CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization is a subject we’re very passionate about. We’ve actually made a whole guide about it – you can find it here. In today’s article, we’re going more in-depth into CRO programs. We’re looking at how to set your goals for CRO, what tools to use, and how to create a successful CRO program.
What is a CRO program?
As Liquid Web puts it, “conversion rate optimization or CRO is the practice of raising your conversion rate by compelling visitors to your site to take specific actions like buying a product, downloading a PDF, or subscribing to a newsletter.
Although CRO is often used to make small, incremental improvements, its broader purpose is to optimize your entire marketing process—to make everything work smoothly. And the more optimized your marketing, the higher your conversion rate.”
Goals for the CRO program
Before creating your CRO program, you should have some clear goals in mind – this way, you’ll know when and where to invest your resources to achieve accurate results. Start by defining your business goals and then translate them into website goals. This will be the beginning of your overall marketing plan.
Let’s say you want to increase your portfolio by 20% in the next 2 years. What will you need to do that? Leads, sales, loyalty, more call-to-action buttons? How do you need to optimize your website to accommodate these tasks?
Steps for creating a successful CRO program
Just like in a classic customer journey map, your clients go through similar experiences when visiting your website – it’s called conversion funnel. You must distinguish between the three pillars that create the customer experience:
There are drivers that bring visitors to your website.
There are barriers that will stop them from purchasing or incentivize them to leave the site altogether.
There are hooks that will persuade them to convert.
Therefore, in order to start optimizing your conversion rate, you will need to:
1. Find what drives people to your website
Determine where from and why they are arriving on your website. Did they find you through a simple Google search, using the appropriate keywords? Were you recommended by someone? Have they heard about you on social media? Do they already know about your brand and have finally come around to purchasing from you? Conduct an overall behavior analysis.
This distinction will make the world of a difference – different types of people need different types of approaches. Never use the same hook on everyone, because one size does not fit all in marketing.
You can determine this through a series of tools:
– Google Analytics;
– Feedback forms;
By using these, you will get a better sense of who these people are that are visiting your website and you’ll be able to better respond to their needs.
2. Then, find why they might want to leave your website or cancel a purchase
Without knowing the truth about the performance of your website, you’ll never be able to improve your conversions. Having an open mind towards negative feedback and putting yourself in the customer’s shoes is vital for understanding what needs to be changed.
How can you do this?
Find your high-exit pages – these are the website pages where people arrive and leave the most. This could happen right from the get-go, on the homepage, or later in the process;
Use a heat map to see which part of the page is least appealing to the website visitors. See where they stop scrolling, what information they interact with the most and where they decide to leave, conduct a proper user behavior analysis;
Ask people – conduct market research and ask people what they liked, what they didn’t, what they believe could be improved for the future;
Understand their frustrations – double check that everything runs smoothly, that the pages are optimized for mobile users, that there are no errors. Regularly checking the performance of the page is going to make sure people don’t click off for basic reasons, like a slow-running page;
Make a list with everything – pretty obvious, but don’t forget to write down everything you discover about user behavior and the site’s performance. Optimization is a long-term process, and you’ll need to refer back to this information along the way.
3. Understand what hooks incentivize your clients to make a purchase
This is where CRO tools (about which we will talk about in a minute) really make a difference. In order to determine what hooks people, makes them appreciate the product/service and incentivizes them to want to make a purchase, you need testing – lots of it.
A/B testing is the bread and butter of CRO or any other part of a successful marketing strategy. You can’t know for a fact how the target audiences will react to anything unless you test it out.
As we’ve mentioned in our previous article about Landing Page Optimization, “A/B testing is the bread and butter of everything user experience. You cannot possibly know if something works unless you put it into action. Therefore, you should make it your routine to constantly A/B test everything new you add or subtract from your landing page.
It’s very important to conduct the A/B test with one variable at a time – a call-to-action button, a contact form, a new headline. It may seem tedious, but it’s the only way to accurately observe what your audience prefers.
After the test, you can start implementing the “winners” and make your page look and feel better. Ultimately, better conversion rates will prove if the results of the test were right or not.”
This is part of a science called conversion research – you can read more about it, here.
After conducting the research, what will you need to do?
After determining what works and what doesn’t, you will need to start making some changes. Every website is unique and depending on how much resources you’ve invested already into it, you may need to only do some fine-tuning.
However, if this is your first time first-time doing conversion optimization, you may need to invest in some major changes, ones that will radically change the look and feel of the overall experience for the audience.
Here are some CRO best practices
Changing the design of the website – if your site is old, outdated, and hard to navigate, you may need to hire a programmer to completely change the layout of the website. No worries – this is not something you will need to invest in constantly. One major, smart and effective change and you should be good for a long time;
Updating the texts for your pages – this is where copywriters come into play. The texts could either be barriers or hooks for your clients – depending on how well they’re written. Product/service descriptions, about the company, call-to-actions – they all need to be catchy, updated and precisely targeted to your audience;
Optimizing your texts for SEO – most people don’t click on paid advertisements on Google – and if your business uses common keywords, it may even be too expensive to opt for paid ads or other forms of digital marketing to begin with. Optimizing your pages to be SEO correct should be a key part of your content marketing strategy – and will get you on top of Google results and lead to a better chance of creating leads;
Optimizing the website for mobile – more than half of all internet users access the web from their mobiles – therefore, you need to make sure that you optimize your website properly; that it’s designed to accommodate these people as well. Otherwise, you may be losing a lot of potential clients;
Increasing the loading speed of the pages – a badly working website is the daftest reason to lose clients – especially in this day and age. You will need to check the loading speed of your website’s pages and make sure to update it to today’s standards.
Tools for CRO program
As we’ve seen above, there are loads of ways through which to optimize your CRO program and start making more money, fast. However, it can become overwhelming to have to do all the work by yourself.
The best option for people that desire a fully integrated, easy to use, and efficient tool is to opt for Omniconvert’s Explore services.
This all-in-one option will determine what works and what doesn’t on your website, who your clients are, and what you can do right now to optimize your conversions. No more headaches trying to do every test, survey, and change by yourself. Use the appropriate tools, conversion optimization programs and CRO plans to improve your business immediately.
In this article, we’ve talked about CRO programs and how to properly determine the right course of action for your own website. We’ve learned what CRO is, how to set your goals, what to look for in terms of performance, how to get to increased conversions.. Then we tackled some changes you may need to make in the future and which tools to use to make your life easier.
We hope this article was valuable and brought you some key insights into CRO programs. Conversions are no easy feat and they take time to increase, but with the right knowledge and tools, you too can optimize your rates in no time!
Don’t forget to check out our blog for more interesting articles on the matter of marketing, like marketing tips, marketing strategy, google analytics, user experience and more!