Are content optimization strategies built only for those who sell things? Certainly not. Any website that targets visitors as a means of generating leads, sales, and clicks can integrate their own CRO strategy, and today we’re taking a look at what are the most important steps to take in order to do so.
A recently published study by VentureBeat, asked over 3,000 CRO tools users about their results from using CRO tools; focusing on the average return that each user was able to generate. Out of the 3,000 users surveyed, only 5% did not generate a ROI. The average ROI from the survey was 223%, and 5% of the users surveyed reported a staggering 1000% return on investment.
You might assume from this information that CRO is only viable for businesses that focus solely on selling products. It certainly isn’t the case here. A well thought-out CRO strategy provides a great opportunity for any online business to achieve specific goals, acquire purchases, even something as simple as a signup. Besides, not having a specific goal and a plan in place is a clear waste of time and resources.
1. Examine Your Analytics
A standard Google Analytics report is going to tell you quite a bit about your audience and its behavior, but for optimal understanding and insight, it is highly recommended to utilize the full potential of Deep Analytics, an essential part of a CRO strategy, to gain a clear understanding of your individual users. A/B split testing; heatmapping; funnels; mobile analytics and concept testing are among the few CRO groups to explore when considering Deep Analytics. Once you’ve put together all your systems in one place, it’s a good idea to put together your data to the test with an optimized site experience.
2. Strong Funnel
Your business funnel is the main aggregator of sales. It is the process of analyzing, sorting, narrowing down, and following up with sales leads. Most companies nowadays are throwing around every sales lead like a hot potato, and there is no knowing who is going to drop it.
The biggest mistake in CRO is chasing after every lead you get, sending it to your sales team; without any knowledge of whether this lead is sustainable, or just a passover. Without a strategic sales funnel, your team is walking a narrow bridge in the dark. Having a sales funnel integrate in your strategy gives you the ability to analyze your leads, as well as measure the progress at each stage.
With flaws in your funnel, you’re risking to lose a lot of potential opportunities, which essentially is just money. The aim of conversion rate optimization is to fix these flaws so that your funnel is no longer losing money, but instead, it is providing you with insight that will lead you to understand your visitors, and what makes them go all the way.
3. Optimize Your Pages
Chances are, a lot of the pages on your business site could use a little bit of housecleaning, but unless you’re working with multivariate testing, it’s going to be hard to optimize all pages at once. That’s why it is a good idea to start from the very bottom and see where the biggest flaws are, in turning offering the biggest improvements.
A good example would be to increase the number of sales on a landing page of a specific product. You’re attracting consumers to the particular page, but for some strange reason, nobody is actually clicking the BUY button. And while the answers to the question to why is that happening are laid out on the page, you still need to do some testing to understand which parts of the page are hindering a conversion.
A conversion funnel is really an idea or a way to visualize and comprehend the flow and conversion of potential customers into paying customers. If you can understand and analyze the process, then you can take actions to improve that flow. — CrazyEgg
The best place to start with tests is always going to be the page with least amount of conversions. If only a few percent of the visitors of a particular page are clicking through to the buy page, you’ve got a great contender for testing. Do this for all of your pages, and we mean all of them. Whether it is a contact form, a shopping cart, checkout pages, even a simple sign-up page; get to know the errors there and patch them up.
4. Targeted Tests
Testing is the fastest way to investigate what your visitors expect and want from your brand. — Lemuel Galpo
It all sounds easy up until this point, where actual testing begins. It would truly be great if it was possible to test pages that easily, but sometimes a lot of work has to be put in place in order to achieve a desired result. The best place to start is some analysis of your goals and your desires from the individual pages.
- What’s the purpose of the page?
Every page on your website should have a clear indication as to what it is meant to do, leaving users guessing is going to make them leave your site faster than they can blink. The best way to tell your users your intentions is through good copy and intuitive design.
- Narrow down the distractions
A page loaded with useless elements (such as social stream widgets, promotional offers, etc,.) are going to cause users to become disoriented and lose any interest in the purpose of the page. Your goal is to encourage users to put their attention of your goal, not take them away from it.
- Intuitive design
When you’ve gotten to the point of understanding what should be tested and how it should be done, head over to the development and design department to get them put together a few good examples to test for the next few days and/or weeks.
It’s important to think and act like the customer wherever and whenever possible, diving deeper into the analysis of what could be a potential distress signal, and what could be a potential improvement signal. At this stage, usability testing is very good for testing the elements of your site that aren’t doing more than just sitting there.
Every test you run should have a significant change in the arrangement/colors/feel of the elements that you’re using, a subtle color change is not going to do much, and to really understand customers it’s important to try truly different styles.
Your developers and designers might say that the changes they’ve made are up to standards and should pass any test, but in reality you’re looking for those pages to pass the test of users, and to get those conversions flowing naturally.
5. Rinse and Repeat
As linear as it sounds, unless you’re converting 99% of your visits every single time, there is room for improvement. Testing should be an essential part of your business and conversion rate optimization strategy, only through testing we can really understand what works and what doesn’t. A business who cares about growth is never going to stop testing.