Do you want to improve your conversion rate but don’t know where to start? Or do you already have a strategy in place, but don’t know where to go from here? In this article, we’ll discuss conversion rate optimization and how to improve your website’s conversion rate. This guide is meant to be an introduction into the world of CRO. If you don’t want to do all the work yourself. You can always reach out to us here.
Table of contents:
What is conversion rate optimization?
Conversion is a specific site action that can mean different things based on your website’s goals. When we talk about conversion rate, we want to increase the number of visitors performing the action. Successful conversion optimization brings greater value to your marketing and SEO, because you are using your site traffic more efficiently.
If you have a web shop, you need conversion rate optimization (CRO) to increase sales or newsletter signups. But CRO can also increase users who fill out a contact form, download an e-book, and more. In short, CRO means getting your site visitors to perform an action that brings you revenue.
Because one website can have multiple goals, it makes sense to measure several different types of conversions.
If you run an eCommerce site, for instance, you want to increase sales, but maybe you also aspire to get more newsletter signups, and maybe you want your site visitors to share positive reviews on your social media pages.
There are two types of conversions: hard and soft.
A hard conversion is the ultimate site action you want your visitors to take.
Hard conversion examples include:
- A shop purchase
- Filling out a contact form
- Booking a call
- Signing up for a free trial
- Booking an appointment
A soft conversion is an action your site visitors take on the path to the final conversion when they still need convincing to complete a purchase or build a relationship with your brand.
Soft conversion examples include:
- Subscribing to a newsletter
- Sharing or liking on social media
- Downloading an e-book
- Registering for a webinar
- Viewing a minimum number of pages on your site
It’s a good idea to set both hard and soft conversion goals. You need hard conversions for your company’s success, but if you don’t measure soft conversions, it could be difficult to figure out why your site visitors don’t convert. Soft conversions clue you into the reasons behind visitor drop-offs, which identifies pain points that need improvement.
How to calculate your conversion rate
Let’s start with an example. In this example, you run an online store.
Let’s say three visitors per 100 site visits complete a purchase. Divide the number of purchases by site visits.
(Sales / Visits) x 100 = Conversion Rate
3 Sales / 100 Visits = 0.03 x 100 = 3% conversion rate
As you can see, the conversion rate tells you how many visitors complete a transaction vs. how many visitors the site got.
When you’re looking up site visitors, remember to distinguish between unique visitors vs. total visitors. Often, someone will visit a site multiple times before completing a conversion. Your conversion rate will look lower than it is if you do not take unique visitors into account. If, on the other hand, you have a shop with low-price impulse items, you can still get a realistic idea of the conversion rate without distinguishing between unique visitors and total visitors.
What is the right conversion rate?
You should always continue to launch conversion tests, because there is endless room for improvement. Marketing is a constantly evolving practice. While there is no one ideal conversion rate, 1-3% is a standard range.
During special events or holidays, you may be able to achieve a higher conversion rate.
What is the conversion rate optimization process?
Here is an example of the ideal testing process. This might look different based on your brand.
Dive into your data. Where do your visitors come from? Why are they visiting your site? Draw up a hypothesis based on these insights. You should be able to find this data in Shopify’s dashboard or in Google Analytics.
Develop your landing pages with graphics, images, and CTAs. Create product pages where you can test different elements.
- A/B Test
Launch 50/50 tests of different elements of your site. Test one graphic against another, test different CTAs, test product copy. The tests you can do are limitless.
When you’re optimizing a shop, always remember to focus on the bottom line. Create the optimal user experience so that visitors convert into customers. What the optimal user experience looks like is highly dependent on your site.
10 tips for conversion rate optimization
- Landing page
It takes seconds to make a first impression, and it often happens unconsciously. Because of this, your landing page is the central part of conversion strategy. “Landing page” doesn’t necessarily mean your homepage; sometimes, visitors will find a product page directly through organic search or click through to an article on social media.
- Responsive design
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly! Most site traffic can come from visitors on phones or tablets, and a site that is not responsive creates a bad user experience.
- USPs (Unique Selling Propositions)
You have only a few seconds to grab your visitor’s attention and give them a reason to choose your site over the competition. Highlight USPs with short, clear language, like “secure payment”, “fast delivery”, and “free shipping”.
- Four clicks to product, max
Make sure visitors can reach your product in four clicks or less. Regardless of where the visitor is on your website, they should be able to reach the product page quickly. Make sure it’s also easy to navigate back to the home page.
- Highlight important buttons
The most important call to action (CTA) on an eCommerce site is “Add to Basket”. On other sites, the most important may be “Contact” or “Subscribe”. Highlight your most important buttons with a standout color or clear symbol. Always make sure the colors fit into your brand color scheme, but still stand out.
- Sorting or filtering
If you have a lot of products under a single category, it’s a good idea to set up filters. Finding the right filters improves the site experience and helps visitors find what they’re looking for. The right filters depends on your site.
- About page
Visitors should have a clear page where they can go to read about you and your company. The “About” page doesn’t have to be the first thing they see, but it should be easy to find. Your page should tell us who is being the screen, preferably with pictures. Credibility, transparency, and security are increasingly important in your brand story.
- Site copy
Along with images, the written copy on your site is one of the biggest factors affecting the conversion rate. This means both onsite and in search engines.
The text must be easy to read and targeted to the site’s demographic. Clear copy improves the user experience. Establish yourself as a credible, reliable source that wants to help visitors find what they’re looking for.
- Optimize the shopping cart
Make your site shopping cart easy to understand. The cart is the last step before checking out, so you want to reduce friction as much as possible. Your checkout process must be easy to navigate, and it must be easy to edit the products in the cart. Make sure visitors can easily view the product image, name, size, stock status, and price. It helps to display delivery time, shipping costs, and payment methods, too.
- Purchase flow and account creation
Reduce friction in the checkout process by making it smooth and easy. Don’t include links that lead away from the page and disrupt the checkout process, but make sure the customer still has access to the navigation bar so they can make changes to their order before it’s completed.
Make sure that your site remembers the cart information if the visitor navigates out of the purchase flow. That includes fields in the form that the visitor filled in.We recommend not making it a requirement to create an account before purchasing. A visitor may be given the option to make an account, but you risk losing customers if it’s a requirement.It is also important that the customer can easily find mistakes in their order after it has been placed. Make customer service easily accessible, and they may come back again and become a loyal customer.
Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process
CRO is a continuous process that always has room for learning and improvement. Take these 10 CRO tips and make them your own by using your brand voice and graphics to appeal to your site’s unique demographics.
The above tips generally apply to eCommerce sites, but the most effective tactics may be different for your site.
Online trends rapidly change, so always keep an open mind when performing conversion testing. Stay flexible when adapting your site and always be open to improvements.
If you don’t know where to start, A/B testing is an easy method to optimize your site. And testing will help you gather data on your site visitors and customers. From there, your conversion rate will keep growing.