Conversion optimization, also called conversion rate optimization (CRO), describes a web marketing technique aimed at increasing the number of website visitors who convert into customers or satisfy other specific success metrics, also known as key performance indicators (KPIs). Besides making a purchase, other desired conversion metrics can include actions such as subscribing to receive further communications from a brand, filling out a web form to receive an important download, participating in a promotion, etc.
CRO involves optimizing the web presence of a brand—including landing pages, sponsored advertisements, overall site design, and everything in between—to achieve the highest level of conversion on the specified KPI. How, though? Businesses approach CRO using a combination of web analytics and user feedback from surveys and other engagement-based strategies, analyzing data and perspectives to determine if the typical user experience is conducive to a conversion. If not, they take corrective action. Actions may be as simple as adding or relocating calls to action (CTAs) or as complex as site restructuring for improved navigation. In the specific instance of landing pages, for example, CRO efforts may involve ensuring headlines feature high-performing keywords, crafting copy that is both digestible and displayed in a visually pleasing manner, and providing links to boost SEO and give site visitors one-click access to more information.Another practice called multivariate testing is a technique for testing a hypothesis in which multiple variables or elements found on a landing page are modified. The goal of multivariate testing is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all the possible combinations.
Analytics software is an essential tool for improving CRO, as it provides not only conversion rate data but also basic statistics like bounce rates and audience segmentation information. Companies can use these additional tools to identify weak points in their sales funnels.
Overall, CRO is important because conversions ultimately contribute to the return on investment (ROI) of web marketing and analytics efforts. On an even grander scale, conversions grow businesses, from raising sales figures to increasing the reach of brand messaging. CRO is the best way for a company to improve their bottom line immediately. Rather than focusing on generating more traffic, optimizingyour existing traffic is often the shortest and quickestpath to success. The tactics we mentioned above are fairly common however there are some more advanced strategies and tactics that take additional factors into account. These are calledpost click strategies where marketers look at data happening post click or before the prospect ever reaches your landing page. Post click data can include information about the IP address of that prospect i.e. are they coming from a residential IP address or corporate IP address. Or we might want to route prospects to different landing pages based on time of day. Prospects who visit landing pages at night from their home computer tend to be more methodical in nature while the same person visitingyourlandingpage at work during their lunch hour might be more rushed. Using post click data can help improve your overall CRO efforts. IMA has assembled a list of web analytic and conversion optimization tools here to help you find the right solution to support your CRO efforts. You might also want to check out our list of analytic solutions designed to help you identify behavioral and engagement metrics.
If you are looking for personal support, consider reaching out to IMA thought leader Talia Wolf who is a recognized conversion optimization expert. Talia has years of experience and research on the neurosciences and the motivations behind prospect behavior which plays a big role in conversion optimization. Talia also offers an online training program here for people who need more support.