Do you feel like your website is converting as much traffic into customers as it could be?
Conversion optimization or conversion rate optimization (CRO) could really take your website to the next level. It’s truly amazing how just a few small tweaks to your website can 10x your results from the same traffic numbers.
Despite how simple and easy it may sound, there are a lot of websites trying to achieve good results following the basic steps towards conversion optimization. Yet, many fail miserably, because, when it comes to conversion optimization, the devil really is in the details.
In order for you to apply CRO principles, you first need to understand where you already stand in terms of your website traffic, what is working for you and what is not.
While the general guidelines can be accessed anywhere, it takes more than that to achieve true success with CRO. If this wasn’t the case, everyone would have done it by now.
Having worked with many websites on CRO, it is safe to say that there is no universal method for it. If you’re a website owner that is trying to optimize your content, you need to understand, in great detail, your strengths, and your weaknesses in order to make the best of CRO and get results quickly. This is exactly the reason why there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Here are 5 things many websites get wrong about CRO and how to change it for better results.
#1. Knowing what CRO actually means
You’ve heard the term, you know about its importance, but you would be surprised by how many website owners have no clue what CRO actually means. CRO is a crucial tool for keeping your business alive and thriving. CRO specialists can take your business and increase the revenue, the clicks, basically whatever you’re looking for in a matter of weeks.
For those still confused about the definition, CRO is a system that helps your website to increase the number of visitors that actually take the desired action on your webpage. This may sound like the easiest thing, but clearly that is not the case.
The definition is pretty simple, that much is true, but the countless ways to achieve what the CRO specialists try to do with websites is extremely complicated and requires more than a basic understanding of how the marketing works.
We all want to maximize the number of people who actually take action when visiting our websites. The same goes for any business. We want to maximize the engagement, but also to achieve maximum productive engagement. We want to increase the percentage of people who, upon visiting our website, do the desirable action we’ve set out for them, be that subscribe to the weekly emails, purchase the product you’re offering or click on the desired link.
The mission of every CRO specialist is not to increase the number of visitors you get but to increase the ratio of those who actually purchase or click on your product. Conversion is a word used to describe the number of desirable actions, it doesn’t necessarily mean the inflow of money.
It could mean people visiting and liking your page, taking the time to click a link and learn more about your services. It does not have to be focused around a financial goal, but more often than not it should at least lead to one.
#2. Optimizing for mobile devices
You would think that every business wanting to achieve long-lasting success would make sure that the mobile-friendliness of their website is among their first priorities.
But even the most successful companies in the world often neglect the mobile versions of their websites, driving away thousands of clicks and purchases by inconvenient setups. The importance of mobile devices is no big news, but somehow big companies still manage to prioritize the desktop optimized versions over the mobile ones.
This is one of the worst things you can do for your business and it could cost you many opportunities. It’s understandable why so many companies neglect it because they think that it won’t make the actual difference when the company is just starting up, so they often save the mobile update for later when their business is much more stable. In reality, this approach completely neglects the importance of mobile devices.
A consumer’s tolerance for inconvenience has significantly dropped in the last few years. If your website isn’t accommodating the customer, no matter which device they might be using, you are way more likely to get them to click away and lose a customer.
Not optimizing your website for tablets and phones means that the customer will need much more time for the page to load, increasing the likelihood of them abandoning your website pretty early on. This is why it is crucial to have mobile-friendly versions, even if you’re not getting as much traffic as you would like. Creating a mobile-friendly version is an investment you make towards your business, that over time could even bring you more than 50% of your sales.
Even if investing time and energy into developing a mobile-friendly version seems like a waste of time, when you’re in the beginning stages look at it as a separate avenue for you to grow your business in.
#3. Understanding the 4Ws of conversion
When trying to increase the number of people who engage in meaningful activity on your website, besides offering convenient web design, you should also consider a different branding strategy. Now, I don’t mean hiring a new marketing team or spending too much money on additional ads. The whole point of conversion optimization is not to increase your visibility necessarily, but to increase the number of visitors who will actually take the desired action.
The percentage of people who purchase or click a link won’t change by much by just increasing the visibility of the product or a website. What needs to change is not the number of people who visit, but the amount of those who take action.
Here are the 4 questions your website should give a clear answer to if you want more meaningful engagement from your visitors: What do you do? Why should I care? Why should I believe you? Where do we begin?
When you don’t provide the most sought after information, in the most visible place at your website, you’re greatly lowering your chances for those looking for the answer to stick around.
As mentioned above, consumers don’t have the patience to spend too much time looking for the answers about the website or the service, they would rather engage with a company that gives them everything they need to know, and easily.
You need to play to your strength on your website as well. You need to analyze what people are looking for and put it at an easy to find place, more so, make it the most visible part of your website. This is one of the top priority things you should be doing to increase meaningful engagement.
Any CRO specialist will tell you that in order to increase your conversions, without necessarily turning the whole website upside down, you just need to prioritize the things that are working for you and to make them the focal point of your business and website. This does not mean that you will only focus on that specific aspect of your business, but it will become the reason why people who visit your website will also stay engaged and actually click on something you want them to.
This is the easiest and probably the cheapest way to get the results that you want. This is why knowing your audience is so crucial to increasing conversions because it allows you to know just what is working for you and what you should be focusing on less.
When it comes to why someone visiting should stay at your page or purchase something, you have to make it very clear upon the entrance. Consumers need to understand what you are offering, what is unique about it that they won’t find anywhere else, and why they should trust you with their time and money. People should have a very clear idea of what sets your product apart, and why they should make the purchase on your website and not somewhere else.
This is also a relatively cheap way to increase your conversions since, as a website owner, you should know better than anyone what your strengths are and why they matter. Don’t shy away from building your website off of your best features and focusing as much as possible on their unique characteristics.
#4. Focusing on legitimacy
This is more geared towards the websites that are less known and are just starting out since larger companies have already earned the trust of their customers. But if the opposite is the case, you should be placing your legitimacy as a high priority message that you need to deliver to your customers.
It is one of the four fundamental questions that you need to answer as a client, when it comes to your website. There is no shortage of scammers and stories about them so when a new visitor enters your website, they are much likely to think of you as illegitimate than to trust you instantly, because that’s just common sense at this point.
Make sure that you work on conveying the message that your website is to be trusted, but keep the middle ground as to avoid looking more like a scammer. Create a sense of security on your webpage that won’t take away from the fun and engaging parts of it. You don’t have to make it the centerpiece of your website, but make sure that the consumer can easily be assured that the website is safe.
#5. Creating a sense of urgency
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and we’ve seen it a lot within the cosmetic industry. The story goes something like this: you launch a product, you advertise it heavily, make sure that as many people know about it as possible, but when the product actually launches, you announce that it has sold out within an hour, or a day, whichever seems more realistic.
This technique creates a certain type of urgency in the customers like they absolutely need to have it since it seems to be selling like hotcakes.
So by the next time the company announces a restock there’s a high chance that they will actually sell out of the product. This is a marketing technique that isn’t too complicated and there are many ways to do this right.
When we create a sense of urgency by exploring how badly the customer actually needs a product we increase our chances of making a sale. This is for the website and business owners alike to create a sense of necessity around this product even if it is something as unnecessary as makeup. You need to make sure that the visitors know just how valuable the product is, and it’s not that you need them but in fact, they need you.
Make sure that you make that clear from the very first second the client lands on your website so that your efforts don’t go to waste if the visitor only lingers for a few seconds before closing the page. That way you get to immediately not only let them know what you are selling but why the visitor should make the purchase while there is still time.
CRO is easy to understand but can sometimes be hard to achieve. With these tips, you now know the basics and where to start for your website.
The good thing about CRO is that you can actually do it yourself. With the general knowledge of your audience and what they respond to you can make it much easier while maximizing the number of people taking meaningful action on your website.
CRO can be the final step towards launching your website to a higher level of success and to achieve the engagement that most companies can’t even dream of. It might seem like a daunting process if you’re unfamiliar with it, but when you get started, as long as you know your business well, you should be able to set out a successful plan of action.
Guest author: Konstantin has been in marketing and advertising since 2011. After leading marketing efforts of one of the largest financial brokerages and an innovative b2b fintech company, he decided to go solo and is now focusing on consulting financial companies on how to drive the best results from their digital marketing efforts. Next to this, Konstantin has been showing interest in the recent regulation of the most competitive industries – finance and iGaming. Stalk him on Quora or connect via LinkedIn to learn more.