So you’ve worked hard to impress search engines with your SEO and your other marketing efforts are paying off – you have traffic on your website… but people just aren’t taking the next step – they aren’t calling you or buying your products: What do you do? This is a common challenge faced by all online businesses and service providers and overcoming it is an essential part of a successful digital marketing strategy. Thankfully, a variety of options exist for us to analyse the details and better meet the needs of our audience.

What is conversion rate optimisation?

First, some definitions:

Conversion rate optimisation, when applied online, is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that take a desirable action, such as calling a sales line, placing an order or signing up to an email newsletter. Through careful analysis of the behaviour of a website’s visitors, we become more aware of changes that need to be made to improve their user experience and in turn to increase the site’s performance. CRO is a crucial part of an effective digital marketing strategy and needs to be seen as an investment, just as much as SEO or any other part of the marketing process.

CRO involves a scientific approach of carrying out experiments and tests in ways that produce meaningful data that can generate useful insights which in turn can be used to influence redesign of webpages, their elements and even entire websites. The overall aim of website CRO is usually to increase the profitability of the website and/or to increase it’s ability to achieve other defined goals.

CRO Strategies

In many cases conversion rate optimisation takes place once a site is live and it’s target audience are using it. While it is possible to arrange pre-testing by test subjects in advance of making page designs live, the results will not be as useful as testing performed in a totally live environment. The cost and complication of pre-testing often means that it is not performed, however, if budget is available and the benefits make pre-testing worthwhile then it is a good idea to include as part of an overall strategy.

The scientific method of creating a hypothesis, performing tests, collecting data, analysing the results and drawing conclusions is a natural fit to the CRO process. A large amount of information can be collected as a result of webpages being used and once deficits in page performance are identified, we can use a creative and deductive process to create ideas for redesigns that can then be tested.
Analytics for Conversion Rate Optimisation
Statistical analysis can be used to intelligently guide the overall direction of the process and to decide on which changes to apply and in which ways. User demographic data can also be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of testing, plus to identify opportunities for more focused audience targeting and improvements to user experience.

Practical CRO

One way to think of the conversion process is in terms of a ‘funnel’, with potential customers being moved on through the sales process in a way that presents them with less and less navigation choices at each step. Creating an optimised ‘conversion funnel’ typically involves first paying close attention to the CTR (Click Through Rate) and other key metrics of any paid advertising campaigns in order to optimise their costs and performance. Once users reach the website itself, the process of on-site conversion optimisation can begin.

A common goal in online marketing is to motivate website visitors to act in response to a ‘call to action’ such as a ‘call now’ button. The CRO process will assess how effective the current page design is at generating phone calls from visitors, setting an initial baseline ‘Conversion Rate’ upon which to improve.

The optimisation team can then use their combined experience and understanding of design, selling, cognitive psychology and other areas to propose changes to elements of the page that can then be tested. Specialised software can be used to collect and understand relevant information, including eye tracking or ‘heat mapping’ software which record the physical actions and movements that each user makes as they navigate through the site.
Heatmap Analysis for Conversion Rate Optimization
Once a theory is created to explain why the page is underperforming, adjustments to the page design are made and a process of A/B testing will be used to determine whether the change is beneficial or not. A/B testing involves different version of a page being served to different users in order to statistically compare their performance. Once a suitable amount of data has been collected, the resulting pattern will show which of the versions of the page are more effective at converting users.

As more tests are carried out over time, a wealth of information is collected that can inform future testing and design decisions. This iterative process of improvement allows designers to better empathise with and understand their audience. With greater understanding comes the ability to provide a more useful and attractive service that produces more effective results.

CRUCIAL CRO Service

Whether you need help to optimise an eCommerce landing page, to improve a PPC conversion rate or to improve other specific conversion metrics, we can help. Our team are always ready to consult with you to develop a strategy and can also manage an effective CRO process for your project on your behalf.

We are happy to work with your existing design and development teams to provide analysis and suggestions for optimisation opportunities or we can take care of the practical design and implementation tasks ourselves. CRO projects can be carried out as a one-off task if needed, however, for best results it is necessary to be performed as part of an ongoing improvement process.

We know that it is essential that project stakeholders understand why certain design choices are being made, not only to build confidence in the CRO process, but to also ensure that the process benefits from their likely wealth of market insights. We therefore like to schedule in regular progress meetings to ensure that our findings are communicated and any questions we or the stakeholders may have can be addressed. Where required, we provide our CRO clients with appropriately detailed reporting on our progress and the reasoning behind any suggestions for changes to their website. We aim to be flexible and to accommodate any unique needs that our clients may have.
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