What is conversion rate optimization? First of all, it’s necessary to understand the definition of the word, “conversion”, as it relates to business operations. A conversion takes place any time a member of a targeted market group interacts in any way that is deemed beneficial or of some sort of value to a company. Simply stated, a conversion is a user response to a call-to-action. Examples may include:
- Visits to a website landing page
- Online form completion
- Sign ups for a trial
- Sign ups for email
- White paper downloads
- Phone calls
- Requesting a quote
- Sales transactions
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO.) CRO is a systematic process consisting of analysis and feedback to maximize the percentage of website visitors who complete a definitive action, considered to be valuable to a business. The objective being to not only drive sales, but to gather leads and achieve the greatest advantage from as many of the visits to the website as possible, attaining the best value for advertising dollars invested.
What are the methods used to achieve Conversion Rate Optimization? Although there are a number of ways to implement Conversion Rate Optimization, the predominant systems being used recently consist of two different types of testing.
One type of testing focuses on improving response to elements of an ongoing advertising plan in order to determine what features, such as web content, ads on search engine results pages, etc., produce the most cost-effective results. For example, a method known as A/B testing can be utilized to improve conversion rates. This involves developing a hypothesis based on a particular goal, then creating two separate versions of a company website. Half of users are diverted to one site and half are directed to the other, which is a newly-developed variation based on predictive analysis. Conversion rates on each site will be compared to discover which one functions more efficiently. It can help to determine what content functions or features are a plus, and which are non-productive, or, in some cases, can actually drive visitors away. The key with this method is to focus on continuous testing, of a single element, to produce definitive, accurate results. Also, while doing this kind of testing, it has been observed that larger, single changes, tend to produce more impactful results. Specific areas of interest can include:
- Does the Call-To-Action (CTA) button move a user to action?
- Do Headlines/Subheadings grab and hold attention with a clear, relevant message?
- Do functions such as email sign ups, form completions, check out procedures, etc. perform correctly, with ease?
- Do Images/Videos, and their placement on a page, evoke the desired reaction?
- Does the overall visual appearance and color scheme of website pages appeal to users and motivate valuable actions?
In contrast, the other kind of testing involves a considerable amount of time devoted to pinpointing and becoming familiar with the pertinent marketing group, then crafting a compelling message that speaks to those specific target individuals.
Whichever method of testing is used, the idea is to utilize analysis of data to deliver an improved online user experience that captures the attention of the appropriate audience, makes it simple for them to quickly, and flawlessly, locate exactly what they are seeking (across multiple devices, especially mobile), providing intuitive, engaging results that will promote the greatest number of conversions in relation to visitors to the website, and in turn, provide the greatest ROI (Return on investment) relating to advertising dollars spent.