Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

There are two sides of the marketing equation for any business. One is acquiring new visitors to your site, and the other is converting them into paying customers or users of your product or service. 

So do you make sure that you can convert the leads that you purchased or spend money, time, and human resources on? 

This is what’s called Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO. It’s the art of testing your existing digital assets and improving your site’s conversion rates.

The higher your conversion rate, the more money you can make from your existing traffic. 

Think about it. 

Instead of investing more money into Facebook ads and lead generation, you can make money from the same amount of traffic by improving your conversions. That’s why a lot of companies hire agencies or marketing consultants that specialize in conversion rate optimization services. 

Let me give you an example. 

One of the most famous examples of conversion rate optimization comes from Barack Obama’s 2008 US Presidential campaign. Dan Siroker, who is the founder and CEO of Optimizely (a leading CRO tool), was Obama’s Director of Analytics. He had the idea of testing specific banner and CTA button combinations to maximize campaign donations. 

Dan’s team came up with 24 combinations consisting of four different button options, three images and three videos. After testing all of these combinations with over 300,000 site visitors, they came up with the winning combination – a picture of the Obama family and a red button that read “Learn More”. This combination resulted in a 40% lift in conversions from 8% to over 11.6%. 

What were the results? 

The new combination led to approximately 2,880,000 more signups, 288,000 more volunteers, and an additional $60 million in donations. Now that’s impressive. 

This example illustrates how a small change in the design of a landing page can make a huge impact on the conversion and the bottom line. 

How do you set up a conversion rate optimization campaign? 

So how do you set up one of these campaigns?

Here are 6 simple steps:

  1. Gather the right data – install all the various data analytics tools and make sure that everything is reporting correctly. This includes e-commerce tools, checkout sales funnels, Google Analytics, etc. 
  2. Set a goal for your campaign – choose a KPI or a metric that you want to improve and set by how much you are trying to improve it.
  3. Design the experiment – design an A/B test based on your data and your goal and let it run for 2-4 weeks minimum.
  4. Measure the results – measure the results, collect your findings, and present them in a visually appealing manner to your team and supervisors. 
  5. Prepare for the next campaign – a conversion optimization expert’s job is never done. There is always more to optimize and improve on in your site. So based on your experiment design, the next improvement that you want to test on your site. 

Now that you know how to set up a CRO campaign, the only question that remains is what tools would you use? Don’t worry; we got the break down for you of all the tools that you might need to do conversion rate optimization properly. 

What are the tools that you need for CRO?
1. Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is the best analytics platform for any site. It offers everything from e-commerce data to conversion funnels to traffic analysis. It also shows you a break down of your user demographics with parameters like gender, age, device type and location. 

2. E-commerce analytics

If you have an e-commerce site that you are hosting on a platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, it’s important to use that particular platform’s analytics. They usually have more accurate e-commerce data than what you could get from Google Analytics. 

3. WordPress analytics 

If you have a WordPress blog or site, you should be using WordPress analytics. There are also a ton of plugins that you could get on the platform that could give you all the data you need to begin a CRO campaign. 

4. Google Optimize 

Google Optimize is a free tool that you can use to set up your A/B test and track your results. It’s a great place to begin if you are just starting out or if you have a limited budget. It’s a free tool, and it does a great job. 

5. Optimizely

Optimizely is one of the most well-known CRO tools, and it has some advanced capabilities for A/B testing and multivariate testing of any element on your site. However, it does come with a hefty price tag of $1000/month, so it’s for more advanced applications and for larger companies. 

6. Hotjar

Hotjar is one of the most popular heat map tools out there. It records your users and what they do on your site and then displays it to you like a map. It’s a fantastic way to collect and view data about your site visitors and see what you need to improve on.

7. Freshmarketer

Freshmaketer is a suite of tools made by a company called Freshworks. It includes an A/B test tool, segmentation, email marketing, and marketing automation. It’s an awesome platform for marketers that don’t have coding skills because it allows to do everything without having to code anything! So it provides not only conversion rate optimization services but a host of other beneficial tools. The best part is it’s affordable with plans starting at $49/month.

Where to start optimizing? 

There are three main parts of your website that you could focus on – top of the funnel, middle, and bottom. Let’s talk about each one of them.

Top of the marketing funnel – this is your home page. If you have never A/B tested your home page or have done some elementary tests, it’s a good idea to look at improving this page some more. This is called the top of the funnel because this is where users go to when they first click on your site. 

Middle of the funnel – this is any specific product or category page if you have an e-commerce site or a specific blog post if you have are content-heavy. Marketers should focus on the middle of the funnel last after they have optimized the top and the bottom of the funnel.

Bottom of the funnel – this is the checkout process or page that you have for your site. It’s perhaps the most important place to optimize because it has the most direct impact on your sales and bottom line. However, if you are using a well-established platform like Shopify that has made a significant amount of improvements and testing on their checkout process, then you should start with the top of the funnel. 

Recap

CRO or conversion rate optimization is a compelling framework and marketing technique to improve your site and your sales. If your company is small, it might be a good idea to start with this guide and slowly develop the infrastructure, tools, and gather the data to be able to improve your conversions. However, if you have a more established firm, it’s an excellent idea to hire a consultant or agency that specializes in conversion rate optimization services.