Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a ‘Profit Multiplier’

I’ve given this as a talk to the FSB in Forth Valley and Business IQ in Edinburgh. Next up is a free presentation to the Ecommerce Growth Club on Tuesday 13th July 9.30 – 11am.

None of us is surprised that online sales increased 46% in 2020 (Internet Retailing).

We all know that having an excellent website and online presence are more important than ever, whether you’re selling online or using your website to generate enquiries.

So, let’s assume that you’ve already invested in your marketing: your website, ecommerce, social media, Google & Facebook Ads, SEO, video marketing, content marketing, PR, and, of course, your networking.

All this time and marketing investment is driving more traffic to your website. Logic says that you need to convert as much of that traffic as possible into customers.

So, are you putting enough effort into improving your website’s conversion rates?

Many companies aren’t so you’re not alone if you haven’t focused on improving conversion rates yet. Most websites have lots of room for improvement.

Conversion rates vary considerably between industries and devices but most conversion rates for e-commerce websites fall between 1 and 5% (Marketing Sherpa).

You’ll be pleased to hear that improving the conversion rates from your website can cost surprisingly little, even though it significantly improves the return from your marketing.

Why Doubling Your Conversion Rates is a ‘Profit Multiplier’

  • To double your conversion rates, you just need to increase the conversion rate of 4 pages by 19% because of the power of compounding.
  • And, if you double your website’s conversion rate, you will halve your ‘cost-per-acquisition’ (CPA) for each new customer.
  • What’s more, doubling your conversion rates can increase profits by far more, perhaps four times.

If you study winning websites – think of your favourite ones – you’ll see that they are extremely customer-focused. They are built for their customers as ‘engines of conversion’, with perfect landing pages and irresistible offers, with clear, compelling copy. They’re easy to navigate, with logical, smooth order flows.

Seven Tips on How to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rates

There are more than 100 ways you can improve a website’s conversion rates. I’m going to focus on just 7 key tips:

1. The 8 second rule

Have you heard of the 8 second rule? You have 8 seconds to convince a new website visitor not to bounce straight off your website.

We all know that first impressions count. Branding and website design are important. Your website needs to persuade and engage – to get your prospects to take the next step in the sales funnel.

2. Instantly communicate trust

Instantly communicate trust – show people why they should trust your website. That’s why many of us share: testimonials and reviews; professional accreditations; clients’ and partners’ logos; claims supported by hard data.

Do you give a guarantee? Offering a guarantee is a great way to communicate trust.

A client selling handmade Scottish cushions added “as seen in” to shout about their press coverage in prestigious publications. This is a great trick for building credibility and trust.

3. Have prominent calls to action and test them

Ensure you have clear calls to action that are easy to find. Test them out.

Too many websites don’t provide a phone number. Add your phone number prominently to the top of every page and make it clickable.

I persuaded a client, a web hosting company, to add a phone number – we also added a strapline ‘Web hosting with a human touch’ which reflects his new market position and USP.

Consider adding (live) chat – many customers prefer chat.

4. Ensure your website content is clear

Have clear website content. Your website content needs to be written clearly, with short sentences, short paragraphs and no excess words.

Many websites take much longer to build than they should because a lot of us find it hard to write content.

I have a new client in a traditional industry that currently has no usable content for his website – I’ll write it for him. At the other end of the spectrum, I have a start-up client in high end designer bags where we passed the content to the web designer before the build started. “That’s unusual!” the designer said!

Other suggestions for creating good content include:

  • When writing, ensure you include benefits as well as features.
  • Ensure your value proposition is clear.
  • Review the description and presentation of your products and services. Ensure they are well packaged-up, well ‘productized’ – it makes them much easier to sell.
  • Watch out for the “curse of knowledge” which often results in you using technical jargon – that’s because, you know your products so well that it can make it harder for you to describe them clearly to strangers.

And, if you struggle with writing clearly, blame your English teacher! Our teachers encouraged us to write ‘intelligently’ with long sentences and long paragraphs. Ironically, I regularly have to break up one education sector client’s paragraphs and sentences, when creating their email newsletters!

5. Take a scientific approach

Take a scientific approach and test different pages and elements.

Firstly, ensure Google Analytics is properly set up, ideally with some goals.

Then, consider using A/B testing on key landing pages:

  • Popular tools include Google Optimize and Optimizely.
  • You can learn a lot from heat tests, session recordings and click-mapping. (Hotjar, ClickTale and CrazyEgg are leading tools).

6. Do user tests

Carry out some user tests to watch how people cope with your workflows – so, give at least 3 typical customers specific tasks to do on your website and watch, or record, how they get on – listen to their feedback. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn a lot, and may well be amazed by some of your mistakes – user tests are quick and easy to carry out. In fact, they have many advantages over A/B tests.

A natural skincare ecommerce client has recently run some user tests and received actionable feedback to improve order flows.

7. Consider improving your current website, instead of building a new one

Lastly, consider improving your current website, instead of building a new one.

It sometimes it makes more sense to get your current website working really well rather than investing in a new website. That’s what many leading ecommerce businesses do – they like to make lots of incremental improvements.

If your website really needs to be replaced, ensure your web designer or developer is well briefed, with a written brief and website map, and has put enough thought into the navigation and usability. Real Marketing can build a winning new website for you and take all the hassle out of planning and content creation.

Seven Tips for Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

To sum up, seven suggestions for improving your conversion rates are:

1. Remember the 8 second rule
2. Instantly communicate trust
3. Have prominent calls to action
4. Ensure you have clear website content
5. Be scientific
6. Do user tests
7. Consider improving your current website, instead of building a new one

Improving your website’s conversion rates is a no-brainer! Isn’t it?!

See Real Marketing’s Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) service here…

If you’re serious about improving your website, ask me for a Free Zoom Website Review.

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