Conversion Rate Optimization Techniques

So you have an idea of what conversion rate optimization is but you’d like to learn more on the steps involved? Then you’ve come to right place :) . By now we know that the conversion rate is the total number of visitors to your site divided by the total visitors who do what you get them to do. But you might be wondering,

  • Should I use the total visitors or the unique visitors to calculate the conversion rate?

To answer this question we must first note the difference between unique visitors and the total visitors. Well consider 3 new people who visited your site, Jack, Mark and Philip. Now Philip visited your site 3 times while Jack and Mark just once. This gives your site 3 unique visitors but 5 total visits. Note that if they visit again after some time they wouldn’t count if you go for unique visitors but they count if you go for total visitors.

Unfortunately there is no straight up answer for this question simply because you can use which one you prefer most :) . The important thing to keep in mind is to be consistent through your testing. If you decide to go with total visitors make sure that you calculate your conversion rate throughout your testing using total visitors. And the same goes for unique visitors. Most experts tend to go with unique visitors for the simple reason that people sometimes tend to get distracted, and if they leave and come back later on they will still the same person.

Additionally, you should base your conversion rate on a set period of time which is at least a week. You can’t expect to change a function and see it work in just a day and so you have to wait and see how people react to your changes.

Okay now that we know how to calculate the base conversion rate (BCR) (our start point), let us move on and check out the steps needed to perform and analyze tests so that we are able recalculate the conversion rate to compare it with our BCR.

To start of, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself regarding your current website:

  • Is your ‘call to action’ button clearly visible and self explaining?
  • Does your website contain clean and well spaced graphics? To learn more on website design and graphics visit ‘What makes a good website‘.
  • Are people finding what they are looking for on your site and is it useful information? Remember that your content should be aimed to your target market for best convergence. Moreover make sure that people who are visiting your site are actually interested in your product or service, so make sure that your advertisement is aimed specifically to your market.
  • What do you provide to your visitors to trust your website? A good start would be social proof by showing customer testimonials. Moreover by clearly displaying your guarantee rate also shows that you are confident in your product.
  • Does your website have a good search engine optimization? To learn more on SEO visit ‘Introduction to Search Engine Optimization‘ but essentially these are factors which organically (not paid) rank your site higher on search engines such as Google.

By answering these questions you should have a clear idea of what should be optimized and from there you can set up a hypothesis. By hypothesis we aren’t referring to anything related to chemistry, biology, physics and so one but it has the same concept. A good example to a hypothesis would be: I believe that my conversion rate would increase if I had a better design. Your next task would be to set up tests to answer you hypothesis. These could be:

  • making the ‘call for action’ button more prominent or change its colour
  • insert a testimonial section and test its placement
  • change wording to make them more eye catching and see which works best
  • provide more relevant information and delete other
  • removing some possible distractions which might be sending those precious users to your competitors
  • testing various web designs
  • testing various categories and segments in your website and so on

There are infinite of tests which can be done and although one test is of absolute importance for one business, it might be a total loss of time and money for another. So testing should be done strictly according to your business aims and goals.

Make sure you set a goal for your business and abide by it.

This is such an important point that I will repeat it again, no two business are alike and thus what works for one might not work for another. Nevertheless the following points give some implementations which tend to increase the conversion rate for most businesses.

  • Multiple ‘call for action’ buttons along the page as you’ll never know when you’ll convert a visitor and you want make sure he sees that button when he does so
  • Attention grabbing images and relevant titles (note that the headline should sell value and not your product)
  • Don’t overwhelm users with too many options, sometimes less is better
  • By serving multiple packages you can turn a visitor from “Should I buy?” to “Which one should I buy?”
  • Visible testimonial and social proof as Facebook likes and so on
  • Well organized and easy to find content
  • Make sure your ads bring in the right visitors
  • Identify element funnelling problems and remove them to make it easier and quicker for visitors to convert
  • Get to the real benefits instead of talking about features and give examples
  • Instead of just mentioning companies that you’ve worked with make sure you display their logos as well simply because logos are more recognizable

Lastly I left this one separately because it is the most important, make sure that you have set the right landing page in your ads and make sure that it isn’t cluttered and clearly (visually and through text and titles) displays its purpose and where to act to get your product.

There is much more that meets the eye when it comes to CRO and we shall discuss testing techniques and sample sizes in the following posts so keep in touch for more :)



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