What is CRO [conversion optimization]?
Learn how to work the conversion optimization of your business.
You cannot deny that for a long time websites, blogs and ad campaigns have been the basis for the growth of countless businesses. This is because each of these channels can be used to attract and convert customers from the most diverse segments.
From the store that sells pet food to the travel agency that will show you a good vacation option, everyone can use their digital channels for a conversion. And best of all: conversion, which was once only possible with more traditional formats, is now easy to achieve on virtually any social media.
So, before we start talking about conversion optimization, let’s understand the first basic step:
What is conversion?
The basic idea of conversion is to make your user, or lead, take an action that you desire; whether it is subscribing to a newsletter or a YouTube channel, to purchasing a product.
But when your entire journey demands that the lead perform several actions until a much more important conversion is reached, what we have is the set of micro and macro conversions.
The micro conversion is every action performed by the lead or user until he or she reaches your ultimate goal: a macro conversion. Here, it is important to emphasize that conversion is not only about sales, but rather the accomplishment of an expected activity for the success of your strategy or business.
You watch a video on YouTube and become interested in more content from that person and subscribe to his or her channel. After a while, you visit that person’s website, consume more content and subscribe to the newsletter. A few more days go by, the newsletter makes you click on several links and, at one point, you buy something that the person is offering.
Micro conversions: subscribing to the YouTube channel, visiting the website from the channel, subscribing to the newsletter, clicking the links in the newsletter.
Macro conversion: buying the product being offered.
What is conversion optimization or CRO?
Conversion optimization is a process known as CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
This process works as clearly as the term suggests. However, while optimization processes often cover all the business’s indicators in CRO, the idea is to do whatever necessary to improve conversion rates, whether they are micro or macro conversions.
In the conversion optimization process, you need to go through exactly all the contact points of your lead/customer with your business and understand what you can be improved so that the final conversion is achieved more often or faster. After all, you don’t always want to sell much more, but rather prevent the person from giving up more often.
Let’s get down to the necessary points for a good implementation of the conversion optimization in your business.
Why work the conversion optimization?
Actually, the big question is: why not optimize?
The more your digital business converts, the better known it will become and the more money goes into the cash flow.
By optimizing the conversion of your business, you get resources to reinvest in your company’s growth and even achieve personal goals!
The size of your business doesn’t matter, making it more profitable and with more wiggle room will help you get you farther.
What do I need to know in order to optimize my conversions?
If you can’t measure, you can’t manage. – Peter Drucker
First of all, ask yourself two questions:
- At which points in the customer’s journey does my lead have contact with my business?
- Which indicators am I already measuring?
You will not be able to optimize anything if you don’t have well-defined indicators and don’t know the steps taken by your lead.
As we’ve explained before, the customer’s journey consists of three basic moments:
To improve the indicators related to the purchasing decision, you need to understand your lead’s need in each of the three phases.
Taking the first steps in CRO
Now that you have learned about the two basic requirements, it’s time to take your first steps towards constant conversion optimization.
Make your goals clear
This will help you not to lose focus when it comes to thinking about your strategy’s solutions and tests.
One goal at a time
Don’t think about improving several indicators at the same time. Each goal must be related to one or at most, two indicators.
Hypotheses are created based on facts, not on guesses
Do you want to conduct a test with your audience?
Write at least three reasons why the test makes sense. If you can answer all three, you have a good hypothesis. Otherwise, perhaps it’s just a guess.
Learn the tools, but master concepts
There are numerous tools that can help with CRO:
- Google Analytics;
- Kiss Metrics;
- Google Search Console;
- Google Tag Manager.
Tools are essential, but they may change. But the conceptual basis of metrics and success indicators will rarely undergo drastic changes.
Imagine that you are currently 100% dependent on a tool and tomorrow it ends its activities.
What will the solution be?
My personal tip is to always have a mental map or spreadsheet with the structure of your conversion optimization strategy.
Write down changes
Write down both your audience’s behavior changes as well as the results related to your tests. Know exactly what happened when you risked strategy A against strategy B.
Maintain a result measuring routine
Are you going to carry out tests and changes? Have a fixed analysis routine, whether daily, weekly, biweekly or even quarterly, and in these analyses, question four points:
- What has changed?
- What has caused the changes?
- How to reverse/boost such changes?
- What investments (in time, money, and effort) are needed to reverse/boost the changes?
In short: in order to start the conversion optimization, you need to:
- Clarify your goals;
- Prioritize one goal at a time;
- Master the concepts, tools and data.
With these basic elements, you begin to have more clarity about what your daily process will be.
10 conversion optimization tips
Here are a few very practical tips for CRO!
You don’t need to carry out all 10. However, this is an initial path on a journey that might be long, but it should bring great results.
1. CTA tests with mental triggers
What makes your persona interested in what you have to offer? Curiosity? Scarcity? Exclusivity? Opportunity cost?
A simple change of phrase can change its entire results.
(Checkout our post that explains how to use mental triggers in your strategy).
2. Forms and surveys to qualify your lead
Have you ever considered that perhaps your problem is the quality of the lead?
Ask questions, segment your lead, understand which is the best offer to be made. Make your lead confirm what you expect him/her to confirm.
You can do this with email tools such as MailChimp, for example, and segment the destination according to the answers.
3. Use chats on conversion pages
Perhaps you already offer all the information necessary for the purchasing decision, but eventually your lead wants to have contact with a person before making a decision.
There are free chat tools with which you can program macros for frequently asked questions and conclude the service with a CTA.
4. Relationship chatbots
Do you use Facebook? How about creating a relationship through Messenger itself?
Nowadays, the average opening of messages sent via Facebook is 5 times higher than the opening of emails. Imagine this being done with tools that learn your lead’s behavior and can generate automatic and conditional responses.
5. Nurturing email automation
We at Hotmart, have shown several times the advantage of email automation and, incredible as it may seem, there are still people who resist this solution.
It is possible to create a very humanized and low cost automation without much effort. To give you an idea, one of our automation tools provides 8 times more sales.
6. Trial and freemium models
As in the chat example with which your lead wants to talk to someone before making a purchase, there are chances that he/she also wants to take that look at your solution.
Nowadays, at Hotmart, you can offer from modules and free classes to trial subscriptions with the Hotmart Club. Why not test it?
7. Conversion-oriented design
Which elements are essential in the design of a sales page or checkout?
Conversion-oriented design works on principles that accelerate decision-making. Here are a few of them:
- Contrasts and colors;
- Blank spaces;
- Urgency and scarcity;
- Social proof.
8. Page loading speed
This is a key metric not only for SEO, but also for the user experience, which will tell if this user’s tendency to buy your idea is favorable or not.
You cannot wait for a site that takes too long to display your information, and perhaps this happens due to excessive information.
Reduce the loading speed on your landing pages and you will notice how other retention indicators start to be impacted positively.
9. Sales pages segmented by buyer persona
If you have more than one buyer persona defined, then you already know that each one has a different reality or need.
Why work with only one sales page?
Remember the tip on mental triggers in CTA? Here is your chance to validate which type of triggers accelerate your buyer’s decision.
The same product can be offered in several ways.
For more suspicious buyer personas, a page with valuable information, phone number and social proof can make all the difference. For a buyer persona who already knows your brand or solution, perhaps a well-structured offer based on past experiences is enough.
You’ll only find it out with segmentation and testing!
10. Capturing of social proof
Are people consuming what you sell?
So ask how your solution has changed the lives of these people and use their testimonials as a sales pitch. It is much easier to trust the opinion of buyers than on the seller’s own opinion.
Here’s a piece of advice: always use real testimonials from real buyers. Be honest with your lead.
And now the question is: what do you already do that is focused on CRO? Leave your comment below and help other entrepreneurs improve their own indicators!