Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing your web, site, or platform to increase the number of users that complete a specific action in it. This could be clicking in your CTAs, contacting you, or buying, among others. Of course, this is a huge challenge, so make sure you avoid making these mistakes and follow the following tips to be as effective as possible:
1. Don't focus on testing your website's tiny, isolated, insignificant things. People think A/B testing is the key to conversion rate optimization, but although it helps, slight changes in the color or position of your buttons will not dramatically change your conversion rate over time.
Strategic thinking produces the biggest impact on conversion rates, so make sure you get real insight and understand those users visiting your web to boost your performance.
Test the existing and target market to understand if there is a disconnect between those who, in theory, I want to reach vs. those who are actually entering my website. A good tool you could use to see your traffic analytics is Semrush or Google Analytics. Here, identify who is entering your web, adjust it so it's valuable for them, and track the changes in the long term. Likewise, it's essential to get insights into your competitors and their campaigns to detect gaps, overlaps, or opportunities.
Also, an excellent way to get audience insights is by putting pop-ups on your website—this is a simple way to make your users give you feedback and optimize from there. As often these might be annoying to some users, make sure you make them simple and short; you could even give incentives to fill them to get more responses.
2. When you want the user's to fill up a form, don't require a work email. Remember that many entrepreneurs have Gmail as their work email, so you are just generating friction and maybe losing potential leads requiring working emails.
3. In email marketing strategies, don't test the time or the day you send the emails, focus on the bigger picture. For example, focus on validating that the offering you are sending to your subscribers is valuable to them and evaluate if the audience you are reaching is the targeted one.
4. Don't send people to your website. The fastest way to make them convert is to convert to whatever platform they are using, so do not redirect them from one to another as they might not go. Why? Think about how many times you were, for example, scrolling in a social media platform and crossed by an interesting ad that you might actually want to check out but, as soon as you click on it, takes you to another website where you are not even sure where exactly to convert in. It's annoying. So, by redirecting, you are increasing friction, increasing the dropoff points in the process, and lowering your conversions.
So, use lead generation forms that are built into the platform itself and ensure you can get the conversion CTA into the ad itself, for example, a "Contact Us" button at the bottom.
5. Following the previous point, when you actually get a conversion or response from your user in a specific platform, don't make them jump to another. These means don't respond with "send me your email to deep dive into it" or "check out this page" and redirect them to another one. Every time you jump to another platform, you introduce friction to the conversion process, which might end in a significant loss in your rates.
Thus, to make it as smooth and direct as possible for your user's to convert, create the most out of the platform they initially contacted you thought and always reply on that same one.
6. Don't talk just about yourself on your web. To give credibility to your users and have exponential growth in conversion rates, try to show clearly you've worked with well-known, respected, established organizations, brands, or people. This will give you authority and make you trustworthy. Also, those generally have already built a huge following and traffic that we aspire to get, so a good strategy is having them mention you too.
7. Don't sell the product itself; sell the offer's unique benefits and have that offer as the CTA. For example, when you have a "free three-month test trial," spend enough time on the free-month offer and not on the service the users will get once registered. Here, sell the offer's benefits, not the product, and have the offer in your Hero and CTA. Generally, a good practice is to customize the offers to simultaneously give them a sense of exclusivity and urgency. Then, test different offers, standard requests, free price quotes, and multiple offers and understand how your users react to them.
8. Don't just track Conversion rate % in your website as your main KPI. By conversion rate, we refer to the number of conversions we can get based on our traffic or visits. But this is too simplistic. Not all conversions have the same value, and we might be interested in something in between that has a bigger value than the conversion itself. This isn't easy to measure on the marketing side but easy to look at in the CRM as we can evaluate the lead status converting into a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). So, first, define what a conversion is for you and reimagine them as a function of time and not just a function of visits. The time it takes to convert is a metric that you must want to optimize. Thus, ask yourself: are we reducing the time it takes to get out ideal prospects to convert to actual status?
9. Don't conclude experiments or tests that have audiences coming from different sources. It's like comparing apples to oranges. For example, comparing a landing page in which traffic comes from Linkedin ads with another landing page with its users coming organically by SEO means you are comparing two different audiences, which will directly affect the outcome of the tests. So always compare randomly (so you get fair results) users coming from the same source at the same time.
10. Don't hide your pricing. We know it's not always easy to do sometimes, but it's worth it. Those who are already asking for pricing means that they are in the last phases of the funnel, which is closer to completing a conversion. This doesn't mean you have to put an exact number, but a simple "get a quote" CTA will bring leads and boost your conversion rates with Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL). Also, in pricing, bear in mind the importance of simplicity! If there are too many packages, options, or hidden info, it's not good, so test different CTAs and keep it simple.
11. Don't gate your content. When doing conversion rate optimization, we need to think about ways to remove friction, remove barriers, for example, through retargeting, rather than conversion rate optimization in terms of forms and gating. Gating them (meaning preventing people from accessing your content unless they provide certain information) might be an easy go-to when thinking of ways to get users' emails or contact information.
For example, a common use is putting a video or an article that users need to fill up a form with their data to be able to see or read it. This might be an easy measure, but fewer people will be getting into your marketing funnel as you'll be putting up this wall which makes a friction experience rather than a friction-free experience.
If you still feel like gating your content, maybe consider having one type of free and visible video and then a more in-depth one that is gated. By doing this, you'll ensure that those filling out the form are qualified, but bear in mind that you'll still be losing some users.
A third option is offering content that is not gated at all. Here, you'll make sure as many people as possible can watch, thus maximizing the number of users educated about your product or service. Then, if they find it interesting at the end, they can put their contact information and then set retargeting strategies.
12. Don't force them to buy; nurture them first. To get Leads willing to buy, you need to nurture them first with your content. Thus, once again, the importance of not gating your content. You want to take them from a certain level of interest to a higher level of interest, so then you can get them to talk to sales to close the deal. So, to lower the customer acquisition cost and increase the customer lifetime value (get more valuable customers at a lower price), you'll need to nurture and educate the prospects, provide them with more information, and don't make them immediately talk to the sales team.
13. Don't put just 1 CTA; provide options. Don't assume in which stage of the funnel the user is, and offer different CTAs to pick the best fit for them. Increasing the number of options increases the number of conversions. Of course, don't overload it.
When doing so, users get a sense of control and agency as if they are making the decision they want when you are offering options that are convenient for them. This is likely to have a positive response; hence, it's like a win-win.
Following this, offer options to select which information, conversion, or CTA your user want. Once you identify a user interested in your offering, retarget them with different pieces of content such as case studies, videos, demos, etc. Without overwhelming them, you'll reach different stages of optimizing your conversions.
Also, social sign-up is a good resource that could boost your conversion rates. When users complete forms, they find it boring to fill up all their personal information and, even less, make new accounts. It is tedious to fill always the same information, so next to the empty boxes, place the CTAs to log in with Facebook, Google, etc.
14. Don't be too generic on your CTAs; highlight your differential. A common mistake is thinking that the best copywriting focuses on the benefits the user will get with your offer. This means increasing profits, saving time, improving your life, etc. But, those are too generic, ideal, or undifferentiated of what every other competition might be aiming too. So, strategic copywriting focuses on the unique features and details that prove you can deliver what you are promising the users.
15. Not everything is about the home page. Home pages are the most difficult to test as you target a wide variety of people. One of the easiest ways to optimize conversions is by looking at the traffic on each page in Analytics, and the most visited web pages it's your entry point into the rest of the website. For example, if a particular blog page generates a lot of traffic and interest, use it to your advantage by placing different CTAs and optimizing them with AB testing.
16. CRO Software and other tips:
- Alleviate the sense of risk by offering free consultations.
- Put photos of someone in the company with credentials that gives authority to your page.
- When users intend to leave, show them a pop-up with special offers.
- Use countdown timers to create urgency, and of course, test your strategies with AB testing to optimize them constantly.
- Offer free live chat options so they can feel a real person, not a computer, is answering them. If you choose chatboxes, do lots of testing.
- Highlight what they are losing before canceling or leaving your offer.
- Interactive content like infographics can keep your user engage easily.
Whenever you can make the user experience as simple, smooth, and engaging as possible, go for it: use AI voice assistant for the web, more videos, create a podcast... The options are limitless.