All businesses that want to grow and thrive will be investing in digital marketing (and if they’re not they should be). But what happens when you have cracked the top spots in organic search rankings with expert SEO, honed your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to perfection and grown your brand recognition on social media – yet sales don’t reflect those digital marketing successes? You should probably be looking at conversion rate optimisation (CRO).
When visitor numbers to your website are increasing but sales remain low the issue is almost always with the intent of visitors and the user experience on the website. In this case understanding what could be the problem is essential because there could be several culprits.
Obviously, in an ideal world you would be monitoring and improving conversion rate throughout the course of a digital marketing campaign. If you are using some form of internet marketing and SEO consultancy services then you should expect conversion monitoring and improvement to be performed as part of your package.
Sometimes though businesses use an in-house team without expert SEO and digital marketing knowledge. Or, worse, use a digital marketing consultant without the in-depth experience required. Thankfully, it’s never too late to improve conversion rate, even if you’ve been a bit late to the party.
Optimise conversion rate by attracting the right visitors
The CRO process begins with an in-depth analysis of the search terms driving visitors to a business website. After all, if the site is attracting the wrong sort of visitors then sales will never be as high as they could be.
The ideal visitors are ones with a high buying intent for your products or services. And they find just what they are looking for when they reach your website. Too often websites attract disinterested visitors because of poor keyword research & analysis at the start of the digital marketing campaign.
Once confident that the right keywords have been established as part of the digital marketing and SEO campaign, what are the other CRO factors that could be improved?
There is a whole range of website analytics data available for free in Google Analytics that can help identify where the user experience is less than optimal.
For instance, check Bounce Rate, Pages/Session and Average Session Duration in Google Analytics to see which pages users don’t like because they leave quickly without viewing other pages on the website.
If these metrics show a lack of user engagement then review other elements of your main landing and target pages, such as:
- Page Content
- Page Layout
Where you can see there is room for improvement start making changes – just one or two at a time and test the effect. Repeat the change-monitor-test process until you start to see improvements in user engagement that suggest a better user experience.
Visitors should be encouraged at every step through your website to take an action: click a button, download a resource, request more information. Whatever it might be it should be clear and easy to understand – without being annoying. Avoid those popups that intrude on the user experience. They have a negative impact on organic search rankings as well as being intrusive.
And, remember that small changes can translate into large increases in sales or leads. Focus on conversion rate and you could boost your revenue from the visitors your website already has.
Last but not least, website speed and individual page speed of the most important pages is fundamental to success online. Visitors are impatient and will quickly leave a website to seek a better alternative if the site (or individual page elements) are slow to respond. Fortunately, there is another free Google tool called PageSpeed Insights that assesses the speed of individual pages and makes suggestions for improvements. If you are not already using it check it out now. Page speed is also an SEO ranking factor so improvements could help with organic rankings in addition to user experience.