10 Feb 2015

What Does Conversion Rate Mean For My Small Business?

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When it comes to internet marketing, there is more to pay-per-click advertising than just running ads. You have probably heard of SEO, CTAs and CRMs, but many people underestimate the importance of another simple acronym: CRO. In this article, we will explain what CRO means and why it is so important for your small business.

What is CRO?

In internet marketing, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the method of designing a landing page with the goal of compelling visitors to take a desired action, such as purchasing an item, filling out a contact form or subscribing to your email newsletter. As Google continues to improve their search engine algorithms, conversions are becoming more and more informative in the scope of a pay-per-click advertising campaign. Search engines try to show users results that are most relevant to the query, and if many people visit the same listing and convert on that page, it is proven that the content is relevant to that query. Optimizing landing pages essentially occurs in three steps:

  1. Capture visitor's attention and attract them to the landing page
  2. Maintain visitor's attention
  3. Focus on pushing your visitor's attention into a conversion

How to Attract Visitors to Your Landing Page

The first step is handled by your advertisement. You attract new, targeted visitors to your website with a PPC campaign designed to capture relevant leads. Make sure your headlines on the landing page match the ones used on your PPC ads. This is referred to as “message match,” and you always want to make sure your messages are uniform so that visitors reaching your website from an ad know that they are in the right place.

The second step is where your landing page comes in. While it may seem more cost-efficient to send visitors to your homepage rather than hiring a web designer to make a special landing page, a homepage is actually not actually very good at driving conversions.

How to Keep Visitors on Your Landing Page

Consider the image below of a typical homepage layout. While still aesthetically pleasing, this homepage is simply too broad to gain the targeted conversions your ad is optimized for. Because a typical homepage has approximately 40 links, your call-to-action for the specific conversion you desire has to compete with all of the other topics on the page.

home page template

By contrast, the landing page layout below is streamlined and more focused. By reducing the number of elements on your page, as well as the loading speed, you draw the visitor's attention to one thing only: your objective.

landing page template

From here, you can combine the simplicity of a focused design with succinct copy to influence your visitors to convert.

How to Get Visitors to Convert

This simple tip is almost guaranteed to increase conversions: tell visitors what you want them to do and why. Provide a clear and concise call-to-action that describes what the visitor will receive by completing the action. You can break the CTA down into several different elements, but arguably, the most important are:

  • Description
  • Actionable phrasing
  • Possessives
  • Subtext
  • Urgency 

The call-to-action should contain verbiage that is specific and focused on honing in on a visitor's motive for clicking it. Use action words, such as “get,” or “make,” for best results. Personalize the user experience by using possessive pronouns like “my” or “your” and include subtext to tell the user exactly what they will be getting. Finally, include a sense of urgency to encourage visitors to act now instead of waiting.

Remember to consider your prospect's motivation for taking action on your website and make them an offer they won't want to refuse. Use a short and simple contact form that requires minimal information from the prospect, and make sure that there is ample incentive to give you that specific information. An offer of a free consultation is simply not a large enough reward to make it worthwhile for visitors to give you their contact information.

Use Confirmation Pages to your Advantage

Finally, once a visitor converts on your page, they are usually taken to a confirmation page that features a simple thank you. However, imagine what a confirmation page could do if you used it to point your visitors to another objective. Don't be afraid to ask for another conversion. For example, if a visitor just filled out your contact form to download a free e-book, the confirmation page could look something like this:

thank you confirmation page for contact form

Offer an opportunity to share the incentive you offered on social media or a chance for the visitor to subscribe to your newsletter. You can even use the confirmation page to point them to other content they may enjoy, such as your latest blog post or pages relevant to the search query that brought them to your website in the first place.

Conversion rate optimization is a tricky concept to put into practice, and it's usually best to work with a team of professional marketers, copywriters and web designers to create landing pages that work with your paid search campaigns to both attract the right kind of consumer to your website and then compel them to convert and become valuable leads. 

At CyberMark, we have developed a conversion rate optimization plan to suit small businesses that won’t break the budget. We can implement your CRO plan all at once or break it down into monthly projects and do it over time. CRO is exceedingly important, and we believe in making it affordable for small businesses. It’s the key to making your website an effective sales driver. Please click here to learn about how we improve conversion rates, or contact us to see how we can improve sales and conversions on your own website.