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Conversion rate optimization: The only 5 tips you need

E-commerce marketing, E-commerce tips

Denise Castillo April 23, 2019

The amount of content about conversion rate optimization available today can be overwhelming. In mere seconds, a simple Google search puts upwards of 78 million results within click’s reach. But what’s relevant, and what’s actionable? These are the key questions to address.

Why focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

Prioritizing conversion rate optimization has obvious benefits: the more web visitors you convert into leads, and the more leads you turn into customers, the more revenue your business can generate.

It sounds simple, of course. But there are nuances in how you can and should approach your conversion rate optimization strategy. These small discrepancies can be the deciding factor between a wildly successful CRO approach, and one that costs more than it’s worth.

Today, marketers are understanding just how critical conversion rate optimization is. According to HubSpot, nearly 70% ranked conversion rate optimization as their #1 priority for 2018.

It’s clear that marketers across industries are looking to see a higher return on the lead and demand generation investments being made within their organizations. Your business is likely among those hoping to see a boost in conversion rates across your website, PPC activities, email marketing campaigns, landing pages, and more.

To do so, we first must sift through the data that’s out there, and identify the core challenges to be addressed:

Conversion rate optimization: Finding the insights and gaps

Year-over-year, businesses’ goals and challenges change. It’s only natural. However, many conversion rate optimization hurdles continue to plague organizations despite their best efforts to turn things around. Here’s a look at what the data tells us about businesses’ biggest challenges and CRO mistakes:

  • 75% of marketing teams are highly concerned with optimizing the customer journey.
  • Less than 25% of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rates.
  • Professionals whose roles are focused on conversion rate optimization identified their biggest challenge last year: the lack of a well-defined, efficient process for doing so.

From the data above, a few major CRO themes stand out:

  1. CRO is being prioritized, but not handled well.
  2. CRO execution is falling short of expectations.
  3. CRO strategies need fixed processes.

The question then becomes: how can we address this?

5 tips to avoid common CRO mistakes

Conversion rate optimization isn’t a lost cause or a shot in the dark. In 2018, 56% of brands found that their CRO efforts were more effective than the year before. This tells us, unmistakably, that progress is being made by organizations actively working on conversion rate optimization.

Still, bigger strides can be taken — as long as your strategy is properly targeted, and the right steps are being executed upon. Here are the top 5 fixes to improve your 2019 CRO strategy, and to inform your CRO efforts in the coming years.

1: (Mostly) ignore benchmarks.

These vary per industry, by business size, business type, and based on whether you’re optimizing for web conversions, email conversions, etc. Focus on improving from where you are, not based on a (relatively) arbitrary and difficult-to-pinpoint standard.

2: Put a process in place to align your teams and initiatives.

As we addressed earlier, CRO processes are a huge pain point for marketers today. The lack of a clear, defined CRO process was a top challenge in 2018, and nearly one-quarter of organizations in 2018 had no CRO process in place at all. Don’t go in blind. Approach CRO with a plan of attack, and then, adjust as needed.

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3: Personalize and tailor your efforts — always.

Be specific when you serve your customers’ content. This means not just taking into account whether a visitor is new or returning, but also thinking about their historical behavior (if applicable), their organization’s industry, their role or job title, what phase of the lead marketing funnel they’re in, or where they fall in the buyer journey.

4: Tackle small wins first, continue activity only on what works.

Realistically, spending time or budget on a bunch of CRO efforts that are bound to fail is a waste. To make the most of your teams’ time and stretch your CRO budget further, take advantage of small wins first, test them out, and implement long-term strategies only for the initiatives that succeed.

5: Test, iterate, and act based on data (not on what your business thinks will work).

As we mentioned above, you need to identify your quick wins to act on them. You also need to address the bigger gaps that you need to tackle long-term. But how do you do this? Data.

Avoid choosing your goals and initiatives based on what your teams think might work or what strategies your organization would like to try out. Use your data to figure out what’s low-hanging fruit, where you most critically need to address issues, and what’s already working. Then, act, test, and adapt your activities as needed.

Take your conversion rate optimization wins to new heights

Want even more insights?

Learn from a tangible example: Read our customer, Hummert International‘s success story on how the company grew its conversion rate 200% with an e-commerce overhaul.

Get more marketing tips and best practices to drive conversions with our e-commerce makreting guide.

Understand how Sana Commerce can help: Learn how Sana 9.3 functionality can directly impact your business’ conversion rate optimization. Or, for a more broad view on how to optimize your e-commerce marketing strategy (including CRO), download our Solution Highlights: Marketing Edition.

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