In a world with a million distractions, getting people to focus on one thing, let alone follow through on a purchase, can be a difficult sell. In fact, most marketing companies have shifted from creating appealing promotional materials to solely focusing on the big scary giant that is conversion optimization.
But with so many tips and different options out there, where do you start? Here’s your ultimate guide from beginning to end of implementing and succeeding in CRO strategies.
The first step in change management for any new strategy is to identify why you need it. Although you may have already realized that your conversion is low from lead to sale, there could be a lot more at play here. Luckily there are tons of people out there looking for the same thing and applications are popping up everywhere to try and help you identify what exactly you need to target for your CRO initiatives.
Mouseflow is not necessarily a new company, but their service is becoming ever more important as companies involve to care more and more about CRO. Its unique value is the accessibility of the information it provides which helps you watch how your visitors are interacting with your website.
What pages are they spending more time on? What buttons do they avoid? How are they moving their mouses across the page? All of this information can be viewed in various heat maps which show you which areas of your page are “hotter” and therefore where your call to action buttons should be placed.
This information is great for identifying what your major problem is.
Are people using Chrome leaving your site quickly? Then maybe you need to reconsider your coding and make it more accessible to all browser users. Are some pages taking longer to load for your visitors?
Then likely that speed explains why your website isn’t being favoured on search engines. All this information and heat mapping can help you completely revamp your website without spending time on costly and inefficient changes.
Similar to Mouseflow, Optimizely is another tool that gives great analytics and feedback on your current website design.
It’s a great way to test different changes and evaluate the data to see what your visitors actually want. This program is a bit more complicated however, and will still most likely need an engineer to get you started on the process of testing out the changes your marketers or executives are envisioning.
This last technique, though not an application like the last two, comes from Salesforce. Bryan Eisenberg argues that although data has been a driving force of much of our critical thought, human bias still needs to be overcome to identify the true route of the problem.
He claims that most companies suffer from the bias that everyone around them (their customers, in this case) make error in judgment, but that they as the ‘experts’ are immune to making errors.
By assuming that everyone else is making the mistake, we can at times read data in the wrong way.
Eisenberg promotes the idea of “mindfulness” as a concept that involves observing data without questioning or connecting to existing assumptions.
For example, instead of asking “what do I need to target for my CRO campaign?” instead you look at the information objectively and create statements from the data. More abstract, this is a concept that becoming ever more important in the world of big data and can be an important stepping point for understanding the information you collect.
To sum up, these are some great resources to find what might be going on behind the scenes. In short, here are some of the things you might encounter after using these apps:
- Website structure – is your page easy to navigate?
- Call to action unclear – do you have a CTA on every page? Do you frame your CTA to promote immediate action?
- Content is confusing – are visitors bouncing more frequently on certain pages? Are they confused on what your service/product is?
- Speed and code – are certain browsers struggling to stay on the site? Are certain pages taking longer to process?
The next step is collecting direct feedback from your visitors and customers. Although data can tell us a lot, our best sources of information is the people actually experiencing the website itself. To go to the source, there are several different options, but many of them will look familiar to you if you’ve ever visited an ecommerce site before.
Feedback And Polls
The first, and a very common one, is to design polls on your website to collect quick and easy feedback. This is ideal for those who currently have a low response and click rate on their website, as it takes barely any time out of their day. Do keep in mind the kind of responses you’ll get from this kind of poll.
Because it’s easy to use, you most likely will get rather neutral responses as polls are considered the lazy-man’s feedback form. Responses will also be limited without much potential for qualitative output as options are restrained to multiple choice.
Another option, for more in depth feedback, is feedback forms. These are generally best sent out in newsletters or emails. Questions to ask in these forms should include things like “where they heard of your company”, “would they visit your website again”, and “would they recommend your service/product to a friend”.
A great tip is to use a form that links back to the website once the form is submitted, so they can act upon any queries that may have come to them while filling in the form.
Live Chat/Customer Service
Live chats on websites have become a popular staple of ecommerce sites, especially in the high tech field. This is more exclusive to companies with more talent that can support a type of call centre of that magnitude.
If your product or service is complicated and tailorable, this may be a good option for you to ensure customer satisfaction on every level. This can also be a great way to direct people to several pages and can even be done using a bot program that identifies key words and directs visitors from there.
Some cons to live chat are obviously man power and efficiency. Visitors won’t always be keen on giving feedback on website design in this kind of setting either, as it’s most often used as customer support.
If you already are looking to invest in a program like this, however, it may be a good option to use for collecting information on your website structure at the same time.
Once you’ve identified what you need to target, you need to decide how you want to go about solving the specific improvement areas. The key to success is looking at every aspect of your current business model and not just your website design for maximum effectiveness.
Landing pages have been a popular staple of website design pretty much since the beginning of internet’s existent.
They can be used for a variety of purposes, but it’s important that whatever use you make sure it’s optimized to its greatest potential. Mitch Causey of Lesson.ly discovered that improving their Thank You page improved their conversion rates from 0% to 15% in only a few short months. This kind of tweak helped them grow their business in ways most other companies would spend hundreds of dollars on.
Causey focused on a couple major changes. Their original page was pretty simple, it thanked you for downloading the resource they offered and provided a link to download it.
The first thing he changed was major: adding a clear call to action on top of the page. This time, it also included a Free Trial sign up on the left hand side in clearly blocked design. It was easy to see and easy to use and they saw their conversion rocket up to 6%.
The thing they noticed though, was although there was now a button to lead them to their trial sign ups, you still had to jump to another page to convert.
Their last major change was to include their entire sign up form on the page, ready to fill and submit right there. No need to jump to other pages, everything right there immediately after they engaged with the site.
The idea here is that landing pages should not fulfill just one purpose but rather many. Primarily, the idea that you can never have too many calls to action rings true here, so use your landing pages wisely to grow your CRO in crazy ways.
Did you notice people bouncing after clicking through certain pages? Then most likely you need to work on rewriting the content on those pages.
Typically if customers can’t find the information within a few seconds of landing on a page, then they will bounce and continue surfing the rest of the internet for the solution they’re seeking.
There’s a couple things to keep in mind when designing the content on your website. An important one is the titles and keywords.
Make sure you use words that the internet savvy recognize easily – like ‘About Us’ or ‘FAQ’. Stray away from catchy or branded titles that people don’t understand and make sure your product/service information is easy to find.
The next important part is to make sure your content is digestible for any type of user. If you’re selling computer programming equipment, don’t only speak to the engineer.
Make sure you use simple and recognizable language for the consumer to scan quickly and understand enough to make an educated decision. Another great way to make information easy to understand is to create lists or graphics that highlight aspects of your product/service you believe will sell them on converting from stranger to customer.
Call To Action
The best thing any website designer learns when they’re working with marketing specialists is that you do not mess around with the call to action button.
But more than that, a rule of thumb with your call to action button is the more the better. If a visitor is reading your information page but has to click through four other pages before they can convert, then you can be pretty sure they’ll be bouncing somewhere along that funnel.
Make sure you have a call to action readily available on every page, and if not that, at least your most visited or bounced pages to start encouraging conversion.
An interesting tip is to even involve action in your copy throughout the site.
Taking quotes or copy and making them more action oriented and with wording that promotes solving a problem with your product/service can greatly impact your conversion. Simple things from changing your sentences from passive form to active form can make a world of difference.
Pretty much: don’t lie.
Especially in industries where your presence and messaging isn’t entirely digital, you need to be conscious of how your messaging aligns with that of your sales people on the ground.
If your salesmen are saying one thing but your product information page promises a million other things, then you’ll most likely see a lot of visitors become disinterested quickly.
This is particularly important to keep an eye out for if you have outsourced your website creation and the content isn’t based on real knowledge of how your company works. Make sure someone from the sales department looks over every inch of the website for accuracy and alignment.
According to Salesforce, a 1 second added delay in loading time can equal a 7% decrease in conversion rates.
The fact of the matter is the internet users have incredibly short attention spans, and if you make them wait even a second longer to get the information they want, then you aren’t doing yourself any favours.
Using the tools we already talked about, make sure you analyze the speed for different browsers and pages and make sure you maximize your website’s accessibility. Even a few seconds could boost your CRO tremendously.
Design And Structure
One of the largest culprits of low conversion is cluttered and complicated web pages.
A good designer knows that less is more, especially in selling a product.A good designer knows that less is more, especially in selling a product.Click To Tweet
A good rule is that your product images should take up at least a quarter of the space they are allotted, depending on how your website is structured.
Simplicity is key for the busy consumer who doesn’t want to have to read through a bunch of text before they get to the point. Even if your call to action is great and your content is simple, if it isn’t easy on the eyes you’ll lose them before they even start reading.
Proof Of Product
One major deterrent to the consumer is a lack of testimonials or reviews.
With services like Yelp, Google maps, or even ratemyprof.com, the modern user is used to being able to see reviews on anything they want to research.
Believe it or not, even having bad reviews is better than having none, so start investing on collecting those testimonials.
The first thing to do is create a space on your website where users can easily and quickly leave reviews. For ecommerce, this is relatively easy, but if you don’t directly sell products on your website there are ways to make it accessible too.
Try adding a feedback form to your Contact Us page where you can source testimonials for you to use. Ask for them through newsletters and in confirmation of payment emails.
But remember, reviews are only good if you use them, so make sure you have a place for testimonials on the front page where visitors can see them right away.
To sum everything up, tackling CRO is rather simple if you make sure to follow the appropriate steps.
Never jump in and assume that your problem will be the same as anyone else’s. Use the tools that you have available to you to really analyze your current state and make decisions off that.
Remember that CRO is a very structured approach and can only work alongside the collection of data and feedback so create spaces and programs to track that first before moving on to optimization.
Over all, remember that just a 3% change in conversion rates can lead to millions of dollars in revenue growth.
Never take your CRO initiatives for granted and keep working to provide the best experience for all your visitors.
What's your favourite conversion optimization tool? Let me know in the comments!Tags: