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Conversion Rate Optimisation is one of those things in life that’s easy to learn but difficult to master. Even the marketers who go to university for years specifically to study it don’t always get it right. With that being said, any process has its best and worst practices. Anything that requires any amount of effort can always be examined from a standpoint of “this technique is/isn’t effective because…”
Expertise is often merely the distinction between knowing what generally works and knowing what works some of the time. With that being said, here is our list of CRO best practices.
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What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Let’s say that you run an online store (or if you’re on this website it’s entirely possible that you do) and that while your store is getting lots of visitors you’re not really making many sales. In this scenario, a “conversion” refers to a sale. When someone “converts” it refers to a customer taking an action that is desirable to the business, in this instance, making a purchase.
Your “conversion rate” is the number of conversions that you make against the number of total visitors to your website.
“Conversion Rate Optimisation” is the process of researching your existing audience, finding out what makes them want to carry out certain actions, and then implementing this to your site. In other words, optimising your website to improve your conversion rate.
The Worst Practices
Right out of the gate we have to clear up what the worst things you can do (or not do) in your CRO. These are things that not just impede your conversion rate, but actively decrease it. If you’re doing any of these things you have to make immediate changes, because it is damaging your conversion rate and therefore your business.
#1 – No Page Speed Optimisation
Have you ever needed to go somewhere desperately using public transport and while you were relying on a train or bus to be at the station at a particular time it just keeps getting delayed, and delayed, and delayed? You know that feeling of “it would be faster if I walked.”?
You cannot allow your website to induce the same feeling in your customers!
If your website is slow your customers will bounce (fancy marketing term for leave your website) more often and with greater speed. People are impatient, we generally have neither the time nor inclination to wait while a website’s page is loading. “But it only takes a minute.” Some might say, but that’s exactly our point! A minute is too long!
Studies show that for every second of waiting for a web page to load, a customer’s odds of converting decrease by as much as 17%! This means that if your web page takes a full minute to load, there is a 1020% chance of them not converting!
Improving your page speed can be costly, and it can take a long time, but you have to spend money to make money, and optimising your web page speed will soon net you the profits that CRO best practices bring.
#2 – Not Optimising for Mobile First
Mobile responsiveness is okay but it’s really not good enough. Mobile responsiveness takes all your desktop elements, and just puts them into a column. This means that while your desktop site may be optimised, the mobile version of your site isn’t, and in a day and age where everyone is carrying around a mini computer in their pocket, not being optimised for mobile is just shooting yourself in the foot.
When you build your site consider its mobile design before anything else, then design the desktop site when the mobile is done.
#3 – Not Optimising Metadata
Conversion rate optimisation best practices dictates that the conversion funnel (a visualisation of the customer journey) begins not at your homepage, but on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Here, the customers will get the first glimpse into your company and whether or not you’re what they’re looking for. If your metadata is optimised for SEO, you’ll get a lot of clicks but you won’t necessarily get a lot of conversions, which is what you need. Focus your metadata on converting rather than getting clicks. Remember, CRO best practices are aimed at capitalising on an existing audience, not generating a bigger or new clientele.
#4 – Not Tracking Conversion Opportunities
With tools like heatmaps and customer surveys CRO allows for new opportunities to get customers converting to pop up all the time. If you’re not making use of these opportunities you might as well flush your money down the toilet. There’s no time for not seizing every available shot you have at growing your business. You have to be on the ball, and you have to be targeted. Make sure that you’re going through the data from every possible angle, and when an opportunity presents itself make use of it immediately.
#5 – Not Putting a Call-to-Action above the Fold
You know how people will read a newspaper folded in half to make it easier to hold? Well in digital marketing “the fold” is the point in a website at which you have to scroll to keep viewing content. Everything “above the fold” is the first thing customers see when they come to your site. Everything that should be relevant to any customer needs to be above the fold, and this counts doubly so for the Call-to-Action. CRO best practice dictate that no one should ever have to go looking for the CTA button, and no matter how small a scroll might get them there, the fact is that your conversion rate will only be optimised with a CTA above the fold.
Conversion Rate Optimisation Best Practices
Now we come to what you’ve been waiting for. We’ve gone through what NOT to do, now it’s time to examine what we can do.
Landing Page Testing
Whenever you do anything with marketing, especially CRO, it has to be tested. When running a CRO campaign the use of Landing Pages is a common practice, putting customers directly at the front of where you need them to be to maximise the chances of making a conversion. Before you launch your landing page however, you need to run it through A/B testing, presenting a series of options to a group of representatives from your target market and then implementing the winner.
Above the Fold Content Testing
While we’re on the subject of A/B testing, do you remember that fold we spoke about earlier? If not just cast your eyes up two paragraphs then come back down here. You good? Good. So remembering the fold, and how it leads to the all-important first impression testing the content and copy on this part of your website is absolutely vital. If people don’t like what they see they’ll bounce quickly. Create some mock-ups of projected above-the-fold pages, run these through A/B testing, and implement the winner. Remember, CRO best practices means that there must be a CTA button somewhere above the fold. Keep this in mind when designing your mock ups.
Run Tests on High-Traffic Pages
When running tests it’s always a good idea to have as many guinea pigs as possible. Using your analytics find out which of your pages have the highest traffic numbers, then run these through heatmapping programs and other analytic tools to see what’s making people bounce, what they’re engaging with, what they seem to be interested in or can’t find. Your high traffic pages will yield the most information, making them the best subjects for any CRO tests you may run.
Get a Piece of PIE
No we’re not talking delicious sweet-filled pastry crust delicacies, we’re talking the acronym, PIE. When running your tests, there may be a few pages that boast the highest traffic numbers. When this happens, how do you determine which pages to prioritise? PIE. Potential, which page has the most opportunity for growth or improvement? Importance, which is the most important page you need to test? Ease, how simple will the test process be on that page? PIE might not be a desert but that doesn’t mean it’s any less sweet.
Practice with Top and Middle of the Funnel CTAs
Calls-to-Action can appear anywhere, not just in a button at the header or footer of your website. Not only that but a CTA doesn’t even need to be a button! There are plenty of text-based CTAs that nestle nicely into content either at the top or in the middle of a web page. If you contact Traffic Radius today, we can tell you how!
Did you see that?
Use Your Tools!
There are loads of tools out there that will earn you metrics vital to improving your CRO. Not only will these tools prevent any guesswork when it comes to your website or your business, but they will help you actively get to know your audience better, which is a cornerstone of any business. These tools offer heatmaps, screen recordings, customer tracking, bounce rates, and other analytics, all of which is vital data in any CRO campaign.
People are more wary of the internet than ever. Like a jungle that you’ve grown up in the World Wide Web is both playground and hazardous wild land. We use the internet every day because it’s a place of recreation and business, but it’s also a hotbed of scams and thievery. Because of this people are as ready to avoid the internet as they are to use it. Displaying security badges or other certifications of your trustworthiness, such as real-time sales popups, all go a long way to building trust with your audience, and most interactions online are based on some form of trust or another.
Trust in Traffic Radius
Our company has been dealing in digital marketing including CRO best practices for decades. Our committed, highly trained team are all passionate people who love what we do. We’ve helped multiple businesses in our clientele of over 400 companies expand their businesses from something small to some internationally recognised names in their industry.
Simply contact us on our website or call us on 1300 870 901 today to find how we can help you boost your CRO.