You’ve built (or paid for) a stellar website. You’ve invested in market research and built an amazing product, and you’ve got a great sales and customer support team to support it. But, people just aren’t responding the way you’d hoped. They’re either not coming to begin with, or even worse, they’re coming, taking a look at everything, and then bailing on you without converting.
You’re at your wits end. You’re not sure what to do. I have the answer: create a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Website Analytics
Study your website analytics to get insights on how you’re currently performing. Use the information to guide your strategy. Inside Google Analytics, and many other analytics platforms, you can learn a lot about who your website visitors are, the devices they’re using to visit your website, and what they’re doing while they’re visiting your website.
As we see more cross-device activity, segmentation is critical to your CRO strategy. If you have a landing page with a low conversion rate and discover the majority of the traffic to it comes from a mobile device, then your CRO strategy needs to focus on optimizing the page for mobile traffic.
Inside your web analytics, you’ll also be able to examine your funnel for leaks. You’ll see where traffic drops off, so you can take a closer look at those pages to see what could be done to improve them, and close the leaks. If you see a high exit rate on your checkout page, that’s a good indication that something is wrong with the user experience, because they’re not following through with the checkout process.
ABT – Always Be Testing
Split testing will help you see which variations of your website people respond to the best. You can run tests on everything from the color and layout to the copy, the call to action, and even the offers themselves. Split-test one element at a time so you can tell which change had a direct impact on the conversion rate. Before you engage in any kind of A/B split testing, test your landing page against itself to see if the conversion rates are similar. The quality of the traffic you get is more important than the volume of traffic you get when it comes to running split-tests. If you’re not paying attention to the kind of traffic you’re getting during your split tests, your tests could be weaker than you thought. It’s best to run the split test for a certain amount of time, and avoid looking at the results until the test is finished.
Let’s say you have three versions of copy. Test A against A, then A against B, and A against C. Now, test B against C. Then, test the winner against itself to make sure you’re still getting similar conversion rates.
With the variables you can test, it’s feasible to constantly be running tests. And it’s feasible to constantly be making improvements to your landing pages and offers as a result of those tests.
Personalize the Website Experience
Website personalization is becoming a buzzword, and while some marketers have made it a priority, many have continued to ignore it. Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, yet 70% of marketers don’t use them. 74% of online consumers become frustrated when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests. The same study showed that 28% of people would be willing to give up social media for a week, while 25% would give up chocolate for a month, if they were able to get appropriate content based on their personal interests across all their favorite websites. People want personalized material, but they want control, too. 57% of consumers are okay with sharing their personal information on a website as long as it is for their benefit, but 77% would trust businesses more if they took the time to explain how the information is used to improve their online experience.
To make your personalization effective, you need to be aware of the types of visitors who come to your website. You’ll have to know this so you can offer content that’s specifically tailored to the major segments of your visitors. You can also ask your visitors to choose a persona that they most closely identify with, and then display relevant content to them.
Develop a Clear Customer Onboarding Process
If you’re in the B2B market, make sure you’ve got a clear onboarding process. Divide your customers into groups. For example, you could have: pretrial, launching, and adopted.
Pretrial customers are those who haven’t signed up for an account, those who are on a free account, or those who are currently using a free trial.
Launching would be the group of customers who have finished a trial, but have been with you for less than X number of months. These are the ones you want to focus on engagement and education with, to ensure they can see the real value in what your product/service has to offer.
Your adopted customers are anyone who has been with you longer than the already established X months that qualified them as a launching customer. They are the ones who understand your value and are growing their use. You want to focus on their feedback, getting them to adopt all the features you have available to them, and grow their use of your product or service.
Keep it Lean and Clean
It’s easy to get caught up in the details of color and text and making sure your call to action buttons stand out. And while those things matter, it can cause you to overlook the clutter that builds up on your web pages. Your number one focus, especially on landing pages, needs to be getting the user to take action.
Keep the design as lean and clean as you can. Yes, keep the button easy to see, but focus more on keeping the copy succinct enough to provide the detail you need, without causing the user to get lost in it.
The more you put on your page, the longer it takes to load. And the longer it takes to load, the less likely people are going to stick around. One study shows that just a one second delay can translate to 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% decrease in conversions.
Keep the code nice and lean, too, so as to keep your page load time under two seconds. Not sure how long your page is taking to load? Run a speed test with the PageSpeed Insights tool to see what you’re working with now and get recommendations to help improve speed.
Mine Customer Reviews for Copywriting
Your customer reviews give you an idea of not only what people have to say about your company, products, and services, but they also give you an idea of how people are saying it. This gives you insight into how people are searching for what you have to offer. Spend some time looking through customer reviews and picking out words and phrases you think speak to your message and call to action. Weave them into your copy. It helps make the copy speak to your audience and can boost your SEO.
Make it Easy for Customers to Succeed
Customers ultimately need three things from you to succeed: support, engagement, and education.
Give both general support and more advanced technical support, if your product or service requires it. Make your support team available through a number of channels such as phone, email, chat, and social media. This allows your customer to choose the channel and experience they want.
Engage your customers directly through every stage of the funnel –so they are speaking with someone throughout the entire customer life cycle.
Educate your customers with content that helps them see not only how your product or service can make their life easier or solve a problem for them, but also how to use it, and what to do if they should ever run into any problems with it.
Focus Everything on Your Ideal Customer
Any experience you design needs to be focused on your ideal customer, rather than just any customer. If you think it’s a good idea to have two cheaper pricing plans, you’ll likely find that people who are just getting started in your target industry will sign up for one of those. It’ll lead to a burden on your customer support team, and ultimately increase customer churn.
Focus on Proper Conversion Tracking
Your goal in CRO should include improving both your micro and macro conversions. It’s always a goal to improve macro conversions, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be tracking how well your micro conversions are performing, too.
All your micro conversions add up to that coveted macro conversion, so it makes sense to make sure they’re performing well. You don’t just have to rely on your website to track micro conversions. You can track social media interactions, blog interactions, and email responses as part of your micro conversion rate, too.
CRO Should Be Ongoing
Even if you’ve reached a conversion rate you’re happy with, the work is never done. The market is constantly changing, and to keep up, you must constantly be testing and making improvements where you can. Keep an eye on your data, watching for changes. Continue optimizing your landing pages, and focus on CRO every time you add something new.
What other CRO tips do you have to share? Leave them in the comments.