The Essential Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation
Guest Post

The Essential Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation

August 28, 2017, 5 Mins Read.

Optimisation is the principal ingredient in digital marketing, for everything from your website itself to your presence in social media. Marketing in the online world mainly focuses on how to best optimise your online presence to drive conversions.

However, most of the optimisation techniques are built to bring people to the top of your sales funnel. But if most of your potential customers leave the funnel before reaching the end then your site isn’t really making the much effective conversion.

That’s where Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) comes in.

What is conversion rate optimisation?

CRO is a process to analyze user behaviours to improve the conversion rate of your site. It will help you identify the parts of your website that are downplaying your conversion rate, and how to fix the issue.

An essential part of CRO is maximizing the value of your website’s traffic, not increasing it.

First, a speedy vocabulary lesson:

  • Conversion: The desired user action that you want your users to perform when they visit your website. Normally, this refers to a purchase, but it can be an email signup, account registration or app download.
  • Conversion rate: Percentage of visitors who converts after visiting your website. In other words, it is the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): A call to action is usually a button that instructs the audience to click on it and take a conversion focused action. Some common examples are “Buy now”, “Order today” etc.
  • The funnel: The step-by-step process visitors take to convert. This includes landing page and CTA all the way to confirmation.
  • The rate of exit: It expresses the number of people that visit a page but leaves without performing any desired action. It is expressed in percentage.
  • The rate of abandonment: The number of people per 100 visitors who enters a conversion funnel but does not finally convert.

Create a conversion rate benchmark

To set up the goals for your Conversion Rate Optimisation plan, you first need to determine the current state of your site. In other words, you need to set goals.  Before you can figure out where you want to be in terms of CRO, you first need to determine where you are currently.

Here’s what you should begin measuring:

  • Goals: Login to Google Analytics. Then go to the Admin panel. Add goals and chose goal type. When labelling the goal, chose specific names that describe the goals.
  • Funnel: For a conversion process with many steps, use the “Use funnel” option. Input the URLs that belong to your goal funnel. If you only want to count those visitors who enter at the top of the funnel, checkmark the Required Steps box. Otherwise, Google Analytics will track visitors that enter the funnel in the middle or end.
  • Value: Your conversion tracking strategy will shape what you put here. If you don’t know exactly how much a conversion is worth, you can input an approximate amount. If you’re using e-commerce goals, this will be the revenue you get from the product.

analytics goal setup

Different types of goals, listed below, can help you track your conversions as well.

  • URL Destination: This measures the number of times users visit the specified page. Use “thank you” page URLs to see how many people have converted.
  • Visit Duration: This measures the duration of time visitors remain on your site. This works for FAQ or question answer sites. However, this type of goal can be complicated, because if a visitor doesn’t click to another page, there’s no way to measure the length of stay.
  • Page/Visit: This measures the number of pages that a visitor sees while visiting your website.
  • Event: Event goals are trickier than the others because you have to add code to your website. Goals are useful for measuring how many times external links are clicked, but building a funnel around it is impossible. Each step of a funnel must have its own URL, but events lack that.

Conversion rate optimisation’s ‘Secret Sauce’

It’s essential to differentiate between optimising the conversion funnel and the landing page because they have varying objectives and pain points.

Landing page optimisation

If your website’s conversion rate is suffering, your landing page might be the culprit. The purpose of the landing page is to encourage the visitors getting started with the funnel.

Create your landing page in a way that you can measure its effectiveness, so you can easily make changes to test what works and what doesn’t. Each landing page should have:

  • Headline: The headline needs to hook your reader to your page.
  • Hero image: The hero image is a critical part of your landing page – it should be related to the main theme of the site and have a positive influence on the audience.
  • Body copy: The body copy outlines your offer and how it brings value to the customers.
  • CTA: The call to action should be clear and prominent. This is what prompts your users to take the action that you want.
  • Social proof: Social proofs consists of reviews from the customers and testimonials from the clients. Social proofs are actually quite important, as most buyers trust online reviews.

What are you best-converting landing pages doing? How is that different from what the worst is doing? Once you identify, test your theory with A/B testing. Use this as a guide for where to begin:

  • Different forms of copy: You have to decide whether minimizing your text or thoroughly explaining the usefulness of your product through long copy is best for your landing page. Try out both to check what is best for you audience.
  • Call to Action: Install a heatmap on your landing page to see if it makes sense to put your CTA high on the landing page or further down when the user is more engaged.
  • Product benefit or product use: Which makes more sense for your landing page? Is it showing the feature image using your product in action? Or is it showing the benefit your product will have on a user’s life?
  • Third-party approval: Try adding security seals or customer service awards and endorsements to supplement your social proof.

Something that will really help you find issues with your CRO is conducting an SEO audit. SEO audits will find UX issues that could be preventing people from finding your website and discouraging visitors from converting.

Optimise your funnel

Once your funnel’s entry point has been perfected, you need to tie the loose ends. For a single-step process, a landing page is the only element you need. For a multi-stage conversion process, we need to go back to analytics.

Google Analytics funnel visualization report can be found in the Conversions section. This will demonstrate how many people are going in or out of the funnel at every step.

conversion funnel visualisation

Now it’s time to evaluate – at what stage are the most visitors leaving? What are the elements of those pages? Can you combine some of the steps? Or, should any of the pages be broken down into several ones to avoid overwhelming the visitors?

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AboutGreg Snow-Wasserman :

Content Maestro at WooRank. He has more than 7 years of experience as a reporter, market researcher, and digital marketer.