If you were an astronaut at the International Space Station, you’d have to be fit. Extremely fit.
You’d have to exercise two and a half hours Every. Single. Day. If you didn’t, your bones would weaken. Your muscles would atrophy. Very quickly. There’s no way around it. You’d do it or you’d be useless up there.
But what has this got to do with conversion rate optimization (CRO)?
Well, like exercise for astronauts, there are also indispensable elements in the CRO process to ensure success. Without these, your CRO campaigns are built on quicksand. If you want a solid foundation when running your experiments, then run your ab tests with these 5 CRO tips to increase your results.
Start with a CRO audit
You are not your target customers. You won’t find their wants and needs inside your brain. You’ll have to get it from them. And how do you do this? With a CRO audit.
You see, optimizing pages is all about optimizing the experience of your customers. And you can only optimize that experience by looking at their current behavior. This way, you don’t make decisions based on gut feel and assumptions.
As Henry Winkler, better known as the Fonz, says, “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”
And don’t be mistaken about it. You are in a relationship with your customers. If you want that relationship to work, don’t assume you know what they want. Let them and their behaviors do the talking.
The way to learn about their behaviors is with a CRO audit.
I suggest doing two things. First, install a heatmap. Heatmaps give you answers to questions like:
- Do visitors scroll and read the page or do they bounce off as soon as they leave?
- Which parts of the page do they spend a lot of time reading?
- Are they clicking words that are not links?
Another thing to do is to dig into your Google analytics. You have a wealth of knowledge here with lots of information about your visitors. For example, you can look at a page and see the difference in conversions between desktop and mobile. If for example, mobile is lower, then you know that’s an opportunity for conversions.
By doing this, you’ll start every CRO campaign on a solid foundation. You’ll be optimizing pages based on your customers’ needs.
Know where in the buyer’s journey the visitor is
Timing is everything. It can spell the difference between an excited yes and a big flat no. And when it comes to building high-converting web pages, it’s non-negotiable.
Your website visitors are at different points in the buyer’s journey. Some of them might be avid fans ready to grab anything you offer. While others may have just recently found you through a Google search. So you’ll have to sell to them in different ways.
What do I mean? The words you use to explain Quantum Physics to a 10-year-old will be different from the words you use when talking to a physicist. The same is true with your landing pages. Every page on your site should be tailored and personalized to your visitors’ awareness level.
So when you do your effective CRO campaigns, first identify the type of people who will land on that page. Then build the page according to where they are in the buyer’s journey. It’s your way of telling them that you understand what they want. This helps build trust which is vital if you want visitors to buy what you sell.
But how do you know your visitors’ awareness levels?
Here’s one way to find out. Look at your analytics. Know the keywords people use to get to the page you’re optimizing. So for example, someone who’s at a higher awareness level will use words like:
- brand A vs. brand B
On the other hand, if the person is still in research mode, he will use words like
- why do I have… (symptom)
- how can I get rid of…
- what can I use for…
When you have this data, you can then build a page that is more targeted to that specific audience. The language you use, the value proposition, the path you have them take will all be tailored to optimize their path to a conversion.
Offer only one path
Here’s another crucial element to high conversions.
Have a predetermined path for your visitors that lead to one action.
People are busy. And when they go to your site, they need a complete guide. And the secret is this: Let them do only one thing. Take away any distractions and be proactive in steering them to take that one path.
With this in mind, let’s explore a few things you can do to focus your visitors’ attention.
Firstly, use visual cues. This means using arrows that point to the action you want a visitor to take. As well as bright-colored CTA buttons that stand out. And don’t forget to make white space your friend.
Secondly, resist the urge to offer too many choices. Get rid of navigation menus. Have only one call to action.
When you do this, web visitors can quickly see what they can do on the page. And when they do (and assuming it’s in-line with their awareness level), then they become more likely to engage with you, too.
Don’t forget the tech
Look at your Google Analytics. What’s the percentage of visitors that use mobile devices? If yours is anything like the sites we work on, you’ll see that mobile is rapidly becoming the device of choice for most people who go online.
Here’s the thing. People on mobile have different psychology from those using a desktop. They usually have limited time, are on the move or multi-tasking. This means they experience your site in a different frame of mind.
So if you want to increase conversions, build pages that consider their situation. You’ll set yourself apart from many of your competitors and you’ll delight your existing customer, too. All things which can only be good for business.
With mobile, you’ve got so much opportunity to improve conversions. The global mobile conversion rate is 1.82% while desktop is at 3.90%. Do you know what this means? Mobile optimization is ripe for the picking. There’s so much elbow room to boost your conversion and make it match that of the desktop.
It’s time you think about your mobile user experience. So what can you do?
First of all, design your site for mobile. Don’t just dump all information from your desktop site into your mobile design.
Secondly, let’s not forget about site speed. We’ve been warned about this for many years now. But time and time again, with clients who avail of our conversion rate optimization services, we see a lot of websites that still fall short on speed.
I cannot emphasize enough how important site speed is for CRO. A recent Google study shows that 53% of mobile users wait only 3 seconds for a site to load. If it doesn’t load, they leave. When they leave, they don’t get to read your page. And guess what? you can’t sell to a person who’s not there to read what you have to say.
Make it a scientific and data-backed endeavor
This is most likely the part where some of you would say, “I can’t do that. It’s too difficult. I’m not good at numbers.” And this is the part where I say, “This isn’t school, hombre! You don’t have to do it by hand.“
I wasn’t into numbers either when I was in school. But you know what? We’ve got technology on our side. We’ve got CRO tools that can help us implement our strategies and calculate the data with the click of a button.
Here’s the most important part of these tools. They allow us to quickly learn from our experiments and improve tests day in and day out.
Let me show you what I mean. We once tested a new layout on one of the pages of a test site. It worked so well. So we took the test further. We did exactly the same thing on 10 other pages on the same site. Do you know what happened? Out of those 10 pages, 6 increased conversions while 4 massively decreased. Our intuition that it would work on all of the other pages was proven wrong. We wouldn’t have known this if we didn’t use math and data to see what the changes would do to the different product pages.
So yeah. It’s inevitable. CRO strategy should follow a scientific process and be backed by data. This is how you can quickly learn about your visitors. It’s how you can quickly iterate winning tests. It’s how you increase the chance of a successful test every single time.
Like a lot of things, CRO is hard work especially if you’re starting from scratch. But it’s the good kind of hard work. You know that with all the effort you put into it, you’ll get something back for your business.
Know your audience with a site audit. Tailor every page on your site to the awareness level and expectations of the visitors who come to the page. Make it easy for them to buy things from you. Optimize for mobile devices and then follow a scientific and data-based strategy.
Before you know it, your website’s conversion rates will increase. But more importantly, you’ll gain insights about your potential customers so you can serve them better.
Kurt Philip is the founder and CEO of Convertica, a done-for-you CRO service. For more conversion rate optimization tips and tricks, visit convertica.org