Photo by CURSORCH
A conversion is any action you measure that you want visitors to your website to take. Typically, though not always, conversions are associated with sales or bringing people into the sales process. A conversion might be, for example, a sale, an inquiry from a website contact form or a call from a potential client.
CRO consists of working to improve a website in order to increase the percentage of visitors who take the desired action(s).
CRO can be an extremely powerful tool to maximize the return on investment from marketing efforts and expenditure. Its power is primarily derived from the fact that conversions are easy to measure; in comparison to offline marketing, it is much easier to alter aspects of website branding and advertising and measure the exact effect that each change to a website has on conversions.
The most important metric that most advertisers focus on when evaluating their conversions is cost per conversion (CPC), which is not to be confused with cost per click (also CPC).
Successful online marketers tend to be closely focused on making their cost per conversion as low as possible, and make constant adjustments to their website and marketing to achieve that based on empirical conversion data.
Conversion rates vary to a significant extent between industries and niches. To give some sense of average conversion rates, over half of websites have a conversion rate between 1% and 5%. However, some websites have been optimized to a much greater extent than others, and boast conversion rates up to 40%!
For online marketers who pay for advertising, costs tend to be closely linked to the number of people who view or click on your advertisements – the ‘impressions’ or clicks you pay for. CRO represents an effective way to increase revenue and profit without increasing advertising costs.
Cost per conversion varies to a huge extent. To some degree, this is because of industry. In some industries, such as the insurance industry, where customers pay for expensive products and often stay with the same company for an extended period of time, it is not uncommon for CPC to be as high as hundreds of dollars. For a company with a highly successful social media marketing campaign, however, CPC could be less than $1.
There are a huge number of techniques to increase conversions on a website. However, since different websites have different audiences, not every technique will work for every website. Some of the most effective techniques to increase conversions for most websites include:
• Adding indicators of social proof. Customers will be more assured of the product’s quality if they can see indicators such as testimonials, awards won, press coverage, reviews and so on.
• Reducing the number of steps involved in the conversion. Whether this refers to reducing the number of fields to fill out in a form or reducing the number of steps in a checkout process, making it easier for customers to take the action you want them to take is a sure bet to increase conversions.
• Creating urgency in the sales process with traditional tools such as limited time offers.
• If you sell a physical product, offering free shipping can often bring a large increase in your conversion rate.
• Displaying your phone number prominently on every page of your website can cause a big boost in your conversion rate by increasing the sense of credibility and trust.
The best advice to maximize your conversion rate and minimize your CPC is to run constant experiments with every aspect of your website design, looking closely at the data to inform your decisions. Good luck!