Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process that includes making changes to your website or landing page(s) with the end goal being an increase in conversions. Conversions can include actions such as form completions, newsletter signups or actual purchases through your ecommerce website. Changes to your website or landing page(s) when talking about CRO can range from fairly simple modifications such as testing different calls to action to complete overhauls of a landing page. Determining what a good conversion rate is depends a lot on the sources of your traffic, your competitors’ conversion rates, overall business goals and a number of other factors.

People Still Care Too Much About Keyword Rankings

Ranking under your desired key phrases is still important and deserves attention, just not as much attention as it once was given. Sure, owning the SERPs under your key phrases is awesome, but how much business is it bringing you? This is often overlooked but has been in the spotlight much more as of late.

Having experience in both the agency end of things and as an in-house SEO with Mainstreethost has taught me quite a bit about the importance of keyword rankings. On the agency end of things, a large number of my clients cared about nothing more than ranking number one under a key phrase and rightfully so because that is what many business owners (in my opinion) perceive SEO to be. It wasn’t until I was in my in-house marketing role that I realized how important conversion rate optimization was. My company already ranked awesome under a large number of highly competitive phrases, we wanted more business (higher conversion rate). While I don’t consider myself an expert in CRO, I have picked up a LOT over the past year or so and have successfully increased my company’s conversion rate (web inquiries).

Getting Started With Conversion Rate Optimization

Are you currently tracking conversions? If you aren’t tracking conversions, check out this article here by Google which talks about conversion tracking and Google Analytics. Depending on what analytics software you use, the process may vary but you won’t be able to accurately track your conversions without some sort of conversion tracking in place.

Before doing any conversion rate optimization, what are your conversion rates at? Now that you have your conversion tracking setup and functioning properly, I recommend creating yourself a baseline report with your conversion rates prior to any CRO. You will be able to give yourself a bigger pat on the back after increasing conversions if you know where they were at prior to your CRO efforts.

Know what your goals are before doing any physical work to your website. Don’t go into a project such as conversion rate optimization blindly. Know what your company’s goals are before diving in. If you don’t know which types of actions you are trying to increase or what your company’s end goals are, you are going to make a lot more work for yourself in the long run. Develop as strategized of a plan as possible before any website modifications.

Start testing. Now that you have conversion tracking in place, have a baseline report, developed a strategized plan and know what your goals are, you are ready to begin testing. Conduct A/B testing of your website’s landing pages and its calls to action and other elements to see which variation resulted in the most conversions. There are a number of tools and companies out there that can assist with A/B split testing but is also something you can easily achieve in house if you have the right resources.

Measure the results. Which variation of your landing page or specific components drove the highest increase in form completions or purchases? Which landing page resulted in the most positive feedback? Which landing page had higher than usual bounce rates? These are just a few of the questions you should be looking for answers to after you’ve gotten your A/B testing underway.

Don’t get complacent. In the digital marketing field much like any other field, it isn’t hard to get complacent. The thing with digital marketing is that pointing out the negative results of complacency is much easier in my opinion. Be willing to continue making changes and testing new ideas to further improve on your conversion rates and overall user experience.

Summary

Conversion rate optimization should be at the forefront or as close to the forefront of your digital marketing campaign as possible. The constant changes and upgrades in technology, analytics, calls to action, etc. are making it easier to develop and track how successful your efforts are and how well your time is being spent. If you are already involved in conversion rate optimization, do you have any go-to tools or resources that help with the process?

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