When you think about how you can increase profits to a business, it’s likely that your first thought is to do everything you can to get more eyes on your site. After all, more people visiting your pages means more sales and revenue, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple.
Even for sites that make their money through advertising, there’s little value in a customer that visits a site and doesn’t interact in any way. Ideally, every visit to your online store would lead to a sale, but that’s not a realistic goal. What you can do, however, is focus on improving your company’s conversion rate. Sometimes less is more, if the hits you’re getting turn into conversions, leveraging current traffic can be an important part of an overarching plan for marketing and growth.
Let’s dive into how you can improve this aspect of your site and get more of those clicks!
Most people who are familiar with the basics of digital marketing understand the value of search engine optimization. Significantly fewer people are aware of another key piece of the puzzle: conversion rate optimization. So, what is conversion rate optimization?
The goal of SEO is to drive as much traffic as possible to your business, but what use is all that traffic if no one’s buying your products? By taking a look at where the company can improve the actual content and layout of their site to increase sales, you’re capitalizing on the success of proper SEO by funneling that traffic into useful interactions like clicks and sales.
Long story short, conversion rate optimization makes existing traffic more valuable.
Conversion rate and search engine optimization go hand in hand. Improving one often has noticeable effects on the other, and because of the way the conversion optimization is designed, it’s likely that the company website will start to see better results in search rankings.
In that same vein, it’s easy to see how the process of designing content for better engagement would benefit from increased traffic. Fully taking advantage of proper SEO requires a content strategy that prioritizes conversion.
More engaging interactions should be your first goal, and then you just scale up the traffic and get the best of both worlds!
In an ideal world, a marketing team would be going full throttle on all fronts - pushing SEO and CRO to the maximum extent possible. In the business world, however, chances are that you don’t have unlimited resources to accomplish that with.
Taking a step back and asking “how do I work with what I already have?” may seem counterintuitive to business professionals who have focused their marketing on maximizing traffic above all else. However, spending the time to design a website and its content in a way that maximizes conversions can be one of the most cost-effective ways to spend a marketing budget.
You’re working on increasing conversions, chances are that you already have some base level of traffic. Getting better results out of that reliable traffic is worth it in its own right, but when you think about that intersection we talked about above, it becomes clear that proper optimization will have long-lasting results. As you shift your effort back to SEO, you will continue to see the benefits of the time you spent tinkering with your various web pages.
Now that we’ve broken down the benefits of optimizing conversion rates, let’s break down the concept so you can go out there and get your hands dirty.
A conversion is basically when a customer takes action to do something that you want. There are two main types of conversions, however, and breaking your goals into macro and micro levels is an important part of figuring out where your team needs to prioritize their efforts. It also gives you a way to accurately track metrics.
Macro-conversions usually consist of majorly profitable actions like buying a product, requesting a quote, or subscribing to some kind of service. For most businesses, this is one of the main ways that they make their money, so it’s obvious that these conversions should be a priority.
However, it’s important to remember the importance of micro-conversions as well. Things like subscribing to a newsletter or creating an account also have value, as they add to the base of users that you can easily market to and who may make a purchase in the future.
Macro-levels are your most important metrics, but you can often increase these levels by beefing up the CRO on micro as well.
One of the primary ways agencies that specialize in conversion rate optimization figure out what needs to be changed is by taking a look at the numbers of how people are interacting with a site.
For example, if a page with a link to one of your major projects isn’t getting hits, that page either needs to be better optimized, or that link needs to be moved to an area with higher traffic. CRO for e-commerce would focus on making sure that the areas where customers are intended to buy products are designed in an intuitive way that doesn’t take much thought to figure out.
The longer customers have to search for the features they need, the more likely it is that they will leave and look elsewhere. Using hard numbers on how people are interacting with the company site obtained through services like Google Analytics is one of the primary ways to approach conversion optimization.
Another way that conversion rate optimization services improve a website is through “soft” data. Avenues like surveys of visitors, and even getting the impressions of trusted friends and colleagues, can be just as an important part of studying website behavior as hard numbers.
For example, a team focused on e-commerce CRO can get some incredibly valuable information from asking users about their experiences after interactions with customer support. People who reach out for support after having trouble making a purchase are an excellent way to get an idea of what’s working and what isn’t.
Like it or not, it’s not always easy to break things down into facts and figures. Part of the process of optimization is going to be holistic, for better or for worse.
Combining the hard numbers and reports of user experience can make increasing conversions much easier.
At the end of the day, however, the overarching goal of all of the conversion rate optimization services is a better user experience. In the simplest terms, when it’s easy and fun to use your site, it’s equally easy and fun to make a purchase or subscribe.
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