What Is CRO Marketing?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the art and science of methodically improving, through testing and experimentation, the rate at which users perform a desired action on a website. This sounds straightforward to achieve, making it easy to assume that CRO is just getting people to interact with things on a website. CRO is exactly that on the surface, but garnering those clicks and interactions takes method and strategy.
The CRO Process
Let’s start at the very beginning of the CRO process; what do we mean by an ‘action’ and a ‘conversion’? A desired ‘action’ could be a direct sale or product purchase, but it could also be as simple as a user downloading a PDF, watching a video, subscribing to a mailing list, or registering for an event – among many others. It all depends on what action you would like the user to take, and whether you have effectively enabled your website to make users want to take that action. Conversions are, very simply put, any measurable action on a website.
After establishing what actions we would like users to take, and how we define conversions for the success of our business or website, we can begin to look at how to make our ideal consumer convert. This is where the process of CRO truly begins. It starts with understanding how users move through your site. Looking at where your current users start on your website, where they leave, what actions they take (if any), and try to work out what is stopping them from completing your goals and converting.
When we have gained a better understanding of what’s preventing your users from converting, we can then move onto the CRO process – this enables people, or users, to make an action on a webpage. As digital marketers, this is one of our main goals: to get people to buy into, or purchase, our products and services via our website. In conjunction with this, the main goal of many websites, particularly in ecommerce, is to convert website visitors into customers. This is not too dissimilar from traditional marketing in the “real” world, where retail shops entice people through their door with aesthetically pleasing shop window displays and promotions. Ultimately, the main goal for retailers is getting people to visit and enter their shop, over all the other colourful, enticing shops on the high street, before turning those visitors into customers. It’s the same with websites; you want the web traffic you receive to turn into a conversion.
Conversions can occur at any point on a website, depending on how we define them and where they are placed. Our ideal user would visit and complete multiple conversions at different stages of their journey through our website. They may fill out an online contact form, as they want to find out more and be contacted by us; they may sign up to the mailing list because they like us, and want to hear more from us; and they may purchase our products. More commonly, conversions occur on the homepage, pricing page, landing pages, and blog. Therefore, the crux of CRO is to ensure that these specific pages are optimised to enable conversions to take place. It sounds obvious and easy to accomplish, but web pages need to be user friendly, and they need to appeal to our ideal user.
What CRO Strategies Impact Conversions?
‘So how can we target our ideal user and start impacting our conversion rate?’, I hear you ask. Firstly, we need to think about where conversions fit into the wider cycle of consumer journeys online. There are five stages that consumers go through: reach (building brand awareness), acquisition (users visiting your website), conversion (users interacting with your website), retention and loyalty. When we actively remember that it’s not just about what’s on a landing page, it’s also about what happens before and after users see that page – linking back to the broader consumer journey – we can put effective strategies into place. So, here are three elements of CRO marketing that impact conversion rate:
1. On-Page Elements
Historically, this is where most of the CRO marketing “best practice” focus has been. This includes making changes to images, copy, and fonts, improving the user experience and psychology.
2. Brand Awareness
Most people would not consider this important to CRO, but brand familiarity has such a massive impact on your conversion rates. If someone knows and trusts you and your website, they are more likely to convert. Essentially, people buy from brands they know, trust, and like. Nothing new there!
3. Growth Hacking
Click-through rate (CTR) is the most important conversion metric in CRO marketing. It’s so important that if you raise your CTR, you raise your conversions. It’s that simple. If you’re getting clicks, especially the right clicks, you’re impacting your conversion rate.
Improving your CTR
If a CTR is low, it’s because it’s a boring offer. The product or service is not being sold effectively, and the offer is not appealing enough for potential customers to bite (click) and then convert. The answer on how to fix a boring offer is simple: head back to the drawing board and look at your unique selling points (USPs) and how you are wording them. Do they appeal to your ideal user? This links back to the beginning of this blog, where we discussed the process of CRO and explained how to dangle a metaphorical carrot for that ideal user.
To expand on this metaphor, you know you’re going to dangle a carrot – that’s a given. The carrot represents the desired action, product or service that you want a conversion for. But, how are you going to make that carrot the most appealing carrot there is available on the market – decorate it in glitter? Then, it becomes a shiny, new sparkly carrot. Launch that carrot up into the sky on a super cool rocket? Then, it becomes the first carrot to experience space travel. It’s exciting, different and new. That’s the type of intergalactic, awesome carrot you want on your plate, next Sunday, for your regular roast dinner. Through this process of CRO, you have successfully transformed a regular, boring vegetable into a vegetable with limitless potential and appeal.
Therefore, the real leverage for impacting conversions is less about tweaking on-page elements (although that is still important), and more about building brand awareness and growth hacking, and offering an irresistibly good incentive for users.
Summary: How Can I Impact Conversions?
Its seems self-explanatory but it really is all down to what you’re offering, and how you’re offering it. All you need to keep in mind when doing CRO is whether what you are offering is different, and more valuable than what your competitors are offering. If it’s not, it needs to be. Think back to that intergalactic, awesome carrot. Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a carrot, but a really, really awesome (and well travelled) one.
It is integral for the success of your CRO efforts that you focus, know, and understand your USPs inside and out. These are key to your success and rate of conversion. You will use these key differentiators to help you stand out from the competition, but also to drive the right type of traffic to your site and, therefore, increase your conversion rate.
Here at Active Internet Marketing (UK), we have a wide range of digital marketing services on offer and years of experience in delivering CRO, including increasing and impacting website conversion rates. If you’d like to discuss your requirements with a member of our professional digital marketing team, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today on 01604 765796, or fill out our online enquiry form.