29th March 2016
This is meant to be the part of a blog where I persuade you to take a few moments out of your day to read what I have to say. But, if you’ve already read that first sentence, then I have you hooked, because in short, you don’t know what Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is, or if you do, you don’t understand it’s value. For those who’ve chosen not to read what I have to say because they’re ‘too busy’, then more fool them! So, lets get stuck in.
CRO is finding out why your online customers are not converting and fixing it. Many marketers have a very clear goal – ‘Drive visitors to our website’. But what’s the point of driving these customers to your website if they’re not converting and making you money? CRO is increasing the percentage of users that carry out the desired action on your website, which can range from making a purchase or signing up for a free trial. It’s about realising what your customers want and delivering it to them in a clear, easy and obvious way.
Now, some people have a lot of misconceptions about what CRO is. For example, CRO should never be based on guesses or hunches. It’s a systematic approach to understanding how you can improve your conversion rate. This means it’s about researching and analysing to give you informed and actionable insights. So we now we know what CRO is, lets talk about why you should be doing it …
Why wouldn’t you be doing it!? If you can honestly sit there and say ‘my website is perfect, we’ve got the best possible conversion rate that we’re ever going to get’ then I’d like to meet you and know what you’re doing that the rest of us aren’t. Moral of the story, there’s always room for improvement. No matter how high your current conversion rate is, it’s more than likely that you’ll be able to improve this percentage, or make the customer conversion funnel easier and quicker.
‘We’re not hitting revenue targets, we need to increase our marketing efforts’ – WRONG. CRO is arguably very cost effective as it gives you a high ROI way to increase your sale. What’s the point of driving more visitors to your website if you’ve still got a confusing conversion funnel. By carrying out conversion rate optimisation, you’re looking at increasing your existing & current traffic into more leads or sales. So why waste money you could be putting into conversion rate optimisation on other unsuccessful marketing techniques.
Optimising conversion funnels = higher % of leads/ sales from current traffic = higher ROI.
User experience is MASSIVLY underrated. If you’re a raging shopaholic like myself, then you’ll understand the frustration of a poorly designed website and conversion funnel. All I want to do is add to my basket and checkout. I don’t need a 10-step checkout process – there are other shops I need to visit!
By optimising your conversion funnel, you’re effectively also improving the experience your users have. As I’ve mentioned before, just give the users what they want in an easy, clear and obvious way.
Moz did exactly this. They asked users for feedback on their sign up pages for the SEOMoz Pro membership. Paying customers were asked what they liked about the service, former customers were asked why they cancelled their subscription and free trial customer were asked what it would take for them to sign up to the full membership. Moz then took all of this feedback on-board, redesigned their trial-sign up pages and A/B tested them against the originals. The results? They increased conversions by 52%. In additional they emailed free trial subscribers and offered them a full 30-day membership for just $1. With these two tactics combined, Moz made an additional $1 million dollars.
This brings me to my next point. With improved user experience, this will give you an edge over your competitors. The best piece of advice I can give you is that you only need to be slightly better than your competitors to be successful. If you do CRO correctly, then there’s a good chance you’re conversion funnel is just slightly better or faster than your competitors. Let me take you back to my shopping habits. If I had a pound for every time I left a website because of it’s ridiculous conversion funnel and looked elsewhere – well, lets just say I’d be writing this blog from the Caribbean with a pina colada to hand every 15 minutes.
Now unlike SEO, when your competitors finally clock on that CRO is VITAL (because they wouldn’t have read this awesome blog) it becomes your secret weapon. They can easily analyse your marketing efforts, but when it comes to CRO, you’re using your own specific data that they don’t have access to. They can’t see where your customers are dropping off in your Google Analytics data, they don’t know the ins and outs of every A/B test you create, and crucially, they don’t know your specific results. So even once they get up to speed and realise they should probably start doing CRO, there’s always that chance that you will still have the advantage.
CRO can be a game changer for your whole business. The research that goes into a CRO project can provide insights into your customers that you would have never thought of. Throughout a CRO project, you’ll spend a lot of discovering who your customers are, what they are looking for and how they behave. It helps you to determine exactly who you’re dealing with and how you can make the journey on your website easier for them and successful for you. I think you’d be surprised at some of the insights you discover, which may help you to influence your other marketing channels.
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. Often with CRO, the smallest changes make the biggest improvements. And when I say improvements, I mean an increase in profits, and what business would turn that down?
So, what is CRO and why should you be doing it? I’m not going to repeat all of the above, but let me break it down for you one last time.
CRO = Fixing the reasons why your customers are not converting.
Why should you be doing? = Because once you’ve fixed the barriers, your conversion rate increases, and along with that, so does your profits.
Now, if you walk away from reading this and don’t at least mention the benefits of doing a CRO project for your company, then you fit into the same category of people who say their website and conversion rate is the best it could possibly be.
Have I persuaded you yet?
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