10 Easy Ways to Implement CRO

Last Updated November 4, 2020

Optimizing a website is a little bit like editing an essay. We’ve all been there, right? Move this sentence here, take away a word, add a word...it’s good, but never perfect.

Well, all signs point to website optimization as being one of the most powerful strategies at your fingertips. Instead of trying to pull in tons of new traffic and exhausting your ad spend budget, you could be patching leaky holes on your site that let visitors get away. That means that, when done right, conversion rate optimization (aka improving your website for sales/lead generation/whatever your main objective is) can lower your cost per acquisition and raise the value of your leads/customers.

We’ve talked before about when to stop optimizing your landing pages. This advice still stands! There is a point at which you can spend so much time trying to optimize your website for one type of customer that you end up turning off others. 

We’re going to expand on a piece of our own advice, though: go after low-hanging fruit. Sometimes the most obvious fixes are right in front of you, but maybe you just don’t even know it yet. That’s the pits! (Get it? 🍒)

Where to Begin With CRO?

Before you start making major or minor changes, you’ll want to gather some data first. This will serve the purpose of giving you an idea of what you want to improve, and a baseline understanding of your site’s conversion performance. 

Here’s just a few KPIs you should be tracking:

  • Overall conversion rate - this varies depending on your business. For example, a SaaS conversion might be a paid app download, whereas an eCommerce conversion would be a completed purchase. The average conversion rate across industries is ~2%.
  • Bounce rate - this lets you know if visitors have been going to your website and quickly bouncing (✌️ deuces) or if they’re sticking around and browsing. A high bounce rate might indicate issues with your site speed or mobile optimization. 
  • Call-to-action click-through rate - this will be how many visitors to your site actually click buttons like “buy now” or “add to cart”. 
  • Unique and returning visitors - this will give you an idea of how visible your brand is.
  • Email marketing opens and click-throughs - see how many leads are engaging with your communications.
  • Cost per conversion - this helps you determine the value of your customer’s visit. If you’re not getting much return from conversions, you might want to think about ways to increase average order value (if applicable). 

Once you have your baseline data, put your thinking cap on and do an in-depth CRO walkthrough of your site. Now that you’ve gathered this critical information, you can start making educated guesses about how you can increase your conversion rate!

Based on what you discover, you’ll probably end up discovering that one of these common CRO fixes applies to your website (remember what we said about low-hanging fruit?): 

👉 Then try out a new strategy based on what you discover. Here are some ideas for implementing CRO changes/tests on your own website:

  1. Clear and persuasive copywriting. Have a second or third set of eyes review the copywriting on your website, from longer-winded sections like “About Us” down to the words you use in your call-to-action buttons. What can be made clearer? Can you create copy that keeps your audience interested?
  2. Work out any kinks that over-complicate the checkout process. Your checkout process should be easy enough that visitors don’t close out the site in frustration. Too many steps, too many questions, or having to share too much information (no TMI!) can easily turn off potential customers.
  3. Make CTAs prominent. CTAs, or call-to-action, are the buttons that encourage your visitors to take a certain action. These should be obvious and compelling. Test our different button types, positions, colors, and even wording.
  4. Optimize your store for mobile experiences. More and more people are shopping from their phones. That means your store should be optimized for a frictionless mobile shopping experience. If your website features are funky on a phone or tablet, you can’t expect those mobile shoppers to stick around.
  5. Add a chatbot or live chat option. Adding a resource for customers to ask questions and get easy, convenient answers is a great way to let your customers know you care and help talk the customer through their potential objections—but without being invasive to the customer experience.
  6. Enhance trust by including checkout protections and security badges. Make sure your site is safe and secure for your customers and find ways to signal that their information will stay safe when they enter it.
  7. Create thorough product descriptions that provide adequate details, answer customer questions, and address common objections up front.
  8. Include social proof like customer reviews, photos/videos, and testimonials. eCommerce customers don’t get to interact with your products until they’ve made a purchase. That might turn off some of your most risk-averse customers. But if you can provide enough proof that your products are the bee’s knees, you should be able to push more reluctant customers to make the purchase.
  9. Include your unique value proposition. What makes your products stand out? Why should your customers buy from you rather than your competitors? Make sure you’re telling a story about your brand that speaks to the audience you're targeting—whether that’s around price, company values, or something else.
  10. Improve your site speed. (It really matters.) Do you stick around for very long on a site that takes a long time to load? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Most people don’t, which is why you need to keep your site speed up to snuff to keep visitors from bouncing in those first critical 1-3 seconds.

After you implement your tests, you’ll want to record results, make even more educated guesses, and start driving those conversion rates up, up, up.

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