Conversion Rate Optimization — CRO — is the process of taking a website that already has a decent amount of traffic and is optimized for several keywords, and figuring out how to convert a greater percentage of it’s visitors into buyers.

Tip: You may also want to read our guide on setting up Tracking202 – it will help you to better track your conversion rates

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The Plan

  1. Establish why people aren’t converting.
  2. Find methods to overcome the objections that people have to converting.
  3. Implement those methods inside the structure of an A/B or multivariate test.
  4. Record the test results, and migrate the most successful variant into active use.
  5. Repeat.

Establish Why People Aren’t Converting

There is a long-standing tradition in sales: people don’t just “not buy” — they have a reason for not buying. The list of reasons is actually fairly short: no money, no trust, no value, unable to complete the transaction for reasons of accessibility, unsure how to complete transaction.  If you have one of those last two problems, it’s something to take up with your web designer. If you have the first problem, there’s not a lot you can do about it except offer financing.  Those middle two problems (no trust, no value) are the ones that CRO is designed to overcome.

Find Methods to Overcome the Objections

When people say ‘no trust’, they essentially mean ‘your product looks good, but I don’t think you are legitimate.’  When they say ‘no value’, they essentially mean ‘I don’t have a problem with you, but I’m not at all sure that the product is worth what you want me to pay for it.’  Both of those objections can be overcome by your content — you just have to provide content (testimonials, explanatory videos, etc.) that address those objections.

Implement Within a Testing Structure

Most websites are going to want to use a series of A/B tests — in other words, testing the original vs. a modified version. Each test will show you whether or not your proposed method converts better or worse than the original, and over a significant number of tests, your conversion rate will incrementally improve.  If you have a site that gets thousands of visitors a day, you can implement multivariate testing instead, which test many variables at once and is much quicker — but it does require significant traffic to have meaningful results.

Migrate

When you know firmly which variant is actually giving you the best results, you quietly replace your existing page with the variant, secure that it will improve conversions.

Repeat

Then, you do it all over again — starting with the variant this time, looking for new objections or new ways to further address the old objections.  The more times you repeat the process, the better your conversion rate becomes, and the more profitable the page.