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CRO: What is It & Why Does It Matter?

Northsail Wants to Help You Improve Your Website Marketing SEO

If you're building a new website, or you've just finished building one, and you're worried that your site isn't optimized to provide the highest ratio of conversions, Northsail can help.

We understand the importance of creating the best experience for potential customers, which is why we ensure our clients always know they can trust us to deliver our projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget.

But when you're starting out with a new website, there's a lot of different digital marketing elements that you need to consider. One of the most important to keep in mind as part of your website marketing SEO best practices is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

What is CRO? Why does it matter? This page is going to explore this topic in some depth, and then we're going to give you some tips that you can use to improve your customer journey, as well as some technical suggestions you can use to keep your conversion rate optimized.

What Does Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Mean?

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO as it's commonly called, is the process of maximizing the impact of your marketing spend, so that you get the most return on investment possible.

This sounds complicated, and for the inexperienced, it can be. But since customer acquisition as well as PPC traffic costs continue to increase year-over-year, CRO can have a huge impact on both your current conversion rates, as well as how you design your customer journey and conversion process.

At its most basic, you can think about conversion rate optimization as the process of getting a visitor to perform a desired action on your website. In many cases, this is either a sign-up or a purchase.

This means that essentially every single marketing effort that you make, from search engine optimization to your overall user experience, affects your ability to turn visitors into customers.

Why is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Important?

Without sales and incoming revenue, a company can't stay afloat. That's the cold hard truth of business.

If your bounce rates or exit rates are too high, you're probably not seeing the number of conversions that you need to meet your growth and sustainability milestones.

Online businesses that don't step back and try to assess, identify, and correct the issues impacting their potential visitors are doomed to fail.

On the flip side, businesses that build their digital marketing strategies around conversion rate optimization (in addition to other on-page and off-page SEO efforts), are much more likely to see a positive impact on their bottom line.

How Can Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Benefit Your Business?

No business owner has ever thought, "You know what? I think we've had enough sales."

CRO is the process of ensuring that you're maximizing the number of conversions you're getting from the traffic that all your other marketing campaigns are drawing.

You want the highest percentage of visitors to your site to leave after reaching the end of your sales funnel, but this requires a well-rounded website strategy, as well as assistance and oversight from your marketing team.

Thankfully, if you put in the effort, as well as focus on website best practices and keep customer experience in mind, you'll be on the right path to getting the increase in conversion rate you need.

5 Tips for Improving Your Website's CRO Best Practices:

1.) Leverage Google Analytics

There's an old marketing saying that goes something like 'you can't improve what you aren't tracking'. We think that's a very astute way of saying, you're leaving money on the table if you aren't keeping an eye on your most valuable metrics.

Not only will Google Analytics make it easier to identify user behavior that you need to shift, but it will give you a clear idea of where your website is lacking.

If a percentage of users are frequently leaving from the same landing page, then there could be something that's eliciting a negative emotional response your customers dislike.

There may also be a break in your marketing funnel, where careful analysis can help identify how to patch those holes. In turn, you can help guide potential visitors back down the path to conversion.

2.) Apply a Testing Method for New Campaigns

There's always something to be said for trial-and-error testing. Whether you're choosing to do split testing (A/B testing) or multivariate testing (multiple variables), the end goals are the same.

Clinical trials on your website will help provide invaluable customer insights, regardless of the testing method that you're choosing to use.

Sometimes A/B testing can be more effective; especially if there are a couple of very clear options that can be changed to instigate a new reaction from visitors. However, with all the facets of design that go into creating the UX on your website, multivariant testing often makes the most sense.

You can even install a testing plugin on your website in the backend, which will help continue to provide more in-depth metrics that you can use to adapt and evolve your CRO strategy.

3.) Utilize Testing Tools

There are countless different kinds of testing tools, each of which will provide a different type in sight into your website user behaviors. They can all be powerful tools, as long as you know how to properly utilize them.

For example, mouse tracking tools or heat-mapping software can allow you to see actual customer behaviors in action, as well as give you an idea of where their attention was focused before they chose to leave your site.

These tools will show you which action buttons are being used the most, as well as the time periods that each customer stayed on each respective page, almost like you're watching them in real time.

Shy of direct user feedback, this is the best way to gain in-depth insights into on-page customer behaviors - without being there in person and watching them go through the motions over their shoulder.

4.) Collect User Feedback

Report forms and feedback requests are great ways to collect user data that can show you how and where your website is lacking.

Positive reviews will show you exactly where you're going right, and you can use these insights to guide future adjustments, as well as ensure that you don't accidentally backtrack on features or content that customers are enjoying.

Negative feedback gives you a clear picture of exactly where you need to start working towards improving. Satisfied customers aren't the only ones that can help guide your future plans.

SIDE NOTE: When you receive negative customer feedback, always be sure to take the time to address the issues directly with the customers that provided them, if possible.

Not only will they appreciate you taking the time to reach out to them for more information/to find a solution, but dealing with issues right away can prevent those dissatisfied customers from sharing those negative thoughts with friends and family.

Too many bad word-of-mouth situations, and your website could start to get a bad reputation. Nobody wants that.

5.) Create the Best User Experience Possible

This may sound vague, but that's only because there's so many different ways that you can improve your user experience and create the best customer journey possible.

Just to name some, this could include:

And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Every facet of your website plays a role in your user experience.

Put yourself in your ideal customer's shoes. How would you want your customer journey to look? Does your existing model fit that image? If not, take a step back and re-evaluate. See what immediate steps you can take to improve your UX, while you take the time to plan for bigger changes.

Save Time on Your Next Website, So You Can Spend More Time on CRO

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If you haven't started your next website project yet, and you're dreading the expensive, time-consuming process of hiring a developer to assist with the build, we've got fantastic news for you.

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Best of all, you can try Horizon for yourself for free for 30 days, with no obligation or credit card information required. All we ask is that you take a few minutes to tell us about your Horizon experience once your trial is done.

Are you ready to save time and money on your next website project, so you can spend more time focusing on important things like conversion rate optimization? Then what are you waiting for?

Sign up for early access to Horizon!

We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.

Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.

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