Delighting customers with optimal experiences requires you to build a website that is easy and friendly for visitors to navigate through and make informed decisions — an ideal environment for conversions. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a process to increase your visitors and convert them into your customers.
Conversion rate optimization is no longer optional.
It is a part of any successful marketing strategy, where you analyze website elements that require optimization — and for whom. Whether you should go for CRO or not is no more a topic to debate. Make it your habit and put your skills to work towards conversion rate optimization.
Experimentation is the framework that allows failure to be controlled and studied, according to a new research study. Today, it is all about creating an amazing online experience for your customers.
Experiment, test, reiterate and implement the best strategies to impress your customers for a lifetime. This has to be an ongoing process.
Yes, the tactics for conversion rate optimization can vary depending on the business model and its life-stage. Work out what to test and hold onto what can convert every visitor into a customer.
Why customer-centricity is key
With a brand value of $150.8 billion (at the time of this writing), Amazon stands today as the largest online business both by market capitalization and revenue. The company took the top spot in the 2018 list of the most valuable brands in the world.
Interestingly, the brand has escalated from its third position last year to first this year — Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook now follow Amazon.
One of the key reasons that helped these brands to rise in terms of conversion rate optimization is being customer-centric.
Focusing purely on customers and their needs, delivering top-level experiences, and enabling a good connectivity with the brand without any friction has made these brands successful. Jeff Bezos says he believes in increasing the number of experiments when it comes to conversions. He says it can dramatically increase the number of innovations and improve sales.
The truth is, you need to be bold to do experiments to increase your conversions. The tip here is to cut down your testing from per year to per month to per week to per day to per hour.
Ayat Shukairy, a specialist in a conversion rate optimization, recently made a mention that companies should adopt the SHIP method — Scrutinise, Hypothesis, Implement and Propagate. “If you are keen to enhance your conversion rates, then you need to first scrutinise and analyze, create few models, lean test, iterate and implement,” he clarified. “This will help your brand to come all over alive again.”
This precisely indicates that every brand has to identify the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of its online presence to drive conversion rate optimization.
Understand and believe in the value of:
Testing for conversion success
It all comes down to only one thing — your customer. Examine the strength and frailness of your site, the landing page and overall usability. You need to test a number of variables to evaluate several different elements and blend numerous disciplines.
To begin, test a range of experiences that focus on the browser flow and the buoyant flow. These are keys to conversion rate optimization.
Why browsers flow
Browsing your web page should be like reading a thrilling novel that creates a Zeigarnik effect — hooking the customer until the end. The thrill here should lead to an enjoyable experience. There should be no anxiety and no distractions.
Put elements on your page that will help users stay there until met with a resolution. Check for the following:
- How powerful is your landing page?
- Is the content created with a goal to deliver the right experience?
- Are the web pages relevant?
- Are they adding value?
- Are they motivating browsers to make a sale decision?
- Is the page optimized to fit different channels?
Create a highly effective landing page like Uber
With approximately 75 million riders, 3 million drivers and 4 billion trips completed worldwide in 2017, Uber stands today as one of the top transportation network companies. They offer a friction-free, hunt-and-hail taxi service, peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery and much more to their customers.
What makes this company so successful? One bright reason is its powerful landing page:
The headline is clear and attractive. The sign up form is clean and short. The portals for riders and drivers are clearly labeled in the page’s top navigation. The flow is smooth and directional.
“There are dozens of different components to keep in mind, a whole science of psychology lurking beneath the surface, and the vague idea of ‘what the customer wants’ whispering in the background,” says Neil Patel in an article that talks about the essentials of high converting landing page.
Although there is no one-rule-fits-all when it comes to conversion rate optimization, the basic elements to consider include:
- Persuasive words (e.g. calls-to-action)
- Logical interaction
- Smooth flow
Why buoyant flow?
Speed and efficiency are the two major factors that will help a customer make a purchase decision. If your page takes time to load, customers are quick to shift to another site.
Similarly, if it fails to offer what your customers are looking for, you will fall short in terms of conversion rate optimization. Visitors should make a decision before leaving your page. Ensure your call-to-action (CTA) solicits an action from your website’s visitors.
Netflix has mastered CTA placement for conversion rate optimization
Netflix, a top streaming video provider, has mastered the art of converting free trial subscribers to users. The membership conversion rate for Netflix’s free trials is reportedly more than 90 percent. Notice the prominent call-to-action on the Netflix landing page below:
Once a visitor clicks to join free for a month, they are smoothly directed to the next step of the signup process:
Each page creates an urge to move further. Powerful words are leveraged. Check how prominent is the “Choose Your Plan,” and here again the call-to-action button “SEE THE PLANS” is so clean that users are quickly taken to the next level.
An experience of a lifetime
Once you’re familiar with the basic elements to test on your website to improve conversions, you are ready to move to the next phase, where you identify all the strengths that maximize the impact of your web presence to facilitate conversion rate optimization.
Be ready to invest in understanding your customers. This will add value.
To carry out a detailed analysis, you’ll need to work on two different types of research:
The objectives of these tests are:
- To identify the gaps and tighten them.
- To boost innovation.
- To redefine strategies.
- To assess investments that can increase your online sales.
- To get a fresh look at the unmet needs and sources.
You can use various analytics programs, including Google Analytics, to gather measurable data that you can then use for conversion rate optimization. For example, you can use Google Analytics to better understand visitors to your website — including demographics such as age and gender, where they live, their interests and much more.
With quantitative testing, you can gain valuable insights into your website’s users. You observe, envisage, control, validate and test the hypothesis.
Qualitative tests are precise, focusing on the quality of experience. They can be phenomenological, narrative, thematic, statistical, ethnographic, theoretical — or even a case study method.
Such evaluation helps you gain an understanding of your website’s fundamental problems (if any), user opinions and even future actions. You understand, describe and uncover hypotheses via this method.
These methods have evolved over time and in today’s era, the best methods for carrying out qualitative tests include using social media polls, customer surveys, case studies, interviews and even real-time communication — a live chat.
By conducting both qualitative and quantitative tests, you create a hypothesis and work towards measuring it using the data metrics for conversion rate optimization. This will help you to gain new insights and arrive at a possible solution to succeed.
“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer.” ~ Jeff Bezos
True, customers are the heart and soul of your business, and experience is a big differentiator in conversion rate optimization. Consider delivering an exceptional experience to all website visitors, not just your customers.
Creating experiences that matter to them keeps you at the top of their mind. Increasing conversion is a one-time cost for which the returns are ongoing.
To get to the basics of conversion rate optimization, do the following exercises first:
- Understand what you want to accomplish (your metrics).
- Conduct an ROI analysis.
- Develop experimental formats, then test and iterate.
- Prioritize design efforts.
- Create user-based experiences.
To recap, a few more pointers:
- Make sure your website is fast, attractive and efficient.
- Enhance trust.
- It is essential to optimize mobile conversions. Create a better mobile experience in 2018 and the years to come.
- Be active with relevant customized content across multiple social media platforms. Studies indicate that nearly three in 10 respondents said they use social media to research or find products to buy. Optimize your conversion rates via social media, too.
- Break the cycle if there is a desperate need for a new approach.
- Deliver a differentiated omnichannel experience. Today, the trend is that customers do not take actions by seeing a product in just one device. There is a shift from desktop to mobile to in-store everywhere.
Watching and measuring such cross-device journeys are essential to understand the pattern and to personalize the user experience accordingly.
Fine-tune your page capacity and deliver a consistent experience no matter which channel they use to connect with your brand.
- Respect privacy.
- Create backlinks.
- Use live chat. People prefer live chat because they can arrive at a purchasing decision without wasting their time.
- Invest in live streaming. Align your campaigns as per your customers’ desires/needs.
- Create user-generated content. Engage with your users even the time when they are not buying.
- Be SEO savvy.
- Rope in the latest technologies.
- Seek influencers.
- Continue evaluating your presence.
- Add an experience intelligence platform with your web or mobile app experience. These days, it will help you track everything that is happening on your web/mobile pages.
Finally, but perhaps most important, continue engaging with your customers.
Closing thoughts on conversion rate optimization
It is highly critical to learn as much as you can about your customers and the pattern of their interaction with your brand. It will help you deliver optimal, exceptional experiences that result in conversions.
Data is available from multiple sources today. Social media platforms act as the biggest, most reliable and up-to-date source of information about your customers and leads. Access as much user information possible, gain a 360-degree actionable insight, and tie it all back together to improve their experience.
The point is to remain competitive and to get maximum conversions. You need to optimize your online appearance and efficiency to match the speed of your customers. Simply practice to continuously enhance the experience of your customers by gaining fresh insights.