Earlier in a blog we talked about conversions: what the term means, what different types there are, why setting them up is important and how you can measure it. In this article, we'll take a closer look at increasing your conversions using different strategies. This can be referred to as conversion optimization, or CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization). At CRO you try to get the most out of your visitors.

 

Clarification conversion optimization

Conversion Optimization takes place online. On the one hand, it can take place in the field of online campaigns. The degree of success of your online campaign depends on the number of conversions you achieve with it. The higher the number of conversions, the better your campaign will perform. On the other hand, it is also possible to optimize a website. What do you need for it? Data! Data is the absolute power source for conversion optimization. The advantage of this century is therefore that we have more and more usable data available due to digitization. CRO is therefore a method that uses the data and feedback from users to improve the result of a website.

 

Online campaigns optimizations

Customers are usually the first to contact an organization through an advertisement. Advertising is therefore often the first step in the customer journey to reach target groups. So-called advertising campaigns are designed to interest a person in such a way that he or she clicks on the ad and is referred to the website of a specific organization. It is therefore important that such ads is optimized so that a certain amount of clicks is generated. A correct coordination between advertising and the website is desirable. You can still have such a good advertisement that attracts many people to the website, but if the user experience of the website is subsequently insufficiently optimized, without conversions, then it will not be of any use.

 

Website optimizations

A website is the foundation of a brand. Whether you are on social media, only advertise on several platforms or both options apply to your business; the website often remains the end base to which a person is ultimately navigated. It is therefore desirable that the website looks neat. However, this is not all. Even though a design of a website is very well put together, it is of no use if it does not convert. Therefore, the various elements that are integrated on your website must also be taken into account. These elements have to work properly. To this end, account must be taken of the functioning of the elements, as well as the degree of user-friendliness of the website.

User-friendliness of your website

The user-friendliness of a website is important for a website. Once this occurs, it will affect the intention of visitors to actually use the website. If a website is not user-friendly, this can have a negative impact on the amount of time a visitor spends on the website. In addition, this can ultimately ensure that the visitor does not contact the company if he / she has questions or that the visitor does not proceed to purchase a product / service. We are talking about frictions - the effort a visitor has to make to overcome certain barriers during the ordering process. Of course you want to prevent these in the website. This causes a negative experience accompanied by psychological resistance such as confusion, fatigue or annoyance, all of which is detrimental to your brand and the number of conversions you achieve. 

Friction can be discovered and removed on the basis of conversion optimizations. Think about: 

  • Too long loading time of pages on the website;
  • An unclear navigation;
  • An abundance of options;
  • A search function that does not return correct results;
  • A call-to-action button that does not stand out or is difficult to read;
  • A form that asks for too much data;
  • An unexpected cost item at the checkout of the shopping cart;
  • A link that leads nowhere.

Conversions optimization can therefore optimize the following topics: the loading time of your web pages, the tagline, the USPs, testimonials, readability, images, a call-to-action or the navigation structure through the website (internal link structure). Various strategies have now been created to optimize your website. We recommend the following: 

 

A / B testing

A / B testing is both the most common and the most effective technique used by companies. Central to this is '' testing ''. With A / B testing you divide your visitors on a particular page into two groups: group A and group B. Both groups see almost the same page. The difference is in a specific element of this page. Think of a certain structure, color, message or image. Do you think a different color is more appealing? Whether a text can be better formulated so that it responds more to the needs of the target group? Test it! After a few days you will notice that either group A or group B performs better. Of course, you apply the option that yields the most conversions to the page in question.

Advantages of A / B testing are as follows:
  • Requires less traffic than multivariate testing;
  • Live users are not bothered by the experiment on the website;
  • Gathering objective data.

In A / B testing it is not quantity, but rather quality that counts. Think carefully about what you want to test and why, especially if you only have a small budget. You can still test a lot, but if these are all random and not the right ones, you will learn little and make a profit.

 

Multivariate testing

Multivariate testing is similar to A / B testing. There is one difference, however; multiple combinations of multiple variables are tested in 1 test. Think of a test in which a combination of a message from a call-to-action, its appearance and its final destination are tested. Compared to A / B tests, only 1 variable in 1 test is tested (for example, the color of a button). The aim of multivariate testing is therefore to find the perfect combination that has the most impact on the performance of the website.

This form of testing has five advantages:
  • Save time! Continuous A / B testing often takes a lot of time. With multivariate testing, time can be saved, since several tests can be performed simultaneously;
  • Each variable can be measured in terms of profits;
  • Collecting objective data;
  • Live users are not bothered by the experiment on the website;
  • The impact of interactions between different elements that are believed to be independent can be easily measured.

 

User behavior

It is important to keep in mind that changing the corporate identity of the website is only a small factor that plays a role in achieving more conversions. Often visitors do not even look at these things. Conversion optimization is therefore much more than just A / B and / or multivariate testing. It is more important to look at the behavior of your visitors and how it can be changed. It's about getting to know your target audience, understanding your target audience and optimizing user experiences. A good conversion optimization strategy can therefore be translated into 'personalization'. Not only testing elements on the website, but also offering unique experiences to the target group throughout the entire customer journey is central. 

To work more personally, it is wise to consider the following:

Such changes are well worth testing; more than changes in the design of the website. After all, tests with regard to realizing behavioral changes often work more effectively. Although the great impact of these tests, they often require more preparation in the form of user research. 

How do you do this?

Again on the basis of data. This includes data on your website (Google Analytics), your social media or data from various tests (see excerpt below). The efforts that have to be made for this can easily be compensated if you look at the results; lots of valuable insights, behavioral changes and more conversions! This suggests that conversion optimization is not actually about conversions, but more about your target audience; these in turn ensure conversions, provided you have made the correct optimizations of course.

Of course web design should not be neglected; the eye wants something too. In addition, it has been proven that design can influence the behavior that people consciously / unconsciously perform.

How do you find out who your target audience is and what they want / wish for?

1. Mouse tracking: 

Analyzing the navigation of visitors about your website and elements that are pressed a lot / little. The software 'Hotjar' is best known within this method. The result from such software is a heat map; a visual representation that shows where the visitor's mouse is going and what the scroll movements are across the page.

Advantages of mouse tracking are:

  • Insight into the click and navigation behavior of visitors on your website and therefore its user-friendliness;
  • Collecting objective data that, in combination with demographic data, provides very educational information;
  • Live users are not bothered by the experiment on the website.
2. Eyetracking

This method looks at the elements on a website that a user looks at the most. However, consent is required from the user for this type of research; a user may not just be filmed via the webcam. The movements of a user's eye can be visualized by means of special hardware. This often happens at a special research location. The focus is mainly on finding out where the eye first catches the eye when a particular page is displayed. 

Advantages of eye tracking are:

  • Collecting objective data that, in combination with demographic data, provides very educational information;
  • Live users are not bothered by the experiment on the website;
  • See where and for how long the focus is;
  • Also insight into the feelings that certain elements of the website arouse (facial expressions are filmed);
  • The possibility to ask the participant additional questions.

 

Tips for conversion optimization

1. Create an attractive and clear website: 

Make sure your visitors only see what is important to them:

  • Delete any text that is unnecessary;
  • Add more picture elements (these images should make it clear to users what to purchase and how to do this);
  • Make clear categories and give them a central position on the website;
  • Use a clear font (not too small, easy to read);
  • Keep the navigation structure the same on every web page;
  • Improve the visibility of your hyperlinks;
  • Make purchasing easy.

2. Learn from your customers: 

Make sure you know who your customers are and what they are asking for.

  •  Add elements of personalization (for example, a personal account or a chat service). 

3. Create trust among your users:

Returning users are more likely to convert than users who visit a website for the first time. 

  • Create a safe environment;
  • Provide a reason to come back;
  • Provide mutual trust;
  • Remember the preferences and data of your customers;
  • Emphasize the additional benefits of your organization.

4. Never stop running tests: 

  • Work on improvements step by step and test them continuously: conversion optimization is never a one-off project that is being worked on. Simply because your target audience and technologies are always subject to change. This means that growth never stops, so that improvements can always be implemented. 
  • Identify which changes work best and which do not. Use A / B testing, multivariate testing and the data released in Google Analytics for this. This step is not a separate step in itself; it is important to test all changes. After all, there is only one way to assess whether the adjustments lead to a desired result and that is to test them.

5. Optimize not only your advertising channels but also your website.

This is where a conversion must ultimately result. Good coordination is therefore important for an optimal result from all your online investments.

 

Step-by-step plan for conversion optimization

The only question now is where and how to start conversion optimization. It is important to first be clear about what you want to achieve with the optimization; optimizing for the sake of optimization does nothing. That is why we have developed the following step-by-step plan for you: 

1. Analyzing data: 

What do visitors do on the website, where do they get stuck in the customer journey? Where do they drop out in the funnel? Make this transparent using web statistics such as Google Analytics. It is important to make the KPIs clearly measurable so that the change can be measured later in the process and a conclusion can be drawn to what extent the change has had an effect. In addition, it is important to subject the website to a technical check. The website as a whole has to work properly. Pay attention to, among other things, the 404 pages and the speed of web pages.

2. Gathering insights: 

Based on the insights obtained from the previous phase, it can be determined which parts of the website can be optimized. The central question in this phase is: '' what could be improved? ''.

3. Categorizing areas for improvement:

Now that possible problems have been clarified, the next step can be taken, namely the concrete formulation of points for improvement of the website. How should the problem be addressed? What tools, resources, people should be deployed to solve the problem? Can the problem be dealt with immediately or does something need to precede it such as a certain test? Also formulate hypotheses. These can help you determine later in the process to what extent the change contributed to the problem or not.

4. Prioritizing actions:

If you have more than one improvement point, it is important to look at the improvement points that have the greatest priority. It is not possible to implement everything at the same time; multiple tests can influence each other and that is of course not desirable. So ask yourself the following questions: which test is the most significant? Which test yields the biggest difference? Is there a test that is expected to have the most impact? Which test takes the longest and / or needs the most work?

5. Evaluating the tests:

The phase in which the concept is finally implemented! Keep a close eye on changes during the testing period. Keep in mind that some of the results obtained may also be coincidental. So checking the reliability of your results is something to keep an eye on. Only then can you determine whether the results are actually significant for what you are testing. How do you test significance? You do this on the basis of this tool. Enter your results and other requested results in this tool and check it out!

 

Conclusion

Conversion optimization is a powerful factor in your business to generate more conversions. It is important to look at the entire online customer journey; from advertising to the website. These must be properly coordinated to achieve good results. try to make it clear to yourself what you want to test and why you want to test it. Use the given step-by-step plan for this. Once it is clear what you are going to test and how, tests such as A / B testing, multivariate testing, mouse tracking and eye tracking can be used to provide new insights. Does the change appear to have actually contributed to a solution to the previously identified problem? Jackpot, that's what you want!