What is CRO?

You’ve optimized your site for search engines, you’ve published great content, and it seems like everything is in place to have a successful website – so why aren’t you seeing the leads or sales you were expecting?  Enter CRO. CRO stands for conversion rate optimization – and it’s an important piece to a successful site that you might be missing.

Read on to learn how CRO can help your website.

How to Perform CRO

Conversion rate optimization is the act of refining your site’s content, design, and funnel to increase conversions and conversion rates.

Your website is an important piece of not only your marketing wheelhouse but your sales process as well. If your site isn’t gathering leads or selling products for you, what’s the point of having it?

CRO in a general sense is a way to point your users down the buying funnel. The best (and easiest) way to create conversions for your site is to spoon-feed the next step to the user.  In order to do this, think about the way your conversion funnel works.

If your users come to your site via the homepage, what should they look for next?  Do they need to view products to buy on your site? Then consider putting a prominently placed button with call-to-action text above the fold for users to click to get to the next step.

Once they are viewing products, what’s the next step? Continue to shape the site in a way that clearly shuffles the user down the buying funnel, all the way to the checkout (or contact form).  Construct the site in a way that compliments your buying funnel, and watch the dough roll in!

Content CRO

Another way to improve the conversion rate on your site is with content.  However, creating content without giving any thought to who is converting won’t help you.  This is where analytics come into play.

Most people use analytics to see who is visiting their website.  With CRO, we need to see who is converting.  Our goal is to find out who wants to give us their money, and make content for that demographic.

In Google Analytics, you can pull this data together by creating a custom report.  Here are the steps to create a persona map that can give you the insight you need to understand who is converting.

  1.  Select Customization and click “Custom Reports”.  Then, you’ll want to create a new custom report.

  3. Name the report, select “flat table” as the type, and customize the report to look at who is visiting your site and what their interests are.  The best way to do this is to add Gender, Age, In-Market Segment, and Affinity Category to the dimensions section.  For Metrics, this can be whatever are your most important metrics for the site, though it would be beneficial to have sessions and average session duration regardless.  Click Save to start the report.

  5. Now let’s take a look at the report. We’re looking for anomalies in session duration, goal completions, and conversion rate (or whatever your conversion metrics are).  For example, we can see on line 8, that males ages 25-34 interested in Home & Garden and are frequent shoppers have spent quite a bit of time on the site and convert at a pretty high rate.

Now that we’ve armed ourselves with actionable data, we can start to perform some content-oriented CRO on our site.  We know that males, 25-34, interested in Home & Garden are liking our site. So let’s create content that speaks to them.  Maybe that’s a picture on the site that reflects that demographic, or more directly, since they are value shoppers we can create a special promotion targeting this demographic.

Can CRO help SEO?

Yes!  Think of your site as a store.  If people are walking into your store, but there aren’t any signs up telling users where anything is and the layout of the store does not seem to be organized in a fashion that makes it easy to get in and get out, those people will probably leave your store pretty quickly. That’s not good for business.

In the same manner, it’s important for your site to direct users where to go and have a layout and content that makes it easy for your site’s target demographic to convert.  When that is in place, lots of good user experience indicators are created.

With CRO, the idea is to have users become more engaged on the site, visit more pages, and buy more things.  All of these signals are things Google can pick up on, and when it’s noticed that your site is creating a great experience for a lot of people, it will start to rise in the search results!

Analyze Your Website

The bottom line is, CRO is completely data-driven.  We first need to understand the data before we can start optimizing for conversions.  Once you’ve armed yourself with that, it’s up to you to reverse engineer a way to speak directly to the demographic that is most interested in your business.

If you’re not sure how to create the right type of website for your users or if you’re having trouble driving more conversions to your site even with this guide, we can help!  Our team of web experts have perfected the art of CRO and can help your website work for you.  Contact us today to talk directly with one of our experts who can help get you moving in the right direction!

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