Simply put, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is what you do to your website to increase the percentage of visitors who “convert” to a sales lead or customer by taking an action online.
What Is a Conversion?
What counts as a conversion depends on how you use your website to generate revenue. For example, if you own a chiropractic clinic and a visitor submits a form to ask a question, his status changes. He’s a step closer to being a patient—a “lead” in marketing lingo.
Marketers call this kind of action a “micro” conversion. A macro conversion is the website’s end goal. For the chiropractor, the objective may be to request an appointment.
Adding an item to a shopping cart (micro) and making a purchase (macro) are equivalent actions for an e-retailer, while an app developer might want visitors to sign up for its newsletter as a step toward engaging its services.
What Does Conversion Rate Optimization Do?
The job of your website is to 1) tell visitors that your company has the expertise they need and is trustworthy 2) clearly communicate the products and services you offer and how you provide them and 3) make it easy for the visitor to act upon this knowledge.
Optimization brings all three together to increase the odds of conversion. It’s achieved through:
- Convincing content such as text, imagery, and interactive media
- How well the site performs or user experience (UX)
- Knowing who your core customers are and what they need
- Ongoing testing of your content, UX, and overall content strategy
The job of CRO is to guide the customer toward that final action.
Using our previous example, you can see how micro conversions matter. Let’s say the chiropractor responds quickly and knowledgeably to the visitor’s questions. They have a relationship now and trust is building.
When he returns to the website, he easily finds the answers to his remaining questions, and clicks on the button to request an appointment.
How Can I Boost My Website’s Conversion Rate?
CRO is a systematic process much like the scientific method you learned in school—an ongoing cycle of research-based predictions, controlled experiments, and iterations.
How and what your audience looks for online constantly evolves. To ensure your website is still doing its job, you must keep checking the pulse of your content and tweaking your strategy.
That’s why Electric Lemonade includes conversion rate optimization as part of our content marketing services.
We’ll keep up with the trends for you and employ the most sophisticated software and monitoring tools to keep costs low and revenue high.
If you’d rather and want to invest the time, we can teach you how to perform the steps to optimize your conversion rate in house.
How Conversion Rate Optimization Is Done
Because every business is different, the most effective tools for optimizing your conversion rate might be different from those that work for someone else.
Similarly, you can’t optimize your website for every visitor, so you should concentrate on your core audiences.
Electric Lemonade focuses on proven tools and methods that we know produce results for our clients. They include:
- Web page analysis (evaluates performance and provides recommendations)
- A/B testing (comparing user actions in response to two different versions of a page with only a few variable elements)
- Multivariate testing (comparing user actions in response to two different pages with numerous variable elements)
- Heatmap and click tracking (color-coded graphs that track user clicks on a page, scrolling behavior, and/or eye tracking)
- Visitor recordings (creates a video of a user’s mouse movements, clicks, scrolling, etc.)
- Usability testing (a real-world test of your new website by your target users prior to general release)
- Split URL testing (compares user actions on multiple versions of your website hosted on different URLs)
What Is a Good Conversion Rate?
Target conversion rates will always depend on industry, location, customers, and many other factors. The best thing you can do is make sure yours is going up.
Our commitment is to help you make that happen.
How are Conversion Rates Calculated?
Calculating conversion rates will depend on what your business defines as a conversion. The basic formula is to divide the number of times a user completes a goal by total site traffic.
Using our chiropractic clinic example, if the website records 1,000 visitors in a month and 50 visitors perform a desired action—micro or macro—the website’s conversion rate is 5%.
You can also calculate page performance, or even by session if each user can convert more than once on your site. For example, our clinic visitor converted twice: once when he asked a question and once when he requested an appointment.
Let’s say he visited the website five times (each being a unique session) before taking that final action. His conversion rate is 40% (2 actions / 5 sessions = .40).
Electric Lemonade can help you optimize for what’s most important to generating revenue on your website.
CRO Is Important for All Organizations—And it’s Not Just for Your Website
Regardless of your organization’s mission, your website can be optimized to better achieve your goals. Likewise, you can optimize conversion rates across your marketing channels.
A good content strategy incorporates timely and engaging social media and digital advertising. CRO tools such as A/B testing are equally effective in determining your audience’s response to images, headlines, and messaging.
If a message isn’t resonating, you’ll know—and you can stop spending money on content that isn’t giving you a return on your investment.
Still Have Questions About CRO?
We’re here to help. Send us your contact information below to get a free CRO audit of your website.