Conversion rate optimization best practices can help you improve your results from the very beginning. In other words, you won’t have to start from scratch.
Following are some of the tried-and-true best practices I’ve used to accelerate my websites’ growth. You’ll learn how to do conversion rate optimization:
1. Identify your potential customer
Who belongs in your target market. And, sometimes more importantly, who doesn’t?
You want every marketing message to find its target. It must be so specific and compelling that your ideal customer can’t refuse it.
2. Survey users
Ask your users to complete surveys or polls. Keep the questions brief and few so you get more responses.
Avoid repetitive or boring questions. You’re looking for insights into your target customers’ specific wants and needs.
3. Collect and analyze data
As you gather more data, look for patterns. Maybe most of your customers find you via Twitter, for instance, or read your about page before looking at your products. You can use that information to boost conversion rates.
4. Run A/B tests
I can’t stress enough how important it is to run A/B tests. I’m always testing every aspect of my offers because I don’t want to leave money on the table.
Tools like Crazy Egg have built-in A/B testing functionality. This means you don’t have to comb through the data yourself and develop a pounding headache. Instead, you know the “winner” and the winning variant gets the majority of the traffic even before the test concludes.
5. Discover the exact journey visitors take through your site
Mapping your buyers’ journey can yield lots of tasty nuggets of data. Do they read lots of your blog posts? Do they follow you on social media? How far do they scroll down each page?
6. Focus on the content that matters using heatmap analysis
The most important pages on your website, such as your landing pages and product pages, deserve special attention. Run heatmap analysis on those pages to see where people click and how they use the page. You can then optimize it for maximum conversions.
7. Create the perfect page with A/B testing
A/B testing doesn’t stop after just one test. In fact, you might need dozens of tests before you craft the perfect page.
Test your headline, body copy, hero image, CTA, CTA button color, font size, font color, and anything else that might impact conversions.
8. Don’t “guess”
Everyone starts out with a guess, but that’s where the guesswork should stop. Once you’re actively collecting data, make decisions based on what the numbers tell you.
9. Guide your customers
CTAs and directional indicators can help you guide your customers where you want them to go. Be strategic about where you place CTAs, arrows, navigational panels, and other elements.
10. Reduce friction
Remove any elements that give the user pause or promote objections. For instance, if you don’t need a paragraph of copy on your sales page, delete it. Or, if you want to make the information more digestible, turn it into bullet points.
Conversion Optimization Rate Mistakes
Unfortunately, even with lots of information circulating the Internet, business owners still make mistakes when it comes to conversion rate optimization. I’d like to help you avoid the three most common pitfalls:
1. Not adding positive emotional response
In your copywriting, include positive storytelling to help convey benefits. Help your reader envision himself benefiting from your product or service.
2. Not adopting a mobile-first strategy
More than half of consumers use their mobile devices to surf the Internet. If your store isn’t mobile-ready, you’ll turn off prospects.
3. Not caring about the site speed
Your pages need to load fast. Consumers expect a page to fully load in fewer than 2 seconds.
Multivariate, or A/B Testing? Find out How to Test and Optimize Conversions
We’ve already touched on multivariate and A/B testing. They’re both highly useful conversion rate optimization tools.
A/B testing (also called split testing) is useful when you want to take a granular approach. You want to know how a CTA button’s color impacts conversions, but you don’t want anything else to contribute to the test.
Multivariate testing, on the other hand, works great when you have two very different versions of the same page or asset. Which one appeals most to your target audience?
Choose a testing platform
You can run A/B and multivariate testing manually, but I don’t recommend it. Use a tool to automate the process and get your results faster.
Crazy Egg, for instance, allows you to set up a split test and run it automatically. Crazy Egg will divide traffic evenly between the two versions, then hand you a “winner” once the test has reached statistical significance.
Analyze A/B test results
Once you have your results, record and analyze them. Why did your target audience prefer Version B, for instance? What aspect of the color red or the font Georgia or the wording of the CTA appealed to them?
You can use this information for later without running an identical A/B test.
Top Conversion Rate Optimization Tool
Once you’ve chosen a tool, such as Crazy Egg, you can run lots of different experiments. Each tells you something unique about your website and its visitors.
- Heatmap: Discover where mouses travel and users click or tap when viewing a web page.
- Scroll map: Find out the point at which most users stop scrolling on a given page.
- Recordings: Record individual sessions of a user’s experience on a specific web page.
- Snapshots: Look at different versions of reports Crazy Egg generates, from confetti to lists and overlays.
- A/B tests: Conduct A/B tests on any variation of a web page.
- Forms: Get detailed information about prospects and turn them into leads.
Advanced CRO Techniques
Once you’ve nailed the basics, you can drill down on more specific aspects of your website’s design, format, and copy to take conversion rate optimization to the next level. I recommend testing all of these facets of your website.
- Test big ideas, not small ones. To get big lifts on your conversions, you generally need to try bigger tests. Changing little things like button colors won’t impact many visitors.
- Focus on headlines. People use the headline to make a snap judgement on whether or not they should continue. A better headline could easily increase conversion rates by 30%. It’s on the few “small” elements that have a major impact.
- Remove fields in your signup form. The fewer steps in your form, the higher your conversion rate will be, usually.
- Interview customers. Use customer research to find the primary benefit that your market wants. Also look for the top three objections. Then make changes to your site that focus on the main benefit while addressing the main objections.
- Always run an A/B test. Results are often counter-intuitive, we’re still surprised by results. Hard data is the only way to ensure that your idea truly works.
SEO vs. Conversion Rate Optimization: Should You Focus on Increasing Traffic or Converting your Existing Traffic?
SEO and conversion rate optimization might seem like two sides of a coin. One is designed to attract more traffic (SEO), while the other optimizes content for existing traffic (conversion rate optimization).
So which matters more?
In my opinion, they’re equally important. Without SEO, you can’t get traffic in the first place. Without CRO, your traffic will produce fewer sales.
Let’s say you have a pretty good baseline for SEO, but it could use some improvement. First, though, you focus on conversion rate optimization. After a few months of hard work, your conversion rate jumps from 10 percent to 25 percent.
Great work! But it’s not over yet.
Now that you have a good CRO baseline, how do you grow your sales even further? You drive more traffic to your site and get even more conversions.
I’m a big fan of CRO and growth hacking.
Through conversion rate optimization, I’ve vastly improved my businesses’ conversion rates, and I’ve helped my clients do the same.
Sure, it takes work. But once you have the data, you can generate more sales and dominate your industry.
Start by understanding the definition of CRO and how it works. Focus on following the CRO best practices and avoiding the most common mistakes.
Use the best conversion rate optimization tools in the business. Crazy Egg offers an ideal tool. Then keep testing. The more data you have, the better your chances of converting visitors.