If you are trying to increase the number of visitors on your website and you rely on a solid digital marketing strategy, you’re probably familiar with the acronym ‘CRO’ - which stands for Conversion rate optimization. Conversion rate optimization is a standardized process that allows you to increase the percentage of relevant users on your site. A relevant user is one that takes any desired action on the site, such as filling out a form or becoming an actual customer.
For a CRO process to be effective, it’s important to gain a deep understanding of your users and how they move through your site, the meaning behind their actions and, ultimately, what are the matters currently preventing conversion.Normally, macro-conversion is the ultimate goal of any site. Each site’s final goal is different, based on the company’s offering (products or services) but smaller conversions can happen many times along the buyer’s journey. These are called ‘micro-conversions’ and can be observed whenever users sign up for newsletters, or leave their contact details to be contacted back, for example. That’s why any relevant engagement can be interpreted as a micro-conversion, as long as it fulfills your ultimate goal.
Translated into numbers, conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that, while visiting your site, complete a desired action. In eCommerce, for example, a macro-conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who purchased any of your products from your online store, in a set period of time. At the same time, a micro-conversion rate will be the percentage of visitors who took any significant action on any site’s pages, such as adding a product to their cart or adding an item to their wish-list.
There are some very useful tools that can help analyze your current conversion rate issues and some best practices that you should keep in mind when trying to increase your conversion rate.
1. Get Rid of Unnecessary Form Fields
Whenever contemplating what fields should be added to your site’s forms, always ask yourself which information is actually necessary. Sometimes, we tend to add extra fields just to make our work easier but this can have a negative impact on conversion.Company’s name, zip code, CVV code of their credit card, reconfirmation of their password/email id - are all these information really indispensable?
If you can reduce the number of fields - or, at least, mandatory fields - on your site, this is likely to have an immediate positive impact on conversion rates.
2. Add Engaging CTAs
After attracting visitors to your site, one of the best tools you have at your disposal for turning them into customers are Calls to Action. CTAs are short, action-oriented phrases that prompt the visitor to do something on your site. Most of the times, CTAs appear on clickable buttons or forms, with the goal of taking the visitor one step closer to the final stage of the sales funnel. CTAs can either be embedded within the site’s layout or within the content, in the form of articles or blog posts.There’s no such a thing as the perfect formula for a CTA, as long it’s attention-grabbing - in this sense you can consider using contrasting colors for CTAs buttons for example - and conveys a sense of urgency to act. Companies should constantly A/B test different calls to action, by interchanging content and design used.
3. Provide Visitors with a Customized Experience on the Site
At a time when the internet is getting really crowded and where you might have just about the same chance as your competitors to convert visitors, prioritizing a personalized website experience is a must.Personalization, not only has a considerable positive effect on conversion rate, it also supports many other aspects of the buying journey such as improved brand perception and customers loyalty.The ways in which you can personalize your site’s overall experience are endless. Most importantly, you should always keep your visitors in mind, segment them based on location, demographic, behavior, and deliver a comprehensive customized experience that targets their needs.
4. No Automatic Image Sliders Allowed
A lot of sites tend to open their homepages with image sliders because it looks cool and catchy but, in reality, image sliders have been proved to reduce conversions. Although some might think that image carousels provide users with a more comprehensive experience on the site and a better understanding of the products and services, visitors are actually prevented from exploring the site at their own pace. Image sliders eventually create confusion and increase the chances of users abandoning the site instead of exploring it further. You can replace these sliders with a catchy image, or a profitable, static offer.
5. Enable User-Generated Content
One of the most valuable aspects for driving conversion on a site is to encourage users to trust your brand. However, gaining long-lasting trustworthiness is challenging and its achievement mostly depends on your customers actual experience, rather than any promises or statements you can point out on your website. In fact, users tend to trust other customers feedback and opinion on your product, more than they trust any statement coming from you, even if it can be backed up by data.
The best tool you can employ to showcase your brand's trustworthiness throughout social proof is user-generated content.
Researches show that 82% of users normally read reviews from other customers before committing to a purchase online; however, allowing for reviews on your site simply isn’t enough anymore. In order to increase conversions, it’s essential to optimize the way users-generated content is displayed and to opt for visuals such as images and videos provided by users.
6. Reassure Users and Answer Their Questions Before They’re Asked
If you want to increase conversion, your site’s goal is to ease users’ doubts by reassuring them along each step of the buying journey and by foreseeing any possible questions. In order to do so, you can make use of some reassurance elements that are the foundation of a successful user experience, especially when customised according to your target audience. For online retailers, for instance, the availability of a customer service number, FAQs and secure payment methods are essential for reassuring customers and making them feel safe when purchasing online.
Always try to place these reassurance elements in a highly visible area of your site and, depending on the devices referred by your users, make sure you adapt these elements so that they can always be noticeable. You can also use fixed scroll areas to optimize the visibility of these elements, however you should know that single icons aren’t enough and they must be accompanied by evocative wording.Try to be innovative and forward-thinking by anticipating the questions that users might raise - this will help you find and implement the most useful reassurance elements for your customers.
7. Make a Proper Use of Images
All the images presented on your website should have a purpose behind them and should not be used to simply embellish the pages, as this might make you lose credibility. On the contrary, images can turn out to be powerful tools to clarify what you offer or to better showcase your brand identity. Try replacing cheesy stock photos with pictures of real people from your company or with relevant and original infographics that address users doubts and questions - make your images useful, not just beautiful!