Online businesses are booming and its booming very fast. It has become increasingly popular over the last few decades. U.S e-commerce sales drastically grew from 72 billion U.S dollars in 2002 to 256 billion dollars in 2011. This inexplicable outcome of e-commerce has immensely affected the world of internet marketing. Well, I will not here to go into the details of this new e-commerce era. I just want to ask you a simple question. Have your site contributed to the e-commerce sales? Is your online business going really well? Few of you would definitely nod your head but a majority of you would say “No”. Do you know the reason why your site has not been able to get that desired conversion, in spite of high traffic?
This guide will give all your answers and will also help you to build up an excellent website/webpage that can actually convert your visitors into sales leads. This technique, in the world of internet marketing is called as conversion rate optimization, or more popularly called as CRO. CRO is a practice of creating a website or a landing page with the ultimate goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that converts into customers. It is method of controlling visitors’ behavior to obtain the desired actions. CRO is not as tough as it sounds. Just keep on reading and at the end of the post, I am sure that you will be able to create “converting” landing pages. So let’s get started with the process.
A. Pre-requisites Of CRO
Understanding the definition of CRO is not a tough nut to crack, while implementing and getting the results out of it is. Before starting off with the actual process, I would like you to prepare certain pre-requisites which will be helpful in achieving your conversion goal. Be prepared with your business strategy and learn some basic CRO principles:
- A business without a goal is similar to a boat in the middle of an ocean. It has neither a target nor a destination. Therefore, it is highly required of you to pen down your strategy, services, products & long term business goals. Determined targets keeps you focused and gives you that energy to that one extra step.
- Have you ever seen your website or your landing page from a customers’ perspective? Many of you simply guess what your customers will like in your website and what they will hate. This is certainly not the correct way. Becoming a customer to your own site is an art. Learn this art and find out the loopholes of your site. Dug out the reasons for your site’s under-performance.
- The next step is to understand your website traffic, its sources and their problems. Empathizing with your visitors helps you to identify their problems.
- A website brings in different types of visitors such as browsing visitors, research visitors etc. But from a business perspective, there are only two types of visitors: converting visitors and non-converting visitors.
- A visitor may face different types of problems in your site. Basically, there are two types of problems that prevent him from converting: User experience problems and User navigational problems. Just answer simple questions in the recent post to find whether such problems exist in your site or not.
- Find out where your business stands in this online world. Unless and until you determine your position, you will not be able to give in that required amount of hard work. Studying your competitors, Industry experts, customer reviews in forums and social media is the best way to know your position.
- Before getting into the microscopic details, see a bird’s eye view of the CRO process. There are three methods which basically build up a CRO tripod.
B.User Interface/ User experience – The soul Of CRO
The most basic reason why a visitor does not convert into a customer is because he/she does not a get a good, enticing and enriching user experience. The goal of CRO is to create an excellent user-friendly interface to provide the best possible experience in the entire time which a visitor spends on your website.
- A designer should not guess the likings of a visitor while creating a user-interface. There are 9 basic principles for creating an effective user interface design. One should always follow these to give the best user-experience.
- Every online business website must be having a sufficient number of landing pages. A landing page is a page on which a user lands after clicking on your advertisement link, or from search engine or from any other source. Let’s analyze the concept of landing page and find out how to design a good and a converting landing page.
- Before creating a landing page, I would like you to know about sales funnel. A sales funnel describes a complete process of how a web user becomes your prospective lead or a paying customer. The process comprises of 7 consecutive steps:
- Creating a landing page requires certain amount of expertise. A landing page may sell a product or provide a service at a certain price. Here are some tips for creating a landing page.
- Online businesses selling only products have a different kind of landing page called as e-commerce landing page. Read these 7 tips for creating an e-commerce landing page.
C. Writing to convert – Sales copywriting
After settling your user interface issues, the next thing that you should focus upon is your sales content. The omnipresent “Content is King” holds its importance in sales as well. It is a highly detrimental factor in determining your conversion rate. The central focus of your sales content should focus on your readers rather than your product.
- The entire sales copy is basically divided into certain distinctive and determining parts. Sales copywriter should keep his/her focus on these certain parts only. These are most crucial parts of a sales copy.
- A headline is what determines whether a visitor will read your page or he/she will hit the back button. Hence, it’s very important to create a killer headline to grab visitors’ attention.
- Some marketers believe sales copy-writing is all about storytelling. Well, including storytelling in your sales copy is an art, and one can definitely use it to improve conversion.
- You cannot write for the entire web world. You will have to find your niche market in which you can sell your product/service. There are definitely certain advantages of writing for a niche.
- Calls to actions are directions that prompt a visitor to perform a certain desired action. Visitors normally follow call to actions, if given effectively. Learn to write clear and converting call to actions.
D. Testing Techniques To Optimize Conversion Rate
Testing your landing pages is one of the best practices in conversion rate optimization. Finding out the converting and non-converting elements of the page is the goal of testing your landing pages. Mainly, two types of testing methods are used to carry out experiments on your website.
- Before, learning the two testing methods, let’s find out the testing elements in your website, that greatly affects your conversion rate. Unless you know what to test, how can you improve your conversion?
- The two types of testing methods that are normally used in conversion rate optimization are:
- A/B Testing: It is a method in which two versions of landing pages are created. Traffic is equally distributed in these two versions. Conversion metrics (bounce rate, sales rate etc. are calculated to determine the most converting landing page.
- Multivariate Testing: In this method, multiple variations of a single landing page are tested. Different combinations are created with different elements to create those variations.
E. Conversion Rate Killers
Even after implementing the best practices, tips and tricks, some website owners commit some mistakes over their conversion process. I am here to tell you those mistakes, which even intelligent marketers commit. Rectify these minute mistakes to incentivize your conversion.
- The first one is the landing page mistakes which gravely affect your conversion ratio. These kinds of mistakes lose your credibility. Even, converting visitors are transformed into non-converting visitors. Rectify such mistakes in your page to avoid some serious repercussions.
- The second is the user interface/user experience mistakes that prevent users to buy your product. These mistakes do not allow the users to flow through the website. Providing a good, tempting experience is our task which can be achieved by amending these simple mistakes.
More and more profit is the target for any kind of business. The ultimate nirvana for any online business is conversion. More conversion, more profits. Do not take conversion rate optimization lightly. It’s definitely not as easy as it has been written above. Implement the above methods and generate desirable leads.