Tips for Your Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

Conversion rate optimization, commonly referred to as CRO, can get complicated quickly.  You have other components of your digital marketing strategy in place.  You’re getting good traffic to your website.  So why aren’t your visitors converting into sales?  Our tips for conversion rate optimization strategy will help you navigate the basics.

Use Custom Conversion Funnels in Your Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

Conversion funnels, also called sales funnels, are a method of nurturing online visitors through your sales cycle.  Most potential customers don’t land on your website ready to make a purchase.  Usually, they’re looking for more information first.

How do conversion funnels work?

The basic process looks like this.  First, your visitor, or lead, becomes aware of your business.  Once they’re aware of you, they grow interested in what you offer.  Once you’ve piqued their interest, you can encourage them to make a purchase (or take another specific action).  It’s referred to a “funnel” because the beginning of the campaign is more general (or wider), and the end of the campaign is more focused (or narrow).  Hence, the lead nurturing process looks like a literal funnel.  Not all leads will make it to the bottom of the funnel, but those who do are the mostly like to convert from a lead into a sale.  It’s also important to remember that a lead can convert at any stage of the funnel too.

How do I create a conversion funnel?

As with any good marketing strategy, you first need a plan.  Start by identifying your goal.  What do you want to achieve with your campaign?  Is the goal to have your leads sign up for a seminar?  Or maybe you want them to schedule a consultation?  Whatever your desired end result is, it’s important to clearly define everything from the beginning.

Once you’ve decided on your goal, you need to develop the funnel flow.  How does your conversion funnel narrow down from general to more specific?  The main idea is to encourage leads to progress through your conversion funnel by taking a series of small actions.

Important Conversion Funnel Basics

Once you have a strategy for the campaign, you need to create the content.  Where is each step of your conversion funnel directing your lead?  Well, you have to send them to content that’s relevant to their needs.  This also means that you did enough research to identify the needs of your target customer.

Next, you need to establish where you’re going to put your content.  Are you doing an email campaign and presenting your leads with a series of offers?  Then you need landing pages for each offer.  Are you offering a series of informative articles about your products or services?  Then you need a series of blog posts that offer valuable and relevant information.  Whatever your campaign is targeting, you need content to actually implement your conversion optimization strategy.

Use Effective CTAs

Okay, you understand the basics for conversion funnels.  How do you actually lead website visitors into these sales funnels?  This is where good call to action (CTA) buttons come in.  CTAs can be used for pretty much any conversion optimization campaign.  They are easy to tailor to suit the needs of your potential customers.  Because the purpose of a CTA is to prompt a website visitor to perform a specific action, they are a great method for pulling leads into a conversion funnel campaign.

Let’s look at a quick example of using an effective call to action to move a lead into a conversion funnel.

Your lead searched for a specific keyword that led them to one of your blog posts.  At the bottom of the post, you could provide a CTA that leads them to additional relevant articles on your blog.  Or you could include a CTA that asks them to sign up for your free monthly newsletter.

Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the best strategies for creating an effective call to action is to create a sense of urgency.  This strategy plays on people’s desire to not “lose out”, which can actually override a person’s desire to gain something.  Creating a sense of urgency using a CTA is relatively easy.  It all comes down to the wording.  Using words that imply a time limit compel a website visitor to take immediate action.

For example, you can create a sense of urgency by simply adding the word “now” to the phrase “Get Your Discount”.  You could even include “Limited Time Offer” in your CTA.  Using a countdown clock is also an effective way to create a sense of urgency.  This makes a visitor very aware that the offer will expire in a set amount of time, prompting them to act more quickly.  Another idea is to offer something to a limited number of visitors.

Creating a sense of scarcity is similar to creating a sense of urgency.  This strategy also plays on a person’s desire to not lose out.  Furthermore, it plays on a person’s desire to have something exclusive, something that not everyone has.  Instead of having a limited time offer, offer a limited supply of something.  So for this scarcity tactic, you would say something like “Get your {product} while supplies last!”.  You could also say something like “Only 10 left! Get yours now”.

Senses of urgency and scarcity appeal to natural human emotions, so they tend to be effective at getting a prospective customer’s attention.

Keep Testing

Conversion rate optimization should be an ongoing task.  It isn’t something you do once and then set aside.  The way people use the internet is constantly changing, and your digital marketing strategies need to keep up.  Thus, you should consistently continue using split testing, also known as A/B testing, to refine your conversion rate optimization strategy.

Split testing is a method for obtaining measurable results on what works and what doesn’t.  Because you should only test one variant at a time, you aren’t likely to run out of elements to test.  However, you should keep the testing simple.  That way when you analyze your results, it’s clear why one variant is doing better than the other.

Let’s review a quick example.

You’ve decided on the structure of your conversion funnel.  Now you want to test which type of call to action more effectively drives leads into your funnel.  You start by having fifty percent of your website traffic see a page with a call to action button.  The other fifty percent see a web form.  Upon studying the data, you see that the call to action button is driving more traffic into the funnel.  Now you can start testing the design elements of the call to action button.  Maybe you start with the placement of the button.  Does having it over to the side work better than having it at the top in the middle?  You find that the top middle placement works better.  Next, you can test the size of the button, then you can test the color.  You can refine this indefinitely.

Furthermore, consistent split testing helps you stay on top of design and user trends.  As user preferences change, you can fine tune your conversion optimization strategy to address and adapt to the changes.

Conversion rate optimization is a data driven process.  It gives measurable results, allowing you to test and improve your strategies.  This takes a lot of the guess work out of conversion optimization.  With that being said, conversion rate optimization requires consistent, and often time consuming, effort.  If you’re a business owner, then you likely don’t have the time to put in this amount of effort.  If you’re a marketing coordinator, you may or may not have the time for this, depending on how much of the digital marketing strategy you’re doing yourself.

Additionally, if analytics and data driven design are not your greatest strength, conversion rate optimization strategy can get really complicated, and the constant maintenance can quickly become tedious.  Does it sound like this isn’t worth the hassle?  Consider hiring a digital marketing agency to develop and maintain your conversion rate optimization strategy.  With a whole team of conversion rate optimization experts at your disposal, you can be confident that your CRO strategy is performing.