Conversion Rate Optimization – The Quick Guide
Let’s fact the fact, whatever you do should help you grow your business faster.
If you have hired a growth hacker or you take charge to grow your business, there is one thing that you can never miss; it is conversion rate optimization.
Whether you are running an online business, e-commerce, blog, or even if your business is not online at all, using the strategies in this CRO guide can boost your revenue, significantly.
Before you read <If you are looking for an in-depth definitive guide to conversion rate optimization, click here>
The truth about conversion rate:
Let’s begin by defining what is conversion rate, and then move on to CRO optimization strategies.
I’ve read many definitions of conversion rate but many of them got it wrong. Conversion rate has nothing to do with your traffic, SEO, or your brand. It is all groundbreaking strategies that result in higher ROI.
The classification of conversion rate won’t change but the result will vary based on your defined goals.
Scenario #1, if your goal is to increase your revenue, then the conversion rate you must look into should be the number of customers who bought your products, packages, or solutions VS the total number of people who showed interest.
Scenario #2, in case you are trying to get more leads and engage them in your sales funnel, you should monitor your conversion rate base on the number of people who are approached (or they might approach you) against the number of qualified leads.
Scenario #3, in the event that you are looking for better brand awareness, then you should not be looking for tangible results in short term. However, if you implement retargeting strategies (I’ll get to this soon), you can track your revenue conversion rate.
Conversion Funnel Versus Sales Funnel
I’m not sure about your model but in most scenarios sales funnels look like this.
The first step is acquiring leads. It normally happens by getting in touch with customers, either through cold calls, email campaigns or face to face meeting, etc. As soon as you have the lead’s attention you’ll focus on proving your value proposition and convert the lead to opportunity. As soon as you see the anticipated success rate is higher, you’d go ahead and pitch the customer and close the deal.
The conversion funnel is somehow different
In general, conversion funnel has 4 phases:
- Customers will know about you
- And do research about your business
- They trying your Offer
- Then Buying from you
- And tell others
Let’s say you have a Bait & Hook business model. You are offering a free service, hooking with a free trial, or allowing users to download the Lite-version of your solution. In this case your conversion funnel should look like this.
This is where customers will come to know your product, and ay a visit to your website. They might come from organic sources, word of mouth, or even advertisement.
At this stage they will explore your portfolio, offers, website, social media activities. Since customers don’t have a tool to measure your credibility, they will use the eye ball test. If you manage to pass the eye ball test you have a good chance that your prospects move to the next stage.
Unfortunately, since there are plenty of scams, no one is willing to buy from you the first time they visit your site. At this stage if you try to encourage them to opt-in to your website and offer them a cool whitepaper to download, or something that fits their need, you will be able to acquire your leads.
If what you’ve offered them for free in previous stage can touch their heart and promise a great value for money, your leads will automatically move to download and try your trial product.
Give enough time to your customers and let them enjoy the free teal. The secret to convert them to paying customers is to follow up with them during the trial period. Providing how to guides and basic support at this stage will increase your conversion rate.
This is where your leads, and opportunities convert to paying customers. You must monitor your conversion rate in any of the above mentioned stages to make sure you are paying attention to the right leads and inspire the to move on the next phase.
The secret to achieve higher CRO is to follow two important steps:
- Define your Conversion funnel
- Align it with your sales funnel
How to set up conversion goals
Converting visitors to customers who love to buy starts from defining crystal clear conversion metrics and goals.
To begin optimizing your business conversion rate, you must clearly define the following factors:
- Goals:What’s the most important outcome I want to achieve from optimization practice?
- Metrics:How do you measure success. Is it the number o subscribed emails or the number of close deals?
Pro Tip: You can define 1 overall goal for your business, but when it comes to optimizing your pages for higher conversion, you must set only one goal per page.
Set a Baseline and monitor your Conversion rate
If you don’t know where you are, you wouldn’t be able to gauge your success. The first step after defining your goals is to set a baseline. Setting a baseline helps you have accurate measurements to progress your conversion success rate against your current status.
To set a conversion rate baseline for your business, simply head to the google webmaster tools and google analytics and take the following steps:
Essential Step in Google Search Console:
- Check Your Sitemap. Navigate to Search Console > Crawl > Site Maps. Make sure your site map is submitted correctly. If it is not available or you found some errors, try resubmitting your sitemap.
- Go to Search Console > Google Index > Index Status and make sure all pages are indexed.
- Mobile visibility plays a great role in boosting your conversion rate. Head to Search Console > Search Traffic > Mobile Usability and capture a screenshot.
- Most importantly, navigate to Search Console > Search Traffic > Search Analytics. Make sure CTR, Impressions, and clicks are checked. Capture Threedifferent screenshot of this page by selecting pages, countries, and devices.
Necessary Steps in Google Analytics:
- 30 days’ traffic. Head to Google Analytics > Reporting > Audience > Overview. Set your setting on last 30 days, and capture the screen.
- On the same page, jot down these factors.
- Bounce rate
- % New Sessions
- Average Session Duration
- Navigate to Google Analytics > Reporting >Conversions > Goals > Overview. Capture the Goal Conversion Rate. Don’t worry if you have not set a goal, I’ll show you how to do it later.
- Capture the tabular information on Google Analytics > Reporting > Audience > Mobile > Overview
Having the above captured information gives you a feeling of your business situation at this point. Add your advertisement budget & return of investment to the list and save the document as Original Baseline or OBL.
Explore your Customer’s persona
The easiest way to identify your customer’s persona is to use an empathy map. Simply use it to analyze your customer’s thoughts, feelings, attitude, challenges and needs in a collaborative way.
Empathy map is a great hypothetical method of gauging customer’s persona. It would be absolutely beneficial If you run instant experiments & interviews.
There are plenty of free startup tools that enables you to conduct live experiment and engage customers when they visit your website.
Typeform, is an innovative way to get in touch with customers and collect data. As soon as you collect data from each user, immediately send them a personalized, conditional, yet automated responses to users and keep them in the loop.
Find out what matters to customers and what can lead you to achieve higher ROI
Design Your page based on Eye Magnet Shapes. In a research by Nielsen Norman Group, it was found that visitors read contents following the ‘F’ shape. Yes, F for four. Your visitors scan and skim your content in a few seconds.
The best tactic to use for designing your content to capture your reader’s attention is to pay attention to the first two paragraph. State the most significant information in the first two paragraphs. Make sure to add enough visuals in your text because visitors rarely read a page that only contains text.
Using bullet points, numbers, and headings can slow down your visitor and encourage them to read more. This way you can reduce your bounce rate and increase website conversion optimization.
13 actionable strategies to increase website conversion rate
I outlined 13 actionable yet super easy to implement strategies to help you optimize your website for higher conversion rate.
- Reduce number of ads & banners.
Provide your users a professional design that is systematically programmed to attract customers and convert them to leads. Showing Google ads, or unnecessary banners does not help your business; it actually hurt your conversion rate.
- Don’t forget to ask at the end.
Using exit intent Popups is a great tool to ask your customers if they would consider to opt-in before they leave your website.
If you are concerned about your professional design and look and feel of your page, you can get your programmer to use simple CSS codes and design a popup that matches your user interface.
- Use The right font size.
Every business who own a website should know that customers will immediately reject Spammy-look websites. To pass the eye ball test, you must use the right font size.
If your theme and template has very large or very small fonts, you can use html or CSS codes and change your font size to match your design.
- Write you pages with the right length.
Today people are more visual, and reading lengthy texts is not something that everyone likes to do. Including infographics, visuals, videos, can help you skyrocket your click through rate, lower your bounce rate, and lift your conversion rate.
Writing short and low quality posts destroy your SEO ranking factors and reduces your traffic. Consider writing long posts of more than 1000 words and use the right keywords in your text. Pitch your value proposition in your first paragraph, and continue supporting your claim with actionable step by step how to guides.
- Flesch–Kincaid grade matters to readers.
Writing contents that are easily understood improves your SEO ranking and engage readers to keep reading. Don’t write long paragraphs and sentences.
Try to craft your contents with Flesch Reading Ease score of at least 40 (the higher, the better) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of At least 10.
To know your Flesch–Kincaid grade or readability indicator, complete your article on Microsoft word and then press F7. The word processor analyzes your piece of content and present you with a popup that contains your score. In case you score is not within the acceptable range, you should consider revising your sentences, punctuation, and replace difficult words with easier ones.
- The world has gone mobile, Have you?
People are 5 times more likely to leave your website if it’s not mobile friendly. Head to test my site by Think Google and enter your URL.
Google will analyze your site and shows you something like this. You can click on view the details to know your issues, and make your Website Mobile Friendly to provide better experience to mobile users.
- Reduce Loading Time
NO one likes to wait for a page to load, especially in today’s fact pace world. Make sure to read 3 Easy Ways to Get More Customers through landing page optimization, as I’ve clearly elaborated the best tactics to reduce your loading time and increase your click through rate.
- Simplify the registration process.
Why would you need to ask several questions to let someone register on your landing page? Don’t forget the fact that people want to achieve things fast and fun, so give this experience to them.
Offer a single integrated button that allows visitors to register using their email address or any preferred social media account. If you really need to know their birth day and post code, you ask them to update their profile AFTER they opt in.
- Simplify checkout page
You can destroy all of your optimization efforts by over complicating your checkout process. Psychologically, your customers would be looking for discount codes to bargain and get a better deal, and out of sudden you shock them with additional fees such as VAT, Shipping, etc.
It would not be difficult to calculate every cost at your end and quote them an all-inclusive price. Lack of transparency especially in check out page, will ruin your trust relationship and drastically drop your conversion rate.
- Display trust logos
Whether you own a branded e-commerce shop or a new online business website, trust plays a great role in user’s decision to make any purchase from your website. Display trust logos such as secure payment, or “No Spam Newsletter”, etc to give confidence to your visitors for opt-in and make any payment.
- Optimize Your Call to Action – CTA
The most common mistakes that marketers do is to design a treasure hunt game for their users and make it their visitor’s mission to find the right call to action button. You must NOT use more than one call to action per page.
Every call to action in one page should serve one objective among all your predefined goals. Place your call to action button somewhere to be clearly visible, preferably at the top right or top left side of your landing page.
- Write Titles to stand out
Using titles, and H2,3,4, … subtitles can increase your SEO ranking, but the most important factor in using Headings and titles is to convey a clear message, and encourage users to take an action.
Avoid using neutral words or stop words, instead try to fit in some encouraging words like “You”, “Today”, “Quick”, “Free”, etc.
- Use Social Proofs
Using your previous client’s logo, displaying honest and realistic testimonial or recommendations from happy customers add great value to your customer experience.
In fact, great customer experience that combines with valid social proofs not only strengthen your brand and boost your conversion rate, it also generates more revenue for your business too.