We often hear our clients wanting to understand how their target audiences interact with their websites, and how to improve the experience of their audiences. They have often heard of SEO and a few other strategies on how to get customers to their website, yet when it comes to users completing goals (subscribing, becoming a member and completing a purchase), the concept and strategies are far more unfamiliar. That is why we created this short beginner’s guide to Customer Rate Optimization (CRO), which revolves around improving your organization’s website to increase the proportion of meaningful actions visitors take.
So let’s take a closer look at what CRO means, why it’s important, and what are some of the things you can do to improve conversion rates on your organization’s website!
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO (as it’s often referred to by marketing experts), is the practice of increasing the proportion of users who perform a desired action on your website. These actions are called ‘conversions’ and can be anything from subscribing to a newsletter, purchasing a membership, buying a product, or clicking a link.
It is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors to your website, and then multiplying that by 100%.
A less quantitative way of looking at CRO is to think of it as a process of understanding what stops and encourages your user to take the actions you want them to, and how to give them the best website experience to convert them into your followers, members or clients.
Why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?
Many organizations spend a considerable amount of their marketing budget on bringing users to their website, either through paid digital advertising, or investing in their SEO strategy. However, if the website can’t convince your target customer to make a conversion, or there are barriers that prevent them from doing so, a big proportion of potential customers is lost from your pool. This brings the cost per acquisition up and shrinks the results from your marketing budget.
By optimizing your conversion rate you can lower acquisition cost per customer, improve your marketing ROI and grow your organization!
What can affect your conversion rates?
Here is a short beginner’s guide on what can affect your conversion rates and the tools you can use.
Navigation refers to the way your site is structured. Your goal should be to make navigating your website easy. You need to ensure that the website follows a logical order, for example by dividing your website into categories, sub-categories and then directing users to relevant content. Essentially, you want to ensure that users can easily and quickly find what they’re looking for and move between important sections of the website.
You can check how users interact with your website by installing a heatmap and analyzing user behaviour reports in your Google Analytics account. It will also be useful to ask a group of people who are not familiar with your website to complete a specific action, or find information – it will show you how intuitive it is.
2. Calls to action
A call-to-action (CTA) is when you request a website user to take an action on your website. This can be anything from clicking to subscribe to email, making a purchase or booking onto an event. The stronger your call-to-action, the more leads it will generate.
For example if you ask a prospective customer of your organization to sign up for a newsletter while registering for a conference they might be inclined to click no, as they don’t want to subscribe to yet another email list. However, if you add “get a 10% discounted entrance to the conference when you subscribe to our communications”, you’ll see a much higher conversion rate on your newsletter subscription.
3. Website copy
Writing engaging copy for your website can hook your visitors and convert them into potential leads, and even customers. The copy has to be relevant to your target audience and use language that is familiar to them.
These days there’s a lot of content on websites and users want to be able to access information that they need easily. The text your audiences read also needs to be written simply. It can be easy to accidentally use industry-related slang and expressions on your website for the public, but this can often come across as jargon to your audiences who may not be as familiar with the industry product. Clear and simple is key.
4. Page speed
Page speed is very important to the overall performance of your website. If a user has to wait a few seconds for their page to load, they might go back to Google and find a competitor who can get them the information faster. They might also get frustrated and instead of completing meaningful actions, they ‘bounce’ off the page.
Main culprits for low page speed are large images and videos – compressing your images is often a very easy and quick fix!
There are many more components to CRO and each strategy should be tailored to your organization, as you will have different goals, customers and resources to other associations and companies. Need more help from a marketing expert? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and see how we can help you improve your website.