The conversion is the ultimate goal for any website or landing page.
It’s when a user makes a purchase, calls your organization, or makes an appointment.
And if you’re like most of our clients, you want to increase your conversion rates.
One of the niche marketing disciplines that helps you do just that is called conversion rate optimization.
In this article, I explain conversion rate optimization, why it’s an important part of marketing, and some of our favorite best practices to consider.
I also share common mistakes to avoid.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
Conversion rate optimization is increasing the number of people that take a desired action on your website (e.g., purchase/sale, sign up, form submission, place a call, schedule an appointment, etc.).
CRO can apply to optimizing your website, a single landing page, or a digital marketing campaign.
Why is CRO Important?
CRO offers several benefits:
1. Maximizes ROI
Optimizing your conversion process maximizes the return on ad spend (ROAS), allowing businesses to decrease acquisition costs and grow revenue. CRO also builds maximum value from existing website traffic and increases revenue per visitor.
2. Better consumer insights
CRO helps businesses identify the type of messaging that best resonates with high-intent audiences.
3. Better user experience
Understanding which paid ads, content, and messaging inspire user action allows marketers to allocate more time and resources to those high-performing elements.
4. Enhanced trust
Creating an efficient and intuitive path to the content your target audience values the most builds trust and encourages higher click-through rates.
The Recipe for Successful CRO
Since CRO is improving a web page or landing page for conversions, the key to a successful campaign comes down to knowing
- Where to optimize
- What to optimize, and
- Who to optimize for.
In other words, the best practices for CRO are not a one-size fits all approach, the same way best practices might be for SEO.
CRO efforts are in response to quantitative data analytics that reveals how people behave on your site.
Before diving into what it is you need to optimize, you first need to gather the right data, including
- Which page do people land on first?
- What features do people engage with the most?
- Where did they come from? For example, what did they click on that led them to your site?
- Who are they?
- Where and when do they leave your site or webpage?
Along with understanding how people behave on your site, you can also look into why they behave the way they do. You can use various CRO tools to gather on-site surveys, user testing, and satisfaction surveys.
Once you’ve collected the data and understand some of the shortcomings of a landing page or web page, it’s time to start optimizing those areas for conversions.
10 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices
If you’re just getting started with the digital marketing field of CRO, here are 10 things to consider:
1. Optimize for the right keywords
Increase qualified website traffic by identifying, optimizing for, and bidding on the right keywords. Tools like SEMRush can help identify popular keyword variations, but researching your site’s keyword traffic data is essential.
2. Write compelling copy
Show your target audience that you understand (and can fix) their problems. When writing copy, keep these questions top of mind:
a. Does the copy include benefits written for your target audience?
b. Does it reflect and provide solutions for their pain points?
c. Is it convincing with accurate information and trust factors?
d. Does it have compelling headlines?
e. Is it emotional?
f. Perhaps most importantly of all, is the message clear?
3. Add enticing calls to action
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Just be sure you’re asking the visitor to take a desired action (e.g., Request an Appointment, Download the Case Study, Begin Your Journey, etc.). Here are a few more points to remember:
a. Only include one clear call to action per page.
b. Make sure it’s eye-catching and clickable.
c. Make the button copy directive, e.g., Download Your eBook, or (first person) Subscribe Me!
4. Remove bottlenecks from your sales funnel
Review your paid search and on-site analytics to determine where potential leads are dropping out of the funnel, identify why, and make needed changes. You can start by reviewing these common issues:
a. Your content isn’t delivering a personalized experience or resonating with high-intent users.
b. Your brand voice and tone are inconsistent across channels.
c. Your content isn’t flowing well across channels or through different buyer journey stages.
5. Improve the usability of your website
User experience (UX) and CRO goes hand-in-hand. You’ll drive more conversions with an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-use website when there is also an intuitive conversion path that’s simple, fast, and fun.
6. Consider and optimize website colors
Your website’s color scheme must be appealing, complementary, well-contrasted, and consistent across channels. Not only does a consistent color palette improve brand recognition, but it can also support increased conversions. Research your target audience and build personals to identify colors that appeal to them. Note: your CTA button must stand out from everything else on the page.
7. Maximize your site’s speed
Keep users engaged and increase conversions with a fast-loading website. The faster a page loads, the more likely they are to perform the desired action. The ideal page load speed is two seconds or less. Bonus: site speed improvements also help with SEO.
8. Optimize navigation while avoiding distractions
Classic landing pages are single, standalone web pages on a unique URL. Landing pages should not have any distractions that take them off your website. That means no outgoing links, navigation, or social media icons.
When optimizing a website, you’ll need a logical navigation structure optimized for desktop and mobile that will drive more traffic through your website and into your sales funnel. Look for ways to reduce the amount of work your users have to do, and they’ll convert more often.
9. Build forms that are functional and easy-to-use
Forms that are fast and easy to fill out and submit will have higher conversion rates. Here are a few best practices to consider:
a. Less is more. Collect only the information you need to follow up on or retarget leads quickly.
b. Aesthetics is key. Attractive forms deliver a better user experience. Make it consistent, easy to read, and highlight required fields.
c. Privacy matters. Let users know exactly how you intend to collect and use their personal information.
10. Great design is essential!
Talented designers can transform an average page into a “conversion machine.” Consider
a. Eye flow. Is the content organized in a way that is logical and drives the eye toward the call to action (CTA)?
b. Does the CTA stand out?
c. Does the page look attractive and appropriate to your audience?
d. Is the page design “on brand?”
e. Are the photos right for your audience, and are you testing different approaches?
f. Is the copy readable?
g. Is your visual hierarchy intuitive?
Now that you know some of the best practices, here are the common mistakes people make with CRO.
6 CRO Mistakes to Avoid
- Implementing a campaign without proper measurement and an in-depth analysis of your target audience.
- Implementing CRO elements without a strategy because your competitors are doing it.
- Making changes based on opinions or gut feelings.
- Not doing A/B testing.
- Not measuring the success of your campaigns.
- Not making ongoing adjustments.
When done right, these practices can significantly boost your healthcare website’s conversion rate, increase sales, and maximize your marketing ROI.
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