Turning visitors into leads and leads into sales is a big challenge for companies.
Conversion rates are a sign of the success of efforts and the use of resources in this challenge.
Despite creating and monitoring strategies that seek results, only 45% of professionals are satisfied with their conversion rates (Ascend2, 2020).
Of course you understand this challenge well and want to improve conversion rates, but first you need to understand what CRO is to apply this optimization methodology in your strategies.
Luckily, we've written this article with everything you need to know to kick things off. Check it out!
What is Conversion Rate?
Simply put, your conversion rate is the percentage between the number of visitors to your conversion pages and the number of people who convert — and then in each case it depends on what you consider a conversion within that action or material.
A conversion is a measurable action you expect from your visitor.
It can be filling out a form, activating your online chat, registering to get a discount coupon, finalizing a purchase, performing a free trial, upgrading your plan...
The definition of what is considered a conversion directly impacts your calculation.
How to calculate your website's Conversion Rate?
To calculate your website's conversion rate you need to track the numbers of visitors and leads generated from it.
With these data in hand, the calculation is quite simple:
Conversion rate = total conversions / total visitors or leads x 100%
Let's say your website is focused and optimized for conversion and gets good results.
In a week you get 800 qualified visitors, which turns into 120 leads.
So, following our example:
120 / 800 x 100% = 15%
In our example, the fictitious site's conversion rate, in the period analyzed, was 15%.
What is CRO in Marketing?
CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization is the strategy for conversion rate optimization.
If you want to improve your brand rates, you should pay attention to the CRO, which proposes to use the existing structure, increasing and adjusting it to improve conversion rates, increase results and, consequently, sales.
Why is it important to optimize your Conversion Rates?
Conversion rate is one of the best ways to measure the performance of your advertising campaigns and marketing actions.
Generally speaking, the better your conversion rate, the better your results and the better the strategies you are applying to reach them.
And any small change that optimizes the conversion rate has the potential to increase sales and revenue results.
Increasing a rate from 1% to 2% may seem small, but in the case of the conversion rate this small variation is huge.
If you double your website's conversion rate (even if it's from 1 to 2%) you'll automatically be doubling the conversion rate of all your internet traffic generation efforts, as well as generating a high potential to improve your sales results and bottom line.
One of the possibilities with the CRO is to improve your results without new investments, “only” optimizing the structure that the brand already has, in order to improve results.
Investing in CRO increases your company's ROI, also increasing sales or hires and the revenue generated with them.
All of your company's communication and marketing channels benefit from the application of the conversion optimization methodology.
If you direct social media links to your site, with the CRO increasing conversion rates, this channel's results will be better.
In another example, if you invest in paid media, and have better conversion results on your landing page, it means that you will need to invest less to reach the defined goals, or you can set higher goals, without having to invest more money.
As your conversion rate increases, your Customer Acquisition Cost decreases.
Reducing CAC means working at an advantage over competitors, spurring rapid company growth and improving the health of your business.
CRO also proposes improvements in the purchasing process, eliminating difficulties and making room for improvement.
In addition, it provides a lot of information to better understand the needs of the customers you want to reach and, therefore, allows your company to offer the best shopping experience for your visitors.
Are Growth Hacking and CRO the same thing?
Growth Hacking is the growth of brands and companies based on metrics, learning and experiences.
The objective is to find “hacks”, that is, bottlenecks, problems and triggers to turn them into opportunities and growth.
The truth is that Growth Hacking includes CRO, which is more related to the client acquisition part, while Growth extends beyond that.
According to the diagram created by Growth Tribe, a specialist in the subject, Growth hacking is a compilation of technical marketing knowledge, UX improvements, CRO and lean marketing.
Source: Growth Tribe
It's a different way of thinking about growth, in which the main objective is to use all resources, strategies and learning with a focus on results.
And not just any results.
Growth Hacking aims to generate growth disproportionate to the investment made.
What are the steps in a CRO strategy?
Now that you understand how Growth Hacking and CRO relate, let's dig a little deeper into the subject of conversion optimization.
- Analysis / Diagnosis
The first step in a good CRO strategy is to analyze and diagnose the current status of all investments and processes.
Here information and insights will emerge, and the better they are, the better the strategies will be implemented later.
This involves collecting data, conducting quantitative and qualitative research, which will help in the second step: the construction of hypotheses.
- Hypothesis survey
Assumptions of bottlenecks and improvement points cannot be made based on guesses.
That's why the previous step is so important so that your CRO efforts don't go in the wrong places.
For example, in the case of an e-commerce, if in the analysis phase it is identified that there is a very high rate of cart abandonment, your hypotheses need to be related to this problem.
It could be that the system takes a long time to load, it could be that the freight is too high and causes you to cancel your purchase.
List the hypotheses according to the problems identified to move to the next phase.
Put your ideas into action, test your hypotheses!
Only then will you know which ones really work.
One way to test hypotheses is to explore A/B tests, which have two versions, but with minor modifications between them.
Both versions are applied to the public during a trial period and then the one with the best performance remains fixed.
This type of strategy helps you understand what is best accepted by the audience you want to reach.
And you can analyze the conversion rates of your tests to invest in the one with the most satisfactory results.
Prioritize the tests with the greatest impact (use the ICE Score, a methodology to facilitate decision making), apply the listed changes and follow the process.
- Results analysis
Retrieve the data and hypotheses raised at the beginning of the process, compare the results of actions, changes and new campaigns put in the air and make a critical analysis based on data for the next decision-making.
Every test must provide new insights for new hypotheses, or they are not useful.
Create campaigns, strategies and tactics that are aligned with defined goals and assumptions.
Remember that CRO is a cyclical process, after all there are always improvements that can be made.
Can anyone do CRO?
We want to demystify for you the idea that CRO is very complex and can only be performed by large companies.
This is by no means true!
CRO actions can be applied by companies of different sizes and segments of activity and we will prove you why.
Applying the methodology can be as simple as testing new text in the site's headline or replacing the form with a chatbot.
Where to start CRO? What can you test first?
By applying CRO, you can test and improve virtually every stage of the purchase journey.
You can hypothesize and optimize processes and materials such as ads, site conversion points, account creation/login/onboarding process, email/call/WhatsApp communication flows, site speed optimization, design improvements and usability (UX/UI), content accessibility, etc.
Here we will explore some optimization points that can be done:
- Value offer
What determines whether a consumer will choose your brand among many on the market?
When a consumer is faced with a solution offered by your company or by some communication created, he thinks n its disclosure, it is the value proposition that reinforces that this option and no other is the best option to solve what the consumer is looking for.
Therefore, it must be clear, strong and focused on the consumer.
You can optimize this aspect of your site when creating a value proposition, you can test different shapes and locations when displaying it on your site, or even write it in another way.
While the site's visual appeal is very important, we cannot deny the value of a good text title to draw and hold the consumer's attention, as well as arousing interest for conversion.
Your site's main title has twice as much impact on conversion as the images, which are more supportive and contextual.
Here, focus on short sentences, of up to 50 characters, that use numbers to prove their proof of value and that generate identification with the pain that the visitor feels.
When entering your site, what does the visitor identify as an offer for conversion?
Do you offer full content on a topic of interest?
Is there free trial option for your product?
The more interesting the offer to the visitor, the better the chances of conversion.
Likewise, the offer is always related to the quantity and quality of information that your visitor will need provide and needs to be aligned with the moment in the marketing funnel that your visitors are.
- CTAs (Call to Action)
If your goal is for your reader or visitor to take action after coming in contact with material from your company, you need to make that clear to them.
To improve your CTAs, use words that connect with your audience's needs, be objective and focus on just one action, offer a benefit and don't require too complex action.
Friction is anything that unnecessarily complicates conversion, putting obstacles between the visitor and the action you want him to take.
Static forms—especially those that ask for a long list of visitor information—can cause what's called visitor contact friction.
People will only fill in their data in a form and wait for the return when they are convinced that the benefit is really worth it.
Therefore, decreasing the amount of information requested in the first instance can encourage conversion.
Once you have defined your eligibility criteria, remove all information that is not essential at this point from the forms, especially on the top funnel forms.
Another point that might need attention in relation to optimization is the price of your products or services.
Is it aligned with the other solutions offered on the market?
Is it in line with your customer's purchasing power?
Is it a point of differentiation for your company?
These questions should be taken into account to create hypotheses related to this point in your business.
Tools of the trade
There are several tools to help with every step of the conversion optimization process.
Some options for tracking your website metrics and checking heat maps include Google Analytics, Hotjar, Crazy Egg and InLook (Special bonus: you can watch your visitors live - like watching YouTube).