Conversion Rate Optimisation – A Beginner’s Guide

Every business wants to make it big online. If you’re in eCommerce, then you’re probably obsessed with how to explode your sales targets!!

And when you’re aiming for eCommerce excellence and online strategies that REALLY work – you need to understand Conversion Rate Optimisation.

It might sound dry, but CRO is your ticket to sales success. Conversion Rate Optimisation is the process of turning your website traffic into actual sales by applying specific optimisation strategies. 

With online shopping skyrocketing in the wake of COVID-19, it’s no wonder that eCommerce is becoming a real science. An informed, data-driven approach is crucial to understanding how your customers are behaving and how to drive their actions towards lucrative sales.

eCommerce Share of Global Retail Sales 2015-2021.
Source: beeketing.com

It’s the perfect plan for online sales success!!

But any smart salesperson will tell you that this is a far-from-simple process. You must understand how to optimise your website and sales funnel to really drive conversions.

This is what the study of CRO is all about. It’s a complex and data-driven field of digital marketing. But never fear, this article gives you the top tips and tricks your business needs!!

Read on to smash your sales quotas and rise to the top of eCommerce royalty…

A happy online shopper enjoys a positive buyers journey.

CRO & SEO – What’s The Difference?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of strategically optimising your website to appeal to search engines, increasing your position in the search rankings, and generating more traffic, leads and sales. 

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) is the process of applying strategies to change your web traffic into conversions. This means visitors take your desired action, which is usually the purchase of your products and services.

What’s My Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate of your website is the percentage of visitors who take this desired action. Usually, this means how many of your visitors actually buy something and become customers. Obviously, we want to achieve sky-high CRO!!

To calculate your CRO, divide the number of conversions in a specific period by the total number of visitors to your site, then multiply it by 100%.

CRO Formula
Source: theonlineadvertisingguide.com

Recent studies show that the average CRO falls between 2-5%. But there are outliers who are consistently achieving conversions of 11.5% and higher. The question is, how are some sites pulling this off!??

Search Conversion Rate Distribution
Conversion Rate Distribution stats
Source: wordstream.com

Types of Conversion Rate Optimisation

To drill down further, there are 2 types of conversions:

  • Micro Conversions
  • Macro Conversions

Micro Conversions

Micro conversions move customers further along your sales funnel, taking actions such as joining a mailing list or submitting an online inquiry. These incremental steps lead towards larger goals.

Macro Conversions

Macro conversions relate to the end goal of the sales funnel. This is where visitors have become customers. They’ve now purchased your product or service or paid a subscription to your website.

A team of digital marketing specialists work on the conversion rate optimisation of a client's website.

CRO Tools and Testing

You can use the Google AnalyticsGoals feature to keep on top of your conversion rate and track it over time. This will help you develop your approach to SEO, SEM and content, whilst simultaneously monitoring which of these strategies boosts your conversions. 

You can also use a heat map on your site that will show you where your visitors actually click and navigate on your site. This can help when determining the design of your website and where to place important elements such as buttons and CTAs.

How Will CRO Benefit My Business

There’s no point having a sizzling SEO strategy if the traffic you’re generating doesn’t take the action you need. Conversion Rate Optimisation is the missing piece of the puzzle, driving engagement and achieving tangible results. It’s the kind of online activity that has noticeable, real-world effects. 

Here are 5 big benefits of CRO…

  • Effective CRO helps you build the best ROI possible and generate real revenue fast. 
  • CRO helps your website rise to the top of Google’s SERPs – meaning increased visibility and traffic.
  • These analytics give you insight into the needs, behaviours, and patterns of your customers.
  • It delivers a smooth and seamless buyers journey for your customers. Great UX equals increased engagement! 
  • You’ll gain a serious advantage over your competitors – most of whom won’t put in the effort to optimise their conversion rates.

7 Ways To Increase Your Conversion Rate

An online shopper checks an eCommerce platform on her mobile.

1. Use A/B Testing

A/B testing allows you to compare the success of different online strategies. A/B testing means making two versions of a webpage or website, to see which one performs best amongst users. There are a number of A/B testing tools on the market today, allowing you to experiment with different approaches to CRO.

A/B testing stats.
Source: unbounce.com

2. Drive Your Buyers Journey With Quality Content

There are four steps on the buyers journey: 

  • Awareness
  • Interest & Evaluation
  • Desire
  • Action
The digital marketing funnel.
Source: alldigitalinnovation.com

At the Awareness stage, you’ll need to create copy that includes quality backlinks. Building links from quality websites will help you generate authority and expertise.

At the Interest stage, you can benefit from an attention-grabbing content strategy. Standout blog posts, pics and clips of your products and brand will work well here. 

Desire is all about making visitors want your product because it’s better than the competition. You can show this with real testimonials, reviews and case studies that communicate the benefits of your brand. 

As for the Action – this needs to take place at all costs! It’s the consumer behaviour that will make a real difference to your business. And if you can’t achieve it then the journey simply isn’t complete.

Offering a free trial of your service, a money-back guarantee, competitions, or creative content that guides your visitors to purchase are all effective Conversion Rate Optimisation strategies.

3. Use a Chatbot

Chatbots are an increasingly effective conversion strategy for eCommerce websites. So few people take the time and effort to contact customer support via email or telephone. This means their questions are left unanswered, reducing the likelihood of a sale.

One of the common criticisms of chatbots is that they’re impersonal and ineffective. But statistics show that chatbot use and positive interactions are skyrocketing…

  • 40% of millennials use chatbots every day.
  • 67% of millennials would buy a service or product using a chatbot.
  • 70% of millennials report positive experience when engaging with chatbots.
  • 66% of millennials and 58% of Baby Boomers see 24/7 service as the main benefit of using a chatbot.
Shopping online using a site optimised for mobile.

4. Audit Your Website

With a careful combination of both SEO and CRO, you’ll be able to discover the exact strategies that are converting. These are the questions you or your analytics team will need to exploring…

  • What’s your bounce rate? Where does this occur most onsite?
  • How do visitors find your site? Which ads or links are performing best?
  • Are people using desktops or mobile devices to access your site?
  • Which parts of your website are achieving the most engagement? 
  • What are the demographics of your users? And does this match up with your target audience?

5. CTAs That Drive Behaviour

CTAs are crucial because they’re one of the most direct drivers of behaviour anywhere on your site. If you’re smart about your CTAs then you’ll get a jump on your competition, because it’s a design feature that’s often overlooked…

CTA is ignored by marketers - stats.

To design a successful CTA, you’ll need to ensure that it…

  • Is colorful and stands out
  • Includes copy that encourages visitors to take action (“Visit Our Store”, “Click to Subscribe” etc).
  • Is designed to be unmissable and really pops on the page!!

6. Optimise Your Page Speed

It’s vital to make sure your page is loading quickly. Landing page optimisation is exceptionally important. Your site MUST run quickly and smoothly on all devices, particularly mobiles, to avoid your bounce rate rising and your conversation rate falling. You can check your mobile page loading time using Think with Google.

Conversion Rate Optimisation and Page Time
Source: marketingsherpa.com

7. Make Online Sales Super Easy

Your customers need a smooth sales process. In simple terms, your visitors want to find, research, and purchase your products as quickly and easily as possible.

Any impediments to this process will break your sales funnel and destroy your Conversion Rate Optimisation. If your customer journey is complicated, unclear, or requires excessive personal information, then this will be killing your conversions.

Make your sales funnel simple with clear CTAs and avoid asking them to fill out long forms. Finally, your cart or checkout MUST be seamless and simple to ensure an outstanding eCommerce user experience.

A young worker checks an online store on an iPad.

Conclusion – Conversion Rate Optimisation Delivers eCom Superstardom!!

If you’re serious about sales, then converting online visitors into paying customers should be at the top of your to-do list!! It’s a strategy that works hand in hand with search engine optimisation – gaining visibility and driving traffic, then turning these leads into lucrative sales.

Conversion Rate Optimisation should be on the mind of every business owner who wants to sell online. If you’re not thinking about how to connect the dots and drive serious sales, then all your hard work, from business growth to product development and search engine optimisation, will have been for nothing. 

CRO isn’t easy, but luckily, First Page are the experts Australian businesses need to succeed! We have years of SEO and CRO experience – combining our skillsets to get you found online – driving serious traffic and exploding your conversions!!

When you need high-quality eCom assistance to increase your online sales, First Page is the digital marketing agency to trust. Contact our account managers today…