When I started my blog it was all about eyeballs and traffic. That was my primary measure of success. But as this blog started as a hobby for fun that was fine…for a while.
Its evolution from a passionate hobby into a serious business meant the rules of the game started changing. I needed to convert that traffic into sales.
The art and science of turning blog visitors into leads and sales means that you need to change your focus to include “Conversion Rate Optimisation” or as it is sometimes called “CRO”. It is often also shortened to the acronym “CO” or “Conversion Optimisation”.
Now, I have to confess….I hate acronyms.
Sometimes I have been heard saying “If you see an acronym, shoot it“. It smells of specialist knowledge that makes the casual visitor feel like an idiot or ignoramus. It is used by people who have “the curse of knowledge” that sometimes makes outsiders feel left out or scrambling for understanding.
Speaking plainly with common language is to be admired. Trying to use big words to look clever is either arrogant or ignorance. Using simple short words that carry the meaning in plain language should be aspired to. Distilling the long and the complex into the short and the simple is a challenge.
I love the quote attributed to Blaise Pascal (the French mathematician)…”I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time“.
So what is CRO?
Wikipedia’s definition for CRO is as follows.
“CRO is the method of creating an experience for a website or landing page visitor with the goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers”
Let’s illustrate that with a concrete example.
If you have a 100 visitors to to your site and you convert 1% of those visits to a customer who spends on average $40, then you have revenue of $40. If you increase your conversion rate to 5% of the 100 visitors then instead of just one sale (at the 1% conversion rate) you have 5 sales which means your sales have increased to $200.
Increasing a conversion rate from 1% to 2% is not an increase of 1% in sales but a doubling (or 100%). Increasing your conversion rate from 1% to 5% is an increase of 500% in sales.
This is the real secret to making money from your blog and not just chasing blog traffic.
How do you do it?
Converting traffic into revenue is the optimal goal of any marketer and it involves art (design and copywriting) and science (data and statistics)
Here are 4 basics you need to understand for optimizing your conversion rate:
Great design: Research from Northumbria University shows that a great design increases site trust and credibility.
Clearly communicate your offering: Visitors need to understand clearly what you are offering.
Build credibility: This can be achieved through great content and social proof
Have a clear call to action: Make sure you only have 1 or 2 “calls to action” on a web page so you don’t confuse the visitor to your site