Unfortunately, too many businesses focus on increasing traffic to their website and ignore how many of those visitors convert into paying customers. Traffic doesn’t cover overhead costs, but customers do.
This is a problem faced by many business owners due to the fact that there is no single solution to ensure engagement with your content. A visitor who does not engage with your content by buying a product, registering, or converting in some other way is a missed opportunity. This can hurt your marketing budget, hitting you where it hurts most―your bottom-line. Fortunately, you can implement CRO best practices to give your business a leg up, increasing your conversion rates and return on investment.
What is CRO?
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of discovering what works for your business and engages your clientele, and then implementing those CRO practices on your website to increase conversions from visitor to customer. There are many different methods of optimizing your website for conversions, and the best CRO approach for you depends on your market. For example, a subscription website may focus on offering incentives or free trials for signing up on their website. Meanwhile, an eCommerce store will highlight their products on the page through calls to action and use live chat support to attempt to close deals and upsell their customers.
Even more important than choosing just the top CRO best practices is making a combination of them all work for you. While they are effective on their own, the impact of conversion rate optimization is highly magnified when multiple practices are seamlessly integrated into your website. You can take precautions like ensuring your tone and message match throughout your content and that your call to action draws the user’s attention and urges them to interact. This sets a solid foundation for a conversion and has a higher chance of succeeding than implementing just one of the practices alone.
From the header to the footer your website should aim to engage visitors and convert them to customers, and utilizing CRO best practices is a great way to see your return on investment rise. Here are 10 of the best CRO practices you can implement on your site. Disregard them at your own risk!
1. Grab Initial Attention at the Top of the Page
You cannot guarantee that a visitor on your website will click or scroll through your entire site. However, you can ensure that they see the most important aspects of your website once they arrive at your landing page. Be sure to grab their attention with graphics, engaging text, or a call to action above the fold (within the visible screen area without scrolling) of your site, so they have a reason to stay.
If you aren’t sure how far people scroll, you can use a scroll map tool that gives you a visual based on actual visitor behavior.
2. Highlight CTAs
Call to action prompts are used to elicit engagement with a piece of content on your website. They should contain the conversion goal of your site, like signing up for a mailing list, downloading a file, or buying a product. Because this is where a visitor becomes a conversion, you should highlight the CTA within the design so that it draws the user’s eye, making them more likely to interact with it. To learn more about calls to action, click here!
3. Use “Free” or Offer Incentives
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Often the reason for hesitation in filling out forms or signing up for a website is the risk involved in sharing the information or committing to payment information. However, by offering free trials, information, or content, you mitigate the risk associated with signing up on your site by providing value right away.
Consider physical shopping experiences. If you purchase from any major store, you’ll be asked if you’d like to save 15% on today’s purchase. The catch is that you have to sign up for their credit card. They provide something of value to bring down your defenses.
4. Use Buttons for Links
It’s no secret that tasteful graphics are more appealing and eye-catching than text. It is great practice to use buttons for your links within your content so that the user can see what you want them to see. Don’t forget to put the button in context vs. wherever you can fit it on the page.
5. Offer Security
SSL certificates are a great way to gain the trust of your visitors. They show that your information is safely handled on your website, making them more likely to share it with you through forms. If you have great user reviews, you can also include them or trust badges from sites like Yelp, Yahoo, and more.
6. Instill Urgency
Statistically, if a visitor comes to your site and decides to come back later, the odds of converting that visitor drop drastically. Instill a sense of urgency on your website by using countdowns or phrasing such as “limited time” or “act now” to ensure you don’t have abandoned carts or missed conversions.
7. Offer a Quick Response With Live Chat
Even if you try to think of every potential question a customer may have, chances are they’ll ask something else. A live chat system allows you to address their questions immediately as well as offer them additional services or products they may not have considered beforehand, raising your sales potential.
8. Limit the Necessary Time Investment
Effort is time and time is money. If your registration form requires excessive amounts of information, a potential conversion is much less likely to complete and submit it. Keep your forms to just the bare necessities!
9. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Over 50% of the web traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices like phones and tablets. By not accounting for mobile users in your website’s design, you are cutting your potential conversions in as much as half.
10. Use Clear Headlines
One of the easiest ways to lose conversions is through deception or confusion. It is important that your headlines clearly state what you offer. For example, “Make a Beautiful Website” is better than “Make Them Better” because it’s clear to the visitor what you are trying to accomplish. Headline wording can also utilize action words, set expectations, and attempt to personalize the relationship between the visitor and business. Lastly, avoid generic jargon, and ambiguous or generalized terms as these are not likely to convey the message you want to send.
Now that you know some great conversion rate optimization practices you can use, it is a great time to see them in action to truly appreciate what they can do for you.
Real Life CRO Examples
A great example of a website using top CRO best practices that work for their business is Netflix. On their landing page, Netflix utilizes some of the CRO practices mentioned above which is likely why they are taking over cable! Right away they grab your attention with a collage of shows they offer, and chances are you see something there that interests you. They also highlight their call to action button by using white text on a single red button with a dark background, and the button offers a free trial while the headline and subheading urge you to act. To wrap it all up, their site is mobile friendly and easy to navigate.
A website with less than ideal conversion rate optimization is Chase.com. The site grabs your attention with its headline, but unless you are looking for just a credit card through them, it doesn’t offer much to visitors. You can also see multiple CTAs on the site, including 4 “learn more” buttons and other CTAs to choose your services, taking away from the significance of each button. They also do not go out of their way to offer security aside from an SSL certificate and do not offer contact information or support on the landing page, something important for the brick and mortar financial market but not as important for a digital company like Netflix.
Overall, conversion rate optimization is a very important part of maximizing your ROI because it helps turn visitors into customers by engaging them with the content on your website. By integrating the top CRO best practices and weaving them together, you can create a captivating and high-converting website. Properly implementing these practices will present itself as savings in advertising costs, increased website conversion rates, and a better customer experience.
Contact us today to learn more about CRO practices and how we implement them when we design and develop sites for our clients.