The Conversion Blog

What is Conversion Rate Optimization? Increase Your Website Conversions

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 20, 2018 / by Lynn Genske

Lynn Genske

What is Conversion Rate Optimization

Inbound marketing isn't only about driving traffic to your website or app, it's also about converting visitors into leads when they land on your site. The more qualified those leads are the better and the great thing about inbound marketing is that when you do it right a great deal of those leads will be qualified.

The process of making sure your site is turning strangers into customers and visitors into contacts is called conversion rate optimization and it's something you should be doing on a regular basis.

Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, downloading an application, making a purchase, or creating an account, these conversions are important if you want to turn sessions into sales.

Here are some of our top tips for getting started with conversion rate optimization:

Micro Conversions Vs Macro Conversions

There are two types of conversions: micro and macro conversions. While micro conversions often lead to bigger conversions down the line and can be an indication of growth, macro conversions are the big ones. Where micro conversions might include email subscriptions or following your brand on social media, macro conversions include:

  • Contact form submissions
  • Calls
  • Purchasing a product or service

You can calculate both of these as percentages using conversion rates.

Calculating Your Conversion Rates

To find the conversion rate of your website just do this simple math:

  1. Take the number of visitors that have converted
  2. Divide that number by the total number of visitors over any given time.
  3. As a percentage, that number is your website’s conversion rate.

For example, let’s say that in one month, you had 50 website visitors that converted, and 5,000 total visitors. Simply divide the converted visitors (50) by the total number of visitors (5,000), and your conversion rate equals 0.01, or 1%.

Switching Things Up: A/B Testing

Sometimes conversion rate optimization can be as simple as changing the color or location of a call-to-action (CTA) on a page. It's super important to continue gathering data and evidence when it comes to conversions, which is why it's important to A/B test things when you want to change things up. Want to move a button? Great! We'd always recommend testing this against the old configuration and noting what happens to your conversion rates.This is going to help you properly optimize your site and make data based decisions. Not sure how to A/B test? Don't worry! HubSpot makes A/B Testing super simple.

HubSpot AB Testing Landing Pages

When it comes to changing pages, here are some relevant facts to help you understand where you could start:

  • Shorter pages load faster, and a 1 second delay can reduce conversions by up to 7%
  • Guest checkout options for ecommerce sites can increase conversion by up to 50%
  • Faster checkouts can also reduce shopping cart abandonment
  • Customers are more likely to purchase products after seeing reviews

Updating Old Blog Posts: Optimizing Historic Content

When it comes to online content, things change all the time. Keeping your content up-to-date and relevant is an incredibly effective way to improve conversion rates and even increase your search engine rankings — nobody wants to connect with somebody who seems to be out-of-touch.

Historical optimization (that is, updating your old content) is super cost-effective when it comes to conversion rate optimization. Keeping as little as one blog post a month up-to-date is going to drastically improve your conversion rates, potentially doubling your leads

For most sites, a great deal of new contacts and leads come directly from posts older than a month so keeping your old content fresh is a quick and easy win for your sales.

Use Your Tools: Make Use of HubSpot & Google Analytics

When it comes to conversion rate optimization, there's no better place to start than to look at your website data and understand user flow. Where are users dropping off? What are your bounce rates like? There's a wealth of information Google Analytics and your native website analytics (like HubSpot) can tell you about your users. You should be using this to refine your site.

Every site is different, and even within conversion rate optimization (CRO) circles there are stats that completely contradict one another. This is why it's so essential to pay attention to your own website stats. CRO shouldn't be a guessing game. It should be a series of data based decisions you make on a regular basis.

Even something as simple as understanding the demographics (age, location, and interests) of visitors to your site is going to help you refine your messaging and CTAs.

Use Your Tools: Ask the Audience

HubSpot Integrations like LuckyOrange are really great at providing you with the chance to poll and survey your website visitors — make use of this. By setting up rules within these surveys you can poll people with specific behaviors — maybe you want to survey people who have been on your website for more than 10 minutes and viewed more than 5 pages but haven't converted.

By asking your audience you're getting information from the people who really care about your site, and who aren't clicking on your CTAs. Super useful!

Don't Ignore the Seasons: Look Out for Trends

It's super important to be aware of seasonal trends on your website. When conversion rates dip — you shouldn't immediately panic and change all of your website pages without first considering whether this trend is a year-on-year pattern.

Additionally, an ad campaign’s success can fluctuate wildly from hour to hour, or from offer to offer. That’s why conversion optimization studies use real-time data to determine the success of alternate versions of a page or a process. Different versions of the same page are tested to see which one has the highest conversion rate, and the highest rated page is then displayed to customers.

Take a Look at Those Paid Ads

Sometimes conversion rates can be low due to a simple mis-match between Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on social and search and the landing pages they point to. 

Your ads can be super compelling, and clickable, but if the content the lead to doesn't match the tone, message, or offer you provide in your campaigns then your conversion rates are going to suffer.

Where you can, you should be making sure the landing pages you use are relevant and as compelling as your ads.

Ask The Experts: Next Level CRO

Although evaluating your website to increase its conversation rate sounds like a time consuming process, it's well worth your time and investment — increasing your conversion rate from 2% to 3% can result in a sales growth of up to 50%.

Conversion Rate Optimization

If you're serious about increasing sales and your bottom line, seek out CRO professionals (like us) to review your current website and help you optimize it to its fullest. CRO professionals have a thorough understanding of the testing, strategies, and methodologies available to increase a conversion rate. 

Topics: Ecommerce, Conversion Rate Optimization, Inbound Marketing

Lynn Genske

Written by Lynn Genske

Previously a writer for corporations such as IBM and Schneider Trucking. Lynn has been with us for seven years as a content specialist and a front-end developer

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