We at Conversica care a lot about creating leads. And if you’re a marketer at a company with any sort of digital presence, you’ve heard of CRO. It’s an important process you can use to improve the ROI of your existing site traffic while also improving the overall experience people have on your website, whether they are new or returning visitors.
We’re all responsible for understanding and remembering a lot of abbreviations (with no end in sight), so it might be helpful to review what’s meant by CRO. Then we can dig into the the latest tricks to help you enjoy the results of a well-tuned CRO process this year.
Conversion Rate Optimization, Defined
You’ll get plenty of results if you Google “What is Conversion Rate Optimization,” but for the purpose of this blog, we’re going to stick with the definition used by our friends at MOZ (emphasis ours):
“Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action — be that filling out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise. The CRO process involves understanding how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what’s stopping them from completing your goals.”
The first trick to benefiting from CRO is understanding that it’s a process. To successfully optimize your site, you need to understand your sales process, understand your target audience, and be able to come up with a hypothesis on why conversions are performing a certain way. You can’t just “CRO your site” one day and gain access to all the tantalizing data mentioned above.
CRO 101 for People Who’ve Already Taken CRO 101
First, let’s check in on our understanding of how to calculate your conversion rate. Your conversion rate is the number of visitors who took an action you want to track divided by the total number of visitors.
Let’s say you sell monocles for dogs. (And we really hope you do.) Today your site received 100 visitors, and 5 of them purchased a dog monocle. Your conversion rate would be 5%. But the world demands more dogs wearing monocles, so let’s explore how you can use CRO to increase that percentage.
Identify Your Conversion Types
Speaking of data, before you dive into creating a CRO process, you need to know what you’re trying to optimize, and that means identifying what user behaviors (i.e., conversions) are valuable to your business. Most companies have at least a few different conversion opportunities for users. A conversion could be “Request a quote” or “Download this ebook” or “Upload a photo to see your dog in one of our monocles.” Each of these will have its own conversion rate and its own opportunity for optimization, depending on where you want to increase growth.
There is a lot of discovery that goes into CRO. For a longer read on how to begin a CRO program at your company, check out this post over at MOZ. In short, the process is:
- Collect Data—Review information you have access to right now, likely in Google Analytics or something similar, to see how your customers are behaving and what conversions are performing well or poorly right now,
- Establish Your Hypothesis—Why do you think certain conversion behavior is occurring? How can you change it to better align with your revenue goals?
- Test—Run A/B tests using your existing page and a new one based on your hypothesis.
- Analyze—Here’s that sweet, sweet data we were looking for.
- Repeat—Continue to find areas of improvement with your CRO.
Establishing a CRO process at your company is only the beginning. There are plenty of ways to continue optimizing both the process you’ve created and yourself, the optimizer.
1. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
We’ve laid out a pretty basic CRO process, but, as with most things, you can tweak it to suit your needs. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when running an optimization program is consistency. Once you determine a metric or goal that you want to improve, you have to essentially take a snapshot of the conditions you want to test against. Otherwise you won’t know if your new version was successful or if one of the undocumented variables caused the change in your user’s behavior.
2. Bad Data Is Bad
One of the easiest ways to lose credibility when operating a CRO program is to continually be incorrect on the estimated impact of your optimizations. This usually means you are working from incomplete or incorrect data.
One of the more important stats to keep in mind is sample size. You have to meet a particular sample size to produce statistically significant results—you can’t get a lot of meaningful information from how five people behave on your site.
Here is a slightly involved tool you can use to help determine what your traffic threshold should be: https://www.evanmiller.org/ab-testing/sample-size.html
MOZ has another good long-form post that takes a more technical approach to CRO statistics, including fun topics like p-value and confidence intervals.
CRO for Companies With Not Many Leads
Even if you don’t have hundreds of leads, you should be able to optimize your site for conversions. Sample size is important, but there are tricks to get around not having a large number of visitors to analyze.
- Start with your homepage—This is most likely your most visited page. Start your optimizing and analysis here.
- Focus on pages with lots of traffic—Outside of your homepage, limit your optimization to other high-traffic pages. This will provide you with the highest-quality insight, but it also represents your best opportunity to increase conversions.
- Test where it Counts—It might be tempting to go right for optimizing your most valuable goals’ conversion rates. Those goals could be either demo requests or actual transactions on your site. Instead, focus on the broader parts of your funnel first, so that you can gradually improve the sample size, and thus the results, as you move closer to your highest-value conversions.
There’s no limit to the number of tricks you can employ when optimizing for conversions. The most important part of your CRO process is making sure the fundamentals are in place before you start tinkering too much. CRO will not only make your site more effective for your visitors, but also make you a more effective marketer.
A Lead is Only as Good as Your Follow-Up
Once you’ve employed the discipline of CRO on your own site, you should start to see an increase in leads. It’s important, however, that you’re prepared for them. You should communicate with sales and provided them with the tools for following up with the incoming leads. Most salespeople will be focused on moving along existing deals and pursuing low hanging fruit. Conversational AI is a solution for a marketing team producing a lot of leads with a sales team stretched too thin to properly work all leads. If you need help, take a look at how you can use our AI Sales Assistant to follow up on 100% of your website leads, 100% of the time.
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