By Desiree Gullan, Executive Creative Director, G&G Digital
The only thing better than thousands of visitors to your website is an astounding number of conversions. Bumper-to-bumper website traffic isn’t good enough anymore if your visitors are just window-shopping, they don’t add value to your bottom line. In fact, they end up costing you, via paid search and other digital marketing spend. So how can brands make their websites work harder, and turn high-volume traffic into real leads? It starts with Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
What is a conversion?
A website conversion is unique to each website and is determined by the desired action and purpose of that website. It might be a transaction, a download, or a form submission. Before understanding how to optimise conversions, it’s essential to understand exactly what you expect your users to do.
A conversion rate is the ratio of conversions to website visitors. If your website has had 100 visitors and one conversion, you have a conversion rate of 1%. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) leverages more conversions from existing traffic rather than seeking out new traffic that might not result in quality leads. A website designed with conversions in mind will see higher returns on investment and a busier, more rewarding sales funnel. By critically analysing the user experience (UX) of a website, brands can make the most out of the website traffic they already have.
Think like your users
The first step in boosting CRO is to think like the user. Users don’t want to make decisions, so it’s vital you design the journey for them and nurture them along the way. Keep it simple and keep it smart.
Key to this is living up to the promise made via traffic generation (how you got them to your website in the first place). What are they looking for, what are they expecting to find and what have you promised them? Landing page user experience should be designed with this in mind. Be clear about what you want users to do and don’t confuse it with other – secondary – calls to action.
Your landing page should offer what was promised, without requiring extra, unexpected action from the user. And if the end goal is a lead, don’t ask for all the information you need to complete a sale. You’ll only scare them away – it’s the digital equivalent of an ‘I love you’ on the first date, when all you really need is to secure the second one.
A fundamental pillar to CRO is testing and analysis: what you predicted versus what’s actually happening. You can’t predict exactly how users are going to behave. And the best way to reach a conclusion about your customer’s online behaviour is to let the data tell you. Those insights do optimise your CRO.
What’s in it for you?
CRO has endless benefits for your website. You can save on ad spend and increase the number of engaged visitors, while consistently improving the overall usability of your website. Improving your conversion rate is cheaper and easier than increasing traffic to your website (which is, however, a wise place to start). It means making traffic to your website more efficient, so you don’t waste time on unqualified visitors.
The process of CRO starts and ends with thinking like the user. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds. It requires research, time and informed decisions based on data. And a whole lot of trial and error. Which is why it’s key to partner with marketing technologists who are willing to put in the time required to really understand your customers, your data and your site’s performance. And then enjoy watching your bottom line benefit.