Utilising conversion rate optimisation to improve ROI

Acquiring high quality traffic is crucial for the success of any e-commerce or corporate websites. However, an unending stream of traffic won’t matter one whit if the website’s conversion rate is mediocre. It’s like opening a store in Oxford Street, but failing to hire sales people to help close sales. As such, businesses need to focus on improving their conversion rate optimisation (CRO) to improve their bottom line.

Scarcity effect and limited time promotions are great at improving CRO. What else are you planning to do for your website? Image courtesy of Pixabay

What is conversion rate optimisation?

A conversion occurs when a visitor to a website initiates an action based on a call to action (CTA). The CTA could be in the shape of an opt-in form, a download link, or a Buy Now button. The more conversion occurs, the higher the conversion rates are. In other words, effective CTAs are the lifeblood of commercial websites.

The formula to calculate conversion rates is actually very simple. Simply divide the number of conversions against the total number of visitors. For instance, 70 conversions from 5,000 visitors mean the conversion rate is 1.4%.

However, most websites for small and medium sized businesses typically only maintain visitor volume and keyword metrics. Very few track conversion rates of CTAs. Even fewer attempt to refine and improve their CRO. In the end, they might end up spending tens of thousands of pounds driving traffic to their website, but they will be leaving conversions entirely to luck. Which is really odd, because a single percent increase in CRO can earn some companies an absolute fortune!

Tips on improving conversion rate optimisation

CRO can help businesses identify what works and what doesn’t on their websites. Under the hands of experienced marketers, CRO data can also provide solutions to fixing the problem. We’ve compiled below three tips that will give your website an instant CRO boost.

(i) Page load time

Amazon, arguably the most fanatical CRO practitioner online, said that every 0.1 second delay will cost them 1% in sales. Another survey revealed that 40% of customers will leave websites which take longer than 3 seconds to load. Search engine giant Google, meanwhile, imposes search penalties for slow loading websites because they impact the user experience. What does all this tell us? Speed matters. So get rid of all the unnecessary frills from your website and turn it into a lean, mean and fast-loading machine.

(ii) Minimise checkout funnel

When customers click on the buy button, get them to pay quickly. Instantly, if possible. Don’t make them go round in circles. Many websites appear intent on irritating their customers by taking multiple pages before reaching the payment page. Don’t do that. Close the sale first, and then have a discussion about your survey, customer satisfaction rate, or membership discounts.

(iii) Layout and colours

No one can scientifically design the perfect landing page. There are just too many variables. However, websites can improve their efficiency by analysing customers’ reactions to their layout and colours – preferably using A/B or multivariate testing. Incremental improvements, based on actual metrics and historical conversion data, can be made. Amazon (again) to this day conduct multivariate testing on a daily basis throughout the day. They want to develop the perfect landing page for practically every customer. If the biggest company on the internet is willing to go to such lengths, why aren’t you doing the same?