What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is a system for increasing the ratio of website visitors who ultimately turn into customers. Conversion rate optimization involves really understanding your target market, providing visitors with a sales funnel that engages them and a concrete plan for following up with leads.
Know Your Target Market
Whenever you’re designing a marketing strategy, it’s vital to know specifically how to direct it. If you’re targeting your ads to women ages 20 to 70, that’s too broad. Consider who is the optimal recipient for your service. Do women in college consider plastic surgery or should you direct your marketing toward professional women who earn a particular salary? If you’re not sure who is in your target market, take some steps to find out. Create a survey or ask colleagues who are in the same industry.
In addition, determine whether you’re targeting new or current customers. You’ll need to adapt your content accordingly. New customers need more relationship-building techniques to draw them in. Sell them too hard or too quickly and you risk turning them off. However, customers who already know and love you might jump at the chance to pick up a discount or take advantage of a promotion.
Optimize Your Sales Funnel
A sales funnel involves the steps a client or potential client goes through, from clicking on an advertisement to scheduling a service with you and becoming a paying customer. To improve your conversion rate, guide people who click on your advertisement to an engaging landing page.
The landing page is also referred to as the lead-capturing page. It should be concise and clear about what you want the customer to do. This is where knowing your target market matters; returning customers might be directed to a different landing page than those who are just hearing about you.
The sales funnel should help transform visitors into customers. One way to do this is to provide free content once the visitor signs up for your email list. Another way is to offer an e-course with valuable information that’s automatically emailed to the customer on a regular basis. The goal of your offer is not to have the visitor call you immediately to set up an appointment; it’s to get the visitor to notice you, want to read your emails and come back for more.
Don’t set up your advertisements to drive visitors directly to your homepage. If there’s nothing there to specifically grab your target’s attention, they’ll tune out. Keep them interested and engaged by taking them to a page designed just for them.
Perhaps the most important part of the page is the eye-catching headline. Research shows that 80 percent of what a web page communicates is provided by the headline. The headline must match what the visitors thought they’d be reading when they clicked on the ad. If they feel like you’re implementing a bait-and-switch campaign, visitors won’t give you their trust.
The second-most important aspect of the landing page is the action you’d like the visitor to take. If there are dozens of buttons on the page, the visitor will be confused, at the very least. Make it practically impossible for the visitor to avoid delving deeper into the sales funnel by providing a clear, noticeable form to fill out or button to click on.
Ideally, the landing page will include a large lead capture form where the visitors will enter their contact information. This can be a great place to experiment with finding out more about your target market; include some brief survey questions and track the relationship between how they’re answered and who actually schedules an appointment. Maybe your lead capture form allows visitors to sign up for a newsletter that informs them about hot trends in fashion, style and plastic surgery. Perhaps it gives them a chance to tell you their story and ask for a free quote.
What you request in your lead capture form depends on what you’re attempting to achieve. You don’t want potential clients to feel like they’re sharing too much private information without getting to know you first, but you also want enough information that you can use it effectively. Provide an incentive for filling out the form, such as a free download or a free consultation.
Make sure you track what visitors are doing on your website, where they’re clicking and how long they’re staying engaged. Don’t forget to use analytics to evaluate clicks from newsletters and other marketing campaigns too.