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Conversion Rate Optimization Implementation

conversion rate optimization

Drive users to take action

A conversion is when a visitor comes onto a website and takes a desired action. This action can vary from business to business. For example, a brochure site may see a conversion as an email signup, whereas an eCommerce website may see a conversion as a purchase or a lead generation-focused app may see booking a call as a conversion.

Conversions are a key metric for indicating a business’s growth and success. The task of implementing modifications to improve the conversion rate is known as Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO for short.

This article showcases how to get started with CRO and how to optimize your website to maximize your return on investment.

TL;DR: CRO Implementation

  1. Conversion rate optimization, also known as CRO, is increasing the success rate of conversions on your site. CRO is all about pushing website visitors to take the desired action, whether making a purchase, signing up for the newsletter, or downloading an eBook.
  2. The CRO process: It contains 6 crucial steps one must go through to ensure that their CRO works for maximized impact.
    • Set goals: What does success look like to you, and what KPIs do you have set to reflect that? 
    • Research: Collect the data with relevant tracking tools
    • Analyze and discover: Study the data and identify patterns and trends.
    • Hypothesize and prioritize: Formulate the actions that need to be implemented first – what will make the most impact?
    • Testing: Test your approaches, utilize A/B testing, and study how visitors react to the changes.
    • Refine and repeat: Analyze what worked and what didn’t and fine-tune. Repeat the 6 steps and remember to have the mindset that things can always be improved.
  3. Where to start with CRO: Key elements such as landing pages, user experience, website speed, and mobile layout must be optimized to maximize the potential to improve your conversion rate.
  4. Key takeaway: CRO is not a cost; it’s an investment in your business’s future.

What is conversion rate optimization?

CRO is the process of increasing the number of website or app visitors to take a desired action. This action, referred to as a conversion, could be anything from a purchase to signing up for a newsletter or downloading a brochure.

What makes CRO special is that it’s a data-driven approach that goes beyond the guesswork to ensure informed decisions about optimising your site, which results in a high return on investment (ROI). 

The best way is to visualise visitors going through a marketing funnel; at the start, they express interest and may engage with elements on the site; if they like what they see, they may take the desired action (set by the website) and convert. But sometimes, at some stage of the funnel, a drop-off may be experienced – and this is where CRO comes in and tries to reduce that.

A CRO specialist looks to identify where and why customers are dropping off in the funnel (is there an obstacle or friction stopping them from converting?) and tries to implement a solution to reduce the drop-off. 

Funnel drop-offs vary by business – it could be down to unclear messaging, unfriendly UX design, or hidden costs before a purchase but without going through the CRO 6 steps, it will be difficult to pinpoint the reason for drop-offs.

By optimizing your website or app and removing any obstacles that might prevent visitors from converting, one can boost the bottom line without necessarily needing to put additional efforts into attracting more visitors. This is all achievable with CRO.

How good does your conversion rate need to be?

We often hear the question: ‘What’s a good conversion rate?’ The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on your industry and the business.

While industry benchmarks can be helpful, the best way to determine what a successful CRO is to clearly set goals for what success looks like to you – what counts as a job well done? 

Set clear KPIs and monitor analytics tools to track website traffic and user behaviour over time. Note when you start your CRO efforts on the site for before-and-after comparisons.

The CRO process

Turning interest into action

The CRO process involves turning users from “lookers” to “doers” (driving action). With this, there are 6 stages of the process one must go through: 

  • Set goals 
  • Research
  • Analyze 
  • Hypothesize and prioritize
  • Testing
  • Refine and repeat
The CRO Process - Heat mapping a webpage | Madcraft

1. Set goals

Identify the conversions you want

This initial phase involves understanding the purpose of your CRO implementation and what you are trying to achieve. With CRO, you need to define what your conversion goals are. What do you want visitors to do once they land on your website? For example; Buy a product, sign up for a service, or contact you?

Once you have clearly defined your goals for the CRO process, you need to gather qualitative and quantitative data to make a clear understanding of what you need to improve on your site to maximize those conversions.

2. Research

Gather the data

Making well-informed decisions requires the support of data. The data gathered through the CRO process helps you understand your target audience better, allowing you to tailor your website or app for maximum impact.

Gathering data from all your website touchpoints will help identify areas for improvement – pinpointing the potential areas for improvement in the funnel. 

As previously mentioned, qualitative and quantitative data need to be collected to make data-driven decisions. You need to gather data from as many sources as possible, e.g. user feedback, analytics, and market research. 

At this stage, it’s important to set up the relevant tracking metrics and remember to align them with the goals set in step one.

Quantitive (Number-focused)

Qualitative (Descriptive-focused)

  • Customer feedback 
  • User flows
  • Customer journey maps
  • User testing

3. Analyze and discover

Uncover the reason(s) for the drop-offs

Once the data is collected, you can start to identify why visitors are not converting, maybe even where they’re stopping. From the data collected, you need to study patterns, trends, and insights to pinpoint specific barriers or opportunities that are impacting conversion rates. 

Both qualitative and quantitative data offer valuable insight into user behaviors and preferences. It reveals how users interact with your website and what keeps them engaged (which increases the likelihood of conversions) 

Once you study the data, you may start to see the reasons appear for the drop-offs in the funnel. Are there bottlenecks or confusing elements during the funnel? Is the website aligning with user preferences? Is there friction in the user journey? 

4. Hypothesize and prioritize

Find actionable solutions and implement based on it’s impact

It’s important to prioritize which elements on the website you want to optimize first. Not all solutions should be implemented in one go, nor do we recommend it! Why? Because even optimizing one element might impact others, it’s best practice to take a step-by-step approach that allows for adjustments and avoids unintended consequences (and even higher drop-off rates!). 

You need to formulate a hypothesis about what changes will lead to better conversion rates. The best way to do this is to focus on the areas with the highest drop-off rates first. 

To help prioritize what solutions need to be done first, it’s suggested to have prioritization criteria:

  • Impact: Which issues impact the most users and conversions?
  • Effort: How much time, resources, and budget will it take to address each issue?
  • Alignment: Does the issue align with overall business goals?

Undergoing CRO on your website or can be an enormous task and the implementation takes time. So, this is why you need to focus on the most important aspects. This criteria helps allocate your resources (time, money, people) in the most effective way possible to ensure the biggest impact on conversion rates.

5. Testing

Learning and improving

One of the most important aspects of CRO is testing. Seeing what is working and what isn’t will provide insight into what can be improved to drive more conversions.

Several methods exist to test if your CRO is making any impact on your website or app. You must select which elements to test, establish success metrics (the goals set out in step one), and decide on the duration of each test. Looking at the relevant tracking tools you used to collect the data in step two to ensure statistically significant results.

Another approach is to use A/B testing, which allows one to compare different versions of a page to see which performs better. It suggested creating variations of your web pages, content, and CTAs with the proposed changes backed and getting your target audience to test them out. Make a note of all interactions, study their behavior and preferences to different elements, and keep an eye out for the impact these changes make on your conversion rates. 

6. Refine and repeat

Rinse and repeat

Now it’s time to observe the effectiveness of the CRO implementation! Similar to the testing step, take note of what worked in the process and try to see if you can make any additional improvements to maximizing CRO effectiveness –Identify what worked, what didn’t, and why. By analyzing the results, one can identify successful strategies and gather insights for further optimization efforts.

A vital takeaway from this article is that CRO is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix. To be the most successful, you must have the mindset that you can always improve and be better. This can be achieved by tweaking your site or app over time and studying its impact on conversions. So make sure to continuously repeat the 6 steps of the CRO process so you can stay on top of the game. 

Using tools like lighthouse to inspect mobile responsiveness and web speed | Madcraft

Where to start with CRO?

Optimizing your website for lead generation

Focus on what aspects of your site or app are making a positive difference in your conversions. Remember to align all the below elements to the CRO 6-step process.

Landing pages:

A landing page’s primary function is to encourage visitors to take a specific action. Remember, with CRO, you are identifying what is stopping users from taking that action. Is the landing page too busy, not clear enough, etc. 

To optimize your landing page, you need to: 

  • Optimize the layout, copy, and visuals to encourage conversions. This means removing any unnecessary elements on the landing page that may cause distractions.
  • Set one purpose for the landing page. Remember, you need to be focused on one goal to increase the chances of conversion. If you want users to sign up, place email sign up in front of them and don’t add any other action to take on that page.

Product pages:

This is mainly related to eCommerce stores, but it’s still something to watch out for. When users make it to the product page, they’ve likely passed the interest stage and are ready to buy, but if conversions are low for individual product pages, you need to question why.

To optimize your product page, you need to: 

  • Update images, product descriptions, and the CTA
  • Incorporate personalization and tailor the user experience based on individual preferences and behaviors. Use data-driven insights to deliver personalized content, recommendations, and offers that are relevant to each visitor.
  • Add social proof elements like testimonials, logos of trusted partners, or security badges to build trust and credibility that ensure visitors that they are making the right decision to purchase with you.
  • Trust Signals: Include trust signals like secure payment badges, money-back guarantees, and warranty information to reassure customers about their purchase.
  • Utilise product recommendation algorithms to further enhance the chance of a conversion.

Content:

Content marketing is a surefire way to establish trust and thought leadership. When you build trust and value, users are more likely to convert.

To optimize your content, you need to: 

  • Address common objections and concerns
  •  Utilize a variety of content formats like blog posts, infographics, videos, and case studies to cater to different user preferences.
  • Create content that matches the user’s search intent. Users may be in different stages of the funnel but they are search intent can only be 4. 
  • Utilize internal linking by linking to relevant internal pages within your content to guide users deeper into your website and explore related topics.
  • To optimize your content for CRO even further, you may enlist the help of an SEO specialist.
    • Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research to understand what your target audience is searching for and tailor your content to their specific needs and pain points
    • Content Mapping: Map your content to different stages of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision) to ensure it delivers the right information at the right time.

User experience (UX):

UX has become an indispensable aspect of modern websites. In fact, UX and CRO integrate with each other. A seamless UX enhances user satisfaction and engagement, which in turn positively influences conversion rates. It’s important to examine your entire site to ensure it is accessible and user-friendly.

To optimize your UX, you need to: 

  • Structure your website logically. Make it easy for users to find content across your site and what they are looking for. 
  • Make sure the placement of your information hierarchy is correct. What information do you want users to read first? Remember to format headings into H1, H2, H3 etc, to make content easier to understand. 
  • Optimize interactions to make them more user-friendly, such as clear buttons, intuitive forms, and responsive design elements.
  • Prioritize accessibility by following WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) to ensure your UX is inclusive for users with disabilities.

Website speed:

In this day and age, no one is going to stick around for a slow site. With an industry benchmark of a website load speed being in two seconds or less, it is something you cannot avoid optimizing. You need to check if your entire site or just individual pages are slowing everything down. 

To optimize your website speed, you need to: 

  • Ensure your website loads quickly on all devices. You can test this on Google Lighthouse.
  • Optimize page load times to prevent visitors from bouncing due to slow performance. Resize images for web use and use compression tools that don’t sacrifice quality to speed up your website. 
  • Implement browser caching to store frequently accessed files locally on user devices.
  • Ask your web hosting provider to optimize server response times. This may involve upgrading your current server package, but it might be the investment you need to speed things up.

Mobile Layout:

With an increasing number of users accessing websites on mobile devices, it is a must-have to ensure your website is fully optimized for mobile responsiveness. Test your website across different devices and screen sizes to provide a seamless experience for all users.

To optimize your mobile layout, you need to: 

  • Optimize the legibility of the text size and line spacing so that users read the content on their mobile devices. For lengthy content, break it down into smaller, digestible sections with clear headings and bullet points to improve scannability.
  • Ensure smooth scrolling and avoid content jumping around during scrolling.
  • Place the most critical information and CTAs within the initial screen view (above the fold) to direct users to the desired action straight away.
  • Utilize responsive images and videos that automatically adjust to different screen sizes to avoid distorted visuals that will frustrate visitors.
  • With a smaller screen, there is less retail space to work with, so remember to use it efficiently and avoid intrusive pop-ups and ads that could disrupt the mobile user experience.

In Summary

CRO isn’t a one-time fix. It’s a journey of continuous improvement. By consistently optimizing different elements across your website and marketing efforts, you’ll start to see positive results. Remember, CRO is not a cost, it is an investment in your business’s future – the more you refine, the more you’ll reap the rewards.

CRO can be complex, but there are many resources available to help you get started. Contact us today for more information on how to get started with CRO. 

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