SEO is an important component of most companies’ online marketing investment. But good SEO is a job half done, because it only brings in prospects. To support your SEO, you need to run Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) initiatives to see that the prospects you have brought in actually end up doing what you want them to do – buy from you, subscribe to your email newsletter, recommend friends to buy your product, share your content, etc.
Your website SEO will get you traffic. But that’s just the beginning. There is a lot to consider after that. For example:
Here is a 6 step checklist that will help you in your CRO efforts:
It’s important to define your objectives. This is the basis for building your website to make your audience take actions that will help you achieve your objectives. Want them to buy? Set up an ecom store. Want them to leave their contact details? Provide a form for them to fill in. Align your website with your objectives.
Effective CRO requires thorough research. Understanding your audience and their online behavior is crucial for conversions. If you know what they are looking for, what the drivers of their behavior are, then you know what you need to do to get conversions. It’s important to remember that research is a continuous process and its inputs help you fine tune your initiatives to keep conversions improving.
This understanding will help build your web pages so that they contribute to more conversions. A conversion is the end result you want out of every site visit. It’s important that you determine what constitutes a conversion for you: product subscriptions, service sign-ups, collateral downloads/ subscriptions, enquiry calls etc.
The advantage is that everything that happens on your site can be tracked. This creates a wealth of data for you to analyze and see what’s working and what isn’t.
Record current statistics on number of site visits, bounce rates, conversion rates and amount of time spent on site. Mark up the landing pages that were visited the most. Nailing these details will give you a clear view of conversion goals for your website. Focus on strengthening those pages that are falling behind in contributing to conversions. The clearer the conversion goals are, the easier it is to turn traffic into conversions.
Outline your sales funnel by combining analytics, research and landing page optimization. You can visualize your sales pipeline better by knowing the landing pages that are performing the best.
Designing your website and planning the layout is crucial in the plan to lead website visitors on the path towards conversions. Your website should guide the visitor’s journey to conversion. Interlink pages so that it is easier for visitors to move from one page to another. Your CRO strategy should include a plan for developing necessary collateral that will move website visitors from being a browser, to making a choice and finally to a buyer. Your CRO and landing page optimization practices should support improvement of conversion rates.
It’s important to test your pages and see which are working best. Testing has to be continuous because what works tends to change with time and the audience. You don’t want to be in a position where your pages are not working any longer and you don’t know it. There are two important kinds of tests you can run:
Your CRO strategy can start early – even before visitors come to your site. When you integrate social efforts with CRO, you know why your audience is visiting your site and your chances of conversion are much higher than otherwise. Your social media campaigns can prime your audience and bring them to your site, ready for conversion.
What do you think helps improve conversion rates? Have you worked on your CRO? Let us know.