What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion Rate Optimization, or Conversion Optimization, simply refers to the marketing methods used to convert online window shoppers into paying customers. Or, according to the CEO of SiteTuners, Tim Ash, it is “the art and science of getting people to act once they arrive at your website.”
While search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for bringing traffic to your website, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the logical next step for translating those visits into sales.
If someone were to ask you what the conversion rate is among visitors to your website, they simply mean what percentage of visitors are following through with purchases (or other desirable actions). CRO looks at this traffic versus follow-through data and implements marketing methods proven to raise, or optimize, your conversion rate.
Direct Response Marketing
CRO is essentially the Internet extension of direct response marketing, which has been around since the early 1900s. This technique has long been used to track the efficacy of radio, mail, and print advertising.
In this digital age, keeping track of what works and what does not in an online setting is imperative. According to a survey conducted by Econsultancy, 59% of respondents saw CRO as “crucial to their overall digital marketing strategy.”
Regardless of recognition by the majority of online advertisers, Conversion Optimization is a surefire way to evaluate and improve the success of any given Internet marketing strategy.
So how do you turn these casual browsers into purchasers, and even repeat customers? There is a specific technological science to CRO as much as there is to SEO. Locating and attracting a paying online customer base requires a certain level of skill.
To quote Tim Ash again, CRO “typically involves elements of visual design, copywriting, user experience, psychology, testing out different versions of your website content, and the neuromarketing to influence people to act.”
The Technical Side
Technical knowledge and programs are needed to manage a website in order to determine which images, copy, and overall content are generating the most response from visitors.
These responses can take the form of sales or other positive results such as completing a contact form, creating an account, submitting a survey, signing up for email updates, or following/sharing on a social media platform.
As Forbes contributing writer Josh Steimle so aptly put it, “It’s scientific and straightforward, but is also complex: because people are complex, and it’s people CRO seeks to influence.”
It can be very worthwhile to invest a small amount of capital and hire an Internet Marketing Specialist to help you achieve a higher overall profit margin or other goals.
An experienced Internet Marketing Specialist should have enough expertise to offer a comprehensive package of services covering not just SEO to bring you shoppers, but also CRO to capture buyers.
It is not unlike fishing. You need the bait to attract the fish, but you also need the hook to catch the fish. A successful angler would never fish with just one or the other, and a savvy marketer knows that both components are needed to run a successful advertising campaign.