What is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), and why does it matter?
Conversion Rate Optimisation is the process of tailoring your whole online experience to be focused on the visitor, reducing points of friction with the added advantage of helping you to improve your conversion rates.
Until recently optimising your web pages to provide a more personalised experience to visitors has seemed to be the domain of big business and major e-commerce sites. Often the complexity of the task has been a factor, with many companies simply unable to put enough in the budget to acquire the necessary skills and expertise to ensure the project is delivered in a timely fashion, and that it meets the project goals.
For years marketers have known that in the physical world, potential customers sometimes need assistance to help them to make buying decisions – this helps build trust in a relationship between the customer and the shopkeeper. The customer’s journey should progress as smoothly as possible, and often a polite and helpful manner of a sales assistant engages the customer and makes them feel valued.
The online world is no different. More and more people are purchasing through websites as well as in person, but your online visitors expect the same buying experience from a website that they do from a real sales assistant. They want to fluidly navigate your website and expect to be presented with relevant content and those content choices to be remembered. They don’t want barriers in their way and, if having visited your site previously and already purchased from you, they don’t want to have to fill in the same details that they did the first time to make subsequent purchases. If there is no prompt to log in (because your website knows they have purchased before) they may choose to purchase from one of your competitors who makes their journey less frustrating.
Don’t assume this to be a flash in the pan
You may have been in marketing for many years but that can make you complacent. Look around at your competition, the big guys are using CRO and getting bigger whilst many small businesses are struggling or are being left behind. That gut feeling is no longer enough to secure sales in today’s crowded and competitive online marketplace. You could be wasting money through PPC advertising because your landing page doesn’t invite customers to engage. In fact, a poorly functioning landing page may push visitors away if their initial reaction is that the content is irrelevant or not optimised.
Companies using personalised customer journeys have more to offer their customers – using the website is usually easier so visitors will often hang around longer. By monitoring their behaviour you can focus on a reduced number of choices enabling their experience to be more relevant and less confusing. If you are a small business and invest in CRO it could make your website more professional and possibly your business to be perceived as larger. It could, for some visitors, make the difference between them deciding to leave your site as a customer or as a frustrated visitor who will never return.
CRO for everyone
Once only available to enterprises with big budgets and large IT departments, Conversion Rate Optimisation is no longer out of the reach of small business. Webtrends Optimize offer solutions that are affordable and you won’t necessarily need any in-house website optimisation expertise. Your first steps into optimisation can be very simple with an easy to use interface that lets you plan your customer’s journey with little, or no, programming knowledge.