It always amazes me how much time, effort and budget is spent by startups on getting more visitors to their websites. And then what. For the vast majority the job it seems is done. When in fact the job is only just beginning. Letting people know you exist and encouraging them to visit your website is only the first step in the process. Next you need to engage and encourage them to do something, take some action, register, sign-up, maybe even pay!
So what should you be doing and how can you do it? Conversion Rate Optimisation or CRO is the answer but where should you start?
First of all you need to decide what the goal is. What is it that you want new visitors to your website to do? Depending on your product or service this could be to subscribe, pay, start a free trial or register. Decide on your goal and then review your homepage and landing pages to ensure that everything is leading them towards this goal. You’ll want to make sure that the call to action is prominent and easy to access, plus that nothing else is distracting user from completing the goal.
It’s a good idea to walk through each of the stages in the process to see how difficult you’re making it for users to complete these steps. Tiny changes to your calls to action or registration forms can have a big impact.
Next you’ll want to put some numbers against these steps. Hopefully you already have tracking in place (if not its time to get some!) and can easily put numbers against each step in the journey to show how many people arrive at and complete that stage. This will allow you to objectively see your conversion funnel, pinpointing major pain points that require urgent attention and helping you to consider steps that can be removed or bypassed, to boost the number of people completing the funnel and reaching the goal.
User testing and user feedback can also be hugely helpful in CRO. The process of watching and listening to real users as they struggle to find what they need on your site can be a real eye opener. However that’s a topic for another day.
Improving your conversion rate can help you to improve the ROI of your overall acquisition spend, by making it easier for each user acquired to achieve the desired goal. For example imagine you’re an online dating business spending £10,000 per month on acquisition. However your homepage conversion rate is 20%, meaning that you lose 80% of people on the first page. By focusing on CRO and what happens after acquisition you could reduce your drop-off rate considerably and make that £10,000 spend go an awful lot further in terms of real registered or paying users. By focusing on optimising your conversion rate you’ll make every £1 spent go further.
So before you decide to focus all your time and effort on acquisition take a look at your current conversion rate and fix any leaks in that funnel.