Conversion Optimisation (CRO) – How to get your website to sell more

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Conversion optimisation is about increasing the number of visitors who become customers on your website. To increase your conversion rate. But it’s really about increasing the profits for your business.

Conversion optimisation

What is Conversion Optimizer?

Conversion optimization is about increasing the number of conversions on the website and ultimately increasing the profits. Conversion optimization consists of three different steps:

  • Find where you have the biggest problems on the website.
  • Develop hypotheses as to why you have the problems.
  • Test different solutions through A / B tests to increase conversions.

A conversion means that you get the visitor to do something on the website that you want him to do. It can, for example, be it to download, buy, contact or read something special.

Conversion optimisation’s ultimate goal is to increase profits for your business.

The reason I say that the ultimate goal is to increase profits is that you can always increase the conversion rate by lowering the price of a commodity but that means your profit will be lower. The goal may also be to give the right information to the right visitors to the website for eg. authorities and municipalities.

What I mean by that is that if 5% of your visitors buy a specific item on your website when the price is $50 then maybe 10% will buy the product if you lower the price to $10. But then all your profits have been eaten up.

It is therefore always important to have the ultimate goal in mind, which is often to increase profits for a company and not just increase sales.

When you want to get more customers from your website you are faced with two choices.

  1. Changing yourself or having your web agency change what you think would work to try to make it easier for your visitors and convert more and then keep your thumbs for it to work. If that doesn’t work, you try something new. One of the problems is that you often change several things and do not know what worked well and what did not work well.
  2. Look at the statistics available and see where on the website visitors disappear and do not convert to sales.For example, it could be that many of the visitors read the information on your pages about your services but when they click on to the contact page 50% disappear for some reason.Once you know where they disappear, you can find out what the problem is and clog that “hole” in the page. The problem can be hundreds of different things, ranging from the fact that a certain part of the website does not work well for those who use Mac or who have a certain screen resolution to why your offer is not clear enough.You simply search for statistics to better understand your visitors and thus develop a hypothesis for what could be improved and then test it compared to the current one.Step two is obviously preferred and in this blog post I will give you an overview of how it is going.

Barack Obama – An example of conversion optimization

An example of conversion optimisation done right is during Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign to become president. Dan Siroker who later became the founder of Optimizely was hired by Obama to be “Director of Analytics”. 

Dan knew through data surveys that a large percentage of people who started subscribing to Obama’s newsletter also supported Obama financially. The trick, then, was to only get as many people as possible to start subscribing to the newsletter.

So what Dan did was that he produced 24 different variations with four different buttons, three pictures and three videos. There was a lot of discussion before about what would work best. Most of the team thought that one of the videos would work best.

Dan tested the different variations on 310,382 different visitors so that each variation was then shown to about 13,000 people. The version with a photo of Barack Obama’s family with the “Call to action” button “Learn more” gave a conversion rate of 11.6% which was a 40.6% increase against the original.

The end result was almost 3 million more subscribers, 280,000 more volunteers and about $ 60 million extra in donations. Here we see the power of conversion optimization and that conversion optimization is something that not only e-merchants should work with.

The two most common questions we usually get about conversion optimization:

1. Can you give me a checklist of everything I need to do?

We often get questions about whether we can publish some checklists on what makes you convert and sell more on their website. The answer to that question is that there are no universal solutions, all websites, services and organizations etc. are different. You always have to test yourself and measure what works best.

That being said, there are some things that are standard for what should be on a website for it to be able to convert better, e.g. a clear CTA ( Call To Action ) so the visitor knows exactly what to do on a specific sub-page.

2. If my competitor sells pretty much the same as me, can’t I just copy them?

Many people wonder if not only can you do similar things to your competitor, do not copy the entire website without similar offers, the same cash solution, similar about us page, etc.

The answer to that question is actually the same as the answer to the first one. Even if you sell the same thing, your website does not look exactly the same. And if it were supposed to do so, then you don’t have exactly the same kind of visitors as your competitor. 

There are so many different factors that can differ so you need to have your own plan on how to increase the conversion on your website. You cannot copy your competitor.

Some common terms in conversion optimization

conversion rate

If you have 1000 visitors to a website and 10 of them convert then you have 1% conversion rate. We want to get that figure up. A conversion can be lots of different things. E.g. a visitor who becomes a lead, a lead to a customer, someone who signs up for a test of a program or from a visit to check-out at checkout etc.

So what is a good conversion rate? The answer to that question is simply: “better than last month”. You should aim for at least 5% better conversion rate than the month before.

I often get questions about which conversion rates are normal / good for different industries. It is not possible to give an exact answer to that question. However, the average conversion rate (for the final goal on the page) for different industries is between 2-10%.

Call to Action (CTA)

Something on the page that causes the visitor to take a certain action. For example, it could be a button or link that says “Buy Now” or “Call Me Now”. In the case below, the “contact me about search engine optimisation ” button is a CTA.

Conversion Tunnel (Conversion funnel)

The most common route a visitor takes to a conversion. For example, Tradera could be the Website → Search Results Page → Product Page → Checkout.

A / B test or split test

When testing another version of a current landing page to see which one converts best. This is done by sending the same number of visitors of the same traffic to both and then comparing the results. VWO is a well-known tool and they have a very good guide on how to perform A / B testing .

What do you need to do to implement conversion optimisation?

In order to work fully with conversion optimisation you should have knowledge in several different areas. 

You can of course choose to work only with parts of the conversion optimisation, but if you have a larger site and you want to do everything fully, you want to gather a team that has the following roles:

  • Analysts – You want to be able to read the various tools we use to track the data on a website. Statistics are not always the easiest to interpret and it is important that they are correct. More about that under the heading “Google Analytics” below.
  • Designer – You need a designer who can make a new version of eg. a subpage, ad, or button. Based on the data you get from the analysts, you put together a hypothesis about what can work better and explain to the designer how it should be built.
  • Programmer – Implements the design on the page and makes sure it works well.
  • Marketing and Psychology – It is important to have the basics of how marketing works to make it easier to develop new hypotheses that you can test. Conversion optimisation is about understanding people so that they can make it as easy as possible for them to use the website.
  • Sales – You need to know how to “close a deal”. There are some things that you usually need to include in your offer to lay a good foundation for a high conversion. It can be something like free shipping, various guarantees or customer cases that show your visitors what you did.

The process of conversion optimization

Conversion optimisation is thus largely about analysing the data that is on a website in order to understand the users. Here’s what the conversion optimisation process looks like:

  1. Determine your goals – What do you want to increase on the page? You can have a variety of goals but be sure to decide what the goals are. You may want to get more leads, more downloads or more purchases.
  2. Collecting Data – Set up the right tracking for the goals you selected and wait for the data to come in and / or capture existing data.
  3. Gain insights – Analyze the data and draw conclusions from it. You might, for example, sees that those using iPhone 5 are converting worse than average.
  4. Create hypotheses – Based on the data you have received, you set up different hypotheses. The hypothesis here may be that there is something technically wrong for iPhone users.
  5. Design – Based on the hypothesis you have, you make a new design.
  6. A / B test – You are now testing the hypothesis compared to the original page to see which one performs best
  7. Start at step 1 again!

Conversion steps – Start with the most important first!

As with everything, it is important to start with building the foundation. The principle says that 20% of the work yields 80% of the results, which is in good agreement with conversion optimisation.

The first step in conversion optimization is to make sure that everyone can use the website in a good way which can give a very high return on time spent.

Now I will go through the most important steps in conversion optimization and then start with the most important.

1. How well does your website work for different visitors on different devices?

First and foremost, we want to test how your website works for different visitors. A common mistake many people make is to look at a cut across the entire website to get an overview of what works or not.

You may see that 50% of the visitors leave a certain underside (eg a underside of blue shoes) and then conclude that that underside must be completely redone. However, it is not at all certain that it must. It could be that this particular sub-page does not work well for people using the mobile phone and visiting it or people using Google Chrome.

So you want to segment all different types of users to identify which ones are wrong. When you find out that the reason why 50% leave the sub-page is because it doesn’t work well at all for Chrome users, it’s easy to fix the technical problem instead of concluding that the sub-page isn’t good at all.

Look in Google Analytics to find where “the website is leaking”. Use testing tools and test how your website performs in different browsers. You can also use services that allow real live users to test your website from different perspectives.

Here are a few different tools to test how well your website works in different browsers:

User tests ::

You also want to get an overview of how visitors can use your website. People with different disabilities and different kinds of knowledge. Are there any barriers in the website that make it more difficult to use? Here you have a checklist you can go through to ensure that your website is well optimized.

2. Increase usability

Once we have found out how your website works on different devices and for different people, we want to know how user friendly your website is overall. You are now looking at things such as:

  • Test how well your visitors understand the language you use on the website. It is important to always write for your visitors as it is very easy to happen in your own jargon.
  • Can visitors use your website without having to think about how to use it? It should go as smoothly as possible to reduce all friction.Hire a number of testers (you can use the testers from the above site or people you know) so that they can rate your website.

3. Make the website intuitive

The easier your website is, the more people will use it. A website that is intuitive means that the user immediately understands what to do when using it.

Since you have decided what you want your users to do on your website, you know what different steps they will take. If you want the user to complete a purchase then it must be very clear what the next step should be for the user throughout the process.

Sure, you have ever been to a website where you asked yourself “how do I do now to get where I want to?”. This is the question you want to eliminate when working to make your website intuitive.

And just as usual, it needs to be tested, it can’t be based on what your web designers think seems simple and intuitive. Test it on a live audience so real visitors can decide what is best. There are no shortcuts

4. Be selling

The visitor has come to your website because they want something or solve a certain problem. If you have many different products or services, you need to meet each person’s different ideas. Find out what questions your customers have and give them the answers in the texts and in the design.

Suppose you sell and repair bikes and a visitor searched for “fix bicycle Stockholm” on Google and found on your site. What problem is the visitor looking to solve? In this case, he probably wants help fixing his or someone else’s bike. What are the most common errors? Is it the gears, brakes or something else?

Make sure the people who are looking for answers to their questions If you do not know exactly what the visitor is wondering about, try to cover as much as possible, mention everything the person may be looking to solve and whom you can help with. 

When the visitor sees the list, he / she feels confident that you can help and the chance that they contact you will be greater.

Many websites nowadays have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) but you should not need a FAQ from the users perspective even if in some cases you use a FAQ to drive visits through SEO. The website and text should cover any questions the visitor may have.

You can make your website more selling by including change what you type in the text, make a better design and use better product images.

The list can be made as long as what you usually have to think about when making the website selling but it is about things such as comparing with competitors, describing the services in a selling way, offering tests of the service and showing satisfied customers and case studies. for customers you helped.

Also make sure that there is a Call To Action for the various conceivable visitors. Eg “We fix your bike the same day! Click here to make an appointment! ”.

Google Analytics

Most people use Google Analytics to track their visitors. Although there are other tools (which may be better), Google Analytics is arguably the most common tool.

Only an introduction to Google Analytics requires its own blog post, in fact hundreds of blog posts could be written about different parts of Google Analytics. The same goes for conversion optimisation.

 I was just thinking about quickly mentioning some important parts to look at that I will write about in other blog posts and that you can google for information about if you want to get a closer look at how it works.

KPI – Key Performance Indicators

KPIs are extra important indicators you can look at to get an idea of ​​how your website is doing. Here are some typical KPIs. I write them in English to make it easier for you to find more information about them.

Typical CPI

  • onversion Rate – Conversion rate
  • Revenue per visitor – What revenue you have per visitor on the website
  • Revenue per visit – What revenue you have for each visit (one visitor may return several times)
  • Average order size – Average order
  • Checkout abandonment rate – How many leave the website at checkout and do not complete the purchase

Other interesting figures

  • Bounce rate – The percentage of visitors who immediately left a sub-page they landed on. Many people talk about their bounce rate on the entire website. It is quite uninteresting, it is more interesting to look at each underside separately.
  • Exit rate – The percentage of visitors who left your website from a specific sub-page.
  • Time to purchase – How long it takes a visitor to make a purchase.
  • Assisted conversions – How many of your conversions had more than one channel of marketing before converting. A visitor may first come to your website via a text ad but leave the page. Then the visitor comes through Google Shopping, and leaves the page. Then the visitor comes to the website a third time by typing the address directly into the browser. Then the text ad and Google Shopping are assisted conversions.

The above may at first glance seem to be suitable for mainly e-retailers, but it is also possible for other companies and municipalities to set up similar figures, contact us if you want us to chip around how you can do it for your particular site.

It is important that the statistics you are looking at can provide an insight that can be done.

WHAT should you do after you get a certain number? For example, “The subpages that have the most exits are our blog posts”. Okay. What will you do about it? Well you can, for example, try to have clear CTAs that direct visitors to other parts of the website.

Look at the total percentage

It is important not only to look at the percentage, but first to look at the percentage of visitors that the percentage consists of. If you find that some statistics seem to be improving, first look at how much of the total cake it actually is.

For example, you may see that from the traffic sources, referrals (visits from other websites) convert well, but you think you can improve it further. When you look at it more closely, however, you see that referrals are only 50 out of a total of 3000 conversions, so it might be better to look at something else first.

Want to know more about how we can help you with Conversion Optimiser? 

Conclusion

Conversion optimisation is largely about building hypotheses where you think you can improve different parts of your website based on the data you can get and then test those hypotheses. You then continue this over and over.

Remember to start with the low hanging fruit first and see what major improvements you can make to your website technically. You can always continue to improve your conversion rate and increase your profits, so conversion optimisation never ends.

What has been your biggest challenge with conversion optimisation or do you have any questions you are thinking about? Write in the comments below!

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