Conversion Optimization Completely Explained for Newbies

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Conversion Optimization Completely Explained for Newbies

This article will show you the art of conversion optimization. Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is how you maximize every sales campaign your business runs. It’s less of an art and more science, which means if practice helps, but a great strategy will make all the difference.

You can apply these practices to your Facebook ads, Google adwords, or even print ads. It really doesn’t matter what median you use, the basics are the same despite the platform forcing small tweaks.

What is Conversion Rate?

Conversion Optimization CRO

Your conversion rate depends on your exact business, but generally speaking it is getting your customer to take a desired action. If you’ve studied copywriting or sales, those skills will come in handy when you try to figure out why your ads, VSLs, etc. are not converting as well as they should be.

As a marketer, maximizing your conversion rate, or getting the most bang-for-your-buck is determined by so many things:

  • Research
  • Timing
  • Product
  • Competition
  • Virality
  • Branding
  • Copy
  • and much more

Each of these topics above is a blog of it’s own, but here we’ll just say these are the foundation of your ads. Without them working in conjunction with our ads, your CRO will not be what it could be.

What is CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization?

How can you be sure that you’re brand is in the right place to start even thinking about CRO? Some would say to use your gut and be comfortable making decisions with incomplete information. I however, like to find out everything I can before I make a decision, and yes, sometimes that does require use my gut. However, it pays to do your research and test, test, test.

According to MOZ, “conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action – be that filing out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise.”

This percentage is essentially just the amount of the orders a user takes that desired action divided by how many times it takes them to do it. MOZ, describes it as order/sessions = conversion rate.

It’s really that simple and the way to optimize it is to minimize the sessions, using these techniques below:

  • Trustworthy branding
  • Persuasive copywriting
  • Authoritative content
  • Intuitive UX/UI
  • Slippery sales funnel

Website Conversion Optimization – SEO CRO

Conversion optimization seo

Website optimisation techniques usually refer to search engine optimization, or SEO. There are many ways to optimize your place in search engines, and understanding the concept below is the best way to start off correctly.

What is user intent?

When you think about conversions, using a search engine you need to consider the user’s intent over anything else. A user looking for a “how to guide” or a “free product” is most likely not as eager to purchase a product than a user searching for “prices” or “discounts.”

That means the best conversion is somewhat unique to your business, but most likely going to use a search term with a user intent of a buyer.

Types of searches and Google search intent

There are essentially three types of searches you should consider. {The below information is a summary of a blog from wordstream.com. Follow the previous link to learn more.}

Informational search

Informational keywords are used when users what to learn more about what you do. Many marketers avoid these kinds of searches, because they usually lack short-term ROI gains. However, a savvy marketer knows that building a community full of loyal learners can be one of the best strategies for spreading your brand to buyers.

Conversion rate optimization with informational keywords is all about building trust with a long-term mindset. That means that you create content purely with the intention of educating your audience. If it’s useful enough that it actually solves their problems they will reward you with a like, share, or possibly a referral.

Navigational search

Navigational search involves the direct intent of the user to find a specific brand or topic. If you’re looking to watch a video, instead of searching for what the video is about, you might just go to YouTube first then search for the video.

This is where ranking for branded keywords really helps customers, that already know about your brand, easily find you.

Transactional search

Last but not least, is everybody’s favorite kind of search, the transactional search. This search indicates there is an exchange of some kind. In most cases, you can assume it’s the exchange of money for a product or service.

To maximize your exposure for terms and optimize conversions after a click, you must have all the pieces listed above in place. To refresh you, here they are again:

  • Trustworthy branding
  • Persuasive copywriting
  • Authoritative content
  • Intuitive UX/UI
  • Slippery sales funnel

So many marketers get sweep off-their-feet by some YouTube video saying that the key to making money is running great ads that convert. That can be very true, but without the basic foundation of a good online business, you’ll spin your wheels and never get your business where it could be.

You first need to ensure your brand has the integrity it needs to sell.

Intent based keyword research planner

What I like to do to maximize CRO with respect to SEO is create three different types of keyword lists based on search intent. A fantastic tool to make your three lists is the Keyword Magic Tool from SEMrush.

Just type in your industry or a keyword that you know your users search for and start identifying which terms go in what bucket. I usually like to start with the high volume keywords and work my way down looking for low competition.

If you’re looking for transactional searches only, look for the ones with a high volume, low competition, and a high cost-per-click (CPC). If marketers are will to pay high prices for these terms, you can usually bet they are making money from them. Given that most users skip the paid ads at the top, even if they are buyers, if you’re ranking #1 or #2 your CRO will sky-rocket.

Pay-Per-Click Conversion Rate Optimization [Crash] Course

Conversion Optimization for PPC

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PPC ads get the most publicity when it comes to conversion rate optimization. Your CRO determines the success of the ad campaign and is the most visible, because most ad platforms have tracking for this metric.

There’s no way to tell you what is a good conversion rate, unless you have access to your competitor’s numbers. Assuming that you don’t you’ll just have to base it off of your progress as time goes on.

To dramatically improve your conversion rate, research every ad your competitors have done in the last few years. Then research your industry and current events. Depending on your audience, you might want to add industry wide trends and images in the copy of your ad.  The ability to relate to your audience within a few lines of copy and the right image or video is sometimes life and death of your ad.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are an essential part of optimizing an ad campaign. Think about how long your users look at your ad and decide to click. Are they ready to buy after reading or watching the ad alone? Possibly, but in most cases your audience deserves a little more of a warm-up to get them to buy, even if their buyer’s intent is high. Click the link above for more information on constructing the perfect landing page for your ad campaign.

The best part about the landing page is this gives you a great opportunity to collect a user’s information in case they back out of the sales funnel. An easy way to do that is use the ad and landing page to exchange a useful downloadable piece of information, e.g. a white paper, case study, or eBook.

Sales Letters and Webinars

If a your landing pages have a high bounce rate, then you should consider creating a sales letter either in written form or a video webinar. Sometimes it takes a lot of sessions for your customers to trust you enough to buy your products.

You should consider creating an interactive webinar to improve CRO. They create a bandwagon effect if done right and if you’re looking to build a community around your products, they are clearly the best strategy.

Product Pages

All product pages need to be optimized for SEO and conversions. Nothing on that page should deter a customer from buying. This is why you put your sales materials first. The purpose of the ads, landing pages, and sales letters is to ensure that when they get to the product page they make the purchase.

Here is where you remind them of any guarantees, include trust badges, and ad cross-sells and additional product recommendations.

Remarketing and Abandon Cart Rate

A complete sales funnel from PPC to product page would be complete without talking about remarketing and abandon cart rate. This is why you collect the user’s email, mobile number, name and anything else you might need in order to remind them that their product is still waiting for them. You might want to give them a discount after an email or two to entice them to buy. Little things like this really help with conversion optimization.

For more information on creating an online business, click here for one of our latest articles, Easy Twitter marketing strategies for your online business.

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Anthony Catullo