Conversion Rate Optimisation

What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Conversion rate optimisation or CRO is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors who perform a specific action (conversion) on a website. The desired action could be filling out a form, clicking upon a link, purchasing a product or adding a product to the shopping cart. CRO is achieved through optimising your website or landing pages, based upon the behavior of your website visitors. The site journey your customers go through upon arriving at your website needs to be smooth flowing, providing them with the best possible experience. 

We will be discussing how to calculate your website's CRO, conversion rate analysis, setting your conversion goals, developing your CRO plan and some of the eCommerce CRO strategies you can implement. 

How to Calculate CRO

The CRO is the percentage of website visitors who complete the desired action. Having a high conversion rate tells you that your website is working wonderfully, in that it is well designed and appealing to your target audience. A low conversion rate could mean that your website design is poor, it has copy that doesn't tell customers the value of your offerings, it has broken links or slow loading times.

Conversion rates do vary among industries and what you consider a good conversion rate will depend upon the industry and niche you are targeting, where you get your website traffic from and who your target audience is. As an example, the average eCommerce conversion rate is between 2.5 to 3%, though specific eCommerce industries do vary, such as arts and crafts with 4.91% grocery websites with 6.8%, health and beauty with 3.9% and luxury with 1.1%.

To find out what your conversion rates are, you will need to break things down into specific desired actions and where they occur. Then you calculate the conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors, then multiplying that number by 100 to get a percentage. For example, if your conversion rate is the number of people who make a purchase (10) after adding a product to their cart (50), your calculation would be 10 orders divided by 50 cart additions multiplied by 100, equals 20% conversion rate. 

Conversion Rate Optimisation Analysis

Once your conversion rates are known, you will want to dive into understanding why they are like they are and how you can optimise things further. Therefore, you will need to use one or both of the two main types of CRO analysis: quantitative and qualitative.

  • quantitative data analysis - known as "the analytics method,' you base your findings upon the specific numbers and data of people who visit your website. Google Analytics is a great place to get this information from, so make sure you add its tracking information to your website. You will be able to get data such as the page visitors arrive on first, where they came from, the browsers and devices they use, where on a page or in your site they spend their time, what they demographics are and where/when they leave your website. Website heat map and funnel tools are also great to use. 
  • qualitative data analysis - known as 'the people method,' this is subjective data that you get specifically from your visitors, through things such as surveys, website session recording, forms and user testing. 

Combining both types of analysis will give you the best answers, ensuring you are ready to set your CRO goals and select the most appropriate CRO eCommerce strategies.

Setting Your Conversion Goals

By creating and setting your CRO goals, you will be best placed to develop your CRO strategy. A conversion goal is the measurable outcome for any specific page on your website that you want to optimise. By being measurable, you will be able to track the success of your goal and implement the website changes needed to achieve your goals. 

There is a three step process you can follow to set your conversion goals:

  1. Identify your business goals - what do you want your business to achieve over the next six months, year, five years and onwards? If you haven't set any, now is the time to do so. If you have, review them to ensure they remain relevant, are specific and measurable. 
  2. Turn your business goals into website goals - what you can your website do to help you achieve your business goals? Can it sell more to increase your profits? Can it capture contact details to grow your email marketing list/lead marketing? You can break each goal into subgoals if required. 
  3. Give each website goal a specific metric - identify how you will measure each goal, such as the number of visits to a specific area of a page, click throughs to new pages, more additions to the shopping cart etc. You may need to install analytical tools such as AWstats or Google Analytics to record these metrics for you to analyse.
  4. Optimise to improve each of those metrics - this will require you trying out different optimisation strategy tests to see which ones work best in achieving your CRO goals. 

Common eCommerce website conversion rate goals include:

  • lower bounce rate by 10%
  • reduce shopping cart abandonment rate by 15%
  • collect 20% more contact details from visitors to the blog page
  • generate 20% more income than last year
  • achieve more comments on blog posts
  • increase monthly eBook downloads
  • improve the newsletter's click through rate

Developing Your Conversion Rate Optimisation Plan

To be well placed and ready to develop your CRO plan, you first need to clearly understand the answers to three specific questions:

What drives people get to your website?

Why do people visit your website? You are doing something right, because you have traffic! The key is to know more about why they are visiting so you can keep on replicating it, or to tweak it if it isn't working. This means diving in and learning if it is your SEO, social media posting, referrals from other websites, paid advertising, word of mouth, landing pages, specific ad campaigns, an email newsletter or printed marketing materials. Using your analytical tools, identify what people do when they arrive not just at your website, but what they do when arriving on each page. 

As well as why they come to your website, you need to know who is coming to your website. Hopefully they are your target audience, but you need to check this as your website may be attracting a different buyer persona. 

What stops your website visitors from converting?

When someone is on your website, what stops them from converting? You can use your website analytics data to help you identify this. This means taking a look at what visitors do upon arrival, the common arrival pages, if there are any barriers to them achieving your conversion goals, how they travel through your website funnel and where on a page do they drop off?

What makes visitors act when on your website?

What specific things on your website encourage and persuade the visitor to convert? On pages with higher conversion rates, what things are present that are not on other pages? Is there specific calls to action which are more effective than others? A customer survey could help gather answers to this question. 

eCommerce CRO Strategies

The CRO strategies you use will depend upon the specific conversions you are wanting to optimise. Some are page or location specific, while others can be used in multiple areas. Here are a list of CRO strategies to consider using:

  • text or button calls to action - make the CTAs easy to see and follow, clear in what the visitor is to do and the appropriate size/colour.
  • coupon codes - offering discount codes to visitors who view specific areas of a page or on a specific page.
  • automated marketing emails - have a series of targeted emails set to automatically send out to your contacts upon sign up. 
  • chat tools - having a chatbot or a real person available during specific times can provide assistance to website visitors. 
  • web design and UX - ensure the website design is attractive to your audience, easy to use and has simple navigation. This also includes the colour scheme and where specific colours are used.
  • easy checkout process - make sure there are no barriers to checkout, and that the process is as easy as it can be. 
  • customer journey - this is your website funnel, or the steps and pages you want your visitors to travel through on their way to conversion. 
  • copy that focuses on your USPs - make certain that your content lets your audience know the benefits that using your products or services will give them, and why they should purchase and use yours, rather than your competitors.
  • website structure - the way in which your website is navigated and structure can help or hinder your visitors. Ask for feedback from others on what works and what doesn't. 
  • forms - if you are using forms, make sure they collect only the information you truly need, such as name and email address. A large form is off putting to fill in. 
  • landing pages - using targeted landing pages for specific audiences and conversion strategies is a good way of testing how successful different strategies are.

CRO is a huge topic and we've only touched a small part of it. We do have a large number of website resource articles available in our blog which can assist you further and encourage you to explore them regularly. 

Tags: seo  

Posted: Friday 29 July 2022