While the traditional concept of conversion optimization began with a few swift copy tweaks and A/B testing, it’s come a long way in recent years to integrate with conversational marketing.
Website conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a term to describe how brands attempt to increase the percentage of users who perform a desired action on their websites. In most cases, CRO is measured and quantified if users take actions directly tied to website engagement or revenue. Prominent examples include:
- Completing a purchase
- Adding items to shopping carts
- Signing up for newsletters
- Filling out onsite forms
- Clicking links for special offers
There are also more qualitative and holistic methods of analyzing CRO. Rather than tie the term directly to a particular revenue-driven action, you can measure CRO by determining what motivates or terminates a user’s desire to increase the amount of time they spend on your website. If you can develop a keen understanding of audience behavior, you can formulate plans to optimize your own web experience and incentivize more people to purchase products from your brand.
A conversational growth strategy describes how engaging the audience and conducting active listening, providing necessary information, and building a long-term relationship facilitates scalable growth for your organization. Brands use multiple channels to connect and engage with users, but the secret is to create conversational digital dialogue with a consistent tone and narrative to build those relationships.
This is a great way to build personal connections with your users. It’s said that people buy from other people, not from businesses. Individual shoppers want to feel that their thoughts, feelings, and desires matter to an organization. By creating opportunities to have one-on-one interactions with shoppers, brands demonstrate an authentic desire to form personalized relationships and establish long-term connections with their customers.
Website CRO is an effective method of boosting onsite engagement, which can then translate into greater sales at higher order values. When combined with conversational commerce solutions, you engage in digital dialogue and use website conversion optimization to help shoppers build trust and security with your brand, which in turn leads to more purchases. If you can make people feel good about their shopping experience, you’re already halfway towards earning their business.
When thinking about how to better optimize your site for higher sales numbers, always go back to the mindset of an in-store shopping experience. What do people need when they walk into a store? Helpful representatives to point them to the products they need and to answer any questions about the items in question. That brief, albeit powerful relationship between salesperson and consumer is what convinces people that they should take the opportunity to buy now.
That’s how your website experience should function. Treat it like a digital version of the in-store shopping experience and you’ll build that trust, respect, and credibility to convince people that they should take action and buy now.
Yes, website conversion optimization can positively impact your return on investment (ROI). However, it can just as easily have a negative effect on your ROI. If you make too many changes to your website experience without taking time to analyze the impact of each change on website traffic, pages per session, click to order rates and total checkouts, you risk losing track of what consumers expect from your site while they shop for products.
To increase the odds of a positive effect on ROI, we recommend you follow these best practices when applying website conversion optimization tactics to your shopping experience.
1. Increase conversions from existing users
There’s a saying in the marketing space that “it costs more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones.” It’s the same logic when it comes to e-commerce web visitors. If you have people come to your site but then fail to convert them, you’re spending more of your own resources trying to attract and win over more shoppers without earning any significant ROI from your efforts.
Website CRO strategies optimize the value of your existing traffic so that you can maximize revenue and order values from as many existing shoppers as possible. This reduces the need to go hunting for more users, allowing your various teams to stay focused on converting existing traffic and maximizing customer lifetime value.
2. Reduce the need to spend money on paid advertising
Following on from best practice #1, higher conversions of existing traffic reduces the need for new traffic. And if there’s less need for new traffic, you don’t need to run as aggressive of advertising campaigns as you might otherwise need to do.
Imagine if you could increase website conversions from your existing traffic and then report to your managers that you don’t need as high of an advertising budget anymore. If you can report that success to the higher-ups, that is ROI in and of itself that makes you look like a hero to the owners of the brand. Less of a need for advertising budget means more money can be allocated towards further enhancements to the website, investments in other conversion optimization tools, and increased support for customer service.
3. Acquire real data and build audience profiles to improve conversions
Finally, CRO is a data-driven strategy, which means you’ll gain access to quantifiable metrics you can use to make better decisions with your website. You’ll gain a better understanding of what pages attract more visitors and how much time they spend on the site. You can see what types of products are viewed before being added to checkouts, and then you can use those products in promotional banner ads throughout the site to drive more interest.
Any data you acquire from audience behavior provides greater insight into the needs and expectations of your typical shopper. Using those insights, you can build rich and detailed audience profiles to help customize experiences across the site based on particular user interests. If your profiles are accurate, you’ll deploy experiences that will further optimize the web experience and increase conversion rates across the board.
In most cases, the average website conversion rate ranges between 1 to 3 percent. However, websites with better than average conversion rates reach numbers between 5 to 6 percent, depending on the industry. Additionally, the top performing websites break the 10 percent barrier, converting a tenth of their overall traffic into paying customers.
Broken down by industry, you can analyze benchmark conversion rates and use those numbers as expectations for how to measure performance across your own website. These numbers are from an analysis by SmartInsights, which breaks down the average conversion rate by sector.
SmartInsights: E-commerce analytics
So what are some of the ways you can implement conversion rate optimization into your website performance? How do you achieve those above average conversion rates in order to maximize revenue and customer lifetime value? We recommend following these 5 best practices to establish a formula for success.
1. Craft value-added messages
Sometimes, the right message and the right offer at the right time make all the difference between conversion and abandonment. With website conversion optimization software, you can deploy custom offers and messaging tailored to specific audience interests and increase the potential for higher conversion rates.
2. Suggest unique product recommendations
In-store shoppers may ask to be directed to the products they wish to buy. Why not recreate that experience online? That’s the benefit of using website conversion optimization tools. You can tailor the suggested items that appear on the website based on your shopper’s interests in order to increase the chances that they’ll click and buy.
3. Capture behavioral data to improve website optimization
The best CRO software integrates with other tools and capabilities of your website to help you gain an in-depth understanding of what appeals to your shoppers. You can log engagement with solutions like AI chatbots or live chat software to look in detail at the conversations occurring on those solutions. Those insights help further flesh out your audience profiles so that you can make better decisions about how to improve your website.
4. Gain quick access to your data and make speedy decisions
Data allows you to make strategic business decisions, and quick access to data speeds up your ability to make changes. With CRO software, you can dive into your data and analytics with an easy to review dashboard that highlights the key takeaways of your audience interactions. From those dashboards, you can quickly make changes to your web experience and incentivize more shoppers to convert and buy.
5. Use native CRO solutions that reflect your brand
Conversion optimization tools have come a long way with AI, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning technology. With the right software, you can customize the look and feel of the solution to match the look and feel of your brand. Native solutions are far more likely to generate engagement, which converts shoppers at higher rates, improves their overall satisfaction with your website, and scales the growth of your business.
If the above sounds overwhelming, no worries. You can use this simple checklist to get started in the right direction:
- Optimize your site for search (SEO)
- Optimize your site for user intent
- Organize your website hierarchy
- Strengthen your product category pages
- Analyze audience behavior and past conversations
- Create dynamic audience profiles
- Develop personalized messaging for profiles
- Deploy product images that will drive up conversions
- Empower chatbots to guide shoppers to high value pages
- Streamline checkout experience for easy purchases
Now that you know how to use CRO and best practices for how to deploy solutions across your site, you’re now ready to integrate a platform into your own web experience. When making this decision, it’s important to consider the overall capabilities of a platform, testimonials from existing clients, the amount of available service and support, as well as the ability to automate much of the day to day work to streamline your optimization process.
Here are some of the best solutions you can consider to implement website conversion rate optimization.
Kindly has simple, customizable, and proven website conversion optimization tools that boost conversion rates and average order value for e-commerce businesses around the globe. Outstanding online shopping experiences are achieved by recreating personable in-store service with authentic and native technology to Nudge shoppers to the solutions they need.
Kindly makes your conversion rate optimization strategy more efficient and more effective. It seamlessly integrates with your existing technology to gather insightful audience data, deliver the best possible customer experience, and drive sales.
Unbounce helps you create and test landing pages, pop ups and sticky bars without the need for developers. If you’re not sure what a healthy conversion rate is for your company, their grader-style tool helps you see how your pages compare with others in your industry. You can gain important insights, including whether images are too large and slowing down your page’s speed and load time. You can run a comprehensive report with recommendations for improving your conversion rates.
Hotjar allows you to capture screen recordings and heat maps showing how your visitors are navigating through your website. This platform provides more training options, but the major difference is the price.