Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and Core Vitals.
These days, marketers and business owners are obsessed with the conversion rate of their marketing campaigns. The more website visitors you convert to leads, the more clients you get.
What is conversion rate optimization? Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website and turning them into customers. That could be anything from scheduling a demo, registering for an event, purchasing a product, or even helping you spread the word about your business and products.
You can find the conversion rate of your landing page by dividing the number of people that click or make a purchase by the total number of people visiting that page.
Let’s say you’ve got a landing page where potential clients can schedule a demo of one of your products, and you have 200 people visiting that page. If 40 of them schedule a demo, your conversion rate for this landing page is 20%.
Is conversion rate optimization important? Yes. Businesses with a solid CRO plan increase ROI by more than 23%. Conversion rate optimization also cuts your cost per acquisition by half. In addition, creating a conversion rate optimization plan exposes leaks and bottlenecks in your marketing funnel.
However, you should not stop trying to increase your overall web traffic because it’s still essential. But now, it’ll be possible to scale your business more quickly since you can now divert the funds to other parts of your business.
More importantly, investing in conversion rate optimization will give you an advantage over your competitors.
Even though businesses recognize the need to convert more customers, only a fraction of companies today make CRO a priority. According to one study, 26% of small businesses and 20% of large established companies don’t have a specific conversion strategy.
Steps to creating a conversion rate optimization plan
- Set your goals and benchmarks.
Set specific goals and benchmarks when you plan for conversion rate optimization.
For example, you start a digital marketing campaign to promote one of your products to increase its sales by 15%. Your CRO goal could be to double the number of leads converting from this campaign.
- Create your buyer personas.
Many marketers and business owners skip this part altogether. We have all been in those long meetings reviewing buyer personas. But buyer personas, when done correctly, paint a picture for your marketing team of who your ideal customer is. What they look like, act. Like, and how they buy. This insight will tell you the kind of content you should publish and, more important, how to convince them to do business with you.
- Analyze your data.
Data analytics help you figure out why your conversion rate numbers are off target.
There are two types of data you should collect and analyze.
These are the data that’ll show you how your web pages and content are performing.
Google Analytics is the most common tool used when it comes to collecting quantitative data. It’ll show you your best and worst-performing web pages and blog posts. It’ll also give you information about whom your site’s attracting, where they’re from, and what device they’re using.
An excellent alternative to Google Analytics is Matomo Analytics. Unlike Google Analytics which uses your data to serve its advertising platform, Matomo users can safely use analytics without worrying about data being used by other marketers.
If quantitative data answers the questions “what” and “how much,” qualitative data tells you why a product page or web page isn’t converting.
There are several ways of how you can collect qualitative data. First is by using qualitative data analytics tools like heatmaps like HotJar.
These tools will show you the behavior patterns of your site visitors on a specific web page, what content your visitors are gravitating to, or which link gets the most clicks.
In turn, you’ll get to understand more about why a web page isn’t converting. The data will also give you hints on some possible actions you can take.
With these insights, you can now address the root cause of a poor-performing page.
Surveys and interviews are another effective way to gather qualitative data about your visitors.
You can use tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform to create a survey to send to your leads and customers. You can also use chatbots to engage directly with your visitors.
HubSpot has an excellent LiveChat feature.
Here are some tips to help you create your surveys.
Keep it short. It’s a survey, not an interrogation. Try limiting it to 10 questions or less.
Give them options. Starting with multiple-choice questions makes it quicker for people to answer and gives you a better idea of how well you know your target audience. Multiple-choice questions are also easier to quantify.
Ask “why” questions. These open-ended questions invite your visitors to be as thorough as they’d like.
The first thing you’ll need to get started is a hypothesis.
The same’s true with CRO. Write a proposed statement made based on limited evidence that can be proved and disproved.
When writing a hypothesis use statements not questions:
Changing [blank] into [blank] will [goal] because: [reason].
Statements show that you’re not just testing something at random. Instead, you’re pointing to the data (quantitative and qualitative) as the reason behind why you’ve chosen to focus on a particular area.
Document the entire process. This helps you and your team in two ways. First, it’ll allow you to repeat the same process in other areas if you’d want to improve.
If you want to increase your conversion rates by 10x, you must be willing to make some significant changes.
Instead of merely changing your CTA button’s color, you may want to A/B test an entirely different version of your landing page.
- Evaluate and refine.
Once you’ve finished running the test, you need to sit down with your team to review the results. Make changes and repeat the process.
Conversion rate optimization tips
Urgency and Discounts
People don’t want to miss out on a great deal, especially when they see others posting about it on social media. Promotions with a time limit work best in most cases. “Pioneer pricing ends January 1st.”
Quality and Value
Write a compelling value proposition emphasizing your commitment to quality.
Trials and Samples
You can offer a free trial period, instant demo, or product sample. Samples even work for digital services. Offering part one of an online course for free, the first chapter of a book, or even a “light” version of your digital service or product.
If your business has any commitment or guarantee, be sure to draw attention to it on the landing page. Nothing makes marketers butt heads with legal and management more than guarantees, but there are ways to A/B test with smaller controlled segments, limiting risk.
Does page speed affect conversion rates?
Page load speed has a significant impact on your conversion rates. If you have run a Lighthouse page speed test, you have probably seen these stats:
These stats clearly show how page speed affects your conversion rate and, ultimately, your bottom line. Decreasing page load times can garner immediate results. As of 2020, Google incorporated “User Experience” as a factor into its search algorithm. Google Core Web Vitals scores pages on their mobile-friendliness, security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines, to provide a holistic picture of page experience.
According to Google, The Core Web Vitals report shows how your pages perform based on real-world usage data (sometimes called field data). You can read more about this initiative on the Google Search Central blog.
- When a site meets the Core Web Vitals thresholds, research showed that users were 24% less likely to abandon page load.
- With each 100ms reduction in Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), web conversion rate for Farfetch increased by 1.3%.
- Reducing Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) by 0.2 led Yahoo! JAPAN to a 15% increase in page views per session, 13% longer session durations, and a 1.72 percentage point decrease in bounce rate.
- Netzwelt improved Core Web Vitals and saw advertising revenues increase by 18% and page views by 27%.
- Reducing CLS from 1.65 to 0 significantly uplifted domain rankings globally for redBus.
These stats clearly show how page speed affects your conversion rate and, ultimately, your bottom line. Decreasing page load times can garner immediate results if you are responsible for your company’s digital marketing. As of 2020 Google incorporated “User Experience” as a factor into its search algorithm. Google Core Web Vitals scores pages on their mobile-friendliness, security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines, to provide a holistic picture of page experience.
The bottom line, slow pages have lower conversion rates.
Ready to talk? Reach out If your company needs help implementing a conversion rate optimization (CRO) plan or decreasing page load time and passing Web Core Vitals. WWC has helped numerous businesses just like yours.
Not ready to talk? That’s OK. We will be posting an article on how you can improve your WordPress, React, or other sites’ Web Core Vitals.