Optimising Conversion Rates: Is Your Site Performing Well?
A conversion refers to the point where the target audience responds to a marketing message by performing the desired action. This could be any action from signing up to a newsletter, or downloading an app, contacting your business or purchasing your product.
Not all conversions focus on immediately making a sale, some are lead nurturing, establishing a good relationship with the lead or site visitor. Encouraging a visitor to sign up to your newsletter, for example, opens a means of brand building for your business. This engagement can either motivate your potential customer to eventually buy your product or put you at the top of their list when the time to purchase arrives.
To achieve high conversion rates, businesses utilise conversion rate optimisation or CRO. Simply put, conversion rate optimisation is a structured and methodical approach to improving your website’s performance. There is no single specific way to optimise a site’s conversion rate, but analytics and user feedback should guide all CRO strategies and be defined by a site’s specific needs and objectives.
Conversion is not achieved with a single call-to-action causing site visitors to click a download button or checkout button. It involves guiding your visitors into taking steps along a pathway referred to as the conversion funnel.
On e-commerce sites, for example, the conversion funnel starts with the home page, moves to the product page, moves to the shopping cart page and ends with the checkout page. Many times, a visitor leaves the site before going through all the steps in the funnel. It, therefore, becomes important that we improve the flow through the funnel.
A good CRO strategy is based on web analytics metrics, figures that tell you how your site is performing. There are many types of web analytics metrics. Some of the most measured ones are:
The conversion rate answers the question of how many of your site visitors performed a desired action. Although this already answers how your site is performing, looking into the other metrics helps you pinpoint the areas for improvement.
The bounce rate looks into how many people leave your site after viewing a single page. It can give you an idea of whether you simply do not offer what the visitors need, or there is something on your page that is off-putting.
The exit rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing a certain page. Identifying which pages have high exit rates gives you a glimpse of which pages may be problematic. In a conversion funnel, you can determine which step causes your visitors to leave.
Lastly, the engagement metrics help you determine visitors’ average time on your site and their average page views. These metrics determine how long your visitors stick around your site and how many pages they’ve viewed before leaving. This gives you a gauge of how engaging the content is on your site.
You can use tools such as Google Analytics or KISSmetrics to get these metrics. You can also use Chartbeat, Clicky, Segment.io and Mixpanel.
Once you’ve determined key pages or areas that need improvement, you can dig into the ‘why’. There are many factors as to why visitors are not always successfully converted. Some include:
1. Value proposition
The value proposition is your promise to your visitors of what you can give and how it can be delivered. Does your site really give a value proposition or a string of words that appear as jargon?
Customers go through your site, looking for content relevant to their needs. Is the content on your site relevant to their situation and specific requirements?
Sometimes the value proposition is there, and it is relevant to what the site visitor needs, but it is written in a way that is confusing to visitors.
Conversions require action on the part of the site visitor and asking visitors to perform certain actions in the wrong way can cause anxiety. There are also elements on a site that can induce uncertainty in visitors’ minds like ads or too many links.
Just like some elements on a site can cause anxiety, some can easily distract, affecting the main message your page wants to convey.
When customers do not have an urgent need, they are more prone to delaying or not completing an action, often completely forgetting about it. Is there something on your site, a special promo perhaps, which will make them feel it is important to complete the action required at once?
1. Usability: Is it easy to navigate through your site? Can your customers find what they’re looking for easily? For e-commerce sites is the checkout process simple and easy? Are your fill-up forms short and easy to accomplish?
2. Graphics: Do you use high-quality graphics? Do your graphics have a harmonious relationship with your text? Are your graphics relevant, appealing and non-offensive?
3. Call-to-action: are your CTAs clear, short and compelling? Are they highly visible?
4. Security: Is your site secure? Does it appear secure?
5. Social proof: Does your site have customer reviews or testimonials? Visitors are more likely to trust businesses when they present social proof.
When you’ve determined what to change, implemented those changes and started seeing improvements, the journey still has not ended. Optimisation is an ongoing process. What hooks customers today may not work tomorrow. It is important that you regularly check your site’s performance and test your marketing messages and strategies.
Building a CRO plan involves determining how your site is performing using website analytics metrics and user feedback. As the figures alone do not answer why visitors respond to your site that way, you have to form testable hypotheses on what influenced the results. Is it your site’s usability? Maybe it’s your CTA or your graphics?
From here, you have to make a plan on how to test your hypotheses, then run your tests. Tests must be as focused such as, looking into which image works better or which CTA gains more click-throughs.
Improve My Search Ranking.com is Kent’s Number 1 SEO Agency. We can help you build and execute your Conversion Optimisation Plan to convert traffic into sales. We can guide you on which website analytics metrics you need and which tests are best for determining the information you need.
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