Probably one of the most interesting and exciting areas of expertise for online marketers: the fine art of converting visitors into customers, or any other conversion goals you may have. The tools for CRO have evolved greatly over the years, but the basic concept remains the same: run as many A/B or multivariate experiments as possible and as often as you can. Until you perfect your formula.
Elements of Conversion
What elements assist in converting visitors? There too many to list, and not all directly related to CRO. Here are some of factors affecting conversion decisions:
- Brand strength
- Titles and descriptions as they appear in search results (or rich results)
- How fast a website loads
- Text copy, readability, relevance and placement on page (above the fold, below, wrapped around an image etc)
- The images used, their placement and relevance to the page
- Call to action shape, copy and placement
- Colors used on the page
All these elements, and others, can be used to run tests. In many cases. Even the smallest change can have a significant and positive impact.
Using Image Sliders and Carousels
Most websites dedicate precious real estate, sometimes the entire visible area above the fold on mobile devices, to show image sliders and carousels. It may not always be a bad idea, but it is a great place to start testing if your most viewed placements are also yielding the expected results. The results may surprize some. Is the first slide the one clicked on the most, how many click on the last, and maybe you should just one slide with clear call to action?
Element Visibility and Click Ratio
Element visibility can easily be measured and reported to analytics. Divide it by the number of clicks these elements receive, and you get an actual metric of this element ability to attract a user’s attention. It also makes it fairly easy to compare pages that work well with others that do not perform as expected.
Exit Intention Windows
Exit intent pop-up windows has seen exponential growth in recent years. Nearly everyone uses them, from bloggers to huge online retailers. There are now countless companies offering 3rd party plugins and tools to capture users attention as they intend to leave your website (or, in many cases, just moved their mouse accidentally near the X button).
Some of these tools offer more than just a simple and unified call to action. They offer segmentation, analytics integrations and mobile specific windows, as pop-ups are not an option on mobile.
The bottom line is that these tools, if used correctly, can actually improve CRO considerably. If abused, they can cause more harm than good.
CRO on Mobile Devices
Mobile users tend to convert less than desktop users, especially on retail sites and form intensive checkouts. CRO can still improve greatly, but when buying airline tickets or apparel, users tend to shop around on their mobile device, but make the final purchase decision in front of a large screen.
So for many websites, mobile is only an assisted conversion channel. But assisting channels are just as important for the conversion rate process as the main channel, and first impressions always matter, A LOT.
And of course, there are always untapped opportunities available. Running A/B tests specific for mobile users is just CRO strategy targeted toward this segment.
Other CRO Methods and Tools
Depending on your goals, any number of other tools and methods can be used to boost conversions:
- Chat assistance
- Related products or articles
- Star ratings and reviews (and other forms of user generated content)
- Extended validation SSL certificate (showing company name in the browser address bar)
- Using a CDN, AMP and other methods to speed up your website
- Fast checkout process without registrations
- Using schemas for rich results and rich cards
These are just a few examples, but you probably get the idea. Perfecting your CRO strategy can be a lengthy process, but improved results are all but guaranteed at the end of it.