Conversion rate optimization is a system of increasing the number of visitors to your site into becoming customers. In this case, customer means someone who takes whatever action the website owner is hoping for, whether it is making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
There are a variety of things you need to keep an eye on when studying conversion rate optimization.
- Which page of your website draws in the most visitors on their initial visit.
- Which page they stay on the longest.
- Where they came from, and how they found your site.
- Their demographic information.
- At what point they leave your website.
Taken together, all of this information lets you know where and how you need to improve user experiences. There are a variety of tools available to work on your conversion rate optimization. In fact, making changes to your site in a structured manner is nearly guaranteed to improve CRO.
Time-tested steps to improve CRO include:
-Identifying who your visitors are, what they are looking for, and how you can help them.
-Developing a hypothesis on how you can change your website to help it work better for your visitors.
-Testing your hypothesis and analyzing the results.
But it all sounds so complicated. What tools can you, as a beginner, rely on to help you along the CRO path? Luckily, there are plenty of choices but here are our top six.
This one is in a category by itself. Everyone should start their CRO journey with Google Analytics. It is so widely available, affordable, and relevant, it shouldn’t even be considered a separate tool, rather just part of website maintenance. Most of the features are free, and it is easy to use. Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics tool and for good reason. It is fully integrated with Google AdWords, which allows users to track the quality of their landing pages and their conversion goals. Google Analytics is designed to be easy to use by the more casual user, while still providing in-depth data.
1. Crazy Egg
Crazy egg allows heat-mapping, customer journey mapping, scrolling analysis, click behaviour analysis and A/B testing. You can also set up customer user tracking, depending on your needs. A unique “confetti map” allows you to see click behaviour by referral, time of day and week, search engine, type of device used and many more variables.
Feng-GUI is a software tool that analyses your homepage’s visual elements. It lets you know what parts of your homepage are most appealing, and the order in which items are most likely viewed. Feng-GUI uses predictive analytics to help improve page layout.
Hotjar allows you to see how and where visitors spend time on your website. You can use the heat maps to see exactly where visitors click. It also allows you to enable user polls for website visitors, so you can determine what your visitors consider important on a website or improvements they would like to see.
4. Optimizely Program Management or Omni Convert
These two programs are similar in that they allow you to perform A/B testing, or testing different versions of a campaign to see which performs better. Optimizely Program Management is probably a better choice for larger businesses, while Omni Convert is a lower cost, but still feature-rich program better suited for smaller companies or individuals. Omni Convert also has a great feature which allows you to connect to Google Analytics.
This WordPress plugin helps you generate effective, keyword rich terms for your webpage. When you consider that the first three Google listings receive 60 percent of the clicks, you can see where taking the time to craft the best title possible will be time well-spent. If your site is hosted on another platform, there are other keyword tools to choose from, such as Google Trends or Wordtracker Scout. Although you should focus on quality content and providing a solution for your visitors, a keyword friendly site will get more visitors to your page to start with.
This tool provides a variety of page speed tools. It goes beyond surface level explanations by letting you know not only what your website issues are but how to fix them. It also includes an innovative waterfall analysis tool which explains both positive and negative features of your website and each feature’s effect on your site’s conversion rate.
These tools we’ve selected for your consideration are a good place for CRO newbies to start when optimizing your website for conversions. Overall, it is important to remember the basics. You want to encourage your customers to come to your website and spend time there. You don’t want the experience frustrate them. With that in mind, it is important that your site loads quickly and seamlessly.
If you experience lag times or other loading issues (common with rock-bottom shared hosting packages), you may want to consider the switch to a virtual private server (VPS) hosting plan. Cheaper than a full-fledged dedicated server, this option helps avoid the poor performance associated with being forced to use community computing resources.
By installing some of these tools, and optimizing your site for the best user experience, you can be confident that you are doing your best to improve your website’s CRO. It is important to remember that this is not a static process. Continue to refine your landing pages, optimize your content, and monitor conversions.
It is also important not to count on these tools to do ALL the heavy-lifting. You need a well-designed site, hosted on a reliable server, with a low downtime percentage as a foundation. Websites that are slow to load or don’t load fully will quickly send your visitors somewhere else no matter how much time you spend playing with flashy CRO tools.
Will Ellis develops the guts beneath beautiful websites and can’t wait to see what the blockchain world will look like once the technology fully emerges. He invests in cryptocurrencies and studies history.