The true impact of conversion rate optimization and why it matters to you

User journeys have increased in complexity, but so have the tools we can use to process and map masses of data points. Here’s how you can uplift your CRO activity.

In a world with a dizzying number of acronyms and abbreviations, you might be tempted to think: “Do I really need to know about CRO?”

I’m here to tell you that, yes, yes you do. Now. Let me make it less painful for you by spelling it out: Conversion Rate Optimization. It’s all about increasing the number of site visitors who complete a site goal, like a purchase or a sign-up. For all the advice I could give about running the best display campaigns, for every piece of automation you might implement to improve your paid search activity (we also do a lot of that), generating extra traffic is meaningless if your site isn’t up to scratch. If a website doesn’t match expectations or engage your users then, no matter how stunning your sequential ad messaging is up to this point, your traffic will bounce, maybe never to return.

Conversion Rate Optimization (OK, I’m switching back to CRO now) is part of the full-funnel strategy that’s increasingly being embraced by modern marketers. The marketing funnel provides a great indication of behavioral patterns and trends, but digital marketers need to dig deeper into the thoughts and distractions present in the life of a potential customer. An average shopper might start browsing on their desktop, stop to make a cup of tea, continue searching on their mobile, lose their signal while on the go and revisit the page later in the day. User journeys have increased in complexity, but so have the tools we can use to process and map masses of data points.

To capitalize on this information, we need to know how to interpret this data and use it to improve the user experience.

What can CRO do for your business?

There are three key areas for uplift in CRO activity:

1. Acquisition efficiency
The positive impact compounds and ripples across others channels, improving the efficiency of your paid media activity by reducing CPA and pushing you ahead of competitors. Making the most of your existing traffic is a highly cost-effective way of increasing sales and revenue, whilst maximising return on investment (ROI).

2. Revenue growth and retention
It all goes back to cycling’s favorite phenomenon, marginal gains. An uplift of even a 1 percent improvement by channel, device, visitor type at each step of the site journey blend to unveil huge uplifts in both sales and revenue. There’s also lots of potential for growth through retention as an enjoyable site experience is bound to attract users back to your website.

3. Customer insights
With CRO, you’re getting a consolidated view of your marketing activity and its effectiveness, expanding your knowledge of your business and audience by combining various data points. Through a rigorous “experiment and learn” program of this kind, you can determine the best landing pages to drive paid traffic to, understand the content that resonates the most with your audience and apply these learnings to other areas of the site.

What kinds of opportunities are there?

A major one that most of us are guilty of sweeping under the rug is site speed. Google has been hammering on and on about mobile, and even for the tech-savviest of companies, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. The chances are that browsing behaviors of your site visitors have changed from majority desktop to majority mobile and your site needs to also adapt to these needs.

How does your site rank? Try putting it and a few competitors into Google’s mobile speed test and give the revenue impact calculator a go.

Now, consider this: A one-second delay in mobile page speed load time can impact conversions by up to -20 percent. Think of all of the effort that went into building the landing page and all the money spent on acquiring the traffic – lost at the first hurdle. Visitors are five times more likely to leave your site if it isn’t mobile-friendly, which has a huge drop in pageviews and customer satisfaction.

What can I do to improve speed now? A good starting point is to optimize images. Images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a page. Properly formatting and compressing images can save many bytes of data and improve website performance. With Google even offering the solution themselves with their newly launched image compression tool, Squoosh, there’s no excuse not to assist those visitors.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Passionate about both advertising and data, Grace Kaye has become a specialist in programmatic online display where she uses programmatic as a vehicle to provide excellent user experience whilst satisfying business goals. Grace now leads a team at Brainlabs delivering high-performance display campaigns where precise audience targeting, data-driven optimisation and high-quality content is at the heart of every strategy.

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