Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) refers to the systematic processes of increasing the number of website visitors who end up taking the desired action. The desired can be filling a form, placing an order, or contacting the customer care team. To achieve this goal, the CRO process takes a closer look at how the visitors navigate the website, the action they take, and the plausible friction points that hinder them from taking the desired action. Data is collected at different stages in the sales channel and used to come up with ways of eliminating the friction points and making the whole customer journey smooth.
You designed an amazing website for your business, and filled it with interesting content, making sure it communicates the much-needed simplicity and confidence.
You then proceeded to work on SEO and PPC, and managed to propel the site up the search engine ranks, driving huge amounts of traffic to the site. But one problem still persists – your revenue stream falls far behind what you had earlier on projected.
What could be the issue, you ask.
Simple – a great majority of the people you attract don’t convert to real customers. They simply visit the site, check out a few pages, and then hit the exit button without making the broad step to take action.
You’ve done an impressive job attracting the right traffic but there’s something even more important you’re missing – and that is, getting the visitors to make a purchase. You want them to buy your products or services. But only a small section of them get to actually do so.
In the world of marketing, that’s what’s widely referred to as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) – and in this case, your CRO is hurting, hence the lower returns.
So the next most logical thing to do is to head back to the drawing board, or go through the list of visitors you’re attracting, and figure out all the possible reasons majority of the visitors you attract leave the site without purchasing any of your products or services. What can you do in your capacity to get them to take action?
You can start by doing some experiment or running some tricks to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Soon you’ll be able to figure out the best way possible to convert that group of visitors into actual buyers. That’s what is meant by optimizing your conversion rate – you’re simply getting majority of the people you attract to consider transacting with you.
In the simplest of terms, conversion is all about making the necessary adjustments to your website and marketing strategies so you can start making more sales. It’s also about shifting your business goals and objectives from site traffic to actual sales.
A higher CRO Equate to More Revenue
One belief mistake marketers make all the time is assuming that every single visitor they attract to their site is a potential customer. Which is to say, they simply take a dive into the whole thing without first defining their target audience through SEO and setting up CRO goals.
That’s where persona creation sets in. You can be doing an impressive job driving organic traffic to your site around a long list of keywords, but that doesn’t in any way equate to more revenue. What you should be working on instead is your conversion rate revenue.
Starts with targeting specific industry keywords that target a group of more qualified visitors, most of which will be interested in the kind of products or services you’re offering on site. In which case, long-tail keywords have been found to convert much better.
Losing Traffic to Gain Customers
There comes a time when it’s important that you lose some of the traffic you’re getting to win more customers.
Here’s a real time scenario of such a case:
MediaOne, while managing one of our clients’ website, came to find out that our client’s site had almost plateaued in terms of traffic. Remembering that, for a period spanning to over six months, the site had only experienced a 10 to 13 % growth.
So we did the obvious – we dug into Google Analytics in a bid to find out which areas needed improvement. That’s when we found out the site was highly ranked on a keyword that attracted more than 1,000 searches per month. The only limitation was that the keyword wasn’t relevant to the services offered by our client.
We therefore decided to deliberately reduce the promotion effort we applied on that particular keyword. We then went ahead to deliberately work on lowering the ranks of that keyword and any other keyword that attracted accidental visitors.
The client ended up losing a tremendous amount of the traffic they were attracting. But they did manage to increase their revenue stream by tenfold. Irony, huh!
What to Focus On
It’s a hard known fact that your site traffic doesn’t necessarily equate to more revenue. But does that mean that all your online marketing effort should instead be directed on deriving conversion instead of driving traffic?
Your site thrives on the amount of traffic it’s attracting. Come to think of it, how are you going to optimize your site for conversion if it’s driving zero traffic?
As your site traffic grows, you begin to optimize it with opt-ins and lead magnets for a better conversion rate, which in the end translates to more revenue.
CRO and SEO
CRO and SEO can be implemented simultaneously without hurting each other. The point is to work on attracting as many people as it’s humanly possible, and then applying a tight conversion funnel for quality filtering.
But there comes a time when you’ll have to decide on whether to invest more on backlinks or on creating more landing pages. This sections of the post looks at a three-stage framework that you can use to decide on the best direction to take:
The 3-Stage Framework
Stage 1: Content Marketing and Link Building Campaign
The webpages on your site are mostly meant to bring value to the life of your visitors, while building trust and establishing you as an authority figure in the industry.
Take a look at some of the industry leaders. Look at the strategy they employ to woo in more visitors.
One common thing you should be able to notice is that none of these sites tries to oversell themselves or force a product or service on their visitors.
They instead focus on offering value, in the hopes that visitors will take notice of this and trust them with their hard-earned cash.
To succeed as an online marketer and web owner, it’s important that you shed off any ambition to make money while starting your website. Instead, focus on adding value to the audience you’re targeting, and let everything else take shape as the business rolls.
One way web owners add value to the life of their visitors is by supplying them with really useful and informative content. While this may appear to amount to nothing, it actually marks the beginning of the conversion funnel.
Aim at creating valuable content that’s way better than the paid stuff offered by your competitors and your visitor will learn to trust you, and in the end choose to fork over their cold hard cash for the products and services you’re offering.
So how can a marketer win conversions using articles that are just meant to satisfy visitors’ search query?
Simple – while educating your audience, try coming up with a solid way to help them overcome a problem they’re having.
That way, the people visiting your site to read your content may find it fit to check the rest of the site to find out more about you and the product and services you provide.
Great content will in its own attract comments and fair amount of shares on the various social media platforms. Of course majority of them will just be reading the content and dropping it off immediately thereafter. But there’s a still a good number of them that will be interested enough to consider moving to the next stage of conversion.
The 90 – 9 – 1 Rule: According to this rule, 90% of the visitors you attract will just observe what you have going on. They’ll make zero attempt to involve themselves with the content you post, but they’re the people you should be aiming to convert, unless otherwise.
One strategy you can use to convert some of the visitors is by offering a content upgrade using lead magnate. With this visitor get to give out their email addresses in exchange of top-of-the shelf content.
This allows you to build your own tribe, which doubles as a good source of attracting repeating traffic.
There’s much sense in offering free content. You can’t put value on your ROI. At the same time, you can’t compare it to sampling out a free product.
But there’s value in it in the sense that it sets the stage for establishing a relationship with potential customers on the right foot. It’s like the starting point of pushing your prospects further down the conversion funnel.
Once you have your mind set on conversion, you might be tempted to think that majority of the traffic you’re attracting is a complete waste of time. But the truth is, the more people you’re able to drive to your site, the more people you’re able to direct to your conversion funnel.
So in summation, everything is all about striking a balance between the traffic you’re getting and conversion. You want to make sure that you’re attracting a good number of qualified visitors, and at the same time, you want to work towards ensuring a good section of these people don’t just hop out without taking any meaningful action.
Stage Two: SEO and CRO are Dependent on Each Other
There’s no SEO without CRO, the same way there’s no CRO without SEO, which makes the two inseparable in a way.
You’ve worked on brand-building content. You’ve also managed to build authoritative content, laced up with relevant links. Your email list is pretty and there’s a decent flow of traffic to your site.
That’s pretty much all it takes to establish an admirable online reputation.
What you used to build the traffic is what is referred to as SEO is this sphere. Now let’s assume your primary goal was on CRO and revenue. So without implementing SEO strategies to direct people to your site, where would you have gotten the people to convert into active customers?
You don’t want to end up with a money pit of a website. So don’t make the mistake of separating the two.
As a matter of fact, each one of the two is howling for an equal amount of attention from you.
It’s an obvious fact that almost all of online experiences begin with a simple search. But that’s NOT to say that all of your marketing money should be directed on fetching the top most rank in the SERPs.
Of course you have all the reasons in the world to rank for a certain list of keywords. But what’s even more important is for you to divert your focus to providing a smooth navigation aimed at targeting organic traffic, coupled with out-of-this-world experiences that enable your visit to find an exact match of what they were looking for upon landing on your site.
You can’t measure the success of a business by simply looking at the amount of traffic it’s attracting. That alone is never an enough metric.
For instance, your site could be attracting 10, 000 visitors per day. But if all the traffic bounces off the site a few seconds after landing, what benefit does the high traffic count serve your business?
It’s normal to feel like CRO will in the end hurt your SEO effort, leading to a greater loss of the organic traffic you’re driving. But that’s NOT always the case when you look at the different factors that affect the ranking ability of your site – that is, keywords and on-page SEO, Domain Authority, Content Quality, Spam Analysis, and Users and Usage data, each of which plays part in determining your ranking ability.
In which case, the CRO changes you make to your content will only be affecting three of the factors determining your ranking ability – keyword and on-page SEO, content quality, as well as user and usage data.
So while this may affect how high your site gets ranked in the SERPs, the effect felt is NOT to a greater magnitude as peddled.
Stage 3: Stop Pitting the Two against Each Other and Instead Focus on Creating a Memorable User Experience
CRO may demand that you make a couple changes to your site, a move that’s likely to affect your search engine ranking.
A few years ago, the search engine system wasn’t advanced well enough to affect either CRO or SEO. That’s because the system wasn’t much focused on user experience.
But with sequential rolling out of Google updates, the system has greatly advanced such that a slight change on your site content is likely to have a tremendous effect on its overall ranking.
That being said, here’s a number of ways SEO and CRO can work together to deliver a far more superior user experience:
Google recently included speed as one of its ranking factors. Meaning, the faster your site loads, the higher it’s ranked in the SERPs. In the same light, a slow loading site will most likely also affect your CRO. So by working on improving your site speed, odds are you’ll also be working on improving its SEO and CRO, all at the same time.
Serving Value and Relevant Content
Valuable and relevant content will most certainly be considered for a higher ranking. In addition to that, they’ll also be driving the most qualified traffic you’re likely to attract online, thus increasing your overall conversion rate.
If your links generate a better conversion, search engine will reward you by pushing you up the search engine ladder.
Proper Use of Content Hierarchy
By formatting your content with proper hierarchy, you’ll be working towards meeting user expectation, which goes a long way to ensure that you’re able to convert a good chunk of them into real customers.
It’s a Wrap
This post is self-explanatory—if your site isn’t driving the expected amount of traffic, then you’re better off starting at stage one of optimising your site for both SEO and CRO.
The rest of the content is about sending your online visitors into an emotional rollercoaster so they may be convinced enough to take action.
What remains is all on you. Just in case you wish to develop a deeper understanding of the two, make some effort to reach out to MediaOne today with your problem or for a free SEO and CRO consultation.