A Beginners Guide To Conversion Rate Optimisation

If you book them, they will come. So said the vision of Jim Morrison in Wayne's World 2. If only it were that simple.

In this guide, I'll answer these questions. What is conversion rate optimisation? What is a conversion, what can you do to improve conversion rate optimisation, and why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?

You have a website; you're doing all the right things. You've put a full digital marketing strategy in place comprising content marketing, paid search, SEO and social media. The trouble is you feel like few, or not enough people are carrying out the goal you set, i.e. they aren't 'converting.'

What is a conversion?

So what is a conversion? The most direct type is a purchase. It's led straight to profit for your business. There are other kinds of conversions though — sign-ups to gated content, a lead filling in an enquiry form, or telephoning you.

There are many things that you may classify as a conversion depending on your goals. As a digital agency, when delivering leads to our clients, then a phone call from an ad would be classified as a conversion if the goal was to get the phone ringing.

The point is, for whatever reason you have a website, whatever your goal, the conversion is the completion of that action.

What is conversion rate?

Conversion is measurable. It's a key metric of your website. In online stores, Conversion rate an eye-opening metric, showing how much of your overall site visitors bought something. Ultimately we want this figure to be as high as possible.

How do you calculate a conversion rate? It's simply the number of clicks divided by the number of conversions. So if your conversion is a form fill (Lead generation), and you get one form fill for every fifty visitors on your website, thats a 2% conversion rate.

Conversion rate optimisation

So that's conversion and conversion rate. You should be able to figure out where I'm going with this breakdown. Conversion rate optimisation, therefore, is the act of optimising your website, to maximise the chances of that goal happening.

The annual econsultancy cro report identifies the key areas of conversion rate optimisation to be as follows.

  • A/B and multivariate testing
  • Having a structured approach
  • Customer journey analysis
  • Copy optimisation
  • Online surveys/customer feedback
  • Cart abandonment analysis
  • Segmentation

Let's look at a few of these in more detail.

A/B or multivariate testing

AB Testing

What is it? In simple terms, you are testing two versions of your site content and putting them in competition with each other. Differences in the page may be very subtle, but differences in conversion rate could be significant.

Netflix continually uses AB testing with their on-screen images advertising the latest shows. They discovered that Images that have expressive facial emotion that conveys the tone of the title do particularly well.

You might test the placement of an element on the page, the copy of the page, what images, colours or fonts you use. You can get more accurate data by keeping your changes subtle. For example, if you have two vastly different pages, and one converts better than the other, that'st great, but you won't learn what element improved the conversion.

Multivariate testing

Multivariate testing is like AB but with more iterations. This is only worth doing if you get large volumes of traffic. Otherwise, you can't get meaningful data.

Remember, testing and optimisation is an ongoing process, and you should always continue to test, refine and optimise.

The econsultancy report data says its still the most used method for improving conversion rates and two-thirds of marketers carry out this method in conversion rate optimisation.

The Customer Journey

Analysis of the customer journey is another valuable way to improve conversion rates. With over 89% of us in the UK now using the web to access products and services, behaviour has become more varied and unpredictable.

There is no longer a typical funnel. Customers will take multiple steps such a researching a brand, visiting the website, looking at reviews, engaging on social media, asking other people. This can take place online and offline.

This image, taken from Mediums article on customer journey is a great example how the traditional sales funnel is much more complicated.

beginners guide to conversion rate optimisation

You need to understand your customers and what kind of journey they take. Is your offering want vs need? How much does it cost? If you sell vehicles or bespoke luxury travel, you know your customers are going to typically take longer to arrive at conversion than if you sold loo roll!

In the last report, over 80% of companies agreed that their revenue increased after analysing their customer journey. Making life easier online for your customers will not only lead to more conversions but more lifetime customer value.

Use data from all possible sources. Combine the data you gather from offline sources, call centres or physical stores. Larger stores still use showrooming techniques, despite most purchases happening online, customers will still go and look at a physical product before committing to that purchase. A visit to a store is an all-important part of this customers journey.

Multi-channel customers are worth four times the amount of revenue than online or offline customers alone.

If you don't have the right skills to analyse this data and create actionable goals from it, then one option is to hire an expert team like us to do it.

Customer feedback and online surveys.

There are lots of ways to gather feedback. Online and offline. It could even be that your survey is annoying.

Work out your worth by using the Net Promoter Score. Are your customers likely to recommend you to a friend? NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of people who wouldn't (detractors) from the people who would (promoters)

Companies such as Tesla, Amazon, Apple have very high NPS. The average company scores much lower, around 5-10%

The overall benefits of conversion rate optimisation

We now know to test and test some more, take a detailed look into our customer journey, and simplify it, making it as painless as possible, and making the path to conversion as simple as it can be.

A well-optimised website will make the transition for an already engaged visitor much smoother making for happy, loyal customers.

At Factory, our combined wealth of PPC and web expertise means our campaigns are continually optimised to maximise conversion rates.

As an established PPC agency in Manchester We have more than doubled conversion based on the same marketing spend for clients FR Jones and this is just one of many successful customer stories.

When working with us, we continue to test what's working and deliver outstanding results. Co-founded by an Ex-Googler, our team has a high level of training and a track record of client results.

For a Manchester CRO agency that cares about your success, speak to us today.

Written By Andi Wilkinson Last Updated 2nd September 2019 
Creative Director of Made By Factory. UX Designer & SEO Nerd, Andi is also a board member of Manchester Digital, and speaks and writes on a variety of web-related topics.

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