How To Turn Visitors Into Leads With Conversion Rate Optimization
If you have mastered the art of driving traffic to your website, but still struggle to generate leads or sales online, it is time to focus your efforts on conversion rate optimization. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of refining your website to increase the percentage of visitors who take a desired action. By understanding what is currently happening on your website, you can identify gaps in best practices, test new variations, and ultimately move users towards taking the actions you want them to. Increasing your conversion rates will boost leads and sales while reducing cost per acquisition, which is why every digital marketer should be taking CRO seriously. Read the steps below to quickly learn how to turn visitors into leads, or watch our webinar on the Top 5 Website Conversion Optimization Strategies to take a deeper dive into CRO.
Audit CRO Fundamentals
Start your conversion rate optimization journey by reviewing your website to ensure all CRO best practices are being followed. The CRO best practices are centered around capturing and maintaining visitors’ attention. Calls-to-action (CTAs) should be placed clearly throughout your website, using persuasive messaging to entice users to take a specific action. Support your CTAs with compelling content that clearly exhibits the benefits of your products or services and directly addresses the needs of the target market. If you are using long-form content, ensure that headlines, bullet-points, and callouts make it easy for visitors to quickly understand your key points. Surround your written content with descriptive imagery or video that visually displays your message. These content tips will make certain that when visitors land on your website, they are easily provided with all the information they need to take the next step of engaging with your business.
If you have reviewed your content and it appears to follow CRO best practices, but your conversion rates are still low, consider shortening your form fields and limiting your navigation. In general, form fields should ask for the minimum amount of information required to follow-up with a lead. If first name, last name, and email address are all that you need to nurture that lead, keep your form to those three fields. Try to avoid phone number as a required form field, as this has shown to reduce form fills due to reluctance to receiving sales calls. Along the same lines, a minimalist approach to your navigation can significantly increase conversion rates, as visitors will have less options on the page. Rather than navigating off the page and throughout your website, users will stay longer on a page with limited navigation. This can help funnel visitors toward taking the actions you want instead of leaving the page. Adjust your navigation and form fields, in addition to your content, to cover all of the CRO best practices. Once you have audited your website for CRO best practices, it is time to take a closer look at what is happening via website analytics.
Analyze Past Data
Conversion rate optimization is all about making tweaks to your website to improve your conversion rates, but you won’t know what to tweak or the impact of those changes without website analytics. There are several key metrics that you can focus on to understand areas in need of improvement on your website.
Start by analyzing the top visited pages on your website. Are they converting well, or at least leading to other pages that are? If not, focus on optimizing these pages to get these visitors convert. On the other hand, what are the top converting pages on your website? Can you get more conversions out of these pages by adjusting them or simply by driving more traffic to them? Understanding your top converting pages and top visited pages is an easy first step toward identifying areas of improvement.
To take it a step further, use behavior flow reports to see the most common paths that visitors take throughout your website. Perhaps you can add more CTAs along that path of commonly visited pages or adjust your navigation to direct that behavior flow to different pages. If you want to understand user behavior on a specific page, try using a heat map to see the areas of the page that are interacted with most. You may find users are attracted to the wrong area of the page, which could lead to rearranging the layout, adding/removing CTAs, etc.
Some other metrics to investigate are average session duration, bounce rate, and exit percentage. Average session duration will show you which pages visitors are spending the most or least time on, bounce rate will tell you pages that visitors land on but do not go to a second page, and exit percentage will tell you how many people leave your website from that page. Pages with low average session duration, high exit percentage, or high bounce rates should be identified as areas to improve because they are showing signs of poor user engagement.
There are many metrics that can be used for CRO, but these are a few of the easiest metrics to use to help highlight areas of your website to focus on.
Analyzing website data will lead you to make certain assumptions about your web pages, but you will have to test your assumptions to know if they are in fact true. For example, you may assume that a page has a high exit percentage because the headline is unclear. In order to know for sure, you must test a different variation of the page with a modified headline. Conversion rate optimization is based on testing your assumptions in this way to learn what truly works. Once you have identified areas that need improvement, begin forming different hypotheses to test. This can include variations in messaging, imagery, page layout, CTA placement, form fields, navigation elements, and entire offers. Keep in mind that you will want to test over a time period so that you have a large enough sample size for your results to be statistically significant. As you continuously test different variations of your website elements, you will find adjustments that significantly increase and decrease your conversion rates. Apply these findings throughout your digital marketing efforts to fully optimize your conversion rates.
For more details on conversion rate optimization, watch this free on-demand webinar now.