Website Conversion Rate Optimization Tips and Benchmarks [A Guide to CRO]


Abs
By Abs | Last Updated on February 12th, 2021 1:20 pm | 4-min read
Top Tips for Website Conversion Rate Optimization

Most of the business owners have naïve assumptions at times about digital marketing. One of those is that more traffic brings more sales.

It is undoubtedly true to a large extent. There is a strong correlation between growth in website visitors and revenue growth. A new website or brand would need a lot of paid advertisements and plenty of investment in social media-driven marketing to spread their message around.

A Brief Guide To Website Conversion Optimization

However, if the effort to increase traffic is successful at one point, it will reach a stage of diminishing returns. Just like pouring more fertilizer on the ground does not continually increase crop yield, more dollars spent on digital marketing may not equal more growth and revenue.

What is Conversion Rate?

Online shopping is different from traditional shopping. Let me explain what I mean. Before the rise of E-commerce, a customer would have to physically go to the store, test out the item they were going to buy and just go ahead and buy it.
However, from a customer perspective, online shopping is different. A customer might click a banner ad, see the product you’re selling and leave. Then they will learn more about your product, talk to someone that has purchased it and finally make a decision to buy what you’re selling.

This makes online shopping a time consuming task for both the parties involved. Conversion rate can be defined as the ratio between the number of visitors who land on your product page and the number of people who actually end up buying your product.

The only way to ensure your ecommerce site’s success is to ensure that you have a good conversion rate. There are many ways to raise your conversion rate. These ways and methods are what form CRO or conversion rate optimization.

Four Basic Principles of CRO

There are 4 basic principles that need to be followed to optimize conversion rates:

  1. Have a Solid Value Proposition
  2. Customers need to understand what sets you apart from your competition. Ensure that customers see that. For example, if your product is cheaper than the competition, make sure its pricing is visible.

  3. Give Your Customers an Incentive
  4. Make sure that your customers want to buy your product. You can do this by giving out coupons, free trials, buyback guarantees. Basically, try giving out stuff that motivates your customers and warms them up to your brand. For example, Amazon has special sale days and almost always has discount offers on its products.

  5. Remove Conversion Barriers
  6. This is hard to do. Conversion barriers are what take customers away from your product. To understand what they are, you need to understand customer perception. A few examples of conversion barriers include, high pricing, bad page design, lack of proper CTAs, too many advertisements etc. Each ecommerce website will have its own conversion barriers.

  7. Make Your Customers Secure
  8. This is another aspect of CRO that changes according to the brand. If it is a new customer, they will always find it difficult to trust an unknown brand. You need to ensure that they feel safe. Balance your marketing strategies to ensure that customers trust you.

Why Is Conversion Rate Optimization Important

It is easy to grow from 10 visitors (per month) to 1,000. One can push that to 20,000 over the next year. But it is not possible to get a 20 fold rise year after year. What is needed is conversion rate optimization or CRO focused on user experience improvement.

Basically, concentrate on converting the users who have arrived at the landing page into paying customers.

Thus if 0.8% of those visiting your site was buying from you, increase it to 1.2%. For 20,000 visitors, it means going from 160 transactions to 240 or increasing revenue by 50%, assuming all other things remain constant.

Watch this informative video and learn more about landing page optimization.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

Tips For Conversion Optimization

  • Gather plenty of data
  • The primary step has to get quality information about the website and who visits it. This has to be matched with the products the business is offering and the points it uses to differentiate from its competitors.

    Every visitor is greeted by a landing page. This offers them the chance to explore the site, browse the catalog, and if they wish to purchase.

    This video talks about creating some brilliant landing pages and the best practices for creating one.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

    The study of user experience while on the site can have exciting implications. Do they bounce off immediately in less than 15 seconds? In that case, the design of the landing page is all wrong, and their first impression is that they came to the wrong place.

    Do you have a massive pop up covering the whole landing page immediately irritating your visitors about free ebooks and asking them to fill out a form with name and email address? This is the type of mistake to avoid if you want to know how to become a UX designer.

    Let’s scrutinize the use of pop-ups on landing pages with this informative video.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

    No user is likely to give you that sort of information without first browsing through your site and checking what you have to offer. Don’t be pushy but subtle. A pop up after 40 seconds might be a better idea.

  • Form a plan
  • It goes without saying that new business cannot indulge in CRO, at least not with a great deal of success. conversion rate optimization is for a matured site because you need to do data mining.

    From there you would come to know more about users – age, gender, education, location and so on. The first thing to check is if you are offering the right product mix?

    Is your core business fetching you visitors is the question to ask?

    Probably you are an interior designer and the pages that fetch you the most number of visitors is a wall color coordination tool that you offer since that part of the website is best optimized.

    Since selling paints or advising about wall color is not your business focus a visitor is disinterested and goes away because they think employing an interior designer is too expensive for their simple home painting task.

  • Give the site a makeover
  • To align the business and the website is the key to conversion optimization. It is quite a difficult task to handle and requires research into the customer psyche and similar arcane topics. Ask yourself what is lead generation in the context of my business.

    As a small business owner, you might not have the ability to put in so many thousands of dollars into researching what exactly customers would like to find in website UI design. There is an easy way out, and it has no shame attached. Replicate a more established site that offers the same products.

    This does not mean you clone the site. Instead, it means to look at their layout and try to find where you went wrong.

    The question you may ask at this point is why not this do at the very beginning, and the answer is that you should. But it is often considered unimportant because high-quality website UI design costs significant investment, and you were probably unwilling to spend that much on web design initially.

    Note – I am not at all suggesting that you copy an established site but that you look at the font style, font size, and color, background, white space, layers of navigation, carousels, gallery, About Us, blog page, etc. elements and to adapt it for your UX design website.

    An online e-commerce store will be telling untruths if they say that they did not receive inspiration from Amazon, Etsy, and Home Depot, who spent many millions into developing the perfect website frontend. I mean it in the same way. Of course, if you are starting off with twenty million quid to spare, that is different.

    You can perform following changes in your website.

    1. High Quality Images and Videos
    2. Make it a rule that product images and videos uploaded on your platform are high quality. People are really sensitive to visuals. Products that look better sell better. If you are selling your own product, make sure to take plenty of pictures of it. The same goes for videos that will be uploaded on your website or app.

    3. Utilize Coupons and Special Discounts
    4. Always have a discount offer ready to go. Regularly run pricing campaigns with discounts, special features, etc. Incentivising your customers is a great way to boost your conversion rate.

    5. Figure out Your Pricing
    6. Price competitively. Pricing is and will always be a huge dealbreaker. Make sure you price competitively and offer a product with an excellent value proposition.

    7. Simplify Your Checkout Process
    8. Checkout process can be difficult and long. Simplify it as much as you can. There are industry standards on checkout processes that you should adhere to. A good advice for a new business would be to follow convention in the checkout process.

    9. Have a Live Chat
    10. Live Chat doesn’t always work but when it does, it can be really good for you. Having people that customers can talk to creates a positive response loop that can be beneficial for your business. Check out Appy Pie Live Chat if you are in need of a live chat for your website.

    11. Trust Badges and Signals
    12. Try and get trust signals and badges for compliance onto your website. Let users know that your website is safe. Most users won’t notice these badges but they do have a subtle effect on customer perception. Given below is an example of how trust badges appear on your website. The following are Appy Pie’s trust badges. These have been achieved by following preset industry security protocols and passing rigid industry-wide compliance checks.

      Customers love a business that follows industry standard security protocols. Get authenticated and increase both your credibility and reputation.

    13. Allow Guest Shopping
    14. Most visitors won’t sign up to your store until they really want to buy what you’re selling. Let them browse freely. Forcing users to sign up isn’t a good business tactic. Let them sign up when they want.

    15. Product Description
    16. Descriptions are important. Always provide detailed product descriptions. The advantages of this are twofold. Detailed descriptions make your product seem authentic and are good for your webpage’s SEO. Have a set structure for your product descriptions and keep it simple.

    17. Honest Reviews
    18. Let your customers leave reviews and proudly display them. A 3.5 star product with honest reviews and customer images will always sell better than a product with no reviews. Reviews add authenticity to your product.

    19. Prominent Buttons
    20. When designing your product webpage, ensure that the ‘Checkout’ and ‘Add to Cart’ buttons are prominent.

    21. Add Filter Options
    22. Your E-commerce website will sell thousands of products. Ensure that your visitors have the power to search for whatever they want. Categorise your products, brands and have excellent filters.

  • A/B testing
  • This is the most important tool in the arsenal for improving landing page optimization. What it requires is that you set up two different versions of a landing page and then gather data about which performed better.

    Once you discover the more successful one, tweak it slightly to find what works better. This process can continue indefinitely or until you come up with an entirely new idea.

    Not only the landing page, but any other part of the website can also be tested in this way. You have to note that it is not a “Before and After” scenario but an “A versus B” proposition.

    What can vary between the two versions of the same page –

    • Font style, size, color
    • Presence of video
    • Different types of H1 and H2
    • Images
    • CTA design
    • Form (email, contact) design and placement

    You can use tools such as Optimizely that split traffic evenly and help you get detailed metrics about each version of UI design online.

  • Build an App
  • Apps are the trump cards of e-commerce businesses. More than 1/3rd of retail is mobile-based. E-commerce websites translate and carry over well to mobile apps. All successful e-commerce brands have dedicated apps. The idea behind having e-commerce apps is their direct correlation with higher conversion rates.
    People, generally, feel safer while browsing on the phone. This one simple factor can help boost your Ecommerce conversion rate. Users are more comfortable while browsing through apps and more likely buy your products if they see it on your app. You can create efficient e-commerce apps with Appy Pie App Makr.

Concluding Thoughts

Now that you understand the basics of conversion rate optimization, implement it. CRO is a very thorough and deliberate process, much like designing the logo or deciding the color and décor theme of a physical store.

There is an equal mix of the consumer psyche and the gentle art of persuasion. It can never be a quick fix but takes months to get to the point where your revenues are substantially grown.

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Abs
About The Author

Founder and CEO, Appy Pie, Abs has a cumulative experience of over 10 years in the world of technological development and entrepreneurship. His in-depth knowledge of the mobile app development technology and his sharp observations offer valuable contributions to the blog. His areas of expertise are SEO, trends in the mobile app world, and the latest innovations in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. He has a passion for fitness and likes to get his daily dose of endorphins from a run and a strenuous session in the gym.

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