Conversions drive profitability. Every website strives for more conversions, more sales, and ultimately, more success.
However, if you and your team find yourselves in an endless cycle of guesswork, you're not only wasting precious time but also falling short of your conversion goals. The key to success lies in dedicating your efforts to value-adding activities. It's only when you put your ideas to the test that you gain clarity on what truly works.
This is where having a culture of experimentation becomes crucial. Here, research and analysis serve a singular purpose: to birth ideas, rigorously test them, and enhance targeted metrics, including Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
The process of increasing the percentage of conversions is all about efficiency. This article talks about conversion rate optimization best practices that can help you achieve just that.
Don’t have opinions, have ideas
When it comes to conversion rate optimization best practices, your opinion about your website or landing pages doesn't matter.
You don't even have to run a lot of tests to see results and understand why making assumptions will only lead to a poorer customer experience.
So, use research and data, not opinions as part of your CRO strategy to improve your website. Your opinions can come in handy when interpreting the data.
And yes, many of the ideas you test will fail. It might sound a bit negative, but it is not. What it means is that they don't see a statistically significant change to the primary metric. You now know it was something that didn't work. In a world without experimentation, you would’ve gone ahead and rolled out whatever that idea was.
Even the rest, the inconclusive tests that were neither a winner nor a loser, are still valuable too. You know you haven't identified something where you can roll it out and get value immediately. You haven't mitigated a risk, but you've still learned that something in your functionality customers don't care about, and that's still useful to feed into future hypotheses.
So, the most value your marketing strategy would get is from testing ideas and understanding their outcome.
Best CRO practice: Validate your ideas
Take a look at the below CRO aspects before you start finding ways to impact user behavior:
- Website conversion rate is influenced by all aspects of your entire business, from marketing to competitive positioning, product pages, pricing, and more. Quip revamped its product display pages and saw a 4.7% increase in order conversion rate.
- Incremental improvements through A/B testing, even as low as 1%, can translate into significant profits over time. Carl Ras saw a 20% increase in conversion rate.
- Digital experimentation is not limited to conversion rate. It provides insights into various aspects of a company, not just the user experience of your website.
- The term 'optimization' can mislead; it involves significant, transformative changes, not just minor tweaks. Canon developed a whole new website to optimize user journeys.
- Experimentation itself is not a metric. Doing so overlooks its research, development, and learning aspects.
8 More tips to boost conversion rate optimization
To start, help your website visitors understand what you do and the different things they can buy from the website or a webpage. Here’s what you can do to make it happen:
1. The journey from understanding to optimization
Research your target audience. Move from a vague understanding of your audience to a detailed and tailored approach to optimize your website. Know:
- What are the different data points you will need to understand your audience?
- What tools and systems will you employ to gather and analyze this data?
- Which teams and individuals will need to be involved in this optimization process?
Your objective is to eliminate any surprises or blockers to launch - anticipate in advance how understanding your target audience can lead to significant improvements in your conversion rates.
2. Test clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
It is essential to direct your visitors toward the desired action through clear and compelling CTA buttons. Do not rush your visitors into making a purchase or force them into the shopping cart prematurely, particularly in the ecommerce sector.
Your objective is to facilitate a natural, seamless transition from interest to action - anticipate the visitor's readiness and adjust your CTAs accordingly.
Choosing your metrics is the key. Over 92% of all optimization experiments target these 5 metrics:
- CTA clicks
- Add to cart
3. Simplify the navigation
A clutter-free and intuitive website design is not only appealing to the eye, but it also improves conversions.
Avoid overloading your users with too much information. Your goal is to create a natural transition from landing on the site to conversion - understand your user's navigation habits and adapt your website design accordingly.
4. Be accessible on mobile
Optimize for mobile devices, as an increasing proportion of online traffic originates from smartphones and tablets. This goes beyond the mere layout and visual appeal. Ensure all functionalities and CTAs work flawlessly on smaller screens.
Moreover, a compelling onboarding experience is paramount to retaining visitors in real time. This involves creating a welcoming environment that guides new users through the platform's key features and functionalities. It's about striking a balance between being informative and not overwhelming the user, particularly for more complex platforms or services.
Here's a guide that'll help build mobile apps that last and retain users.
5. Reduce load time
Slow-loading webpages can deter visitors and lead to high bounce rates, undermining your conversion efforts. It is crucial to facilitate a smooth, uninterrupted user experience. Focus on the following components of this optimization strategy:
- How can you leverage techniques such as image compression, script minimization, and caching to enhance speed?
- Who is responsible for diagnosing and addressing these speed-related issues?
A site that is quick to load not only improves user experience but also contributes positively to SEO rankings.
6. Use trust signals
Include customer testimonials, case studies, social proof, industry badges, and anything that shows real results.
- What platforms are your trust signals being displayed on?
- How are these trust signals integrated into your overall website design?
These are more likely to convert visitors into customers.
7. Get going with personalization
Serve personalized content and product recommendations based on user behavior. It's important to understand the return on investment (ROI) this personalization can bring. Personalized experiments drive 41% more impact.
Is it a higher average order value (AOV), an increased conversion rate, or a combination of both? Understanding these metrics can help keep your team focused and motivated to achieve the desired objective.
8. The power of heatmaps
Identify areas of a page that are most (or least) engaging with heatmaps. For example, potential customers are engaging with the review section on your homepage but aren't spending time on the product section.
The way you measure your results matters in terms of how effective your tactics would be in your conversion funnel. The perception is that:
- Conversion rate optimization will simply work if you have a big list of CRO best practices and opinions.
- Great results are possible without experimentation.
However, the reality is different.
The biggest challenge for conversion rate optimization is that most businesses go for it half-heartedly and miss the benefits. Ultimately, CRO is about being data-driven and making decisions based on what your experiments tell you.
And, most people still make decisions based on their intuition. So, it's important to understand the value of experimentation and build an internal program to support the cause.
Ready to make drastic changes?
In the face of dwindling traffic, running an experimentation program is a chance for improvement.
To maximize revenue in your marketing efforts, bold actions like targeted messaging and personalized customer journeys must shape your digital experiences prominently.
It might seem like it's a lot of effort to get towards that one successful test. But we've seen experiments make millions of dollars of incremental revenues just for making a simple site change, tweak, or modification to an app or functionality.
Yet, challenges arise – can your tech stack support these changes swiftly amidst shifting priorities?
The answer lies in experimentation tools and a sufficient pool of developer resources. See how companies like Atlassian, HP, ATG Tickets, and more saw a big improvement in sales for their optimization efforts on the customer stories page.
As you can see, conversion optimization takes dedicated time and resources to be successful. It can’t be a side project for a single data analyst. If you want an endless stream of test ideas, you must build your strategy, and your bank of insights, and store those insights so they are accessible.
Check out this guide on how to run perfect experiments and make data-informed decisions for your site visitors.