Happy CRO Day! Here are 4 Tips on Optimizing Conversion Rates

If you haven’t heard, today marks the first annual international CRO Day! Conversion Rate Optimization, otherwise known as CRO, is a crucial part of any digital marketing campaign. If you’re a business in the CPG/retail industry, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you generate unless that traffic leads to a conversion!

Conversion – The Greatest Metric

We spoke before about the death of the customer sales funnel. There’s no point in generating more traffic if your end customer will purchase from someone else at the last moment. You can track your click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM) all you want, but in the end the only metric that matters is Return on Investment (ROI).

Your conversion rate is a metric that is directly tied to ROI, which is why we always pay close attention to this metric in particular. If you want to maximize your conversion rate, here are 4 tips that we recommend you try:

 1. A/B Testing 

Many businesses are familiar with A/B testing so I’ll keep this section short. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it’s basically marketing jargon for “an experiment to figure out which advertisement works better.” Some sites, like MailChimp, provide built-in resources for you to test your marketing campaigns.

The premise is simple. Create one campaign and split it into 2 test groups with small variations. Run both test groups in a similar time frame to 2 similar groups of customers. If you’re running an email marketing campaign, you can send each email to 2 different groups. If you’re running an advertisement, you can test variations of the ad on your site or paid online ad. Measure the conversion rate for each group, and select the “better” group for mass-marketing.

Source: Entrepreneursky, 2014
Source: Entrepreneursky, 2014

Consistent conversion is built on the back of rigorous testing. If you can afford it, multiple rounds of testing will result in the best conversion rate when you launch your campaign to the mass public. Sounds good? Or are you perhaps still confused? Give us a visit and we’ll help you out on your A/B testing endeavours, whatever your questions may be!

 2. UTM Tracking

If you use Google Analytics, you should give UTM tracking a try. An Urchin Tracking Module (UTG) link is a tag used by Google which directly links a page click to a source defined on your Google Analytics account. You can visit the Google URL Builder to generate custom parameters on your hyperlinks.

Google URL Builder

It’s a pretty straightforward process. Create your link based on your campaign Source (the site where the banner/click is coming from), Medium (if the click came from a banner or an ad), and Name (which campaign this click is attributed to). This way you can set up multiple campaigns all over the same site, and you’ll be able to test the effectiveness of all of them right in Google Analytics. This makes A/B testing a piece of cake.

UTM links are useful for many mediums, but are particularly powerful when used with a visual advertisement. A long utm link might stand out in an email, but two visual mediums make for a perfect scenario to collect delicious data on conversion rates. Give it a try!

3. CTA Analysis

Even if you have a great pool of data regarding which campaigns work and which ones don’t, you still need to figure out why they resulted in those numbers. HubSpot and Google Analytics offer great resources using their source funnel and heat mapping tools. Let’s take a look at what a heat map looks like:

Source: MarketingSherpa, 2005
Source: MarketingSherpa, 2005

A heat map is a visual depiction of where your clicks are coming from. The “warmer” the area, the more clicks it has generated. We access a host of resources to see what makes your customer click. What are they clicking on the most? Is the banner getting in the way? Where should we be placing the discount message? Where are they going after clicking on the shopping cart? Traditional marketing states that the eyes are drawn to the upper-left corner of any new page. With heat maps, you can take this wisdom one step further and figure out where your customer’s actions tend to go and which media works best for your core audience.

Always create your campaign with your core customer in mind. Ask yourself: “What does my client do once they’re on our site? Why are they acting in this way? Is this good for us, or do we want to change it?” The effectiveness of your conversion rate is directly connected to the visibility and position of your call-to-action (CTA for short). Using heat maps, you can experiment to ensure that your CTA becomes the high-converting tool it needs to be!

4. Remarketing

Your customers can be divided into 3 categories: Haters, Advocates, and Fence Sitters. While you can spend money targeting all of your potential clients, your marketing budget is best spent on those who are still “on the fence” about your product. You can find these “fence sitters” by marketing only to those who have visited your site before-this shows that they’ve expressed interest in your product. By using a pay-per-click remarketing model, you only pay for clicks generated from these visitors. Just like that-you’ve segmented your audience down to the Fence-Sitters who may result in a sale.

AdRoll, 2015
Source: AdRoll, 2015

Remarketing is a wonderful tool that allows us to target specifically the individuals who have visited your site. We use tools like AdRoll to show advertisements to previous visitors, then track to see if those visits result in a conversion.

Conversion Rate Optimization is the result of multiple rounds of testing and research into the behaviours of your core audience. It’s the metric that directly influences your marketing ROI, which is the most important statistic in the long run. If Conversion is king, Impressions and Clickthrough would work as its pawns. Ask yourself if the metrics you’re tracking are the ones that really matter.

Conversion is King

I hope you enjoyed our post on Conversion Rate Optimization! If you’d like to chat about your business and how we can help you grow, give us a call or visit our agency in downtown Vancouver. We always have chocolate!