Conversion rate optimization- A five step process for successful internet marketing
Every astute businessman is well aware of the importance and benefits of the internet marketing. That is why, irrespective of the size of the business, search engine optimization, PPC, social media marketing experts are being hired to boost ranks and traffic. If a good number of the internet users are visiting your website, no doubt, it is good for your business. However, the objective of the internet marketing is the objective of your business. If you are selling a product then the objective is to increase sale. If you are providing some kind of service then its objective is to increase the number of your clients. If you are a blogger then the objective is to increase the number of readers and subscribers. Increased traffic is not going to be fruitful if the business goal is not achieved. It is the conversion that helps you in achieving your objective.
Conversion and conversion rate optimization
Conversion happens when someone visits your website and performs an action which you expect him to perform. It can be a purchase, availing a service, email subscription, filling an online form, downloading an application or any other action that helps you in achieving your business objective.
The objective of practicing CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is making improvements in a landing page to convert visitors into customers or subscribers. However, it is important to know that it does not increases the traffic, it just increases the conversion rate. And, this increased conversion rate is ultimately helpful in achieving the business goal. According to Wikipedia:
An increase of 2% to 3% in the conversion rate can result in an increase of 50% in the sale.
The importance of conversion rate optimization is unquestionable. However, still most of the marketers concentrate more on driving traffic and less on improving conversion rate. Here is what the online marketing pioneer Bryan Eisenberg says:
“Most websites don’t have a massive traffic problem, however, every website in the world has a conversion problem.”
Here is a five step process for improving the conversion rate of a website:
1. Gather Data
The very first step is gathering both quantitative and qualitative data about the company, website, and visitors. Data to be collected about the company includes objective and goal of the company, and unique selling proportions. Data to be gathered about the website includes the website sales process and current traffic. When it comes to the data about visitors, you should collect information about the causes stopping a visitor from performing the expected action. Google Analytics is a useful tool for gathering information about the website. Information provided by the tool helps you in understanding the way visitors are using your website and the step of the funnel from where they are dropping off. However, to collect this information, first of all, you need to set up conversion goals and funnel visualization. Conversion goals tell about the conversion rate and the conversion funnel shows the number of steps of the process followed by visitors. Consider an e-commerce website is visited by 1000 visitors, 700 out of these 1000 visitors visited the shopping area. 350 placed items in the cart and finally, 50 visitors made a purchase, then the conversion funnel would be:
This funnel will provide you information about drop offs and the information is required in the hypothesis. Website load time is also a factor influencing the conversion rate. It is a fact known to all, if the website takes more than three seconds to load, it loses 40% of its visitors. The information about the page load time can be collected using Google Analytics.
To understand the behavior of your visitors, SurveyMonkey, Wufoo and Google forms are popular services used for conducting customer surveys. You can use these services to design your own survey, collect and analyze data. In these surveys, you need to ask questions to know that why some of the visitors are performing the expected action and others are not.
2. List Hypotheses
Now, you need to have a clear understanding of what to test, who to test and where to test. First of all, it is required to mine the essential information you need for testing. It is always beneficial to start with factors stopping visitors from conversion. For example, your customers are not purchasing because you are not offering the money back guarantee. It is the factor making your visitors leave the website without performing the expected action. Coming to the second question that is who to test. A visitor can be a new visitor or a returning visitor. Therefore, different visitor segments should be tested separately. Returning visitors are already aware of the process and therefore, there conversion is comparatively easy. You should concentrate more on the conversion of the new users. The last question is where to test. Here you have to specify web pages need to be tested.
3. Create A Design
Using the gathered data and hypothesis, now its time to wireframe, design and code a new page. While designing, it is must to be sure that the design can efficiently test the hypothesis. The other thing to keep in mind is that the test design should not affect the original design. Moreover, the new test design should be easy to implement. Any technical error in the test design can cause changes in the result of the testing. Therefore, always test the design carefully before further proceedings. The choice of the tool depends on the complexity of the testing strategy and the design. For simple test designs, you can use ‘Content Experiment’ tool available in the Google Analytics. If the test design is complex then you need to opt for one of the premium tools like Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer. Whichever tool you are using, integrate it with the Google Analytics for later analysis of the test data.
4. Test Design Implementation
Putting complex designs live is somewhat difficult as compared to the simple ones. It is not a wise move to put the design live without testing it against all browsers. Elements of a design may appear different on different browsers and it might cause irregularities in the result of the test.
A/B split testing is the most popular and suitable for testing the performance of one element against the other element. However, in multivariate tests, you can test multiple elements at once. These tools provide you with several options to add some conditions in the testing. You can select browsers of your choice, the location of the visitors, percentage of the traffic to be sent to the page you are testing and many more.
5. Selecting The Winner
Here it is important to make sure that your results are statistically significant. Most of the split testing tools automatically tells when the significance is reached. In case you want to know, there are some online tools you can use to calculate the time required to reach the significance. Now its time to assess the results. Is the conversion rate increased? If yes, that sounds good. Now, you can send 100% of your traffic to the successful design after implementing it in your website. However, you need not to be disappointed in case of failure. According to the Visual Website Optimizer Research, only one out of seven tests succeeds. After a failed test, your next goal is to find the cause of the failure. Learn the lesson from your failure and use it in the next test.
If you want to use the internet marketing to its fullest potential, you should not limit yourself to SEO, SMM, PPC, and some other techniques. The objective of the most of the internet marketing experts is still increasing traffic and improving ranking. They are not giving much importance to the Conversion rate optimization. If you are one of those, you should make use of CRO in your online marketing campaign.