CRO, or Conversion Rate Optimization (also sometimes called simply Conversion Optimization, or CO) can seem to be a very complicated process. “Optimization” has become an industry byword to refer to many facets of improving website performance, and many people who are just learning about the importance of website design are stuck in a mire of optimization-related acronyms. For the purpose of making more money, though – and that’s what we all really want, isn’t it? – conversion rate optimization is the focus. CRO, properly done, can increase revenue without increasing advertising spend – and it can work hand-in-hand with SEO to propel your business to new heights of success.
Mind the Opportunity Gap
Today, more people than ever are using the Internet – to shop directly, or to do research before making an offline purchase. In 2010, the average American spent 13 hours per week online. By 2011, estimates had risen to more than 30 hours weekly. The time spent with mobile devices is rising faster than all other media. The importance of the Internet in our daily lives has dramatically increased, but the performance of most website experiences is still severely below potential.
Realistically, this translates to your online business getting fewer actions per visitor than you deserve. Fortunately, this means that there’s a very real and growing opportunity gap for you to get more actions and boost your ROI. Your customers want to give you more revenue – all you need to do is improve your web experience to boost your CRO.
What’s Your Conversion Rate?
In order to understand how badly your website is underperforming – and it is – you need to know your conversion rate. Is it 1 percent? 3 percent? 20 percent? If you don’t know this number, this is absolutely where you have to start.
To calculate your conversion rate, all you need to know is how many people are completing the action you desire – be it to fill out a contact form, call a sales phone number, or purchase a product – and divide that by the number of unique visitors. To give you a simple example:
5 sales divided by 100 unique visitors = 5 percent conversion rate (5/100 * 100 to express the value as a percentage).
You need basic analytic data in order to track the performance of your site. You have to be able to track performance to calculate and improve your CRO. If you don’t already have analytics tracking, Google Analytics offers a great Enterprise-class analytics platform.
Testing, Testing, Testing
Ok, so your website is underperforming. You’re not happy with your conversion rate and you want to boost your revenue by making improvements to your site. We’ll take a look at those strategies and improvements in the coming months, but you need a tool set to evaluate the effect of making these changes. This is where testing comes in.
Say you start with something simple, like changing the headline of your website or putting up a new banner. You need to be able to measure your performance in order to determine if it’s a good change or a bad change. Has your conversion rate increased? You may need to revert your changes and try something else – or you may notice a modest boost to your conversion rate, in which case – congrats!
Conversion rate optimization is based on a series of changes that improve your conversion rate. These changes may be alterations to site design, changes to your website copy, changes to the user interface, or changes to your desired action. You measure the success of these changes by paying close attention to analytics and your conversion rate, and testing various options until you have successfully optimized your site.
Sounds simple when it’s all laid out like that, right? Join us as we look at strategies to boost conversion and improve your business success!