What Exactly Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
A few days ago a client told us he gets several thousand hits a day. Ouch; that must really hurt! But seriously, website hits don’t hurt, but they are not a good indication of having an effective business website. Since ‘hits‘ include ‘bounces‘ they are not an accurate tracking indicator. A much better option is to evaluate how many website visitors actually convert and take action. Our Conversion Rate Optimization for Business Websites provides you with a step-by-step guide to conversion rate optimization.
A website’s conversion rate is the percentage of the site’s visitors that perform an action deemed to be desirable, e.g. making a purchase, calling a telephone number, submitting an inquiry form or engaging with a live chat function. Conversion Rate Optimization is the method of using analytics and user feedback to increase a website’s conversion rate.
How To Measure Your Conversion Rates
A “Destination URL” goal can be set up in Google Analytics to record a conversion each time a user lands on the “thank you for submitting your inquiry” page.
E-Commerce tracking in Google Analytics can record each sale that takes place as well as the monetary value of the sale.
There are many telephone tracking companies that can record a goal in Google Analytics every time your phone rings. Each visitor to your website sees a unique number, thereby facilitating the telephone tracking company to tag a call to a particular session in Google Analytics.
Post call options (Press 1 for lead, 2 for sale, etc.) facilitates even more granular telephone call tracking, such as separate goals for leads, sales, or non-event calls.
Engagement Through Live Chat
Typically this is tracked with an event goal in Google Analytics.
Avoid Conversion Leakage!
Watch out, this is frequently mistaken for conversion rate optimization! Including an email address on your website’s “contact us” page facilitates people to send emails to that address. This can not be tracked in Google Analytics! This results in your data becoming distorted as conversion rates are understated. Make sure to replace email addresses with contact forms which can be tracked.
Conversion Rate Optimization Basics
While conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an in-depth subject a business website essentially needs to achieve four things to convert at high rates:
Research has shown that most people judge a website’s quality and trustworthiness mostly on design. Investing in great design pays off!
Clearly State Your Offering and USP
Ensure that visitors to your website understand clearly what your offering is and what is your unique selling proposition (USP).
In order to be believed, you must build credibility in the eyes of users who have never heard of your company before.
Have a Clear and Compelling Call To Action
Once points 1-3 have been suitably handled, leave the user in no doubt as to what the next step is. In this case people like being told what to do!
Do not have more than two call to actions (CTAs) per page. They will dilute each other and confuse the user.
Conversion Rate Optimization Tips
Conversion rate optimization is not a simple task, it requires time and diligence. Here are some tips to get you started!
Use Images, Video + Bullet Points
Users hate lengthy reams of text. Use images, video and bullet points to quickly convey the most important points of the page.
Utilize Landing Pages
Most businesses have more than one product or service. Make sure to have highly targeted pages for each product or service so that users looking for that product or service are not distracted by other offerings.
Learn from The Best!
Analyze the websites of the most successful brands in your industry or field and take inspiration from what they do.
Great Imagery | Videos | 360 Degree Rotation
Users need to be able to almost touch your products. Multiple, professional high quality images, 360 degree rotation and image zoom, and where possible video of your product will dramatically increase conversion rates.
When selling clothes, present them on real models instead of hangers or mannequins. See how Abercrombie & Fitch and similar brands rely on models to sell their clothes.
Cross-Browser Testing and Mobile
Ensure your site works as it should on all browsers as well as on mobile devices. Remember that many sites receive more mobile than desktop visitors.
Promote Competitive Advantages
If you offer free shipping, next day delivery, lowest price on the market, etc., make sure to promote this. Yes, Virginia, in this case it is OK to blow your own horn!
Testimonials + Case Studies
If at all possible, make use of video. A video of a happy client speaking positively about your company is always worth a few percentage points in increased conversion rate.
Keep Your Blog Up to Date
When your last blog post is from six months ago, it looks shoddy and if you have gone out of business. A post from less than a few days ago has the opposite effect.
Promote Your Social Presence
If you are active on social media let your visitors know! Social plugins showing your aggregate follower data as well as feeds of your latest posts add a lot of credibility.
Trade Associations | Third Party Verfication
Promote your membership of trade associations, awards and award nominations to build further credibility.
Promote CSR Initiatives
If your company “gives back” to the community with a CSR initiative be sure to promote this on your website as this creates goodwill towards your brand.
Your conversion rate optimization should include leveraging the credibility of your suppliers and customers. Promote their logos on your website in a “Our Clients” or “Our Brands” section.
If you have free resources like white papers and webinars, use them! Give some content away for free and then gate the rest behind a “sign-up for more” form.
Calls To Action (CTAs)
You simply can’t have conversion rate optimization without effective calls to action (CTAs). Here are some tips for creating your own CTAs:
Don’t Have Too Many!
One clear and compelling CTA beats having several. Always give the user the obvious next step.
Don’t Ask for the Sale Right Away!
Effective conversion rate optimization includes putting forward your offering, unique value proposition, and build credibility with your user BEFORE pushing your CTA.
While many companies shy away from these, they are proven to increase conversions. What have you got to loose; the user with leaving anyway! But be aware you don’t run afoul of Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty!
Don’t Ask for Unnecessary Info!
Keep your contact forms short as in only ask for essential information. Typically all you really need is name, email, and telephone number. Everything else can be got through those.
Use Live Chat!
Many “on the fence” users can be converted with a live chat widget.
Improving Conversion Rate Optimization on Your Business Website
Now that you understand how the elements of a business website affect conversion rate optimization you will want to incorporate them on your own business website. For some of you this will simply involve a better CTA. But there may be cases were more extensive measures are required, In that case it may be faster and cheaper to start with a new website.
Some of you may need to talk to a professional search engine optimization (SEO) specialist to determine if and how your website is tracking conversions. If you do not have Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools installed already this would be the place to start.
In some cases you may require some actual upgrades to the design and functionality of your business website. For the sake of this post we based all recommendations for conversion rate optimization on a standard WordPress business website. Depending on your own comfort level you can make some of the recommended updates to your business website on your own, or with the help of your web designer or developer.
Of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble and just have our team design an effective business website for you. We are experts at business website design and conversion rate optimization. From highly customized corporate sites, to responsive e-Commerce websites to small business websites and personal blogs we work directly with the client to prepare them for the ever increasingly social, mobile and local consumer. Why not get started by requesting your conversion rate optimization estimate?
And if you are still not sure how conversion rate optimization affects your business website, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine if your business website is all ready for conversion rate optimization, or how to optimize it in the most time and cost effective way. That is one of our specialties, after all!
Do you have anything to add to our conversion rate optimization tips? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our conversion rate optimization tips with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!