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This article was contributed by Atul Jindal, digital marketer, and web design engineer at Adobe.
You have put in a lot of effort in driving traffic to your website. But what’s the point of all these web visitors if they don’t buy what your website sells or do what it wants them to do? Traffic acquisition is not the end. It is the means to an end. And what is the end? Customer acquisition.
To convert your web traffic into leads and leads into customers, you need to optimize your sales funnel. In other words, you need conversion rate optimization (CRO). In this day and age, when your customers have more options than ever before, you need to fuel your CRO efforts with data-driven insights. Otherwise, it will not cut it. In this article, we will discuss ten powerful data-driven CRO strategies you can use to convert your web visitors and social followers into leads and leads into paying customers.
Importance of CRO
CRO is critical for your online stability. First and foremost, CRO directly affects your bottom line. When done right, it can increase your sales and decrease customer acquisition costs. Once that happens, you might see a tangible increase in your revenue.
Secondly, CRO reveals in-depth data. That means, once you go through the process, you end up with invaluable customer insights, which you can use to make data-based decisions and guide your marketing efforts, resulting in data-driven conversions.
Finally, it helps SEO. While CRO has nothing to do with driving traffic to a website, it has implicit SEO benefits. CRO improves customer experience, which is a significant ranking factor. And with the CRO-driven increased revenue, you can invest more in SEO and drive better results.
Now that you have a few pointers about the importance of CRO let’s discuss some time-tested and proven CRO strategies.
Data-driven strategies for CRO
Data is the new currency. And if you learn to use it right, well, you can get rich. And of course, when doing something as critical as CRO, we cannot neglect data as the most valuable resource, can we? So, here are top data-backed CRO strategies for your business:
1. Research your audience
Audience analysis reveals data that can transform your CRO process and shape it to yield truly profitable results. It can help you personalize your customer touchpoints and be more relevant. Finding your audience’s interests and demographics can also help you run hyper-targeted ads and minimize your ad spend while maximizing ad revenue.
Track your customers’ behavior to find out what interests them, which social media platforms they hang out on the most, the blogs they follow, and what grabs their attention and use that information to drive data-driven conversions.
Here’s an example of how a small business leveraged audience data to increase their conversions:
A Nashville-based lawn care business drove an ads campaign with a copy that read, “Local lawn pros in Nashville are a click away.”
This ad had a 1% CTR and 10% conversion rate.
They were in an effort to optimize their CTR and conversions, tapped into their audience’s census data. And what they found revolutionized their ad results.
Their target audience was price-sensitive people.
They used this information to optimize their ad copy and changed it to “Cheapest lawn mowing in Nashville. Lawn Mowing from $20.” As a result of their data-driven CRO approach, they saw a 30% increase in on-page conversions. Do you see how audience data can work wonders on your conversions?
2. Implement data analysis to find the most promising ways to post on social media
Social media is a data goldmine. It can reveal so much about your customers that your metrics can skyrocket if you use all of this information correctly.
Social media analytics can help you find:
- What visuals appeal to your target audience the most
- What content type gets the greatest engagement
- When is the best time to post on social media
- What CTAs generate the greatest leads
And a whole lot more.
Once you have successfully acquired this data, you can develop a visual theme for your brand. For example, data has shown that your customers are more inclined towards darker colors. You can include dark colors in your visual content. If they engage more with amusing content, get amusing. If they are active during the night, post at night, and so on.
You can use data from social media to run personalized video ads as well and have another chance of optimizing your conversions as customers that arrive through these ads are 184% more likely to convert.
Remember, all of these data-driven steps will help you connect better with your customers and be more relevant. And healthy connection and relevance combine to form one of the founding pillars of better data-driven conversion.
3. Use attention-grabbing headlines
Conversion begins with a click. And clicks come after you have successfully grabbed your user’s attention.
A headline is often the first thing your users come across, and hence an excellent tool to use for grabbing their attention. Therefore, using attention-grabbing headlines (paired with other factors) can lead to better conversions.
This is not your pass to creating controversial and low-value titles. Grab attention while delivering value and maintaining class. Again, tap into website analytics to find out which headlines have worked the best for you.
If you are entirely new to the website world, know that headlines with numbers have shown to have 30% higher conversions than those without numbers. Additionally, short and concise headlines, which have a negative superlative (like x number of things you have never seen before or x killer Instagram profiles you need to follow), have a higher tendency to earn more clicks.
4. Perform ad split testing (A/B testing)
A/B testing or split testing reveals incredibly insightful data that can work wonders on your bottom line. It can reveal the weaknesses and strengths of your ad, so you can know what to change and what to do more for increased conversions.
Use the data you have acquired from audience research to create different ads. Then target other users from the same demographics with these ads. Finally, analyze the ad metrics to uncover their performance data and see which one converts better. Continue changing the ad elements, such as ad copy, headline, image, CTA copy, CTA position, etc., and keep on analyzing and optimizing.
For example, if an ad with a red CTA button converts better than the one with a green CTA button, turn all your CTAs red to improve conversions. Sony, world-leading consumer electronics manufacturer, increased its CTA by 6% and add-to-cart ratio by 21.3% through split testing their banner ads.
5. Use data from Google Analytics to optimize website elements
Your CRO efforts boil down to how well-optimized your website is. You could have a great headline, a fantastic ad, and a wealth of customer information, but if your web elements aren’t conversion-optimized, you may not get that many sales.
Perform A/B testing on various elements of your website to see which version works better.
Analyzing the website rankings list reveals that color influences 85% of buying decisions, and adjusting them can result in a 24% increase in conversions. Google A/B tested more than 50 shades of blue on their CTA to see which one converted the best. You don’t have to be as obsessive as Google. But still, test the conversion metrics of your website by varying the colors of its elements, and analyzing data to find out which one generates the most conversions.
Apart from changing colors, you can adjust many other elements to optimize your website’s conversion. For example, you can reduce the number of fields required in the signup form. Neil Patel did just that and experienced a 26% increase in conversions. You can try doing this if data has shown that people bounce from your website after seeing the signup form.
Another thing you can do is to change the position of your CTA or the layout of your web page. Remember to track the effect of these changes by analyzing data so that you can yield actual CRO results.
6. A/B test your landing page
Nothing influences conversion more than a landing page. Each element of your landing page can affect your conversion rate, and hence your bottom line. Therefore, you have to be very careful when optimizing it.
First, use customer data to create a relevant and attractive landing page copy. Next, use heatmaps to find out where their attention is focused the most. Use this information to write and design a landing page that converts.
Peep Laja and his team increased the data-driven conversion rate of a truck driver’s community website after several months of varying different elements of the website and testing results.
They used attention heatmaps to find out that the left side of the page got the most attention, incorporated better design elements, used attention-grabbing images, and wrote a more relevant copy.
As a result, the conversion rate of the website’s landing page increased by 79.35%.
7. Implement rich snippets
Rich results or rich snippets are Google’s offering that enables websites to attract qualified leads. And do you know what qualified leads do? They convert. Therefore, activating rich snippets should be in your CRO toolbox.
Use structured data to create schema markup and inform Google about what you want it to display in rich snippets. There are different types of rich snippets. If you want to leave no money on the table, you can try various snippets to see which one converts better. Then you can continue to use the well-performing one.
A quick caveat though, including structured data in your HTML and running rich results tests do not guarantee rich snippets.
8. Use CTAs to optimize well-performing blogs
Blogs are major lead magnets. They can attract 67% more leads and generate 6x more conversions. But that all depends on the CTA. A blog ends with a CTA. And how the CTA performs determines whether you will get a lead or a conversion out of the blog or not.
Banner-blindness is real, which reduces the value of end-of-the-blog banner CTAs. Therefore, if you want your blog leads to convert, you should try using anchor text CTAs.
Anchor text CTAs are texts incorporated in the blog body that links to a relevant landing page. It helps because, one: it is not a banner; and two: because it is eye-catching, even for people who are just skimming through the blog. Moreover, anchor text CTAs are said to boost conversions by up to 121%.
9. Add lead flows
Lead flows are popup boxes that are triggered after users perform certain actions on your website. For example, a lead flow offering a limited-time discount pops up after a user is about to leave the web page. These pop-ups attract users’ attention and attempt to funnel them through to conversion.
But that’s not the only reason why lead flows have the potential to enhance your data-driven conversion rate.
Lead flows remove friction in your conversion funnel. They present the offer, collect information, and deliver value in one box, which is significantly better than a customer reading through the blog, then clicking on a link, filling up an email, and getting a download link. Based on past user activity, you can use any of the three types of lead flows, including slide-in boxes, drop-down boxes, or popup boxes, whichever has been shown to work best with your audience.
10. Use ecommerce data to optimize website conversions
An ecommerce website thrives on increased conversions.
You can tap into the Google analytics of your website to spot areas that are creating friction in your sales funnel and optimize them to enhance your conversion rates. For example, if most of your web traffic is leaving the website after viewing the products page, it’s time to optimize that page. Or, if you are experiencing high cart abandonment rates, you can use popups triggered by exit intent to offer discounts or surprise gifts. 61% of customers believe surprise gifts are excellent ways to keep them engaged.
To remain competitive, conversion rate optimization is key
Regardless of the industry you are in, if you want to stay competitive in the digital world, you have to perform conversion rate optimization.
But, while optimizing your website for better conversions, you have to make sure to take data-driven steps so you can eliminate guesswork and be more confident about the results. Start by researching your audience and gathering information from as many channels as you can. Then optimize your customer touchpoints according to this research to be more relevant to the consumers and drive them towards conversion.
Remember, CRO is not a one-time process. So, make a routine of A/B testing your website and marketing assets to uncover data that can drive your CRO efforts and keep your conversions high.
This article was contributed by Atul Jindal, digital marketer, and web design engineer at Adobe.
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