Conversion rate optimization is a topic that has garnered a lot of attention. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find all of the information in one place.
This guide is designed to help anyone understand why their conversions aren’t as high as they could be and what they can do to make improvements. After all, a problem can’t be solved until it is identified.
It's one thing to know that conversion rates are low and they need to improve. It's another thing entirely to understand how to determine where the problems lie, and thus where improvements can be made. The right moves with conversion rate optimization can improve conversions by as much as 50% or more. Some can even have an instant effect.
However, it’s impossible to successfully implement optimization strategies without an understanding of what they do, why they’re necessary, and how effective they can be.
Why are Conversion Rates Low?
Before improvements can be made, the cause of low conversion rates needs to be identified. There is any number of issues that could be causing a lack of conversions, from a cluttered website design to a lack of a personal, or “human” connection, the latter of which is increasing in demand for online consumers with each passing day.
Identifying flaws may not prove to be an easy task at first. However, by breaking down the site in question and how it performs in regard to its ultimate goal, it may be easier to see where things can be changed. Of course, it is crucial to look at the situation as an unbiased party. It's even better to look at things as a visitor, which may even help offer valuable insight into improvements that can be made to assist with better conversions.
A lot of marketing blogs talk about generating “traffic”. Traffic just means visitors, so there is no real guarantee for a brand in generating traffic on its own. It's far better to focus on attracting visitors that are going to create conversions. As has always been the case in the world of business and eCommerce, it is far better to have 100 visitors that are definitely going to convert than to have 10,000 that might convert with the right coaxing.
Many websites have mastered the art of traffic generation, but few have successfully improved their bottom lines with conversion optimization strategies. This is ultimately what is going to separate the successes from the failures, however, and it needs to be an important point of focus for any brand that is looking to increase conversion rates, and ultimately, their profits.
Look for Areas of Improvement
When it comes to actually identifying areas of improvement, there are some specific components and considerations to cover. It is often better to do a full review of a website or landing page to figure out which elements aren’t working to achieve the conversion goals and then fix each element as it presents itself, creating more small points where visitors can convert along the way.
These are known as “micro-conversions”, and they can be quite effective at helping with the overall optimization goal of increasing sales or other endgame conversions. When seeking out the causes behind the low conversion rates, check things like:
Value Proposition: Does the site clearly explain the offering, as well as the solution that it offers for consumers and the benefit of this specific product over the competition? It is imperative for companies today to spell out not only what visitors are getting, but what they could be missing by not converting.
Text Content: Often, people get caught up in the words and think they need to create some long, drawn-out piece of content that gives people a detailed explanation of their industry or service. While this content can be great on a company blog or third-party website, it’s not for a conversion page. Explanations are necessary, but long blocks of text are usually a turn-off.
Audience: Is the offering being marketed to the right audience? Does the product or service address the needs of the audience? If an offering does not address a specific pain point and provide a solution, as well as possible negative impacts of not taking the solution, it’s not going to get conversions. The type of content used to convert will also be impacted by the audience.
Relevant Keywords: Let’s say keyword research is done related to farming, and specifically the marketing of farming. In that research, the term “insurance farming” comes up, which is a different topic entirely. Just because it has a high number of searches doesn’t make it relevant. Using irrelevant keywords is a huge red flag for visitors that a site is just trying to generate business.
The Offer Itself: Often, small businesses and those just starting out struggle to generate strong conversion rates because their offer just isn’t all that compelling. Unlike a local business, a website is competing against the entire world. As such, the product or service needs to be directed to the correct target audience and it needs to be presented as not only a good choice, but the only choice, and one that they cannot live without.
Benefits of Understanding and Improving Conversion Rates
The improved conversions themselves aren’t the only benefit to identifying and fixing areas that are under performing. In addition to helping improve low conversion rates, understanding the process behind conversion rate optimization can offer a lot of perks. For starters, it can help any business or brand better understand online marketing in general, as well as the role conversion plays in sales.
Understanding conversion optimization also provides the benefit of having more opportunities to create other conversions and micro conversions both now and in the future. It is easier to incorporate and improve conversions when the reasoning and need behind it are well-understood. Otherwise, you’re just making changes without knowing why, which means the right changes might not be made.
Develop a Conversion Mindset
Today, too many companies are still stuck on sales and profits. These are the end goals of every single for-profit business out there, from your local handyman to the multi-national corporate conglomerates. That’s not where the primary focus should be. Everyone knows that is ultimately what the goal is; now it’s time to figure out how to get there. Part of that comes in changing the mindset from sales-focused to conversion-driven.
By taking the time to learn more about conversion rates, optimization, and why they matter, it will be easier to adopt a new mentality about what success in online business really means. People don’t want to be sold things. They want to develop connections with brands that they can trust and rely on as an authority. Then, they want those brands to solve their problems.
If a salesman walks in and delivers a hard sales pitch without knowing the customer he’s pitching to, it’s likely that he’s going to strike out. If, however, he was to offer the customer a solution after listening to their problem, he might find more success. This is why developing a conversion mindset can be a benefit to any brand. Instead of focusing on how to get a consumer to buy something, the focus is on how to help the consumer - which is the necessary angle for successful online marketing today.
Conversion Rate Optimization Tools Can Help
There are a number of different tools and resources that can be employed to assist with conversion rate optimization. Understanding the problems that need to be resolved and the importance of addressing each issue can help identify the best tools for the job. Brands can choose from a variety of standalone tools and solutions and full-service optimization platforms.
Many conversion rate optimization tools are even scalable and customizable, making them easy to tailor to the specific needs of one business or brand’s marketing efforts. There are tools that provide analytics and data, A/B testing, browser testing, consumer insight analysis, and more. Here’s a list of some of the leading products available today:
A full suite of analytics tools and data performance metrics that will allow users to track all kinds of website statistics and data, including conversion rates, which may assist in identifying conversion issues and where solutions can be implemented for optimization efforts.
This tool offers A/B testing, content personalization, and multivariate testing to assist with conversion rate, landing page, and website optimization.
With iPaper Displays you can convert the website traffic you have acquired into customers. By offering an easy to navigate inspirational product display, you can increase conversions and put your products front and center.
This tool offers a full-featured suite of analytics tools. An alternative to Google, Cliky even offers heat-mapping to help improve conversions at every possible touchpoint throughout the website or landing page.
Google Pagespeed Insights
This is great for conversion optimization. It's not something that most people would think of, but it can analyze the site for load time and user experience, which are critical elements that are going to impact conversion every single time. The tool even offers suggestions to resolve issues and make improvements based on its analysis.
Another popular name, KISSMetrics offers one of the most well-known and widely-used CRO tools. The platform provides unique features like optimization segmentation, buyer journey stage-by-stage tracking, and more.
A leader in marketing automation software, HubSpot has a solution that allows businesses to build a fully-functional inbound conversion funnel, perform A/B testing, and generate personalized content to assist with conversion rate optimization.
This CRO tool is designed for improved lead capture and can be used by lead generation companies, e-commerce brands, and other online websites to assist with increasing conversion rates. The tool includes a number of features: custom opt-in forms, A/B testing, page-level targeting, analytics, and more.
How to Choose the Right Tool(s)
CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is extremely specific to each brand and website that needs to improve low conversion rates. Therefore, choosing the best tools for the job may require a little extra thought. Some tools are designed for general use. Others may be geared specifically toward eCommerce or lead generation, which makes them useless to other websites and marketers.
Take some time to research the available tools. In some instances, companies will choose an inclusive, feature-rich CRO platform that handles everything from analysis to new strategy execution and implementation. Others will choose multiple tools and mix and match them to create their own solutions. It’s all about figuring out what is going to get the best results, which will be seen in increased conversions.
Don’t Be Afraid to Cheat
The information is out there for a reason. Go out and see what other people are doing. Read up on different tools and what they offer. Compare free CRO resources to paid ones and see whether they are worth the investment. If the competition is converting leads at a rate of 3-to-1 when compared to your website, there’s nothing wrong with trying to figure out how they’re doing it.
Like all things in marketing, conversion rate optimization is all about using what’s already out there. There is absolutely no reason to reinvent the wheel. This guide and other resources on improving low conversion rates have already done the homework and compiled everything in one place for the benefit of those looking to improve their conversions. Take advantage of that.
The Bottom Line
There is no one-size solution to fixing low conversion rates. There are, however, a number of solutions and tools out there to address the various issues that could be causing the lack of conversion on a website or landing page. It’s important to start by learning about conversion rate optimization and how conversion is the key to success in today’s online business world.
Once the importance of optimizing is understood, it will be much easier to come up with and implement effective optimization strategies. It is also going to be easier to choose the right tools for the job, whether that’s any of the ones listed here or another of the dozens of tools out there.