What makes the first category successful and what is lagging in the latter's part? It's all about CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization – a strategy that is essential for any and every website to be a successful player.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
CRO is a process of fine tuning the content and performance of your website to an optimum level that enhances the probability of converting a visitor into a customer – the content being your website design, the landing pages, the speed of your website, your sponsored search ads, etc.
In other words, the objective is to make the visitor to your website to complete the action you want them to do. To achieve that, you need to optimize your website's content and performance that ultimately transforms your visitor into a customer.
How is it achieved?
Some fundamental areas are to be focused in order to achieve this. They can be listed as -
- CRO Basics
- User Experience
- Landing Page
- Bounce and Exit Rates
Call to Action: This may be a button that says 'Subscribe' or 'Buy Now.' It should be clear and bold enough so that the visitor could not avoid looking at it and the temptation to click on it.
Look and Feel: The design or graphic work to decorate the website should be clean, neat, unique and should not be distracting the visitor. It should be relevant to the content and the expectation of the visitor. Unnecessary text or too much graphic work should be avoided. You should ensure a distraction free design in the website so that the visitor's eyes should stick on to the website and follow the conversion funnel. In short, the website should be well organized and well structured.
Accessibility: If a visitor enters your website, do you provide an easy way to traverse the path and reach the call to action? People are easily distracted when a long process takes place. So, a single click reach is always best. Alternatively, it should not exceed two steps. Even a three step process is monotonous. Also, your website must be highly responsive so that anyone can visit your website in mobiles and tablets too since a latest study reveals that a whopping 70+ % online shopping are made on mobiles and tablets.
Search Engine Optimization: Your search engine optimization should constantly be updated. Also, see that your keywords are accurate, precise and relevant to the search. Give descriptive and brief titles. Images with proper and appropriate names, clear and specific keywords is another important point to take care. If you maintain all these items carefully, then the visitor will be able to find his/her requirements efficiently that are available to you. If you fail to set your keywords, title, names, etc., then the visitor will not be able to find that you are offering his/her requirements. Also, visitors with requirements that you do not provide will be misled to your site and will be disappointed.
Safety: This is a primary concern of visitors to any website. Almost all websites ask for visitors' information, and the visitors are scared of being manipulated by their information, especially payment related. So, they want to know how secure is the information they provide with the website they visit. It is the website's responsibility to assure the visitors that the website is trustworthy, and their information are kept secretly and will not be shared with anyone under any circumstance.
These are some of the essential points to keep in mind when optimizing the conversion rate of your website.
How the visitor to your website feels when he/she is directed through the pages of your website is the decisive factor in conversion. Avoid traversing too many pages to do a simple action, unnecessary clicks, leading to irrelevant pages and so on. If it happens, the user will soon give up and will be forced to leave your website.
Also, do not offer too many suggestions, that eventually lead to a nil dilemma and ultimately drop the idea of doing some business.
A landing page plays a vital role in influencing the visitor to make a decision about subscribing or purchasing or any other activity you want the visitor to do. So, the landing page must be designed according to that.
Title – It should compel the visitor to follow further. It should be relevant to the visitor's search and create further interest to the visitor.
Image – The image should be of interest to the title and support your value, thus drawing the visitor towards the call to action.
Proof – There must be supporting facts about the claims you have made.
Call to Action – A button to submit, or a link to download should be provided, which is clearly visible.
Evidence in the Society – Your proven authenticity in the society is another factor that enhances the chances of conversion. People normally trust brands that have a good reputation in the market, though, they do not know anything specific about the brand.
The above-listed points should be remembered before you finalize a landing page.
Bounce and Exit Rates
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page, i.e., from the landing page the visitor bounces back. The visitor has visited only one page and from there, he excited.
Exit rate is the percentage of visitors who left a particular site from a particular page. They may have visited more than one page in that website in one single session. They may or may not have landed on that particular page but after visiting some of the pages on the site, they have found their exit through this page.
However, why this happens? You need to find out and control it otherwise you may end up with severe damage.
The following are some of the reasons for the bounce and exit rates.
Look and Feel is not good – The website is not looking right or attractive enough to keep the visitor engaged. The placement of images, graphical work, color combination, font selection etc., may not suit the content or irrelevant to the content. An irritating look of a website will drive the visitors away. So, the utmost care has to be put on to impress the visitors and make them love your website at their first sight itself.
Navigation difficulty – Visitors, should be able to spot what they want, quickly. The layout of the website should be clean and simple so that even a visitor who is new to internet experience should be able to understand and find things quickly. Making the visitors search the site with stress will automatically produce negative results. This may result from technical errors, confusing content, slow loading of pages, etc.
The website does not offer what it promises – You should be very careful in fulfilling the promises you have made in drawing the visitors. They should be presented what they are looking for on the landing page itself. If they are made to navigate to some other page, lead to confusions and difficulties, they will easily navigate away from the site as they do not have the patience to check all the pages you have, and that is not at all their interest too.
Wrong People – This will happen when visitors are drawn with false promises, i.e., they were misled with some wrong keywords. So, always be alert to give the accurate keywords that refer your product or service or whatever you offer. Visitors entered your site may not need what you offer, but they are misled here simply because of wrong keywords. In the context of your website, they are not the right people to do business with you.
No call to action – If the user is not able to find a call to action – an add to cart button is not found, not clear about how to subscribe etc., then there is no point in visiting the website. Even if the visitor is interested in buying or accepting, without a provision or unable to locate the call to action to carry out the activity, the visitor exits.
Apart from these points, you need to have a plan for testing and optimizing conversion. Also, you should use the tools that are available for test and conversion optimization, like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics etc. before you implement.
As defined in qualaroo.com, Conversion Rate Optimization can be summarized as:
- a structured and systematic approach to improving site performance
- informed by insights – specifically analytics and user feedback
- defined by your website is unique objectives and needs
- taking the traffic you already have and making the most of it
CRO IS NOT:
- based on guesses, hunches and what everyone else is doing
- driven by the highest paid person's opinion
- about getting as many users as possible, regardless of quality or engagement.
So, to be a successful player in the online business, offering quality products or services are crucial and optimizing the conversion rate is much more important than that.