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What is CRO?

Intro

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is a system for increasing the percentage of website visitors that convert to customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. In simpler terms, it's the process of figuring out what your visitors are looking for when they come to your website and ensuring that they find it.

This typically involves brainstorming ideas about what elements of your website or mobile app can be improved, and then testing those ideas using A/B or multivariate tests, among others. By constantly improving your site, you're increasing the likelihood of converting the visitors and leads you already have into customers, therefore lowering your customer acquisition costs.

There's a good chance you're already paying for traffic to your website in some form or another, and CRO gives your website a better chance of converting those visitors into leads or customers. It's a cost-effective approach to improving your ROI by maximizing the efficiency of your marketing efforts. Check out the resources below to learn more about CRO and how you can implement it into your website strategy.

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Diagram: 6 Key Features of CRO

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Definitions

Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors to your website that complete a desired action out of the total number of visitors.

Conversion Rate Optimization: Improving certain aspects of your website to get your visitors to convert through deep data analysis and rigorous user testing.

Marketing Analytics: Measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which events (both on and off your website) influence whether leads become customers.

Web Analytics: Measure things a webmaster cares about, like page load times, page views per visit, and time on site.

Website CRO

Intro

Wondering why your website is generating the traffic you hoped for but not the conversions? Curious as to how you can improve this? Take a look at the different CRO methods you can use to boost specific KPIs. 

In today's digital world, everybody has a website. That means it's important now more than ever to have a fully optimized website that performs better than your competitors'. Back in the day, this might have been as simple as just adding contrasting colors to make your call-to-action buttons more eye-catching. But that's no longer the case, you must go beyond that.

There are a multitude of additional variables and strategies that go into making sure your website is performing at its absolute best. A few examples of these include, but are not limited to:

  • Utilizing exit offers to reduce bounce rates and convert visitors
  • Building your email list with gated content promotions
  • Choosing the right action verb on your CTA to convey the value of the offer clearly and quickly
  • Offer instant mobile payment options for increased E-Commerce ease of use
  • Leveraging principles of behavioral psychology to increase conversion rates

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. For additional tips and tactics on how you can boost your website conversion rates, check out our list of resources below.

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Diagram: The Perfect Landing Page

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Definitions

A/B Testing: A method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better.

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors to a website who navigate away from the site after only viewing one page.

Call-to-Action: A button, image, or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and/or customers to take action and links to a landing page.

Exit Rate: The percentage of visitors to a site who actively click away to a different site from a specific page ; after possibly having visited other pages on the site.

Landing Page: A standalone webpage with the sole purpose of capturing a visitor's information by having them fill out a form.

Lead Conversion

Intro

It's common knowledge that generating leads is an essential part of business; however, not everybody knows how to go about converting these leads into actual sales. You can generate as many leads as you want, but if none of them convert to customers, you're going to have a hard time generating any revenue.

Solution? Develop a comprehensive lead nurturing strategy to help you progress those leads further down the buyer's journey until they are ready to give you their business. This can entail multiple stages and various methods. Depending on the situation, a few things you can do include:

  • Establishing a system for ranking leads to avoid wasting time and effort on unqualified ones
  • Utilizing sales automation tools to speed up your sales cycle and increase efficiency
  • Using the Principle of Scarcity to boost your email marketing conversion rates
  • Incorporating workflows to tie together the pieces of your campaign and progress your lead from one stage of their journey to the next

When implemented, an effective lead nurturing strategy can improve lead to customer conversion rates, lower the cost of customer acquisition, and speed up the sales cycle. In fact, research shows marketers see an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs non-nurtured leads, while companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost. To fully understand how you can accomplish this and for additional tips and tactics, be sure to check out the resources below.

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Definitions

Lead Conversion: Process of converting a lead into an account, contact, customer, and/or opportunity.

Lead Nurturing: The process of building relationships with your prospects with the goal of earning their business when they're ready.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A lead judged more likely to become a customer compared to other leads based on lead intelligence, often informed by closed-loop analytics. This will help ensure your sales team is fed high quality leads so they can improve their productivity, and Sales and Marketing remain aligned.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A prospective customer that has been researched and vetted -- first by an organization's marketing department and then by its sales team – and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process.

Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization

Intro

Abandoned shopping carts is one of the biggest issues plaguing the eCommerce world  In North America alone, the average abandonment rate is 74%, just under the global average of 74.2%. If that seems high, that's because it is. But fear not, treatment for this disease is out there and has been proven to drastically reduce the symptoms if applied correctly. It's called conversion rate optimization, or CRO for short, and it's just what the doctor prescribed.

In addition to having a fully optimized website, you can boost your overall conversion rate and lower the amount of people abandoning their carts through a variety of methods like:

  • Making sure your checkout process is as streamlined and efficient as possible
  • Being proactive with your promos and displaying them and their benefits as openly as possible rather than leading potential customers on a scavenger hunt
  • Curbing your shipping costs or at least being upfront with them. Nobody likes being ambushed with unexpected additions to their total in the last step of the checkout process
  • Incorporating a Re-engagement campaign to reach out to leads who were at some point interested in your company, but have now gone cold

Check out the resources below for more ways to improve your e-commerce conversion rates and find a treatment plan that works best for you.

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Diagram: Essential Email Series for Ecommerce CRO

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Definitions

Conversion Funnel: The journey a consumer takes in visiting an e-commerce website through converting to a sale.

Cross-selling: Inviting customers to buy related or complementary items.

Ecommerce Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, like making a purchase from your online store, in a given time period.

Lead Segmentation: Dividing your leads into specified groups based on certain characteristics and traits, then targeting those groups with customized content and messaging.

Re-engagement: Technique used by marketers to reach out to leads who were at some point interested in and engaged with their company, but have now gone cold.

Upselling: The practice of encouraging customers to purchase a higher-end product or bundle of products.

Top Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

Intro

Without the right tools to execute, strategy is all talk and no action. So, the next step is finding the tools you need to get to work. There are a multitude of tools available to help with your CRO strategy depending on your company's needs, priorities, or budget. Here are some of the top ones available on the market:

  • Google Analytics: an affordable marketing analytics software packed with features like traffic tracking, user-activity monitoring, funnel visualization, audience reports, and more!
  • Hotjar: behavior analytics software that allows you to track clicks and scrolling behavior on your website through recordings and heat-maps
  • Optimizely: offers split, multivariate, and mobile testing at a low-starting price point.
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test: a free testing tool to analyze your website speeds. Every element of every page can be tracked through your performance history, and did I mention that it's free!
  • Chatbots: for automated, personal customer service

But with this wealth of options comes another dilemma—knowing how and when to use the right tool for the right scenario, and who the best provider of that tool is. We know it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to figure out what works best for you, so we're breaking down some of the best and most affordable conversion rate optimization tools here.

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Definitions

Chatbot: A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.

Click-through Rate (CTR): The average number of click-throughs per one-hundred impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Multivariate Testing: Technique for testing a hypothesis in which multiple variables are modified. Goal is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all the possible combinations.

Conversion Rate Optimization Services

Intro

If you need help with conversion rate optimization but don't have the adequate time or resources to devote to it, seeking out external CRO services could be the right move for you. Hiring the right CRO firm or consultant can significantly impact your bottom line while allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. An exceptional team of CRO specialists can dramatically boost the conversions on your website and get you the leads and customers that might have previously eluded you.

But how do you choose the right service provider for you? Well, it comes down to doing your research. Take the time to not only look deeply at the top firms you're considering hiring, but also yourself. You have to first understand what your goals and struggles are so you can communicate those to your potential hires when meeting with them. Once everyone understands what needs to be accomplished, you'll have a clearer picture of who is the best match for you.

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Definitions

Iterative: Repetition of a procedure applied to the result of a previous application, typically as a means of obtaining successively closer approximations to the solution of a problem.

Pareto Principle: A principle that states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes; also known as the 80/20 rule.

Saas: Software as a service; a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.

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