The SME Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation

In order to grow your business online, you need to know a thing or two about conversion rate optimisation, also known as CRO. In a nutshell, conversion rate optimisation helps you offer a better experience to your website visitors, making them more likely to become customers. 

In this guide, we’ll give you a broad overview of all things conversion rate optimisation. We’ll go over what some of your conversion goals might be, how to calculate your conversion rate, and some ways to improve it. Without further ado, let’s get to learning.

What is a conversion?

In order to get started with CRO, you first have to define the desired action you’ll count as a conversion. This will depend on your specific goals. You might, for example, want to track the number of people who contact you with questions about your product or who purchase from you. Some typical conversion goals include:

  • Add to carts
  • Completed purchases
  • Social shares
  • Leads generated
  • Newsletter signups
  • Page views
  • Leads closed

As you can see, the range of what counts as a conversion is pretty broad. You’ll likely have several different conversions you can track throughout your website, and your niche will also have an impact on what the most relevant conversions to track are for you.

What is the conversion rate?

Your conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors. For example, if an e-commerce site receives 500 users per month and has 50 sales, the conversion rate would be 50 divided by 500, or 10%. 

How to calculate conversion rate
How to calculate conversion rate

Tracking conversion rates allows you to evaluate the performance of your business online. Having awareness of what percentage of users are completing the goals that have a positive impact on your business allows you to measure the success of your website and identify areas for improvement.

What’s conversion rate optimisation?

Conversion rate optimisation refers to the actions you can take to improve your conversion rate. By optimising your website and improving the user experience it provides, you make your website visitors more likely to complete the conversion goal you’ve set. 

Conversion rate optimisation helps bring in more business, but it also enables you to lower your cost per acquisition, driving more value from the website traffic you’re already getting.

Conversion rate optimisation involves putting yourself into the shoes of your website visitors in order to understand their needs and wants. Then, you’ll come up with hypotheses of ways to entice them to convert. Finally, you should run tests to prove or disprove your hypothesis in order to make changes to your website based on data.

You might want to start your conversion optimisation efforts by focusing on your highest-value web pages first. For an e-commerce website, these will likely be your product pages, while for a B2B company it might be your pricing page or your services pages which include a contact form. Your homepage is another great place to start, as it serves as the first impression of your company to a large number of potential customers.

Conversion rate optimisation is an ongoing effort - there are always things that can be improved. Your goal should be to always be thinking of ways to offer your leads and customers a better experience, leading to increased conversions.

How to optimise your conversion rate

There are a number of things you can do to optimise your conversion rate, but it’s important to note that what’s worked for someone else may not work for you and your business. That’s why it’s important that you get to know your own audience in order to better serve them. 

That being said, some of the tips below will help you get started with conversion rate optimisation for your website.

  • Make sure you have Google Analytics or something similar set up to analyse your website traffic.
  • Talk to your customers. Data is absolutely key. But hearing things directly from your customers offers insights that numbers simply can’t. Make sure to also keep up with your online reviews for valuable insights.
  • Run a customer survey. This is essentially the same point as above, but offering an anonymous survey, perhaps with an incentive like a gift card raffle, can help you get more (honest) feedback.
  • Add reviews and testimonials to your website for social proof.
  • Use a form analytics tool to easily analyse the data from your customer survey submissions and contact forms.
  • Test both call-to-action (CTA) buttons and text-based CTAs to see what works better for your website. A colourful CTA button can be eye-catching, but banner blindness is also a very real phenomenon.
  • Use a heat mapping tool like Hotjar to find out how your website visitors are interacting with your most valuable pages.
  • Implement marketing automation to help drive conversions. You might, for example, set up an automatic reminder email to go out to people who’ve added products to their cart but didn’t complete checkout.
  • Improve things like website load times and check your website for broken links and forms to make the user experience of your website as smooth as possible.
  • Consider adding chat software to your website to answer visitor questions. This can help convert people who are on the fence about your offering.
  • Revisit your website copy. Is it compelling and to the point? Are you using accurate headings and subheadings? Is your copy SEO-friendly?
  • Set up retargeting PPC campaigns to bring website visitors back to convert them.
  • Run A/B tests (more on A/B testing below).

Running A/B tests for CRO

A/B testing is one of the best digital marketing tools at your disposal for CRO, and something any and every business would benefit from. A/B testing essentially involves testing the performance of different variations of your website to see what works and what doesn’t. 

It’s easy enough to assume you know what your audience wants to see. And that may be the case, but without hard data to back up your hypotheses, you’re ultimately just guessing. 

For example, you might have a product landing page that you want to optimise. You have a theory that moving the “add to cart” button from the bottom of the product description to the top of the page, just under the product name, could improve conversions. So, you create a separate version of the product page where you’ve moved the “add to cart” button and show that version to people for a limited time in order to test its performance against your existing product page. 

Running tests like this one by one helps you pinpoint what works and doesn’t work for your specific audience and make incremental changes to your website.

There are a number of great A/B testing tools out there, but you can get started for free with Google Analytics and Google Optimize.

How Clear Click can help

Getting started with conversion rate optimisation can be intimidating for small business owners. It can be hard to decide where to start, what conversions to track, and what tools to use to gather and analyse data. This is especially true if you aren’t lucky enough to have a large in-house digital marketing team at your disposal. Luckily, there’s help. 

At Clear Click, we specialise in helping small to medium-sized businesses grow with data-driven insights and strategic consulting. We’re experts in PPC, data analytics and SEO. We can help you hone in on where your website optimisation can be improved and make suggestions for changes based on robust data. 

Want to learn more? Book a free consultation with us.

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