Even after a century of its inception, a popular visualization of marketing campaigns is the Marketing Funnel. They now come in different shapes, but the message remains the same: Not every visitor that enters the funnel turns into a lead.
Lead can be anything a business defines: a sale, a newsletter subscription, an Add-to-Cart, etc. Irrespective, every organization wants ever more leads.
Suppose your business needs 100 visitors to get one lead. There is a direct proportion – one way to increase the lead count is by increasing the visitor count. But what if you get one prospect for every 50 visitors instead of 100? You get 2 leads for every 100 visits!
The process of reducing the number of visitors required to generate one lead is called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Mathematically, Conversion Rate is the percentage of visits that convert into leads.
But we will leave calculations for later. First, we will step into the shoes of a potential lead and trace their journey, starting from seeing your business for the first time to becoming a lead. Once we analyze their experience, we can optimize for conversion.
Buyer’s Journey; How does a visitor become a lead?
Impression -> Visits
Every time someone sees the mention of your webpage, your Impression count increases. Your Twitter post, Google Ad, SERP results, etc., all count as impressions. You want to maximize the number of relevant clicks.
The percentage of impressions that generate clicks is known as Click Rate. Potential visitors hope to see a landing page on click.
You need to ensure that the landing page loads fast. Otherwise, you will have a high Bounce Rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of clickers who either drop off without interacting with the page or after visiting a single page.
Interactors -> Potential Leads
Once you get visits, you want the traffic to stay on your website and interact with it. The more they do that, the better your engagement is.
Engagement Rate is defined as the percentage of visits that interact with your content in some way. For instance, if a visitor stays on your page for more than 2 minutes, reads your blog at least halfway across, clicks more links on the said page, or clicks on the contact page. All these counts as engagement.
The more they interact with your content, the better are the chances of them converting into leads.
Potential Leads -> Leads
Potential leads need to take the desired action to be qualified as leads. Each such qualification counts as a win.
The percentage of prospects who convert into leads is called Win rate.
How to Calculate Your Present Conversion Rate? (Easy Math)
We will assume a few numbers to make the explanation easy.
Suppose your post gets 1000 impressions, and 100 people click on it. Your click rate is: 10%
If 20 of those who clicked never reach your website or leave from the landing page, they contribute to the Bounce Rate, 20% in this case. And you have 80 visitors.
Off those, if 40 engage with your content, your Engagement Rate is 50%.
And if 4 interactors convert into a lead, your win rate is roughly 10%.
Now the summation of the whole campaign is calculated with the conversion rate. Which in this case is 4%.
Strategies For Conversion Rate Optimization
Here is a summary of our assumed numbers before we dive into the steps.
Set a Goal: What’s your desired Conversion Rate?
Time to tip your toe into the financial waters: What are your net expenses? How many leads do you need to break even?
Suppose you have a monthly expense of $5000, and each lead is worth $1000. You need to convert 5 to break even and more to make a profit.
Now trace back the numbers, see how many potential leads, interactors, visitors, clicks, and impressions you need to generate 5 leads.
We will use the numbers from the previous section:
You need 1250 Impressions to generate 5 leads. But what if we want to get those 5 from the initial 1000 Impressions? We need to get a conversion rate of 5%, and that will be our hypothetical goal.
Playing With the Metrics
You can increase the conversion rate by increasing the click rate, engagement rate, win rate, decreasing bounce rate, or a mix of all. That’s is what makes conversion rate optimization tricky.
How to optimize click rate
You can attain the 5 leads by increasing the click rate from 10% to 12.5%.
The most essential factor affecting click rate is the content copy and design. Both need to spell the value proposition in a few lines.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What pain-point do you address?
- Does the copy spell out the value proposition?
- Do the images support the text?
Do you have answers to all these questions? If not, ruminate over it.
Often, this is the structure of a generic online impression.
A Title, Description, and an image that sell the value proposition. Every element must be optimized to earn a click.
Consider using the Coschedule Headline Studio to optimize the title. It helps you write a hot, SEO-friendly headline.
How to reduce bounce rate and increase engagement rate?
Reducing the bounce rate from 20% to 10% and increasing the engagement rate from 50% to 55% pulls up the conversion rate to 5%.
Optimize the below aspects of your website to reduce the bounce rate:
- Build a robust landing page.
Imagine getting clicks on your impression, but your visitor land on a broken page. Your potential visitor bounces off to the abyss of the internet. Bummer! To avoid that, ensure your website is technically sound – no 404s or at least have proper 301 redirects.
- Write landing pages relevant to the impression.
When your copy sells 10 methods to improve page speed, your landing page must talk about that upfront.
You are losing visitors every second your page takes to load. Aim for a page load time of fewer than 2 seconds. You can calculate your page load time here.
- Use Exit Intent Pop-ups.
The exit-intent pop-ups are designed to retain visitors who intend to leave. This technique tracks mouse movements: When the cursor goes to the upper page boundary, a pop-up grabs their attention, inviting them to stay or explore other assets.
To pull up the Engagement Rate, write enticing content: If a sentence fails to create suspense for the next one, people will lose interest. In addition,
- Design your website to make it easy on the eyes.
There is no excuse for poor design with cutting-edge CMSes like WordPress at your disposal. Design clear CTA buttons, ample white space, and a look & feel that aligns with your audience.
- Use quality images.
With tools like Canva, you can design images that align with your brand colors without the complexities of Photoshop. They can aid in keeping your audience hooked to your content.
- Use a Chatbot (or not).
I am not a fan of chatbots as I find them intrusive. But it does serve the purpose of grabbing user attention. Set a session time trigger for the chatbot to pop up: Time spent on your asset is a measure of interest. You have better chances of an inquiry for a session that is already 30-seconds long compared to one at 15 seconds.
- Use social media buttons.
Include social media logos section on your page and make them pop. You can use features like click-to-tweet: It allows visitors to see a prewritten, editable tweet. They just need to push the Post button making it easy to share the article.
How to Increase Win Rate?
Increasing the win rate from 10% to 12.5% brings up the conversion rate to 5%.
Use a CTA button to increase the win rate. It should stand out on the page to attract more eyeballs.
Employ a funnel-based approach for your content. Start with a powerful introduction where you ask questions or acknowledge the pain points of the reader. Once they resonate with you, introduce the solution and take them deeper into details. Finally, ask them to click on the CTA.
Also, include the hyperlink CTA earlier on in the text. Often, people do not read the blog post right till the end. Ideally, soft-CTA should be appearing on the copy. This makes it easy for the readers to locate the CTA as soon as they are ready for it.
More Tips for Conversion Rate Optimization
All the above tactics address different sections of the Marketing Funnel. Even though they are solid techniques, they may not always work.
For instance, you might have made considerable design changes to improve engagement rate, but what if those changes are not producing the desired results? You need to identify it quickly and try another permutation.
Also, many factors influence conversion rate; we need some solution that binds it all together and addresses it as a whole. We discuss them in this section.
Conduct A/B Tests
Test one variant at a time and measure what happens when you vary it. If you have multiple variants, how will you identify the one that affected the metrics? You can’t. So, pick one; A/B testing can help you do that. In this technique, you select one element of a page and create two versions of it.
For example, I have two options for my CTA text – Learn More or Speed-up Today. I need to check which one gets more clicks. I will design two versions – A and B – of the page and use a tool to divert half the traffic to A and half to B.
For one of the versions to be better than the other, it needs to get at least 5% (assumption) more clicks.
After the test runs for two weeks, I will measure the results. If version A gets more clicks, I will divert all my traffic to it going forward.
If you have more than two versions to test, the technique stays the same, but the nomenclature changes – it is now called multivariate testing.
Set-up a Heat Map
A heat map gives an accurate representation of what visitors do on your website. It tracks scrolls and clicks.
In a heat map, you will have darker circles over the points on the page that are clicked often, and those that get fewer clicks will have lighter marks.
This map tells you where you need to keep a clickable link. For instance, suppose you have an image with hyperlinked text under it. The heat map shows more clicks on the image. In that case, you might consider hyperlinking the image for a better CTA placement.
The heat map also shows how far people scroll. That way, you can know at which point on the page people lose attention.
At that fold, place a video, CTA button with animation, or an image hyperlinked to a popular blog post; to gain the attention back.
Finally, let the heat map test run for at least a month before analyzing the results.
Set Goals in Google Analytics
Google Analytics lets you set conversion goals. You can set your goals based on a trigger.
For instance, redirect new subscribers to a Thank-You page which acts as the trigger. Google Analytics can track the number of opens for the page and thus the lead count and conversion rate.
If structured well, surveys can flag what your readers expect from your content and design. It will highlight issues that you missed.
You can host a survey on your website or leverage Google forms to collect entries. Analyze the data, implement the changes or generate new content to accommodate the feedback.
In this post we covered in detail about how to optimize conversion rate. We discussed different ratios that combined together determine how to calculate conversion rate optimization. Based on the knowledge, you can tweak your marketing funnel to increase you visitor to lead conversion rate which will boost your lead count.
When do I need Conversion Rate Optimization?
It is never too early to optimize your marketing funnel, but you need a fair bit of traffic to start with CRO. This is because techniques like A/B testing, Heatmaps, Surveys require a good footfall to generate a formidable sample. It is hard to arrive at conclusions with fewer than 5000 unique visitors per month.
Where can I implement Conversion Rate Optimization?
Any asset designed to drive leads requires CRO. You can implement CRO on your homepage, landing pages, blog, and sales pages.
What is a good Conversion Rate?
Conversion rates vary by industry and asset types. I would recommend following the steps we discussed to determine your goals and set a conversion rate that works for you. But as a rule of thumb, aim for a conversion rate of 2-5%. However, start CRO by aiming for a 0.5% increase. Even that makes a huge difference!
How long will it take to reach my conversion rate goal?
CRO is not a race but a marathon. It takes a few iterations and some testing before you see results. Every iteration requires 4 weeks for the metrics to collect. If it takes 5 iterations, then you need 5 months to see results.
Which tools do I need for Conversion Rate Optimization?
|Collecting, Tracking and Analyzing Metrics||Google Analytics|
|A/B Testing, Multivariate Testing||Optimizely|