Top Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

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Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that conversion into customers, or more generally, take any desired action. CRO has gained prevalence in recent years with the growth of popularity of “growth hacking”, as companies look to take advantage of new technologies that make online testing simple and intuitive.

If you and your company are using conversion rate optimization to improve your results, or just thinking about getting started in this area, here are my top 5 conversion rate optimization tips:

  1. Start with those tests that have the potential to have the most impact. Prioritize in terms of potential value. Much testing is about finding incremental lift, but there are likely big improvements to be found early on.
     
  2. Make sure you start by defining the metric, and make sure everyone agrees. What is a conversion? That’s what you are trying to get more of. People must agree on the goal in order to agree on the results.
     
  3. Be open to surprises. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re first getting started is assuming they know the results of a test before the test. Keep an open mind and let the data do the talking for you.
     
  4. Research and study what other companies/professionals have experienced in their own tests. You can find a wealth of historical data and best practices simply by spending a few hours on Google. These will give you testing ideas and open you up to new ways of creating a better user experience.
     
  5. Understand statistical significance. In simplest terms, statistical significance is the point at which we can confidently conclude that the results of a test we are running are real, and not just a coincidence.

How to Improve Your Sales Funnel

Yesterday’s post was all about sales funnel analysis. It is the necessary lead up to today’s post, so if you didn’t get a chance to read it already, quickly do that now.

What you should have now is a full look at your sales funnel, with audience sizes for each layer or level, and conversion rates going from each level to the next.

Using that as your baseline, now you need to identify which transition you want to improve. Do you want to get more people from Intent to Purchase? Purchase to Loyalty? Awareness to Interest?

You might ask, how do I pick one? The truth is, most marketers over time will focus on all levels of the funnel. But you want to start where you see the most opportunity. Where is your conversion rate lowest? Where are most people falling out of the funnel?

If it’s a toss-up, flip a coin. Know that you can’t go wrong. If you improve one level of the funnel, it should improve the overall performance. Then you move on to the next level and keep going until you’ve hit them all.

Once you have decided which level you are looking to affect, now it’s time to decide what to do to improve it. Make a list of all the things you do today that impact the conversion rate at that level of the funnel. At the bottom of this post I will list some examples for each level.

Once you have your list of what you do today, make a list of changes, new processes, and other ideas you think will improve performance. Assign a cost to each one, and an expected outcome. Then prioritize them based on the expected return on each activity. For example, if one idea will cost you nothing to put in place and you expect it to improve conversion rate by 1%, that would likely go at the top of your list.

Then execute those ideas at the top of your list and measure the impact that they have. I know it sounds like I’m simplifying a complicated process here, and I am. But at a high level, that’s all you have to do.

Some ideas for each level of the funnel:

  • Grow UNQUALIFIED PROSPECTS through new products, new features, or new uses for your products, thereby growing the target market
  • Grow AWARENESS through social media outreach, PR, and advertising
  • Grow INTEREST through email marketing and an improved website experience
  • Grow CONSIDERATION through special offers and promotions
  • Grow INTENT through outbound and inbound sales processes, discounts and deadlines, and promotional literature
  • Grow PURCHASE through sales people and coaching, pricing plans, contracts and checkout process improvement
  • Grow LOYALTY through membership programs, exclusive offers, email, surveys, and customer service improvements

3 Tips for Quicker Conversions

As a marketer, sometimes just getting people to convert on your site isn’t enough. In the name of growing your company and hitting your goals, you need them to convert faster. Instead of coming back to the website multiple times, or researching competitors before making a decision, you want them to buy from you or sign up for your service right away.

Good news is there are things you can do to encourage such speed.

Here are three tips for quicker conversions:

  1. Special Offers. Deploying specials and discounts on your website are a surefire way to get more people to commit sooner. When they come to your website for the first time, they are evaluating what you have to offer. But maybe they’re not in immediate need of your products. What will make them buy anyway is if they can take advantage of a special offer that might not be available next time they visit.
     
  2. Deadlines. Even better than a special offer is a special offer with a clearly defined deadline. Companies use deadlines to add a time element to the sales decision where there otherwise would not be one. Consumers weigh a number of options in a purchasing decision, no matter how small. By adding a time limit on their decision-making process, you are encouraging speedier decisions.
     
  3. Sales. A sales team is an important part of marketing. Without a sales team, you rely on the customer to make a decision on their own. This may take time. They may not feel that they have all the information they need to make a decision. With a sales team, you give the customer someone else to help them make a decision. Through inbound or outbound sales calls, you give the customer all the information they need, and walk them right through the buying process.

You don’t have to wait for the customer forever. These three tips are just a few of the things you can do to encourage faster decision-making, and boost your sales today.

Before Your Spend Your First Advertising Dollar

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Wait! Even though I posted yesterday about how to spend your first advertising dollar, it’s not time to spend it yet.

First, you have to make sure that money is not going to be wasted because you were not prepared. Here are three things you absolutely must do before you run your first ad campaign.

  1. Make sure you can track the results. Send people to a URL or page on your site that is specific to the campaign so you can see how many visits it drives. Or use an offer code so you can see how many sales it drives. Whether or not your ad campaign succeeds, the key is knowing how it performed so you can establish a baseline and learn from it before moving forward.
     
  2. Make sure everything is functioning properly. Make sure you test ads, links, forms, and phone numbers. Don’t leave anything to chance. You don’t want to find out that you spent your entire budget on an ad campaign that was broken for one reason or another. Take the extra time to be certain.
     
  3. Make sure you’re optimized for conversions. You need to be ready to make the most out of any potential customers that take action. That means sending them to the right page on your site, and making sure that page is optimized with a clear call to action. If there is any follow up needed, like emails or retargeting ads, make sure that is ready to go from the very beginning. The last thing you want is to minimize your potential returns because you were not ready for the traffic.

The goal is to make your first ad campaign effective. And the more you prepare, the more effective it will be. Best of luck!