CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization.
People often confuse CRO with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A great way to think about it is that CRO is optimizing for human behavior and engagement, while SEO is optimizing for machine behavior (search engines). Your SEO efforts are driving the traffic but without CRO, you could be missing out on quality leads and higher conversion rates.
CRO is a process of optimizing your website to engage your audience and convert your traffic according to your identified goals. Let’s say one of your website goals is to have visitors fill out a contact us form. CRO will focus on optimizing the form fields, the page it’s on, and everything about the user journey that encourages people to contact you. This can be accomplished by tweaking and testing the call-to-action language, images, page structure, and more.
For example, a communications company recently contacted me to discuss their marketing efforts. They had produced great content, optimizing for keywords, adding images etc., yet were receiving few leads from the website. In looking at their analytics, one blog post was attracting an unusually large amount of organic traffic and had become the second most visited page on their website! However, the analytics also showed that while people came to their site through that blog, they also left right after viewing the content. They had won the content optimization game but had lost the CRO battle! There were zero calls-to-action – no social share buttons, no recommended reading (you like this blog, now check out others), no contact us or newsletter sign-up form – zilch. Consequently, all the traffic they drove to that blog left the site right after viewing it because the visitors had nothing to engage with. We implemented CRO tactics, and within a very short amount of time, the website started converting traffic into leads.
A conversion rate optimization strategy often consists of landing pages, forms, social share, email capture, and encouragement to engage – actions visitors can take. Ask yourself these questions when formulating a CRO strategy:
1) Do I know where people are going to on my site?
Look at the analytics and see where you’re already succeeding. Capitalize on that momentum and start CRO on those pages. Alternatively, look at the pages where people are dropping off. Why are they leaving your site at this page? What were they looking for that they didn’t find? Begin answering those questions, and you can optimize that page for conversions.
2) What do I want my customers to do on each page of my website?
Answers will vary by industry but may be:
- Fill out a form (contact me, newsletter sign-up, request a demo)
- Buy something
- Share my article/blog on social media
- Download a white paper
- Visit more pages on the site
3) Am I thinking like my customers/clientele?
Think about who is on your website and what they are trying to accomplish. Set up your website so that you are directing their journey and supplying answers to their questions.
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