Your conversion rate is up 17%, your sales team is happy and you understand your customers on a deeper level than ever before. Sounds delightful. By using conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics, this is all attainable–and more quickly than you may imagine.
Today, we’ll walk through solutions to five common CRO issues our customers face. We’ll also pose a challenge for you to take into your own business in the next month.
What is conversion rate optimization?
CRO for websites is the process of improving a site’s layout, messaging and features to increase the number of people who convert. This conversion can involve lead generation, e-commerce purchases, logging-in or even content engagement.
Looking for examples of how this plays out in the real world? Here are a few CRO case studies we’ve shared in the past:
Common CRO questions answered
1. Is my blog content interesting to readers?
Businesses that seek to understand the value of blog content often try to connect the dots between conversions (revenue) and a certain piece of content. While powerful, this only paints some of the picture–and can be very difficult to organize properly.
On the other side of things, we must judge whether people are enjoying reading or watching our content. People who enjoy your content are more likely to return and more likely to become brand advocates over time.
To do this, we’ll rely on a combination of traditional metrics and more unique approaches using CRO tools.
The simplest place to start is time-on-page.
According to a recent databox survey, the average time on page is somewhere around 3-5 minutes. No matter what the average is for your whole site, pages with above-average times should generally be considered more engaging. This could be because people are reading to the end of the post or are finding a specific portion (like a video) interesting enough to read or watch through slowly.
Take the top five blog posts (or other pages) by time on page and pull up a dynamic heatmap for each. See where the effective fold is and see how far into the post your average visitor scrolls. You can also filter for clicks to see if certain links or content elements are getting more attention than others.
If readers are making it through the majority of your post or other page content, that’s great. If they’re stopping short of where you’d like them to get, consider the following:
- How is the writing structured? Are you doing enough at the outset of the article to get them interested in what’s to come?
- Are there distracting elements or conversion points high up on the page that may cause them to bounce? (In the case of a conversion, this isn’t a bad thing–so be careful in analysis)
- Does your reader demographic need visuals or other types of media to encourage them to scroll further down the page?
To get even deeper insight, we can deploy a rating tool (stars, thumbs-up, etc.) or offer a survey triggered by time on-page. You can ask about everything from finding the content valuable to polling people about potential content ideas. Especially if your readership is on the smaller end, this knowledge can be invaluable when refining your editorial strategy.
2. Are my CTAs in the best spot on the page?
No matter your industry, one goal of your website is converting visitors using an engaging call to action (CTA). For many websites, all roads lead to one or more CTAs driving people to make a purchase, signup for an email list, login or any other key business function.
In this case, we’re trying to figure out the best place on a page for the CTA (button, linked text, linked image). This means the place where people are most likely to see it, understand what it’s asking them to do and take the step to conversion.
You likely have CTAs all over your website, so let’s focus on three of your most important pages. This could be the home page, a top product listing, contact us or any other page that drives a strong percentage of your conversions.
Start by looking at a dynamic heatmap for each page. Look at the effective fold for each page and see whether or not the CTA is above this point. If it is below the effective fold, the easy fix is to move it up the page or add a secondary placement.
Next, filter your heatmap for clicks and see if any element near the CTA is receiving a lot of clicks. If not, you’re in good shape. In the example below, the only thing distracting people away from the core CTA button is top navigation. This is acceptable as it’s leading them to the same general area of the site as the main button.
If you do see something getting a lot of unwanted clicks, consider rearranging your page to better highlight the CTA. You could be seeing a high exit rate simply because people get overwhelmed on a page and don’t recognize the true CTA.
3. What are people who convert doing on my site differently than those who bounce?
This is an important (and very common) question. Especially for online retail stores, knowing how people who abandon a shopping cart navigate the site can help you patch holes in the conversion funnel.
And that’s where we should start–optimizing your conversion funnel.
With Lucky Orange, you can create an unlimited number of funnels that help you see which pages in a certain flow are causing an increase in bounce rate. For example, if you have a common journey from the home page to product listing and then a checkout process–you can create a conversion funnel to monitor where people are leaving. With the funnel set, you can then monitor the impact of on-page A/B testing to see how the funnel traffic shifts.
Here we see a conversion funnel tracking people from custom orders all the way through to the thank you confirmation page.
This is a great starting point but only shows what’s happening at an all-traffic level. To dig deeper, we need to add a tag to session recordings that show whether or not someone converted.
Depending on how you define your conversion, this can either be accomplished by filtering for those who reached a thank you page or by passing a piece of custom user data back into the recordings.
TIP: Segmenting session recordings is one of the best ways to improve your Lucky Orange experience. It allows you to be more efficient with your time by spending less time with less relevant recordings. You’ll spend more time with recordings that matter, increasing the chance of finding a powerful insight. ____________________________________________________________________________
Once tagged, you’ll be able to watch session recordings for those who converted, and those who didn’t. This is where the real fun begins.
What are you looking for in a recording? The main answer is common behavior trends. Are people who abandon typically looking at a shipping information page? Do most people who convert spend time reading through all product details or comparing different color options?
You may find something game-changing in your first few session recordings–or it may take a few weeks of watching to get there. The reality is that every session recording you see helps you better understand your website visitors, how they behave and the things you can do to get them to convert.
4. Why am I getting traffic but no sales on my new e-commerce store?
We get this question all the time. The reality is that some new e-commerce stores are created by entrepreneurs who are passionate about their products but may have less knowledge about web design.
And that’s okay. Tools like Lucky Orange are leveling the playing field, making it easier than ever before to optimize your website–even if you’re not a developer.
The exercises described in previous points also apply here. Be sure your CTAs are above the effective fold, watch session recordings for people who convert and monitor whether readers are getting through your content.
Beyond that, there are some basic rules to abide by when pushing a new e-commerce store live:
- Prioritize your products and CTAs over brand messaging
- Be sure all internal links are functioning properly
- Look at your mobile site to make sure nothing looks completely out of whack
- Use Form Analytics to decrease web form field abandonment and field time
- Look through all product photos to make sure they render properly and represent the correct product listed
- Create continuity throughout the website experience, including product descriptions, social media presence and any shared brand elements.
5. How are my sales leads engaging with content?
What if you could tell your sales agents which pieces of content a particular lead engages with, and what they’ve not yet discovered? To do this at any sort of scale, we have to set up tight behavior tagging, as described in section #3 above.
To perform this exercise, we’ll follow this workflow:
Applying CRO strategies to your business
Whether your goal is better form design, sales funnel optimization or something more specific to your business, CRO exercises can help.
The beauty of using this approach and the related tools is that they work no matter how much traffic your site gets, they can track data across website updates and are ripe for segmentation. If your goals are highly complex, they can support you–and if you’re on the simpler end, they can be equally effective.
So, here’s our challenge for you.
Take at least one of the exercises described above and apply it to your website in the next month. Dive-in to your CRO tools and see what happens. At worst, you’ll better understand website visitor behavior. At best, you’ll find some simple changes to make that lead to meaningful increases in conversion rate.