4 Steps to Improve Conversion Using an Analytical Approach
Improving on-site conversions and increasing sales has been and always will be a top priority for smart businesses. However, WordStream found from first-hand analysis that the average conversion rate for a business website is a measly 2.35%. Obviously, having more sales is the key to long-term success, but finding effective ways to optimize the factors that impact the conversion rate is often very tricky, for several reasons.
First of all, there are many factors that influence conversions and purchase decisions. One little bump in the road can bring the buyer’s journey to a screeching halt. Secondly, it is difficult to determine which factors exactly are hurting or helping, making conversion rate optimization (CRO) a seemingly impossible task for many businesses.
This is why an analytical approach is necessary for true conversion rate optimization. Data is a crucial and necessary ingredient for any smart business decision. And thankfully, accurate data is more accessible now than ever with evolving technology and tools.
Here’s how to improve conversions with an analytical approach that consists of four simple steps…
1. Identify the Gaps
You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. On the other hand, it is extremely wasteful and counterproductive to start from scratch when some elements of your website are actually working just fine. Therefore, you need to find the weakest links and address them first.
Google Analytics is actually a great tool in this regard. There are plenty of insights that it offers, which can shed light on the details of your website that are affecting conversion rates. For example, you may want to start off with the obvious comparisons, like desktop vs. mobile conversions.
It is important to note that the global average conversion rate for desktop devices is nearly 4%, while that for mobile is just under 2%. So there will be some divergence between these two rates. However if, for example, your mobile conversion rates are significantly lower, it could be a sign that the UX is not optimized properly or even interfering with the customer experience.
2. Start Simple and Work Your Way Up
Boosting your micro, mini and macro conversions doesn’t require a complex strategy or an overwhelming overhaul of your existing marketing campaigns. Instead, look for the simplest changes that will have an impact on lead qualification, sales complexity, or purchase timelines.
At its core, your conversion rate depends greatly on the customer experience. Providing a remarkable CX starts early on in the targeting process. With the right brand messaging and martech implementation, you can improve CX and influence your conversion rates.
For example, your promotions and advertising should be contextual and timely. This, in turn, depends on how well you’ve carried out keyword research and whether your content matches trends in your niche.
Ask your marketing team key questions about the basics of your strategies. For example, how long has it been since you defined your core audience and analyzed data to determine the demographics of your customers? Things change quickly over time and you need to adapt to changes in consumer behavior on a regular basis to ensure effective targeting of each segment.
Many a time, instituting online conversions as an organizational process or operational function needs a top-down approach. In order to know and meet industry standards and benchmarks, and find meaningful correlations in your business, you may want to restructure your C-suite to handle Big Data and its implications on marketing and customer service. Many modern companies are now hiring CDOs (chief data officers) and CCOs (chief customer experience officers) to gather insights from analytics and deliver better customer service. Bringing on experts in these fields can do wonders for your CRO strategy.
3. Optimize Hot Points
In order to truly optimize your conversion rates, you need to understand how customers are interacting with your website. Using heat maps is a great way to understand the general path that visitors follow on your website. Website heat maps track mouse movements, click rates, and scrolling speeds, and use color-coded overlays to identify the parts or elements where the most action is occurring on your web pages.
Using insights from heat maps, you can influence the user’s course of action by better positioning key elements (and tweaking their copy) that help boost conversions.
By placing CTA buttons in the areas where their eyes are naturally drawn, you can increase on-page engagement. You can also use this information to guide product displays, optimize content placement, and just create a more appealing layout that is designed to move customers through the sales funnel.
Healthcare publishing media site Nurse.com used heat map testing to optimize the content placement on its website to increase the number of signups for its online courses. They found that their existing layout unfortunately had very low engagement and the placement of their CTAs was less than ideal. After testing new designs and altering the layout with important CTA buttons along the natural reading flow, they were able to increase their conversions by nearly 16%.
4. Monitor, Adjust, and Improve
An analytical approach to CRO doesn’t just stop with identifying weaknesses and providing solutions. As you make changes, it is imperative that you continue to measure the impact that these changes are having on your conversion rates for an extended period of time and continue to test out alternative tactics. This is the only way make strategic changes that deliver long-lasting results.
When it comes to testing various strategies, the traditional approach has been to use A/B testing for layouts and copy. While this system has certainly been a staple for marketing teams in the past, it definitely has its faults. However, machine-learning and AI-enabled technology now allow businesses to conduct multivariate testing and also implement the results with utmost accuracy.
For example, money transfer startup Monito used AI-based testing to optimize conversions on a landing page that showed the best currency conversion rates. First, they used machine learning analysis to test out the efficacy of hypothetical designs of their lead box and estimate sign-up behavior through predictive heat maps. They then ran 12 design variants simultaneously, while AI measured and rated visitor interactions. The best design ultimately led to a 50% rise in signups.
You need to continually test and monitor your changes to be sure that your site is truly optimized at all times. Your target audiences and their preferences both are constantly changing; so what may have worked well a few months ago may no longer be the best option.
Using an analytical approach to CRO is truthfully the only way to guarantee continued success. By making the most of modern tools to collect behavioral data, make changes to your website’s design, and constantly monitor the outcomes, you can expect to see significant increases in conversions on an ongoing basis. Good luck!
Rohan Ayyar is the regional marketing manager for India at SEMrush. His blog, The Marketing Mashup, covers digital marketing from the perspective of B2B, B2C, lead generation, mobile marketing, SEO, social media, content marketing, database marketing including predictive analytics, and conversion rate optimization. In addition, he'll look at emerging marketing technology and how marketers can use it. Reach Ayyar at firstname.lastname@example.org.