In the following article I’ll be providing a no-nonsense overview of Conversion Rate Optimisation, geared towards helping non-technical website owners understand how it can benefit their business.
As a website manager you may have started to hear more and more about Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO for short. Over the past few years CRO has gained weight against other methods such as SEO, PPC and SMO as a key factor in making your website, landing page, e-flyer or other digital campaign more profitable.
But what is it?
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Wikipedia describes CRO as follows:
“In internet marketing, conversion optimisation, or conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to as CRO.”
To better understand this we need to break down the main points.
What is a conversion?
In short, a conversion is the act of converting a visitor into sale or lead.
Types of “conversion” can differ for each campaign or business. Examples can range from online sales and webform enquiries to newsletter sign-ups and free gift downloads. These varying types of conversion are usually defined as the Goals of your campaign.
A successful website owner should always set out their main goals as part of their initial and ongoing digital strategy.
What is a conversion rate?
The conversion rate of your digital campaign is typically calculated as the percentage of visitors who complete a goal. Take the following examples:
Website A gets 1000 monthly visitors and each month they receive 10 enquiries.
(10/1000) x 100 = 1%
In this example, Website A has a conversion rate of 1%.
An e-flyer is sent to 300 people and 9 people respond.
(9/300) x 100 = 3%
In this example, the e-flyer had a conversion rate of 3%.
The Basics of Conversion Rate Optimisation
What we know so far:
Conversion Rate Optimisation is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors that successfully complete the desired goals of your digital campaign.
But what does it involve?
I’ll keep this short, as I could write a whole series of posts about the ins and outs of CRO and it’s likely you’ll employ the expertise of an agency to drive the best possible results for you.
In it’s simplest form, Conversion Rate Optimisation involves monitoring and understanding how visitors interact with your digital campaign, highlighting the areas that can be improved, then implementing solutions and testing the results. This is an ongoing process, carried out on a regular basis with the idea that many small improvements will lead to an overall strong and sustained increase in conversion rate.
Here are some key points:
- Identify your campaigns goals
- Understand the existing journey visitors are taking to reach them
- Identify problems and fix them
- Identify optimisations and implement them
- Test and monitor everything!
Why is CRO Important?
So now you’re through the boring stuff you’re probably thinking, “but why does it matter?”.
Monitoring your conversion rate is the key to success.
Understanding and monitoring your Conversion Rate is crucial to the success of any digital campaign. It can highlight any strengths and weaknesses in your website/landing page/e-flyer, allowing you to action the necessary steps to improve the performance of your campaign.
There is always room for improvement.
Your design or development team may have crafted an amazing campaign that you’re very proud of, but there will always be ways you can refine the conversion process to make it quicker and easier for your visitors to reach your goals.
Getting visitors is hard work and expensive.
Probably one of the most crucial points: Search Engine Optimisation and advertising such as PPC take time and cost money. This makes your visitors very valuable and losing them can be very costly. Driving lots of traffic is great, but if no one is completing your end goal then you’re essentially wasting money.
What’s in it For Me?
You will better understand how to capitalise on your digital campaign.
Calculate your cost-per-acquisition. Find out which marketing campaigns work and which don’t. Adjust your advertising efforts to become more profitable.
You will get a higher return on your marketing costs.
Get more conversions without spending any more on acquisition. Get a higher return on your monthly advertising, SEO and content marketing investments by increasing the percentage of your visitors that complete your goals.
You will reduce your customer acquisition costs.
Doubling your conversion rate will half your cost-per-acquisition (CPA). An effective CRO campaign will reduce how much each customer costs you, which means more profit for your business.
You can reinvest saved money in additional acquisition.
By reinvesting the money you’ve saved on marketing back into additional marketing you will see a month-on-month exponential growth of visitors and conversions!
- A Goal is a desired action you would like a visitor to take e.g. an online sale, form submission, digital download or newsletter sign-up.
- A Conversion is when a visitor completes one of your desired goals.
- Your Conversion Rate is the percentage of your visitors you convert.
- Conversion Rate Optimisation is the process of increasing the conversion rate by making continued improvements to your digital campaign.
- CRO plays a crucial role before, during and after implementation of a digital campaign.
- Monitor everything!
- Test everything!
- Promoting a campaign without CRO could be like pouring money down the drain..
Find out what you need to get started with CRO
Do you have something to add to this post? Leave a comment below.