What is CRO? It’s a question I get asked a lot from clients. Well first, let’s start with the essentials.
Your conversion rate is your single most important marketing statistic. It’s the MVP of statistics
It’s the best way to measure the performance of your advertising campaigns and inbound marketing.
Unlike other statistics like CTR (click-through rate), CPC (cost-per-click) or even website visits, your conversion rate actually tells you how good your advertising/design/marketing, in general, is at “converting” (getting people to achieve the desired goal you set up).
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What is conversion rate?
CRO can happen on different levels of your marketing funnel.
It can be directly on your website (or a specific page), where your conversion rate is the amount, in percentage, of website or landing page visitors that convert.
Your web page goal will define the type of conversion you will aim for.
Here are some examples:
- Form submit (contact us form, lead gen form…)
- Calling a business
- Engaging people with your chatbot
- Signing up
- Subscribing to a website
- Download something (software, PDF document, app, ebook…)
- Upgrading service plan
- Engaging with a certain part of your site (for example, if you want visits to a certain blog article)
It can happen on your advertising channel like Facebook ads, AdWords or LinkedIn ads.
Here, your advertising goal will define what a conversion is for you. Note that you can optimize your conversion rate at different levels of the advertising platform.
You can optimize the whole campaign, an ad set or a specific ad.
Some examples or advertising channel conversions:
- Clicks on the ad
- Page likes
- Video views
To calculate your website conversion rate, use this simple formula:
Conversion rate = (conversions / total visitors) * 100%
But hey, who are we kidding. Who’s going to do that manually?
You can track conversions inside of all advertising platforms and marketing channels. Don’t forget to install your pixels on the websites and landing pages you’re tracking.
Here are some examples:
- Business Manager (Facebook ads)
- Google Analytics
- LinkedIn Ads Manager
- Google AdWords
Before we started doing Trylon‘s marketing, they were working with another agency. When the time came to gain access to their Google Analytics, we noticed something quite odd.
They didn’t have any conversion rate stats from their PPC marketing.
We thought this made absolutely no sense as Trylon was getting loads of reservations and had several active AdWords campaigns running.
Turns out, this problem is more common than we thought.
If you’re doing this simple thing, you’re already better than almost half of the marketers online.
Creating advertising campaigns without tracking is setting yourself up to fail. You’re basically shooting darts in the dark.
So make sure you’re properly tracking all your advertising campaigns, and make sure you know how to make the most out of Google Analytics to really understand your marketing efforts.
What is CRO and how do you do it?
Now that you know how to gather and analyze your conversion rate data, it’s time to actually optimize it.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) consists of optimizing your landing page, website or advertising channels to convert more visitors into buyers, leads, subscribers, etc.
CRO is amazing because you don’t have to double your advertising budget in order to get more conversions. With the same amount of traffic on your website, you can get twice as much (or more) conversions if your process is good.
I’ll split CRO into two categories and provide examples of how you can implement it in those specific categories.
1 – Website CRO
Create a landing page
Creating a dedicated landing page can greatly improve conversions. By dedicated landing page, I mean a single web page with a single focus or goal that is made clear through a CTA (call-to-action).
This has the benefit of showing fewer distractions on the page and to concentrate the visitor on your offer.
Here are some ideas on how to craft a dedicated landing page and why it increases conversions:
- Don’t add a navigation bar
This way, the only actions people can do the page is either click your CTA, scroll the page or leave.
- Make it short
By keeping it simple, you make sure only the necessary information is available on the landing page. There won’t be any distractions for other parts of your website.
- Use sales techniques like scarcity or urgency to drive more conversions
This isn’t really something you can do on your general website. It’s gonna look scammy and break your brand image. On a single-focus landing page, it makes sense to have a sales aspect.
There are tons of things you can do to make sure you create high-converting web pages. But make sure you test both a landing page and a website page for your offer to see what drives better results.
Use critical thinking
Sure, you should always trust the data. But don’t lose the human aspect of things when it comes to CRO. A very good exercise you can do is to experience the UI/UX of your website or landing page yourself and use a critical eye.
Does this belong here? Is this part really necessary? Does this colour really fit the landing page? Are my visuals too big? Is this part of the form really necessary?
These are all questions you can ask yourself when looking at your designs. Here is other stuff you can keep an eye on to reduce the barrier to conversion:
- Shorten things that are too long
- Shorten your forms
- Use bullet points instead of paragraphs
- Reduce the number of pages a visitor has to go through to complete the conversion
Of course, if you’re too confident in your abilities and think your design is perfect, you can always ask a third party to review your landing page or website. Tell them not to hold back and even roast your work if necessary.
Sometimes, using critical thinking is just about using common sense, and even if results are not groundbreaking, every small detail counts when it comes to CRO.
For example, we decided to add this simple button to Trylon’s website in order to get more reservations. Turns out it increased our conversion rate by 4%.
Again, nothing too intense. Nothing that’s going to completely throw off website visitors. Nothing that’s going to make them think it’s an entirely new website. It’s just a simple design element add-on that aims to create a better UX on the website and facilitate the conversion.
Everything on your website or landing page is A/B testable. If your conversion rate is already strong, maybe don’t change too much. But people get bored easily so it might not stay strong. That’s why you should know how to test different things on your website.
Here are some ideas:
- Button colours
- Button shapes
- Change your Hero Header
- Change your titles
- Change your layouts (column rows instead of paragraphs for example)
- Change your form length or fields
- Change your CTA
2 – Advertising platform CRO
Before you craft different copies and creative, make sure to research your audience.
Who’s your target audience?
Put yourself in their shoes. What are their pain points? What are their needs? What does your product/service solve for them?
What are the demographics?
- Family situation
- Their job
What keywords and interests should you use?
You have to know what your audience likes and what they relate to. When doing Facebook ads, make sure to test different interests in different ad sets and turn off the ads that are not performing well. This will indicate what interests you should keep.
For AdWords and SEO, conduct good SEO research using tools like Serpstat to see what your competitor is doing and what keywords drive traffic that would suit your offer.
B2B Audience Targeting
If you are targeting a B2B audience, use business platforms like Enterprise League to find the exact business audience you need. You can easily do that by using the search algorithm and quickly source targeted B2B clients.
Besides keywords and interests, there are a lot of things you can test on an advertising platform. Thanks to the new A/B testing tool from Facebook, this is easier than ever. That means you have no excuse (your conversion rate will thank you).
Here are different things you can test to improve conversions on your advertising channel:
- Test different creatives
This is probably the one thing that improves your conversion rate the most. Your creative is the most important part of your ad as it is the first contact with potential customers. Try testing at least 3 different visual creatives in a single ad set.
- Test different copies
A lot of people simply put 3 different creatives with the same copy, but what we like to do is also change up the copywriting of our ads. Try a longer one, a medium one and a short one to see what your audience likes the most.
Testing different copies with Google Ads is also an absolute must if you want to get more conversions.
- Try different objectives
I know, I know. If the conversion you want is “link clicks”, you should aim for link clicks. Well, this isn’t true. During our advertising campaign for Zoofest, one of our mandates was to increase popularity and visibility without neglecting ticket sales. Naturally, some of our ad sets were focusing on reach or engagement, as they are good metrics for said goal. But since we never really know, we also started ads with a link clicks objective and it turns out they were offering the best of both worlds: high visibility/engagement and a high number of ticket sales.
Social media advertising is all about testing. It’s where the data comes most into play and you have to be very flexible in terms of adapting your ads to what’s working with your audience.
Follow the conversion scent principle
It’s good that you’re testing creatives and copy, but you have to make sure they stay aligned with your brand and in turn, stay aligned with the page people land on when they click your ad.
If your creative contains the colours blue and green and shows nature pictures, make sure your landing page contains things that are similar to this in terms of design.
Conversion scent also applies to headlines and sub-headlines. If you’re saying there’s a 20% discount for the first 3 months of using your software on your ad, make sure to have the exact same title on your landing page/website.
The conversion rate is your most important marketing statistic. You can have the best CTR or an incredible reach number, if your marketing efforts don’t convert, you won’t last long.
Now that you know how what is CRO, make sure that you’re tracking your conversion rate and that you’re testing things on all fronts, from website design to advertising channel.
You can see the tools we use for CRO and understand our process better here and try out the things we do!