What is site conversion and how optimize it?
What is conversion?
So, you want to build up your business. A lead-generating site and traffic are pretty fine, but the conversion rate is what brings you revenue in the end. A conversion optimization strategy can help you move clients through the sales funnel and inspire them to take the actions that matter most to your business at each stage.
Conversion occurs when a customer completes a specific action that you want him to take. People often associate website conversion with a completed purchase. While this is true, many other actions can also be defined as a conversion, including:
Filling in a feedback form
Number of articles read
Time spent on the site
The end goal of a lead-generating site is a sale, but this usually takes place off the site through other means which help in developing relationships with potential customers. For example, a visitor who provides his/her email address may be included in an email campaign that leads to further interactions with a salesperson and ultimately culminates in a sale. This is why these ancillary conversions are extremely important. Each one brings you one step closer to the deal.
How do I calculate the conversion rate?
For example, 50 people out of 1,000 unique visitors fill out a form on your site, so your conversion rate would be 50 ÷ 1,000 = 5%.
For any type of purchase or desired action, the conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the number of visitors over a certain period.
The "unique" factor in your conversion rate is important if the conversion you track cannot be done twice. For example, your lead (visitor) gives you her/his email address and may come back to your site to explore your content, but he/she doesn't have to fill out the contact form again. By taking this factor into account, your conversion rate may seem lower than what it actually is.
What is conversion rate optimization?
Conversion rate optimization includes several steps to turn more visitors to your site into people who make a purchase. The higher the percentage of active site visitors, the higher the conversion rate. This is a process that requires patience, research, and the effective application of different strategies.
Your site optimization generates conversion leads and helps you achieve a greater return on investments. Think about this: your visitors' traffic stays the same, but your conversion rate doubles. This means that you pay the same but have a significant increase in the number of actions taken on your site.
Why is conversion rate optimization important?
You might think that online retailers don't need many optimizations as customers just look for a specific product within their budget. So, someone visits an online retailer's page willing to buy something, and conversion is done, right?
It’s wrong. In most cases, retailers need conversion rate optimization even more than other types of online businesses. Just consider this:
Conversion rate optimization for online retailers maximizes the use of site traffic an online shop already generates and effectively increases income without spending any more on customer acquisition.
Increase in pay-per-click costs
It's no secret that pay-per-click prices (mostly Google AdWords or Facebook Ads) are going up drastically. Online retailers notice their PPC advertising budgets blow, while conversion in their e-commerce stores goes down.
Increased competition on the Internet
There are more and more new online retailers competing for your customers, so if you want to turn your page visitors into buyers, you need to have a user-friendly site that is intuitive in use and fast responding. A site that automatically directs visitors to take the action you need (to purchase a product or to sign up for a newsletter).
The more competitors you have, the more competitive you must be.
Increasing the value of digital marketing
It's not just that pay-per-click is growing, but that any kind of digital marketing is booming.
The whole point of marketing is to direct users to your store. But how do you make sure that most of them make a purchase and you spend less budget? This is where site speed optimization can help.
The effect of social media
Social media platforms (e.g.: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) are great for marketing and building connections with new and existing customers, as well as building authority and loyalty among your customer base.
Social media increases page views, but it has also helped in creating a trend toward shorter attention spans for consumers. This means being able to capture and capitalize on customer interest as soon as it appears.
Shortening consumers' attention span
This is not a myth. Many psychological studies have proven that younger generations of consumers have a shorter attention span than their predecessors.
What does this mean for an online store? It means that if an average user can't quickly (within 3 seconds) find what he/she needs, or at least quickly figure out how to find it on the website, he/she doesn't have enough attention span to stay and devote more time to the site. Instead, site visitors feel annoyed, close your site, and look for a competitor platform that provides what they want, even if the service or product comes at a higher price.
Save you money optimizing site speed
You spend less money to attract a new customer with the same amount of traffic, increasing the effectiveness of other marketing efforts - especially affiliate marketing.
The more users make a purchase, the higher percentage of your partners, pay-per-click advertisers, social media marketing campaigns, etc. earn more, and consequently, you could collaborate with them on more favorable terms.
How to optimize your conversion rate
First of all, a detailed and accurate description of your business (Unique Value Proposition) on the home page gives visitors a clear understanding of what you offer. If someone comes to your online shop and can't immediately tell if he/she is in the right place, it's unlikely such a client will try to figure it out on their own.
Posting important information about your business on easily accessible prominent landing pages (pricing models, services, etc.) can also help visitors better navigate your site.
There are several different tactics you can consider to optimize conversions on your lead-generating site. Consider these:
Have a clear call to action
Consider a pop-up chat bar
Explore an exit pop-up with a special offer
Employ a content gate-keeping tactic
Nourish leads with personalized messaging
Know your audience
Learn and adapt
How site speed exactly affects your conversion rate
Over the years, a growing number of studies showed that website performance has a significant impact on conversion rate. The faster the page, the higher the conversion rate.
And while conversion rates are traditionally reserved for e-commerce, they are also relevant to content-oriented sites. Even if you're not selling anything, you want visitors to increase their browsing time and become regular visitors.
So, think about increasing the speed of your site before you hire an expensive CRO specialist to help you make spot changes to your website, conduct A/B testing, make special offers, and analyze your audience. Site speed changes do not require a huge amount of time and money, but give tangible results immediately. In any case, without optimizing your site speed you cannot achieve a maximum result, no matter how hard you try. This is a fundamental requirement at the moment, which in the future will have an even greater impact on revenue not only directly, but indirectly as well by affecting the search position of any web page.