As SEO is getting more and more competitive and pay-per-click costs are getting increasingly expensive, it’s only safe to say the cost of driving new leads to your online business will only get harder and harder.
While conversion rate optimisation (CRO) may not be your silver bullet to fix it all, it can help you decrease the cost of acquiring new leads and customers to your business.
Therefore, it’s crucial that as an entrepreneur you understand your customers’ needs and desires, get to know their pain points that way you can get the maximum return on your marketing campaigns investments.
In this post, I’ll take you through the complete process of CRO and show you a case study example of how Walmart improved their CRO significantly with seemingly simple changes to their website.
Ready? Let’s dive right in.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
In simple terms, conversion rate optimisation is the process of increasing the percentage of website visitors that perform the desired action (convert) on your website. Conversely, we can also say CRO is the process of decreasing the percentage of people who visit your site and don’t take an action like buying or signing up or other relevant desired action.
While increasing traffic can boost your sales, conversion rate optimisation is about turning current traffic into customers.
Here is an example:
You have an ecommerce website that sells beard oil and gets 1000 visitors per day through Facebook ads. You sell your product for $50 per bottle on Facebook. Out of those 100 people, only 50 end up making a purchase on average. If the average cost-per-click for ads is $1, then that means the following:
- It costs you $1 for every visitor to your website from Facebook
- It costs $20 ($1000/50) for every conversion you make, i.e. cost per conversion
- Your conversion rate is 5%, i.e. for every 10000 visitors that click through to your website, only 50 end up buying.
- That means for every beard bottle successfully sold, $20 goes off to the marketing cost, that’s a whopping 40% of the product costs. That will only leave you with $30 to cover other costs such as shipping, packaging, etc.
- Hypothetically, let’s say you end with a profit margin of only 20% after paying for everything else which means you’re making $10 per bottle as a profit (.
- While the conversion rate of 5% is not too bad, let’s further say after hiring Digital Nomads HQ to do some CRO for you, you increased your conversion rate to 10% (i.e. 100 convert for every 1000 visitors).
- With this improvement, the cost of acquiring 1000 visitors is still the same, however, the cost of conversion is now $10 ($1000/100) instead of $20 which in turn means this will increase your profit margin to $20 per bottle. Not too bad!
Conversion rate optimisation is about milking every penny out of your hard-earned traffic. So, don’t leave more sales on the table by neglecting to do simple things that can improve your conversion rate and thus contribute to your business growth.
Now the question is how do you improve the conversion rate for your business?
To be honest, every business is different which means no single solution will work for everyone to improve the conversion rate. However, there are common principles you can implement through various techniques which I’ll discuss further in this post.
How to Improve CRO: Conversion Rate Optimisation Best Practices
The fundamental principle of conversion rate optimisation is testing, testing, and more testing.
You have to run tests in order to understand different aspects of your website or landing page. However, you can’t test everything all at once. To make the most of CRO, it’s best to follow a controlled testing process in which you prioritize traffic channels and pages on your site for A/B testing (most common CRO techniques) based on what’s currently working (or not) for you.
However, what if you don’t have enough traffic or resources to run these CRO tests. And that is where the fundamentals below come in. In the absence of testable traffic and resources, the following best practices can set you up for success with conversion rate optimisation.
Call to Action: Less is More
The more options the better works well with cereal and snacks in the grocery store but not so much with CRO.
You need a single offer in order to improve the conversion rate.
Ever heard of analysis paralysis syndrome in customer decision-making? The more choices you give them, the less likely they are to make any choice.
Fewer instructions, fewer options, more conversions!
A single offer doesn’t mean a single CTA. You may have multiple CTAs on your landing for example, but the offer should all aim at the exact same goal i.e. a single offer.
Tips on Call to Actions:
- Remember your page’s goal and don’t give users any other actionable option besides your page’s main offer
- You may have multiple CTAs but your goal or offer should be the same
- Make your call to section pop off the page by using persuasive language and great design
Page Loading Speed: Keep it Below 3 Seconds or Less
Because so many things are vying for our attention, we’re generally becoming less and less patient.
For your business that means making sure your website pages load can load at lighting speed or else you probably lose a good chunk of your visitors.
Case in point: Walmart.com lowered its load speed from 7.2 seconds to 2.9 seconds, and every second of improved speed increased conversion by 2%.
How fast should your website then be?
Well, according to Google, you should aim for a page load speed of no more than 3 seconds, or else you risk losing, for good, a good chunk of your visitors.
Tips on Loading Speed:
- Check your page load speed with a free tool like the Google Speed insights tool.
- Reduce image file size before uploading here or reduce already uploaded images with a tool like WP Smush.
- For bigger sites with a lot of pages, use CDN (content distribution networks) to serve web pages through servers closest to the user.
Page Designs: Keep it Simple & Clear
Every other element on your pages, besides the offer, should exist to support and help get the user closer to Action.
If it doesn’t, then that’s a clutter and you should get rid of it.
Ruthlessly build your page and content around your page’s goal, whether the goal is to buy something or to sign up or whatever.
Avoid the use of too much blocky text or irrelevant visuals. Whitespace is preferable to a cramped-up page.
Tips on Page Designs:
- Make sure the messaging is clear and consistent across the board. That is, what the user is promised on ads or search results and what they get once they click through.
- Don’t get too clever with your messaging. Keep it simple enough for your customers to understand.
- Sell benefits, not the product. Consumers buy products for their benefit not for what they are.
Case Study: How Walmart Increased Conversions by 20%
Talking and writing about conversion rate is one thing but sharing case studies where businesses, large and small, have done it is another.
Let me share with you a Walmart case study on how they improved their CRO with seemingly small changes.
After seeing a significant amount of traffic coming from mobile, Walmart needed their current website to be optimized for Mobile.
The problem was two-fold:
- The look and design of their existing site on mobile were too awful.
- The second problem was about page load speed
So Walmart went to work to create a new site design for Mobile users and improve the page speed.
In the end, with their new design, they increased their mobile conversion rate by 20% on all devices. On mobile devices? By a whopping 98%!
This wasn’t so much surprising. What was so surprising was a seemingly simple change with optimized page design:
With their improved design, Walmart removed the product availability button for products that were not available for purchase online. This significantly improved conversion for Walmart.
Often with conversion rate optimisation, it’s small things that make the most difference.
You can read the full case study here.
Partner With Digital Nomads HQ To Grow Your Business
Conversion rate optimisation is an integral part of digital marketing that should be considered by all businesses. It can help you improve your bottom line which means more money for you.
Remember, conversion rate optimisation doesn’t mean additional marketing costs, it just means being smarter with your marketing strategies and taking advantage of what you already have.
It allows you to turn your current traffic and customers into more sales and thus more profits, without having to spend a penny more on marketing costs.