In a lot of ways, a website is a lot like a car. When something goes wrong, it can take time to figure out what the problem is. And when you maintain your car, it runs smoothly and can offer top performance and efficiency.
So what happens if your “car” can go fast, but not very far? Or, to put it more directly, what happens when your website attracts a lot of visitors but few convert? There can be a lot of different causes of a low conversion rate, but the solution still stays the same: conversion rate optimization, otherwise known as CRO.
What Is a Conversion Rate?
A conversion is when a visitor to your website takes an action. A conversion can depend on what you want a visitor to do on a particular page. If you want them to convert to a lead by filling out a form to book a demo, then each submitted form counts as a conversion. Or if you want a visitor to learn more about your products, a downloaded Products Catalog PDF may be counted as a conversion. The rate at which people convert on a webpage is measured in a percentage.
How to Optimize a Webpage
If you want your website to be effective and convert as many people as possible, you need to pay attention to the conversion rate and analyze your pages on a regular basis. There are a few different tools you can use to do this, but being data-driven can yield much higher conversion rates.
When you begin conversion rate optimization, you first need to identify your goals and gather a set of data to analyze. Your goals should SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. When you have these specific goals in mind, your tests and data analysis will be more aligned.
Heatmap tools like Crazyegg and Hotjar can provide you with data with accurate maps of what users are interacting with the most on your website. Coupled with web traffic analytics from Google Analytics, you can see which pages on your site need the most work. Armed with that knowledge, you can start testing, experimenting and tweaking elements on those pages one at a time to make them more effective.
When you optimize a webpage, optimize it according to CRO best practices. Edit and test one page element at a time so you get the clearest results and data, take it slow and continue iterating on your work. Over time, you’ll see measurable results in your overall conversion rate.
What Conversion Rate Optimization Can Do for You
Conversion rate optimization is an integral part of digital marketing. You can make the most of your website with optimization, feeding qualified leads to sales. And as a part of sales, it can streamline your process and potentially shorten the time to close the deal. At its core, CRO creates a user experience that both educates the user and entices them to convert.
Create a Better User Experience
Conversion rates are your measuring stick for your website’s landing page effectiveness. If you don’t have a high conversion rate across your website, then your site isn’t providing a user experience that encourages a conversion.
CRO can drive more conversions by making your website more user-friendly. With good user experience, any site visitor can find what they need or get answers to their questions. For example, having a landing page with too much content or one without enough of it to really help the user is unlikely to have a high conversion rate. Following best practices can help you identify the biggest issues with your pre-existing pages and help create more effective new landing pages.
Generate Seamless Funnels for Better-Quality Leads
Conversions can look different at each stage of the buyer’s journey. A top-of-funnel conversion could be filling out a form to get more information. A bottom-of-funnel conversion would be becoming a customer. By optimizing for conversions at every phase of the buyer’s journey, you can maximize your website’s potential and help even shorten your sales cycle.
With a fully optimized website, you’re spending more time working leads you know are actually interested in your product or service. Inbound leads are looking for answers or a solution, so instead of spending hours cold calling numbers from a list, you’re nurturing leads to convert and become customers. That’s time saved for your sales team that they can instead use to work on closing deals.
CRO is a way to smooth out the wrinkles in your sales process, with your landing pages acting as a magnet to attract interested, engaged users and convert them into leads with a higher potential of becoming customers.
The Holistic Importance of CRO In Digital Marketing
Conversion rate optimization can create overall more efficient marketing and sales funnels, but that has its own ripple effect across your business. Holistically speaking, CRO can help you measure your results and keep you in line with your goals.
When you make SMART goals and begin to optimize your website to meet those goals, you can have a better understanding and handle on where your business is going. If you have achievable goals and a way to measure your progress, you can continually iterate on your content and analyze the results on a regular basis. These small but continuous changes quickly add up.
For example, if you notice one landing page has a high bounce rate, meaning users quickly leave it without taking any action, then you may need to adjust the content on the page to make it more relevant and engaging. You may also need to adjust the audience you’re reaching if you’re using the landing page in a digital ad campaign. Once you start experimenting and analyzing the results, you should start to see movement over time. CRO is a continuous process, but bringing more qualified leads in will help the amount of deals you close and boost your revenue. That makes it a key to continuous growth!
Optimize, Analyze, Then Optimize Some More
Conversion rate optimization is a commitment, but it pays off beyond just improving your website. While your digital presence is certainly something worth investing in, continuously working to improve your website’s conversion rates can make your business more profitable and efficient.
Even if you don’t have a large marketing team, you can still enlist the help of experts to turn your website into a conversion machine. With time and the right resources at your disposal, CRO can unlock continuous, long-term growth for your company.