Conversion Optimization in a Nutshell
There are billions of websites in the world. How do you make it worth a visitor’s time to travel yours? How do you capture their imaginations and provide an experience they can connect with and remember? And most importantly for you, how do you get them to convert—becoming a paying customer or a loyal fan of your business for years to come?
Setting up your website to convert, also known as Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO, is something between an art and a science. There’s the issue of load times, bounce rates, and site traffic sources to consider, and then there’s the art of it. Are the goals of your website clear, with engaging messaging, cohesive design and clear calls-to-action directing your visitor? Are you providing value and addressing your visitor’s needs? These elements of CRO can be a little more subjective. This is where it can help to have the perspective of an outside expert (like Blue Skies Marketing).
First of all, let’s define conversion. A conversion can be different for every business. For some it can be simple, buying a product or making a sale is a clear conversion. Other businesses may define a conversion as a request for quote, singing up for a newsletter, or even when a visitor spends a significant amount of time engaging with their website.
Some examples of a conversion can include:
- Calling a number
- Completing a form
- Subscribing to an email list
- Downloading a whitepaper
- Signing up for a free trial
- Becoming a fan of your brand
- Making a purchase
Conversion rates can vary by industry. It can be helpful to do some research and look into benchmark conversion rates for your industry. And remember, a good conversion rate is one that’s higher than it is now!
Some recent industry conversion rates:
Source: WordStream Blog
Driving Them Away, or Making Them Stay?
When you’re ready to improve your website’s conversion rates, there are two key factors to consider. The barriers that might drive visitors to leave your site, and the hooks that will entice them to stay and convert.
Half the battle with CRO is discovering and removing impediments to successful conversion. And impediments can take as many forms as there are websites!
A few common-sense examples of barriers to look out for:
- slow load speeds
- long inquiry forms
- self-serving questions
- site dead ends (404)
- optimizing for Keywords that are NOT buying terms
- no CTAs
- confusing design, copy or navigation impediments
Once you’ve identified the potential barriers to conversion, you can focus on the other side—enticing your visitor and potential customer to stay! You’ll need to consider your website from the perspective of a visitor. Is your website providing something useful, answering a question or offering a service that someone is looking for?
Think of your website as answering these 4 questions from visitors:
- Am I in the right place?
- Do you have what I’m looking for?
- I have a question. Can I ask you?
- Can I trust you?
An important factor of conversion is that your potential customers can trust you and your service or product. Trust is what makes sales possible. Can you back up your claims with proof and demonstrate why visitors should trust you and your offering?
Here are ways you can build trust:
- social proof, testimonials
- reviews and ratings
- as featured in (news, blogs, publications)
- security logos
- guarantees and warranty
- data and statistics to back up claims
- chat option
- about us
- everything is up to date and current on site
Calling to Action – What Comes Next?
Every part of your site should include a call to action, or CTA. Leading your customer through your website and making it easy for them to take the action you want them to is key to converting.
You’ll need to offer something that your visitor values. Many lead-gen sites don’t offer a benefit to getting in touch; your site should be different.
Some things to consider with your CTAs:
- CTA Placement
- Center vs right, top vs bottom, etc.
- CTA button, color, shape, size
- CTA enticement copy
- Are there multiple CTAs competing with each other?
Help with Your CRO
Conversion rate optimization involves a continuous process of observing, questioning, improving, and tweaking all elements of your website. With a full CRO audit from Blue Skies Marketing, every aspect of your website is examined—from design and UX to messaging to building trust and authority. We’ll identify the barriers we see to conversion on your site and provide improvements to hook your customers and entice them to stay.
To learn more on how we can help you achieve the conversion rates of your dreams, get in touch with Blue Skies Marketing today!