In this blog post, we will continue our series of Inbound Marketing Website Essential Ingredients by learning #7 on the list, the best practices of CRO or conversion rate optimization, or optimisation if you're across the pond.
What Is CRO?
CRO, aka conversion rate optimization, is the process of creating an experience for your website visitors that'll convert them into customers. Conversions happen all over your website -- on your homepage, your pricing page, your blog, and of course, landing pages -- and you can actually optimize all of these conversions. That process is of optimizing those conversions is exactly what conversion rate optimization is -- taking, say, your visit-to-lead rate from 22.2% to 25.4%. Or your lead-to-customer conversion rate from 1.4% to 1.7%. (source: hubspot)
In order to achieve a high conversion rate, it’s important that businesses define a conversion path that includes the 3 assets they need in order to take the desired next step. These assets are:
- Clear Call-To-Action (CTA)
- Landing Page
- Thank You Page
These assets get you started but more is needed to get results.
- Provide multiple opportunities for your visitors to convert; blog, homepage slider, pop-ups, etc.
- Experiment with different styles of content, colors, and placement on your site.
- Utilize smart content. HubSpot’s smart content feature allows users to leverage website and contact database information to deliver a unique experience for each individual.
Let's focus on smart content and how you can segment your site visitors for a more personalized marketing approach.
Not all of your website visitors are created equal. Some are just browsing the web and stumble on your site and they will never buy from you. Others find it because they're interested in your industry, and may want to buy from you down the road. Others may find it because they want to buy from you right this second.
Because there are so many different types of people on your website and those people all mean different things for your company, sometimes you should think about focusing on one group's (aka one segment's) conversion rate -- not the web page's overall conversion rate. By focusing on converting the people who matter to your business, you'll see much better results than if you optimized for the conversion rate of everyone on your site as if they were one homogenous group.
If your marketing software allows you to use smart content, creating targeted content and design (the next two CRO tactics) for specific audience segments will help you convert those people more efficiently. For example, let's say you run a puppy adoption agency. Your website visitors might just want to learn about owning a dog, while your leads are actually more interested in adopting a puppy. With smart content, you could serve two different calls-to-action to those two different segments on the same page -- one CTA would be to learn more about owning a puppy, and the other would be about the adoption process. If you've properly segmented your site content to these different groups of people, you'll be able to improve your conversion rates for each group.
Brilliant Tips From Conversion Rate Optimization Experts
One of my favourite takeaways that I always come back to (with product marketing specifically) is from Joanna Wiebe. [It’s] her classic copywriting hack of mining Amazon customer reviews for copy. Using your customers' words directly to speak to your other customers is such a powerful tool. I find myself doing this when we launch new features in the product -- I'll go back to old community posts from customers originally requesting the feature or describing their problems, and pull out quotes to use in the launch messaging.”
~Carter Gilchrist, Co-Founder
We think of our emails the same way we do landing pages -- one page (or email in this case, duh) one purpose. As a rule, we try to provide enough information that someone would need in order to click the call-to-action. No more, no less. It works well for us. As a side, I'm of course super sensitive to lengthy emails hitting my inbox, so I imagine our subscribers are, too.”
~Georgiana Laudi, VP of Marketing
We always start out by asking ourselves a few questions:
1) Who is this piece of content for? What kind of marketer are they? Where do they fit into our customer lifecycle?
2) What problem is this piece of content solving for that marketer? How will this help them create better marketing experiences?
3) What marketing goal is this piece helping us achieve? What’s the call-to-action?
From there, we determine which channel is most suited to the content and the workflow varies accordingly. To keep track of all the moving pieces, we use a combination of Google Docs (for post drafts), Google Spreadsheets (where our multi-tabbed editorial calendar lives), Trello (for brainstorming content ideas and assigning them internally), Google Calendar (to keep track of deadlines), and Basecamp (for projects that involve multiple teams, like ebooks, webinars and Page Fights). WordPress is our content management system, our webinars are hosted on GoToWebinar, and our podcasts live on iTunes and Soundcloud.
Although the quantity of content we produce has increased considerably, we’re determined not to compromise on quality. Each post draft, webinar slide deck, or podcast episode goes through multiple edits and reviews and our golden rule is to never launch anything that doesn’t meet our editorial standards -- even if that means not launching it at all. Put another way, everything we publish needs to serve our audience’s needs and expectations as well as our marketing goals. I realize this sounds super intense, but we have a ton of fun creating this stuff and strive to make our content as delightful and entertaining -- in addition to educational -- as possible. I hope that it shows.”
~Dan J. Levy, Content Strategist
If you could only have three elements on your landing page, here's what you should include:
1) You need a CTA, so that's a given.
2) I think some killer persuasive copy in your headline and subhead could do the heavy lifting.
3) If you have to sacrifice everything else, maybe a video to serve as your hero shot, feature/benefits, and social proof?
But ultimately, every landing page needs five things to do the best job possible:
- Hero shot
- Headline & subhead
- Features & benefits
- Social proof
- Call to action”
~Ryan Engley, Director of Customer Success
Read all 10 tips here, "10 Brilliant Tips From Conversion Rate Optimization Experts"
Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process for learning and trial and error. Apply best practices and you will be well ahead of the game of decreasing your bounce rate. Want to learn more? Read "24 Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Research, Feedback, Analytics & More."