What is conversion rate optimisation, and why is it important for my website?

Most websites are set up with specific goals in mind, whether that be to get users to complete purchases, sign up for newsletters, or write reviews. These goals are known in the marketing world as ‘conversions’ and are often crucial to the success of an organisation.

Imagine you own a store. People come through and spend time browsing your products, but hardly anyone buys anything. This could be the same story with your website. People are visiting your web pages, but only a small number of those users are actually performing meaningful transactions, or conversions.

This is where conversion rate optimisation (CRO) comes in. CRO is the practice of using analytics and expertise to refine a website or marketing activity to increase the probability of users taking desired actions on your site. Instead of focusing on bringing more traffic to your website, you are encouraging visitors to interact with your website in ways that actually count for your business.

These 5 tips will help you get started in encouraging users to perform the conversions you’ve been hanging out for:

  • Make use of digital analytic tools

Learning to use digital analytics tools, such as Google Analytics can unlock a wealth of useful information for your website. If you link your website to a Google Analytics account, you can track user data, metrics, and website traffic about users who visit your website. This is a great starting place to begin your CRO journey.

Analytics tools will give you great information such as user bounce rates (how many users are coming to your website, but then leaving immediately), sources from which users are being directed to your website and which pages users tend to avoid or interact less with. Online analytics tools will give you a good starting point to plan online marketing strategies, as well as track their success.

  • Let’s start with the right audience

Getting the right users to your website in the first place is crucial. You can do this by optimising your choices of advertising and marketing content.

Again, this is where analytics tools for your website come in so handy. With the right online analytics set up you can track the sources of users coming to your website who actually make meaningful actions. Analytic tools let you to find out how they are getting to your website, whether it be via Google searches, social media links or e-mail marketing. This means that you can tweak your marketing to focus on the campaigns that are producing real results.

  • Create a website conversion funnel

The conversion funnel is a digital marketing term which represents the flow of your visitors from the moment they land on your website, all the way to a desired action being completed. This flow usually represents a funnel shape, with the number of users who reach the next stage of your conversion funnel receding with each stage.

A good website conversion funnel is about ensuring the right information and links are presented to users at each stage. The conversion funnel follows 4 main stages:

  • Awareness: Where users land on your website. Ensure you have the right audience visiting your website.
  • Interest: Introduce the users to your website, create interest in your product or service.
  • Desire: Turn interest into desire, by telling the users why they might need your specific product or service.
  • Conversion: This is where you ask a user to make the commitment to a conversion. Make sure the shopping cart or subscription form you are asking them to fill out is user friendly and easy to use.

You can’t ask for someone to complete a purchase the moment they reach your website. Chances are, they don’t know anything about your product yet, and are likely to leave your website as this may seem pushy or annoying.

Planning and creating an appropriate website conversion funnel which flows from stage to stage is important. Create a funnel which keeps visitors engaged and informed with each step, to stop users from dropping off the process altogether.

  • Where are users giving up?

If users are spending substantial amounts of time on your website then ending their session suddenly, there could be a reason why. Use analytics tools to track the movements of users, focusing specifically on exit pages (the pages where a user’s session ends).

It is important to see which pages you might be losing the most users on. If your data shows that lots of users are ending their sessions on a particular page, you may have problems on this page, which could drive potential leads away. This could be a page which is hard to read or use, or perhaps the links that on that page don’t function properly.

Once you know where users are dropping off, you can tell which pages or stages might need to be revisited or fixed to encourage successful conversions. Focus on optimising user experience on these pages.

  • User generated content – people trust people

How many times have you purchased a product online, and when it arrives it looks nothing like it was described on the website?

This is where user generated content comes in handy. It’s all about trust. Users trust other users a lot more than they trust us. It’s a good idea to encourage users to interact with each other and the website, through the use of review and pictures.

Integrated marketing practices, like linking social media and encouraging consumers to tag, hashtag and leave comments will help to grow user trust and encourage real transactions.

Which of these tips did you find most useful? Get in touch with us today to discuss more.