CRO Best Practices

15 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices to Boost Success

To make the most of the investment in your website and digital marketing initiatives it’s important to continually test and optimize your website to ensure you are offering engaging and effective customer journeys — this is achieved most effectively by following CRO best practices. Focusing on your website’s conversion rate optimization (CRO) as a key inbound marketing strategy for your business online is one of the most effective ways to turn existing traffic into more qualified leads. In the digital world, considering the visitor as a core part of your conversion optimization tactics will increase conversions and will give you the competitive edge you need.

1. Focus on the Big Picture

There is no magic button, blueprint, or one-size-fits-all conversion rate optimization strategy that you can use on your website, blog post and landing pages. For example, what works for another company may not work for you. The challenges and solutions another business has with conversion rates may not be even remotely the same as yours. And even if there are similarities, that doesn’t mean their solutions are appropriate for your target audience. The key thing to remember about optimizing conversion rates is that it is a trial and error process that is always in motion.

  • The different types of website visitors you attract
  • Visitor intentions
  • User-experience issues within your website or marketing materials
  • What obstacles do visitors need to overcome to complete the conversion process?

2. Understand the Market

The next CRO best practice is that you need to know what your potential customers want. Understanding the market dynamics isn’t about you and isn’t what you think they want, solutions that you think might meet their needs but won’t, or what relevant content you want to promote.

3. Build Relationships With Your Customers

Building relationships with your website visitors (even before they become customers) is a key CRO best practice. It’s so easy to only focus on the product or service you are selling and the conversion goal you want to achieve. It’s easy to forget about the human aspect; the person on the other end who interacts with the conversion and, ultimately, your product or service.

4. Communicate With Your Customers

Most companies that implement tactics to improve their conversion rate are overconfident in thinking they know what their visitors want. Your analytics and data only show one side of the story. You can only truly empathize with the customers and find out what they really want when you communicate with them. Don’t ignore the people behind the numbers.

5. Have Well-Defined Goals

The goals you have for your conversion rate optimization process should be backed by your quantitative and qualitative research. Don’t think the obvious improvements will instantly transform a low conversion rate into a higher conversion rate. And don’t think that you can implement the same strategy you found in a blog post or case study you read where the company achieved remarkable conversion results.

6. Prioritize Your CRO Roadmap

Guesswork with regard to your CRO strategy leads to random testing, which results in random optimizations and inconclusive results on your site. This translates into wasted efforts, no conversion increase, and no better understanding of your visitors or their behaviour.

7. Improve User Experience

Customers are a key part of a company’s revenue. Thus, it’s only logical to make changes to your website and optimization strategies that are customer-centric.

8. Be Clear

If the journey your visitor needs to follow and the desired actions they need to take are not clear, it spells disaster for your conversion optimization strategy. To remedy unclear journeys and goals, be as clear as possible. Your prospective customers should have complete clarity and understanding of what your offer is about, the value it provides to them, and what action you want them to take on your site.

  • ensure there are no distractions on the page,
  • eliminate unnecessary steps in the conversion journey. Every step that isn’t needed increases the chances of your visitor abandoning their journey,
  • when your visitor takes the desired action, reward them. This doesn’t need to be elaborate; simply ensure that you deliver on what was promised and meet their expectations. Say “congratulations” or “thank you” to positively reinforce their behaviour. This increases the likelihood of your customers completing similar desired actions again.

9. Optimize Your Content and Messaging

While following web design best practices is important, your content and messaging may be even more important to users. Start by improving your content before you tinker with the design elements on your web pages as content updates are quick and often don’t require a significant budget.

  • your product descriptions, benefits, and features lists, and
  • your “add to cart” and “pay now” buttons

10. Emphasize Credibility and Value

Your company’s credibility is a key driver to winning user trust and building social proof. You establish credibility through honesty, being ethical, demonstrating competence, and acting in the visitors’ interest.

11. Experiment and Test

Conversion rate optimization is both an art and a science. The science part is relatively easier than the art part. So, it’s best to start with the science and then figure out the art.

How to Plan Systematic Experiments and Tests

By understanding what you need to optimize, you can plan your experiments and tests. The goal of experimenting isn’t to try random things. Instead, you should use experimentation to solve the problems you identified. As such, you need to consider the impact your solutions will have on your conversion rate. By solving problems and implementing solutions, your conversion rate will increase.

12. Don’t Use Early Test Data

Another CRO best practice is to not tweak your running experiment. Many testing software programs allow you to stop running a test. Many CRO professionals then use this early data to do conversion rate optimization.

13. Validate Your Tests

There are various ways to use your testing practices, whether you run A/B, multivariate, or other kinds of conversion rate tests. One is to validate your results to ensure you didn’t end up settling on an outlier.

14. Measure Micro Conversions

Macro conversions are the end goal in your sales funnel and these have a direct impact on the net profit of your company. Micro conversions are the actions or steps a visitor takes that lead to the end goal. The more micro-conversions completed by the customer, the more they progress towards the end goal on your website.

15. Document Results and Learn From Them

Who likes to repeat errors, especially if they can be avoided? Part of any CRO strategy is documenting the results from your CRO tests so you can learn from your experiments, tests, and results.

  • Why are the losing designs contributing to failed conversions?
  • How can you further optimize winning designs to increase your conversion rate even more?
  • What can you learn about your visitors and conversion funnel by examining the losing designs?
  • What can you learn about your visitors and conversion funnel by examining the winning designs?
  • Are there any new questions you need to ask your visitors based on the test results? What are they? Can you ask previous questions in a new way to gather more information?
  • How can you implement the same goals and expectations across multiple platforms and channels?

Final Thoughts

Conversion rate optimization is a crucial process to increase your website traffic and revenue, outrank your competitors, and boost your conversion rate. It all starts and ends with the website visitor. What makes them click? What optimized elements in your conversion funnel drive them to convert?

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Parachute Design Group Inc. is a boutique Toronto web design agency specializing in beautiful hand-made website design, custom logo design and branding.