You have a website up. You are in love with the design. You have visitors to your website. Everything seems right on the surface, except for one big problem: business is still slow.
Whether you are looking for new sales leads or selling a physical product online, chances are you haven’t fully optimized for conversion. Most website owners don’t even realize the huge opportunity they are leaving sitting on the table by not looking at their Conversion Rates....
You wouldn't leave this steak just sitting there would you?
(assuming all online marketers are carnivores by nature)
So you say you practice SEO and your website is all set? Think again, SEO makes up only one part out of 5 main areas that Conversion Rate Optimization looks at.
Conversion Rate Optimization or “CRO” is about making changes to your online “funnel” to improve the experience and rate of conversion.
In order to determine if the changes you make have a positive effect, start with the last touch interaction with the customer.
Interestingly enough, this area will often get ignored by website owners who prefer to place the blame of bad conversion performance on the lead generation side of the funnel (Bad Marketer!)
While lead generation is part of the conversion rate funnel, it is also the farthest removed from an actual conversion.
What happens in between?
A lot more than you’d think. People are complex.
Most don’t visit a website for the first time and immediately make a b-line for the checkout (in your dreams!)
14 days between their first site visit and a purchase? How about visiting the site first from ppc ads, then organic search, and then followed by 3 direct visits in a row before giving you their email? Yes and yes! This is why on Day 1 we start our CRO process with the last touch interaction – your shopping cart or contact form.
Day 1 - Shopping Cart and Last Touch Interactions
This is usually either a contact form of some sort for lead generation or your shopping cart for ecommerce. It should be the final steps for your visitors to hitting a submit button or to charge their credit card. It’s important to make sure that they function properly as well as look for ways to improve them. Some important areas to look at are:
- How many people visit the contact form but don’t sign up?
- How many people abandon orders within your checkout process?
- Have you set up goal or ecommerce tracking to find this information?
- Once you have, where are they leaving?
Probably the biggest consideration for both contact forms and shopping carts is the issue of “Trust”. Assuming people have made it this far in the process, the last obstacle to contacting you or making a purchase is whether they are comfortable doing so.
Does it appear that you will ship the product in a reasonable amount of time and are not overcharging them for shipping costs? Do you ask for too much mandatory information in the contact form when a simple first name and return email address would do? What do some of your favorite websites do to ensure that you feel comfortable with making a purchase or giving out information?
Answer these questions as brutally honest as possible. Look at whatever analytical software you have set up to see the common areas where people are leaving. Can you lower this number? Try out different variations to see what works best. Once you have made some improvements and see statistical increases, it’s time to move on to Day 2 - Optimizing Calls To Action
Let us know your thoughts in comments below!