Tips on How to Leverage Conversion Rate Optimization

Chuck Forbes - August 9, 2019

Digital marketing agencies and teams are constantly analyzing how to get a higher return on investment from their efforts. Luckily, Conversion Rate Optimization (also called A/B testing or “CRO”) is an old but extremely valuable experiment to test and with new tools, has become painless to set-up on your website. Yet, I still hear about brands changing elements on their website by guessing, instead of setting up a Conversion Rate Optimization experiment. I have no doubt your Marketing team has a good hunch about what the change will do, by why leave it to chance when you can support a change with data? This blog will break down what Conversion Rate Optimization is, what benefits it brings you, and conclude with website elements that create good CRO tests.

At the core, Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of ensuring that your website visitors are directed towards a particular action you want them to perform. Conversion rate optimization is about understanding the pattern and behavior of the visitors on a particular page to measure the positive or negative impact that a page change had on your Conversion Rate.

Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

Performing CRO experiments and using that data to update your website and what your visitors will ultimately see has many benefits to your brand, to your customers and your ROI:

  • Use current traffic instead of more ad spend: Depending on how many monthly visitors your website has, you may be able to produce a large enough sample size for a conclusive experiment from organic traffic instead of driving users to your site through a paid campaign. Of course, the more traffic you get in a shorter period of time, the faster you can have conclusive data on an experiment – so if time is of the essence, perhaps you keep those campaigns running. However from my experience, most websites generate enough traffic organically to save those funds to fuel your campaigns after you run an experiment and have an updated user experience.
  • Grow Revenue and know your customer’s better: A common outcome from a CRO experiment goes beyond just the numbers. Brands can begin to realize what is important to their customer base versus maybe what they thought was important to them. I recently worked with an ecommerce brand who provided their customers with a free gift of their choice (they got to select from 3 different items) when they purchased $150 or more. However the offer was not displayed prominently on the site or even on high traffic interior pages – the consumer may not have known about this until they were actually at the step to select their free gift. Our CRO experiment revealed that when customers saw this offer immediately upon landing on the site, those orders that were $125-$149 in the previous month vanished – people were more apt to spend extra to get their free gift. Not only is this more revenue for the company, but now the brand knows their customers value free gifts more than maybe they realized before. Free gifts is now an important part of their marketing strategy.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tests

Now to the part you all have been waiting for – tips on what you can test on your website as part of a CRO experiment:

Reduce Your Form Fields: It is OK to collect information from your website visitors in return for a product, service or promotion – but you should always ensure the user experience is not being diminished because you are collecting too much information. Many sites and social platforms have introduced pre-populated form fields with user information so the user does not get turned off filling in their information. Think about these fields:

  • Do you need two fields for first and last name? Can you combine them into a “full name” field?
  • Do you need to collect a user’s company name and job title? Can you get the company from their email address? Which one is really most important?
  • Do you need to collect a zip code if the user isn’t submitting a full address?

All of these items can make a huge difference in your site’s conversion rate. Try testing out your current form vs. a form that has less fields to measure the impact for your site.

Call-To-Action Colors: A common practice is to A/B test the color of a call-to-action (CTA) button on your site – many people like to use red because it ignites a sense of action and makes the user alert. Here is a secret: it’s not about the color you choose, it’s about how the color you choose contrasts with your site background. For example, if your site has a dark blue background then red is a bad choice. In that case orange or yellow could work better. Try testing out a new call-to-action color on a prominent button that pops off the page and is easily legible, just make sure that color is exclusive to you call-to-actions and not also prominent in other areas or the user may miss it.

Call-To-Action Copy: While reviewing better color choices for your CTAs, also think about testing the copy on them. Sometimes a simple change in what a button or CTA says can increase your conversion opportunities. In 2018, I worked with a client who changed their CTA copy from “Create An Account” to “Get Started Today” and saw a 22% increase in sign-ups year over year and a 37% increase in sign-ups from the previous quarter. If you are thinking “how can a simple change like that make that big of a difference,” you’ll never know until you run an experiment! A 30-60 day test like this can be easy and cost effective before moving onto more robust changes to increase conversions.

Test Videos: Most brands have videos at their disposal to use for product showcases or service explanations (if you don’t, listen to this podcast to understand why you should: However not all brands are showcasing that video in an area of their site where they also are trying to convince users to take an action or convert. You do not want to add a long video, keep it 90 seconds or shorter if possible, and ensure the video does not push the CTA below your site’s fold. If you can accomplish those two things, try testing out a relevant video on a page that users convert – this will build brand trust, engagement and make the conversion easy after the video has affirmed to them why you are the best choice.

Give the Buyer Urgency: Ecommerce sites are great at this – when you get to a product page or to your shopping cart, provide a countdown timer with an incentive for the user to take action. Here are some examples using a 15 minute timer:

  • Order within the next 15 minutes and receive free shipping!
  • Order within the next 15 minutes to reserve this seat!
  • Order within the next 15 minutes to take advantage of BOGO 50% off!

This is a win / win because you get the sale and the customer gets a small incentive for buying now versus doing further research. You eliminate competitors and keep them focused on your products.

For information on you can set up a Conversion Rate Optimization test on your website, contact us now!

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