This Is How You Build an Effective Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

This Is How You Build an Effective Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

In a world with more than 1.6 billion websites for users to choose from, however, grabbing a slice of user attention is no small task. That's where a different web design discipline comes in: conversion rate optimization (CRO). Creating a CRO strategy. A great place to start is to look for ways to improve the conversion activity that leads up to making sales, which are generally known as micro-conversions. Once you're able to gather a baseline data set for the current conversion rate of your target, your next step is to decide on two things: What percentage improvement you're aiming for How long you're going to give yourself to accomplish that improvement Take care to avoid the temptation to set unrealistic goals. Then, it's time to collect some more data. The data you'll need to create a profile of your users will need to come from a variety of sources, including: User Interviews: Believe it or not, the best way to find out what users want is to ask them. After identifying a proposed change, you'll want to create a few versions of that change based on the data you've collected. If you're only changing a page design or a single element, an A/B test will let you check the design's performance against your existing page by randomly showing either the original or new design to visitors. That's because getting the little things right not only helps you to refine your CRO processes, it also builds a design foundation that leaves visitors primed to embrace macro-conversions as well.

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Billions of people are online but they have at least 1.6 billion websites besides yours to choose from.

This Is How You Build an Effective Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy Image credit: Apoorva Patel | Getty Images

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Today’s businesses rely on their web properties to drive a great deal of their sales and lead generation processes. In a world with more than 1.6 billion websites for users to choose from, however, grabbing a slice of user attention is no small task.

For the average business website, organic search engine traffic continues to be the primary source of visitors, with some statistical analyses putting the share of traffic generated in that way as high as 50.1 percent. Is it any wonder then that businesses in the United States alone are on track to spend upwards of $80 billion in search engine optimization (SEO) services per year by 2020?

Driving traffic to a website is a fine goal, but it isn’t an end unto itself. To make that traffic worth anything, you must make sure that the site that visitors see when they arrive is compelling and designed to elicit a particular user response. That’s where a different web design discipline comes in: conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Creating a CRO strategy.

To get started, the first thing that you need to do to create a CRO strategy is to make some broad decisions about what website behavior you’re trying to promote. If your company has no existing CRO strategy at all, it’s best to start small because making changes to existing sales processes without a plan can have disastrous effects on your bottom line.

A great place to start is to look for ways to improve the conversion activity that leads up to making sales, which are generally known as micro-conversions. They include:

  • Newsletter or email list signups
  • Pageview thresholds (number of pages viewed per visit, an indicator of engagement)
  • Comments on site content
  • Adding product reviews
  • Add to cart button clicks
  • Social media shares

Once you’ve selected a target for your initial CRO effort, the next step is to collect the right data to inform your strategy.

Generate a baseline.

The first kind of data that you’ll need is a measurement of how well your website is currently accomplishing the conversion you’re hoping to optimize. The easiest way to gather this information is by using Google Analytics, which allows users to configure goals to track specific activity on their connected websites.

In general, you’ll want at least one month’s worth of tracking data to eliminate the possibility of short-term anomalies providing a distorted picture of performance. For example, if your business is currently running a deep discount special on a given product, it’s a good idea to avoid using any data connected to that product as a baseline.

Once you’re able to gather a baseline data set for the current conversion rate of your…

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