Jane owns a small coffee shop in a busy metropolitan area. As a responsible business owner, she is aware of how many people come into her shop, what they order, and if for some reason they leave without ordering anything (something she notices has been happening more often lately).
After talking with some of her regular customers, Jane comes to the conclusion that people are leaving because they are bored with the menu. She hasn’t added a new drink in 5 years and her customers are flocking to the shop down the street that has a new drink every week.
So she spruces up the menu, adds new drinks and decides to also serve baked goods. The customers come back in droves!
This type of analysis and adapting to attract new customers can also be applied to websites, in a process called conversion rate optimization.
What is conversion rate optimization?
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers or leads by taking the desired action (like downloading a content offer or filling out a form). Or in the case of Jane’s coffee shop, actually purchasing a cup of coffee.
Any changes that you think about making to your website to help improve conversions should be informed by user feedback and cold, hard facts like:
- Bounce rate – percent of people who leave the site after viewing ONLY ONE page
- Exit rate – percent of people who leave the site after viewing A SPECIFIC page
- Average time on site – how long a person is on the site during a single session
- Average page views – how many pages the average visitor goes through before leaving
While analyzing the stats is crucial for optimizing your website, at the end of the day it’s really all about knowing your target audience (or personas, in Inbound lingo). It’s about knowing what they want out of a website experience and what types of content they are most responsive to.
A few tips for optimizing your website …
When you are trying to find the right “menu” of things to convert your site visitors, there are quite a few things that you can experiment with. Here are a few basics to get you started:
Improve User Experience
- Create easy to follow user paths and site navigation. If visitors get frustrated trying to find what they are looking for on your site, most likely they will leave and find their information elsewhere. We recommend using heat mapping programs like Hot Jar to help inform changes that you are thinking about making.
- We live in the age of the smart phone, so it is important that to have a website that is responsive and easy to use on mobile devices. Just because people are on their phone doesn’t mean they won’t fill out a contact form or download an ebook, so make it easy for them!
- Get rid of stock photos and sliders. Looking at terrible website photography can also distract visitors to your site. Replace stock photos with REAL images of your organization, it will help make you more relateable. People like to work with organizations they feel comfortable with.
Improve Content Using Inbound Tactics
- Revamp your CTA’s. Make visually appealing calls-to-action that have clear, concise, and actionable language that people will ACTUALLY want to click on. If people can’t easily spot the CTA on the page or aren’t sure what will happen when they click, they aren’t going to click.
- Make sure you are creating content that your audience will find valuable. Keep in mind the needs, wants and preferences of your audience. For example, would they prefer to read a bulleted list or an in depth research article? The more valuable they find your content, the easier it will be to get them to convert.
- Find the balance between optimizing for conversions and optimizing for search engines (SEO). Use terms and phrases that your audiences are searching for.
These are just a few things that you can to do improve your website’s conversion rate, if you want to learn more actions you can take to get more leads (and ultimately, customers) we would love to chat. Contact us for a FREE consultation today!