Conversion Rate Optimization Tutorial – Optimized Blog Post With Answers

Conversion Rate Optimization Tutorial - Optimized Blog Post With Answers

How would you define the word – Optimization?
The most clear and straightforward definition I could find was:

“Optimization is making the best of anything.”

So let’s talk about optimization, in the context of – Conversion Rate.

One of the “hottest” and common terms in marketing (especially online marketing),
which became with time a real deal in the industry. Every business who thinks seriously
to sell and to generate anything online has to fill that role – CRO; Conversion Rate
Optimization.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
CRO is a method of using analytics, testing and user feedback in order to learn more
about their behavior, needs and interests. This data is used to improve the performance
of a website, landing page or any other goal defined onlined asset.

In general, CRO can be, and should be used to improve any of your company’s KPI (key
performance indicators) metrics. Still it most commonly associated with acquiring new
customers, registrations, downloads, and conversion in general.

In other words, when optimizing your conversion rate you increase the percentage of
website visitors who becomes a real consumers of your service/product (or just visitors
who accomplished any goal you defined).

So then the questions was asked:

  1. Why should you invest in Conversion Rate Optimization?
  2. How should I do Conversion Rate Optimization?

Well, for any business, it’s pretty much the same as asking:

  1. Should I sell more?
  2. How can I sell more?

Haha! that’s pretty funny-but-obvious when presenting these questions this way right?

Why should you sell more?

Well, because every business is interested in earning more money obviously! So Why to
CRO?

Because it will clean the process, make the UX (user experience) much better and will
tremendously improve your ability to increase your income.

It mostly happen when drilling down, identifying and pinpointing the tiniest spots that
hurt your efforts to convert future (and also existing) customers!

How to sell more?

that’s a great question! Which I don’t really know how to answer, because it changes
from industry to industry and different markets. Still, I can definitely tell you that in
order to do that, must know your customers best, and find the answers of where &
when you lose them along the way. This can be achieved when CROing (Conversion
Rate Optimizing ).


*Only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. (Econsultancy, 2016)*

So why Conversion Rate Optimization is so important?
  1. There is always room for improvement!

    Sounds like your father ha? But yes, there’s always room for improvements –
    especially when it comes to optimizing conversion on your site.

    Take any website in the world, dig in it, test and think out of the box – I promise you
    that you’ll find at least 10 twitches and spots that can be modified and improved.

  2. Optimization is about getting more of the right kind of customersAny brand knows that there is a type of customers which he targets and benefits
    from – the most. Optimization is another step towards finding these users and
    nurture them.
  3. It’s essentially freeYou are about to optimize your own website – all you need is already there, and it’s
    all yours. You don’t need to pay anyone for doing this, buy any ads or invest your
    money in outer “real estate”. All you have to do is analyze your own user’s patterns
    and behavior, and find what’s missing.
  4. More traffic doesn’t always lead to more sales, higher conversion does

    We’ve talked about it before right?

    Converting more customers = More goal completions → and therefore most probably
    higher income.

  5. CRO helps maximize profits:
    1. It lowers your customer acquisition costs.
    2. It gives you more money to spend on additional acquisitions.
    3. It makes you more valuable to affiliates and partners.
    4. It improves your search rankings


*The first position on Google search results on desktop has a 34.36% clickthrough rate. (Advanced
Web Ranking, 2015)*

How to Get Started with Conversion Rate Optimization?

First things first – acknowledge that any change can make a difference, even the
smallest ones can cause an effect that will push your customers to higher conversion.

Second, you need to remember that these changes are not always for the good, and
can sometimes harm.

That is the reason why along the optimization process every step should be tested and
confirmed. A/B or A/B/n test, with specific pre-defined goals and metrics to monitor
and base your decisions on.

So what to do? – The Basics of Conversion Rate Optimization:

  1. Identify barriers in your conversion funnel

    In marketing in general and for CRO in specific, the magic word is – DATA.

    Everything is in the data, and the more you have the better it is.

    But what should you do with the date?

    Arrange, organize and put everything in order. Make your date usable.

    When you’ll have all the information you need, organized, all you have to do is – read
    it, summarize and use it.

    My suggestion is to delegate the CRO responsibility to someone which will be the
    owner of this effort. Someone who is fully in to that, have a deep knowledge of data
    analysis, and most of all – someone who is creative and out of the box thinker.

    What to look for and how to do that?

    Based on your own customers Data Base

    1. Define your conversion goals / objectives – what will be the converting metric

      Some examples

      1. Newsletter registrations
      2. Product purchases
      3. Leaving contact details
      4. Website signups
    2. Map the user journey, and the funnel your users (steps/pages/actions they walk
      through) are going through. From landing at your website for example, all the way
      until they arrive to your pre-defined goal/s.
    3. Break down the funnel steps and check every step’s conversion rate;
      This is how you can find how much users are “falling” along the way and spot the
      weakest links along your funnel.

      Example: An e-Commerce website having a great traffic flow, users sessions
      times are high, bounce rate is low, and all the metrics seems fine. However we
      can clearly see that conversion drops on the payment interface.

      Why? – many reasons can be found, but mostly it comes down to 2 main reasons:

      1. Trust issues – is this site is trustable? Is it ok to provide my credit card
        information?
      2. Clarity issues – too many details to fill. Users can get lost and don’t
        understand how to proceed.

      Based on stats you have collected in your conversion research and assisting platforms

    4. Check the usability of your website pages, Call To Action buttons, banners and
      basically any interface your customers engage with.

      Do that by conducting heat maps. Look for clicks, scrolls, mouse movements and
      finger tapings → you’ll find immediately what’s HOT and what’s COLD along your
      pages.

    5. Look for the pages, time of the day, day of the week, season of the year, etc..,
      which the most goal completions were made from/at.
  2. Your value proposition is your conversion rate

    Change your position, try looking at it from the customer’s perspective and check
    your value proposition. What is the desired value your customer is looking for?

    Ok, you have a great value for your customers, but you must point it out and make
    them see it clearly!

    Your conversion rate hangs on 4 main aspects:

      1. Relevance – How closely does the content on your page match what your visitors
        are expecting to see? How closely does your value proposition match their needs?
      2. Clarity – How clear is your value proposition, main message, and call-to-action?
      3. Distraction – Does the page is as straight forward? Does it has distracting elements
        in it? What is the first thing you see on the page? Does it help or hurt your main
        purpose?
      4. Urgency – Why should your visitors take action now? What incentives, offers, tone,
        and presentation will move them to action immediately?


    *For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them. (Econsultancy, 2016)*

  3. Where to look, how to act?
    1. CTA (call to action) – I like to change the ‘call to action’ into ‘clear to action’.
      Think of that, this is the door for the conversion we talk all about. If the door is
      “locked”, or the “handle” is invisible – no one will open and walk thought it!
    2. GD (graphic design) – Keep with the metaphors, everybody would prefer hanging
      in a clean, lighted cozy living room right? So this is how your design should be as
      well. Websites which are clean and appealing, are most likely to have:
      1. Lower bounce rates
      2. Longer sessions
      3. Higher conversion rates
    3. Usability – This comes along with the GD bullet point and should be called all
      together: UX (user experience).

      It’s so nice to have a nice designed website, but you should always make sure that it is
      usable!

      How to do that? Ask some people that never been in it to tell you what they think,
      where they got stuck, what information they could get from it, and what is their general
      feeling from it.

      *IMPORTANT: Don’t forget that you have to check it in all devices – Desktop, Mobile,
      Tablet and App (if exists).

    4. Security (feeling) – Your customers, they are all human, and in order to spend his
      money, a human needs feel comfortable and secured.

      Now I’m assuming your website meets all security standards and requirements, so all
      you have to do now is to show them that – all over the funnel, anywhere on the site
      (with good taste of course) – Make Them Trust You.

      Here are a few ideas:

      1. Add trust elements related to your market
        • – user information security encryption
        • – well known payment methods can be used on your site
      2. Social proof elements / statements
      3. Link to Articles, PRs or anywhere your service is mentioned in a good point of
        view.
      4. On-boarding flow / clear instructions of how to use your service
    5. SEO – Keep the right good content in the right places – Think SEO.A big part of good SEO is to make sure you include the best key words and related
      subjects into your content. The better you do that – the better you stick up at the
      searching queries. You can use this method to be a guiding rule for yourself – when
      creating new pages which contains a lot of text and can get messy, try to clean
      them and stick with the relevant stuff.
    6. Customer Testimonials – Ask for them, look for them, find them! Social proof is one
      of the strongest methods along conversion matters. You can see it anywhere – from
      Booking.com through eBay and to your local store. Customer Review matter. Big
      time. There’s a whole online industry for customer reviews, trust gaining and social
      credibility.

      You have most probably heard of TrustPiolt and there are all kind of other solutions
      and approaches to reach out for social credibility

      Check also: UseProof and Yotpo

    7. Funnel Optimization – The easiest part in my eyes and therefore optimizing is
      much faster. From each step to another you can see how many users you loose. Then
      you can break the funnel into bricks which will be the bases of your testing plan.

      Here’s a nice way of “mapping” what you need to take care of when creating a new
      page -OR- re-creating one which I found somewhere along my research:

      • C – Clear Call to Action
      • O – Offer
      • N – Narrow Focus
      • V – VIA: Very Important Attributes
      • E – Effective Headline
      • R – Result-Driven Layout
      • T – Tidy Visuals
      • S – Social Credibility
  4. Building and Testing an Optimization Plan
    1. Lay the groundwork, prepare everything you need: We’ve talked about it at the
      beginning of this post – data.Create yourself the base which you can lay on and gather data and facts.
      Set yourself the tools you need for getting the information you need, tools like:
      Google analytics, Search console, HotJar, A/B testing platforms, survey creation and
      user testing.
    2. Establish a baseline, map your site, map your customers funnel, identify weak
      points and holes.Create yourself a list of spots you would like to check, improve, test or modify.
    3. Create a list of tests you would like to run.

      For each test:

      1. Create a measurable hypothesis
      2. Define in specific what you are going to test and what would you like to
        achieve from testing it.
      3. Define goals which will be measurable and will give you a significant idea of
        your status.
    4. Create the content & design essential for your tests
    5. Run the tests, cross fingers for significant results.

    From my experience and as I was saying – there’s always room for improvement.

    Optimizing your conversion rate is an endless work which you can always do more.
    Therefore, testing and looking for improvements should become ongoing task for you.
    Generate a list of tests, apply them and move forward towards next ideas and spots to
    improve.

    Here’s another reason why you can’t lay down to rest in your CRO plan: a very important
    thing to know and take in consideration is – Significant Results.

    This can be a bit frustrating as a matter of fact… There’s no magic in CRO, results comes
    by hard work and a lot of tests. Only 10% of your tests in average will lead to real
    significant results which will give result in more conversions and more sales.


    *The first position on Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% clickthrough rate. (Advanced
    Web Ranking, 2015)*

    A couple of tips when A/B testing:

    • Keep it simple but not too much – if you are not about to change the whole
      appearance of your website, conduct your tests – simple. Make only the necessary
      changes for the tests, don’t overdo it, BUT make the change noticeable enough.
    • Base the number of variations on the expected traffic to the page – you are trying
      to get results fast right? You need a minimum amount of users to participate in the
      test in order to get good results as more variations you make the more time it’ll take
      you to get significant results, so check and plan based on the expected amount of
      participants to see that you can get them on time.
    • Begin with basic variations and make them more advanced from one test to
      another – begin checking the most valuable things, when you get good results then
      slowly create a newer versions with more sophisticated ideas – keep it like that until
      you get your best results.
  5. The best for the end – Tool kit for the CRO analyst

    In words – what you need to track & use is:

    1. Traffic – sources, geo, verticals, channels
    2. Landing pages and Bouncing pages
    3. User behavior and funnels
    4. Heat and click maps
    5. A/B tests of both design and content
    6. Conducting surveys and user’s opinion gathering

    In tools – I recommend the tools that I use you know…:

    1. Google analytics – Track and report your website’s traffic 360º
    2. Optimizely – The most known A/B testing platform
    3. HotJar – One of the greatest tools for heat map creation and website
      polls on the web.
    4. Survey Monkey – Very familiar survey creation and analysis service.
    5. User testing – Get videos of real people speaking their thoughts as they
      use your website or mobile app!

There’s a huge list of tools all over the internet of really great stuff, some tools are for
free, most are not, but don’t forget that in order to drive revenue you need to invest a
little bit of money along the way.
Here’s a great post which gather a bunch of these amazing tools: 34 Tools for
Conversion Rate Optimization.

To conclude it all in one sentence I would say – Stop wasting your time and start
optimizing!

But now more officially, the world of CRO is an endless opportunity for growth and
evolution. Think of it as an opportunity for your business to constantly improve activity,
performance and revenues.

There’s a good reason why in more and more companies CRO is an important position,
and there are companies that holds a whole team that are in charge of CRO.
Optimizing conversion rates is an essential for any business and the faster you’ll adopt it
the better it is for your business efficiency.

Good Luck!


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