Conversion Rate Optimisation - One Size Does Not Fit All

  • Date: August 15, 2013

Nowadays there seems to be more focus than ever on a website’s usability and conversion rates and when you think about it it’s easy to see why; having as many conversions as possible is absolutely crucial to surviving in the competitive online world.

CRO, if you are unsure, is all about improving the performance of a website to make it user friendly, in the hope that visitors will return or convert (preferably both). It is all to do with having a website that is simple, easy to use and above all trustworthy.

Consider this; as an internet marketer you spend day after day building links, creating content and managing social media in the attempt to get as much traffic to a site as possible. No matter how good a job you do, if none of the traffic that you have managed to gain actually converts, then most of the work you have done has been in vain.

Conversions are different for every website, the main one of course being a purchase, then you have an array of actions that are all considered conversions such as form submissions, phone calls, downloads and subscriptions. As each site is different and wants different things from visitors, when it comes to conversion rate optimisation there isn’t a model that can be followed, just because one site has done something it does not mean that you should do it.

A key thing to remember when doing CRO is that it is very rare for users to convert on their first visit, therefore if someone visits a site that is difficult to navigate, slow or even unattractive they will mostly likely leave the site and never return. This is why it is critical to have a site that is fast, that users will be able to use easily and that they consider useful. This way they will have a pleasant experience and when they are looking for whatever it is that the site they visited is offering, they will remember what a great site it was and with any luck will return to complete a successful conversion!

When it comes to CRO every aspect of a site is important, starting with the basics. Meta titles, descriptions and URLs should make sense to the user; although including keywords is vital, if you want to appeal to users, the information you provide should be written with them in mind, think of it this way, if you wouldn’t enter a site based on the information you could see in search results, why would anyone else?

This is exactly the same when it comes to on-site content, if a site is filled with useless, spammy or boring content no one is going to bother reading it, let alone stay on the site. All content should be developed with users in mind, providing necessary information in a clear and readable manner that will make a visitor to a site think: ‘yes, this is what I’m looking for, what a great site!’

Then of course it comes to the more technical aspects, by using analytics and heat mapping you can learn loads about the traffic that you are getting, what visitors are doing on your site, where people are or are not clicking and much more. By looking at all of these bits of information you are able to see what a site is doing right and of course what it is doing wrong, ensuring that you can then work to get the best out of the site.

As you may have gathered from the title of this post, what works for one site may not work for another, which is why rushing is not an option with CRO. You need to spend time finding out what needs changing, creating hypotheses for possible changes and then testing these changes out. A/B testing software will give you an insight into things that will and won’t work, so that you have genuine data upon which to base your changes, instead of blindly making changes in the hope that they will work.

So if you are about to dive into the world of conversion rate optimisation, remember these four things:

  • Do everything with the users in mind – a site is for the users not for the business.
  • CRO is a never ending process that cannot be rushed – take your time and make sure you get it right; slow and steady wins the race.
  • One size does not fit all – if you want to make a real difference everything you do should be tailored to the site.
  • Take a trip to London for Measure Fest this October – don’t just listen to what I have to say, go and listen to more e

 

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