Here at High Impact we are first and foremost search-marketing specialists but as we all know, successful search performance is about far more than rankings. This is why our expertise and services extend to other forms of online marketing, designed to complement and support your search efforts.
Conversion Rate Optimisation is just one of these synergetic services – it helps ensure your search efforts don’t go to waste and ensures your website performs at it’s full potential when visitors land on your site. In today’s post we’re going to explain a little about how CRO works and talk about the benefits of using CRO to support both paid and organic search campaigns. So, what’s this optimisation all about then?
The aim of search engine optimisation – either through paid or organic search – is to direct relevant traffic to your website. Once there, conversion rate optimisation can help remove the obstacles that sometimes prevents site visitors from following through on their visit. If your aim is to get those visitors to buy clothes on site, book appointments online or request a brochure about a course you offer, conversion rate optimisation uses a combination of analytics and testing to help you shape elements of your site in a way that will drive users to carry out the behaviour you want them to. It also provides useful information that can help identify opportunities to expand your offering or connect with customers in new ways. If that all sounds a bit like the mind tricks of a Jedi master, let us explain how it all works…
The High Impact approach to CRO
Like all of our campaigns, our CRO work begins with analysis and data. We use special software to observe the behaviour of real visitors to your site. This allows us to collect information about where people are hanging out on your landing pages, the journey they take through your site and of course, when they are abandoning purchase or other actions and why.
Whether it’s a contact or purchase form that’s not audience friendly or a load time that’s simply too long, CRO identifies the sticking points to help you shape your site into a far slicker operation. Like successful search, the aim at all times is to help the site visitor find what they are looking for faster and when CRO suggestions are implemented, the actions to be carried out are made crystal clear to users.
As a result, users have a far happier, pleasant experience on your site and its positive experiences like these that help build brand loyalty. The information gathered during behavioural observations is put to best use, we carry out split testing, helping you to see how small changes make a difference. We can test these changes on a small proportion of your traffic, so you need never make an amendment without testing the impact; whether it’s a change of call to action, testing new copy with your audience or a modification to the design of your site, we can help you make informed choices.
CRO helps you make sense of the data collected through your Google Analytics account – if you’re noticing visitors exiting on a certain page or part of the buying journey, CRO analysis can help explain why and give you the solutions to fix it. With this in mind, analysis of your analytics data is where your CRO journey will usually start and it’s also the reason why CRO supports paid search campaigns so effectively.
The benefits of CRO and paid search
We’ve spoken before about paid search and how you can fine tune your efforts to ensure you’re getting the best quality traffic directed to your site by using tested ads. Now imagine that you’ve got tested ads and landing pages and that your site itself has been tweaked and tailored to not only match with the ad but also the intentions of your visitors. Landing page copy and ad copy have both been tested for effectiveness – the messages are matched, the tone is right for your audience, the wording relevant, reassuring and easy to understand. In addition, the design of your page has been tweaked to make the user’s journey clearer and to coach them towards the action.
All of these additional efforts will help ensure that the traffic directed to your site is not only relevant but more willing to convert, which means more sales or enquiries for you. CRO combined with PPC gives you quality traffic that’s more likely to result in the action you’re hoping for and from a user perspective, CRO helps to reassure customers they’ve landed in the right place (a specific page on your site) with the right people (your business) and guides them to carry out the desired action (purchase, sign up, booking).
In this way, CRO acts as a foundation for your PPC spend – it helps you ready your site for visitors and helps ensure the money you’re spending on PPC is well spent because you know the traffic sent to your site will be greeted with a welcoming experience.
CRO and organic search synergy
Whether visitors land on your site as the result of a paid ad, search query or perhaps even a social media referral, conversion rate optimisation makes it more likely both parties (site and visitor) will achieve their desired outcome. Previously mentioned insight such as journey and behaviour mapping can highlight obstacles that are currently preventing visitors turning into purchasers and help them better engage with your site.
It’s worth remembering that engagement is one of Google’s ranking factors, so the fewer people who are landing on your site and then leaving because they’re not keen on your load time, can’t work out where to go next or don’t fancy filling in a particular question on your form, the better it is for your organic search efforts. Think about the places you shop offline or the restaurants you eat at regularly – it’s not just price or the quality of goods that keep bringing you back, it’s the experience you have when you’re there, the feel of the place when you walk in the door and the trust established by the way you are greeted.
When should you use CRO?
There are of course advantages to regularly reviewing your site’s performance and fit with your audience to ensure continuous relevance, though the most obvious time to seek CRO help is if you are planning significant changes to your site. If you’re building a new site, exploring design and copy changes or adding new categories or products, CRO can help you make informed decisions about the course of action you take and if you’ve seen an increase in traffic or rankings without a rise in conversions, a CRO audit can help you identify why.
If you have any questions about how CRO works that we’ve not covered in this post, please feel to comment below and we’ll get back to you. To discuss how CRO can help you make an impact online, get in touch with our team for an informal chat – we’re always happy to talk about the things we love doing!