Conversion rate optimisation is the hot topic all around, but what does it really mean? If you own an eCommerce website or any website at all, chances are you’ve probably heard about conversion rate optimization (or CRO). Or optimization of some sort. If you have any online presence, it seems like you’re constantly being asked to optimize your website for one thing or the other.
First, you need to optimize it to get more people to come to your site (that’s traffic). Then you need to optimize your site to increase the number of visitors who take action (that’s conversion). In this article, we’ll focus on conversion.
Basically, conversion involves the use of data and different tools to increase the number of visitors who take action on your site. It’s not enough to get thousands of people to your site if they just look around and click away.
As a business, what this means is that you aren’t making any sales. So, conversion rate optimisation looks at how people interact with your site and seeks to get more visitors to take action.
Now, depending on the kind of site you run, taking action could mean several things.
- Making a purchase (if you sell products)
- Subscribing for your service
- Signing up for your newsletter
Of course, other smaller steps could also count as a conversion. These are called micro conversions and they are the smaller actions that visitors take on your site which could lead to the larger ones (macro conversions).
In this article, we will look at how conversion works to understand the science behind it. We will also look at how to calculate your conversion rate because you’ll need to know that before you think about optimizing it.
Finally, we’ll discuss the implication of CRO for small businesses. By the time you’re done with reading this article, you should have a good handle on conversion rate optimisation and whether or not it is important for your business.
How does conversion rate optimisation work?
CRO lets you take stock of user activity on your website. You need to know what users do once they get to your site. Do they click to purchase a product? How often does a user go through the checkout process and do they complete it? These are all statistics you would need to know for effective CRO.
It’s important to note that CRO is data-driven. This means that you can’t rely on instinct or gut feelings to know what’s going on after your visitors land on your site. That said, what exactly is a conversion rate?
To find the conversion rate of your site, you need to divide your site traffic by the number of times a visitor takes a desired action. Before you can do this, however, you would have to collect data over some time. Things like the number of visitors that come to your site in a day and the actions they take. Therefore, tracking tools like Google Analytics comes in handy here.
Google Analytics helps you know how each page on your website is performing. So, with this free tool, you can track the number of visitors who come in either through your homepage, your blog or even landing pages. Then, see the links they click and if they take any action on your site. Once you have the date, then you can create a strategy for conversion rate optimisation.
Understanding User Behaviour
But, an in-depth understanding of your conversion rate does not end with the data alone. True, data is vital, but how do you interpret the data? It’s one thing to know what people are doing on your site, but it’s equally important to know why they’re doing what they’re doing. This involves understanding the ways your visitors interact with your site and what they think of your products/services.
There are several ways you can get to know the reason behind your user’s actions.
- Ask them: use surveys to get to know what your visitors think about your site. You can have different kinds of surveys including on-site surveys as well as satisfaction surveys.
- Do a split test: this is often called A/B Testing.
A/B Testing and conversion rate optimisation: What’s that all about?
Basically, A/B Testing (or split testing) is an important methodology in conversion rate optimisation. It means putting out two different versions of a webpage to determine which one gets better conversions. So, if you have a landing page on your site that has lots of visitors, you could create another version of that landing page to see which one gets the most users to take the desired action.
Actually, you don’t have to create just two versions as you can make as many as you need. However, you need to consistently compare the data to see how each one performs so that there is no guesswork involved.
There is also the Multivariate testing (MVT) and Multipage testing methodologies thst will be talked about as we get into the flow of things.
There are so many things you can split test and these include fonts, graphics, images, headlines and your call to action (CTA) among others.
In the next post, we’ll talk about how CRO can benefit small businesses like yours. Click here to read.