With all the internet chatter about SEO, you’d believe it was the end-all focus for a successful website. But think about it: once your prospects find you online, SEO becomes the least of your concerns. All your keyword research and Google AdWords campaigns turn moot if you can’t get your visitors to convert. So who’s the real champion here?
As with most internet marketing terms, there’s an acronym for it: CRO. Simply put, Conversion Rate Optimization describes making your website describes choosing the best processes and elements to turn website traffic into paying customers.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on figuring out what makes an effective website tick, everything from changing button colors to CTA text. Granted, these are easy tests anyone can do, and can often lead to noticeable improvements. However, if you want to go beyond the beginner’s handbook, take a look at these five tips the pros use for better CRO – guaranteed:
Tip #1 – Use A/B Split Testing Software
A/B split testing is nothing new. Marketers and website authorities have been using the method for years to find out what’s working well on their website and how they can make it better. However, you can turn it up a notch when you let special A/B testing software do all the hard work for you.
Regardless of which software you choose, Neil Patel recommends running an A/A test first to test its accuracy. This can give you peace of mind that whatever results your A/B tests present, you can feel confident making the recommended changes.
Granted, you’ll still need the likes of Google Analytics or other data to determine your baseline and help you decide what’s worth testing. But you’ll find you can get more reliable results when you have a reputable testing tool do the work for you.
Tip #2 – Optimize for Revenue, Not Just Conversions
These sage words of wisdom come straight from master content marketer Neil Patel himself. While conversions are essential for business, the revenue each one brings ultimately determines your profitability. That is, not every conversion weighs the same.
For example, this case study of an app developer originally sold a productivity app for $9.99. Even though the app received over 50,000 daily hits, the conversion rate was lacking. After doubling the price to $19.99, sales erupted to more than 10 times that of the cheaper price. In this case, consumers believed that price equaled quality, making them much more willing to purchase the app.
There may also be times when you increase your price and notice fewer conversions, but the higher price more than makes up for lagging sales. That’s not to say you should price gouge your customers simply because you can make more money with fewer orders. But you may find a myriad of opportunities to test different price points and find your sweet selling spot.
Tip #3 – Analyze the Competition Frequently
Everyone knows you can draw inspiration from your competitors, but when it comes to CRO, the trick here is to compare their website against previous versions. This means you’ll need to have an ongoing recon strategy to get the most of out of your “spying” strategy.
Here’s why it works: Chances are good that your competitors have their own form of CRO strategy. If they change something on their site, it’s likely they have a fairly good hunch that this change will benefit their bottom line. If they’ve performed prior A/B split testing, you’re likely seeing the results of that test.
Your mission: visit your competitor’s’ websites often to see what changes they’ve made. Screenshot or document these changes, then compare the various versions to see how they’re optimizing for conversion rates.
This doesn’t necessarily mean their choices will work for you. However, if you serve similar audiences, it could help you discover things you’re not already doing and give you a good starting point for your own CRO strategy.
For instance, mobile sales platform Pepperi documents on their home page a few specific clients they serve, as well as hard metrics others have experienced as a result of using their product:
A company with a similar product, FatStax, also features specific companies who use their product. But their homepage lacks any specific ROI customers have reported as a result of using their platform. If FatStax was hoping to boost CRO, they might consider adding these figures like Pepperi has to see if it makes an impact on their prospects.
Tip #4 – Eliminate Clutter
Simplicity is bliss, but not just for the obvious reasons. Taking away unnecessary content or shortening copy or forms can help ensure your message is clear and drives people to do exactly as you want them. However, having only the basics on each page helps to speed page load time, which has been proven to boost conversions.
KISSmetrics discovered that a mere one second delay on a page can lead to a whopping 7% decrease in conversions. Naturally, each subsequent second leads to a larger missed opportunity. Ensuring you limit your page elements to the bare necessities gives your page the best chance of loading quickly and correctly.
Tip #5 – Navigate Your CRO with a Heat Map or Mouse Tracking Tool
Internet big shots don’t make changes to their website because they want to make it look better, or because their competitors did it, or because they have a “good feeling” about it. For many companies, the website is their business’s lifeblood, and one wrong move could send profits plummeting. Instead, they rely on facts and data to bolster any changes, great or small.
Heat maps and mouse tracking tools can provide enough critical data to warrant any website changes. They give you a realistic picture of where people are looking on your website, which can give you huge clues as to what might need to be improved.
There’s no single master plan to boost your CRO – otherwise, we’d all know about it by now (and whoever discovered it would be very rich indeed). It does take quite a bit of finessing to see the upswing you expect.
But once you do start seeing changes, don’t stop there! CRO isn’t a start/end process, it’s an ongoing journey with no terminus. If you don’t quit, your results won’t, either.
Author: Ben has worked as an independent web developer for 14 years. His roots are in computer science but along the way he started working with written content on both his own and his clients’ websites. In March of 2016, he split the content generation wing of his company from the core website development business and formed NoStop Blogging Service, a full service content provider.