CRO has its cons. Let’s look at them!
5 Ways to Calculate Conversion Rates
How do you tell if your website is converting or not? Simply calculate your conversion rate. Here are the 5 common formulas to calculate the conversion rate of any website:
Based on the Number of Leads
To calculate your conversion rate based on the number of leads your website generates, you will have to divide the total number of leads by the total number of web visits within a specific timeframe and then multiply the answer by a hundred. That is to say:
- Conversion rate = Number or leads/number of website visitors * 100
Based on the Total Number of Unique Visitors
The formula is also the same here, only this time you divide by the number of unique visits your website gets. To put that in a mathematical context:
- Conversion rate = total number of conversions/total number of unique visitors *100
Based on Session
Attention rate is king in today’s website calculations. And it is important to know how your’s compare against others to have a successful business. To calculate your website’s conversion rate based on browsing sessions, use the formula below:
- Conversion rate = number of conversions/total number of sessions * 100
Based on Products Added to Cart
You can also calculate your conversion rate by considering the number of times customers add products to their carts after interacting with your product page.
In this case, your conversion rate would be the number of customers that added products to their carts divided by the number that visited your product page, multiplied by 100.
- Conversion rate = number of customers that added products to their carts/number of customers that visited your product page * 100
Based on Email Opt-Ins
Checking your email opt-in rate can also give insights into your conversion rate. To evaluate your conversion rate based on email opt-ins, you will have to divide the number of email opt-ins by the number of visits and then multiply by 100.
- Conversion rate = number of email opt-ins/number of visits * 100
How to Improve your CRO
Have you been struggling to convert your website visitors into email subscribers or customers? Or maybe, you find it challenging to get them to take certain desired actions on your website? You are not alone! Many website owners struggle with poor conversion rates.
Thankfully, it’s not a hopeless situation. Here are a few things you can do to improve your CRO.
Have a Clear Value Proposition
No CRO process is ever truly complete without a solid, clear value proposition. Simply, it is a statement that shows prospective customers why they should buy from you. It tells them what’s unique about your business and how you differ from your competitors. It could be a one-word text or a full-fledged web copy that is clear, concise, and brief.
Having a clear value proposition is a great and easy way to convert prospects into customers.
Incentivise Customers with a CTA
Asking prospective customers to make a purchase is hardly enough; you have to give them reasons. And the best way to go about this is by offering them an incentive for performing an action.
For example, you can offer to give them an ebook, a product, an irresistible discount, etc., when they subscribe to your email list. Stuck on ideas? You can use this as a CTA:
- Limited Time Offer: Subscribe now for a 10% discount!
Research and Gather Data
You can only know how good or bad it is if you can research and gather relevant data from your website. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for this, as it gives you insight into a user’s behaviour, how visitors interact with your website, what they click on, the percentage of visits that convert into sales, and much more.
When you have this data at your disposal, optimising your website for better conversion will become much easier. And what’s even better? Google Analytics is free to use, so there is nothing to lose.
Experiment with Specific Hypotheses in Mind
If you notice that, for some reason, visitors aren’t clicking on the CTA buttons on your landing page, you might want to experiment a little to see if things will change for better results. For example, you can change the button colour, move the button a bit higher up your page, use a different CTA, etc. For best results, do the changes one at a time, else, you won’t know what change improved your website conversion rate.
Run A/B Tests
Sometimes referred to as split testing, A/B testing is a term used to refer to the concept of randomly showing two, sometimes more, versions of a variable to your website visitors to see which version will generate the highest outcome. For example, you can try re-writing the copy on your landing pages to see if things will improve. Better yet, try using a different image, change your website’s layout, use a different colour, etc. When done correctly, A/B testing help boost your conversion rate remarkably.
Review Your Campaign
Doing a CRO test on your website won’t always cut it; you need to take things further by regularly reviewing your campaign to see how it’s performing. After all, how can you improve if you don’t know look at the results? Campaign reviews enable you to see gaps in your CRO strategy and make necessary adjustments to improve business outcomes.
5 Best Practices for Better CRO
There are certain best practices you need to follow to ensure your CRO efforts pay off. Sticking to these practices will not only guarantee you get the best results but also help secure you don’t waste your time. Here are the top five of them.
Have a Clear Goal
Do you want to turn every website visitor into paying customer? Or do you want 10% of your visitors to request a quote? Maybe you want more traffic? You need to be clear on your goals, so your strategies and investments are not spread too thin.
Without proper documentation, how can you be sure you’ve made progress? Documenting how much progress you have made so far will also help you know what worked and what didn’t, telling you how to improve your CRO process.
Use the Right Tools
It’s not about conducting tests unless you use the right CRO tools and tactics that significantly improve your chances of success with CRO. These include A/B testing tools, performance analytics tools, popups, and many more.
Do One Test at a Time
It’s important not to introduce too many variables into your testing to ensure a clear picture of what’s happening. While A/B testing your campaigns and marketing strategy, it’s best to take things one at a time, as doing so will help you gather accurate and actionable data.
Keep an Eye on the Big Picture
Micro conversions are essential, but you should not get so fixated on them that you forget what matters the most for your business. So always keep an eye on the big picture. This will ensure you do not get lost on smaller details and will focus on improving your business goals overall.
CRO vs SEO
Are CRO and SEO the same thing? Not by a long shot! You could employ stellar SEO services but still struggle with conversions. Unlike SEO, CRO tests user’s behaviour to improve the efficiency of your sales funnel. Below are some of the key differences between the two concepts.
Focuses on converting website traffic into conversions, such as purchases, email sign-ups, etc.
Depends mostly on on-page optimisation
Takes a shorter time to implement
Costs less to set up
Focuses on driving traffic to a website
Uses both on-page and off-page strategies
Takes longer to implement and see results
Tends to cost more
As you can see, conversion is an essential part of every business depends on to run a successful and prospering business. From incremental techniques to more drastic changes, if done correctly, CRO improves the efficiency of your business, increases ROI, and nurtures long-term growth. So take a look at your website today, and consider making the necessary changes we’ve discussed to boost your conversion rate!
CRO is crucial as it allows you to convert your website traffic into sales, subscriptions, and whatever desired action you want on your website.
CRO is the acronym for Conversion Rate Optimisation. It describes strategies and processes to make visitors to a website perform your desired actions. It is a form of marketing whose primary goal is to drive more traffic or sales to your business, just like marketing.
CRO and SEO are two different marketing concepts used for different purposes. While SEO involves driving traffic to a website, CRO aims to convert that traffic into sales. The better your conversion rate is, the more effective your SEO strategy will be.
There are a lot of CRO strategies you can use on your website, and the best strategies depend on your goals. One good CRO strategy that works well is using opt-in email popups to capture your visitors’ emails.