What is Conversion Rate Optimization

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Selling something online, whether it’s a brand or service, seems like a very straightforward transaction. The client visits the site, finds what he or she is looking for, pays and wait for delivery. Unfortunately this simple concept leads to a big misconception. This explanation doesn’t include the huge amount of competition that has to be faced, especially when it comes to an online business. Such a great amount of attention goes into advertising and search engine optimization that the whole purpose of getting all that traffic is lost on most people, namely converting visitors to customers. There are websites that receive huge amounts of traffic, but they aren’t making any sales. This is where CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) comes in. In order for digital marketing to mean something people have to be participating.

Conversion Rate Defined

It doesn’t take a college degree to understand the concept of a conversion rate. In fact, you have most likely heard this term a number of times if your company has a website to attract customers. Basically, the conversion rate measures the amount of users that go onto your website and become customers. But even though it’s easy to understand what a conversion rate is, getting users to actually convert is something else. Just like a physical business, people are going to take a look and draw conclusions. These conclusions will lead to comparisons between prices, user interface and overall trust. In other words, if the first impression they get from the site is negative then it’s much harder to win them over.

The Principals of CRO

In short, the principals of CRO are to enhance performance, draw attention, create an effective call to action and ultimately generate customers. When it comes down to it, CRO goes hand in hand with digital marketing. By using a well-planned and structured approach, the aim is to make more people convert. There are several sources that can give you valued information about the people that visit your site and thanks to these sources conversion rates can be optimized. Without the right information marketing becomes a guessing game, which is exactly the opposite of CRO. Your presentation to a potential customer from start to finish should be such that they don’t think twice about engaging with your business.

One of the best ways to describe CRO is to say that it enhances your website’s performance. It is there to make sure that all the time and money you spend on advertising and driving traffic turns into profit, because all the traffic in the world won’t make a difference if you can’t utilize those numbers. A site with only 200 visitors a day can generate more customers than a site with 1000 visitors, given that the site is optimized to really serve the needs of the user.

As for drawing attention and creating an effective call to action, this is usually done through a primary pathway or “funnel”. For example, in most cases the homepage or landing page serves as the first step of the funnel progressing users towards a conversion. This makes sense because it’s the first page users typically see. However, if the setup isn’t convincing enough then you can expect a high bounce rate as users quickly leave your site.

How CRO is Implemented

The information mentioned earlier is going to form the basis of any CRO operation. Among many other things you have to take into account the amount of page views per user, bounce rate, the amount of time a user spends on the site and how many clicks they make. All this information will provide some solid groundwork for creating a conversion funnel. To put this into perspective, look at your site from a visitor’s point of view. Is it immediately clear that you provide what the user is looking for? Is the call to action message clear and concise? Do the graphics complement the overall theme of the site? Does the site instil trust and credibility? Are there any difficulties or friction throughout purchasing process that might frustrate visitors?

The Bottom Line

CRO isn’t about generating traffic or even creating an online presence. It’s about taking the traffic that you are currently receiving and making the most out of it.

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