So, we’ve sold you on the process of User eXperience design (UX), and you’ve decided to take the steps to improve your site’s UX, in the hope that your users ‘convert’ more.
What’s conversion in the first place?
Put simply, users that convert are the ones that do what you want ‘em to – whether that’s buy now, sign up, download or add to cart. But then, “what is conversation rate optimisation?!” we hear you cry! Well, listen up – we’ll let you in on the secrets of CRO, revealing a few tricks of the trade along the way.
Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO, is the process of increasing the percentage of website visitors that actually convert – the ones that take the desired action that’s on your webpage. It goes hand-in-hand with its fellow advertising acronym amigo… Good old UX design. UX is a practice that focuses on ensuring your site provides a simple, enjoyable, useful user experience, so that visitors are happy, and therefore, more likely to convert.
Assuming that a website’s calls-to-action (if acted upon) will lead to a company making a financial profit (through sales, sign up or subscribers), in a roundabout way the whole thing works like this:
Conversion = Action Taken = Money Made
Sounds good right? So how do we increase conversion? That’s where CRO comes in. There’s a whole host of technical tools that marketers use to influence web users to take a desired action. Some people might see it as a little bit of marketing mind control (we prefer the term ‘influence’) but hey, we’re gonna spill the beans for you now anyway.
Somewhere, somehow, a CRO team is watching you…
…And masses of data is gathered through different metrics, including recording visitors, heatmapping and demographic data on individual users. All of this is analysed so that websites can be correctly tweaked, until users will do juuust what website owners want them to. It might sound as though we should [insert evil laugh] here, but seriously – you think Big Brother is watching you, but really it’s a CRO team somewhere.
Before we get too Orwellian on you, it’s important to note that the use of these ever-so-slightly-creepy analytics is in fact a positive thing. The data is used for UX purposes, to remove frustration and make online journeys easier, happier and ultimately more fulfilling. After all, if a person is visiting an eCommerce website, surely the visitor and the owner of the site want them to click buy, right?
If you’re not too freaked out, and haven’t yet run from your computer in fear, you might want to know more about these individual tools. Once you get to know them, they’re really quite cool – take our word for it, because we have got to know these tools pretty well by now.
The following are a few commonly used and very useful (and K2L’s favourite) Conversion Rate Optimisation tools and techniques.
A heatmap is a visual representation of users’ clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour. Heatmaps use colour to display how your users interact with your website. By showing where and how users’ are accessing (or trying to access) information, these handy maps can provide very revealing data about your users’ motivations and desires.
By analysing heatmap readings, UX designers can rearrange (or completely redesign) web pages in order to show visitors more of what they want to see.
Conversion funnels describe the journey a user takes on the site, from navigation to conversion. In CRO, conversion funnels let you define the series of pages that lead towards an end goal (think ‘product page to shopping cart to payment page) and track down where potential conversions are being lost.
Funnels can identify opportunities for improvement, and knowing where to act is the first step to take.
Visitor recordings enable you to do exactly that – record real visitors’ behaviour on your website. By watching every mouse movement, click and scroll, you can see exactly what your users are looking for and how they’re using your website.
Recording sessions is great for observation. Watching a user’s cursor swoop across the screen can provide priceless information, and really help you to understand the mind-set of your website’s visitors.
Form analytics help to optimise conversion by improving online form completion rates. These analytics will tell you which fields get left blank, which take too long to fill and ultimately, where and why visitors just give up and abandon your form – and webpage.
Nobody likes filling in forms, but this data can help you make it as tolerable and as pain-free as possible for your visitors.
Conversion optimisation tools help to improve a website in many different ways. You can see visitors’ behavioural patterns, reveal their motivations and identify UX issues that are frustrating to users. You can overhaul design, content and CTAs, and streamline the customer journey until conversions soar sky-high – setting your website on a sure-fire route to success.
Hopefully this has answered the question ‘what is conversation rate optimisation?’ Got something else digital-marketing-relating that you’re dying to know? Hit us up on social @K2LMarketing or www.facebook.com/K2LMarketing. Or, if we’ve left you hankering for some heatmapping, or you fancy a little form-analytics-action for yourself, give us a call on 0161 848 9008.