Conversion Rate Optimization, also known as CRO, is a crucial practice you should keep in mind when creating promotional content nowadays – whether you’re building a landing page, making an explainer video, blog post tutorial, or anything else in between!
Now, a conversion occurs every time your website or online content accomplishes the goal it’s made for, whether it’s prompting someone to use an online service, signing up for a subscription, buying a product, filling a form, or simply clicking a link.
Increasing conversions will always be good for you (and your brand!), but whenever you are trying to optimize conversions, it’s not enough to just make visually appealing content! There are many marketing strategies that you can (and should) use to your advantage when looking to get your audience to take action, and we’ll be going over some of the most effective ones in this piece!
CRO in a Nutshell
Before you even decide on the methods you want to use to increase your conversions, you’ll want to understand how conversion rates actually work. Luckily, it’s pretty straightforward!
Take the number of conversions your site (or a piece of content) is generating and divide it by the total number of visitors/viewers. In other words, your conversion rate equals the percentage of users who complete the desired action after engaging with your site or viewing your content.
So, if your website gets 5000 visitors every day, and 50 of them are completing a transaction, then your conversion rate would equal 1%.
Most of the time, increasing your conversion rates within the audience you already get is usually better than trying to increase traffic and hoping your rates remain the same. In fact, trying to bring in more and more users often leads to your user pool becoming less and less targeted.
Now, engaging in CRO presupposes that you have a base audience and that you understand it enough to start tweaking your content strategy in a way that has them taking actions more consistently. Suppose your conversion rates are low, but you aren’t sure about the type of content your audience responds to or don’t have the numbers regarding site visitors/viewers. In that case, you should engage in some market research and audience growth strategies before jumping into CRO.
Now that we know how CRO works, let’s dive into some of the best practices to increase conversions.
Quality of Life Improvements for Your Site
Most of your visitors will likely approach your site with interest already, so having compelling offers and an easy-to-navigate landing page is key when looking to increase conversions.
These are some things to take into account when building your site with user experience in mind.
- User Interface. Your site should be readable, never overwhelming for a first-time visitor. Try to retain a familiar look and use high-quality background renders and interface design. Make it easy for your users to look for what they want, and don’t annoy them with a confusing interface or layout.
- Product Checkout. Don’t over-complicate it! Whether you’re using an externally hosted eCommerce platform or one built into your own website, make sure the process of buying from you is clean and simple. Many users will lose interest quickly if they have to start jumping through hurdles to make a purchase.
- Offer Free Shipping. This is a tricky one. We know shipping takes time and money, but research suggests users are more likely to engage in a purchase if they’re offered bonuses such as free shipping, even if the product’s price takes into account the difference it makes.
Video Content for CRO: Tips and Tricks
Over the past decade, videos have proven to be the most efficient type of online content for engaging audiences. So, it’s not surprising that landing pages with an emphasis on video often translate into higher conversion rates than those without.
But not every video works the same! You need to understand the medium’s strengths and use it to your advantage. To that end, here are a few priorities to keep in mind when developing video content for CRO purposes.
- Have a Reliable Platform: First of all, it is important for any CRO-related practice to be able to track and register your data in order to know where you’re standing. For this, you’ll need a hosting platform, either private or in-house, that captures your videos’ performance and analytics.
- Find the Right Type of Video: When creating your CRO video content, it’s crucial to take into account your market research. What you know of your audience will help you determine what types of videos are more likely to prompt them to action and help you estimate how the average response will be.
There are many available options that brands of different types often use, but when we are talking CRO, testimonial videos, product demos, explainer videos, and take the cake!
- Iterate Based on Data: Remember that, just like with the rest of your content, you should apply A/B testing regularly to your videos and use the results to determine which types of video to capitalize on.
Optimize Your CTAs
A CTA, also known as a call to action, is a very important piece of the CRO puzzle and one you should pay close attention to when developing content for your site. It’s nothing less than a prompt to the viewer/reader, driving them to actively engage with a piece of content.
CTAs often come in the form of an encouraging phrase or message and should always maintain two essential characteristics; simplicity and clarity.
They should be short, easy to understand and communicate to the audience, and most importantly, obvious. CTAs are meant to be a driver for a visitor to engage with the site or content and convert.
If the CTA is vague or muddled, it can have the opposite effect and lose potential customers.
The FOMO Phenomenon
FOMO stands for “fear of missing out”, and is one of the easiest and most utilized ways to improve the effectiveness of CTAs in any medium. Products with limited stock, limited-time offers, and timed events all take advantage of it.
A visitor that is offered a product or a service, or is asked to fill out an online form, is much more likely to agree if they’re told they may not be able to do it later. FOMO raises conversions by creating a sense of urgency in the visitor.
Social Proof, and the Benefits of Using It
Sometimes, when trying to make your visitors trust you and your online content, it can be helpful to receive a positive recommendation or a testimonial from a trustworthy source.
This taps into a little phenomenon known as social proof, which states that people are usually put at ease about a product or service when they’re told good things about it by someone else, especially an influential figure, such as a celebrity or an expert in the topic at hand.
This will work differently for each individual visitor depending on personality, but on average, people tend to convert more when they feel backed up by a familiar face or brand.
Your other option when looking at how scoring and recommendations for a product or a service influence your audience is raw numbers. Most individuals will feel safer in their decisions if they see positive customer reviews.
These are a handy tool when looking to increase conversions organically and are a must-have for your site if you are confident in your content’s quality.
Confidence in your content is a defining factor when looking into using customer reviews as an influence on your performance. Just have in mind that, although a big help when positive, they can turn out to be a double-edged sword if something goes wrong and they end up being not-so-favorable, leading to negative social proof, which is just as powerful as its counterpart, and the last thing you want for your business.
Before You Go
While many of the techniques used to optimize your conversion rates are straightforward in nature, the process is not as simple as it looks and is certainly not an easy one.
Take your time to do your research, learn about what’s making your conversions not be where you want them to be, and apply a long-term solution while keeping true to your brand’s established strengths. Whether you’re selling a product, providing a service, or creating entertainment independently, we hope that, with this piece, we’ve set you on the right path to improve upon your conversion rates and take your business to the next level!