For digital publishers and marketers, the conversion rate is one of the most critical indicators of the health and performance of their website, application, or digital property. Using every method available to boost your website’s conversion rate and decreases your cost per acquisition, improving the website conversion rate effectiveness of your ads, meaning you get more marketing efficiency for the same spending and increase the conversion rate.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
When you use tools, techniques, and other methods designed to help you improve your digital property’s conversion rates, you are using what the industry calls Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
Conversion Rate Optimization is a critical process in any marketing campaign because it allows you to get more value out of your visitors and customers, resulting in decreased acquisition costs, more sales, increased average conversion rates, and faster business growth.
Although the two metrics are related, boosting your conversion rate is not strictly the same as boosting your click-through rates (CTR) and impressions.
While they are part of your conversion funnel, impressions only measure the number of people that viewed your ads, and click-throughs measure the number of viewers that clicked on the ad and were redirected to your digital property. In other words, click-throughs and impressions are at the beginning of your conversion funnel; other aspects of your digital property must entice potential customers to convert.
Conversion Rate Optimization methods aim to further improve conversion rates in all aspects of the conversion sales funnel, such as the visual identity of your digital property, features improving user experience, and customer behavioral analysis.
Before You Start: Define Your Business Goals
Before discovering the top Conversion Rate Optimization methods, it is critical first to understand why conversions matter and how to define your business’s specific goals and objectives.
A conversion occurs when a visitor of your site, app, or digital property completes a specifically defined action. For example, an eCommerce website typically defines a conversion as a visitor completing a purchase and becoming a customer.
One of the primary business objectives for this site is to increase sales, and one of the most efficient methods is through Conversion Rate Optimization: increasing the percentage of visitors that complete purchases. CRO would help improve the sales copy of the value proposition and the average conversion rate value of each visitor, helping it grow.
Defining what your business considers a conversion goal is critical because it helps you determine which performance metrics to see a boost in conversions and which parts of your conversion funnel need improvements.
Common examples of conversions include the following:
- Visitors purchasing a product for the first time (new customer acquisition)
- Completing a contact form
- Downloading an application
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Starting a free trial
- Starting or renewing a subscription
- Visiting specific landing pages or elements of a digital property
Top 10 Methods How to Increase Conversion Rate
Although the rate optimization process isn’t an exact science, requiring you to experiment and find what works best for your business, the most successful marketers have employed these top-performing methods for their CRO marketing campaigns.
1. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Planners
While your conversion rate optimization strategy can begin with simple steps, mapping out a complete conversion rate optimization plan for critical landing pages of your digital property can be challenging without the proper tools and guidance.
A Conversion Rate Optimization planner, or CRO planner, is a dedicated tool to help you create a CRO plan and map out your website, app, or digital property’s optimization strategy. A CRO planner acts as a dashboard from which you can create optimization strategy elements, organize them over a timeline, and oversee the plan’s progress.
CRO planners are considered essential tools by marketers and developers in the industry. A commonly used example is HubSpot CRO Planner, which lets you visualize your conversion funnel, conduct audits to analyze your site, use various tools to analyze user behavior, and identify all possible optimization avenues. Most planners also come with their ancillary tools, such as A/B testing tools and page performance analyzers.
CRO planners also come with resources to facilitate research and analysis of benchmarks for your site’s sector, such as average conversion rates by device or platform, average conversion rates for competing sites, and other relevant data.
One of the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of your optimization plan is to adopt a CRO planner as early as possible. Besides serving as your central dashboard, choosing the right CRO planner will help you adapt your workflows and use its functions as efficiently as possible.
2. Visitor Behavioral Analysis
While knowing your business objectives is important, it is crucial not to rely on assumptions before testing or making changes to your digital property. Conversion Rate Optimization is almost entirely data-driven, meaning you must have a clear and unambiguous idea of your site, app, or digital property’s performance and fully understand how your visitors behave.
Although your conversion rate is among your most important metrics, there are many other crucial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can track to understand your visitors better.
They include the following:
- Number of monthly visitors
- Ad campaign click-through rates and impressions
- Bounce rates
- Average number of pageviews per session
- Average time spent on each webpage
- Average time spent per session
- Traffic sources
- Social media referrals
- Device type and operating system
3. A/B Testing
One of the core elements of a Conversion Rate Optimization campaign is experimentation. Differences in web page layout, style, design, functionality, button placement, and other elements affecting the User Experience (UX) affect the likelihood of a visitor converting.
Consequently, one of the most powerful tools a publisher or marketer can use for their CRO and marketing campaign is a resource that makes testing and experimenting easier and more convenient, such as an A/B testing tool.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, lets you compare the performance of two different web page layouts and determine which is more likely to result in conversions.
Some of the most widely used A/B testing tools include Google Optimize, HubSpot A/B Testing Kit, VWO, Optimizely, AB Tasty, and Omniconvert.
How A/B Testing Works
Before using an A/B testing tool, you must have access to two different versions of your property’s web page or element, such as a landing page. One is the current version, sometimes called the control or the champion, and the other is the challenger, featuring the changes you want to test.
Typically, the exact extent of the changes between the control and the challenger are minimal; they may even test a single element, such as a specific button’s size or placement. Although the overall objective is to increase the conversion rate, each A/B test may have a different goal, such as testing the usability of a new menu layout or the success of a new color or design on a specific site element. It is also a suitable tool for testing the addition of new site elements, such as video players, or the removal of superfluous ones.
When an A/B test is ongoing, about half of your customers will see the challenger version of the web page being tested, while the other half will see the control version. The A/B testing tool will display each version’s performance at the end of the testing period. If the challenger offers a significant increase in conversions, the changes tested may be worth implementing permanently.
4. User Interaction Tracking
Optimization is about improving your digital property and increasing its usability to entice more customers and sales. However, you can only implement meaningful changes or improvements by first understanding how users and visitors interact with it in the first place. Then, you can provide the data to the sales team.
User interaction tracking is a general term for behavioral analysis tools that lets you see how users navigate your website. Essential functions include recording and replaying mouse movements and displaying the page elements and buttons most likely to receive clicks and interactions. The results Google Analytics data, for example, are displayed using user interaction heatmaps, which show the most common mouse positions and the most commonly clicked areas.
More advanced features included in these tools can also retrace the average user’s journey through your site or app and tell you whether they skip specific elements or if they stop to interact with them, such as deals, offers, polls, or video players.
Examples of commonly utilized user interaction tracking tools include Crazy Egg, Smartlook, UXCam, and FullStory.
How User Interaction Tracking Helps Boost Conversion Rates
A user interaction tracking tool is primarily a form of analytics. While they don’t provide direct solutions to improve your conversion rates, they provide invaluable data and insights to help you make the right decisions.
Heatmaps and user journey recordings help you visualize your visitors’ typical experience while using your website, identify potential pain points and inefficient design elements, and enhance the features that work and receive the most interactions.
You can also use them to find “dead elements,” which are parts of your website that users ignore or overlook. They can also help you find “false clickables,” which are parts of your website that appear to be clickable elements but aren’t.
The ideal time to use a user interaction tracking tool is typically at the beginning of your Conversion Rate Optimization strategy before implementing any changes. You can also combine the insights received with A/B testing to guide you toward the parts of your site, app, or digital property that may require the most changes or modifications.
5. Live Chat
Visitors and users often fail to convert because they can’t find the information they need. In the past, this situation often resulted in losing many potential customers. Despite potential customers having a high intent to buy, the inability to find what they need causes frustration and turns them away from your site.
Today’s technological advances have made it possible to assist users who experience difficulties finding the information they need to convert. One of the most versatile tools a marketer or publisher can use is the live chat system.
How Live Chat Works
A live chat tool or service is like an instant messaging window integrated into your website. It makes itself available to users by hanging on the screen’s bottom-left or bottom-right corner. When a user clicks on the live chat window, it opens with a message asking the user whether they can provide help or assistance.
Publishers and developers can implement one of two types of live chat systems: Chatbots and live chat with human operators.
- A chatbot is best suited for answering frequently-asked questions and guiding users to where they want to be, such as the correct product page. While chatbots are fully automated, function 24/7, and do not require human intervention to function correctly, the scope of their interactions with users is more limited. Recent advances have shown some chatbots may use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to provide more personalized responses and bridge the gap with human operators.
- A live chat system with human operators functions similarly to an instant messaging system. Users can ask questions to a human operator and receive direct help or assistance regarding a particular subject. This live chat system is best suited for basic technical support, legal websites, and other platforms and applications that require live, personalized responses.
How Live Chat Improves Your Conversion Rates
A live chat system provides direct, instant help to visitors and customers, making it a source of customer engagement. Studies have shown that although a small fraction of users (15%) will use the live chat system, an adequately configured live chat system is a source of satisfaction: 81% of interactions with the live chat system are rated as positive by visitors.
Users who have completed a conversation on a live chat system are 513% more likely to buy a product or convert.
Live chat helps customers find their way, eliminates potential sources of frustration, and increases the chances of being able to increase conversion rates. Live chat can also serve as an additional line of communication between the customer and the company, allowing customers to reach out and feel heard.
Live chat is also gaining popularity with younger customers: a 2018 eMarketer survey shows live chat is the preferred method of communication with a brand or website for customers aged 18 to 49 and the second-preferred for customers aged 50 and over, behind the phone.
6. Abandoned Cart Emails
Although primarily employed by eCommerce platforms, one of the staples of a CRO strategy for this website category is the abandoned cart email system.
Publishers and website developers use numerous technologies and solutions to drive traffic and lead visitors to complete the desired action, such as a purchase on a product page.
From search engine optimization (SEO) to a robust ad campaign, you may already use these technologies to bring traffic to your site. Your analytics solution may tell you that these users regularly pick out items and select products to add to their cart.
However, if your statistics show your conversion rates remain low despite your efforts, check the Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate statistics. A high value may indicate the need for remedial action, such as abandoned cart emails.
How Abandoned Cart Emails Work
One of the most common causes of a high cart abandonment rate is simply a lack of readiness on the customer’s part, such as when a customer is “just browsing” or simply not ready to buy yet.
According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 58.6% of online shoppers in the United States abandon their carts from lack of readiness, making it a more common cause of abandonment than high costs, inconvenient or lengthy checkout processes, or technical issues.
This phenomenon indicates that most abandoned carts correspond to users who aren’t necessarily lost customers and who may still be reacquired and enticed to complete a conversion. The primary objective of an abandoned cart email is simple: If the user has a registered account or has submitted their email address to your company, the system will send the customer an email with a reminder of the cart’s contents and an invitation to resume shopping.
One of the best practices to ensure users see the email and resume their shopping experience is to keep these emails short and snappy, with a short copy and an easy-to-find button or link to return to the cart.
Abandoned cart emails may also feature product recommendations from the same or similar categories as the items in the cart. These recommendations can be a form of up-selling or cross-selling, incentivizing shoppers to buy a different or a higher-quality product and increasing the likelihood of a conversion.
7. Optimize Page Loading Speeds
Sometimes, users must complete the desired action because they find the website or application slow or unresponsive. Although website performance may not seem directly related to sales or conversions, it has one of the most significant effects.
Slow load speeds can frustrate users and make them feel like they are wasting their time, whereas fast-loading websites are more pleasant to navigate and benefit from higher conversion rates.
A 2019 Portent study revealed that the first 5 seconds of load times are the most critical for conversion rates, and publishers can achieve the highest rates by keeping the load times under 4 seconds.
The differences are crucial; websites with a 1-second load time receive 5% more conversions than websites with a 2-second load time and 10% more than a 3-second load time. At the extreme end of the scale, websites achieving a 6-second load time or worse lose half the conversion rate of a 1-second load time.
Load Speed Optimization Techniques
Although many load and page speed optimization methods are technical, publishers and media owners can access various options that don’t require extensive technical or development knowledge. Here are some of the best and most cost-effective ways to optimize your load and page speed.
- Use free website audit tools like PageSpeed Insights to analyze your digital property’s performance. Such devices generally offer precise numbers and a color-coded scoring system to determine whether your current load speeds and site performance are acceptable.
- Consider re-evaluating your hosting options. Many factors can affect your site’s load speeds, such as their servers’ geographical location, the company’s network bandwidth, or the details of your current web hosting plan. For example, whether you are on a shared hosting plan, a VPS, or a dedicated server can significantly affect your load speeds and overall performance.
- A Content Delivery Network (CDN) might help you. CDNs use arrays of servers in various worldwide physical data centers to facilitate serving bandwidth-heavy content, such as images. For example, if your product page pictures are hosted on a CDN, users from a given geographic region will load images from the CDN server closest to their area. CDNs can be crucial for reducing load times and improving performance.
- Use image compression and optimization techniques. Converting your product and site images to lightweight, web-friendly formats can help reduce the load on each web page and increase load speeds. For example, .webp images have a 26% smaller file size than .png equivalents and up to 34% smaller than .jpg / .jpeg versions.
8. Mobile Versions of your Website
According to the latest known statistics, as of March 2023, 60.67% of all website traffic worldwide comes from users on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Regardless of whether your website or digital property is in the eCommerce category, it’s highly likely that a significant percentage of your users, if not the majority, will access it on a mobile device.
Ensuring your website has a mobile-friendly version is vital to provide visitors on smartphones and tablets with the best possible user experience. Non-mobile-optimized websites may load more slowly and have issues rendering correctly on smaller mobile device screens, which can severely reduce the quality of a mobile visitor’s browsing and navigating experience.
Besides the risk of harming load speeds and user experience on a mobile site, a lack of mobile optimization can cost you conversions and traffic. One study suggests it takes the average user no more than 50 milliseconds to decide whether to stay on a website or close the tab. A high bounce rate (visitors quitting the website after viewing one page) from mobile viewers is one of the most common signs your website may not be mobile-friendly.
A properly designed and mobile-optimized version of your website loads more quickly, is better adapted to smartphone and tablet screens, is easier to navigate with tap and touch controls, and provides an overall higher-quality and more seamless user experience. Better UX on mobile results in fewer visitors bouncing, naturally increasing traffic and conversion rates for new visitors.
9. Simple Checkout Process
If your website is in the eCommerce category or has a product store with a checkout system, you likely define conversions as users completing a purchase. While a lack of readiness is the leading cause of cart abandonment, two other common reasons for abandonment during checkout include account creation and complicated checkout processes.
Most visitors looking to purchase products online will only retain their shopping experience on a given site if the checkout process is simple, time-consuming, or otherwise inconvenient. If you find yourself in this situation, analyze your current situation and verify that you aren’t losing sales to a convoluted process.
Below is a list of quick tips and changes to consider implementing to your website to increase conversions, simplify the checkout process for website conversions, and boost your website conversion rates further.
- Don’t make account creation a requirement. Online shoppers frequently see the need to create an account as an additional, unnecessary barrier. Some don’t feel comfortable sharing personal data; others view it as time-consuming. Regardless, eliminating the need to open an account to buy a product may provide potential customers the convenience of completing a purchase.
- Keep the checkout process contained to a single page. Spreading the approach to multiple tabs or windows only lengthens the time it takes to complete a purchase, making potential customers feel like they are wasting time. The best way to do so is to ensure your checkout form only requires the customer to enter essential information, with as little extra as possible.
- Customers always like free shipping. Although it may only sometimes make sense for some products or geographic regions, offering free shipping can significantly motivate potential customers to complete a purchase. Free shipping decreases the risk from the customer’s point of view and helps them feel more confident in their shopping experience. An efficient compromise between customer convenience and revenue is to offer free shipping when the customer’s purchases reach a set minimum value (e.g., free shipping on orders of $50 or more.)
- Consider offering free returns. Like free shipping, free returns are guarantees for the customer that help decrease risk and entice them to complete the purchase more confidently. A free returns policy helps them ensure that, if anything goes wrong with the product or their shopping experience, you will handle it at no extra cost to them.
10. Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Building trust with your customers is critical to increasing the likelihood of a conversion. One of the most efficient ways of increasing customer trust is to display positive reviews and testimonials written by fellow customers on a product page.
The most effective positive reviews and customer testimonials are those that answer potential customers’ questions about the product they are interested in purchasing. This type of review or testimonial is referred to as high-trust (e.g., high-trust review).
High-trust reviews and testimonials are statistically proven to work. According to a Vendasta study, 92% of consumers read reviews and testimonials before making a purchasing decision, 44% say recent reviews (written within the last month) are the most relevant to them, and 62% say they’ve seen at least one fake review on a local business.
These statistics indicate that customers care about reviews and testimonials. They are not only more likely to convert if they see quality, trustworthy customer impressions, but they also pay attention to reviews and testimonials that seem fake or untrustworthy, which can potentially drive conversions down.
Optimize Your Digital Properties’ Revenue with CodeFuel
Regardless of your sector or industry, creating a robust Conversion Rate Optimization plan and taking the proper steps to boost your website, app, or digital property’s conversion rates is critical for your business’s success. CodeFuel’s team understands this better than anyone else and has the resources and expertise to help you draw more traffic and convert more visitors. Contact us today to learn more.
How do you fix a low conversion rate?
Low conversion rates are typically caused by issues and pain points experienced by potential customers as they go through your conversion funnel. Generally, a poor user experience degrades the customer’s journey and harms your conversion rate.
What causes a high conversion rate?
Digital properties with high conversion rates typically have pleasant web design, good user experience, a short and easy checkout process, and optimizations to let potential customers find what they want as easily as possible.
Remember that no single factor guarantees high conversion rates. Conducting tests and making changes incrementally is the safest way to boost your conversion rate.
What influences my conversion rate?
Six factors are commonly recognized as the most influential to your conversion rate:
- Value proposition: What you offer your visitors and the benefit they gain from it is called a value proposition.
- Relevance: How easily visitors can find what they want.
- Clarity: How easy to understand your offer is.
- Anxiety: How credible and trustworthy you appear.
- Distraction: How much attention your visitors have toward your offer.
- Urgency: How likely visitors are to convert as soon as they visit.
How can sales conversion rates be improved?
If you run an eCommerce platform and your primary objective is to boost sales, the best way to increase your conversion rate is to continuously improve your digital property with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) techniques.
What does it mean to increase your conversion rate?
Increasing your conversion rate means increasing the number of visitors that complete a desired action, resulting in a conversion.
Which three actions can best improve my conversion rate?
Three techniques can help you improve your conversion rate at a relatively low cost, making them highly cost-efficient:
- Choose the most specific keywords you can
- Refine your audience traffic with negative keywords
- Include pricing in your ads to attract high-intent buyers
What is considered a good conversion rate?
Many factors can influence conversion rates, and some specific rates are considered good, increase the conversion rates. The most significant factor is the sector of your digital property. A good conversion rate in one sector may not be good in another. Research average conversion rates for your own site, blog, or app’s category to determine the best percentages.