Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): 9 Digital Marketing Best Practices
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): 9 Digital Marketing Best Practices
Conversions are the Holy Grail of digital marketing, with maximized conversion rates being the one universal goal we all strive for, but only the best achieve.
What Is a Conversion?
A conversion is the point at which the recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action to ultimately become a paying customer. Conversions are not only applicable to ecommerce stores offering products, but can also be other actions such as subscribing to an email list, downloading useful resources, or even following your social accounts. These are known as micro-conversions.
While micro-conversions might not mean you converted a customer, make no mistake about their importance to the end goal. The success of your business is reliant on your business’s ability to optimize your conversion rate through micro-conversions placed strategically throughout the sales funnel.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO?
Conversion optimization is the practice of evaluating your website’s user flow and landing page user experience, identifying where and why users are not carrying out the desired action and ultimately improving these website elements in order to better drive the user through their journey to become a converted customer.
We’ve put together a list of the nine best practices to improve your web page conversion rates so that your business can optimize return on investment and make the most of your online marketing budget.
9 Best Practices to Help you Increase Conversion Rates
1. Optimize Current Marketing Efforts
One of the best (and least expensive) things you can do to increase your conversion rates is to optimize the content you have already been using. Yes, this might be somewhat of a tedious process, but modifying your existing content to be more visually pleasing and easily digestible to website visitors, as well as indexable by search engines like Google, is a great place to start when optimizing your conversion rates.
2. Clear Call-to-Action
Before beginning a campaign, it is important to define your conversion objective within each piece of the puzzle. Ideally, we would love for every prospect to convert to a paying customer with minimal effort, but sometimes more is needed than the minimum. We want visitors to subscribe to our email list, share our social posts, buy our products and keep them coming back for more. Provide your audience with one strategic call-to-action (CTA) within each asset of your business’s conversion funnel. Keep reading to learn more about the conversion funnel and its importance.
3. Build Trust
Gaining the trust of your prospects is the foundation of a successful conversion campaign. It can be quite difficult to convince someone to follow a CTA when brand recognition and trust is low. Start by getting familiar with your current base and target prospects, then be transparent in educating them about your offering through your communication methods. Email campaigns and social media content is a great place to start.
4. Landing Page Optimization or LPO
Finding the sweet spot in your conversion optimization efforts can be tough, this is when we need to channel our inner scientists. Take the time to diligently do split testing (also known as A/B testing) within each piece of your campaign, especially your CTAs and Landing Pages. The recipient's experience from the subject line to the CTA and through the landing page should be seamless. If your CTA changes, consider updating your landing page to match.
5. Use Heat Maps
Heat mapping is an incredibly powerful tool that presents data in an easy-to-understand diagram, showing exactly how prospects are navigating within your campaign. Determining the hot and cold spots in your campaigns provides insight into where prospects are dropping off in the conversion process. Which elements do they pay most attention to? Where do they get tired of your landing page? Are they consistently ignoring your CTA button?
6. Open All Lines of Communication
Make communication with your customers and prospects as easy as possible. Everyone has their own preferred method of communication, and although one method might make sense to you, it might not be as clear to your audience. Cover all of your bases by opening multiple lines of communication.
7. Your Lead Capture Form Matters
Every campaign needs a way to capture leads, and while this might seem straightforward, it's often overlooked. The number of fields, the wording, and sometimes even the coloring can impact conversion rates. Taking the time to optimize every piece will only aid in driving your conversion rates. Taking a step back and completing the form from a prospect’s perspective will help you understand the importance of a well-organized lead capture form.
8. Make Content Engaging and Easy to Understand
Make your content easily consumable and engaging. No matter how fantastic your product is, marketing efforts will often fall short if the content backing the products is unengaging and stale.
9. Perfect Timing
Timing is a pivotal factor in just about all marketing campaigns, and conversion driven campaigns are no different. Getting the most out of the best practices above will depend on when each piece is implemented within the conversion funnel.
What exactly is the conversion funnel?
The conversion funnel is a diagram used to represent your prospects’ engagement with your company or brand and their journey through the buying process. Conversion funnels can be as complex or simple as you wish. However, the more you know about your customer's journey through the funnel, the easier it will be to improve the flow and conversion of prospects into customers.
We have broken down the general framework of a conversion funnel so that you know where to put your focus when targeting customers
Top of the Funnel - Awareness
The top of the funnel should focus on building brand awareness. Brand knowledge and trust is crucial in all phases of the funnel, but at the top is where that relationship needs to be established. Reel in quality prospects by educating them with engaging content about your brand’s product or service. Exposing your audience to things like company culture is also a great way to gain trust.
Middle of the Funnel - Consideration
Also known as the Consideration Phase, the middle of the funnel is where interest and desire for your product is established. The main goal of this phase is to guide prospects further down the funnel, ultimately inspiring them to take a desired action.
Bottom of the Funnel - Action
At the bottom of the funnel, or within the Action Phase, your prospects are familiar with your brand and their interest has been sparked. Now, it's time to focus on drilling home why your product or service is the best one for your prospects.
Let’s face it, if converting individuals into paying customers was easy, we would all be growing our businesses at a rapid rate. However, through diligent time spent researching, testing, and analyzing to understand your customers and their behaviors, you will begin attracting more traffic, more conversions, and ultimately increase your sales.