Most website owners who want to grow the business generated by their website do so by driving more visitors to their websites. Makes sense, right? After all, visitors are the lifeblood of a website. So the more, the merrier.
There’s no denying that websites need visitors, but simply focusing on increasing visitor numbers to grow your business can be a pretty blunt instrument. Furthermore, it can be very costly when those additional visitors are being driven to the site through PPC search advertising and display ads.
Smart marketers not only work to grow visitor numbers but maximise the business they get from their existing website visitors. In other words, they squeeze more business out of the visitors they’ve already attracted to their websites, rather than simply throwing more money into advertising to attract more visitors.
A key way to achieve this is through what’s known as “Conversion Rate Optimisation” or CRO (yes, yet another cryptic acronym).
CRO is all about improving a website’s conversion rates. What constitutes a conversion will vary by website – for an ecommerce website an obvious conversion is a purchase. But for non-transactional websites conversions may be leads from enquiry forms; brochure file downloads; email newsletter signups; and the like. Generally, a conversion is some defined action people take as they progress along the purchase path.
Many website owners fall into the trap of thinking “job done” when visitors come to their website. But visitors who don’t take actions that ultimately generate revenue for the business are wasted. Smart marketers recognise this and work to maximise conversions.
To double the number of website sign-ups, sales, and subscriptions your site gets you can either spend a considerable amount of money doubling the traffic to your website or instead invest less in CRO and double the conversion rate. The latter is not only cheaper, but doubling conversions — which in turn halves your customer acquisition cost — then allows you to invest more funds acquiring more visitors. Thus a double win.
There’s an abundance of CRO technologies available – in fact it’s a very crowded market. What prompted this article was the release this week of a new CRO tool called TruConversion which combines the functionality of multiple tools.
TruConversion provides heatmaps, recordings, funnel analysis, form analytics, micro-surveys, surveys, and data analytics in a single tool. It can, therefore, show you where people are clicking on your web pages, record movements to show you how visitors interact, tell you which combination of elements helps push the prospect closer to becoming a customer, show you how your forms are performing, ask simple questions, and discover qualitative insights from your audience. All powerful stuff.
Most website owners are way too familiar with their own websites to have a truly objective perspective and often can’t see the wood for the trees when it comes to things like navigation and usability. However, having a tool like TruConversion allows you to look over the shoulder of visitors to your website and watch how they interact with it. Often you’ll be astounded at what you see and wonder why it was never obvious to you previously.
As an example, we have a tourism client whose site features the logos of various car rental companies. From viewing heatmaps and watching recordings of users interacting with the site they realised for the first time that visitors to the website thought these logos were clickable, even though they weren’t. As a result, they modified their site to make the logos clickable and conversions improved. Something they would have never learnt from Google Analytics.
As mentioned, there are plenty of CRO tools available and this is just one of many. Another one we’ve used and like which also offers multi-tool functionality is called Hotjar. Whichever you use, tools like these can help you identify pain points with your website which, if improved, could lead to conversions improving. Then it’s a case of using a tool such as Optimizely to do A/B split testing or multivariate testing and test different hypotheses.
Why should you care?
Are you taking proactive steps to maximise conversion rates on your website? If the answer is no, you’re not alone.
Most websites aren’t.
And therein lies the opportunity.
As noted above, improving the conversion rates of existing website visitors is normally a whole lot cheaper than simply throwing more money at Google or Facebook advertising.
And if you want assistance, then we can help.
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Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).