January 29, 2017

Conversion Rate Optimization Explained

The first place we begin, when we take on a new client is the website.  The reason is that advertising is expensive.  Why bring traffic to a site that is not going to convert very well? A higher converting website lowers your overall order acquisition cost.  Conversion rate optimization is an essential element to any digital marketing strategy.

A website is no different than a brick and mortar store.  The merchandising of the store is continually changing to create a selling environment for the customers walking in.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of using informed insights, user feedback,  analytics and data to improve the performance of your website.  Essentially taking the traffic you have and making the most of it to achieve your KPI’s.

Conversion Rate Optimization is not based upon opinions or the desires of the highest paid person or guesses or hunches.  And it certainly is not following what others are doing.  Every site is unique, every business has different goals and just because someone else does something does not make it correct.

Website conversion optimization has been shown to improve sales by close to 50% on an existing retailers marketing spend.

Making changes on your website can be scary. What if your conversion rate goes down? What if you involve a designer to make all the changes (which will cost a lot) and just end up hurting your business? All of these concerns are totally valid. Every business has its risks. And if you really want to improve the conversion rate of your website, you should have the heart to explore new territories with calculated risks at least.

So, if optimizing your website for better conversions is new for you, implementing best practices of the conversion optimization industry is a great way to get started with minimal risk. After all, these practices are called “best” for a reason. They work for majority. But again, every website has its own unique visitor set and the results can sometimes be surprisingly unpredictable. This is why, it is important that no matter what changes you implement on your website, you track it in your A/B testing software to see how it is working out for your website’s audience.

At Hound Dog Digital we understand the power of website conversion optimization and that is generally where we begin our process to get you more sales and a better ROI

website conversion rate optimization

What are some Optimization Tools?

In todays digital environment, there are so many tools to monitor your sites performance.

Let’s begin with the basics,  Google Analytics .  This is a free product provided by Google that monitors almost anything you want to know about your site.  Site speed; demographics of the visitors; unique vs returning visitors; sales; orders; conversion rate; bounce rates; site visitor behavior; I don’t know if i could list all of the information that could be gleaned out of GA.  This will show you on a high level, what is happening to your site in real time.  You an make changes to your site and even do A/B testing using Google Experiments  inside of Analytics.

There are some things GA does not do and you may want to use something more robust.  One of the primary tools we like to use is heat mapping software for every page on a site.  This tells us the behavior of the site visitors and show us clearly, what they like and what they don’t like so we know what needs to change.  One of the simplest and most versatile products is CrazyEgg.  You can monitor all of the pages on your site and it will show you where the visitors are clicking and viewing on every page you set up. This is critical step in making site and page changes.  Sometimes the smallest change like a button color or the placement of a link, will yield tremendous financial results.

Another tool to use is Pingdom.  Nobody likes a slow website. This Website Speed Test tool helps you analyze the load speed of your websites and learn how to make the site faster. It lets you identify what about a web page is fast, slow, too big, what best practices you’re not following, and so on. This is an easy-to-use tool to help webmasters and web developers everywhere optimize the performance of their websites.

You should understand what your conversion rate is and what it should be based upon the business vertical you occupy.  This article on conversion rates provides very good insight by channel, by device and by search engine.  Improving your sites conversion rates is critical to making your digital marketing efforts pay off profitably.