Conversion Rate Optimisation is the practice of using analytics to improve a website’s conversion rate. Conversions are based around the objectives of a website, for example, an e-commerce website’s primary objective is to sell products. The conversion rate of a website is calculated by the ratio of visitors who complete the website’s objectives to the total number of visitors, usually given as a percentage.
The process of optimisation involves gaining useful insight into the website performance and identifying areas of improvement, where website goals could be made easier to achieve. Methods of doing this might include larger calls to action, more compelling content or easier navigation. CRO can be used to achieve KPIs by boosting sign-ups, encouraging a purchase, or any other key business objectives.
Why is CRO important?
CRO is a cost effective method of converting a higher percentage of visitors and therefore providing a significantly improved return on investment. It is important to stress that the focus is on the conversion of existing users, rather than encouraging new ones. Crucially, optimising a website helps defend against the typically low attention span of the average visitor by providing a refined and useful experience for them. While paid advertising can be costly and competitive, CRO is essentially a free way of maximising profits.
Improving website performance
It is important to put yourself in the user’s shoes when approaching CRO. Explore your website as a customer and identify where unnecessarily time-consuming or complex steps could be preventing users from achieving their objectives. Consider including clearer call to actions, cleaner graphics, removing unnecessary text or including customer testimonials – small alterations to layout and copy can have a big impact on CRO.
Employ statistics and user feedback when implementing CRO – Google Analytics is probably the best way of doing this. Consider statistics such as the current conversion rate, bounce rate, exit rate and the average time spent on the site to determine the approach that should be taken. Utilising the user flow section of Google Analytics gives a graphical representation of how people navigate your site so it is a good idea to cross-reference this data against your own goals for the site.
Testing is a really important part of developing a CRO strategy as changes should not be made that are based on instinct or a hunch. After considering the analytics it is worth devising a hypothesis that can then be tested using A/B testing. This kind of testing works by setting up two different variations of a web page or landing page and directing an equal amount of traffic to each. Measure the conversions that each page generates, identify which one performs best and then implement the findings.
We highly recommend that you do not just rely on what other people are doing. Every business is different and the chances are that you’ll have different KPIs and very different analytics. There is also no way of knowing that someone else has done sufficient testing so their own strategy may be unreliable. It is also essential to make sure that your CRO is converting the right kind of customer for the long-term benefit of your business. Ensuring that the customers being converted are the right fit for your business will also mean that the right people will be spreading the word.